My first morning in L.A. begins at a surprisingly civilized hour. DP and I are deputed to construct breakfast. Eggs, salsa and tortillas. Then I discover some sliced chicken in the fridge. DP runs the skillet and we just toss things in. Like you do. Sitting down in the living room, we are about to tuck in, when the presence of said poultry is revealed. SB turns Goth-white and lets a mouthful of food fall to her plate with a fairly comical sound. DP runs to the bathroom to make himself vomit. I swallow my first mouthful and conclude, "Needs more spice." Apparently the chicken slices are a couple of weeks old and, while no foul aroma or texture were detected while said slices were diced and thrown into the pan, it is decided that breakfast elsewhere is the way to go. (DP tells this story several more times during the morning, to apparently anyone who will stay still for more than 30 seconds. Fine. I get it. I ruined your fucking breakfast. Mea-fucking-culpa, okay? Now, shut the fuck up about it...)
SB and I load our bags and her insanely cute wee Italian greyhound, Cooper, into the car and we head off into the night. Our destination: Crestline in San Bernadino.
The drive is fairly inconsequential, until SB gets a craving...nay, an almost feverish desire. She has, I believe the best word is, a "hunger". We pull off the freeway into the community of San Dimas, home of Bill & Ted. This is, as far as I can tell, a community consisting of strip malls and car parks with occasional housing. One such car park beckons to us and we pull in. She wants it and she wants it now. The hell with getting out, we're doing this in the car, in front of Cooper and anyone else who cares to watch. We're eating at In 'n' Out Burger. The legendary fast food chain that, frankly, puts all other fast food chains to shame. The menu looks like any other burger chain menu. Then SB informs me of the " off menu procedure". Y'see, there are a number of variations to the standard burger and fries on offer, and you have to know what they are. For instance, "Animal style" means that the burgers are slapped with mustard before they are put on the grill and pickles and diced onions are added. She also gets "sauce" added to the fires, which turns out to be a faintly ochre tinged variation on 1,000 Island dressing. Topping off the order with an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade), we park and inhale the food. It's amazing. The produce is fresh and crispy (locally sourced, I am assured) and the burgers are....the only term I can come up with is.....FUCKING MAJESTIC.
We return to the freeway and continue towards San Bernadino...