After another stop at Home Depot to get a quart of test paint for the home makeover that Susan’s coordinating, we headed up into Griffith Park for a hike from the Charlie Turner Trailhead located behind the still-under-construction observatory up to the 1,619-foot summit of Mt. Hollywood.

Up and down with explorations of Joe Goldman’s oasis (not its real name but there’s a plaque placed there in his memory and it is a bit of an oasis) and Dante’s View took us slightly less than two hours.

We wrapped up today’s outdoor adventure with a visit to The Trails Cafe on Fern Dell near Los Feliz. Our first visit nearer to the new year was very nice, but today’s was a disaster. Later on Susan found that the half-year-old eatery had been reviewed in the food section of this week’s L.A. Times, so of course I — you know the rest — wrote the paper a letter:

Susan LaTempa is entirely too kind in her review of The Trails (“A meat pie, a trailhead, and thou,” February 22) when she writes “Clearly there are logistical and service issues to be worked out, but no one’s pretending otherwise.” Our visit this Sunday afternoon after hiking up to the top of Mt. Hollywood and back was one giant logistical and service mess. For the owners to admit to LaTempa that they’re “learning as they go” is an understatement. The place was in chaos after we paid for our order, which took nearly 20 minutes to be delivered and only after several reminders were made and others who ordered after us were served first. Another customer ahead of us had been kept waiting 15 minutes — for a latte.

I’m not sure how much learning will be required for The Trails to get organized and begin taking and delivering orders in a managed and efficient fashion, but clearly six months into it they’re way behind the curve and seemingly pleased as pie about it all. The place may be great in theory, but in application the Trails fails.

Will Campbell
Los Angeles

A mediocre photoset of images from the hike can be found here on Flickr. Susan has photos up on her blog, too.