We’re going on a road trip!
So I’m lying on the bed trying to watch the playoff game. I know, I know, I trashed football but I’m trying to be an American but it’s so boring I’m running through the HD channels and I land upon Triple-D.
Guy Fieri is a star.
Some people have it, some don’t.
You can play the guitar like ringing a bell, but do you have charisma, our are eyes fixed upon you? Kind of like David Lee Roth. He can barely sing, but he’s an amazing front man. I can watch Guy all day. Because he’s got the ability to stir the drink, to get everybody in the room to pay attention and get in a good mood.
And the first segment’s about a dive in Florida. And when they start cutting up the clams and making chowder, I’m salivating. When I go to Cape Cod I order both clam chowder and fried clams, like Depeche Mode, I just can’t get enough. Not those HoJo’s fried clams, these things have BELLIES!
And when they come back from commercial, after I’ve convinced myself that Cris Collinsworth was wrong, there’s no way the Bengals will beat Houston, Guy pulls up to a place in Manhattan Beach, California where the proprietor is tatted up like a rock star. But unlike Guy, he’s all focus, the star is not him, but his food.
And he sets upon making fettuccine carbonara.
That’s my favorite of the pasta dishes. My little sister learned how to make it during her junior year abroad in Florence, she turned me on to it. And although I shouldn’t be eating it, sometimes I can’t resist. It’s the cheese and the pasta and the pancetta and the pepper… MMM!
So this guy proceeds to make the pasta from scratch. He’s running it through the manual machine multiple times. This is a labor of love. I’m intrigued.
And when Guy takes a bite, I can tell he’s impressed.
And as I’m thinking about how we all love homemade, how we love that little TLC that makes something unique and different, the chef goes on to make what he calls Kahlua egg rolls.
It’s what you can’t see that impresses you. Who knew he wrapped the soon to be cooked pork in banana leaves? And when Guy can’t resist pulling off some meat when it comes out of the oven, my taste buds start salivating. I may be Jewish, but I love me some pork. You know, the really tender type, the kind that requires no knife.
And Felice is in the middle of a big project, cleaning out the cupboards, but I will not take no for an answer. It’s a beautiful day and we’re going to Manhattan Beach RIGHT NOW!
The 405 was better than it can be, which means we only slowed to a crawl twice.
We got off at Rosecrans, I was pointing out the sights, from Fry’s to Pancho’s, I used to inhabit the beach towns, it’s a totally different headspace than L.A.
And we make a left on Highland and then we’re there.
The building doesn’t look too inviting, painted a garish yellow, but you can’t get near the place and it’s three PM and I take this as a good sign.
We find a table and as we’re perusing the menu it turns out everybody else saw Triple-D too. Just the night before in the case of the family next to us. They were having the fettuccine carbonara. I figured I had no chance, the lunch menu was laden with sandwiches when I looked it up online, but the chalkboard said it was available after noon on weekends.
So I got up to place the order and I asked the woman, did Triple-D increase your business?
But it turns out the show aired originally two years ago. But they rerun it.
So we sit there waiting and then the Kahlua egg roll arrives and I’m literally in hog heaven. It’s like going to an east coast Chinese place, where the egg rolls are fat and brown, not the lightly fried spring rolls of the west coast, but instead of being filled solely with veggies, there’s this pork of a stripe you can never get in a chain restaurant. It’s EXQUISITE!
And then came the pasta.
Al dente. Everybody uses the term, but nobody really makes it that way. The pasta was crunchy, the sauce was rich and the pancetta tickled my taste buds. If I died right there, I’d be happy.
Felice ordered a Po Boy, she was much less hungry, but she couldn’t stop reaching into my bowl, the fettuccine carbonara was just that good.
And it’s a hole in the wall. In a beach town. And if you need service, if you need respect, don’t go.
But if you truly know food, if you live from meal to meal, contemplating what you’re going to eat next, LEAVE NOW!