Category Archives: Dining

Anthony Hopkins Plays Baal

Aerobic exorciseWe went to see the new Anthony Hopkins film The Rite this evening. When we got home we were pretty hungry. Sure, we had bought the large tub of popcorn, but only because it’s easier to carry than the paper bags, and has a stable base so you can set it on the seat next to you with no fears of an avalanche. No way were we going to eat more than 7% of the contents, nor did we, and so, upon returning to our little bungalow on Mulholland Drive, the first stop was the fridge.

Lo and behold! What did we see but the second half of the “Kung Pao Chicken Salad” we’d bought earlier at Gelson’s Deli. Did we make short work of it? And how!

You know what got us most about the salad? The bean sprouts. Yup: bean sprouts! The funny thing is, we don’t normally go for bean sprouts in a big way. They seem a little too health-foody, if you know what we mean. Like hay for cows. But tonight they seemed, instead, fresh and crunchy. Just the thing after seeing a movie about exorcism set in Rome, “the Eternal City,” and starring Anthony Hopkins, a Welsh actor. It was swell to see the great Irish actor, Ciarán Hinds, in a small role as a lecturer on demonic possession. There were many Roman cats in the movie. You’d like them.

After we had polished off the Kung Pao Chicken, we were mighty tempted to nom down on a couple of Eggo toaster waffles spread with lemon curd, but the late hour forbade.


Lines Written After Reading “Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant”

I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?

—— From Henry IV, Part One, Act iii, Scene 1

Owen Glendower dissed by Hotspur, Henry IV, Part One, Act III, Scene 1

From Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant

…the two of them made some mutual arrangement. Then they smiled at each other, again without any sense of surprise or excitement, as if long on famiiar terms, and the waitress retired from the table. Barnby handed the stump of pencil back to Maclintick. We vacated the restaurant.

‘Like Glendower, Barnby,’ said Maclintick, ‘you can call spirits from the vasty deep. With Hotspur, I ask you, will they come?’

‘That’s to be seen,’ said Barnby. ‘By the way, what is her name? I forgot to ask.’


— Anthony Powell

Glendower Calls the Spirits

The world we touch and smell and taste,
The world we hear and see
Pays homage to the vasty deep
In which it soon will be,

But giving memory its due
(Which is to say: a lot),
The things we touch, smell, taste and hear
And see are all it’s not.

Someone Slipped Me a Mickey

Where did you and the entire family go on Friday?

I went with the entire family to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

How wonderful! Did you see Goofy?

Hyuh!Yes. He marked the floor where we parked.

Did you see Mickey Mouse?

Left to right: Some guy, Mickey Mouse.Yes. He signed autographs on Main Street.

Where was Minnie Mouse? Was MINNIE there, too?

This was only one of her physical manifestations.Minnie appeared in her balloon form.

What about Donald? Donald Duck, I mean.

Mary-Ann and Gilligan have an audience with Donald Duck.I know who you meant, of course. Yes, Donald was there in multiplicity. Here an inflated Donald stretches his arms as if to embrace the throng of parade goers.

There seem to be many forms of each of the Disney characters. Was there a flower arrangement depicting the head of Mickey Mouse?

The 102° heat only made the flowers bloom more brightly.Right as you enter Disneyland the great floral Mickey Face welcomes you.

WERE there any images of Mickey Mouse that A PERSON can consume?

The little plastic container holds mustard for dipping your Mickey pretzel.Oh, there are many edible items. For instance, you can eat a pretzel shaped like the head of Mickey Mouse.

Looks good, but it WAS QUITE hot FRIDAY.  DID THE PARK OFFER anything colder?

Pre-bitten for your convenience.Oh, sure. You can eat all manner of frozen Mickey heads.

Did you find the place in Disneyland where you wish you could live?

I would live on churros, turkey legs and Mickey beignets..Right there. Above New Orleans.

Fest Times in Little Tokyo

Pi Nei YatasWe meant only to check out an Asian grocery called Marukai Market in Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo — we were in search of an pan — but by chance we arrived at the kick-off of Nisei Week, a festival of music, prizes, colors, crowds, shabu shabu,  and whatever Japanese stuff you can think of. In the photo above you see tanabata decorations, marking the one time of year when the star-crossed lovers Hikoboshi (the star Altair) and Orihime (the star Vega) are ferried over the Milky Way to be together.

Living Manga (on the left)Yes, there were plenty of young Japanese girls dressed in semi-Harajuku fashion, but that’s not what you see in the picture above. These kids are posing as anime characters, we know not which. Hello Kitty was there, too, celebrating Sanrio’s 50th anniversary, but our photos of Hello didn’t turn out.

Blame Kuromi

The deliciousness and variety of the food aromas drove us nigh unto madness. We opted for Korean BBQ in the spirit of diversity within diversity. Power Ranger episodes from the early 90s entertained us while we snarfed.

We dropped over a hundred at the wonderful Kinokuniya Bookstore without even trying; indeed, with much restraint. Then we toddled downstairs to the original goal of the journey, the Marukai grocery store, where we loaded up on Pocky and bean cakes. Then wearily home, with the siren song of geishas pleading with us to return, a temptation to which we will succumb before Hikoboshi and Orihime next cross the Milky Way.

Fan Girl points the way.

Dogging With the Stars

Hollywood is a lot grubbier than I imagined.

The people-watching is good but if there were any movie stars they were incognito.

Next time I'll get the dog with sauerkraut only.

I hope the dawgers get paid a lot. It's HOT in there!

In fairness, Pink's french fries are the best ever.

National Watermelon Day

Not to be confused with Andrew W. MellonDid you know that today is National Watermelon Day? Well, neither did we until a few minutes ago. In observation of so worthy a vegetable, we at NiceWork bring you this photo of actual bins of actual watermelons at an actual Ralph’s Fine Foods. It was snapped for no reason only yesterday, so the chances are good a quick visit to the Ralph’s at Topanga and Ventura will snag you one of these beauties.

If you prefer your melons shot to pieces with exploding rounds, you might want to CLICK HERE.

Not to be confused with John Cougar Mellancamp.

Saturday Review

John Scalzi’s science fiction adventure book Old Man’s War or Old Men’s War was reviewed here not too long ago. This book, from a couple of years back, is the sequel to it. It’s called The Ghost Brigades.

Some people will like it, some won’t. Most won’t even know it exists, much less read it.

Me, I’m going to the grocery store to buy some steak and maybe some garlic bread. And by some crazy coincidence, what I’m having for dinner tonight is exactly as important to you as what I thought of this book.