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CHOW Tour: North America: Follow along with Chowhound cofounder Jim Leff as he crisscrosses North America on a monumental road trip in search of hyperdeliciousness. You never know where he might turn up...

Follow along with Chowhound cofounder Jim Leff as he crisscrosses North America on a monumental road trip in search of hyperdeliciousness. You never know where he might turn up...

Los Angeles, CA

North America Dispatch #65: Big Dog Down

Los Angeles

A horrendous stomach flu is ravaging the West Coast, and my digestive tract is ground zero. After waking up violently ill with high fever, I somehow manage to trek from my hotel to a nearby 7-Eleven to pick up an array of stomach medications and electrolyte-rich sports drinks.

Next to the 7-Eleven is, somewhat miraculously (a hallucination?), a great-looking place called M & M Mississippi Home Cooking (5496 West Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, California; 310-215-8186).

This find under these conditions could only be providence, and providence must never be ignored … however much I’d like to run screaming in the other direction. So I stoically pull myself together and walk in to place my takeout order. In light of my utter lack of appetite and stomach like a vortex of everything evil, I stick to vegetables …

... plus the good corn muffins that came with:

I don’t eat very much, and am not of much mind for detail, but I manage to grimly determine that this is some relatively serious soul food.

I somehow get back to the hotel, where I spend the better part of a week not venturing from my room and consuming only Pedialyte and Gatorade. My sole contact with the outside world comes from the increasingly urgent pounding on my door by housekeeping ladies who’ve begun to wonder whether to ask the rescue squad to break in and remove the corpse.


Get yourself up the street to Pann's. La Tierra, Centinela & La Cienega. Or go to Phillips on Centinela east of La Cienega!

You're a trouper, Jim! My whole family (except lucky me!) had that (my BIL gave it to my sister who gave it to my Mom who gave it to my Dad). It could be norovirus -- there were a couple of documented outbreaks in Northern California last month. Highly contagious and highly unpleasant! Hope you feel better soon!



"It's been an unusually big year for norovirus, said Dr. Howard Backer, chief of the immunization branch of the California Department of Health Services. The department does not track individual cases of norovirus but does investigate outbreaks."

This is so funny. My husband and I and our kids all got the flu here in N.Cal 2 weeks ago. The night before the flu hit us we had collard greens, corn bread, sausage and good ol fashioned Lipton iced tea. It tasted great, but when the flu hit us the next night, the thought of any southern soul cooking and Lipton iced tea makes me want to throw up. The flu has passed but my queesyness towards those dishes continues.

I'm the same way with Gennessee beer, Kristyn, ever since college in Rochester.

Note that these reports are playing on a pretty substantial time delay, btw, everyone.

Sympathies...La Gripe apparently shows no mercy and is an equal opportunity employer. Glad you had time to enjoy M&M...good collards and love the sweet potato pie.

your theories about food enjoyment (i.e. your take on the apple pan) make you my main gastro-hero.
if you're still in L.A. (and your belly is up for it), i highly recommend Mario's Peruvian on Melrose. great ceviche and the most sublime of dishes: saltado di mariscos. seafood cooked with tomatoes, onions AND french fries! truly genus.

Big Dog,
My thoughts are with you. Here in good old Motown 10 of my fellow office mates and I were felled by the same evil virus--delivered, heartbreakingly, in the form of a gorgeous and delicious birthday cake. Two weeks later, I'm just now recovering. I refer to it as the "quick and ugly weight loss" diet. Ick.