Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Number 81 Food Guide: Cindy's Diner and Ye Olde Taco House

I'm at home sitting out on the patio: I won't be riding the 81 today. It's always around -- everywhere -- when I'm not looking for it. Mrs. Octopus and I drove down the 110 to Union Station and Olivera Street today (I had never been to either), and we must have seen eight or nine 81s chugging along Figueroa and Colorado.

This morning we had breakfast at a diner right next to my 81 bus stop here in Eagle Rock -- Cindy's Diner. I had been eyeing the place for a while, and we finally went today. It's pretty much your basic old-school roadside diner: orange booths, vinyl chairs at the counter, old cash register, ancient clientele, heavily buttered toast, laminated menus. It's been there since 1946 or so. It was fantastic. They even had the old tan-brown patterned Corningware coffee cups and plates everyone's parents had in 1971. I am now tempted to slip into Cindy's Diner in the mornings (they open at 6 a.m.) to get a coffee and maybe some hot cakes while waiting for the 81 to come by.˜

At my downtown bus stop on Hill Street, there's a place called "Ye Olde Taco House", which has apparently been there on Hill Street since the 60's. They get an "A" from the LA health authorities, which is saying something in the Grand Central vicinity. I had a veggie taco there the other day for $1.60, and it was delicious. I had to scarf it down in the little adjoining eating area because I saw that the 81 was pulling up. I was tempted to just bring the taco onto the 81, but I didn't want to break the bus rules. What if everyone did that?

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