Thursday, February 3, 2011
Well, I reached Trader Vic's in L.A. only to discover that there was a Lakers game right next door. The restaurant was packed & parking was scarce. Rats! Trader Vic's was gonna have to wait til the next trip. Now, I was really hungry & I began to brain-storm for a Plan B. I was not eating at some giant, conglomerate, chain restaurant. This was SoCal. It had to be someplace cool. Then, I remembered driving by this amazing coffee shop, on my way to L.A. from Redondo. I turned the car around & headed back, in search of Pann's. Finally, Pann's came into view. The closer I got, the cooler it looked. OK, this was gonna be a good way to end my trip.
I sauntered in, sat down at the counter & looked up to see a bunch of cool, vintage drag racing photos, on the wall behind the counter. I'm guessing these were regular customers back in the day. How cool is it that Pann's kept these pics up all these years? While waiting for my dinner, I heard the strains of "Little Darlin'" by The Gladiolas coming from the jukebox.! This place was getting better by the minute.
BLT, Potato Salad & a Coke. God Bless America!
After finishing my meal, I figured I had better head for the airport. I had no idea that I was only about 5 minutes away from LAX. Now, I had time to kill, so I decided to do a bit more cruising. As soon as this gourgeous sign for the Academy Theater came into view, my heart skipped a beat. This sign was spectacular & in complete working order. I got closer, parked the car & hopped out to takes some pics. as I got closer, I realized that the place was no longer a theater, but some type of church. Sigh! At least they had maintained this killer sign.
Back towards LAX, I happened upon Randy's Donuts, another Southern California, roadside icon.
Now it was time to turn in the rental & take the shuttle over to the terminal for the long trip home. My first trip to California had exceeded all of my expectations & the people were amazing. I was very impressed with the hospitality of everyone I came in contact with. I felt so at ease with everyone I met everywhere I went. I hope, someday, I will have the opportunity to relocate to SoCal. I've really had it with New Engalnd winters!