Thursday, October 11, 2012


Your life is like a really bad book. With a really cheesy cover. Like, with a lipstick mark on it.
Thanks, Belinda. 

I had another silly night for the books. Here's a story that has been a long time in the making. A story that I still cannot believe I haven't talked about yet. This story is about Rodolfo.

Or something like that. He looks like a Rodolfo, at least.

Across the street from my work is this idyllic, beyond delicious italian restaurant called Pomodoro. When I started working in the office for SAG Awards a year ago, I worried that I might tire of the food if I ate there too often. I wish I could-- it would save me some money and some creamy pasta calories.

Belinda and I like to get dinner together every other week. At first we started going to other places, but then surrendered to Pomodoro's sheer supremacy in the Westwood restaurant department. Not only is it delicious, but it has the most delightful atmosphere. There are little shabby-chic chandeliers hanging beside the various french windows and there is just the right amount of indoor foliage with twinkle lights woven in between the branches. And of course, what would an italian restaurant be without a basket of piping hot bread? This place is good

Yes, Pomodoro is the cat's pajamas when it comes to italian restaurants. The food and experience are peachy perfection... and then... there's the service. 

Enter Rodolfo.

Rodolfo is an Argentinean bus/bread boy in his late-twenties. His hair is jet black and completely slicked back with gel, except for the tails at the end that are too heavy to hold down when he needs a haircut. Rodolfo is very friendly and always smiling, revealing his set of shiny metallic braces and large exposed gums. His voice is an anthropomorphic human/donkey mix and he stumbles through the handful of English sentences he knows. Spanish/English languages aside, Rodolfo is not the brightest crayon in the box.

The first time I went in to actually eat at Pomodoro (they usually catered our late night work sessions), I went with some family friends that were visiting from out of town. Rodolfo instantly took a liking to our table, which was great. Everyone loves an attentive waiter.

But then Rodolfo's focus began to narrow, and we all took notice. When he'd come to the table, he'd only stand by my side and direct questions to me. He would ask me how my water was. He'd ask twice to see if I wanted parmesan cheese on top of my tortelloni. We would catch him awkwardly staring from the back of the restaurant. 

I was confused and embarrassed but brushed it off. Maybe he remembered me from delivering dinner to our office? ...several months before? Maybe he was just being a friendly guy.

And then he brought us a plate of tiramisu. Correction. He brought me a plate of tiramisu and put it down in front of me, like a cat bringing in a bird it just caught. Then he asked if he could shake my hand. 
 Excuseh me, vhat's your name phlease?
Uh... Jenny.
 Jeanny.Verrry preety, Jeanny. Preety. Dessert.

I thanked him, chalked it up to free dessert for the price of a little awkwardness and thought it was just a funny isolated, one-time story.

Unfortunately I go to Pomodoro far too often for that.

This has now been going on for months. I go in with a friend (...Belinda) and Rodolfo is always there. I don't always get a free dessert but I can count on plenty of awkward and uninvited attention. I don't even know why. I'm never looking especially exquisite when I go in. Maybe he's into girls that have just worked nine hours and have dressed appropriately with room at the waistband to accomodate their carboloading. Eh.

Last night Belinda and I went in for our usual mushroom risotto and eggplant gnocchi, respectively, only to find we had a different waiter. Huzzah! I let out a sigh of relief knowing that I might take the night off from Rodolfo's heavy breathing. Then he appeared from the back. He saw me. Smiled his gummy smile. And what's this? No braces? Rodolfo must have been feeling like a new man, because he then went straight over to our waiter and asked if he could take our table. Great. And it didn't stop there. He touched my shoulder three times while I was eating and then proceeded to bring us panna cotta with raspberry coulis for dessert.

...There's Rodolfo. Lurking in the background.

Belinda can't get enough of this. Being the good friend she is, she thinks it's just hilarious. That and she gets free dessert all the time. 

But really, I'm serious Jenny. Your life is like a bad, awkward book. Really awkward. With like, a really bad, awkward cover. 

Okay I get it.

Eh, I'm just happy that at the end of the day I have a weird story to tell and a belly full of milky italian dessert in my tummy. (Again, I'm easy to please).

But what am I supposed to do? It's too good for me to stop going there and really, how could I do that Rodolfo?

...I am kinda starting to feel bad. Kinda. 

Rodolfo made sure to walk us out and shook my hand as we left.

Byeh Jeanny. Thank you. Thank you, Jeanny. So nice. Good night. See you soon!


Let me know if anyone ever wants dinner and a show. (...and dessert, too).



1 comment:

  1. Jenny/Rodolfo interactions are *the* highlight of our dinners.