Friday, January 24, 2020


I would like to retract my comment below about Polanco. No, not about it being meh, which is is, but about the pint size. Scott proved to me using one of our glasses at home that that was likely a pint. I struggle with a concept that toddlers master about container sizes. It's not object permanence, I think that's something else, and I have been over the game peek-a-boo for a long time, but I will often grab the way wrong container to store leftover food. I can't eyeball it.

Cooked these bad boys yesterday, learn more after the jump

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Podcast Tawk

This article on The Daily podcast in NYMag has got me shook. Michael Barbaro left his husband for producer Lisa Tobin, who was also engaged??!!?! Who knew podcasts were so sexy!! Dang those long hours in small studios I guess.

I am hooked on a couple true crime podcasts right now, even though for my overall mental wellbeing I want to listen to more music and less murder on my commute. I listened to the Kristin Smart podcast, because I read that supposedly there is going to be a break in the case. I didn't realize that they know who did it but due to police bungling they couldn't arrest the creep.

And now I'm listening to Chasing Cosby too, which is new. So terrible. Thank god for Hannibal Burress (who was so freaking funny at Harlow's last year! I think about his bit about Two Chainz' obsession with a Bentley truck a lot) but it's infuriating that a man had to say something to get momentum going on accusations that were well documented a decade prior. Also infuriating to hear a 2006 grilling that Matt Lauer gave to one of the victims, knowing what we know now about that predator (Lauer I mean).

Speaking of podcasts (which I do, a lot, but hey, 90 minute daily commute), This American Life turned me on to the writing of Robert Walser. That's him in the pic, obvs. This story of his lost (later recovered) writing that he did in a mental hospital is nuts. I'm reading The Assistant and it's really good! Almost done. Nothing happens really but it's very funny and sharply observed. The clerk's petulant rants that keep getting him in trouble are hilarious. I guess he was a favorite writer of Kafka in his day, and keeps getting forgotten and rediscovered. Very relaxing descriptions of parties and meals in a luxurious, but precariously funded, mansion in a Swiss canton (what the heck is a canton anyway and are they only in Switzerland?) The protagonist also shares the author's real love for long walks and there are multiple passages dedicated to walking into and through the larger nearby town.

I ate at Polanco last night. Meh to the nth degree. Meh cubed. It has that taken-from-a-kit type of modern decor. Geometric accents, colorful molded plastic chairs, graffiti-ish mural of beautiful woman. My shrimp tacos governador (Sinaloa-style, with melted cheese, that's their spelling on the menu, rather than gobernador) were not as good as any taco of that style I've had in Mazatlan. The tortilla was thick and borderline stiff, and they were not warm enough and had a runny thin sauce when they should have been small, greasy, cheesy crispy delicious morsels.

They serve Knee Deep Breaking Bud, which is tasty but for 7 bucks it was served in a short glass that I guess is a 12 ounce pour. So they went one better (worse) than the cheater pint that is not really 16 ounces and just thought they'd serve a small glass. It's fine, just another passionless spot in Sac.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Bye bye Luke Walton?

I went to see the King's lose to the Mavericks on Wednesday night. The nosebleed seats were 20 bucks. As a verrrrryy casual basketball fan I was aware that the big deal was that Luka is on their team and we passed on him as our draft pick, but if he had come here we would probably have made him terrible.

The most notable thing about the game was Luke Walton getting booed when he was introduced. Let's get rid of this guy. For multiple reasons.

We ate at the new Jimboy's at DoCo. Pretty standard JB, both my beef and bean tacos were good. No beer and no El Gordo on their menu. It was not crowded despite the game.  Will someone start a petition to get a Jimboy's in the arena?

The Agnes Varda autobiographical doc. was really good, although I could have taken less on her foray into visual art and installations that she got into later in life. It seemed great for her financially, since the Cartier foundation was financing it and she kept referencing them buying her pieces, but I found her art to be clumsy and not compelling. Her movies, however, I have to get to know better! I have mostly seen a few shorts through the Verge when they showed them. I want to watch Vagabond for sure, and the hippie musical one.

Turnout was huge last night at Verge. Felt almost at the capacity as far as seats being filled.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

food for thought on food writing

A friend sent me this LARB (who knew there was an LA review of books? There's some joke about LA "culture" that could go here. I guess those jokes are outdated now that LA is such a cultural and food hub, but I'm thinking of the movie LA story) long think piece on "The midlife crisis of the American restaurant review"

Maybe only KW and I will take the time to read it, you could also just skip to the writer's recommendations at the end if you don't want to read. I would add to the author's points that the length of restaurant reviews has been cut at many publications due to what I call the blurbification of writing that the internet has led to. So now even print pubs mimic the blurby feel of online pubs. At SNR I argued against word count cuts that kept getting tighter and tighter for the weekly reviews.

I agree that 2018 was a watershed year in food writing, and honestly I do feel pretty irrelevant to the conversation right now and that's ok. The world moves on.

Gioia is spot on about how the reviews that are pans bring out creativity that the raves rarely do. Food writers would do well to try to tap those same creative juices and humor for a positive review.

That said, some of the suggestions are kind of silly. Writing about an area (a few restaurants with some kind of overarching theme) with context and having more roundtable-type reviews are good suggestions. I think everyone likes reading roundtable discussions. I would often write what I called "roundups" for MidMo, but they centered around a certain cuisine or dish, so it might be deeper to write about a geographic area with context. I mean, a lot of food writers do roundups, I didn't invent it, but that was how I wrote the majority of the food coverage in MidMo so that's why I'm mentioning it.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Varda by Agnes on Thursday

Hey, how great that Jeffrey Day is keeping up his blogging and has a couple new posts linked on his blog at right. On Saturday I also checked out the Thiebaud-curated show at Elliot Fouts (cool to see original Krazy Kat artwork!) and the Axis show. When I arrived at Axis a young woman (maybe one of the artists?) was singing a song and accompanying herself on what I think is either a lyre or that instrument that Spock played once on Star Trek. The Axis show is cool and also don't forget the Verge movie night is this Thursday (that reminds me, I need to get a ticket online - members are free). It's the doc "Varda by Agnes" and is her final film, about her career. Right, did she make it? Or did someone make it about her?

I went to Waterboy last night. If you want to hear about it, it's after the jump

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Rolle too!

I don't want this reblogaissance to solely consist of being sad about restaurants that are closing, so hopefully this trend will end.

Rolle announced he is closing Cafe Rolle. I'm not sure if it's already closed or if maybe we can all go grab one more salmon sandwich. Read more after the jump

Wednesday, January 08, 2020


I'm doing this fitness challenge thing this month at my spin studio. I'm supposed to go to spin 20 times this month, and then do something else on my own every other day. Anyhoo, I always have ideas for tweets about spin when I'm in spin, because it's hot and traumatic in there so my mind is active aka freaking out.

Couple/three problems with this:
1) I stay off twitter because it turns your brain into garbage
2) I am bad at tweeting so no one likes my tweets and also I often feel like I don't really "get" twitter and am doing stuff wrong
3)What if something I write goes viral for the wrong reason?

I had a great idea to generate some of the content that you readers are all demanding: write my spin tweets here! Part of the reblogaissance can be destroying twitter by bringing tweets to blogs. If we had all never stopped blogging we might not have Trump for president so I am just trying to do my part.

Oh boy. This is going to be....something.

Here's an idea I had for an old one, that is no longer topical at all:

Avicii dying was like 9/11 for spin instructors.

Here's one I texted to Matt R. previously, but that I would like a wider audience for:

Most of the inspirational stories that the instructors tell either involve moving to LA or moving back from LA

That's all I can remember now. A lot of them are just fantasies about tweeting about this one instructor (who I avoid) that makes the room so disgusting and hot that when you go to pick up the weights they are dripping with someone else's sweat. And she keeps the class late too! Can you feel my petty outrage? Feel it.

Can't wait to post more #spintweets