Long before I was a divorce lawyer, I was in the food and beverage business. My first legal job was at a Jack in the Box, which I realize barely qualifies as food, but hey, I was 16. As a senior in high school I was a cater waiter for a network of little old ladies in my home town. In college I worked in an upscale French restaurant in Annapolis, Ma. It was a tiny 10 table place with an alcoholic chef and was run by his wife/girlfriend. I was never sure what they were, but it was a rocky relationship to be sure. The food was wonderful and I learned a great deal about food preparation and the service industry.

In law school I upgraded to working for a consulting company that was hired by troubled restaurants to come in and fix them. I loved that job because I was allowed to be a secret shopper and try menu items and critique service, and then go fix the problems I saw. I’ve triaged the full range of restaurants; from taquerias in East Los Angeles, to fine California fusion dining in Orange County, and an old school steakhouse in Pasadena.

This background in food and service has made me a picky customer when it comes to restaurants and waiters. I know what I like and I know what it takes to put out a good product. Which is why I’m very excited to be attending “Live From Loews: California Classics” this coming Friday night.

After a hard week of fighting for child custody for the fathers who hire me, I usually want a relaxing Friday night of dinner with friends, but this Friday I’ll be at the Loews hotel on Ocean Avenue enjoying the live music by the John Brown Band. Named one of the “Best Bands in the South Bay,” John Brown specializes in classic rock favorites and California dreamin’ surf tunes.

The announcement says that Executive Chef Keith Roberts will showcase the best of his contemporary California coastal cuisine, including brick oven flatbreads, inventive sushi rolls, gourmet sliders, grilled fish tacos and pier-inspired desserts. On the menu is hors d’oeuvres of mini lobster pop-tarts, which I can’t wait to try. The walnut shrimp and duck taquitos are also going to be heavily scrutinized by me.

As a foodie, I abhor poor quality food, and one of my favorite foods that is easily screwed up is pizza, so I’m going to be especially attentive to the brick oven pizza corner. I love ribs, and Chef Roberts is putting short ribs on pizza and I may just be in heaven.

The event is a monthly concert series that features locally-crafted beer and fine wine for those who imbibe. Personally, I’m saving my calories for the dessert bar with a fresh baked cinnamon bun sundae with homemade caramel sauce and S’more ice cream.

I’m hopeful that this event is going to be a winner, as I spend a lot of time at the Loews and this will just give me one more reason to hang out overlooking the sunset, the pier and the ocean. Rest assured that if there is something that is not up to snuff, the general manager is going to be hearing about it from me next Tuesday morning when I see him in the locker room.

General admission is $45 in advance or $55 at the door, plus service charge, and includes beer, wine, chef tastings and complimentary valet parking. To purchase tickets, visit Ticketfly.com.

This is just one more of the amazing events that we have in Santa Monica and I’m lucky to be able to take advantage of so many of them. As summer comes rolling in, we’ve got a wide selection of fantastic things to do in this town, and we should jump on as many of them as we can.

I’ve come a long way from the grease pit of that first job, and I’m very grateful for the opportunities to experience so many of the world’s foods without leaving the comforts of our little burg. I hope to see you there on Friday, and if you come join us, please say hello.

David Pisarra is a family law attorney focusing on father’s rights and men’s Issues in the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or (310) 664-9969.

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