13 January 2005
The OC Weekly surveys the "97 best American restaurants" in their area, and Norm's is #1: "Snicker all you want, but hear my story first: Norm’s is my America. Norm’s is where I first learned the joys of steak, of flooding a glistening sirloin with the sanguine tang of A-1 Sauce, of gumbo. Norm’s is where I find true multicultural consciousness—blacks, Latinos, Asians, whites; Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus; teens, toddlers, coffin-dodgers, the middle-aged—all squirming in itchy plastic tables while scarfing down cheap grub. Norm’s is where my family goes after a funeral, after morning Mass, for Christmas, New Year’s or a birthday. Norm’s is where my father, a proud citizen for almost 20 years, always asks my mother—whom he disrespects at all other times—"Honey, what do I order all the time?" Where he continues to mispronounce what he’s ordered without deviation for 30 years—"One T-bone esteak y eggs." Norm’s is where... I ate after staying out past midnight for the first time, where—for the only time in my life—I asked a total stranger for her number (she said no). Norm’s is comforting, loving and nostalgic. And their mineral-packed liver and onions is delish. Located on every third corner of the Free World.