Last Saturday afternoon, I saw Pirates of the Caribbean 3, at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood. My friend received an offer from American Express for VIP seats, so we took them up on the offer. For a $24.00 ticket, you go online to pre-select your seats (balcony, left-of- center stage, thank you), you receive a bucket of popcorn & a 20 oz bottle of soda, and you don't wait in line like all of the other common folk. I have to say, that it's so nice not to have to smuggle in your sodas and none of your friends has to go in drag....you know, to carry the oversized bag to fit all of the sodas and candy.
If you're in the L.A. area & are planning on seeing this movie soon, I highly recommend watching the movie at the El Capitan. This theater dates back to 1926, and has been beautifully restored, as an exclusive first run theatre for Walt Disney Pictures. The movie was pretty good, overall. There were a lot of double crossing and subplots, and some parts did drag, but the visuals were stunning. My only complaint was the Caribbean woman's accent was so damn strong, at times I had no idea what she was saying.
Dinner was had at Amalfi Ristorante a short drive away, located at the northern edge of the "La Brea Restaurant Row" area. Amalfi is co-owned by Adam Carolla (talk show host, radio personality, etc), and there's a jazz club located upstairs, that really started to get jumping once we were finished with dinner...I'm not into jazz, so we didn't check it out.
We were about 30 minutes early for our reservations, but they sat us immediately. Great service, amazing food at affordable prices, and a real Italian homestyle vibe (no attitude, despite all of the beautiful people here) are all reasons for me to come back. I also loved the exposed wood beams and the fireplace, which helped to make for a romantic setting...alas, the only thing I ended up getting romantic with was my Gnocchi dinner....mmm mmm good!
Celebrity sighting: upon entering the restaurant, I noticed a wee little man sitting at the table near the entrance. I noticed him immediately, because he looked like a little boy tipping back a gigantic glass of red wine. My friend recognized him as Deep Roy, the actor that played the Oompa Loompa in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory....six degrees of separation from Johnny Depp, indeed.