Things I Hate


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I can stomach the term “California cuisine,” but just barely. Any population vain enough to consider grated coconut over sun dried tomatoes or goat cheese on pita bread the holy grail among feats of culinary legerdemain should probably give recognition to the birthplace of their gastronomic experiments. What I find truly distasteful are the names of the restaurants where such dishes are served. Contrary to what the person who penned its menu wants you to believe, “Mangia Mangia” is not a trattoria “dedicated to the fusion of Anglo-Italian and neoclassical cuisine in the California tradition.” It is an Olive Garden sandwiched between a pet store and a podiatrist in an Orange County strip mall. As tempting as the bagel pizza poppers at Moose McGillucutty’s might look in the photograph next to the vintage gas pump in the lobby, please don’t order them. Doing so only perpetuates the existence of asinine theme restaurants, making it practically impossible for the privately owned greasy spoons, road houses and holes in the wall where real food is served to survive. Thank God it’s Friday! Now I can meet all my friends at P.J. O’Pootertoot’s and make small talk with the perky hostess in the checkerboard miniskirt and rainbow suspenders.

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