All the Beauties Eat Cake

As seems to happen with alarming regularity, yet another lunch was launched lonely without Leon. In his stead was SSO (pronounced sah-sah-so), a friend since 4th grade. SSO is perfect, or so my mother has long (decades) believed, and shucks, I believe it too.

SSO captured on a more glamorous occasion than a mere lunch.  Yet SSO pretty much always looks like this.

SSO captured on a more glamorous occasion than a mere lunch. Yet SSO pretty much always looks like this.

She’s thin, beautiful, smart, funny, empathetic, and kind. I’ve had the shape of her rear end memorized since I was 10 and it still looks the same. She can turn on the radio, hear five seconds of a song, and name it. She can walk into a Goodwill and find the single Anne Taylor suit hidden on the racks. She drove hundreds of miles just to make me lunch after each of my children were born. When low skinny pants came into fashion, she looked at me seriously and told me to keep wearing 501s until the fad was over. The fad is seemingly never going to end. She maintains this advice.

She’s that kind of a friend. We recently  met over Chinese Chicken Salads at San Anselmo’s rocking little Comforts cafe.  Comforts is the kind of place where Robin Wright—who lives in nearby Ross—has been spotted stopping mid-run for a latte and something gluten-free, sugarless, and fat-negative before sprinting off for another 13 miles. It’s glamorous in the lowdown highbrow way that only Marin can be glamorous. The women wear no makeup but their skin products are made from their own stem cells. Everyone is fairly steaming with health yet all anyone discusses is their health. They’re worried; we say ha-ha-ha.

The foreground squidge of cream? Necessary to keep the sweetly staling cake itself fresh with each mouthful. Like, as if on purpose!

The foreground squidge of cream? Necessary to keep the sweetly staling cake itself fresh with each mouthful. Like, as if on purpose!

Which is why, after splitting a half order of the Fresh Soft Wild Prawn Spring Rolls ($5.95) and devouring a small portion of Comforts’ famous Chinese Chicken Salad ($9.95) apiece, we opted for a lovely statuesque serving of coconut cake (who cares how much the damn thing costs!).

We had a lovely statuesque serving of coconut cake because DMB (pronounced dah-bomb, just go with it) insisted we do so. While DMB has herself not eaten so much as a single slice of bread since Thanksgiving 2012 due to a paleo-aversion to grain-based carbs, she has no problem demanding such sacrifice of others. And while DMB was hard at work putting criminals squarely into the slammer on the day that SSO and I dined, her will must be obeyed.

As it turns out, SSO and I were her willing carbo-slaves. The only cure was avid, rigorous, unstinting consignment shopping—a guaranteed win for the likes of us in a wealthy woman’s town. Perhaps Robin Wright got rid of something tiny she no longer needs.

Dah-Bomb in slightly younger days. It is now scientifically impossible to find a photo of her not including her two perfect babies, but she basically looks like this at lunch or otherwise.

Dah-Bomb in slightly younger days. It is now scientifically impossible to find a photo of her not including her two perfect babies, but she, too, pretty much looks like this—at lunch or otherwise.

Leon doesn’t eat cake and Leon doesn’t consignment shop. Leon, I’m afraid, was not missed this time one whit.

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Southland-Bound: On the Road to ‘Medicine’

As blessed as Northern California assuredly is, Los Angeles must also sometimes be attended to. And so it was that on the first weekend of May Leon bundled me into the car for that most California of endeavors—the road trip.

Intent on salving a horrific birthday number with the cheering sight of contemporary art paired with excellent food, we caroomed down the I-5 throughway at those speeds demanded by the sheer boredom of the scenery.

In our minds, I-5’s Pea Soup Andersen’s is always in sepia.

Destined for a sweet Airbnb casita in Santa Monica, we were blessed with an opposing commute all the way west, streaming the 405 to the 110 without incident. That night’s meal was slated for Red Medicine, an innovative Vietnamese-inspired place on Wiltshire. The plan was to visit museums by day and restaurants by night. Perfect!

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