la la la la laaaaand. i have to agree with joyce: the sunlight in LA is entirely too bright. one would think the smog would fix that, but no. after i got into town on thursday night joyce & i went to father's office, this hip beer garden in santa monica with a much-touted burger. the burger? ehhh. the patty was very good and seemed to have excellent texture, but all its beefy goodness was masked by an overwhelming bleu cheese dressing and a cloying barbecue sauce (that perhaps owed its sweetness to caramelized onions? too much, in any case). the sweet potato fries, however, were the bestest i've ever had. no exaggeration. like their regular spud fries, they were cut on the thin side. perfectly seasoned, crunchy on the outside, squishy on the inside, and served in a little mini grocery cart that arrives on your plate: perfect. good beer selection too. afterwards, we swung by a fellow ucla lit grad student's housewarming and managed to escape before the vomiting began, apparently. yesterday, we had lunch at campanile after an ill-fated search for pink's, the local hot dog stand favorite. mark peel's open airy restaurant reminds me of gramercy tavern in terms of space and food. great service too. we split the cod fritters to start. joyce had a pressed spicy chicken salad sandwich, and i had the squash blossom & ricotta ravioli. all very very good. lunch always makes it difficult to plumb the depths of a chef's talents and imagination, but it seems like the kitchen here is pretty capable. we spent the rest of the day shopping. fred segal was an LA-nightmare of epic proportions: what sort of place is capable of making you feel fat, poor, AND ugly, all at the same time? giant robot, fortunately, is kickass. we made a friend of the register guy at GR2, and i picked up a couple of cool poster reproductions of kozyndan prints. the kozyndan panoramics of chinatowns across the world are amazing. today, we're all set to hit the santa monica farmers' market, the beach, and cho sun galbi, a korean bbq joint somewhere around here.


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