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whining & dining by michael whiner | contact:

La Scala

A couple of weeks ago I had a charming supper with my older, infinitely more successful brother at a local pizzeria called 'La Scala'. Charming place (although often packed with whorey media types) and one can have a reasonably authentic, inexpensive meal in an atmosphere perfect for fraternal natter. My sad life sprouted flowers when a very beautiful Italian lady catches my eye in hers. I surprise myself by asking her out for an evening drink….she accepts!
A week to the day later I'm enjoying the finest female company since my Cordelia ran off with that bastard Dane when my virgin utopia is obliterated like a felled chimney stack.
"What ho! Found yourself a bit of eyetie skirt have we? You filthy rogue! Watch this one lady, he practically invented the clap!"
Michael falls over our table vomiting what smelt like an excellent Slieve n Gclag Irish single malt - straight into my future bride's glass of chianti.
I reached for my pocket knife to kill him at last but the fat man starts dragging us over for a pizza. In a vile rage I refuse but he clips me around the ear, deepening my shame irrevocably. As usual he is already in full flow…

"People are complete cretins aren’t they? All week I’ve had people asking me "are you watching ‘Survivor’?" or "who do you think is going to win ‘Big Brother’?" To which I reply, "Sod off". Frankly I find ordinary people utterly tedious and I’m damned if I’m going to spend my spare time watching a house full of the most boring people imaginable to humanity doing — well not very much really. If I wanted to do that sort of thing then I’d just lock ten people in my cellar and let them fight it out amongst themselves. Actually, I might do that anyway if I’m at a lose end.

I’m not sure about this seared tuna salad are you? I should have gone agnello like always. The texture is all wrong, it's overcooked and these fagliolini don't quite seem to work with this plague of red onion…and where's the fennel? The flavours seem to be constantly fighting each other. It’s a bit like trying to eat the Tory party.

Have you heard the controversy about ‘Tomb Raider’? Apart from it being a truly dreadful excuse for a film that is? I mean, I’ve sat through some rubbish in my time but honestly! By the end of it my eyeballs were threatening to walk out in disgust. But I digress. No, it seems that somebody in the costume department has given the heroine a belt that prominently displays a Nazi symbol. Needless to say it hasn’t gone down well. It’s a bit like Superman being caught wearing jackboots and a leather trench coat. Still that’s what happens when they insist on employing five year olds to do the costume fitting. In my day it you didn’t get to do something like that until you’d served a twenty-year apprenticeship. Now the most you can expect is twenty minutes. Perhaps I’m just getting old but it seems that everybody on a film set these days looks like they should still all be at school. I said as much to Marlon Brando. He said something very wise, "Who cares as long as they feed us at regular intervals?"

Harvey Bernstein is continuing with his loopy quest to bring ‘Chicago’ to the big screen. So far just about every actress in Hollywood has been linked with the film. Harvey believes that the world has been without a new big screen musical for too long. Now I could be wrong but I’m sure that the reason those musicals were successful was that they cast people who could actually sing. Judy Garland may not have been the greatest actress in the world but she could certainly belt out a tune all right. But Catherine Zeta Jones? Has anybody ever heard her sing? Not that it seems to matter. Ewan McGregor’s singing voice resembles a cat being dragged backwards through a mangle but he’s still managed to notch up a number one in Australia. I’m not really sure that the world is ready for a new musical anyway. I can’t stand all that "I feel a song coming on" nonsense. What the film world needs is more blood and guts. Rather then waste his time with ‘Chicago’ what Harve really should be doing is kicking young Tarantino up the arse and getting him to make another film.

Pity poor Richard Gere. He’s just agreed to play an environmentalist who loves penguins so much that he changed his middle name to "penguin". It certainly puts the mentalist into environmentalist at any rate. What’s the matter Richard? Down to your last million?"

recent whines...

January 2002 - St John - Clerkenwell EC1

December 7 - Hell

November 30 - Birthday at Brula

November 23 - Picnic on the Heath

November 16 - Les Trois Soeurs

November 9 - Ed's

November 2 - Burger King: Piccadilly

October 26 - Lindsay House

October 19 - Darcy's

October 5 - Spitz of Spittlefields

September 28 - West Street

September 21 - St John's

September 7 - Southeast W9

August 31 - Rogues

August 24 - Royale With Cheese

August 17 - Rules

August 10 - Manana

August 3 - £15/head at Mazzo

July 27 - La Scala

July 20 - La Putain de la Tour

July 13 - The Real Zorba

July 6 - Palefico

June 29 - The Moon and Pigeons

June 22 - Post Theatre

June 15 - Danang Vice

June 7 - La Crebiche

June 1 - B.A.N.G.E.R.S

May 25 - The Ritz

May 18 - The Harpo

May 11 - Trading Braces

May 4 - Hijo De Puta

April 27 - Broadway!

April 20 - Escoffier Steakhouse

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