Hannah: The important thing to remember is WHY we went to L.A. for Christmas. Do you?
I CAN NO LONGER REMEMBER
I JUST FLOAT WITH THE WIND
Hannah: To go see Les Mis at that fancy movie theater!
Edward: Oh yeah! That was a long way to go to see a movie. Also, now we’re going to seem like crazy Les Mis superfans.
Hannah: I’m not sure why I didn’t feel well later that night, I only ate a bunch of fried seafood, a big-ass coffee drink, movie theater food, soda, candy, and then corned beef super late at night. What could go wrong???
Edward: *sad trombone*
Hannah: What is the name of that theater?
Edward: The ArcLight — the fanciest theater in the world!
Hannah: Yes. And we went to see Les Mis on Christmas Day. It was pretty crowded. Here are the two celebrities I saw:
and Lea Michele
Lea Michele was in the bathroom at the same time as me.
My Brush With Fame.
Edward: As a one-time L.A. resident, I can attest that those sightings represent the typical fame range of celebrity sightings.
Also, the locations where such celebrity sightings occur.
By the way, people of Earth, if you ever visit Los Angeles, you have to check out the ArcLight Hollywood. It will make all other multiplex experiences seem like being pelted with rocks and shoved into a barrel full of starving weasels.
The theater has reserved seating, none of those obnoxious pre-movie ads, minimal trailers, enforced rules about cell phone use and general noise making, and my favorite — no one is allowed in the theater after the movie starts.
Also, in the lobby you can get some ridiculously good coffee, served by severe-looking young Germanic staff dressed like Dieter in “Sprockets.”
Hannah: Oooh yeah
Hannah: So, well, the movie food isn’t worth talking about, and we dont’ have pics, so next is…
Edward: Fun fact: the Arclight discourages people from bringing babies to shows by actually charging full adult price for kids under 2 at peak hours!
So baby privileges are thereby reserved to the wealthy, while the riff raff must shell out for a babysitter or stay away.
Hannah: Do you mean the hoi polloi?
Edward: Doesn’t “hoi polloi” sound like it should be a delicious Hawaiian dish?
Made of the tears of native Hawaiians under the subjugation of Western imperialism.
Hannah: *sad trombone*
We should make one called poi haole.
Edward: Poi haole should be a hot dog.
Hannah: Served with poi and spam?
Edward: It would save a lot of grief from people seeing the poi and going wtf is that
Hannah: “Yo dog, we heard you like weird gross pork bits meat in tubes, so we put gross pork bits meat in squares on top!”
Kid pointing to bowl of grayish substance: “What is that?”
Dad: “It’s poi, son.”
Kid: “You ain’t kidding!”
*dad leaps out of frame*
OK we’d better move on!
This is why our L.A. recap is in multiple parts instead of being three paragraphs.
That place is kind of a blur. I was super tired from driving all day (or, riding), and it was late!
Edward: After the movie, we headed over to Canter’s Deli, which is a 24-hour joint and an old school L.A. institution.
Hannah: I ate corned beef! I think I picked it out of the sandwich because i don’t like rye bread all that much. I remember that, and orange soda?
Edward: I had a plate of pickled herring in cream sauce.
Hannah: And a bagel.
Edward: I love pickled herring, but I was only able to eat a little of it. It was…TOO MUCH HERRING
Hannah: Plus you ate a seafood tornado earlier in the day. A “literal” “tornado” of “seafood.”
Personally, I think the food at Canter’s is OK, but you’re really there mostly because (a) it’s one in the morning, and (b) you want to see some freaks. And the freaks include both patrons and waitstaff.
Hannah: Remember there was a loud band?
Edward: Yeah, although I can’t remember what kind of music they played. Which is odd because we were seated RIGHT BY THE BAND
You know when you go to eat at a place, and there’s a band playing, and you didn’t go there to see the band, nor do you especially want to have a band playing while you eat, and it’s kind of awkward because you’re avoiding eye contact with the band?
Hannah: I think it was classic wrock.
Man, I was mostly just tired, and consequently, crabby.
Edward: Yeah, we were beat from an evening of mingling with fancy folk and going to the bathroom with Glee cast members.
We ordered a bunch of food that we barely even ate, which is totes an L.A. thing to do.
Hannah: Uh, because who wants creamed herring in a hotel room with no fridge. Are you crazy????
Edward: But creamed herring is delicious!
BTW, you’ll find that we have almost no photos of any people in these restaurants, because people in L.A. have a weird ability to sense when they’re being photographed.
Hannah: Not that we’re all the time trying to take photos of people. I feel we go out of our way to not.
Edward: No, but they’re just in the frame.
At Canter’s though I really wanted to photograph most of the people there. It was full of freaks.
Edward: I mean not like backstage at a New York Dolls concert, just like wacky L.A. characters.
Hannah: Holy crap, we’re not even on Day 2 yet???
Edward: THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYING
Edward: In the morning we went across the street to the Fairfax Farmer’s Market, which is a big permanent market next to The Grove shopping center, which is hideous!
We first encountered the Fairfax market a few years back, when we visited L.A. to see Wicked at the Pantages in Hollywood. Does it not seem kind of weird that we keep traveling to L.A. to see musicals? I didn’t think I was that huge a fan of musicals, but apparently I’m willing to cross state lines to see one.
Hannah: It seems appropriate.
I’m not clear on where The Grove was in relation to our hotel (which was AWESOMELY located) but it seemed far.
Anyway, the Farmer’s Market was the other reason we went to LA!
Edward: Right, we fell in love with the market the first time we were there. It’s just rows and rows of stands selling awesome food! BBQ, Spanish tapas, Korean, French, Mediterranean, Cajun, Sushi, Singaporean…all kinds of deliciousness. There’s a French bakery where we got these tasty macarons…you can literally spend an entire day there just hanging out and eating a bit of this and that.
Macarons at the Normandie Bakery
Edward: And browsing through the many cool shops and fresh produce stalls.
Did you like Bob’s Donuts? I thought the coffee was good.
Hannah: Yes. Man, this is making me want to go back!!
Edward: Me too!!
Hannah: I do like Bob’s Donuts!
Edward: My favorite part of the visit was going to the market in the morning before it got busy, and just hanging out, drinking coffee, eating pastry, and reading. The market is open-air, and there’s a courtyard with tables where you can sit and eat.
If you love food, there’s something amazing about the market in a way that makes me feel like I’m ten years old, you know what I mean?
You’re surrounded by all these different food stalls that are all offering great food.
Hannah: Yes, but I feel like when we were there it was too overwhelming in some ways. Like, I wanted to try a bunch of stuff, but I feel like we tried very little.
Edward: Yeah, there was no way we could try more than a fraction of what was on offer. I could have spent a day just sampling stuff from the Cajun stall.
What was your favorite thing you had there?
Hannah: It’s all kind of a blur. To be honest, I think it’s the donuts.
For me I think it was the one I believe is called Magee’s Kitchen — the lunch counter with the crazy random items.
Hannah: Oh, yes, the roast beef.
Edward: That’s the one where you can get a corned beef sandwich….and enchiladas!
And Mac & Cheese!
Edward: Oh man, the roast beef and mac & cheese were delicious! Pure comfort food!
Edward: That was a fun experience, but it was a little too crazy there due to it being the holidays and zillions of tourists coming through town.
I say “tourists” as if we were not also tourists, since we had been there once before and were therefore locals.
Hannah: I think that was it. So many many people everywhere was a shock for this little country mouse.
Edward: Oh for sure…there aren’t many crowds in the United States like Los Angeles holiday crowds!
That evening, we tried Currywurst for the first time.
Currywurst is something we had never heard of before, but it’s apparently a super-popular fast food in Germany! It’s very simple — just a steamed/fried pork sausage that’s sliced up and slathered with curry ketchup.
Hannah: Currywurst was a delightful surprise!
Who knew that curry ketchup was the sauce flavor sensation we’d been waiting for??
Edward: WHO INDEED KNEW
Curry ketchup is delicious! It’s really the only way I want to have ketchup now.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I think Currywurst ended up being my favorite meal of our entire L.A. trip. Something I had never tried before, that was delicious, not expensive, and served up by some extremely pleasant people.
The sausage and sauce were delicious, and the garlic fries were EXTREMELY GARLICKY AND DELICIOUS
Basically, everything was delicious.
Hannah: It was so good we had it the next night, too, instead of going elsewhere.
Edward: That’s right — we actually gave up a precious food consumption slot for a repeat of Currywurst!
By the way, it should be noted that at no time during this trip were we actually hungry, in the sense of having empty stomachs. It was just a continuous process of topping off.
Hannah: So sad.
Let’s mention that we also went to the Griffith Park Observatory, and another movie. So it doesn’t seem like all we did was stuff ourselves and crawl back to our hotel.
Edward: That’s true, we did actually move our limbs in ways not related to eating food, or moving toward food.
Hannah: Although I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the only other place we ate twice was the amazing restaurant attached to our hotel. Proximity as a factor weighed heavily in our choices!!
Edward: There is that!
To be concluded…