Meandering back through the Valley last night after a hearty and nostalgia-inducing Portuguese dinner (it was a special occasion) we began to see, on various corners, street food stalls of the kind that used to delight us back in India. This being LA, we soon realized that they were all offering Mexican foods, but had the same plastic-table, tent-and-cooler-drinks vibe that we have been missing so sorely. The gods must have been smiling down at us- we were so earnest about finding the same corners next weekend for dinner- because there was one such fine establishment right on our own corner.
The good J was seized by the spirit of the thing. Never mind the 23,000 calories we had just consumed;"let's go get some tacos!" he declared. Astonishingly, we did just that.
Why is it so satisfying to sit on a plastic stool and eat good food from a stand that will disappear in a few hours? I don't know. I proudly ordered in Spanish. Other people slurped unabashedly at their food with that goofy look of the truly soused. *Several drinking establishments are within weaving distance.* A man with an Irish Wolfhound walked past, the dog enthusiastically curious about the food. Two yoga-slim oldies, hands full with heaping orders, leaned on the mailbox and chatted about some place from their heyday in the 1960s.
How very LA, and yet this has been missing, missing for so long. And at some point during the very delicious but tiny meal ("solamente dos tacos?" the good Paco kept prodding) we both said at the same time, "Bourdain would have loved this!"
And so it was that we finally, finally wound up watching him later at home. He was in his beloved Uruguay. To us, it felt like Sunday night again. And today I am happy, with a spring in my step. Bourdain is back!
How foolish we are sometimes. But the Valley feels complete now. And so do Sunday nights.