Profile: Tom’s Burgers Burritos Chicken Shrimp Steaks Pastrami Tacos Beef San. Drive Thru
In my six years of living in this fair city I estimate that I’ve driven by this decrepit paean to verbosity between 1,000 and 10,000 times. Safe estimate. At least one thousand. No more than ten thousand. I used to live close to this place. These days I don’t, but I’m always driving by, it seems. When I’m not driving by, it’s squatting in the corner of my subconscious like a giant constipated ogre. The place is situated directly catty-corner from the establishment I’m invaribably visiting at this intersection; namely, Cafe Tropical.
Today, President’s Day, I’m thinking of Presidents. Specifically Thomas Jefferson. TJ. Ol’ Monticello. Tommy. Chief #3. Ol’ Two Dollar Bill. Tom, for short. In honor of Thomas Jefferson, today I will eat at Tom’s Burgers Burritos Chicken Shrimp Steaks Pastrami Tacos Beef San. Drive Thru. Deliberately.
Walking up to the establishment I notice a curiousity in the window behind a 40-year-old skateboarder: a sign that has been quite obviously liberated from Jack in the Box boasts two tacos for 99 cents. Make note, T’s BBCSSPTBSDT: Ryan’s coming in.
Immediately my senses are assaulted by what can only be referred to as Tom’s Confusion: a vast array of mismatched signs, duct-taped and magic-marked to infinity, boasting various foodstuffs. Sheer design hell. [Photos: one, two, three.] I note the time: 1145am, President’s Day. I note the breakfast menu ends at 11am. I’m a gambler. I roll a pair of dice on the counter and ask one of three guys behind it, “Too late for breakfast?”
He turns to a coworker. “Y…el desayuno?” Garb-mumble come the response. “eh…No,…” He replies, shaking his head.
“No, it’s not too late, or no as in No breakfast?”
“No…” He smiles. This is going nowhere. No breakfast today it appears. Jesus no breakfast in this dive. Suddenly I want the worst thing here. That sign said steaks. I’m picturing a $5 Norm’s special. Leg meat or something. “I want the steak sandwich. And…You have two tacos for a dollar?” I motion to the sign in the window.
“How many orders?”
Small alarm bell goes off as I note he didn’t ask me what type of meat would be going into these tacos. Hell. It’s a small gamble and a small price to pay. I’ll try whatever they give me.
Casing the joint while waiting for my receipt I spot one other customer: a transient, grimy from the street. He munches two tacos. I may have found the one thing that brings people inside T’s BBCSSPTBSDT.
My order arrives. The beef in my steak sandwich is a bit stringy but otherwise largely edible. It looks like this. The tacos, at 50 cents a pop, are surprisingly damn good for quick-and-dirty fried tacos. The meat’s a mushmess that would barely pass for fast food, but thankfully they’ve had the good sense to leave off the slice of american processed cheese found in the JITB tacos, to which these will ultimately be compared.
The meal passes uneventfully. I am the sole customer at this point. There are at least four men on the clock, somewhere out of sight in the back.
Two oddities about the inside of T’s BBCSSPTBSDT as follows:
1) This game
2) The fact that a combo meal featuring photos from Jack in the Box can run you upwards of $9. Is this LAX?
Following the meal I proceed immediately to Cafe Tropical for two cups of espresso con leche and a slice of guava cheese pie [photo]. Ah, dessert de Cuba how you wash away the legmeat I’ve just eaten. So de-lovely this place. But for President’s Day and Thomas Jefferson, I never would have strayed. Take me back, oh Cafe. I will be your one and only, eternally.
Tom’s Burgers Burritos Chicken Shrimp Steaks Pastrami Tacos Beef San. Drive Thru
Sunset at Silverlake [bonus lovely sign photo]
Hours vary – consult one of four external signs for details