Wednesday, June 26, 2002


1. Roscoe's
2. Zankou
3. Versailles
4. Reel Inn
5. Bay Cities
6. Phillipe's The Original
7. Yang Chow
8. Hot Wings
9. Fatburger
10. Poquito Mas

This is the previously promised list of my favorite non-fancy LA restaurants. I encourage all Los Angelenos who disagree with my choices or dispute the order they're in to show me the error of my ways. I'm always willing to try new places, and if I think you're right, I'll revise the list accordingly. If anybody else anywhere in the world wants to send me their city's ten greasy pieces list, I'll read it, but I can't get too excited 'cause I don't live there.

Bon appetit.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002


It's five in the morning. What am I doing up watching soccer? The United States is out of the tournament, I don't particularly care for either of these teams, and I'm exhausted. I am also addicted. I can't get enough World Cup. There are a total of four games left, one of them being a consolation game for third place, and I don't want to miss any of them. Besides, it'll be another four years until I have to set the alarm to wake up in the middle of the night so as not to miss a match. Incidentally, it's halftime, with the Germans and South Koreans locked in a scoreless tie.

I don't have much in the way of consistent thoughts right now. I have that unsettled feeling in my stomach that I always associate with waking up at five in the morning to get ready for school trips to DisneyWorld. It's as if your stomach is speaking for your whole body when it says, "What the hell are we doing up?" My head is cloudy in that "neither here nor there" kind of way. I'm not sleeping, but I'm not really up. Sometimes, in this condition, you can slip into a state of heightened clarity and inspiration. Now is not one of those times. To quote REM, "My mind is racing, as it always will. My hand is tired, my heart aches. I'm half a world away." However, that's no excuse, so I'm going to attempt to scatter my thoughts on the page as they are in my mind.

I saw "Minority Report" on opening day, which was Friday, the first day of summer, my birthday. Before I get into the actual film, I must urge all those who have not seen a movie at the Cinerama Dome to do so immediately. This was the third blockbuster ("Lord of the Rings" and "Spiderman") I've seen at the newly-revamped Dome, now part of the Arclight theater complex, which now boasts 14 additional theaters, a lobby that resembles a futuristic airport and includes a gift shop and cafe, and the best concession stand in movie theater history. I am now convinced you have to see big movies there. The theater requires an event film to best utilize its tremendous accoutrements. "Minority Report" is an ideal movie to see at the Dome, a visual feast that makes use of every inch of the massive curved screen and takes advantage of the phenomenal sound system to showcase its superior sound design. "Minority Report" can be described as a futuristic Hitchcockian version of "The Fugitive", and a worthy cousin of "Blade Runner." If you are anywhere near Los Angeles, I highly recommend paying a visit to The Dome, grabbing a gourmet sausage, some caramel popcorn, and a mango smoothie from the snack bar, and taking in the gripping sensation that is "Minority Report."

Germany just scored a goal to take a one-nil lead on South Korea. Michael Ballack, the goal-scorer in the game against the United States, sent home a rebound off the Korean keeper, just moments after he picked up his second yellow card of the knockout round. If Germany advances to the Final, Ballack will not be able to play.

My Girl and I went downtown twice this weekend for some eats. It was her first time dining at Phillipe's The Original, and she was not disappointed by the scrumptious meal of beef dip sandwiches, a bowl of chili, a side of cole slaw, and a towering slice of apple pie for dessert. It was also her first time experiencing the deliciousness that is Yang Chow in Chinatown. The two great meals have compelled me to compile a list of my favorite LA restaurants that don't cost you an arm, a leg, and your dignity. However, I need more data before I publish the list. Check back for details.

The semifinal game just ended, and so did the dream run of co-host South Korea. Germany wins 1-0 and moves on to the Final. South Korea will play in the consolation game in Korea this weekend. I am numb... Not because I am stunned at the result of the game, but due to extreme exhaustion. I'm going back to bed.