Friday, January 8, 2010

Diners, Dives, and Late-Night Food Fiends

Sorry for the excessive alliteration in the subject, but it made me laugh.

But yes! So about two weeks ago, I was down in San Clemente with my bestie, Miss Victoria. When I visit her, we've taken to visiting a certain restaurant called Harbor House. Harbor House is one of those quirky, one-of-a-kind places that's open 24/7, and all available wall space is covered with old movie posters and framed (sometimes signed!) pictures of old movie stars. You know, the good ones. You can get anything on the menu at any time - you want pancakes with a side of french fries and a chocolate malt at 4am? They'll do it. It's one of those places. It's popular with high school kids after football games on Friday nights, or on Saturdays at 1am after Prom. It's one of those places that families go to on Sundays after church, or where college kids go get coffee and omelets on Monday mornings with dear old friends.

I'm not sure when I became part of the latter instead of the former.

Everyone should have one of these places.

For me, it's been Denny's. I know, soooooo original, right? But it's really the only place in/around town that is open 24 hours and lets dumbass broke college kids dominate a booth for 6 hours when we order nothing but 2 cups of coffee and fries. It's not as original as Harbor House, but it's the 50's diner "shiny Denny's," which makes up for its otherwise distinct lack of originality.

Then there's Jerry's. It's a hip - rather pricey! - and delicious 24-hour restaurant that has great food, a great atmosphere, and is usually a prime star-stalking ground for the "Are Youuuuuuuu Famous!?" crowd. (You know who you are.) Jerry's is great if you had a free movie ticket and have extra money for food afterwords. It's also good for sharing the enormous desserts they have. Don't bother with coffee here - go straight for real food. It's good, but like I said - on the expensive side. Still, with 6 or more friends sharing a table and food and generally having a great time, it's a blast.

We need these places. We desperately need these kinds of places where we can just run away at 3 in the morning and have a cup of crappy coffee and just be somewhere other than where you used to be. If that makes sense. We need these places where we can write songs with roommates, take pictures with boyfriends, celebrate the end of a show with theater friends, and celebrate missed birthdays and all-nighters in the summertime. Maybe I'm blowing a tiny, tiny subset of a subculture out of proportion and making it a bigger thing than it actually is. Maybe I'm not. Maybe it's something we all need at certain times in our lives, and then grow out of, or back into. Or maybe we just come to them when we need them, and float on by the next day like nothing ever happened at all. Maybe.

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