Hello! It feels like it's been ages! I just got back from Vietnam Saturday night and cannot wait to share my trip with you—from my favorite city (Hanoi!) to hilarious travel mishaps (there was truly a comedy of errors at the Danang airport), and stunning adventures (like a motorbike journey across an island). Stay tuned for more on Thursday! For now, I'm nursing my jet lag, tending to my inbox, and catching up with friends. Here's what else I'm up to this week!
One of my very favorite summer activities, Rooftop Cinema Club, is back this week starting on the roof of the Montalban Theater with I, Tonya on Thursday followed by some old-school greats like Chinatown and Memento! Grab dinner nearby at Night + Market, but don't fill up—they serve popcorn, snacks, and cocktails at the venue. It's a perfect way to take in a beautiful sunset, and not take for granted L.A.'s insane April weather.
On another note, Jonah and I become fully obsessed with the two-player card game, Lost Cities, on our trip. We brought a deck and played it straight through a nine-hour train ride. Has anyone else tried it? It's one of the first two-player games I've come across that's so fun!
Vietnamese food has been my favorite food for as long as I can remember, so spending two weeks eating it was pretty much my idea of heaven. I'll recap some of my favorites on Thursday (Bun Cha, I love you), but most of the dishes I ate are too difficult to recreate at home, not to mention meat-filled. To satisfy my craving for Southeast Asian food and ease the return back, I'm planning on making this Burmese-inspired dish for dinner later this week: Coconut-Turmeric Sticky Rice Pancakes. The best part about it is Balachaung, a pescatarian Burmese version of XO sauce, which I wrote about last week! See the full recipe here.
In preparing for the multiple flights on either end of my trip, I polled friends on their favorite page-turners and Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind came up multiple times. His epic series of fantasies completely immerses you into its world (randomly, even Lin-Manuel Miranda is blurbed on the back cover as saying, “I just love the world of Patrick Rothfuss.") A friend's last-minute word of advice turned out to be invaluable: "The first book is 600 pages, but trust me when I say to bring the sequel with you. You'll speed through it and want to dive straight into the next."
If there's one movie I think about time and time again, it's Captain Fantastic, where a family is forced to leave their completely isolated life in the Washington wilderness. One of the leads of that film, Erin Moriarty, is in a new movie out this week (and next week, nationwide), The Miracle Season. From the writer of Friday Night Lights, it's a feel-good movie about a volleyball team that bands together after their team captain dies. It's super cheesy, but worth a watch if you love sports movies!
Before heading on my trip, I downloaded two albums to listen to offline: NUDES by Lucius and Half-Light by Rostam. Both albums are stunning, but with an almost meditative quality, making them perfect to zone-out to while reading. Lucius' cover of Right Down the Line also has the rare honor of being even better (in my opinion) than the original.