Of Drinks And Dead Gals

The L.A. Weekly’s Steve Mikulan left me shaken and stirred to learn last week how the Biltmore’s Gallery Bar is selling a “Black Dahlia Martini” in disturbing romanticized irreverence to what is perhaps Los Angeles’ most notorious unsolved murder. Being that the landmark hotel was the last place victim Elizabeth Short was seen alive, it’s tacky enough that the place would exploit that connection, but that insolence pales in comparison when one thinks that they would market a $14 drink around the horrific 1947 crime that left Short’s body horrificaly mutilated and the city indellibly imprinted.

Mikulan goes on to explain the the Biltmore isn’t the only culprit. Boardner’s on Cherokee Avenue up in Hollywood, a bar Short frequented when she lived in a nearby boarding house, actually offers two versions of its Black Dahlia martini ó one of ’em they’ve been serving up for decades.

Shallowness has never been so deep.

Can it get deeper? Am I gonna find out that El Coyote, where Sharon Tate and company had their last meals before going home to get butchered by Manson followers, has a margarita dubiously named in her memory? Or maybe there’s a watering hole in Brentwood serving up Nicole Simpsons as fast as they’re being thrown back?

11 thoughts on “Of Drinks And Dead Gals”

  1. The murder was solved. An LA detective was having an affair with her and killed her. The detective’s son wrote a book on the subject.

  2. Daeley… we all know Marilyn’s not really dead, duh!

    As for Justine’s misinformed statement that the Black Dahlia case has been solved… sure, LAPD veteran Steve Hodel alleges he has solved the case in his book, “Black Dahlia Avenger.” And indeed Hodel points some strong and damning fingers that his father was the killer (and his father was a doctor, not a detective). But the LAPD does not concur with Hodel’s compelling conclusion based largely on circumstantial evidence. Thus the murder remains unsolved.

    But whether the case is open or closed, I still ain’t slugging back what the Biltmore and Boardner’s are shoveling up. Maybe it’s just me, but making coin off tragedy ó no matter how far removed ó is shameful.

  3. Yea, I agree, it is terrible. But we Americans seem to take a perverse delight in drawing a line and then “commercially” stepping over it.


  4. Yes, mistakenly I named the son’s occupation instead of the father’s, But not misinformed…

    I believe another book is coming out by Hodel on the matter that will supposedly close the case.

    Indeed profiting off the horrific murder of someone sucks…

  5. After-thought: I am not plunking $14 down for any fng drink, no matter who or what it is named after.

  6. Maybe it’s just a matter of definition differences, Justine. Hodel claims he’s “solved the mystery” but no matter what he does, he can’t nor has he claimed to “close the case.”

    Hodel can pen as many books as he wants chock full of as much compelling circumstantial evidence as he can unearth (and in fact I believe he’s not writing a new book, just releasing the old one with a “new chapter revealing secret D.A. documents and photos”). But until the LAPD re-launches its own investigation, verifies the evidence to support an indictment and subsequent criminal trial that results in the conviction of his dad, the case will never be closed.

    And there’s a big reason why the LAPD won’t reinvestigate and the DA won’t indict: because Doc Hodel’s dead and you can’t try and convict dead people.

  7. You want a Martini? Go to Musso and Franks. They make a real one there. All the other girlie-man drinks that pass for Martinis (including the grotesquely-named Black Dahlia) bear about as much resemblance to the real deal (gin,vermouth, olives) as the abominations served at Starbuck’s do to an Italian espresso. As for an El Coyote meal(Perhaps the worst food I have ever had anywhere!–and that includes East Berlin before the Wall came down), even with Manson safely behind bars,it risks being the last for anyone who has the temerity of eating there.

    On second thought, I want to change the “girlie-man” expression to “wimp” or the Texan “pissant” or the even more prosaic “limp dick,” as in my book, a girlie-man is a man who likes women (although I realize that the word is not usually used in this manner). I’m proud to be a girlie-man; I’d rather drink Martinis with women than with a bunch of dorks whose idea of eloquence is scratching their balls in public with only one hand. As for Arnold’s use of the expression, isn’t it archaic? Sure it is, but Arnold is a limp-dick, pissant wimp who is too busy sucking up to Republicans while doing his fifth column bit on the Democrats (Or is it the other way around?), preparing his assault on the U.S. Constitution, to say what he really means. Just imagine how cool it would have been if he had used his standard Gold’s Gym Gropenf¸hrer vocabulary on Prime Time at the Republican convention!

    Hey, I managed to disparage ersatz martinis, Starbucks, El Coyote, Arnold, certain members of my sex, politics and who knows what else in just two paragraphs. If I can do all these things with impunity, then I must be a Republican!

Comments are closed.