Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sweet Salty Serendipity

As a child, I had always hoped that I would be the sort of adult person who would cross paths with my adult friends on layovers in adult cities. I also believed that my adult job would require me to wear a trench coat and pantyhose, and that I would have headaches like the people in Excedrin commercials get.

Lots of my ideas about adulthood came from Murphy Brown and pharmaceutical advertisements.

It was winter. And part of that dream was about to happen.

Not the pantyhose part.

I was in NYC for one day, en route to somewhere else. It was charmingly cold in the city of salted pretzels and subway strangers, a Rom Com snow dusting down over the city.

I arrived in my hotel room and did the necessary 4-6 minutes of poor form crunches and push-not-really-all-the-way-ups. Important to get the blood going again after a long flight. Quite serendipitously, a very good very old friend of mine was in town as well.

Serendipity, a lovely word which means “happy accident,” is not really something I have experienced very much of in my life. I’m much more used to making a plan and having it go awry. Most of the things one would describe as serendipitous, simply don’t happen to me. I don’t find money in old pockets, and I never ever “run into” people.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s the nature of Los Angeles.

I ran into someone I know at the post office on Laurel Canyon once. It was agony. Someone I had talked to for hours a day, for months, I had no idea how to communicate with in an unplanned encounter. I smiled like a creepy horror movie doll, and overused the word “wow,” by saying it twice.

So…agony for me, agony for them.

BUT here I was in New York. And here she was in New York. Serendipity.

Serendipity is also a crappy John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale movie. And Serendipity is also: a restaurant.

And they serve frozen hot chocolate. And Wonkian desserts. And everything comes with whipped cream.

So we met there. Natch.

We caught up for a long time, laughing about old times and caving repeatedly to our collective sweet tooth. Then we parted ways, all caught up, and pre-Diabetic. As I returned to my hotel room, regretting/thanking god that I had forgotten my sneakers and couldn’t hit the gym even if I wanted to, I got a text from her. “Go to Channel 13.”
TV on. Channel found. Just starting?

The afternoon showing of the John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale classic: Serendipity.

That day taught me 2 lessons: First, serendipity can happen to me. It will serve me a frozen hot chocolate, and then it will hunt me down and find me in my hotel room.

And also that I should cut down on sugar, because I swear to God I was glowing like a glo-worm.

And then the other day, it happened again.

Block whole day off to find a dress for a specifically themed event. First dress tried is the winner.  
Angel friend leads me to an establishment of which I had no knowledge that sells delicious pie
and coffee. Interior of eatery resembles inside of my head. Because I’m constantly serving myself pie and coffee in my head.
Walk outside, into the unexpected parking derby of several food trucks setting up for lunch.

 Correct change for meter.

 Correct change for Un-Cheeseadilla.

Angel friend was excited. Note the leg kick.

I have always had a fondness for words. Mustachioed. Bespectacled. Peripatetic. Just some of my favs. By the way, if you ever meet anyone who can be described with these three words, that person is without question a serial killer. Proceed accordingly.

My new favorite word? Un-Cheeseadilla.

The Corazon de Jah truck is what you would expect to pull up if you escaped off to that island Tom Cruise found in Cocktail, an action I too consider regularly. I call it my "Cocktail Island Back-up Plan." You can too. I don’t mind.

With its side full of avocados and lemonade, and an all-vegan menu, these ladies deal in a little something called ITAL. The word ITAL is derived from VITAL, and is pronounced charmingly like a mob wife saying what kind of cuisine she wants for dinner. (Eye-talian.) It means natural, pure, and vital. Like that Fiji water, or a box of buncha crunch at the movies.

The peppy girls inside fixed us up with Carnitas Jackfruit and our Un-Cheeseadilla. Ever met a jackfruit? The next time you see one, eat it. Don’t ask it what it is, or where it came from. Jackfruit is fleshy and mild, and somehow refreshing. And it subs in handily for meat, because it is satisfying and rich. The thing about a truck like this that deals in HealthyFresh food is that everything crunches because of nature. The cabbage and lettuce crunches because that is simply how it was designed, not because of a flash-fry situation, or a breaded coating.

And while I love the things that WE do to make things crunchy, it is rather zestily refreshing to have something inherently so. Makes one feel sort of Jurassic, really. And it is hard to imagine an Un-ness associated with this Cheeseadilla. The “un-cheese” is creamy, the tortillas exactly as chewy as you want them, filling in a sort of glowy nutritious Captain Planet sort of way.

There’s really nothing very “Un” about any of this, despite its vegan nature. If anything, it’s all quite Un-un, if you will. Creamy, crunchy, sweet, fresh. These words are all fully represented. No “Un” necessary.

So it’s Unnecessary. That’s an inside joke. Like, waaaaaaaay inside my head. So thanks for joining me in here. I serve coffee and pie all day long.

The Corazon de Jah truck is healthy in an un-healthy world. It is fresh, and it is phresh. It’s part of the “Cocktail Island Back-up Plan.”

I’m not vegan. But thanks to Ital, I’m not Un-vegan.

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