hot night roll

to be fair, these photos have nothing to do with sushi.  nevertheless, they reminded me of what a hot night it was, temperature wise when i took them in rawai.  and then, via word association, that got me thinking about one of my favorite sushi spots in studio city, california.  this place not only had [has?] a delicious sushi roll named "hot night" but they went further and created a "hot night 2" the sequel. even years after i stopped lunching at sushi dan, the sushi, the lunch crowd, the city, all remain memorable. hot night roll- i salute you.


On the surface, Drive is a fairly straight forward neo noir thriller. It’s about a heist gone
wrong, unrequited love and the violent underbelly of Los Angeles. Like many classical noir films,
the city of LA operates as a character within the film. There is perhaps a small debt owed to
Michael Mann here in the minimalist landscapes where the city vacillates between an abstraction in
the background and an ontological space we are acutely aware of. Drive is a film that is in dialogue
with itself. It is not pastiche or even simply homage, but something with more depth that emerges as
a reflection on genre and a meditation on the discourse of film itself.



A lot of directors have made this kind of film. Tarrantino in particular jumps out as someone
who is interested in making films for cinephiles. A lot of us enjoyed the overt references to film
theory in Inglorious Basterds. But where Tarantino employs a bloodbath of violence to disrupt the
narrative and invoke an awareness of the constructedness of the film apparatus, Nicolas Winding
evocation of the language of film is more sustained and operates on a level that is subtly
woven into the narrative rather than a disruption or even extension of it. Where Tarantino’s films
feel like they want to show off what he knows, Drive lets the theory take a back seat. It’s there
informing the story in an important way, but as subtext.


lil india


back in the day when i was just a kid, before the proliferation of the corner indian market in just about every suburb of socal, my mom would schlep all of us kids out to artesia boulevard in cerritoes to stock up on the myriad of fresh spices required for cooking down home pakistani food.

as kids we were pretty uncooperative. the drive was a 45 min haul, the store smelled too strongly of pungent spices and the requisite browsing that took place in jewelry shops was just too much to bear. frankly we were bored and fidgety.

but- as my mother says, how times have changed. the spices now smell amazing and jewelry is truly to die for. and to top it all off, the endless array of sweet and spicy snacks simply cannot be denied.  of course dragging my friends out to test their tolerance of spicy foods made it even more fun.