Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Nectar of the gods

Over the weekend I did a favor job for a good friend of mine (who’s gotten me a lot of work, so gets the occasional weekend on a student film out of me. Everyone else who asks me to work on a student film? Go to hell – and I mean that in the nicest possible way) that shot in southern Orange County.

I rarely make it south of the “orange curtain” just because there’s not that much down there that really interests me. Don’t start with the Disneyland. I hate Disneyland. It’s hot, there’s endless lines, totally lame rides and annoying characters from cartoons I never liked much as a kid (now, if they had a Bugs Bunny land, I might feel differently).

Luckily I managed to hitch a ride down there so I didn’t have to worry about spending a bazillion dollars in gas, and the students were all really nice and fun, and we actually got some great helpers so the day wasn’t too bad.. except for the food. The instructor/producer decided not to provide coffee for the crew, which baffles me as Hollywood marches on caffeine since cocaine became something to which one should just say no (or something).

Not that I was expecting stellar food or anything. It’s students – I understand that they can’t afford on-demand cappuccinos or food that’s not something college-aged stoners like.

So, when I decided not to eat the provided lunch of extra-yeasty chain ‘deli’ sandwiches that had been sitting on a table in a warm room for four hours (“it’s okay, we asked for no mayo”) and ventured out, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself smack in the middle of the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam.

For me, this means one thing:


I love pho. I could eat it three times a day every day, and over the weekend, that’s exactly what I did – except when my curiosity got the better of me and I tried the goat curry, which was also incredibly delicious.

This particular pho place was by far the best I’ve had. It seemed to be popular – at lunch on the first day, I looked up from my bowl and I was the only white person in the joint. I’m calling it a pretty good find considering I just pulled into the first place I found figuring that even if it was bad it would be better than the salmonella on white waiting back at the set. If I’m ever back in southern Orange County, I’ll know where to eat.

After a bowl of pho, some spring rolls (unlike deli sandwiches, these are better when held at room temp) and a glass of super-strong Vietnamese coffee I was ready to go back and deal with the students for the second half of each 14 hour day (plus, the commute back up to LA).

The only bad part is that the weekend of gorging on noodles and beef broth has left me lethargic and bloated up like a puffer fish. I’m trying to care that I didn’t get to the gym today, and I just can’t work up the energy.

Maybe tomorrow.

Filed under: long long drives, Work, , , ,

11 Responses

  1. Dave2 says:

    Finding restaurants that serve vegetarian pho is really tough, but the few times I’ve had it, I’ve enjoyed it!

  2. meg says:

    Lots and lots of pho to be found in the San Gabriel Valley, where my husband grew up. I always laugh when we drive past “Pho King” restaurant because if you’re pronouncing it correctly, it’s something Beavis and Butthead would have snickered at.

  3. Vietnamese food — my favorite!

    Hey, you can always do crunches, pushups, windmills, and sun salutations at home! ;)

  4. Peter says:

    now, if they had a Bugs Bunny land, I might feel differently

    Six Flags.

  5. Stan says:

    So where is this place? I get down that way occasionally, and I’m always up for some good pho.

    Peggy sez: It’s called Pho Factory and it’s in Irvine. It got mixed reviews on Yelp, but I loved it. If you’re not in the mood for Pho, I highly recommend the goat curry.

  6. Proto says:

    hhmmmm better than just chicken.
    So, you’re lethargic now?
    Get a move on, sister.
    There’s a gym to tackle!
    At least a bike to ride.
    We need more abandoned couch snaps!

  7. sal says:

    What’s pho? (we don’t get vietnamese food here). I’ll try anything once, after all I did eat cactus salad at the Farmer’s Market!

    Yes, you did! Pho is Vietnamese noodles in a beef broth, and it’s delish! Next time you’re out here we’ll get some. Both of you need to come back and spend more time, anyways.

  8. Norman says:

    A propos of nothing — there are two couches in my neighborhood you might want to check out. One on Orange between 1st and 2nd, and another on 1st, just west of Orange. that one is upside down — you don’t a rule about that, do you?

  9. boskolives says:

    If I remember correctly, in Vietnam, Vietnamese food was just called food.

    But that was long ago, I could be wrong.

    “Pho King”, you gotta love that.

  10. sugar-t says:

    I think the worst was the time on a low-budget, after wandering around trying to find my morning affeine fix, I overheard the PM say to the AD “They’re being paid. They don’t need coffee.”
    After word of that got around, they promptly sent a PA out for Boxes of Joe!

  11. getsheila says:

    I like the dry version, with crispy pork and spring rolls on top and gobs and gobs of fish sauce. Yum!

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