Thursday, January 13, 2011


“Where should we go for dinner?” I asked my husband a few days ago. He casually picked up the Zagat, which seems to always be close by. He began flipping through the pages. This small book full of culinary treasures is our guideline to pleasing our palette. This time however, his mind and mine drifted away from our taste buds. Suddenly, we had a “Siamese” moment as I call it. I knew what he was thinking because I was thinking the same thing. Lately, I had been complaining of “bloggers block.” I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to write about. In that meeting of minds it became clear to my husband and me. “Honey,” he said, “you’ve spent more time in hospitals than restaurants.” That’s all he needed to say. What if there was a hospital Zagat? And an idea was born.

UCLA Medical Center a “delight” for the patient and their spouse who want to spend "quality time" together in the emergency room. Bring a game of Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit, or a book like War and Peace as you “savor” the five-hour wait to be seen. Allow yourself to get into a “contemplative” mood while staring at the “mesmerizing” off-white walls, and listening to the “soft” moans of those around you. Sadly, UCLA Medical Center lost a few points  when the drunken homeless guy sat down next to me. Instead of 29 I give it 25 for emergency room services and 28 for patient care (once we got to that point).

Cedars Sinai Enter the “sprawling”, state-of the-art Saperstein suites, but only if you’re visiting. This Michelin two-star facility, which doubles as operating room, boasts the “prettiest” nurses in town. Their “enchanting” blue scrubs, “Crest toothpaste” smiles and “exquisitely” coiffed ‘updo’ will distract you from pain, along with a nice dose of Delauded (the feel good drug). Here, just ask and you shall receive; but it’s not for the “faint of heart.” Your pocketbook will be “relieved” of a couple hundred grand for less than a weeks stay. And, buyer beware! The sleek look and "pricy" accommodations can’t make up for “stuffy” doctors, who seem to have found a home at Cedars. I give it 28 for performance and 20 for patient relations.

Kaiser Permanente The “fast food” service plan among the competition, Kaiser Permanente is quick and “to the point.” Unlike your “average” hospital, Kaiser, the “all-inclusive, all-around, in-and-out” place gets to the “heart of the problem” faster than others. The service is “iffy” and don’t expect to get any rest in the “noisy” surroundings. Make sure you wear more than just the paper booties in the “less than pristine” hallways. Before getting sick, take out your dice and roll a lucky seven for a “good” doctor because that too is “iffy”. Best place to be if you want a “total immersion,” crash-course in Spanish or Tagalog because you won’t understand when the the Spanish and Philippino nurse speak English. Kaiser Permanente gets 25 for service and 20 for other services.

Brotman Hospital (now defunct) This no longer existent “jewel in the crown” facility “outdid themselves” as the perfect “holiday spot” after surgery. Lie in bed and take in the view of “spectacular” Venice Blvd. They say the service is “outstanding” but I wouldn’t know because I was “out of it” when I was there. The ambience of this “cozy” spot will only “multiply” your delight of the Chef’s Choice. You’ve really missed something if you didn’t get a chance to try the “flawlessly composed” steamed broccoli with steamed chicken breast and steamed rice. The “sublime” aroma of salt and pepper would have “blown you away.”

Barbara Clinic Augsburg, Germany Located in the heart of the city, this “incredible find” is a “must see” for any Euro traveler. I visited this facility when I was eighteen and was pretty “overwhelmed” by the “old world” service in this “old school” ambience. Leave your dentures at home because this is the place for soups. You’ll appreciate the “pampering” from the old nuns, and if Pampers aren’t your thing then perhaps the “imaginative” bedpan is. The “exquisite” chapel is down the hall, and the cemetery just outside in the garden. This full-service facility that goes from old, to dead, to six feet under, shouldn’t be the last stop on your trip. I give it 30 for practicality and 25 for service.

Jackson Memorial Hospital Miami Close your eyes and dream of South Beach. Well that’s not it. Welcome to the “exclusive” island called Jackson Memorial. In this “panoply” of buildings, accents range from Cuban to Patois to Creole and everything in between. The staff is exotic and the food comes in a close second to Brotman’s cuisine. Thanks to the “continued stand-out” in the kitchen, you’ll resort to “take out.” I do, however, strongly recommend the “to die for” liver and “carefully constructed” kidney. After these “one-of-a-kind” experiences, make a quick stop at the fabulous Castellano Suite, the “exclusive” room reserved for repeat, “high-roller” VIP customers. The wood paneled room offers a peaceful night’s sleep thanks to the “superb” soundproofing and “delicate” care. I’ve had the good fortune of spending some time in these “sublime” surroundings. Let me end by saying, of all the places reviewed in this study and many more not mentioned, Jackson Memorial is #1 in customer satisfaction. This is a no brainer: 30 in patient care, 30 in the rest.

If you need to find out more about pretty much any hospital in Los Angeles or Munich or Augsburg Germany, please feel free to email me at

My cell phone number is 555-FCK-THAT. I can be reached 24 hours a day in your dreams

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