By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Lists have plagued mankind for millennia, from Alkazar the Irritable's "List of Head-Splitting Rocks" (now available on audio cassette) to USA Today's long-awaited list of "Hot Uses for Excess Kitchen Grease." Why do we read lists? Experts cite three reasons: 1) Piss. 2) Off. 3) An inability to come up with a rational course of action to be taken with kitchen grease. Yes, Americans love lists—though not Franz Liszt, who keel my brotha—and they especially love lists about food … Oh, yes they do. YES THEY DO! SHUT YOUR FILTHY MOUTH! WHY? HOWZA BOUT I LIST FIVE REASONS WHY AND, YES, I'M USING "LIST" AS A EUPHEMISM FOR "FIST" …
So perhaps the question is not why Americans love lists, but why Americans love food. Actually, the question is why Americans love Carrot Top. Then again, who was watching Caroline in the Cityand Dharma and Greg all those years? Am I right? 'Cause it wasn't me, never saw one episode. Like Home Improvement—couldn't tell you one thing about it except that they were brave to cast such a plain woman as the wife. Just Shoot Me? I have no idea. It's like there's this alternative universe with all this crappy TV and somebody is watching but it's not me or anybody I know, so where's your Messiah now?
And that's not the only reason we love food. Did you know that food can stave off death? True story: many living people enjoy food. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is a noted food eater, as are NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and most of the people in Asia Minor. "Where do I sign up for some of that shit?" you're asking. How the hell would I know? Live your own life, flea. My point is that there is a lot of food—well, here—and there are a lot of different ways to enjoy it and one way to properly enjoy it—while staving off death—is to know where you're going and what you'll be getting there.
That's where the lists come in. Come in, lists! Look at the lists. I SAID LOOK!
You'll find lists telling you where to find faux fowl thighs and shawarma and buckwheat blinis and this little joint in Placentia that has belly dancing by the hour and maybe what you can do with that grease (I'd like to tell you what to do with it). The point is you should eat, but before you do, you should read. Then eat. Screw death.
FIVE HANGOVER HUNGER HOSPITALS
You think you're invincible at last call—"Dood! A Long Island? After 10 Coors Light pitchers?! Hit me up, yo!"—but then you wake up in the afternoon to the realization that not brushing your teeth before passing out is the least of your problems. You need a hangover cure, stat! So, grab a pair of sunglasses, a bottle of aspirin, don your hangover hat and let your roommate escort you to one of these hangover hunger hospitals.
SHORE HOUSE CAFÉ, 520 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 960-8091.
ECCOS PIZZAIN-N-OUT BURGER, on a street corner very near you. ROSCOE'S HOUSE OF CHICKEN AND WAFFLES, 730 E. Broadway, Long Beach, (562) 437-8355. THE RED ROOM, 1229 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 432-4241. —Ellen Griley
FIVE MOCK MEATS
While the appetizing Carl's Jr. commercials (slurp!) urge you to sink your teeth (crunch!) into a big burger (smack!), some people put compassion before hunger. From "chicken" to "tendon," herbivores in the know can mack on anything a flesh-eater can, without the fear of gristle. The following veggie Valhallas know their soy so well that they've made great pseudo-carnal grub from the stuff.
VEGI WOKERY, 11329 183rd St., Cerritos, (562) 809-3928. MOTHER'S MARKET AND KITCHEN, 2963 Michelson Dr., Irvine, (949) 752-6667, other locations in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Laguna Hills. AU LAUC, 16563 Brookhurst Ave., Fountain Valley, (714) 418-0658. HOT DOG ON A STICK, 2153 Brea Mall Way, Brea, (714) 256-2602. THE WHEEL OF LIFE, 14370 Culver Dr., Ste. 2G, Irvine, (949) 551-8222. —Angie Driskell
FIVE ALL-AMERICAN DINERS
Ah, for an America when pot roast, hash browns and all the malts of the globe ruled over the palate like some thuggish culinary dictatorship! Where Coke accompanied every meal—even the Coke! That America is now largely extinct, replaced by soulless nostalgia-driven chains that aspire to be the Sputniks of comfort cuisine but crash to the ground like a U-2 spy plane over Moscow. The following five time-warps keep the 1950s alive without Joe McCarthy, segregation and the Cold War.
WATSON'S DRUGSTORE AND SODA FOUNTAIN, 116 E. Chapman, Orange, (714) 633-1050. LIDO DINER, 3461 Via Lido, Newport Beach, (949) 723-8777.LA PALMA CHICKEN PIE SHOP, 928 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, (714) 533-2021.THE LODGE, 2937 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 751-1700.SONIC DRIVE-IN, 1632 N. Lemon St., Anaheim, (714) 992-4500. —Jenille Winder
FIVE EPICUREAN ENCLAVES
Most locals still don't comprehend how truly diverse the county has become. Once-decaying sections of cities have morphed into vibrant ethnic enclaves, and of course the best part about this development is the rows of restaurants catering to compatriots and curious Americans alike. LITTLE PHNOM PENH, Anaheim Street between Alamitos and Junipero avenues, Long Beach. LITTLE SAIGON, Bolsa Avenue between Euclid and Beach, Westminster. LITTLE GAZA, Brookhurst Street between La Palma and Ball, Anaheim. LITTLE INDIA, Pioneer Boulevard between 183rd and 187th streets, Artesia.