The plan was to go to L.A. and be sophisticated women. To be the cool people who see documentary films in L.A.
The film was supposed to be about Cuban doctors. After reading the description, I had my doubts as to how truthful it would be, but I decided it would be worth it to see the film and glean what truth I could from it. Since it was showing on a Tuesday night in L.A. and the drive was going to be a bummer, I invited Sheila to come with me.
We gave ourselves two hours to get there. Spirits high, we set off . . . and stopped. Ay Caramba!
It was time for The Talk. "How long do we sit here until we give up and go home or come up with a Plan B?"
The film was supposed to be just under an hour long and started at 7pm, so we determined that we'd only allow ourselves to be 15 minutes late. If at any point it became evident we wouldn't make it, we would cut our losses and turn back.
At 7pm we were barely arriving in L.A. and still a good 30-45 minutes from our destination. The traffic had been deceptive. Every time we were about ready to give up, it would start moving . . . and then stop again.
"Ok, we are not going to the film. I'm hungry. Where are we? What's Plan B"
By the grace of God, we were close to a new Cuban restaurant I'd heard about, "La Bodeguita de Pico" (yes, it's in the center of the block, just like "La Bodeguita del Medio" in Cuba.
"La Bodeguita, that's Plan B."
It was just beautiful inside. I felt like I'd traveled back in time. It was so warm and so . . . como te digo? . . . so . . . CUBAN.
Y la comida! OLVIDALO! It was delicious! I had the vaca frita and it was great (not as good as Mami's, but pretty close!).
Sheila has been practicing her Spanish. It's really fun when we go places together because everyone assumes that since I'm Cuban, she must be Cuban too. Let me tell you, she ate it. She placed our whole order in perfect Spanish. I was so proud. She did so well that the waiter did not believe that Spanish was not her first language.
As we waited for our food, we began to really take in our surroundings. There was writing all over the walls which added a fun and hip sort of charm to the already lovely surroundings.
We basically had the place to ourselves, so we made ourselves at home. We explored every inch of the restaurant (Even the restroom - gorgeous). We read as much of the walls as we could. Inspired and seizing the moment, we asked if we too could write on the walls. They had Sharpies ready for us.
It didn't take long to decide what to write:
"A Lo Cubano! - La Negrita"
"Que Viva Cuba Libre! Besos! xoxo - Kikita"
(Knowing the rules about Cubanas and Red Lipstick, it felt only too appropriate to kiss the wall.)
(If you ever go and want to find where we signed the wall, go up the stairs, pass the men's restroom at the end of that walkway on the right hand side, that's where we are - it's hard to miss the red lips!)
When we didn't think the night (that had started off so roughly) could get any better, the waiter asked if we would like dessert. Sheila jumps right in, "Claro que si! Que hay de postre?"
He started to list the basics: flan, tres leches, cascos de guayaba . . . WAIT. WHAT?!?!
I've never found a restaurant in CA that serves CASCOS DE GUAYABA. They are reserved for Miami. I told Sheila she had no choice, I know she likes guava, so I knew she'd love this. And I was right.
Despite the fact that there is no espumita, the cafe tasted great.
All in all, it was worth the 2 hours of traffic. It's funny, we never would have said to each other, "Hey, let's sit in traffic for hours just to go to dinner!" (albeit Cuban food, it wouldn't have happened) But we were perfectly willing to make the sacrifice for a commandante approved documentary . . . silly girls.
This is Kikita, highly recommending you try Plan B. =D