87. Playground 03/05/2019

Yelp fucking sucks. Whose idea was it to open up reviews to legions of the tasteless, the heartbroken, the lonely? Now they, now everyone has a voice online to not only disparage their exes but to put people out of business? Puhlease. (Trust, the irony is not lost on me that I’m writing blog posts about restaurants. But as I’ve said before, I’m no food critic!)

But what if you embraced Yelp and all its yuck? What if your servers all wore T shirts with your bad reviews on them for every patron to read? Isn’t that the ultimate undoing, the best fuck you? Welcome to Playground.



Listen the food was good, but truth be told, if Playground was in LA, it would be just mediocre. The atmosphere is that of a coffee shop in Studio City that expanded. TV’s and terrible art work. But, on the plus side our server looked like Freddy Mercury and was effusive of his love for chef Jason Quinn who won The Great Food Truck Race in 2011 and lived right upstairs. img_1791

JG took us back to Santa Ana. And all in all we were glad he did. More microcosms outside of LA do the heart good. Gay, hispanic men walking their Chihuahuas on the streets at night. Rockabillies smoking cigarettes and reminding us how so very not cool vaping is.

Zaya picked up Lazzie and met me there. Another unseasonably chilly rainy night in LA. Climate change continuing to create disturbing changes in seasonal behavior and giving me the spooky feeling that my children will read this post and think, “if only they knew what was coming.” img_1782

In anticipation of their arrival I ordered the “everything” fried potato bread with trout cream cheese and pickled red onions. It landed on the table just when the boys did. In the end we liked it so much we ordered it twice. Then came “the perfect salad theory,” kurobuta pork belly steam bun (flavorless fat with guac = no bueno), Uncle Lou’s fried chicken (sweet, not crispy = sad), charred tamaki gold rice which was the best dish by far, enough img_1787-1kick to counter the macadamia nuts and coconut cream, and one of each dessert because doughnuts with sun-choke caramel chocolate ganache, sticky toffee pudding with black mission figs and salted vanilla whip. Yes, it was decadent. Yes, it was fine.

The joint was packed. Santa Ana’s got its own deal. The deal is, we’re not paying to live in LA and we’re cool so we’re just gonna create our community here and we don’t need you so  just. back. off. And apparently they don’t need Yelp either, because despite the bitter reviews Playground still made Yelps top 100 places to eat in the US.


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