Cutie’s Beauty Treatment

Cutie likes to say “powder and paint makes a girl what she ain’t” and also “my face I don’t mind it, because I’m behind it.”

Cutie’s good looks have drawn stares for almost a century, and today, she lifts back the veil on her beauty regimen to share one secret of her success.

No, not the $1 Vitamin C face mask from the Japanese supermarket, but rather her husband Harry’s ingrained belief that no matter what she does, she looks gorgeous. She says he’s brainwashed, he says it’s love, and anyone can see that when someone loves you that much, it brings all your natural beauty to the surface where anyone can see it.

Now go out there and love someone until they’re as lovely as Cutie.

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Cutie in “I’m A Betty Boop Fan”

Since she was a young girl, Cutie has felt a kinship with the Fleischer Brothers’ sexy, sassy cartoon vixen Betty Boop, collecting a select amount of Boop-abillia and throwing Boopisms into casual conversation. Her granddaughters took the occasion of finding her chilling in a Betty Boop sweatshirt and matching baseball cap to ask: “What’s it all about, Cutie?” The answer surprised them, but it shouldn’t have, considering Cutie’s decades in the shoe business: it’s the slippers that send her.

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Cutie Reviews Issen Joki in Little Tokyo

I haven’t had much experience with Japanese food, because the only fish you’ll catch me eating is fried shrimp– and lox, of course. Or a tuna sandwich, at the Hollenbeck Palms Bistro.

But my grandchildren assured me that there’s more to Japanese food than sushi, and that I’d like their version of home cooking. So we came out to give it a try, to a cosy little place upstairs in the Little Tokyo mall where I get my cream puff fix. I liked it from the start, but I like everything that is close to the house.

The decor was nice, lots of old fashioned wooden chests and hanging cloth. I would bring someone on a date here, especially if they like Japanese food or if they are more adventurous, like my husband.

Now the truth is that I ate Japanese food for the first time in restaurants in Los Angeles many years ago, but I haven’t kept up the habit. I mostly had the shrimp tempura. It was good. It really had to do with all the sauces. That is the secret of good cooking, no matter what part of the world you’re cooking in.

Overall, I was very impressed. We ordered a little of this and a little of that, and I tried all the things that didn’t look too strange. One thing that did look too strange was a shredded white snowy radish covered with hundreds of tiny dried fishes. Apparently it’s one of the girls’ favorites, but not only didn’t I taste it, I did my best to pretend it wasn’t on the table!

But most of what we ordered, I liked. The miso soup was bland, but very good. The lightly fried tofu chunks in salty sauce were wonderful — well, I don’t know whether I liked the soy sauce or the tofu, but together they make a wonderful dish. I felt similarly about the eggplant, which also had a delicious sauce–whichever the best part was, together they make a wonderful dish.

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Watch The OGs on The TODAY Show on Tuesday!

Get to know the OGs a little better by watching them on NBC’s TODAY Show, airing Tuesday, July 6, probably around 8:50am. If you miss the airing, our segment will also be online on the TODAY Show website, and we’ll share that link when it’s up.

Uupdate: And here’s that link:

Harry Cooper of The OGs looks through Today Show camera at Twohey's
Above: Pop Pop takes a peek through Sandy Spooner’s camera during a break from the TODAY Show filming of the OGs’ hot fudge sundae date at Twohey’s.
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Cutie Reviews Beard Papa in Little Tokyo

Cutie enjoys a Beard Papa cream puff

It’s not easy to find a classic French cream puff. The American version is often too sweet and needlessly complicated. Here’s what goes in a cream puff: unsweetened choux pastry, a rich cream filling, and a dash of powdered sugar. That’s it! It was good enough for Catherine de Medici and it should be good enough for you.

My grandchildren introduced me to this Japanese chain with a funny name, and wanted to know if their cream puffs tasted like France to me. Since the closest store is only five minutes from my apartment, in Little Tokyo, I’d say they’re better than France. Plus it’s the perfect treat for your grandchildren after they play Dance Dance Revolution at the arcade upstairs, and I get hungry just watching.

What a delicious cream puff. What more is there to say? It is just as it should be, with no funny business. Apparently they do offer other novelty flavors to suit American tastes, but the classic, original cream puff is always on the menu, and it’s what I’ll order.

I liked the shop. This place is understated and clean. I thought there should be more people standing in line. As we waited for our order, I noticed the unusual logo, a cartoon of a little old man with a big beard. He doesn’t make me think of a cream puff, but I don’t need a picture to like a cream puff.

You will need plenty of napkins. You might say “I only want half” but if you’re like me you will power through. If you bring your family, definitely get a box, it is a better deal.

People who want to satisfy their sweet tooth come here. Families with their chilren. Young men and their girls. Boys and girls who have a dollar in their pocket. If you are younger than me, you can have two.

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Cutie Reviews La Villa Basque in Vernon

How have I lived in Boyle Heights for two years without knowing about this place? I like a restaurant where the manager meets you at the door twirling a bottle of Grand Marnier in one hand and you can chat a little en Francais. French was my first language, and their cuisine is my second comfort food (Jewish delicatessen comes first). The Basques are very interesting, they’re a cross between French and Spanish, but they lean towards the French in their cooking.

Anyhow, about this restaurant: I loved it. It is elegant, with good decor and nice ambiance. I liked the white tablecloths and red cloth napkins, the beautiful wooden fretwork panels and the copper chandeliers, the bowl filled with cut flowers and fern fronds on my table and the authentic French rolls. At first I didn’t even notice all the fashionable young men in the tables around me (what used to be a hog butcher’s diner now caters to the fashion trade), but once I did, I liked it!

Of course once I saw it on the menu I had to order my signature dish, French Onion Soup. My grandchildren pointed out that I could have a cup of soup with a half a grilled cheese sandwich as one of the $5 lunch specials, so I did. This isn’t a proper French meal with many courses, but it’s a good deal if you don’t have a big appetitie.

My sandwich was fine, buttery and crisp from the grill with lots of cheese. But I wasn’t prepared for the best French Onion Soup I have ever had in my life–yes, better than Paris. It made me feel like a little girl again, and I wasn’t ashamed to ask the waitress for a little more broth, which she was happy to get for me, after recommending other traditional French dishes from the menu for next time (I smiled politely, knowing I will not be ordering anything other than this wonderful soup).

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