BAHOOKA is closed! Forever!
I was out in Rosemead today and headed there for lunch – a lunch, it turns out, that I would never eat!
A moment of silence – or three minutes and fifty-two seconds of Quiet Village – to honor yet another tiki torch that has been permanently extinguished in the ever-diminishing world of 50s-60s polynesian-themed restaurants.
You’ll remember, of course, my last (and, alas!, my last) meal there.
But the gang over at LA Foodie gives you a much better feel for the Bahooka with this video:
It seems I missed the final days of Bahooka by a little over a month: the restaurant – which opened in 1967 – served its last mai tai on March 9th. I probably would have heard about this if I was on your precious “Facebook” or was friends with like-minded individuals, but as you know, I don’t really like people – well, aside from you, what, six regulars. I’m kind of a lone wolf, or ho’okahi ‘hala-kahiki.
Besides – between you and me – most other tiki enthusiasts are even more annoying than yours truly – if you can believe it! I haven’t sported a goatee since my 20s and sure, maybe I own a few aloha shirts, Christ almighty, I never actually wear them!
Above: My own little Bahooka souvenir – a plastic palm frond stolen from the boarded-up front entrance area. Jealous? Of course you are. By the way, my attorney would like me to mention that by “stolen from” I of course mean “found by.” On the nearby public sidewalk. Sure.
Anyway, perhaps the Bahooka – its tiki torch flame doused here on earth – makes a little part of heaven burn that much brighter.
Also, that same section of heaven now probably stinks of musty aquarium water. Look, I know it’s not nice to speak ill of the dead, but now that it’s closed, let’s be honest: for all its magnificence, the windowless Bahooka could have used an air freshener or two.
“THANK YOU, Paris Hilton.”
That’s what a pal mutters when he sees someone with a dog in grocery store. Lately he’s been muttering it with increasing frequency.
Like you, he remembers a time not so long ago when people did not feel compelled to bring their pets into businesses that sell and/or serve food. He places the blame squarely on the bony shoulders of the heiress/socialite who turned the annoying rat-dog from a yapping backyard nuisance into a fashion accessory before she eventually disappeared back into wealthy oblivion.
Sure, California Retail Food Code section 114259.5 prohibits live animals in a food facility (i.e., any place that sells food for human consumption).
But c’mon, irresponsible dog owners argue. This is L.A.! We’re both laid back and progressive here! So what if little Fido lifts his leg on a display of casaba melons? Relax! It’s not like you’re going to eat the rind, right? So wash it and quit complaining! Or if Fifi can’t hold it any longer and lets loose a steaming pile of Tootsie Rolls by the Frosted Flakes? Clean up in Aisle 3! Get the new kid over there with a broom and dustpan and maybe a paper towel – problem solved!
I love dogs. But they don’t belong in food stores. Or restaurants.
(Wendy’s in the Platt Village Shopping Center in West Hills, I’m talking to you.)
Of course, seeing-eye dogs or other legitimate service animals are the exception.
It’s the pets that are the problem – and it’s a slippery slope. Not long ago it was a tiny, yipping ball of fur in a hand bag. Today it’s a pit bull with no leash stalking through Ralphs on Ventura in Woodland Hills while his thug owner tries to hold onto the collar.
(Ralphs seems to be particularly dog-friendly: Aside from that incident, I’ve seen dogs in their stores in Sherman Way in Canoga Park and on Devonshire in Chatsworth. Shh! Don’t tell the Los Angeles County Department of Health!)
Unlike my pal, I don’t blame Paris Hilton, who I imagine is an idiot. And I don’t blame the self-absorbed pet owners who, too, are morons. The fault lies with the stores.
It’s not like the employees are afraid to say something when they see a customer walk in with a pet. Often they do.
Unfortunately, what they usually say is “Oh! How adorable! Can I pet him?”
SO THE OTHER DAY, a pal was telling me, “Ted,” he was telling me, “Ted, you’ve got to see this episode of TLC’s feel-good series ‘My Strange Addiction!’ There’s a gal on there who drinks pee!”
“Oh, that’s not so strange,” I countered. “Why, most everybody knows that current FDA regulations allow Grade A milk to contain up to 37 ounces of cow urine per gallon.”
“No, Ted – she drinks her own tinkle!”
“Oh, Christ almighty! Why’ncha say so?! This I gotta see!”
So I found it online. But I had to sit through an ad before I watched it…
…and while I hope Ragu got a good deal on the ad placement, I think maybe the Minute Maid Lemonade advertising people made a good call passing on this one.
“As you know, Budek, I had to let Thorg go.”
“I know, Boss. It was bery sad.”
“He was a good worker, but there were…problems. So with him gone, you’re my number one guy now! And today we need to let customers know about the launch of our Flatbread Grilled Chicken sandwiches. They’re brand new and they’ve just arrived here at Wendy’s! So you get up on that ladder and put something up on our sign! Make me proud, boy!”
“I do it right now! I do it bery bery fast!”
LIKE YOU, I have little time for all this “gluten-free” nonsense we’ve all been subjected to over the last few years.
In fact, I blogged about it at delightfully ponderous length back when my blog was still in its infancy. That was two years ago, and as I predicted then, gluten-free products have since gone the way of the dinosaur, the Edsel, the Disney Princess Jewelberry Pop-Tart.
Indeed, such products were just another silly Big Grocery trend an idiotic public briefly embraced, like panini bread, dulce-de-leche flavored anything (known here in America as “caramel,” thank you very much!), and tampered bottles of acetaminophin pain relievers, all of which were eventually discontinued.
Which explains why this stuff ended up – where else? – at the 99¢ Only store!
And by “stuff” I mean stuff…ing.
Now, of course, I didn’t try it – why would I? But even if there was some call for gluten-free products in the marketplace, I’m not sure a product called “Glutino Sans Gluten Free Mélange á Farce Corn Bread Stuffing” would have lasted much longer.
“Farce” is right!
First of all, they seem to be telling us they’re a gluten-free family of products, but their name brand – “Glutino” – sounds like it’s nothing but gluten. That’s like telling me that you’re allergic to spaghetti and then I fix you a great big bowl of Spaghettios.
Well, it’s not quite like that, I suppose. But there’s something there. I mean, for God’s sake, they’re celebrating the word “gluten” like it’s a positive attribute. And it is – we both know gluten is delicious, but they’re part of the anti-gluten lobby. You…you see what I’m getting at, don’t you?
Next, the product description: “Sans Gluten Free Stuffing.” Okay, it’s gluten-free, I guess. And according to them, that’s good. But wait – it says “sans” at the beginning, which means “without.” Which means it’s gluten-free stuffing without…I don’t know, the gluten-free aspect of it…? The double negatives cancel each other out…I think. So now it’s not gluten-free? Hell, if that were the case, I might have bought some!
It’s not just me, right? They could have made this a lot clearer. The brand, the product name – it’s all incredibly confusing. And I’m not even touching on the bilingual aspect of it, which I know infuriates you even more than it does me.
So that’s why this is our What’s Bueno at the 99¢ Only Store Item of the Week. Well, actually, my attorney telling me not to piss off any large multinational corporations is why. Have you tried this Glutino stuffing? Delicious! Good stuff!
Wow, I’ve come a long way in two years, haven’t I? Today’s posts have a definite economy of style not present in my earlier work. Short, concise, to-the-point!
Streamlined, brother! Positively streamlined!
What would this blog be without them? The Ted Parsnips Web Design Team practically lives on them, I use them to write when my own creativity and my bottle of gin have both run dry, and heaven knows you, what, six readers probably need them to get through some of my longer, head-scratchingly abstruse posts where there’s some vague hope I’ll eventually get to the point.
As a public service to you, the reader, I’m going to review 58 of these babies or die trying! Sure, my physician has warned me it’ll probably be the latter. But man, what a legacy to leave behind, right?
Rx Energy Fast Shot
Price: 99¢ only at 99¢ Only Store
Vitamin B12: 500mcg / 8,333% RDA
Flavors: Green Tea
After: Enthusiastically reorganizing your sock drawer alphabetically.
Packaged to resemble a miniature Arizona Iced Tea container, Rx Energy Fast Shot is one of the weaker energy shots out there, but still has a bit of a pick-me-up, and it tastes vaguely like prune juice – bonus! Peel off the plastic label and onlookers could easily mistake it for a tiny, airplane bottle of booze, so why not down a few while driving in heavy, slow-moving traffic? “The joke’s on you, officer – this isn’t alcohol! It’s a natural green tea energy shot! …That? Yeah, well, that’s a crack pipe.”
ON GO Energy
Price: 99¢ only at the 99¢ Only store
Vitamin B12: 500 mcg / 8333% RDA
Flavors: Grape, Fruit Punch, Pomegranate Blueberry, (and, not shown) Lemon Lime, Berry Blast, Mandarin Orange
Before: Nodding off.
After: Getting the dog up on his hind legs by holding a paw in each hand and dancing with him while singing “In a Mountain Greenery” and the dog’s wagging his tail but whining and gently biting your hands because he doesn’t like being on his hind legs while being waltzed around the living room – not even to his favorite Lorenz Hart tune.
ON GO is one of a handful of brands that I always see at 99¢ Only. They get points from me for having not one, not two, but six flavors, and they’re actually pretty distinct. My favorite, and now yours, is Lemon Lime, which tastes like the melted, concentrated res•i•due you suck out of a spent green Fla•Vor•Ice sleeve.
Price: 99¢ at Walgreens
Vitamin B12: 500mcg / 8,333% RDA
After: Surprising your girlfriend by duct-taping all of the ATM receipts in your wallet into that damned scrapbook she’s always trying to get you to work on with her.
Just how powerful is Energy 2000’s “energy blend”? It’s so strong that its natural and artificial grape flavors are no match for its medicine-y taste. And much like that Ecuadorian cab driver who said he could safely shuttle me from the Valley to LAX in time for my flight, the bottle likewise earned my trust by promising “No crash!”
Well, we’re off! A fine, auspicious start to this new blog feature, you’ll agree! Depending on how you look at it – whether you count brands, images, or flavors – I’ve reviewed eight, five, or three energy shots, and have only fifty, fifty-three, or fifty-five more to go. It’s a race against time! Can I review them all before my spleen gives out and/or some asshole at Cracked steals the premise and somehow manages to come up with copy that’s even less entertaining?
WE’VE ALL SEEN the commercials. Probably. You’re running low on energy and then you take an energy shot and then you have energy. But are all energy shots created equal? Pretty much, but for purposes of blog content, absolutely not. So, uh, let’s take a look at a bunch of them that I bought, huh?
Also, can’t you just see the above image in enormous poster form tacked up on your dorm room wall? It can be, for only $10. Simply send me $10…and then print it out really big as a poster if you can do that somehow. Voila!
So let’s get started! As with any sort of comparison review sort of thing, we need a control. Here’s the control:
Price: $4.43 for a 2-pack at Walmart
Vitamin B12: 500 mcg / 8333% RDA
Flavors: Pomegranate, Grape, Berry, Orange, Lemon-Lime
5-hour Energy is our control on account of it started this whole energy shot craze thing. And it’s the gold standard, brother. It works.
That is, unless you’re utterly beat when you take it. That’s the trick: All energy shots are much less effective if you take them when you’re already exhausted. If you’re completely run down, then it’s too late. You missed the boat! Call it a night, pal, because you’re finished. Show’s over. Pack it on in! Hit the road, Jack! Throw in the towel! Goodnight, Irene! And, eh…so on. You need to take them before or at the very latest, when you’re just starting to slow down and you know you’ve got a bunch of crap to do before you go to bed.
As for the taste: as you’ll see in the days, weeks, and months ahead as I somehow manage to drag this piece out for what seems like an eternity, many of these shots come in different flavors and in most cases – not all! – the flavors are irrelevant. Most taste pretty similar – an overall tangy, sweet, and slightly medicine-y taste unsuccessfully masked by a mild fruit flavor. I don’t even have a favorite 5-hour Energy flavor. Hell, they’re all fine and the overall taste isn’t unpleasant to begin with.
So then, let’s get started, shall we? …Tomorrow.
Tomorrow: Ted reviews the first three! What do you care, you won’t be back. Prove me wrong, folks.
SO I was at Big Lots the other day looking for jars filled with cotton candy that had either dried out or gotten moist – one or the other, who knows? – so that the once big fluffy wads sat like dense, pastel-colored hockey pucks of sugar at the bottom of their plastic containers. Mmmmm-mm!
Having checked that off my list, it was over to the next aisle where I was faced with a difficult decision:
Did I have a hankering for chocolate flavored wine?
…Or was it Banana Moon Pie flavored coffee that I craved?
While trying to make up my mind, I wandered over to their furniture department and fell asleep in the bottom bunk of one of those metal pipe-frame kids beds. By the time I woke up six hours later, I was completely sober and of course wanted neither. Problem solved!
Sweet pickled radicchio! Do my eyes deceive me?! Look what’s at the 99¢ Only store – peanut butter!
And not just any peanut butter, but high-end, name-brand, fancy peanut butter! Faaaaaaancy peanut butter!
From Planters! The peanut people!
New! says the label! Planters NUT•rition Energy Mix Berry Nut and Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut peanut butter. Twelve ounces for 99¢ only. Who could say no to that? You could?
Well, what if I pointed out that the lid is green? And this isn’t your father’s green! Back in the old days, a green lid on a jar of peanut butter meant it was either lime-flavored peanut butter or menthol light peanut butter or an open case of peanut butter was back in the stockroom when the maintenance crew put a fresh coat of spray paint on the cardboard baler!
No, today, green implies healthy and/or recycled! I’m going out on a limb here and presume that, even though I bought this at the 99¢ Only store, this isn’t recycled peanut butter so that leaves only one other possibility: healthy! You’d pay 99¢ only for a jar of healthy peanut butter, wouldn’t you?
Of course you would! We all would!
How exactly is it healthy? I’m glad you asked! It’s got Mr. Peanut using his cane to mime a golf swing on the label, and it’s from Planters NUT•rition line of products – which is a play on the word “nutrition.” Could it be any more healthy?
And that’s not all! It’s also got 10% copper! See?
Do you know how much copper sells for these days?!
…Neither do I, but I know it’d be a hell of a lot easier to buy a bunch of this stuff from the 99¢ Only store and smelt it down to the copper and peanut alloys (peanutium rises to the top) than to break into construction sites and vacant houses and steal all the copper wiring like we all did during the summers we were in college.
Here’s the Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut version:
I tried some on a crisp Ritz cracker!
And then there’s this one, the Berry Nut type:
Which I also tried on a crisp Ritz cracker. Mmm-mm! Good cracker! Good cracker!
As you know, everything tastes great when it sits on a Ritz, but the first one – the granola one – it was just a little bit better. Crunchy, it was. And not crunchy like chunky peanut butter. Really crunchy, like there was granola made of rice in there, which there was. Who the hell makes granola out of rice? you ask. Apparently Planters does. Don’t argue, it gives it a nice crunch.
Tired? Need a quick pick-me-up without the crash? Toss those cans of Monster M-80 in the garbage, you’re going to chug a peanut butter sandwich! Yes, that’s right – these are “Energy Mix” peanut butters.
Like a peanut butter adrenaline shot directly to the heart, they are! Christ almighty I hope you’re not allergic to peanut butter!
Oh, by the way, if you are allergic to peanut butter, and, by extension, peanuts…?
Or even peanut, singular, I guess.
Anyway, there ya go: Planters NUT•rition Energy Mix Peanut Butter (contains: peanut) is what’s bueno at the 99¢ Only store today. But it won’t be for long, because every jar they had (and they had a lot of them) had a best-by date of somewhere around the third week of February. And folks, we’re there now.
Now that’s not to say that they won’t continue to carry them long past the best-by date. Good heavens, no – this is the 99¢ Only store we’re talking about, after all! I’m just saying that maybe they won’t be as bueno, say, fourteen months down the road as they are today.
What’s bueno at the 99¢ Only store? This salsa! The one on the left, of course! I put it next to the one on the right so that you might, whaddayacall, compare and contrast! So that you might compare and contrast the concave and convex!
It looks like someone was asleep at the ol’ el switcho at the salsa factorio, they accidentally overfilled it, and it’s ready to burst at the seams! Someone’s going to make out like a bandito – lucky bastard!
Anyway, after I found that, I found this:
Pretty cool for a buck, huh? A couple of flocked pictures with six markers to color ’em in. But that’s not what’s so amazing. The name is!
Let’s go in for a closeup, hmm?
Can you believe it? Velvet Doodles! Yes – you remember! That was my name when I used to host Karaoke Tuesdays at The Leather Anvil in Silverlake! That is, until the ol’ ball-and-chain made me quit because it interfered with her damn softball league night.