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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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Food poisoning lite

Since I don’t know how long I’ll be living in Los Angeles, I’ve decided to be a little more adventurous.

To that end, I have eaten at two old skool establishments which are listed in just about every guidebook to LA.

A week ago, after going to the Andy Warhol exhibit at MOCA, I had ate at Philippe The Original, home of the French Dip sandwich. Rumor has it that Philippe Mathieu accidentally created the French Dip when he dropped a sliced roll into a frying pan with juice from the oven. The place is pretty cool because there’s a giant glass case with the “salads” in it (macaroni, potato, pretty much anything bound with a gallon of mayonnaise,) pies, pickles etc. The menu was far more extensive than I imagined, but I selected, what else? a French dip. It was pretty good, especially with salt sprinkled on, and some of their famous hot sweet mustard. There are big long tables that you share with other folks, and all sorts of crazy things on the wall and pictures. There’s even a railroad museum somewhere deep in the bowels of the restaurant. And I almost forgot! Sawdust on the floor. I don’t know why there was sawdust, but I like that there was some; it added a little more Olde Timey-ness to the joint. Essentially, Philippe’s is a cafeteria where the line moves from back to front, rather than from left to right, and you can see everything before you order it. The system made sense to me, service was quick and efficient, and best of all, everything was cheap. I think the sandwich was under 5 bucks, and my lemonade was 60 cents.

Then today, after checking out Santa Monica College, I decided I should have lunch at The Apple Pan. The interior of this restaurant made a televised comeback as the “Peach Pit” where the 90210 kids hung out. In honor of Jason Priestley (May He Make a Speedy Recovery,) I waited what I consider to be far too long for a seat at the counter. There is nothing *but* a counter at The Apple Pan, so you have to stand around the perimeter of the restaurant, basically sweatin’ the folks with seats. It’s very stressful. I watched two guys get snaked by a cute Asian duo with nary a peep. And while I was eating, I was acutely aware of all of the hungry people behind me, waiting for their chance to eat. The fries were delicious, but the burger was merely ok. While The Apple Pan has kitsch appeal, and some nice signage, I cannot recommend it. I don’t enjoy eating when I’m under the gun to hurry up and finish. I find it most unpleasant and bad for the digestion.

And that concludes this week’s episode of Eating Out in Los Angeles with La Mademoiselle de la Rue Madame.

Tomorrow I am heading downtown to do more research at the library so there may be another installment in the restaurant reviews. I’m going to try either Clifton’s Brookdale Cafeteria (Since 1935! That’s old in LA! And the interior is a mountain wonderland designed to restore the souls of weary citizens during the Depression! Wee!) or the Original Pantry Café (Since 1924! Even older than Clifton’s! Open 24 hours! With waiters who’ve been around since 1924!)

I am feeling ill. I should not have eaten a hamburger in 5 minutes. Bad, bad. And now I have to go work at the yoga school and be all om and shit. Ugh. I gots to find me some Pepto-Abysmal or some Festal (another brilliant French pill.)

5:08 p.m. - 2002-08-21

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