I’m currently over in the States visiting Lusa and having a fabulous time. As we were being arty today and going to the Museum of Modern Art to see Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A., we were in West Hollywood at lunch time. Lusa pleaded with me to go to Le Pain Quotidien, a chic French restaurant that boasts a largely organic menu and dishes such as Roasted Pear and Spinach Salad and Quinoa Taboulé but I insisted she took me to a diner so I could eat like an American. So Norms it was – a diner that has been around since 1949 and was only a short walk away.
Opening the door we walked into the opening scenes of Pulp Fiction (not really as it was filmed in Panns but we’re going there for breakfast one morning soon). The diner was exactly as you would expect with people sitting at the counter and others in booths. The menu was large, laminated and had lots of photographs. There were also daily specials and Thursday’s was ‘Pick a Pair’, which I ended up going for. Soup, salad, potatoes (mash/fries/baked) and 2 items from the list – steak, fish, shrimps or chicken. The soup was Gumbo (okra, celery, peppers, onions, chicken, sausage and rice) and I had 6 fried shrimps and hand battered fried haddock strips along with it as well as the salad and fries. Yes I was eating like an American, an extremely overweight one with eyes bigger than their belly. Lusa decided on a Tuna melt sandwich with fries that looked tiny in comparison to my edible extravaganza.
My soup was nice and spicy and tasted like one I would make from Sunday leftovers (I mean that in a good way). The salad was just like you get at home (a bit boring) and the deep fried fishes were very tasty if a bit greasy. Try as I did, I couldn’t finish them all – even with Lusa helping me. Lusa left some of her sandwich too and told me later she had food regret as she threw back a Tumms.
Our (very beige) American dining experience came to $22.70 (£16.71) plus tip. The portion size also meant I did not need to eat for another 24 hours, which made it even more of a bargain.