Monday, February 16, 2009

A Table for One at La Plata De Nada, Por Favor

A few weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that I rarely get to use all the Spanish I learned in college. Sure, I bought those Spanish language valentine conversation hearts, but I was eating them too fast too appreciate all the "Guapo"s and "Besa Me''s. Fortunately, my kids are on the last day of a four day weekend and we went to see The Pink Panther 2 starring Steve Martin. Amidst all of the slapstick humor which made me fear my sons would choke from laughing so hard while eating popcorn, there was a little Spanish. The characters dine at a Spanish restaurant in Rome named La Plata de Nada, the plate of nothing. Hooray, I put my tuition to work. That little gag reminded me of one of the many great details in Steve Martin's L.A. Story where Martin's character books a room for himself and Sarah Jessica Parker's spokesmodel in training character at El Pollo del Mar (ie The Chicken of the Sea). While pale in comparison to the Peter Sellers originals, The Pink Panther 2 was the perfect way to get the kids out of the house and to brag that I'm using my Spanish. And, lest you think I only "read" Steve Martin's movies, my bookclub has read two of his books in recent years, Shopgirl and Born Standing Up, both of which I recommend.

5 comments:

Theo Jr said...

I was looking for a translation for la plata de nada as I also just watched pink panther, and I am so curious what it means.

Thanks for the translation. I hope you don't mind if I also use it in my post?

Luke said...

the plate of nothing

Timothy Chen Allen said...

Oddly enough, La Plata de Nada should have been El Plato de Nada. La Plata means "Silver", or in some countries, "Money". But "The plate" is El Plato. I'm actually convinced that Steve Martin probably knew this; it's probably an inside joke of some kind.

debobrien said...

I think we might be translating it a bit too literally, The translation that makes the most sense to me is "The empty plate" which is a Horrible name for a restaurant in general, but some of these hoity toity uber expensive restaurants where one meal costs hundreds of dollars or more, but each course you just have this tiny bite size nib of food in the middle of this huge plate, very artistically arranged, it might make sense in a snooty way ;)

Unknown said...

It means "silver nothing " in Italian