Sunday, September 04, 2011

Lunch at Cole's

If you want to 'getaway' without leaving the neighborhood there's not a better place to go on a mini vacation than Cole's.

Cole's was the place I went back in June 2006 for "Brother Mike" Schneider's 100th Rate a Restaurant meetup.. I can't say I could feel anymore like a tourist than I did that day.

It was talk of downtown that fateful day with Eric Richardson of Blogdowntown and Celia and Jim (Winstead) that put to mind the things we were lacking out in the burbs.. that put our wheels spinning to eventually move downtown.

We did move downtown October 2006, and we're pretty happy. DTLA lacks many of the conveniences we were used to living in the Bay Area (where Sean is originally from) but it's a city in transition. It feels like it's kicking the training wheels off after having not been up to speed in a while. Lots of bumps along the way.. It's not the city our friends think it is.. not the booming glamorous metropolis our out-of-state friends imagine; nor is it the grimy, crime-ridden death trap that some not so local think it might be.

I like my neighborhood, I like downtown. If I'm going to live in SoCal this is where I'm glad to be.. Just enough community spirit and activism and just small-town enough to make it cozy.

I'm going off the track for a reason I guess because having lunch at Cole's made me ruminate on that. The years that people have tried to make it here, find their own local spot and their own niche.. I don't hang out at Cole's. Since it's transition from hole-in-the-wall hangout to clean, retro chic. It's a hangout of another kind. Still worthwhile, still historic.. and they do make those dip sandwiches.

"Skinny" combo.. half a dip with side of your choice..

I'm not going to go on about whose is better.. I will say I am a big fan of the bacon potato salad. It's always a treat.. and for another time, the once New Orleans resident in me noted the Zapp's chips in the host station at the entrance (on our way out of course). Assuming there's a next time.. I might have to go with that just so they keep them in stock.

The thing is, we don't go to Cole's too often.. maybe one or two times a year for all the years we've lived here. Few enough times I always feel like a tourist when I eat here and can enjoy the cushy booths and the quiet solitude of not running into anyone in particular. At night it's a totally different story, with plenty of locals and Westsiders and business folks fresh off work hitting up the Association or trying to squeeze into Varnish, the little "speakeasy" in the back.

I'm not a bar scene kind of person.. I think those days are long gone for me. I do like the neighborhood scene though, and that's enough.

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