2008-08-27 23:27:44 ET|
So the heating system at my house is being refurbished, meaning that I was up early as workmen violated my sanctum sanctorum. Today was a day off from work, but I had school in the evening. So what to do when I have all day to do nothing, but can't stay home? How about breakfast?
So an hour later I'm at the Original Pantry. If you live in L.A., you probably don't need to be introduced to the Pantry. If you're like me and don't get out enough, here it goes. Apparently, this place opened 1920 (a year after Musso and Frank's). Then nothing remarkable happened for sixty years, until it was bought by one Dick Riordan. Riordan went on to become mayor of Los Angeles, and it was a big embarassment to him when his coffee shop was busted by the Department of Health in the mid-90's. However, it's always safest to fly right after a plane crash, and life goes on. With the Staples Center being a block away, and with the Pantry famously advertising that they never close (I wonder if Norm's knows they stole the Pantry's slogan), it still has a healthy stream of customers. Also, rumor has it the waitstaff are all ex-convicts.
I don't know what this place looks like during the wee hours, but it was busy when I got there. There's no printed menus; they're posted on the walls between olde-timey pics of downtown and cases of Pantry shirts and barbecue sauce. I ordered breakfast from a guy noticeably missing scars and prison tattoos. This doesn't in and of itself prove anything, but he didn't seem like a felon. Although I brought a book to while away the time waiting for food to arrive, this service was astonishingly fast. I seriously had not finished my first paragraph before they handed me my omelet. It's like they just had the thing in the back waiting for me, but it was too hot to eat right off. I can't imagine what's going on in the kitchen.
As stated, I ordered an omelet, a bacon and cheese one. It was huge! I realize I can stuff down more than a lot of people I know, but this one was more than I could handle. I can only imagine the sort of gaping barathrum required to consume this along with hash brown and a literal pile of toast. It was good, though. Cheesy and eggy and full of crunchy bacon. Ho yeah. The potatoes were pretty good too. The toast was just this side of burnt, but it was sourdough, and with a little butter all was forgiven. I don't believe they were actually inserted into a toaster though. From the looks of it, I think they just tossed slices of bread on the stove. Not complaing, just saying.
So now what?
I still had a good five or six hours before I had to be in Fullerton. So after fighting traffic and getting lost a few times, I dropped by the Petersen Automotive Museum at Miracle Mile. This is another one of those places I'd always been curious about. There are exhibits in the parking lot, meaning that you can park next to a rocket car.
I poked around the downstairs floor for a while, using up most of the time I had left. There's a big and, I suspect, permanent display about the history of cars in Southern California. There's a gold-plated DeLorean and an Edsel owned by Mel Blanc. I love museums anyway, so I eat this stuff up. The clientele was an interesting mix. Sort of a combination of gearheads, German tourists, and families. I coulda swore I saw Bubb Rubb in a tour group. Conspicuously absent were Bettie Page and Rat Fink, but I'm just going to go ahead and say they were there, and we went out for drinks afterward.
I had about twenty minutes left by the time I made it up to the second floor. This was quickly eaten up, as they have a collection of movie cars on display. Individual preferences vary, but I say the best was Professor Fate's car from The Great Race. There were also displays on campers, alternative fuel, motorcycles, and some other stuff, but I kinda just had to run through and glance at whatever grabbed my eye. It was late, and I really did need to get going. I do wish I could have had my picture taken with Franklin Roosevelt's Secret Service-mobile, but I guess that can wait for next time.
Then it was off to school, where I didn't get my class.