brian and i went to diane's for dinner tonight. around 4:30. we were both hungry. for those westsiders who aren't familiar with diane's location, it's in the same plaza with the pirate's den. i know this is not quite the landmark is used to be since it no longer resembles an actual pirate ship, but generally everyone knows where it is.
diane's reminds me of eating dinner at my grandparents'. the potatoes are from a box, the green beans from a can, and there's rainbow sherbet for dessert. (my grandmother stopped cooking sometime in the 70's, and my poor grandpa does the best he can.) this cooking style is prevalent at several westside independents, and it seems to be popular. even though it was only 4:30, many of the tables were occupied. granted, we were the youngest people there by about 40 years.
i wonder why more fresh ingredients aren't employed. maybe it's economics - the canned and boxed products probably are less expensive, and that allows prices to remain very reasonable (our dinners totalled $24). maybe it's that tastebuds become accustomed to convenience foods. maybe it's for speed of service. i'm not saying it's bad food, but it's not necessarily good either.
maybe it's just comforting for people to eat something familiar.