A Last Meal at a Lisa Vanderpump’s Restaurant Pump

a-last-meal-at-a-lisa-vanderpump’s-restaurant-pump

In the first episode of Vanderpump Rules (“Welcome To Sur,” 2013), Lisa Vanderpump explains that she looks “for a really different energy in the people that work here, and that’s what makes them a great server at SUR. It’s not necessarily their table-waiting skills.” Server Kristen Doute then adds (saying, perhaps, what Vanderpump isn’t legally allowed to), “People always comment on the wait staff, and it’s true, we’re all really good looking. Sorry.”

When our server at Pump arrives, he is, as Matt describes, “almost bionically handsome,” a slightly built, lightly-stubbled guy with dark hair, a megawatt smile, and a faintly Latin accent wearing a tailored shirt with loosened tie (the Pump uniform). He looks like a tribute band front man, or the star of a regional Rock of Ages production. Quickly he proves that he is, actually, a very good server—attentive, personable, and knowledgeable about the menu.

It is a menu which features such offerings as the Pump-Tini, the Big Pinky (Vanderpump is known for driving a pink Rolls Royce, among other pink luxury cars), the Pumpopolitan, the SUR Strawberrini, and a Pumpagranite Margarita. Like all writers, I cannot resist a good portmanteau, the more absurdly awkward-sounding the better. These clearly aim to sound ridiculous and, fair play to them, hit their mark. 

I end up ordering an $18 “Spicy Cowboy” (a concoction of mezcal and ginger beer) and a $4 Coke for my sober dining partner. We put in for a few starters, including the Rock Shrimp Tempura ($20), the Heirloom Tomatoes with Creamy Burrata ($17), and the Kales on a Date ($17). For entrees, we order the Pinky Pump Burger, the Grilled Skirt Steak With Lisa’s Potato Salad, and some Handmade Mushroom Ravioli to share ($23, $38, and $20). 

Aside from the boring corny stuff every tourist trap is legally required to serve (eg, an overpriced Caesar with optional overpriced proteins), the menu has a lot of things I’d normally actually order. Beet salad, beef carpaccio, burrata. Not exactly reinventing the wheel, but it’s not Cajun tequila-lime shrimp alfredo explosion! either. It seems in keeping with the essential Vanderpump MO—a reminder that you too, are very basic.

My cocktail arrives shockingly quickly, the shrimp and burrata soon after. The cocktail is smoky and tart, not out of this world but more or less exactly what you’d expect from a mezcal drink. The burrata is, if not the saddest burrata I’ve ever seen, certainly in the running; raw tomatoes, barely dressed, with a paltry amount of cheese and some dry grocery store bread. The shrimp tempura is, like Vanderpump Rules itself, slightly trashy and sort of lazily executed but undeniably delicious. We hork it greedily, eyeing each other in that mutual expression of, Is it okay if I eat that last chunk

Our very good kale salad arrives alongside some more, even sadder bread, which we devour anyway during the interminable wait for entrees. The down time does, though, afford us the opportunity for ample people watching. 

Copyright : https://www.gq.com/story/lisa-vanderpump-pump-restaurant-vanderpump-rules

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