Today Claire and I met Bob for a sandwich at a little place in Pasadena called Happy Trails. It's primarily a catering business, but they open up and serve lunch for a couple hours.
You go inside and order from a little menu (it changes each week) (I had the garlic roast beef sandwich, because it said "garlic" and "beef"), and you help yourself to water, tea, or lemonade from pitchers on the counter if that's what you want to drink. If you want soda, they hand you a can.
You sit out in the garden to eat. (There aren't any seats inside ... it is a tiny building that looks to have once been the garage for the house next door to it, which is now another business.)
To get to the garden, you go back out through the front door, the way you came in, and walk down the side of the building to the back.
There is also self-serve water, tea, and lemonade out back, as well as napkins and plastic utensils. The napkins are in a little basket, and a rock is holding them down so they don't blow away. It is as if you are in someone's backyard for a picnic. Somebody brings your sandwich to you on a paper plate.
It's genius, because it's such a simple (and delicious) operation.
Because really, what more do you want from lunch than a really good sandwich while you are sitting outside under a gigantic camphor tree in pretty weather, with people you like, and the option to go get some more lemonade whenever you feel like it?