with a side of tartar sauce

 When I was growing up in Los Angeles, not only did the public school cafeterias adhere to “Fish Stick Fridays,” but it was a friday family tradition to head out to either Howard Johnson’s or the Redondo Beach Pier for fried clams. I didn’t learn the meaning behind fish on fridays until my teens, and when I did, I found it strange because my family is neither Catholic, or otherwise in the habit of regularly eating at hotel restaurants.  Back then it was all about those delectable though slightly chewy fried clams drenched in creamy, caloric tartar sauce. But in retrospect, it was really about a family tradition, about spending time with my brothers, sister, parents, and the occasional friend or cousin who happened to be spending the weekend with us.

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