matzo ball soup
1 glass of water
My favorite rainy day or sick day meal is matzo ball soup. You’d think that I’d prefer Korean soon tofu or solangtang, but for some reason, I tend to hew Jewish with my comfort food of choice. Hu-ha! And with that, I will argue for Victor’s as the best matzo ball soup in Los Angeles. Well, sometimes. When they’re on, their matzo ball soup is formidable. The softball-sized ball is properly light and fluffy, if a bit eggy, and it’s floating in honest-to-goodness homemade chicken broth. Victor’s is run by a guy who used to co-own the more popular Greenblatt’s Deli, so the food is pretty similar to that place. And with that, Victor’s is impossible to embrace as a neighborhood spot. Prices are awfully expensive (most sandwiches are around $15, meals approach $20), service can be gruff and the interior of the restaurant feels like you’re wearing Darth Vader’s helmet with it’s heavy use of black plastic. The food here is also really inconsistent. I’ve had matzo ball soups here that were sometimes dry, sometimes overly salty and sometimes just plain bad. I’ve had both a great and horrible pastrami sandwich here. For the price you pay, a lot more should be expected. Despite my many, many misgivings about this place, I’ll continue to stop by whenever I’m sick or want a cold-weather remedy, just for matzo ball. In fact, if you see me here, you should keep a distance because I’m probably harboring a ton of cold germs.
3 slices of mushroom pizza
side of arugula, fennel and tomato salad
1 bottle of Newcastle beer
The one great thing about living in Los Angeles is the easy access to Oscar screeners. Every winter, the studios mail out all their prospective movies via DVD to voters, so they can vote for them when the time comes to hand out shiny gold statuettes. For someone like me, who went to the movie theater once over the past four months (Avatar 3-D), this is very convenient. So for the next few weeks, I’ll be getting caught up with my movies. If I watch them while eating, like I did on Tuesday with my friends Kim and Abigail, then it’ll get a write-up as well.
Tonight’s movie is “An Education,” about a 16-year-old girl, Jenny, who gets swept off her feet by a roguish, charming older man who takes her to fancy restaurants, concerts, Paris and eventually “womanhood.” Holy Chris Hanson! Now I can’t speak for other 16-year-old girls, but I’m assuming that having a Prince Charming come into your life and whisk you away to a new exciting world is a dream? Nevertheless, I enjoyed and was affected by Jenny’s plight. It harkens back to the days when we were all young and brimming with hopes for what you want to achieve in life. Traveling and experiencing new things are exhilarating at that impressionable age, so it’s hard not to blame Jenny for getting caught up by a guy who tells her, “I want to show you so many things.” But as we get older, we learn these dreams come with a caveat, and Jenny finds that out too. It’s her, wait for it, education! It’s too bad she learns her lesson from a “wandering Jew,” because that might sink this movie’s Oscar hopes.