This past Saturday, Alice, (whose comments are the ones in quotes,) and I attended Heaven and Earth Oasis’ beautiful luncheon in Beverly Hills. Heaven and Earth Oasis is an organization that provides free holistic healing to military veterans who suffer from post-war mental and physical ailments. I was so glad to learn of their kind work because I feel that military personnel are ofter under-appreciated, especially here in shallow Los Angeles. (And holistic healing is a great idea for everyone.)

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

The fundraiser was held at Il Cielo, an absolutely lovely venue, especially for a peaceful luncheon with the focus on healing.  The “charming atmosphere” of the special party area inspired Alice to start her notes with the lyric, “I went to a garden party…”  Wish I had been the one to think of that!  She was especially impressed with the “very Venetian setting, from the chandeliers to the canopy ceilings.”

This was the best dressed crowd I’ve seen in awhile. For the first time in my whole life, I was the most under-dressed, due to a wardrobe emergency on my way out. But the assemblage in general looked straight out of a movie set! So, kudos to all who attended.

I loved that it was assigned seating, done really casually with an unobtrusive chart as we walked into the garden.  Alice and I were happy with our assignment—it turned-out to be what Alice referred to as the “young table.”  Not because of us, sadly, but due to the rest of the good-looking crowd, (which included the “hottie guys,” as she called them!)

Some of the silent auction items.  Photo by Karen Salkin.

Some of the silent auction items. Photo by Karen Salkin.

I hadn’t dined at this restaurant for a long while, so I had forgotten just how excellent their food is! First, while we guests perused the fabulous silent auction items, the most pleasant waiters ever served delicious, and unbelievably generous, hors d’oeuvres for the first hour or so.  Alice said that her favorites were the puffed pastries that were topped with either chopped mushrooms or tomatoes, along with the “amazing” goat cheese-filled eggplant slices.  I had eyes for only the best bruschetta I’ve ever had! I could not stop eating them! They were more appealing to me than even the aforementioned hot guys!

I loved the order of the planned program for the afternoon.  Everyone was satiated enough from the appetizers, so when we were all seated, we were very happy and eager to listen to the few brief presentations from some of the good people connected with Heaven and Earth Oasis. They gave us important information on this holistic healing group. (Their info is at the end of this column.)

Ed Barker on sax. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Ed Barker on sax. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Then, while we ate the actual lunch, we were treated to a couple of excellent musical performances, such as the jazz from our New Best Friend, saxophonist Ed Barker, a Brit who had been in this country for only three days at that point!  And later, tunes from a duo with two of the best names ever, Toby Rand and Sebastian Gregory.

The speakers mentioned that this was a special menu, chosen for it’s healthful-ness.  We began with a refreshing apple, arugula, and pecorino cheese salad, followed up by a choice of two mains.  Alice was thrilled with her “marvelous” trio of vegetarian pastas, while my carnivore self loved the chicken breast with potatoes and broccolini.  The dessert was lemon cake, so of course I passed on it, but I was way too full even had it been chocolate!  They practically had to roll us out of there!

Our beautiful table, and goodie bags.  Photo by Alice Farinas.

Our beautiful table, and goodie bags. Photo by Alice Farinas.

At each table setting was a gift bag filled with a whole slew of travel-sized cosmetics and niceties.  That was the prefect way to end the afternoon for me because I got right on the road out of town, with my new little goodies in tow.

I just have to add what my favorite part of the day was.  No, not the venue, food, music, nor even cute guys; it was that one of the speakers had us all take a couple of deep breaths to begin.  That’s something that I’m sure many of us forget to do on a regular basis, and it showed us just how into healing these people are.  And why theirs is such a worthwhile cause.

To learn more about Heaven and Earth Oasis, and to see how you can help, please visit: www.heavenandearthoasis.org


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