Nov. 24, 2009

24 Nov

8:45 am

101 Coffee Shop

Rush Hour Special (2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, 3 silver dollar pancakes)

1 cup of coffee refilled 3 times

Here’s another meal I ate a lot when I didn’t work two years ago: the $5 rush hour special from 101 Coffee Shop that’s only available from 7-10 am on weekdays. Two eggs, two bacons and either three pancakes or one French toast, all indifferently prepared. Coffee is over $2, and that’s how those bastards get you back for a cheap breakfast.

I used to grab an LA Times and inhabit a booth at the 101 for an hour or two, literally reading every single article and plowing through 5-6 refills of coffee. Remember newspapers? It was just like a website, except it’s printed on paper and you couldn’t flame people in the reader comment section with racial insults. For nostalgia’s sake, I wanted to read the paper and made a point to grab two quarters for the vending machine. But the LA Times is now 75 cents. It seems that they raised their prices way back in January and since I haven’t bought or read a physical newspaper in over a year, I had no idea. I remember back in 1995, the LA Times doubled their cover price from a quarter and the city almost rioted again. Now, the price 300% more expensive from only 3 years ago and no one cares. Why should they, if anyone can get the same information online instantly. And this is why my journalism degree led to a blog on wordpress that generates zero revenue.

Anyways, because I was a quarter short, I read my morning newspapers on my iphone and got syrup all over it. Newspapers do absorb syrup better than phones, and I miss that.

12:45 pm

tuna melt

8-10 pita chips

1 can of Diet Pepsi

2:00 pm

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

1 small mocha latte

8:00 pm

Oak’s Gourmet

1 spare rib French Dip sandwich

1 bottle of Harp’s Lager

1 cup of Dreyer’s cookies n’ cream ice cream

Ah, larders. A concept seemingly invented for Stuff White People Like. If one is in your neighborhood, you’re probably living among rich and uppity folks. If you tend to buy salts and cheese with proper nouns like Maldon and St. Andre, then you’re probably a snob who shops at one of these establishments. And if you call a gourmet food store with an attached kitchen a larder, then you’re probably a douche. Mozza2Go, Tavern, Bottega Louie, Oaks Gourmet and the Mercantile, those are some of the new ones in LA that opened this past year. And Cube is expanding to a second store downtown in 2010. If it’s going to be a trend, I might as well jump on board and douche it out.

I live in Beachwood Canyon, so it’s inevitable for a place like the Oaks Gourmet to open here last month and for it to be constantly busy with customers. This is probably the most schizophrenic food shop in LA. They have a cheese shop, a wine store, a bakery, a coffee shop with eight grinders filled with exotic-sounding whole beans, some top-shelf booze, a meticulous beer selection that’s probably the best I’ve seen in LA, a couple of random shelves with oils, vinegars and random snacks, unknown brands of sodas, cutlery, and some space-age water pool that chills wine in 3-5 minutes. They even write out their choice of energy drinks on a chalk board, which is spectacularly douche-y. Yes, they try too hard sometimes, but I grew to appreciate this place. My beer-drinking habits has certainly gotten classier. There is a kitchen that turns out sandwiches, salads, pizzas and breakfast until closing. The sandwiches I’ve tried are just OK, my French dip was a bit dry. I know, it comes with a side of jus, but I don’t like to drench my sandwich. Previously, I had the lobster club, which would’ve been great if it didn’t have too much tarragon. The pizzas are much better and the duck confit version is especially good. I have yet to try breakfast, which is next on my list to try, and salads, which isn’t because it’s a fucking salad.

The best thing about living so close to this place? I can buy whatever Thanksgiving sides I don’t plan on cooking this year. It’ll be chestnut and sage stuffing for my family.

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