Adrian’s Trattoria

Remember that useful corner? It’s also home to Adrian’s Trattoria, a small Italian restaurant with friendly service and great food. Mr. Sandwich has become a big fan of their calzones, and I’m still thinking about their meatball sub (lots of veal and pork–possibly inhumane, but delicious). The baked ziti is a hit, too. Key to all of these is their sauce, which has just enough spice to be distinctive, but not so much that it detracts from the tomatoes–which taste really fresh.

One of these days we may even eat there, instead of getting food to go.

Golden City Restaurant

We’ve discovered a very useful corner not too far from our new home. Because I can’t live without Chinese food, I am delighted to have found some that–on first acquaintance–is quite tasty.

Golden City Restaurant isn’t fancy, but it does have several banquettes. That means it is more of a restaurant than I expected it to be; when you drive by, it looks like a place that has only a to-go counter.

Not that this would matter, since so far we’ve only gotten food to go, and have not eaten in the restaurant. However, I can say that the walnut shrimp is really good, and the black bean sauce is tasty (Mr. Sandwich ate all of the chicken and left the bell peppers and onions, which he doesn’t care for. I do like them, and ate them as leftovers tonight.) The cashew chicken is also very good, and that’s a dish that normally leaves me shrugging. I’d order it again here, though, and I don’t think I’ve ever said that about cashew chicken before.

So far, the only dish that I wouldn’t revisit is the sweet and sour chicken. And by extension, I suppose, the sweet and sour pork. The sauce is just too tangy and sharp.

Still, there are plenty of options remaining. I have no doubt we’ll be back.

Idiots on Parade

Yesterday Mr. Sandwich and I were driving to the house. The car in front of us was being driven by someone who was on his cell phone. This is illegal in California now, but why let that stop you? Except that it wasn’t a phone. It was an electric razor.

That’s right. Some guy was shaving his head while driving 70 mph on the freeway.

Today I took the bus to work, as I do. And after a few minutes I became aware that someone behind me on the bus was calling his credit card company. Apparently he wanted to cancel his credit card protection plan. I couldn’t make out his mother’s maiden name, although I do know that he lives a block down the street from us. And I know this because he thought the bus was a good place to hold this conversation.

I thought it was an ironic place to hold it. So when he was given another number to call in order to lower his interest rate (21 percent, BTW), I got up, went back, and asked if he was sure he wanted to conduct this business on the bus.

He said, “Oh, it’s okay,” and I said, “Really? Because I can hear you way up in the front of the bus, and this is a really public place. You have no way of knowing if someone is going to use this information.” And then he said, again, “No, it’s okay. Thanks.”

So I left him to get his identity stolen, since clearly that was his goal for the day.

Why are there so many idiots on the move? I don’t know, but trust me. If you do something this stupid, I will tweet about it on Twitter. And 12 people will read about it.

Oz, not Kansas

Mr. Sandwich and I have had white walls for ages. First individually, in our respective apartments, and then after we got married in our shared apartment (the aforementioned crappy one, which we are shortly to depart).

So we’re really enjoying the prospect of choosing our wall colors. In fact, we’ve already done so–the paint is purchased, and the walls in the house are washed, patched, sanded, and primed. Today (with the help of my friend S., who is so awesome that she volunteered at least three times to help paint) we start to work with the actual colors!

The kitchen is going to be the same Sunnyside yellow in Dutch Boy that we have in our apartment kitchen (a result of its crappiness; plumbing repairs required holes in the wall, and while they did patch after several weeks, they never came back to paint–so we did). We love this color, and we’re looking forward to bringing it to our new home.

The bedroom is going to be Behr’s Monaco, a blue that is not quite Wedgwood blue. It’s lighter than that, but still strong. After all those white walls, we don’t want to have dark colors–but we don’t want anemic colors either.

The living room gave us a little trouble, because we couldn’t get the color we wanted (another Dutch Boy) in their low-VOC paint, which has been discontinued in order to roll out another low-VOC paint that won’t be available in time for us. So we wound up with Behr’s Butter Cookie, which we think will provide a unifying background to the colorful furniture, rugs, art, etc. that we have.

The front bedroom will be Behr’s Arizona. This is the only color I’m not sure about. The dollop on the lid of the can seems very apricot-y, and on the card it looked deeper and warmer. We’ll see what it looks like when we get it on the walls.

The smaller back bedroom, the bathrooms, and the hallway will remain white, because we do like white bathrooms and hallways, and we don’t know how we’re going to use the third bedroom long-term.

Is it ironic or Freudian that we forgot to buy white paint?

Blog Action Day 2008

It’s Blog Action Day 2008, and the topic is poverty. Obviously that’s huge, and I don’t have any solutions to the big problem.

But I do have a small solution that each of us can try. Go to Nothing But Nets and donate $10. That will pay for the creation and delivery of an insecticide-treated mosquito net. Just $10, and you may have saved someone’s life by providing them with protection from malaria–protection they couldn’t afford for themselves.

We’re Going to Live Like Kings!

We closed escrow on Friday and have started moving boxes over to our 3-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath house. The kitchen and bathrooms have been cleaned, and now we’ve moved on to painting. Painting, by the way, is a full-body workout. Climbing up and down the stepladder is better than Stairmaster, and wiping down walls and using rollers and brushes does a lot for the arm, shoulders, and back.

Now I just need a core workout.

The house, garage, and yard give us so much more space, and so much more space of our own. The neighbors on either side seem very nice, and the neighborhood is a delight. I’m told that at Halloween, I’ll need six bags of candy. Hopefully the trick-or-treaters will eat all of it, because otherwise I’ll undo all of my painting workout.

But as it stands now, we’re going to live like kings. Very fit kings.

Chili My Soul–UPDATED

It’s fall, which in L.A. means that we’re in between heat waves. And what better way to get in the spirit of the season than with a spicy bowl of chili?

Well, if you’re at Encino’s own Chili My Soul, there may not be a better way–regardless of outside temperatures.

The board shows the chilis of the day. These are not based on whim, as each one is cooked for at least 40 hours before being served. If you need descriptions, they have a flyer. Have a few samples. And that’s when the hard part begins.

How hot can you take it? Are you a Tenderfoot (Level 1) or a Demon (Level 10+). Yes, that’s not just Level 10. It’s 10+. More than 10. Just a little something for the demons. Mr. Sandwich and I are probably going to stick to the lower end of the scale. Tonight he had Hickory Beef (4) and I had Blanco y Verde (3).

But wait! I forgot about the toppings. You get three. My choice was cheddar, Monterey jack, and sour cream (for someone who is mildly lactose intolerant, I sure love my dairy). Mr. Sandwich went for the same cheeses, but substituted green onions for sour cream.

Later, there was knockwurst.

This is not a discount chili place. But the chili is really good, so I’m okay with that. Enjoy. I know I did.

UPDATE: Sadly, Chili My Soul closed a few years ago. Even more sadly, it’s because the owner died unexpectedly. I’m really glad I got to go there a few times, because it was a restaurant that was a labor of love.

Spies Like Us

So we’re watching “Chuck” and this week’s episode (yes, I know it airs Monday and today is Wednesday–there’s just too much TV on Monday, so thank goodness for complete episodes on the web) features a character named Sasha Banacheck. And what character did Linda Fiorentino play in the 1985 movie Gotcha!?

That’s right. Sasha Banicek.

But does anyone really provide Gotcha! shout-outs? I mean, who other than me would get them?