Book Club 25: "Unaccustomed Earth - Part II" w/ Italian Brunch at Villa Blanca

***Venue changed to Villa Blanca***

The Turning Point Series I: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Book: "Unaccustomed Earth" by Jhumpa Lahiri - last three stories titled "Once in a lifetime", "Year's End" and "Going Ashore" 

Restaurant: Villa Blanca

One of my favorite yoga chants is "Sa Ta Na Ma".  That means "Infinity Life Death Rebirth".  These are four turning points of one's universal life. 

What about one's earthly life?  What kind of turning points do we have?  Do we all have the same turning points?  Do some of us encounter unique turning points?  How do we handle our turning points? 

Let's explore these questions as the main theme of the next book club series.  

The first installment of "The Turning Point" series centers around three short stories about Hema and Kaushik from "Unaccustomed Earth".  We read and loved the first story from the same book last April, and will continue to discuss Lahiri's beautiful short story collections this month.

I sensed that both Hema and Kaushik ended the story with lots of woulda, coulda, shoulda...  I can relate to those sentiments... quite well :)  What about you?  I would love to hear your stories and thoughts.  Come join me at an Italian brunch table at Villa Blanca.  Let's eat, drink and talk.

About the restaurant: Hema and Kaushik in "Going Ashore" reconnect and spend few weeks together in Italy, so it just had to be an Italian restaurant.  It was originally scheduled at Fig & Olive, but we have to change our vanue due to a parade and festival in West Hollywood area, just 1 block north from the restaurant.  The new venue is Villa Blaca in Beverly Hills.

If you are a fan of "Real Housewives..." series, you may have seen this restaurant on TV.  It's one of the most beautiful restaurants in LA/Beverly Hills.  Their decor is completely white, hence the name villa BLANCA...  the walls, the ceilings, the tables, the chairs, their china, even the flowers... and there are lots and lots of flowers everywhere.  If you love beautiful restuarants, you will fall in love with this one. 

Parking: Valet is $10, all day.  There is a public parking lot few steps from the restaurant.  Public parking is FREE for 2 hours and thereafter, it's $3 for each 30 minutes.  There are also all day FREE parking lot on Santa Monica Blvd, which is little bit of a walk.  Some meters are FREE on Sundays, but not all of them.  Please do not park in any residential area.  The entire city of Beverly Hills is "resident permit only" parking, and they will ticket you if you park illegally.

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  • Margarita

    Amazing as usual! Lovely location, parking was easy and conversation was interesting. Kay is the queen of bookclubs!

    June 9

    • Kay

      Thanks, Margarita, for beautiful pictures. It's great that you took picutres before the restaurant got filled up with all those large parties... don't you just love those fresh flowers?

      1 · June 9

  • Bethany S

    What a lovely time! Kay, you do a fantastic job of pulling everything together--from absolutely exquisite venue to the perceptive and insightful discussion topics. Superb! Thank you

    1 · June 9

  • Margarita

    Thanks again Kay!!! Your bookclubs are the best! FYI - The parking enforcement people were not far from my car when I got back, they take that 3 hour limit seriously!

    June 8

    • Kay

      Glad that you did not get a ticket. Yes, BH takes parking enforcement seriously. It's always great to have you at the book club.

      1 · June 8

  • Kay

    Such a cozy and fun book club today! We sat at Lisa's (the owner's) table with the perfect view of the beautiful dining room and the sunny street. Weather was picture perfect with sweet breeze. Food, dessert, coffee, discussions were all very enjoyable. Thanks, everybody, for sharing your sunday afternoon with me.

    2 · June 8

  • Kay

    Parking Info:

    Public Lot located on Brighton Way, few buildings east from the restaurant. Brighton Way is one way heading West. It's 2 hours FREE, and after that $3 for each 30 minutes. There are other public lots, but please double check the rate because not all public lots offer 2 hours FREE, some are 1 hour FREE.

    All Day Sunday Free Public Lot is located on Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica is 2 blocks north from Brighton Way. The lot is a underground and street level structure. Please read the sign carefully and make sure that it's indeed FREE on Sundays. Valet entrance is on Brighton Way, right outside the restaurant. It's $10 all day, so if you want to go window shopping after the book club, this may be the best bet for you.

    Some meters are FREE, but most meters are $2/hour even on Sundays. So, if you find a meter, please read the sign carefully.

    June 8

  • Kay

    Please update your RSVP to "No" if you are no longer available to attend. I hope the venue change does not inconvenience anybody. Villa Blanca actually is not that far from Fig & Olive. Villa Blance is less than 10 minutes drive from Fig & Olive, going towards West and South.

    June 2, 2014

  • Kay

    Reservation confirmed at Villa Blanca for 9 of us at 12:45 pm. Just in case if you get to the restaurant before me, please do not get seated. I will get us a good table for us to be comfortable and have a good view of the beautiful decor of the restaurant. Because we are a large party, once we are seated, it will be impossible for us to change the table. Thanks!

    June 2, 2014

  • Kay

    Villa Blanca and Fig & Olive are similar in terms of types of cuisine and prices.

    June 2, 2014

  • Kay

    The venue has been changed to "Villa Blanca" in Beverly Hills. Please read the event description if you want to know why, and more about the restaurant.

    June 2, 2014

  • Kay

    Hey Nicole, so glad that you signed up. It's been a while... welcome back to book club!

    May 9, 2014

  • Kay

    Those members who came to April book club have the priority on the wait list. I have reserved 2 spots for that, so if members who came to April book club end up being on the wait list, I will move them up before other members.

    May 8, 2014

    • Kay

      Ladylee (Leslie) is the only one from April book club who hasn't responded as of May 8th. I will hold the spot for her for a week until the 15th of May, and if I don't hear from her, then I will open up the last spot for other members to sign up. This book club will be limited to 10.

      May 8, 2014

    • Kay

      Leslie won't be able to attend, so I opened up the last 1 spot for all MSK members to sign up.

      May 8, 2014

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