This post comes to us from KCRW’s Program Director for News, Gary Scott.

Back in late August, I got roped into a jury trial that I knew would never end. And it almost didn’t. Fourteen days of testimony and six days of deliberations. That’s a lot of lunches.

Because L.A. Superior Court is surrounded by big cultural institutions (MOCA, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the street vendor across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, etc.) it takes time to walk to affordable and interesting places to eat. And I made that walk more than a few times, but there were other times when the courthouse cafeteria was the best option. That’s because I was making near daily phones calls to my colleagues at KCRW, where I’d gotten a promotion only a few weeks before being sucked into the civic void of jury service, and I needed to stay in touch.

Overpriced short ribs, strange sushi-langistino combinations aside, and chance encounters with defendants aside, the courthouse cafeteria was the best alternative to an interesting lunch. It had two distinct and rare advantages over the competition: a beautiful view of downtown Los Angeles and good cell phone reception.

The cafeteria was nice, as far as things go. The salad choices were spare, the grub uninspiring, and the lunch lines unusually long. Nothing like a captive audience, I guess. I’ve had worse food – everything was digestible, although I broke a plastic knife trying to saw into the rib meat. The salad ingredients were fresh; it was the clumpy dressing that left scored low. And the makeshift tables made for private, if not ergonomically perfect, accommodations. Please enjoy the pictures and hope that when you’re number gets called, it’s not a 20 day sentence.

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