You love Los Angeles. You love movies. You love food. Every first Wednesday of the month, Food X Frame will discuss a movie that was shot or set in LA and provide a corresponding recipe. BYOB.
In early May of last year, my roommate and I dropped off the face of the earth. Calls rolled to voicemail. Mail collected in a heaping pile. Facebook wall posts went unliked. Days went by without any sighting of us. Finally, like two tired war worn veterans, we emerged from the depths of our apartment, in a plume of cigarette haze, smelling of cheap bourbon and petty crime. No, we hadn’t been on some epic bender… we had finally beaten the video game L.A. Noire.
There is nothing more romantic than the early days of Los Angeles, a city with a golden external veneer of glamorous Hollywood and a seedy underbelly of organized crime, scandal, and corruption. The lure of the era is irresistible and recently there has been a surge in interest and material about it: the non-fiction best seller L.A. Noir, the video game L.A. Noire, Frank Darabont’s TNT pilot L.A. Noir, and the upcoming film Gangster Squad starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn. Despite the recent influx, this fascination is far from new, and has been a popular subject of movies, books, plays, etc. over the years. Roman Polanski’s 1974 film Chinatown is proof.
You would think, considering the title of the film and all, that Chinatown would be about Chinatown. Well, you would be wrong. Only the final few minutes take place there. Imagine my surprise when I finally sat down and watched this movie — excited about the endless options of Chinese dishes I could pair with it, visions of Kung Pao Chicken and Peking Duck dancing above my head —- to find this little fact out. We’re going to overlook that tiny hiccup and still go with Chinese cuisine anyway… Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.
Chinatown Egg Drop Soup
* Adapted from Gourmet (Feb 2002)
* Serves 4
• 5 cups chicken stock
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce (or tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos)
• 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
• 1 3 inch piece of ginger, minced
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2 heaping cups dried fine egg noodles
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 4 scallions thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1. Bring stock, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, and ginger to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and add noodles. Cook for 4 minutes.
2. Stirring soup in a circular motion, add eggs in a slow stream. Cook for another minute.
3. Remove from heat and add in the sesame oil and scallions.