Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lunch Time In Little Tokyo

They wanted me to sit at my desk for four hours in that horrible crab-like position at my desk and tap away at my keyboard all morning, and the tapping can’t stop, not even for a second…or they get a stress attack. But my stress attack trumps theirs and I have to get up once in a while. Even pee-pee furloughs to the men’s room makes them psycho, but too bad. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do and when you gotta go, you gotta go.

So then the clock strikes half past noon and I practically jump out of my Formica desk prison and jump up and race up the escalator. My legs and my arms are flying in the air, I’m a fucking samurai pirate cowboy racing with the wind. I only have sixty minutes on my lunch break. Get out of my way.

I race across Hill Street by the Superior Court and kick the paparazzi out of my way trying to catch Britney or Miley or Paris testifying in court. I rush by the Court of Historic Flags with the eighteen original American flags flying high, including the “Don’t Tread On Me” snake one. Bums are all passed out in puddles of piss under the All-American shady trees.

I cross Broadway to the LA City Hall parking lot trying not to knock the jaded whiney secretaries, run across Spring Street to the City Hall lawn, lush and green with the Domestic Violence tribute bench to Dr. Marjorie Braude, the founder of the Domestic Violence Task Force. For a brief second I consider the fact that I’m racing past ghosts of old Los Angeles politicians who have to bow to my living, breathing being.

Finally I reach Second Street – lunch time in Little Tokyo. There’s the old Zippo store, that old torn-up hardware store, and then there’s the restaurants. Which will it be today? There’s San Sui Tei, delicious teriyaki but so hot the roof of your mouth will peel nine epidermal layers. Ouch! Not today. There’s Suehiro Café, overrated, blah, fatty meat, slow service. Not getting my money today. Then there’s the well-loved and wildly popular Daikokuya, lines of kids and businessmen waiting to get in. The steaming pots of ramen manned by tattooed ninja nipsters is great but the lines are too long. The boring Aoi Restaurant won’t get my paper presidents, either. Oomasa looks promising, but no – I finally settle on the AYCE (All You Can Eat) buffet at Oiwake.

Oiwake has a great $7 lunch time buffet, no waiting, no bullshit, fill your tray and pay while you eat. No standing in front of a fucking cash register, just fill your bowl with Miso Soup, get some cold Udon, Teriyaki Chicken slathered in soy and big Tempura vegetables. One serving and I’m full. There’s tons of people inside and everybody looks happy, none of this silent zen abacus shit you get at other restaurants in the area.

I guzzle some more scalding green tea, throw my money at the waiter and run down stairs to the Cools Clothing Store and pick up a pair of fingerless striped gloves. I love the price, only $7 and I’m back flying up the hill on my long-stemmed wheels breathing poisoned air and getting my 60 minute sun before I’m back in that little crab cage cubicle of mine for another deadly four hours. And the high point of my day was that meager 60 minutes eating Japanese food and buying silly gloves.

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