There are certain kinds of days that bleed into nights that call for triple bangs.
Though I posted it in another thread, that day was kicked off at Taqueria Los Anaya for me, which exemplary chilaquiles, crowned the best in LA for now:
I mean, just look at those perfectly sauced tortillas and that glistening, crispy adobada and you can see how these might kick off a night that could be considered by many to be a touch “off the rails”:
Do it double right with the impecably crispy and fluffy masa of a sope, just beans #don’tneednothin’butbeans
Perhaps you find yourself privy to a performance of Beethoven’s 3rd Violin Sonata by a couple of virtuosos on a stop off from their tour through the palaces of music such as Disney Hall, instead opting for the intimacy of the back of a wine and beer bar/coffee shop/restaurant/performance space:
Perhaps the new flights of beer from a nicely curated local beer list appeal to your fancy after the majesty of Beethoven’s music has completely overwhelmed your psyche. A cadre of a bright, acidic, and intense red ale from Modern Times (they give you the tail end of a Lomaland Saison but can’t fill the cup, a lovely gesture on their part), a beautifully complex IPA from Lost Abbey, and a complex and boozy Russian Imperial Stout from Mission tantalize the tastebuds alongside the ferociously sublime music, and the night begins a kind of slow dissolve; suddenly a cigarette holds a certain appeal.
The night closes at the cafe, the cigarette smoked, the car has arrived, and you direct it to Shibumi hoping that something magical might find its way into your stomach. Alas…despite a significant celebrity appearance at the place, the kitchen has closed early. However, the idea of a negroni seems grand, and indeed, the bartender mixes up one of the most contemplative takes on the classic cocktail you’ve had in quite a while.
You gab with your fellow diners as the crew puts on a bit of Coltrane to smooth out the night. You’re poured a cold sake in a stone cylinder without asking for it; the bartender knows what you like.
Well past closing time, you decide to try out the oddball buckwheat sochu on the menu.
Finally, you need another cigarette, and a burger. The driver turns on KUSC, there’s some Brahms on, lilting and moody, the perfect tune to cut crosstown to Everson Royce. You order a burger without glancing at the menu and sit down amongst the small throng of degenerates drinking hard alcohol on a Wednesday night at midnight.
The burger is perfect for the path of distilled spirits you’ve embarked upon; the flavors of charcoal and beef replicating Beethoven’s harmonies on the piano and violin from earlier in the evening. The bartender pours you a large glass of dry, sour beer which you gulp down mirthfully.
But how can one stop there? It’s about this time that you imagine drinking mezcal would be a grand idea. The bartender indulges your fancy and shakes the hell out of a drink of mezcal and pineapple juice to produce an exquistely smoky froth to fuel your dastardly dreams.
Your head is spinning a bit; the thump of Tupac on the stereo feels like ecstatic magic, though. The lights flash on, and your check comes, but you sheepishly ask if you might have a final tequila and modelo before you head out into the cold night; the driver can wait for you after all.
For $8, it’s a grand tequila, spicy and a bit buttery; by now the modelo acts as more refreshing version of water; you find yourself wishing you could carry the can into the car, but alas, our draconian society forbids such pleasantries.
On the way home you pass by a diner and have the diner leave you off. A shake filled with peanut butter, overflowing over the icy cup comforts the spirit in a bizarre fashion.
You order a club sandwich because it feels right; you devour the hot, perfectly crisp cylinders of potato, even deviantly dipped them into your decadently thick vase of peanut butter and ice cream. You make it part of the way through the sandwich before the fattiness of the bacon forces you to concede the night to the tremendous amount of peanut butter stopping the entry of much else into your stomach.
The palid yellow lighting has moulded you into the chair; Cindy Lauper reminds you that girl’s primary desire in life is to have fun, and you become acutely aware that perhaps you have had enough of that for the night.
You call the final car with the rest of a club sandwich in hand; smoke the final cigarette at 4 AM; the driver puts on Miles Davis; you pass out and wake up still wearing your shoes and smelling of buckwheat and smoke, but thinking of the beauty of degeneracy.