Los Angeles International Airport: Haute Cuisine

Sit in a plane long enough, and this starts to look good!

Sit in a plane long enough, and this starts to look good!

The flight to Los Angeles dips down out of a liquid blue sky into that gross sepia yellow Summer fog perennially smothering the California coast, we get left in some remote terminal and shuttle to the main building, and then we endure hilariously bad signage to finally find the Bradley International terminal and the flight to Osaka. All the available seats at the gate are marked handicapped and I occupy two of them without embarrassment. Actually, I walk to the wrong gate and try to figure out why I’m not on the flight before realizing my mistake and then occupying the handicapped seats at the correct gate.

It is an hour layover, and I read my junky novel until the flight is called. A small stab of jealousy hits me as one guy in jeans simply saunters through the business class entry, no luggage or anything, as if he does this every day, this flying half-way across the world. As I step through myself however, this same guy flashes a badge and tells me to come with him. It’s the handicapped seating police! Busted!

It turns out he’s drug enforcement, along with an incredibly large black man standing there with his arms folded, and I apparently fit the profile for drug or money smuggling into Japan. It’s a fact: I attract police attention wherever I go. I’ve met some of the nicest cops though, in just about every country I wander into. I’m so surprised by the takedown that I can’t remember the answers to his questions: how much money do I have, where am I going, am I a permanent resident, what’s my name…tough questions like that. I’m sure he’s still wondering if he should have let this idiot go.

The flight is 12 hours, 3 movies, 125 pages of technical reading and 60 pages of techno-thriller long, plus two meals and a lot of green tea and water. Very nice Mocha chip ice cream, rather tasteless rice pudding topped with scallions and shrimp, and no crunch at all to the croissant. The Chicken was good, the coffee wasn’t. A mixed bag from a culinary perspective.

Leave a Reply