“A steak, please.”

“We serve an excellent sliced asada in maize-syrup mole.”

“No thank you. Just grilled, medium.”

“How would you like that sugared?”

“I don’t want it sugared.”

“Honey-barbecue brushed or mandarin-orange marinated?”

“Neither. And please bring some salt and pepper.”

“Of course. Sweet Samoan napu-pepper garnish . . .”

“Black pepper.”

“Do you want your steak molasses-glazed or maple-glazed?”

“No glaze.”

“With kiwi salsa, banana salsa or papaya salsa?”

“No salsa.”

“Mango chutney or tangerine chutney?”

“No chutney.”

“Apple-cured-bacon wrapped?”


“Dusted with champagne-grape powdered-sugar flour or dredged in Southern candied-pecan cornmeal?”

“Dredged in granulated C&H sugar, please.”

“. . . I’m sorry. We don’t serve that. Perhaps some A 1 sauce? Or . . . ketchup?”

“No. Thank you.”


“ . . . okay.”

“Caramelized onions . . .”

“I changed my mind. No onions.”

“That will come with brown-sugared sweet potatoes or plantain chips.”

“Baked potato?”

“ . . . ”

“Never mind the potato, and don’t worry about vegetables. Just the steak. Whatever cut. Grilled. Medium.”

Fifteen minutes later.

“The steak looks good. But I didn’t order any ice cream.”

The ice cream was melting. A border of liquid whiteness kissed the steak.

I placed five $20 bills on the table and left. Drove home. Sat in front of the TV. There were commercials on every channel. I settled back and ate a bag of Oreos.

Inspired by experiences in fine eating ?establishments citywide.

LA Weekly