Sophia Battles the Ramen Burger (and crawls home sobbing)

Why does this exist? © 2015 Sophia Chang

Why does this exist? © 2015 Sophia Chang

I'm supposed to be on a diet, which means I work out everyday and end up famished every night.

After candlelight yoga tonight, I just wasn't in the mood for the defrosting steak and 99 Ranch napa cabbage waiting to be cooked at home.

I hate cooking to begin with - after all, I am the founder of #ladiescookingclub (check out our #fuckyeahfatty exploits on Instagram) whose slogan is "Who's cooking? Not us!" and all I wanted was someone to bring saturated fats directly to my mouth like a true American.

10pm in the outer OUTER San Gabriel Valley left me only one option on Yelp: Cha Cafe.

It was time.

Cha Cafe's claim to fame is their ramen burger, served after 4:30pm in limited quantity - pre-reservations encouraged.

I'd been saving this moment for the right time, and that time - still sore from hip-hop last night and sleepy from my Downton Abbey marathon - was now. I called ahead and with an hour to closing the infamous burger was available.

"Do you want that with a fried egg as well?"

Of course I did. I placed an order for takeout.

Sophia Meets the Devil

Ten minutes later I waltzed in, giddy with the illicitness of my impromptu cheat meal, and declared I was too hungry to take it out; I would be dining in, if you please.

"I'll get you set up," the cheerful cashier said, even calling my AMEX card the restaurant's best friend. I should have known then I was walking into my destruction.

Barely able to contain myself long enough to take the Instagram photo, I dove into the deep-fried potato chips. CHIPS. I don't think I ate potato chips even when I wasn't on a diet. Now I was dipping them gleefully into the tub of lard they called spicy mayo.

My god potatoes cooked in cholesterol are an eighth wonder.

I faced the burger at last.

They seasoned the ramen. Before frying it in cardiac arrest.

To my credit, which was fastly depleting as I scarfed my new MSG-laden best friend, I only ate 2/3 of the burger. 

By the time I put the burger down, the bloodlust had dissipated. I looked down at the carnage, as dismayed as a new vampire whose closest artery was her own mother.

I stumbled out on shaky legs, dizzy as a new crackwhore, and hurried to my car, clutching the box of leftovers to my chest in shame. 

I had that feeling I imagine you get when you realize should have listened to your friend who told you not to go to that frat party or partake in that wet tee-shirt contest over spring break.

But now the pics are out; it did happen; there's no taking it back.

In a haze of hypoglycemic insanity, I took on the Cha Cafe ramen burger. Now, as I sip apple cider vinegar waiting for my stomach to stop resembling a profile of Hitchcock, I'm not certain it was worth it.

As a reporter for the LA Times told me over a double dessert last weekend, "You only live once."

*Bonus points if you can name the song this title alludes to!