Saturday, May 21, 2016

Skewers by Morimoto - LAX

Get ready for a post about a First World Problem: flight delay. Our Delta flight from LAX to New Orleans didn't start out well, but a comedy of errors made it worse and worse. First, the gate kept being changed. We felt like cats chasing a laser.

Then they said the airplane was "broken." When they finally got a new plane flown in 4 hours later, no one was available to fly it--the original pilots had "timed out". So we had to wait a few more hours for new ones to be flown in. Yes, the new pilots had to be flown in. Like from another airport.

In the meantime, the ground crew kept trying to give us updates. But each update was a report of a new setback. By the twelfth announcement, all they did was make everyone even angrier.

Long story short: instead of taking-off at the time it said on our ticket (5:20 p.m.), it was 11:40 p.m.

If you're counting, that's more than a 6 hour delay. And it put our arrival to The Big Easy at 5 a.m. Saturday instead of 11 p.m. Friday.

Delta did try to make amends by giving us snacks and soda at first, but when they saw that some of us in the terminal were getting "hangry" along with getting angry, they brought the big guns: free Subway sandwiches and chips.

By that time, we had already eaten. It turns out that there's no better Concourse in LAX to be delayed than the one we were in.

There was bevy of new eateries here, not a single one of them McDonald's or Cinnabon. There was a Lemonade, Rock & Brews, a food court with the Fairfax Farmers Market greatest hits, and Ben Ford's (yes, Han Solo's real son--no, not the one that killed him) Filling Station.

We ended up at a restaurant called Skewers because my lovely travel companion saw a picture of a beef bowl that she thought looked particularly scrumptious. But it wasn't until I went up to order it that I realized Skewers was conceived by none other than Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Then it all started to make sense. I saw kushiyaki being grilled on an actual robata. I witnessed ramen noodles boiled to order and shaken vigorously to get rid of excess water. And when I tasted the thin strips of meat in my $14 beef bowl, it was tender and melting despite having very little fat. This was one of the bests Japanese gyudons I've ever had. The flavor was the exact right balance of shoyu-mirin-and-dashi. The freshly toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top were aromatic. Even the rice was excellent.

It was everything Yoshinoya beef bowls (which I love) could ever hope to be but never are.

Still, it was a $14 beef bowl. But that's fine because it reminded me of a Jerry Seinfeld joke when he said: "Do you think that the people at the airport that run the stores have any idea what the prices are every place else in the world?"

Ah, Jerry Seinfeld, what kind of comedy gold could you have mined from that 6-hour flight delay?

Skewers by Morimoto
Los Angeles International Airport
380 World Way, Terminal 5, Gate 54A
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Taverna - Laguna Beach


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