Moms think salad still delivers


I recently read about the findings of some Harvard physicians that a proper diet can boost a woman’s odds of becoming pregnant. It made me think of a phenomenon that drew publicity in the 1990s -- overdue moms-to-be flocking to Studio City’s Caioti Pizza Cafe to speed things along.

The trend supposedly began after some very pregnant women from a birthing class dined there -- and then went into labor. All had ordered the romaine and watercress salad. One theory held that the balsamic vinegar dressing triggered contractions of the uterus.

Whatever, I phoned the eatery to see if it had lost any of its particular appeal. Not at all, apparently.


“Some days we’ll get two or three [pregnant women] or more; sometimes we’ll get a whole table of pregnant women,” said server Veronique Ory. “A lot of them are referred by Lamaze instructors and doctors.”

When a pregnant customer takes her seat, a server gives her a menu and -- if she wants -- a journal in which she can record her thoughts. And after she’s given birth, she can add a baby picture.

The place is well known outside L.A. too.

“We just had a pregnant woman from Riverside in with her daughter,” said Ory.

“The daughter said to her, ‘Why did we have to come all this way for lunch?’ And the mother said, ‘You don’t understand -- your sister’s ready to come out.’ ”


A less appealing salad

In New York City, Sue McClanahan of Dana Point saw a sign for a serving that would seem difficult to chew -- and swallow (see photo).


Global warming -- and cooling?

Friday’s column, you may recall, carried a shot of an extremely warm reading in Valley Glen (see photo). Which prompted Steve Durgin to share his pic of a frosty reading in Reseda.

You’ve got to admire Walgreens customers who can endure such horrible extremes.


Department of Redundancy Department

In Santa Clarita, Leslie Parker of San Clemente found an unnecessarily complicated “hours of operation” posting at a pizza parlor (see photo).


Bugs and all

In a discussion of a mobster museum planned for Las Vegas, I mentioned Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the founder of the Flamingo Hotel who was later gunned down in Beverly Hills.

By coincidence, author Brad Lewis has just turned out a colorful biography of a gangster more closely identified with L.A. -- Mickey Cohen (1913-76).

The dapper Mick, 5-foot-5 in elevator shoes, palled around with actresses and newspapermen, donated to politicians such as Richard Nixon, met with Billy Graham and survived numerous assassination attempts, according to Lewis.

A germ-phobe, Cohen would wash his hands so often that he’d “use up all the toilet paper and paper towels in a restaurant,” Lewis wrote.

Mick also washed his hands of many of his deeds. “I have killed no man in the first place that didn’t deserve killing by the standards of our life,” he once said.



One reason athletes use steroids, I’ve read, is that they’re able to recover more quickly when their body becomes run-down. Well, think about it -- who else must demonstrate great endurance day after day? Political office-seekers. I hate to be suspicious but I think, just to clear the air, every presidential hopeful should state whether he -- or she -- has taken steroids.


Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012, and by e-mail at