Monday, April 19, 2010

Meeting an "Idol"

Ok. I try to play it cool sometimes when I go out to LA, but this weekend, I got put to the test.

Hello, Sara Celi here.

I was in town this weekend, visiting my husband and getting ready for his move to Cincinnati. We decided to join two of our friends, Branden and Christy Dawson for dinner on Saturday night. They are also from Cincinnati, and happened to be out in LA at the same time as us.

Wanting to show them a good time, I made us reservations at Ketchup on Sunset Blvd. It's a restaurant owned by the Dolce Group, which also owns LA hot spots Les Deux, Wonderland and Geisha House. Sean and I have been there once before, and really enjoyed the food. We hoped our second experience would prove just as good.

Branden and Christy met us in the bar of the restaurant and as we headed to our table overlooking Sunset, I realized something.

Paula Abdul had a seat at the table right next to us.

It took about half a second to recognize her. She's that glamorous and that gorgeous. In fact, she's even prettier in person (people always say stuff like that, I know).

As we sat down, I tried to act normal. It was hard. As a kid, I pretty much loved all her music. I had all her tapes (yep, I am that old) and I knew all her songs. I have memories of making up dances with my friends to her music. Before American Idol, she was my idol.

And suddenly, there she was.

I fancy myself a fashionista sometimes, so I noticed what she wore. Paula had on a gorgeous black dress and amazing bracelet. She looked like she was at dinner with her family, as I noticed a beautiful older woman who looked just like Paula sitting next to her. Several other people also were with them.

We ate our meal and enjoyed ourselves. I thought a few times about if it would be possible to get a photo with Paula, and I pretty much ruled it out. Instead, I focused on the laughter with Branden and Christy, the great steak skewers, the drinks, and the french fries with six different kinds of ketchup (the restaurant is called Ketchup, after all).

Then it happened. Paula got up to go to the restroom, and had to walk across the whole room. Basically the rest of the room now noticed she'd been dining there. She started taking pictures with people, and suddenly we had our moment.

When she came back the table, about to leave, I simply got up and asked her for photo. She said, "Sure," and was so nice about it all. She even posed twice. And that's how I wound up standing next to a woman I never thought I'd ever meet.

Just one of the reasons I love visiting LA. Anything can happen, and often does.


  1. Just so you know Sara, the older woman with Paula was her Mom, Lorraine. The two young girls were fans of Paula's and she was giving them a night they'll never forget. The older guy was the father of one of the girls. The guy sitting next to her is JT, her ex-boyfriend and part-owner of Ketchup. The younger guy is a personal assistant, and the other woman was Toni Ferrara, a stylist. Paula was dressed up because she had just been on TV and presented an award on the TV Land awards, which was taped and will air on April 25th. And, yes, Paula is very sweet and very gorgeous!!!

  2. Wow, Elizabeth! You know a lot about her! She was totally amazing, I agree!