Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stocking Up: 99 Ranch Market!

May 1, 2005

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INT. GROCERY STORE–DAY

Winnie is sorting through some fresh bean sprouts. Caryn throws a box of sweet tamarind pods in the cart.

WINNIE

What are you going to do with those?

CARYN

I don’t know. Thought they looked fun.

WINNIE

Just don’t eat too many of them.

The girls push the cart past fresh water chestnuts, bok choy and lemongrass. They stop at the end of the produce section where an assortment of lettuces and fresh spices are piled together.

WINNIE (CONT’D)

Here we need some of this.

CARYN

Oh right, for wrapping. I can’t wait!

Caryn grabs a bag of shredded carrots and tosses it in the cart.

WINNIE

The best thing about this place is pre-shredded carrots.

They continue to the seafood counter where Winnie takes a number. Caryn teases the live crabs in their open pools.

WINNIE (CONT’D)

I can’t believe they haven’t started shooting this movie yet.

CARYN

In a few weeks, I think.

WINNIE

Where are you going?

CARYN

Still don’t know. I think they shoot half of it in the deep South.

The MAN at the seafood counter takes Winnie’s number. She points to some partially cleaned shrimp that are placed dangerously close to the shrimp that have all their legs and heads.

WINNIE

Maybe you’ll get to go to Atlanta!

Caryn smiles at the prospect and pushes the cart down the row to the meat counter. Winnie follows with her shrimp in hand.

CARYN

I’m gonna go stock up on gyoza wrappers. Meet me by the tofu?

Winnie nods and Caryn trots off with the cart.

INT. GROCERY STORE–CHECKOUT COUNTER–LATER

Winnie finishes unloading the cart. Caryn bags three different kinds of soy sauce with a half dozen other bottles.

CARYN

It never ceases to amaze how much stuff we make off with at this place. Everything is so cheap.

WINNIE

What time are we starting tomorrow?

CARYN

Well, I have to watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, so maybe five?

WINNIE

You just like saying that.

Caryn grins.

WINNIE (CONT’D)

Let’s make it four. We have a lot of chopping to do.

Winnie signs the receipt. Caryn reloads the cart with the bags.

WINNIE (CONT’D)

Can I con you into a lychee boba?

CARYN

Pfff. Of course!

99 Ranch Market

You can find just about anything you would ever need for Asian cuisine here. Fresh produce, seafood and meats are all at bargain prices. And they have shelves upon shelves of gyoza and wonton wrappers.

Find a store near you.

A Rocken Good Time!

April 28, 2005

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INT. ROCKENWAGNER BRASSERIE–BAR–EVENING

It is a dim and only partially-full night at the restaurant. Caryn and Matt sit at a small table in the bar area. Their glasses are empty and very little evidence of their comforting pretzel burgers can be found on their plates. They both, however, cannot refrain from snacking on the rest of the truffle fries.

CARYN

I’m stuffed.

MATT

Me too.

She pops another fry in her mouth.

CARYN

Are you gonna ask him?

MATT

I already told you no.

Matt pops two or three fries in his mouth.

CARYN

Aw, come on! I’ll buy you dessert.

MATT

I hear they have a worthwhile chocolate pudding cake, but I’m really full.

The WAITER returns to take their plates. Caryn and Matt scramble for the last of the fries.

WAITER

Anything else?

Caryn scrunches her face and whispers under her breath.

CARYN

Ask him!

MATT

Just a check, thanks.

Caryn instantly switches gears and puts on her brightest smile for the waiter.

CARYN

I don’t suppose you would part with the recipe for the pretzel rolls.

The waiter laughs and back-peddles.

WAITER

Uhhhhh…I don’t know. Chef Hans is gone for the night.

Caryn sulks.

WAITER (CONT’D)

Maybe next time.

She nods as the waiter leaves and then she glares at Matt.

CARYN

A lot of help you were.

MATT

I’ll get the tab to make it up to you. You can pay the valets.

Caryn accepts this concession for a moment. Matt hands the waiter some cash when he brings the check.

CARYN

Wait! The parking is more than my burger!

Rockenwagner Brasserie

Sit at the bar because the five-dollar Happy Hour menu is a downright steal! The pretzel burger deserves to be called famous and simply must be served with their extra crispy french fries.

2435 Main Street

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 399-6504

Happy Hour:

Sunday-Friday 5:30PM-7:00PM

This entry was posted for April’s Dining Out: Bar Fly theme over at The Delicious Life.

Sweet Tamara and Her Lemon Tamale!

April 9, 2005

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INT. COSTCO WAREHOUSE–DAY

The aisles are crowded with CUSTOMERS rudely shoving their carts past one another. It is a mad house, and it’s not even Saturday.

In one of the endless book aisles, one WOMAN tosses a cookbook aside and continues on her way. She bumps Caryn with her cart as she passes but does not apologize. Caryn wakes from her cookbook reverie and checks her watch.

CARYN

Oops!

She peels her loaded cart into a checkout lane behind PATRICK DUFFY, wearing a handsome Hawaiian shirt and clogs.

EXT. COSTCO–CONTINUOUS

Caryn rolls the cart outside and glances toward the snack bar line, which is easily twenty deep. After checking her watch again, she sadly heads into the parking lot.

INT. CARYN’S HONDA–CONTINUOUS

Caryn is on her way when something catches the corner of her eye. She immediately spins the car into an illegal u-turn.

INT. TAMARA’S TAMALES–CONTINUOUS

The few tables in the small, but colorful restaurant are filled with satisfied PATRONS. Caryn heads straight to the counter where a YOUNG MAN smiles warmly at her.

YOUNG MAN

Can I take your order?

She stares at the chalkboard behind him.

CARYN

I’ll take one Calabazita, one Spinach-Mushroom, one Jalapeno Cheese and…which chicken one do you like best?

The man turns around to look at the board.

YOUNG MAN

Um, Chicken Verde. No! Family Chicken.

CARYN

I’ll take one of those. And two Lemon. No, one Lemon, one Cinnamon Sugar.

He makes final notes on the paper and takes it to the cash register.

CARYN (CONT’D)

Wait, just make that three Lemon.

He pauses for a second to make sure she’s done. Caryn smiles sheepishly and he finishes ringing up the order before heading to the back.

Off to the side, another OLDER MAN is stuffing some fresh masa into a corn husk. King Crab shells are piled next to him. Caryn looks at the board again to reconsider, but it’s too late. The young man returns with her order, packaged in little brown boxes.

INT. CARYN’S HONDA–LATER

Caryn sits at a red light and eyes the boxes next to her. She gives in too easily. As the light changes, she grabs one with a sticker on the plastic that reads, “Lemon.” She carefully unwraps the warm tamale while attempting to steer.

Another red light. Caryn seizes her opportunity to bite into the fragrant, barely-sweet tamale. She is not disappointed.

Tamara’s Tamales

Marina Plaza

13352 Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90066

(310) 305-7714

Hours:

Mon-Sat 10:00AM-8:00PM

Sun 1:00PM-5:00PM

The Calabazita tamale has zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic, white corn, and jack cheese.

The Family Chicken tamale has chicken, tomato, potato, zucchini, green chile, olive, and raisins.

Tamara has over thirty tasty creations from which to choose. Shipping within the U.S. is available.

Chocolate and Chippers at Surfas!

March 6, 2005

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INT. CROWDED WAREHOUSE STORE–DAY

Winnie and Caryn push a small cart through narrow aisles, trying to maneuver around the myriad of customers, some dressed in full chef attire.

CARYN

Do you see it?

WINNIE

Maybe by the gadgets on the back wall.

CARYN

I already looked there.

Winnie stops suddenly at a shelf of fine and rare teas.

WINNIE

Oooo!

She picks up a nicely packaged bundle to examine. Caryn continues to push the cart down the aisle and slows when she sees a shelf full of quality chocolate. With hardly a glance at the labels, she fills the bottom of the cart with a solid variety.

Caryn rounds the corner to the refrigerated wall and adds vegetable, beef and veal stock to the cart. Winnie appears again, loaded down with arms full of spices, olive oils and cheeses.

WINNIE

How much do you get to spend?

CARYN

No limit. Just gave me a credit card and said to buy what I need.

WINNIE

In that case, I think we should stock my kitchen too.

Caryn gives Winnie a glance.

CARYN

You’re a lawyer. Please try to act like one.

Winnie takes over pushing the cart.

WINNIE

Right. Let’s stay focused here.

The girls stroll through the store, adding various artisan food items and an assortment of gadgets.

CARYN

Wow! Brioche pans for a dollar.

Winnie is down the aisle peering closely into a bin.

WINNIE

Look! Is this it?

She holds up a small six-pronged fork that looks like it could bale doll-sized hay. Caryn’s face lights up.

CARYN

Yessss!

Winnie tosses it in the cart, but Caryn pulls it out again to twirl in her fingers.

CARYN (CONT’D)

It’s just like the picture in Bon Appetit. I have a new friend.

Winnie rolls her eyes as Caryn makes cooing noises at her toy.

WINNIE

Let’s get out of here before we have to get another cart.

CARYN

Right. We’ll come back next week.

Surfas

8825 National Blvd.

Culver City, CA 90232

310-559-4470 ph.

Hours

9AM-5:30PM Mon-Fri.

9AM-5PM Sat.

Buy your own chocolate chipper.

Road Trip: Brodard’s Chao Tom!

March 3, 2005

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EXT. LOS ANGELES FREEWAY–DAY

A bright red, completely restored 1975 Volkswagen Super Beetle motors down the road with four occupants smushed inside. MATT, smartly dressed with unassuming good looks, sits with Caryn in the back. Vic drives with Winnie by his side.

CARYN

How much farther? I’m starrrrrrving.

WINNIE

Almost there. Ten minutes.

Caryn groans and shifts in her seat, accidentally kicking Matt’s shin.

MATT

Maybe we should’ve taken my car.

VIC

This baby will take your little Audi any day!

INT. CROWDED VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT–ORANGE COUNTY, CA–DAY

Matt, Winnie, Vic and Caryn are now crammed around a small table loaded with Vietnamese fare.

WINNIE

Did we order too much?

CARYN

Maybe we should order more.

VIC

Pass the fish sauce.

The table is quiet for a moment as the four friends are busy wrapping cha gio, the Vietnamese version of spring rolls, in the traditional greenery, dipping in fish sauce and stuffing into their mouths.

MATT

So, he’s out of town? Does that mean you don’t have to go to work?

CARYN

No, I still gotta go. I’m restocking the kitchen and planning menus.

VIC

Anyone want the last one?

Everyone shakes their heads as Vic grabs the spring roll. The others pile their plates with banh cuon, smooth rice batter crepes stuffed with meat and vegetables.

CARYN

My favorite! Can you imagine his face if I served banh cuon to him?

Winnie swallows a laugh with the bite in her mouth.

WINNIE

When does he get back?

CARYN

Don’t know. I didn’t even know he was leaving.

Winnie enviously watches Vic grab the last of the chao tom, ground, spiced shrimp that is grilled on sugar cane and then wrapped with greens in rice paper. He dips it in the warm, spicy-sweet peanut sauce.

WINNIE

Aren’t you going to have any banh cuon?

VIC

It doesn’t look as good as when you and Caryn make it.

Caryn grins. Matt pushes his plate away and leans back to let his food digest, stretching his long legs under the table.

MATT

Good choice. I like this place.

WINNIE

I like it too.

CARYN

Pass the fish sauce.

Brodard

9892 Westminster Ave.

Suite R

Garden Grove, CA 92844

714-530-1744 ph.

Hours: 8AM-9PM (closed Thursday)

Inside Fortune Mall, use the rear entrance. Worth the wait for a table.

Susina!

February 5, 2005

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INT. CARYN’S APARTMENT–BATHROOM–DAY

Water from the faucet splashes into the soap bubbles, washing them away. Caryn, dressed in cleaning day sweats, is bent over the claw-foot tub, scrubbing the sides with vengeance.

From the other room, there is a loud knock. Caryn sits up and listens, unsure if it is the stereo that of course is blaring loudly too. She shakes it off and resumes her work.

INT. CARYN’S APARTMENT–LIVING ROOM–MOMENTS LATER

Caryn dries her hands as she surveys the freshly cleaned apartment. She stops and looks at the door, still wondering about the knock. When she opens the door, she discovers a small white box wrapped neatly in brown and white ribbon waiting at her feet.

The note inside the box reads: “Congratulations on the new job! See you tomorrow. Love, Winnie and Vic.”

She plops down on the couch and Punky immediately appears out of nowhere to check out the sweet scents. Caryn focuses her attention on a tantalizing confection smothered in chocolate and pistachios. The perfect selection to help forget about the aforementioned new job…

Susina Bakery

7122 Beverly Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90036

(323) 934-7900

Hours:

Mon-Thu 7am-7pm

Fri 7am-10pm

Sat 8am-10pm

Sun 8am-9pm

A marvelous European patisserie, owned by former Spago pastry chef Anna Delorefice and partner Jenna Turner. Apparently they deliver.

Act One, Scene One

January 31, 2005

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INT. DUPLEX APARTMENT — KITCHEN — DAY

The sun streams through the windows and bounces playfully on the load of clean dishes drying on the rack on the table. It is an odd-shaped kitchen that has clearly been adapted to suit one’s personal preferences.

The remnants of the morning coffee sit stewing in a french press on the counter by the sink. Fresh produce, seasonings, utensils and appliances line the rest of the counters. There is little doubt that this is a cook’s kitchen.

PUNKY, male feline, 8, sits purring loudly on the floor by his own set of dishes. Cat food in a tupperware container looms high above his head, fully out of his reach, but he knows it’s there and is determined to one day gain access to it.

CARYN, our heroine, early-30s, sits at her desk just outside the kitchen typing languidly at her computer. She stops occasionally to dream about what to make for dinner…