RACKAUCKAS, TONY Mr. District Attorney, do you know where your wife is?

RALLY MONKEY The Angels have the best mascot in all of professional sports, and the best thing about him is that the Disney Imagineers had absolutely nothing to do with creating him. Remember the stupid bears—”Ribbie” and, oh, the other stupid one—that used to walk through the crowd making the few remaining baseball fans consider suicide? Those came from the Imagineers. But the Rally Monkey was born of real emotion—the particular emotion that has probably been the most common at Angels games throughout their 41-year history: boredom. It was June 6 during the going-nowhere 2000 season, and the Angels were trailing the San Francisco Giants when stadium video men Jason Humes and Dean Fraulino began searching for a way to excite the crowd. They found film clips of the white-haired Southeast Asian langur monkey who had a bit part doing flips in the Jim Carrey movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detectiveand flashed them on the board. The crowd came alive, and the Angels did, too, rallying to victory. Now the film clips of the flippin' Rally Monkey are among the most anticipated parts of every Angels game, and the stuffed versions that go for $20 are constantly selling out at the Angels gift shop. It's probably only a matter of time before the Rally Monkey sells out, too, but it has been great while it's lasted. Discussion questions: 1. Compare and contrast the Rally Monkey's motivation with that of the Rally Tapeworm. 2. Using examples from Tolstoy, give three reasons why the Rally Monkey represents the plight of the peasant class. 3. Were you required to take the peasant class, and, if so, how did you do and was there any math required? 4. In Hemingway'sOld Man and the Sea, the old man catches a fish and then loses it. Where the hell was the Rally Monkey?RAMOS HOUSE CAFÉ Go for the toast, the raisin toast. With golden raisins as sweet as sugar popping forth from the bread. With butter flecked with the gold of honey and lemon zest. And lime zest too. The toast is a revelation. You will not begrudge the restaurant the $9 it is going to charge you for scrambled eggs with roasted garlic, wild mushrooms and tomatoes, which arrives topped with nasturtiums and lying on a bed of something fried and crunchy. It is not too pungent, but rather zesty enough to make a perfect foil for the toast. You will be happy, amid the clang of an oncoming train and the tolling of the mission bells and the soft wind chimes of the house itself and the small brown bird on the patio to whom you talk as if you were in a children's story. 31752 Los Rios St., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 443-1342.RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA Rancho Santa Margarita is nothing if not a town that embraces diversity. Well, that and a town that really embraces the name Rancho Santa Margarita. This is nowhere more apparent than in the shopping centers along the city's main drag, Santa Margarita Parkway. There, in the Rancho Santa Margarita Town Center, one can find the likes of Target, Radio Shack and La Salsa, while just on the next block, in the Rancho Santa Margarita Market Place, one will see Lowes, Staples and Rubio's. Of course, embracing difference is never easy, and Rancho Santa Margarita has grappled with change since its first years of cityhood. When it was settled 15 years ago, all homes were painted the same shade of salmon, as decreed by the Rancho Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corp.—SAMLARC to its close friends. But residents, perhaps buoyed by the knowledge that Rancho Santa Margarita is open-minded enough to make a place not only for an AMPM but also a Texaco Star Mart, decided they wanted more diversity. They got it when SAMLARC relaxed its guidelines, and now visitors to Rancho Santa Margarita are dazzled by homes spanning the spectrum from tan to light tan to somewhat darker tan to beige to what can only be described as gray. The city's residents have embraced the panoply of hues wholeheartedly. You'll notice this at any of Rancho Santa Margarita's shopping centers, where SUVs form a rainbow of choices and interiors, a veritable We Are the World of gas-guzzling, marginally safe spewmobiles. So welcome to Rancho Santa Margarita, where Rancho Santa Margarita residents will tell you it's Rancho Santa Margariffic! RAY'S PIZZA. “Reza”—the man who would become Ray—came to Irvine from Iran via NYC, where Ray's Pizza shops are more common than pigeons in a park. His pizzas are simple yet sublime. The key has something to do, he swears, with Persian cuisine. 4199 Campus Dr., Ste. D, Irvine, (949) 854-5044. REAGAN YEARS 1. Period between 1981-89 in which rich, ultra-right tools tried to turn the country into Newport Beach. The repercussions linger on like the brain-addled actor it's named after. 2. A video arcade full of vintage '80s games like Pac-Man, Burgertime, Tron, Centipede, Robotron and Dig Dug. But what really makes this place kitschy/cool are all the posters on the walls: Duran Duran, Flock of Seagulls, Thompson Twins and just about every other musical turd from the era that you can recall, plus Jon and Ponch from CHiPs and Mr. T. Also, they mint their own tokens, complete with an image of Ronnie on each. 123 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-2233.RED FOX LOUNGEGo for a splash at San Clemente's world-class surfing beach Trestles, and before you even have time to change out of your wetsuit, you'll find yourself lounging at the Fox, chatting up the bartender and sipping on cold lager. Splendid. 220 El Camino Real, San Clemente, (949) 492-3403. RED SEA HOOKAH LOUNGE You woke up on the wrong side of the bed, your boss gave you a bunch of crap at work, and the freeways showed no mercy (see Orange Crush, El Toro Y). What you need to do is find a nice, quiet place to sit back, relax and let the pleasing smoke from flavored tobacco give your lungs a big, warm hug. We're talking a hookah hookah burning love! Fortunately, Napoly Salloum recently opened a place that will let you do just that. His hookah lounge is located in the Lake Forest's Zone-O-Sin that includes Captain Cream's and Gypsy Lounge, and for $12, you'll get enough tobaccy to allow you to suck a hookah for a full hour. Refills are half-price. Mediterranean food is on the way. 23600 Rockfield Blvd., Ste. 23, Lake Forest, (949) 951-9600.
Besides the whiskey-and-more-whiskey
Dragon's Breath and a whole horde of similarly
themed hard drinks, Red Pearl offers the
somewhat disturbingly named
Red Pearl Necklace (which, in porn, means
someone just got lucky—or stabbed).
412 Walnut Ave.,
Huntington Beach,
(714) 969-0224.
Photo by Jack Gould.
RICARDO'S EL RANCHITO They do more with chips than just make them out of flour, like the Nachos La Habra, a humongous scoop of crunchiness bathed in melted queso, strewn over Ranchera Especial sauce (a tangy tomato-based brew of onions and green bell peppers, the perfect glue for spur-of-the-moment taco construction). There is no meat or beans (refried or otherwise) on this dish, and you couldn't care less. Ricardo's has always had a ridiculous glut of superb chicken, beef, seafood and egg dishes (huevos rancheros and chorizo—served any time!), and the combination meals are a steal, weighed down with way too much food, all named after Mexican cities (like the Ensenada, which is either a carne asada, carnitas or chicken soft taco served with guacamole and pico de gallo and a choice of—take notes, now—a cheese enchilada, a shredded beef or chicken hard shell taco, taquito, chicken flauta, or beef tamale) and all under a paltry 10 bucks. 1351 S. Beach Blvd., La Habra, (714) 871-4692 or (562) 943-6020. ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASHThe chefs at Bandera take a butternut squash and roast it so its natural sweetness comes out. Then they top it with a brown sugar/balsamic vinegar reduction and finish it with a sprinkle of pistachios. It's worth the trip for this seasonal side dish alone. 3201 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 673-3524.RODMAN, DENNISFormer cross-dressing LA Laker and titular head of Newport Beach club Josh Slocum's. We have never been there, but we were among the uninvited guests sitting on the beach outside his house and watching his birthday party (broken up by cops in riot gear, who apparently are summoned whenever Rodman so much as farts) last May. We wouldn't have wanted to be inside anyway. It was super crowded. ROHRABACHER, DANAWe're still puzzled why the Huntington Beach congressman felt he needed to strenuously declare himself “not a homosexual” on a then-OCN broadcast in 1998. Nobody had asked. ROMEO CUCINA For a taste of southern Italy, visit Romeo Cucina, a family-owned restaurant run by a clan of four brothers and two sisters from the Calbria region of Italy's boot. The siblings adhere to Italian traditions and view cooking as an art form. Fire flashes from the open-hearth oven against the warm woods and brightly colored ceramics as romantic Italian music is performed live. An assortment of pastas, vegetables and fresh seafood are among the delectable items offered on the menu. Weekends in the Laguna Beach location feature live Latin music and Italian sounds during the week; in Laguna Niguel, it's salsa every Wednesday and Thursday. 249 Broadway, Laguna Beach, (949) 497-6627; 28241 Crown Valley Pkwy., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-4131. ROOFIES Date rape is bad, mmkay? Do not leave a drink unattended on 17th Street in Costa Mesa. Other local drinking “don'ts”: 1. Do not bitch at the bartender that your Lemon Drop martini is not “yellow enough.” 2. When feeling up young woman to your left, make sure to feel up with hand not holding beer. 3. Ditto when shielding your face from her boyfriend's pummeling fists. 4. Never drink anything out of any container that has “free clinic” written on it. RUBBERDJ Danny Love is holding forth in the smaller bar; Love forsakes the hip-hop for some soul and groove. Dig it! Sadly, the big cute men have left the room and been replaced by short, ugly men. A change of venue leads back to the throbbing techno room. Every month's theme varies, from Hellraiser to the Rodeo! The whole exchange is actually pretty fun. And the valets are really cute. Everyone's a winner! Club Rubber goes down at the Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (949) 224-3006. RUBIN, LIEZEL Long Beach's freaknastiest art photographer. When she prints you up a photo of a woman jerking off a guy in a gorilla suit while, like, midgets dressed like pimps pose next to rollerskating bondage nurses in Nazi drag, well, it really makes you think. Rude Guerrilla Theater Co. Uninspired Shakespeare, the 395th production of Picasso at the Lapine Agile, and plays that say very little—and even that poorly—all too often clog up the boards at nearly every local theater. It's rare when an uninteresting or done-to-death play gets produced at this company's downtown Santa Ana space, which is home to far and away the most provocative, political and titillating theater in Orange County. Few other local theaters would even read Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and Fucking,Howard Korder's Search and Destroy, or Sarah Kane's Cleansed; RGTC produced them to great effect. The company has struck up a working relationship with horror writer Clive Barker and attracts top Los Angeles-based artists such as Tim Miller to Santa Ana. When, oh, when will a fiscal angel descend and award this well-deserving company a bigger space? 200 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 547-4688. RYANEN, Cynthia We really, really, really like . . . fuck it, we really, really, really LOVE Cynthia. Why? Well, if you knew her and her work—and you should if you've attended the best of the local theaters—you'd know she's consistently hilarious, infinitely fascinating, easy to work with, brews a mean cup of coffee and deserves money for her considerable talents. As good in a Neil Simon comedy as she is in a Clive Barker horror drama, we think she can play anything and deserves the freakin' chance. Listening, SCR? Listening, Laguna Playhouse? Listening, anyone?

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