Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dispatch from the SoCal beat

I've been out of town for almost three weeks in sunny Southern California, and, as is my way, went into a pretty thorough blog-shutdown mode while on vacation. This led to leaving a big downer as my last post for a period of almost two weeks (sorry!). I assure you, I was not spending the last two weeks mourning as much as enjoying everything Sunny CA had to offer. Since it looks like I'll be back there soon, methinks I'll be adding SoCal as another part of my beat ("a Northwesterner writes about life in the Southwest?").

A couple highlights:
  • ArcLight Movie Binge. The ArcLight cinemas boast the finest audio and visual experience of any theater in the nation. DW2 and I went over there first to see The Wrestler -- which is a stupid movie to use to appreciate these things given the movie's deliberately gritty video style. So... I went back there with my good friend J.J. and proceeded to watch Milk, Revolutionary Road, and Frost/Nixon...
    All great movies!, and as of today's check, Winston-Salem is 0 for 4 on showing any of them.

  • Weather! I was in Palm Springs for Christmas, and so instead of having a White Christmas somewhere, I was resigned to plucking grapefruits, lemons, limes, and oranges off the trees in 65 degree weather. I had a lot of time to miss the chilly winter weather I've been accustomed to as I drank fresh-squeezed orange juice by the pool.

  • Food, food, food! I was very intent on following Cindy Price's path up the California coast to try some of her picks for the finest tacos around. Unfortunately, we hit Santa Barbara on a day when all of the taco joints were closed. J.J. and I thus shifted gears and discovered The Palace, which served Cajun food, and where I had some of the best scallops I've ever had... they were so perfectly cooked that they melted in your mouth. Back in LA, we discovered Jitlada, rumored to serve the hottest Thai food in Thai-town. We tried the Thai mussels, which featured the biggest mussels I've ever seen (and also the greenest) in a sort of lemongrass broth. For the record: Thai basil is amazing on mussels.
There is much more to write about from the L.A. experience. However, suffice it to say that outside of 8-dollar beers at some places on the Sunset Strip, L.A. was not quite the contemptible town that I had prepared myself to encounter. I can't wait to go back!


Lucy said...

Harumph. I think what you meant to say was, "GOD I MISSED ALL OF WINSTON'S CHARM, AND I'M SO GLAD TO BE HOME."

I'll consider this post a typo.

-DW- said...

Sorry Esbee! I really wanted to hate L.A., but I just couldn't do it.

But you know it's true: I MISSED ALL OF WINSTON'S CHARM, and I'M SO GLAD TO BE HOME!!

I've been craving me some Sweet Potatoes lately -- maybe you'll see me there...

Lucy said...

Ha, avoiding simplyummy now, aren't you!

I don't need you to hate L.A. I just need you to love here more. :)

Lucy said...

Oh, and I also need you to go adopt Sadie.


jarymane said...

I remember trying and failing to hate LA.

Stupid California.

sarahsouth said...

adopt sadie! adopt sadie!

DarcyLaine said...

I also tried to hate L.A. and failed. I even bought a "Tipanga Canyon" shirt there.

On the movie front, what did you like best out of the four you saw?

No Slumdog Millionaire yet? Make sure it's your next pick. It's kind of a big deal.

-DW- said...

Oh, I saw Slumdog in Charlotte just a couple days before heading to L.A., which is why it wasn't on that list.

Here's my picks of those five in order of preference (& also with grades):

1. Slumdog Millionaire (A+)
2. Frost/Nixon (A+)
3. Milk (A-)
4. Revolutionary Road (A-)
5. The Wrestler (B)

Unknown said...

See? LA is irresistible! You'll just have to come back sooner rather than later ;-)