Arellano had postponed our appointment and, driving to OC Weekly headquarters, I discovered why. He was on the radio, live, with Patt Morrison, everybody's favorite hat-wearing KPCC afternoon host, whose show is consistently terrific despite that station's new slogan, “No rant, no slant.” She was doing a segment on the new U.S. Census classifications of ethnicity or whatever is its called, by way of Latino, Hispanic, Chicano. This enduring (exhausting) topic means a full-employment guarantee for Arellano who was, of course Patt's
I was especially taken with the story of Larry Cano, who started the once-wildly successful El Torito and bought the former Victor Hugo Inn, a French restaurant, transforming it into a Mexican seafood “fine dining” destination. Despite having lived near it for a decade myself, I somehow managed never to have eaten at the iconic if touristic Las Brisas, overlooking the cliffs of Laguna Beach. In fact, the closest I got to dining there was paddling my sea kayak a few hundred yards off the beach and hearing the restaurant's PA announcement across the water and kelp, and through the fog and the barking of California sea lions: “Jorgensen, party of ten.” But each and every one of my relatives visiting Laguna ate there, and now I kind of wish I'd gone along.