The Militant went on a classified mission to The Westside on Sunday night, which was eventually aborted, but the silver lining in the cloud was that he discovered a little "village" atmosphere nestled away in Palms.
National Blvd, which was once a fine, straight thoroughfare before the Santa Monica Freeway got built in the late 1950s-early 1960s, was forced to go all twisty, resulting in confusing directions and strange 90-degree turns in many places (which has caused many an accident, including one on this night, where a white Chevy SUV dented the driver-side doors of a black Prius - pictured above). One of them is just west of Motor Ave. where a neato little retail district has been built around the sharp curve. Here sprouts Cheviot Farms market and deli, an Indonesian restaurant (the consul general-approved Indo Cafe, where the Militant conducted some research for his little ice dessert quest) and an Indonesian Market and Cafe (Simpang Asia, where the Militant sampled some fried, filled appetizer goodies called risoles and krokets). The street also sports a vegan restaurant, a Szechuan diner, a bar/karaoke joint, a gelato shop, an antique store and a hipster-ish hat shop.
Around the corner on Motor Ave. was a little neighborhood pizza joint, an Iranian Islamic mosque and cultural center and an Italian Restaurant But the biggest surprise for the Militant was inadvertently stumbling into The Palmer Room, which adjoins the restaurant and is one of the up-and-coming venues for music and comedy in town. The Militant, though an avowed non-Westsider, grudgingly admits that if he was forced to live in the Westside (via methods that would warrant some sort of human rights violation), he'd choose this little neighborhood...but not until after the second phase of the Exposition Line gets finished out there.