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Sunday, December 17, 2017

How do we (or just me?) eat in Los Angeles?

by Ivana Poulova (writer), Los Angeles, September 24, 2007

Someone doesn't start a day without a coffee, someone without a cigarette and someone without internet. I'm that kind of person who needs some surfing in the morning. I rarely skip my two morning hours on a computer. So I woke up giving it a try once again. At Google I searched for Czech restaurants in LA. I really thought in plural at that time. How rudicilous! I found one restaurant. Then I found that it doesn't exist anymore. Mexicans bought it in order to open a Mexican fast food. But they went broke. At every corner there is at least one booth with a "Tacos, Tortas, Burritos, Tamales, Taquitos, Tortillas..." sign. Those "os" would drive you crazy. If a Mexican cuisine is your obsession, you will find something you like even among ice creams - Jeez, it is Choco Taco. Streets overflow with these delicacies. And people eat it that much that they overflow as well. I don't like this food. Besides it is spoken in Spanish in these places. Those Spanish dish names don't tell me anything so I often ask for an explanation. But any kind of a try from my side - like "Do you have anything with fish? - is not appreciated. If I start to be really annoying, they call a manager (usually named Maria). She confirms that they have only those "os" things. So I go to some American restaurant thinking there will be no problem because we will speak the same language.

Lot of people eat hamburger and fries for dinner. I find this combination more like a snack. I don't know why I would go to a restaurant if I wanted just some bread and meat. I can have this combo just for five bucks in most fast foods. It reminds me of a totally awesome thing. In two fast food restrooms I noticed slimming mirrors. I looked into the mirror and looked good but I didn't forget what I look like in real. I don't know - are these mirrors really able to trick someone?

In a regular restaurant I can finally order some fish. I really like tilapia fish with lemon. So I get that fish on a pile of rice plus two sides they force me to order. My glass is always full from those refills and I don't want to see my mysteriously still full plate anymore. Big plus in such (very often) cases is a box, you can ask for or which you get even without asking, for your leftovers.

I don't want to turn into a giant American, so sometimes I order a salad. That is not easy either. I have to pick one of some six dressings. That's a problem again. From Czech restaurants I know a salad with white salty cheese. My grandma used to make a vinegar salad and my mom's salad is with cucumber and yogurt. That's it as far as my salad education goes. I don't know why but the salty cheese salad is not made here. The cheese is being sold here but only in those oriental shops with Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Persian, Bulgarian, Romanian and also Polish groceries. And Kinder Surprise Eggs are considered oriental as well.

Salads are not everybody's favorite food. If people try to eat healthy, I think a Subway sandwich is preferred. Subway is believed to be healthy. According to me you get fat just from the bread... I would like to remember my first visit at Subway. I read what they have and I ordered a tuna sandwich. But the lady there started to shoot questions. She needed to know what kind of bread I want, whether I want cheese, whether I want it toasted, whether I want pickels, lettuce, tomatoe, onion, mustard, oil, mayonnaise etc. I thought she would never stop. I understand there was nothing personal in those questions. I understand that it is nice to choose what you want to eat. But I might not be mentally ready for that yet.

If my friends feel fat, I tell them to go to America. Because what is fat in Europe is in America just fine.


About the Writer

Ivana Poulova is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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