About seven years ago, my sweetie, Jim, and I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day by making reservations at one of our favorite restaurants—Anarbagh Indian Cuisine in Woodland Hills.
We dressed up! I wore my pearls and a pink cashmere sweater; Jim looked dapper in a jacket and tie.
Full of anticipation for a lovely evening out, we arrived only to discover an angry crowd inside the entrance of the restaurant and a minimum 45-minute wait.
Apparently, Anarbagh was overbooked and overwhelmed with Valentine’s Day couples not releasing their tables and there was no chance of any of us being seated any time soon.
Indeed, we observed people at tables just casually lingering over their meals, wine and coffee, completely uncaring about the large, restless, and complaining crowd gathering in the lobby.
We certainly didn’t want our dinner night spoiled by this bad scene, and we were sure that if we had stayed, we would be too hungry and upset to enjoy it—not at all what we had planned for our nice romantic evening.
Disappointed, we cancelled our reservation and walked out.
It was already 7 p.m. and despairing of finding another restaurant that wasn’t already crowded, we were resigned to going back home and eating peanut butter sandwiches in front of the TV.
As Jim and I reached our car, we looked up and spotted a place right in front of us where we could eat—The Habit Burger Grill, a fast food restaurant on Ventura Blvd.
Well, “What the heck, why not?” We felt decadent, slightly giddy, and entirely freed from the pressures of trying to enjoy a fancy, romantic dinner at a crowded restaurant while being rushed by the waiters.
Instead, we walked into The Habit and chose to have our leisurely and relaxing evening at a burger joint. And we were not alone; tables were filled with families and other couples dressed to the nines.
Jim and I ordered two double burger specials, soft drinks, and sweet potato fries, all for under $20. The service was friendly and the food was fast, fresh, and delicious!
Laughing, we enjoyed our hot, juicy burgers while we dipped our fries in ketchup. It never mattered that our meal was wrapped in paper and served on a plastic tray.
Ever since, The Habit has become our very best romantic Valentine’s Day out!