Anthony Bourdain's The Layover: Stoned Seagulls, Strippers, and Chicken -- This is L.A. (A Recap)
|The Travel Channel|
|Tony Bourdain eats at In and Out Burger.|
Our last stop for the year is Los Angeles, home of vapid blondes, fish tacos, and Celebrity Rehab. The last time I was in Southern California (and all the times before) I found myself wanting to smack someone in the back of their head in order to help the words come out faster. Hey, Tony, good luck with LA, buddy.
Tony shares the obvious -- Los Angeles is spread out and public transportation is limited (well, actually shitty to non-existent). He tells us that nobody walks in LA and everybody drives. Mainly because you need a car to eat at In and Out Burger. Tony orders a double double animal style, whatever the f**k it means. He says it's the only fast food chain worth a damn. "Take that, evil clown".
After getting special sauce all over his shirt, Tony drives his Porsche convertible to the hotel, while waxing about transvestite hookers. Then he does something shocking.
He admits that he's a shameless sellout. Yes, it's something that we all have known for a few years now, but isn't admitting the problem the first step in fixing it? Tony says he's the whore that's sucking the scabby c**k of television. That he actually loves the strip malls and palm trees of Los Angeles. That he's a hotel slut who looks forward to comped suites with 500-count Egyptian cotton sheets. Maybe there's a new show in this admission -- how does Celebrity Chef Snark Rehab sound?
Our guy checks into a bungalow at The Chateau Marmont -- home to many celebrity overdoses. The cost of said bungalow (which includes a private entrance and garage) is $2,200 per night, by the way. The bungalow is haunted but Tony doesn't tell us which celebrity ghost it is. Could it be the spirit of John Belushi, who overdosed and died in one of the bungalows in 1982? He does share that he's looking forward to dismembering some prostitutes.
On his way to get some sweet, sweet food truck lovin', Tony notes the cult of perfection that is Los Angeles. "Once you don't look good without your shirt on - they kill you", he muses. Exactly the same rule applies on South Beach. Which is why I had to move off the island.
Tony goes to chef Ludo Lefebvre's food truck. Chef Ludo started doing French Michelin Star stuff, then defected to open LudoTruck, dedicated to the pursuit of fried chicken. I wonder if that was a choice made by him or Ludo lost some kind of bet in which he has to work a food truck for a year. How do people find LudoTruck, by the way? "Tweeeeter...Fazeboook...", Ludo tells us. Everything on the truck is fried, leading me to think that the mighty have fallen -- until I notice that the fried chicken sandwich comes with béarnaise sauce? Ludo can't help being French.
Tony then goes to Señor Fish for some Ensenada style tacos and I have to say -- they do make one f**king mean fish taco in southern California. There's no place in Miami that can match the most shitty LA fish taco...sorry my Miami fish taco-making friends (you know who you are). It's just the gospel truth. Keeping it real. No haters.
While talking to a stoned seagull, Tony apparently discovers that medical marijuana has made it to the flocked and feathered set. He says goodbye to his zoned-out bird friend, in search of Koreatown, home to the largest population of Koreans outside of Seoul. There are places here where white people aren't welcome. Most are after hours clubs, which we'll soon learn are weird sexist places where young modern American-born women are treated like half geisha/half secretary from Mad Men. It seems that at Korean bars, women eat and drink for free in exchange for being led to every creature with a penis that's actually paying. Whether it's just for company, a potential date, or a blow job we don't find out.
So Tony has Korean bar food and drives home drunk. According to TMZ, that's a prerequisite to being in Los Angeles.
Question: How do you identify a tourist?
Answer: They're fat and don't have fake tits (and are wearing Hawaiian shirts and fanny packs).
Back at Chateau Marmont, Tony makes eggs...which happens to be the same recipe as my eggs. Our combined secret? Sour cream. Try it.
After breakfast, our man with a plan heads to Hollywood Boulevard to look for celebrities, which he notes are big headed, skinny, short, teeny little space aliens. Did we mention he's looking for dead celebrities? What better way to find your favorite dead celebrity than on a Hollywood death tour. We learn all kinds of fun trivia, like Lenny Bruce really did die on the crapper. So did Elvis and Judy Garland, by the way. But only Elvis was really taking a shit upon shaking off the ole' mortal coil. Dorothy Gale and Lenny Bruce were merely shooting up.
All that death gives our favorite sellout an idea for a great new reality show. Coming soon to Travel Channel -- Ghost Hoarders of New Jersey.
Tony eats Mexican fruit with hot sauce and tacos. If you want to try some fresh mango with hot sauce or cayenne pepper a little closer to home, check out the Mexican food stands at Redland Market Village in The Redland. Or Jersey City.
With five hours left on the clock, Tony goes to Animal Restaurant. John Shook and Vinny Dotolo are the partners who make marrow bone, chicken hearts, coconut sweetbreads, rabbit legs, pig tails, and everything else that most people throw away. Tony eats foie gras and Spam and asks how to get a medical marijuana card before heading to Jumbo's Clown Room for burlesque and a drink at the best named bar ever.
Tony downs a tequila shot on a table with a clown on it. Which is amazing. Thing is - that's not burlesque, he's watching. That's stripping. Burlesque dancers don't usually grind a stripper pole while wearing a pink sequined trucker cap. And they generally don't have perky breasts. I know I'm making a generalization, but I calls 'em a I sees 'em.
The death clock has counted down for the last time this year (maybe forever) and it's time to get to the airport. We leave Mr. Bourdain in his Porsche rental with the following words of wisdom about Los Angeles, "It's a little douchy, but I like it."
Next season, catch all new episodes of The Layover as Anthony Bourdain checks out Wasilla, Alaska, spends a weekend in Weehawken, New Jersey, and parties down in Lubbock, Texas. Nah, just kidding...but it would be awesome, wouldn't it?
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