I went out to Woodland Hills last night to uWink restaurant for the BarCampLA GeekDinner7. Now generally I only venture out to the ass end of the Valley to visit my mom (who apparently has a hard time figuring out how to cross the 405), so my expectations were high.
Usually when I have high expectations they are not met, but last night was a blast !
First off I decided to ride my motorcycle out since I knew traffic would be bad. One reason was to be able to use the carpool lane. But the other was to try out a new motorcycle jacket. I have only been riding on the street since the summer and now that it has turned chilly, the mesh jacket is not cutting it any more. There is a Cycle Gear store very close to uWink and I had previously seen a jacket I liked there. The jacket is a Frank Thomas FTL240 Cafe Racer (in red). I like the styling, the features, and it is indeed pretty warm. I thought about waiting for a sale, but it is just getting too cold and the regular price ($280) seemed reasonable since it is a lot more money at the few other places I could find selling it.
uWink is located in the old Promenade mall. Now when I was a kid, this was the high end mall with a Sak's 5th Avenue and the like. We did not go there much, preferring the much larger Topanga Mall up the street. Now the Promenade is decidedly mediocre mall. It has a bunch of empty stores, there was hardly any one there, and the anchor is a Macy's at either end. It does have a few other OK food place and a large movie theater, but it seems like the moneyed folks are shopping elsewhere these days.
One other side note, between the Topanga and Promenade malls there used to be a miniature golf course and movie theater. The mini golf is gone and the theater closed and used as retail space. I mention this because this is where I saw the theatrical release of Stars Wars. I recall not really wanting to go and my mom making me. Maybe I was smelling the stench of Episodes I/II/III even then.
When I got to uWink, I was not really sure what to do. I didn't seen anyone I recognized, but that turned out to be because everyone was in the far back. Brent Bushnell was our host and did a great job at showing all the uWink features. He was really interested in all our suggestions and took a lot of notes. His dad Nolan Bushnell stopped by for a bit to explain his vision for uWink. It is always cool to hear such a luminary talk to mere mortals.
And thanks to Heather for coordinating it all !
other links -
uWink on the Wikipedia
Douglas Welch's photos and video from the event