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.