I finally made it down to Damianos, down in West Hollywood. My parents have been bugging me to go here, since we moved to LA almost 2 years ago. When I was little, we’d take trips to visit my cousin, who lived in West Hollywood. My dad would always order Damiano’s pizza and I just have such fond memories of it, and that little cluttered apartment we’d stay in while we were there. Eating pizza, coloring and tracing Mickey Mouse in my little books, the plastic palm trees and props my cousin would bring home from music videos he’d be working on. I’d always try to persuade him to get me Debbie Gibson and Cyndi Lauper’s autograph, but it never happened.

Anyway, this past weekend we stopped by Damianos to eat some pizza, before cutting my hair AGAIN. The interior reminded me of little 80’s bars down in Waimalu, my mom would drag me to when I was a kid. She’d take me with her to pick up pupus for my dad, and I would sit around on those little box-shaped pac man machines and play till the food was ready.

We sat down in a shiny black booth and it took a while for my eyes to adjust to the dimly lit room. I noticed a strand of green lights, weaving through old, framed, beer posters, and that faint, familiar smell of dough and pizza sauce. Memories started flashing back to me. Plane rides and UNO games, dominos and Disneyland, Huntington Beach and Grandma’s black cat Tom, walks on the beach, Beverly Center, little vintage shops on Melrose, and my Dad’s compulsive hunts for imported rock c.ds. It’s funny how certain smells can bring you right back to a certain place and time and invoke such strong emotion.

I’m glad to know this place is still around. A little piece of childhood, still standing around in West Hollywood.

AND, the pizza was just as I remembered it to be : )


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