Confessions of a Nobu VirginPart of: Hollywood , LA , Slice of Life
Breakfast: toasted blueberry bagel with apple butter
*Originally published at MovieCityNews.com
By Tiffany Stone
As we got onto PCH, Kate got anxious. “Are you sure I am dressed okay?” Kate was wearing a strapless black dress with a push-up bra.
“You’re fine,” I assured her. “Stop stressing. It’s no big deal there. People wear jeans and T-shirts. You know Malibu.”
“Great—I am overdressed? You have to take me home right now,” Kate demanded, as if her life depended on it.
“Come on Kate,” I reasoned.” You said you wanted to stand out.” Kate was quiet except for her whimpers. I made an illegal u-turn.
Back at Kate’s apartment, I cleared off a section on her bed and sat down. Kate tried on a skirt with spiked boots, a tank top with leather pants, a peasant blouse, a bustier, and then I spaced out. I looked at Kate’s bedroom wall. She had recently painted it a light pink. Pictures of her favorite actors, actresses, and movie posters cluttered one wall. A nude photo of Kate was mixed in. She was sprawled on a raft in a pool. Greta Garbo and Rita Taylor were right and left of her, respectively. Nice.
Above her bed she had taped affirmations. I was tired of seeing the Anthony Robbins and Deepak Chopra quotes. Not everyone in the world could be abundantly prosperous. People, wake up.
Affirmation to self: “Actors do not make good friends, only acquaintances.” Maybe I would make this into a screensaver.
Kate was ready— dressed in jeans, heels and a wrap top.
“Now you look generic—like a Fred Segal doll,” I said.
“Perfect.” Kate smiled at herself in her full-length mirror. “I just have to fix my hair.” Before I could protest, her bathroom door slammed.
Forty minutes later we were off again. I yawned and drank my lukewarm coffee. At least it was a nice drive along the coast.
The Malibu Country Mart’s parking lot was filled with S-Class Mercedes and BMW’s. There was also a red and yellow Ferrari. Arnold Schwarzenegger had almost run me over here in this parking lot. Other people were scared to drive their Hummers. Good.
The hostess at Nobu was an exotic mix of Asian and European and was wearing a suit. Her long ponytail swished back and forth as she moved. She pointed at the clipboard with a red pen.
“See— all these people are ahead of you.” Yes, I could read.
“Can we sit at the sushi bar?
There was no way that we were going to go somewhere else. Under no circumstance was I going to hang out at the bar, either. It was all service industry people and wanna-be’s.
The names on her precious list were written precisely in red-inked caps. There was some kind of code: Red, blue and black. She was about to write our names down in black.
“That’s a great watch,” I tried.
“Oh, thank you. It’s only a Kenneth Cole,” the hostess said as she cracked a smile.
This woman needed to learn how to lie. She would never make it.
Kate smiled back, “Come on---don’t you have something in 10 minutes? We are starving.”
“Can we please have some edamame while we wait?” Kate asked.
The hostess laughed.
Then I heard someone yell my name. “Tiffany!” Hollywood had finally come to my rescue.
I squinted to see who was calling me from a prime table. It was Lou Leviwitz. Lou was a short muscular producer from New York who wore those wireless glasses that all of Hollywood wore. (“Oliver Peoples Eyewear: Simple, Understated, Pure”) He was sitting with a smallish man with thinning hair and identical glasses. For some reason they were sitting next to each other.
“Why don’t you join us?” Lou said generously.
Introductions were made. We sat down. John Cusack was at the next table. He might be the only actor I still had a teenage crush on. A few people had told me he wasn’t the nicest person and was a ladies’ man. But it was only hearsay at this point. I was starting to sound like Kate.
“How’s the writing going?” Lou asked.
“Good,” I said.
“Have you written about me yet?” Lou asked me this every time I saw him.
“Not yet,” I assured him.
I looked at Kate to help me out, but she was busy taking in her surroundings with naïve giddiness. Small, Thin-Haired and Near-Sighted stared at her chest. I refrained from making a joke. He was a talent manager.
“How would you describe me?” Lou persisted.
“I don’t know. How you are,” I answered out loud. (Neurotic, mildly paranoid, direct, scrutinizing, self-aggrandizing, hyperactive, funny and very Jewish, I answered in my head.)
“So…What did you do today?” Lou asked.
I got a massage,” I said, stealing a glance at John Cusack. He looked dapper in a black suit and tie—very Grosse Point Blank, sigh.
Brent (that was his name) looked away from Kate’s chest for a second and said, “Hey, that’s how I find out information about the women I date. On the third date I buy them a massage.”
“Is that ethical?” I asked.
Brent’s thin lips turned up into a crooked smile.
Kate chimed in, “Come on Tiff—don’t start with that. I think it is a great idea.” Yes, on Planet Kate, I thought to myself.
“Starlets love to hear themselves talk,” Brent said.
Kate was smiling and rubbing her chopsticks together.
Lou said, “I don’t date actresses. They’re either suicidally depressed or manically happy. The conversation always leads to how they hate their agents, managers and pictures. It’s so f-----g boring.”
Brent looked pointedly at Kate and said, “Insecure chicks are the best.
And what do you do?”
What a condescending asshole.
“I’m an actress,” said Kate, while chewing edamame.
Brent returned to Kate’s chest, while I looked at John Cusack, trying to be nonchalant. But he caught me and smiled. I know my face turned red.
“What have you acted in?” Brent inquired.
“Films I am sure you have never heard of,” Kate said softly laughing.
The waitress came with sake in a faux bamboo container. Kate had decided today that it would be healthier to drink only clear alcohol.
“Is that Pamela Anderson?” Kate asked, in between shots of sake. I followed Kate’s finger.
“Uh, no,” I mumbled. I was fixated on the spicy tuna sashimi in my mouth. It was velvety, weightless and pure. Nobu was the Frank Lloyd Wright of sushi, I decided. “I think Pam is a vegetarian. Lou—do you have any producer friends who you can set up with Kate?”
It was always best to ask directly for what you wanted.
Lou had just popped tuna sashimi in his mouth. “That was the head of a studio and a famous director who was sitting next to you.”
“Man,” Kate said. “I never recognize anyone.”
“Come on Kate. We can go home and make flash cards,” I quipped, only half joking. I stole one last for bite of spicy tuna and one last glance at dapper John. Kate finished off her California roll. The rest of the food was too fishy.
Lou offered, “You girls should come to my birthday party next weekend.”
As we walked out, I stopped by the hostess stand. “Is John Cusack single?”
“Well,” she said. “He’s not with Neve anymore. Why don’t you leave your headshot with me?” She was serious. I was embarrassed.
In the parking lot, I turned to Kate. “Don’t let me say something like that again.”
Kate laughed. “What has gotten into you?”
Good question. Hollywood had gotten into me. I looked at the stars in the sky and thought about the absurdity of it all.
I turned to Kate and said, “Sorry you didn’t get to meet anyone, and no one ate sushi off your naked body.”
“Are you kidding?” Kate said. “Two nebbish guys, free food and a prime table? That was a major score.”
Kate was no longer a Nobu Virgin. And with Lou’s party to look forward to, she would be satiated for at least two weeks. Now all I needed was a vacation from Hollywood.