THE DIEHARD CALIFORNIAN
Technically, Wanda Clayton grew up in Louisiana. But the first thing she proclaims when we sit down to pick her brain while she tries out the Sweet Barbecue Bacon Buttermilk Crispy Chicken sandwich is, “The West Coast is the Best Coast.” Why? “Easy,” she says. “I love the weather and there’s so much more opportunity here. I came when I was seventeen, so it was a big deal to me, that life in California felt so unsegregated.” A self-proclaimed foodie, she more than approves of the new recipes on the menu: “I think I’m in love.”
For the record, Wanda boasts lots of love. Basketball, movies (including her recent favorite, Hidden Figures), but above all, her husband. She met Kalvin Washington in a bowling alley when they were in their twenties. “He was a tough nut to crack,” she says, shooting him a sidelong glance. “He came up in foster care. I was amazed at how he’d taken care of himself, coming from such a difficult background. He was always so humble and I wanted to show him there was a better world out there.” So, the story goes, Wanda showed him the world and the world is better for the couple’s unique flavor of love.