There is a restaurant in Los Angeles called Milky Way. Before you think this is just a shitty Yelp review, there’s a punchline to this.
The name comes from its status as a kosher Jewish dairy restaurant, meaning no meat, only fish and dairy. We drove past it last week, and Googled it because it looked like a Scientology detox center spa from the outside. Turns out it has been owned by Steven Spielberg’s mother Leah for years and years, and she holds court there during its limited operating hours.
We went for dinner this week and were greeted right at the door by Mother Spielberg. She flits about from table to table. She walked up to us (there were only two or three other tables occupied) and asked if she knew what their claim to fame was. I lied and said I didn’t, because I didn’t want to say “Ummm, Steve Spielberg?” and have her go, “No, child! The smelt fish!” But no, she’s incredibly proud of young Steven, there are posters of his movies and pictures of him everywhere. The right answer was indeed, “I’m Steven Spielberg’s mother.”
We ordered the spinach crepes and potato latke pancakes, with a delicious homemade chunky applesauce-type substance. Mother Spielberg returned and asked how we were enjoying everything. I told her the applesauce was especially delicious, and she went back herself to get us more. When she asked what I did, I told her I was a mortician. “Oh my dear, you don’t look at all like a mortician.”
Needless to say, I’ve gotten that before.
This is me not looking like a Mortician.
She went on to tell me how much she admired what I did, which gave me time to sit there and think this is a very weird experience. She asked if my job changed my perception of the world and, to my credit, I came up with: “When you see a lot of death, it makes the latke applesauce taste especially good.” This seemed to satisfy Mother S.
If you’re an LA person, you should really go and eat delicious food and have your career assessed. Highly recommended.