Saturday, September 29, 2007

Let's eat: Sanamluang Cafe

It's not that I haven't been blogging at's just that I've been blogging...elsewhere. Recently I reviewed Sanamluang Cafe for LAist, as part of our "Thai One On" project in which we endeavored to review EVERY restaurant in Thai Town. A noble goal, in which we pretty much succeeded -- and I discovered a new favorite place. Read my review here.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Your favorite chefs are from New Jersey; or, more shameless Garden State flackage

Massive thanks to fellow Blogspotters Amuse-Biatch for linking to this article in the September New Jersey Monthly -- not a journal I normally peruse unless I'm visiting the 'rents and have read every Gourmet in the place.

So, who hails from the same state as me?

  1. Anthony Bourdain, Leonia: You know his badass attitude can only come from a state whose official song almost was "Born to Run."

  2. David Burke, Hazlet: Snooty restaurants from a nonsnooty background.

  3. Tom Colicchio, Elizabeth: quote: "there's nothing on earth like fresh Jersey tomatoes and corn." Amen!

  4. David Drake, Madison: I am sure he is a fine chef, but his restaurant is in New Jersey. He needs to hit the road. See the song referenced in #1.

  5. Alice Waters, Chatham: So often I forget that Alice Waters, the patroness of the American food revolution, grew up in my home state. And here she says she grew up getting ice cream at Gruning's! Excuse me while I have a nostalgic moment.

New Jersey, represent! Yet more evidence that much that is good and strong grows up in New Jersey, then gets the hell out to share with the rest of the universe.

Photo of Alice Waters taken June 2007, from David Sifry's photostream via Flickr.

Death at a Funeral: More like a short nap....

I didn't dislike the recent, Frank Oz-directed Death at a Funeral; dazed by the heat, I felt that seeing the new Jet Li movie War was more than I could handle. I wanted diversion and amusement. I got it, but just.

The film's been out for a while so I won't go into much detail. Suffice it to say that this is British humor, both broad and gentle, and the premise (who has not participated in craziness at a family funeral) is promising. But the main gags -- Valium that isn't, and a dead man's secret -- wear out rather sooner than does the film's running time. The cast is game, with numerous barely recognizable British actors joined by Americans Peter Dinklage and Alan Tudyk, who has a hilarious turn as a solicitor sent round the bend by the non-Valium. Kris Marshall is excellent as the source of the homemade pharmaceuticals. And my day was cheered immensely by the beauteous Jane Asher as the materfamilias; she doesn't have enough lines, but delivers the few putdowns she has with great panache.

Special bonus points to me for: Recognizing the British (excuse me, naturalized Canadian) actor John Neville -- the "Well-Manicured Man" from The X-Files -- among the mourners in the outdoor scenes. He's uncredited, but look carefully and you won't miss him.

I suppose the fact that I got excited about seeing John Neville proves that Death at a Funeral didn't wholly capture my attention. This heat is going to continue; I may spend tomorrow afternoon with Jet Li.