TACO BELL HEADQUARTERS 1. Irvine office tower where Burns and Smithers wannabes plot to take over the fast-food world. 2. Site of recent protests by human-rights activists who claim pickers of Taco Bell tomatoes are exploited. 3. Site of recent protests by Latino groups alleging since-abandoned Chihuahua ads were racist. 4. Site of desperate television commercials by Lake Forest-based Del Taco.
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TAUSSIG, H. ARTHUR The Orange Coast College film studies professor is one of the major reasons the school's film department is one of the best in Southern California despite its status as a two-year institution. Take this anonymous blurb from www.teacherreviews.com: "Arthur Taussig is one of the best professors at OCC. His lectures are incredibly interesting and engaging. He loves to discuss and debate with his students on many film topics. His analysis will shed new light on how one views a film. He has the most respect for his students out of all the professors I have had. His intelligence is immense, although he never feels the need to show it off. He lets his class decide how many papers they will write; the average is three. He is the embodiment of what a college professor should be. He is there to make you think." You won't always agree with the conclusions Taussig draws about films, but you will always be delighted by the twists and turns of his busy brain. The man really thinks about movies—good movies, bad movies, it seems to make little difference—and he can explicate a film's inner works like nobody else. In a perfect world, this cat would have Roeper's job. Hell, let's just go ahead and give him Roger Ebert's job, too. H. Arthur Taussig at the Movies; I'd watch it, and so should you. TAZUMAL A lead pipe to your ears would seem like a peck on the cheek after listening to these guys. The self-described indigenous death-metal band would make the folks at the late, great KNAC cringe, with their kill-all-prisoners lyrics condemning the lies and repression that have come out of Latin America for the past 500 years. A particular joy is to hear bassist Atonal Mictln growl out Tazumal's lyrics like a lawn mower cutting down the Weeds of Imperialism. www.geocities.com/tazumal_anahuac. Study questions: 1. Isn't it true that if one only mows the Weeds of Imperialism they will soon return even stronger to threaten the Ficus of Understanding? 2. To what degree is Lyndon Johnson's disastrous Vietnam policy a result of his failure to deal with Creeping Charlie? 3. And what's the deal with Pussy Willow? 4. Heh, heh, heh. THUMS, THE Those artificial islands off Long Beach might be named after the astronauts killed in the Apollo 1 fire. They belong to all the top oil companies and as such are collectively referred to by petrol-product types as the THUMS (for Texaco, Humble which is now Exxon, Union, Mobil and Shell). Drilling that close to shore is a sticky issue—politically, environmentally and, in the case of an accident, literally—so as appeasement, the THUMS were camouflaged ("disguised to look like island resorts" is how Occidental Energy Marketing cheerfully puts it) with palm trees, Legoland-y buttresses and even fake waterfalls. And now Long Beach has an oil rig it can really be proud of! TIKI 1. Fullerton-based retro craze extols Jimmy Buffett lifestyle without the Jimmy Buffett. 2. Mostly practiced by mid-30s punk rockers with kids and really nice patios. 3. Featured soundtrack: the crazy-skirt-wearin' King Kukulele plays songs about the periodic table of elements. TIKI, HOUSE OFThese days you can never have enough tiki and tiki-related products, whether they're hand-carved wooden oars ($600), hand soap dispensers shaped like Easter Island statues ($5) or Hawaiian flower print cell phone holders ($8). House of Tiki sells bamboo bookcases ($450) and bamboo purses ($75). They've got bamboo folding TV trays ($60) and bamboo drawer knobs ($6). For you single guys, a tiny $2.50 investment gets you a clean, simple bamboo bracelet the chicks will really dig. And for that truly authentic island touch, grab one of their $20 signs that read, "No Shirt, No Skirt, Full Service." 1860 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-8454. TLAQUEPAQUE For authentic Mexican food, go a few miles down Bradford Avenue to the Santa Fe district of Placentia. This small old town is no more than a few blocks long, and right in the middle of it is Tlaquepaque, serving Placentians since 1965. You might stop in for the food and the mariachi music on Saturdays, but don't leave without something from the bakery. The aroma of pan dulce is overwhelming and perfect with a strong cup of coffee. Don't forget to check out the murals and hand-painted tiles that decorate the outside of the building. 111 W. Santa Fe Ave., Placentia, (714) 528-8081.TOLL ROADSAbsolute proof that Caltrans isn't the only agency that can waste hundreds of millions of dollars. TOM KHA SOUPSleepy Laguna offers little in the way of late-night dining. For years, barhoppers were forced to choose between Taco Bell and microwaved burritos at Circle K. Thai Bros. offers a welcome reprieve. Nestled in a small building next to the library, the "bros" are open till 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The soup has a rich broth exploding with lemongrass and coconut milk. It's warm, medicinal, and just the way Mother would have made it if she had belonged to some kind of weird midnight fraternity from Siam. 238 Laguna Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 376-9979.TONGUE BURRITO Taquera de Anda makes fine tacos, but its real specialty lies in its burritos. Made with a huge flour tortilla that can barely enclose the mound of rice, beans, salsa (green or red) and your choice of meat, these burritos dwarf their puny (though still delicious) taco cousin. Choose among five varieties of meat, but Anda prepares its beef tongue so exquisitely you'll want to confess to your priest that you thought for a fleeting moment you were Frenching a cow and liking it. 308 W. Valencia Dr., Fullerton, (714) 871-4211. See also: Haggis; Blood Pudding; Big Mac TRADITION Manager Mike Scioscia, first base coach Alfredo Griffin, third-base coach Ron Roenicke and hitting instructor Mickey Hatcher all played major-league baseball for the same team—the Dodgers! Go Angels! See also (partial list): Fernando Valenzuela; Don Sutton; Tommy John; Frank Robinson; Bobby Valentine; Bill Singer; Willie Davis; Lou Johnson; John Roseboro (coach); Don Drysdale (announcer); Buzzie Bavasi (executive) . . . TREE OF LIFE NURSERY Eight miles inland along Ortega Highway, Mike Evans holds to a simple botanical belief: "California should look like California." For 16 years, Evans and his staff at Tree of Life have grown and sold only California-native plants, in the process becoming the largest such nursery in the state. But the roadside plantation is more than a business. With its hay-bale and adobe Round House, its flights of art, and its indigenous ambiance, Tree of Life is simultaneously a California getaway and a homecoming. 33201 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 728-0685. TRESTLES BEACH/SAN MATEO CREEK There was a time, not that long ago, when a busy day at Trestles Beach meant a dozen guys paddling into the surf. The waves are still perfect, and nearby San Mateo Creek is still clean enough to support endangered steelhead trout, but civilization is creeping ever closer. Marine Corps officers now live in Mission Viejo-style homes on the bluff overlooking the beach, and a new toll road is still planned to bridge San Mateo Creek, despite the damage it will surely wreak on the delicate habitat. TREY THE HOMELESS STANDUP COMIC He had an aneurysm a while ago, and now he looks all fucked-up, and, yes, he's not suitable for children under eight, but he'll still lurch his way into your heart. Bonus points: less fucked-up than Carrot Top. Note: it's okay to make fun of him—that's his act. Just like Charlie Callas. Appearing countywide, especially Main Street HB when you're trying to eat your breakfast. TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK 1. Global Christian broadcaster notable for garish clothes, hair and furnishings, to all appearances the broadcasting progeny of Liberace having sex with a TV while the Del Rubio Sisters are on. 2. TBN even has some freak who looks like Liberace crossed with Marilyn Manson. 3. He can't play the piano either. 4. TBN, which has long railed about Godless Hollywood, has gotten into the movie game itself, producing the likes of Megiddo: The Omega Code 2,an amateurish production with all the lan of a community-theater production of The A-Teamthat dealt with the Apocalypse and was successful in that it made viewers yearn for the relative relief of having a hot pitchfork up their pooper. TROQUET Located on the third floor of South Coast Plaza is one of the best restaurants in the county and certainly the best thing to happen to mall food since Hot Dog on a Stick. 3333 Bristol, Ste. 3001, Santa Ana, (714) 708-6865. TUSTIN A really nice place to live—folks from bordering Santa Ana and Orange have been known to lie and say they live in Tustin—where middle class is an entry-level position. It's the kind of place where nice people with nice jobs get nice homes, albeit ones very close to their neighbors' nice homes—locals joke that you can't look into your neighbors' back yard without kissing them. There is one big shopping center—the Tustin Marketplace—and lots of nice little places to eat. But Tustin folk aren't that interested in becoming a destination. It's enough that people gawk at the blimp hangars. Which explains why, in this prototypical bedroom community, you can find numerous signs protesting growth. Tustin doesn't want growth. Growth has not always been good to Tustin. In the 1870s, Columbus Tustin, a northern California carriage maker, and his partner Nelson Stafford purchased 1,300 acres of land and created Tustin City. But sales of home sites were so slow that Columbus ended up giving free lots to anyone who would build a home. By 1912, the town had grown to the point that the local elementary school could boast an eighth-grade graduating class of 20 students. All 20 flunked the county math exam but were allowed to graduate anyway. How far standards have fallen! In 1969, the first recorded murder took place within the city limits. And just 12 years after that, Tustin had the second-highest crime rate in the county, with one in 10 Tustinians victimized. Is it any wonder that the city would be wary of growth? Tustin is just fine being Tustin. They don't want you to forget about that. Just about them. TYRANIS Orange's barely post-pubescent answer to Motrhead and Iron Maiden: "Heavy metal. Rock & roll. Put that with an exclamation point," says longhair bassist Eddie Westre. Goddamn right.