Every step in this odyssey is one that tests your mettle. Can you work the quest and not get felled on Level 3? How bad is that Boss Battle? Do you have enough weapons and potions to resist and persist? So, you have the tickets, you have the room, you have some way of getting down there. So far, so good. Now comes a more difficult aspect of it: food.
Yes, where you are located in the downtown area of Lost Angles, you have three major options.
You can take in those ‘modest’ food chains like Chipotle, Starbucks, Subway or any of the local shops that cater to the crowds that descend upon the Convention Center. They even have people driving around in food trucks and those smaller fry-it-right-there approaches. Seriously, there is something street theater about seeing someone grilling up sausages with all the condiments that go with it at the corner of W Pico Blvd and S Figueroa St. That is sometimes more entertaining than a discussion of yaoi manga.
You can go to something a bit more upscale, mentioning places like The Triple Eight or Wolfgang Puck’s eatery. But those are pricier and if you come in, wearing your KanColle outfit, you may not get a seat.
You can eat at the restaurant at the hotel, but I find that those prices are at least on a par with the more tony dining spots and if they were any darker, I’d need a Miner’s Hat to see what I’m eating.
I honestly dread eating at the Convention Center itself, as it is done cafeteria style and there is almost no place to actually sit down and eat without feeling like you have to shove it all into your gaping pie hole as fast as you can before you miss the next showing of KanColle. OK, it is nutritious-ish and convenient, but it reminds me of my days at the dorms. It serves a function.
There is one additional option: a grocery store.
Yes, located on 645 W 9th Street (9th and Flower) is a Ralph’s grocery store (“Where no prices are lower prices than Ralph’s!”). And I’m not talking one of those stores that cover the basics, like two moldy apples and the warmest beer in town; I mean a full-on grocery store. Look, there are days that you want something more than the burgers-hot dogs-sandwich nexus that is usually found around these venues. And since it is a grocery store, there are reasonable prices. Great hours (5 am to 2 am every day) and a massive stocking of booze. It is not unusual to see people lugging out suitcases of beer and the place is well lit to boot. You never want to feel you are going to get zetzed by someone lurking in the shadows at the stroke of midnight. They steal all your beer and remove parts of your KanColle cosplay costume.
I know I’d like to go back to the hotel and enjoy a repast in a degree of solitude, lounging on my massive bed, maybe watching a showing of ‘Battleship”, but with something nourishing and substantial. There are days when a cold-as-night orange juice and a Cobb salad is pure ambrosia. And it might only cost you a fiver. This is one reason we lug along a cooler. Look, I can pinch ice from the ice machine one floor down, have some milk and OJ and fruit inside of it and maybe a cold bottle of some long-neck Teutonic brew. I can take advantage of a potential continental breakfast (not all places have them, but there is usually a coffee station in the lobby) and live high on the hog, so I can save money to get that KanColle body pillow (Oh, Nagato, what a superstructure!)
This is what you learn when you go to enough of these things, how to prepare yourself properly to make the trip so you keep unwanted surprises to a minimum.
For me, the big drag about meals is that I have to sacrifice something at the venue I wanted to see to grab some vittles. Last time I was here, I missed out on a bunch of stuff, as I had to eat. And passing out from hunger is not a good option. Perhaps a bento box is a good idea and save it up for a decent dinner. I do understand that the Bonaventure has a brewing company on premises, so that might be a nice treat.
More to follow, as this is far from over.