Today, we went out for little test drive. Wow! What a sweet ride! Beside handling like a dream, this little baby was outfitted with so many bells and whistles you would think it was on loan from M’s private reserve: front, rear and side sensors, keyless entry, night vision, and what appeared to be a pedestrian targeting system. I want one!
For lunch today, the room was torn between wings and Vietnamese. And so, we decided to split up, take out, and reconvene back in the conference room. Paul, Alex, and I headed over to Wild Wings (?) two blocks down from the hotel. The place was packed! I informed the manager that we wanted to take out. Well, no sooner had we started perusing the menu than a woman marched up to the guy and let him have it: “I realize we’re a big group, but we’ve been waiting an hour for our food!”. As the manager scurried back to the kitchen to find out what was up, we decided that an hour was fifty-five minutes longer than we were willing to wait for wings, so we left, opting for Vietnamese instead.
Well, Vietnamese. And Chinese. And Japanese. And Thai. The place, Spring Rolls, is one of those Pan-Asian restaurants that do a lot of everything. Except, evidently, Korean. We caught up with Rob and Mathias, added our order to the take-out list, then returned to the conference room where we settled down to the worst Asian food I’ve ever eaten in my life. And – trust me – I’ve eaten a lot. The chicken was doughy and devoid of flavor; the broccoli a taste-trifecta of sweet, sour, and corrosive. If pressed to guess the main seasoning for the pad thai, I’d go with laundry detergent. Had the chef suddenly strolled in at some point and kicked me in the groin, I would have accepted it as a distressing yet thematically consistent component to the Spring Rolls dining experience.
There were plenty of leftovers.
We spent the afternoon talking writers, directors, stunts, visual effects, and tight TIGHT TIGHT schedules. Then, it was time for Klaus to bid us all a fond farewell. But not before presenting us with a gift –
A mainstay of most writers’ room, the “logic grenade” will get tossed in to a spin session with horrific consequences: shattered acts, severed arcs, fractured character motivations. This will, of course, require emergency measures like narrative bypasses and idea transplants. In extreme cases, the amputation of entire scenes may be necessary.
Since we’re flying out tomorrow, we said most of our goodbyes today. Klaus headed off to catch his flight, Sue and Fred left to tend to other production matters, and Rob elected to spend some quality time with his family, leaving Paul, Alex, Mattias, and me to fend for ourselves.
Fortunately, there were still a couple of restaurants on my Toronto Top 10 list I hadn’t gotten around to visiting. And so, for dinner tonight, we went to Splendido Restaurant. Highlights included:
Paul and I split two desserts: the salted caramel and chocolate tart with dark chocolate gelato and peanuts (good but I found the chewy caramel a little difficult to negotiate) and an ice cream sandwich made up of broiche ice cream and Lindt chocolate biscuit (also good).
Service was good though a little disinterested. Still, it was the best meal I’ve had in Toronto.
So, for those keeping count, of the top tier restaurants I visited on this trip, they would rank: #1: Splendido, #2: George, #3: Nota Bene, #4: Colborne Lane.
I was going to call that gnocchi dish the highlight of the night – until Mathias, at the wheel of the dream car, stalled it out halfway through the execution of a bold mid-street u-turn, blocking traffic in both lanes. In the back seat, a mortified Alex launched into a rambling, extended apology that continued for as long as it took Mathias to finally regain control of the situation. THAT was the highlight of the night!
Sigh. Alas, just before dinner I received word that we weren’t able to reach a deal on this show. It’s too bad because I had a great time this week in the room breaking stories. In fact, I had a MUCH better time than I expected I would. Oh well. L.A., here we come!
Finally, an extra special thanks to Robert Cooper and Alex M. Rumelin, two very talented guys, whose involvement will ensure this series will kick ass regardless.
Today’s blog entry is dedicated to 2cats, because it’s her birthday, and das, just because.