Monday, August 20, 2007

Mostly Food

The family drove down toward LAX to catch Harry Potter 5 at the IMAX theatre near the airport. We figured (rightly) that parking would be a lot easier than at Universal, and we could catch breakfast at Dinah's, which we did, and still get great seats.

Dinah's is a 1950s coffee shoppe type place which is famous for its giant apple pancakes. We used to eat there when Michael would fly east on a regular basis to see his father, but that doesn't happen any more. It's not really the kind of place to go out of your way to eat, but the food is plentiful and homey under the right circumstances. Michael loved the chocolate chip pancakes he had. I was disappointed that the Belgian waffles didn't have fresh strawberries.

Harry Potter in IMAX was swell. It's the third of the films I've seen projected in IMAX, but I don't think that the others had 3D effects. I thought that the fireworks scene was one that had been manipulated, but it wasn't. All of the stuff in the Ministry of Magic during the last 15 or so minutes is. It works quite nicely. Remember when 3D was only in black and white?

Len and Michael had a chore to handle when we got home: cleaning the dead squished bug in our TV screen. The thing showed up on the screen on Friday and Len went to wipe it off, which is how he found out that the projection screen is actually a sandwich, and the bug was between the two parts. Squish. So, much against my better judgment, they took the thing apart on Sunday.

First, to my amazement, everything still works and they did a good job of getting most of the bug gunk cleaned up. Second, what a difference it makes cleaning up the inside of a projection television. We had no idea just how bad everything had gotten. With everything dusted and cleaned off, the picture is bright and sharp again. There are no cobwebs casting shadows on the screen. They did a good job, despite the odds.

The default television channel at our house is the Food Network. I may have mentioned this before. I turned it on when Len went off to tank up my car after dinner. I missed the beginning of the show which was on, and boy am I sorry I did. When Len got back home, I told him he HAD to watch what had happened, so we backed up the TIVO to where I had tuned in to watch it together.

The show was Iron Chef America and the challenge was to the Japanese Iron Chef, Morimoto. The challenger, Homaro Cantu, is a master of "techno-food" or "molecular gastronomy" and used all manner of things, including lasers, edible paper, computers, printers, liquid nitrogen and chemical reactions at presentation, to produce an amazing array of food. The "secret ingredient" was beets of a variety of colors and types. Len looked at me and said "I don't really like beets, but I would try these." Morimoto, by the way, also did some strange things and his presentations were also excellent. The challenger won by one point. If you get a chance, try to catch this episode in reruns. It originally ran back in January or February, and you can read a review of the episode and some information about Cantu here. There's another article about this "mad scientist" chef here. Unbelievable.

No comments: