But for a few months there's been one major exception. On some afternoons I start thinking about the petite spring rolls and mildly warm noodles with soy skin rolls and shitake mushrooms at Viet Noodle Bar in Atwater, and I CANNOT STOP.
I find ways to acquiesce. Some days I'm alone and able to eat, read and think. Other times I call ahead, grab my food to go, and balance take-out containers with wiggly James in my arms. On such days, often the sublime spring rolls with tofu, fried shallots, basil, carrots and jicama are gone by the time I'm home. Their chewy and crunchy textures psyche me up for the sweet tang of the noodles and delicate tofu to come. Not the most flavorful dish in the world, but a few dashes of siracha push it along.
Though the original Soy Cafe's minuscule location on Hyperion had its charms (and its challenges; try balancing an infant and your own tush on what felt like 8" diameter stools), the second expanded location breathes easy. I usually sit at the communal table best set up for single diners, which is narrower than the more social table that lines the other side of the restaurant. Plus they try to like, feed your mind, man. Alas, the selection of smarty pants and culturally with-it books that filled the continuous rectangular niche in the north wall have been taken back by their owner.
Best of all, the room's white-on-brown serenity and the meal serve to quell the intensity of my jones. Equilibrium and focus are then restored.
Viet Noodle Bar
3133 ½ Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039