My friend Saucy Burnaz (his drinking name) has the same basic rituals every Sunday and this time he kindly enough invited me along to witness his fancy day of rest. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone enjoy L.A. quite in this neo-Rat Pack kinda way before.Saucy Sundays start with a dry steam at the Los Angeles Athletic Club downtown, the fanciest gym I’ve ever been in and that includes Equinox. Established in 1880, it has an old gentlemen’s club sorta feel to it with an indoor track that circles an indoor basketball court and fitness center. There’s also a bar complete with personal lockers for club members’ private booze collections and a restaurant where the occasional wedding reception is thrown.
After the steam, Saucy likes to lounge in “his” worn-in leather Hermann Miller chair on the 3rd floor of the club and read the Sunday Times. Although there are ample fitness classes and squash games, he wouldn’t bother exercising unless it’s to take the occasional swim in the large indoor swimming pool.Los Angeles Athletic Club
_431 West 7th Street
Los Angeles, California 90014
(213) 625-2211_Afterward, we headed over to that L.A. institution, the Original Pantry, for some breakfast, ducking into the Original Pantry Cafe instead of the restaurant to visit his favorite waiter, Gene. “If Gene’s not there, then turn around and walk out the door,” Saucy suggests. And he’s right. Gene is the best waiter I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing at work. My glass of water was more than half full and he still refilled it for me. We guess he’s worked there for about 20 years since he takes orders with none of the put-upon attitude of most servers nowadays. Note: You have to sit at the counter to get served by Gene.Breakfast at the Pantry is priced anywhere from $4 to $8. Saucy always goes for two eggs over easy, a side of bacon, potatoes and one pancake. I ordered up the #3, which is two eggs, the best bacon I’ve ever tasted, potatoes and two pieces of the Pantry’s special sourdough French toast. Unfortunately by the time I got to the “dessert portion” of my meal, the French toast, I couldn’t bring myself to finish up the thick pieces of bread doused in syrup. I was already so stuffed to the gills.The Original Pantry Cafe
_877 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90017
(213) 972-9279_With a belly full of breakfast, I tagged along while Saucy went to The Shave in Beverly Hills for his weekly man facial, aka a professional shave. A 30-minute job, the “Out in 30” Shave, costs $45. Saucy’s guy, Mogi, is the touchy-feely sort who likes to make sure he achieves a close shave on his clients. While my friend sat in the barber chair enjoying his Jameson and pampering, I had to sit in the club chair in the store area and sip mine since “women aren’t allowed in the back area.” The nerve! I guess it’s to evoke that gentlemen’s club atmosphere. The barber shop does offer membership programs with unlimited shaves, haircuts, shoe shines, etc. I always think that a gift certificate for a professional shave would be the best present for your favorite fancy boy metrosexual._The Shave
230 South Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90212
(310) 888-2898_And we capped off the Sunday afternoon by visiting Barneys, stopping by to pick up Saucy’s tailored suits and partake of drinks and dessert on the balcony of the in-store restaurant Barney Greengrass. We didn’t enjoy the cinnamon bread pudding ($6.50) or vanilla creme brulee ($7.50) but did relish our star-sighting of Keira Knightly cuddling up to some hunka man at the next table as well as the sunny summer’s day view of the Hollywood sign. While sipping Pinot Grigio and white sangria, Saucy gave me the low-down on some L.A. history. Did you know that when the city wanted to get rid of those old rail cars back in the day that they ended up dumping most of them in the King Harbor in Redondo and you can scuba dive and visit them in their underwater grave today? Who knew?_9570 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90212
(310) 276-4400_After a short afternoon, I was already done for the day. I wasn’t going to even try to keep up with Saucy. There was talk of grabbing more cocktails at the Peninsula, but I’ll have to save that for another Sunday.