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A Popular Pick-Me-Up


Being the high-level trend prognosticators we are, the Social Climes staff has recently observed some noteworthy beverage trends, and we aren't talking about chugging Snapple.

It seems that many of West L.A.'s buffed-up types, en route to their workouts at the Westside Family YMCA, Sports Club L.A., Mezzeplex, Metabolic Project and various nearby yoga studios, are first burning off calories fighting for a parking spot on Sawtelle.

Their destination is an herbal pharmacy called Golden Cabinet for a drink called Kick Ass, more politely known as Kidney Yang tonic, that supposedly is energizing and boosts stamina. Key ingredients: Chinese herbs and deer antler.

They're Seeing Red

Also on the beverage front, a glass of Chardonnay, that proverbial L.A. cocktail and longtime accompaniment to fish and poultry, has been succeeded in some circles by a glass of Merlot. A red wine.

How ingenious, you say? How did it happen? People are sick of Chardonnay, yes. But also, Merlot is "soft on the palate," according to a sophisticated friend of ours, and isn't a "heavy, mouth-filling" red like Cabernet Sauvignon.

As proof, not long ago, you rarely saw Merlot sold by the glass, and now it's offered practically everywhere. Well, everywhere trendy.

Mystery Emcees

You just never know who'll slip on stage as "guest host" of the live entertainment on Tuesday nights at Tatou in Beverly Hills. Last Tuesday it was Jay Bernstein, the flashy, walking-stick-carrying producer and manager. (Remember Farrah Fawcett-Majors?) Did he catch the host bug? No one knows for sure.

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