My first job was as a hostess/bus girl at a wonderful Italian restaurant in Long Beach, La Strada. I sat people, cleared tables, brought bread, and spilled more drinks and broke more glasses than I'd like to remember. Later I worked at La Strada as a waitresses in college and I just loved it! The owner, Lisa, is one of the most incredible people I know. She makes the people who work for her feel like so much more than employees and even when I eat in the restaurant now it is not uncommon to see other former waitresses eating there also. We all just keep coming back - both because of the amazing food and the amazing people. The girls that work there now are incredibly kind, fun, and beautiful. The customers always have been and continue to be amazing - polite, friendly, and funny. The restaurant really is like a family and the customers are an important part of that family. As I mentioned before, La Strada's owner Lisa is incredible. She is so incredible that every year she shuts down the restaurant and throws a customer appreciation party for the restaurant "regulars" - people that eat there once a week or more. And boy, are there a lot of regulars! There are games, prizes, a group sing along of "That's Amore", and of course, incredible food! This year, the restaurant was packed and everyone had a great time.
Lisa, thank you for letting me be a part of this special party and for allowing me to document the event. I love being a part of the La Strada family!
I couldn't resist getting a few shots of Lisa by herself - isn't she beautiful?!
Can anyone think of a better way to end the night than a dance party on the patio?! :)