But here was the thing: the Oyster House has a feature rare for health-obsessed Los Angeles, a smoking patio. Abutting the parking lot, the patio is festooned with snarls of nets and seashells, along with its sign, which reads, THE CONCRETE BEACH. This surreal outdoor setting seemed the perfect place for a bunch of expats. You see, Los Angeles studio musicians are typically people of bad habits they've tried to leave behind in Chicago, Milwaukee, or Cleveland. (Jim, himself a fan of the O.H., had hailed from Kentucky.) But that day the masks fell. Not only did the cigarettes come out (how better to face the void than to hurl butts into it?), but some serious, non-Southern California-style drinking began: the spicy and excellent house bloody marys, bourbon rocks, vodka tonics, and even a few martinis (the simpatico O.H. bartenders and waitresses will provide not just extra olives but a separate glass full of them if you wish, literally a "side" of olives). "To Jim!" fellow bass players called out weepily. "He never knew how good he was, man. Never."