Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Off the Map: Remember When I Wasn't Going to Eat the Popcorn?

Caramel Corn -- ArcLight Cinemas, Los Angeles, CA
ArcLight Cinemas

In our continuing discrimination suit against Los Angeles, once again, we are being thwarted for not being in the population of people who drive.  Via double-decker bus, we have made our way back to Hollywood, this time to try to procure some of Candace Nelson's Best Thing I Ever Ate caramel corn from ArcLight Cinemas.  
Frankly, We're More in the Mood for McDonald's, But Fine
"Try to" is the operative term here, since we are seemingly incapable of finding the entrance to the place.  With no front door in our line of vision, we decide to parade around to the back of the building, assured that we'd find the mysterious place to enter there.  
Please, LA, There Has GOT to be an Easier Way
Instead, we are soon making our way -- by foot, mind you -- through a public parking lot, up two flights of stairs, and finally through an unmarked door that leads us to the ArcLight Cinemas enclosed terrace.
Dear ArcLight, Might Your Be Able to Invest in a FRONT DOOR Sign?
It is midway through this trek that Vodka suggests Ginger place one of her infamous phone calls and ask ArcLight how we are supposed to enter their vicinity.  Needless to say, by the time we manage to wander through the doors, we are feeling a lot less sheepish about descending into a movie theatre merely to procure a snack without actually, you know, seeing a movie.
Just Hand Over the Caramel Corn and We'll Get Out of Your Hair
We approach the ticket taker, and Ginger explains that we just want to buy a tub of caramel corn, and that he can "watch us" to make sure we don't secretly enter a theatre.  He greets our request with confusion, if not blatant hostility, and deigns to allow us to pass.  One would think we would now be in the clear, but as luck would have it, the never-fail California joviality strikes again when the popcorn vendor decides to ask us what movie we're seeing, causing us to have to admit that... we're not.
Worry About Yourself, Hollywood
In truth, Ginger has no idea what said popcorn vendor is asking her, as her gin and tonic hangover has rendered her somewhat incapable of understanding English ("What language was he speaking?" "He was Australian.")  After successfully getting a hold of the desired popcorn, and with a quick wave to the ticket taker, we park ourselves at ArcLight's cafe to taste-test the stuff.  
Yep. Looks Like Popcorn
Now first of all, call us crazy, but a snack that is meant to be eaten in a movie theatre is an odd choice for the CRUNCHY episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate.  Does Candace Nelson not become enraged, as we do, at the sounds of other people chewing?  But despite its episode description, upon inspection, we don't find the popcorn any more crunchy than other varieties.  Buttery and sweet in its caramel coating, the popcorn is good... but it also kind of just tastes like caramel corn.  Caramel corn you can get anywhere, rather than the kind you have to haul your way through two floors of a parking garage in order to find.  Perhaps it's the novelty that ArcLight serves caramel corn in the first place that caused Candace to single it out, but personally, we're failing to see just what is so special about it.
Perhaps We Should Have Squirted Some Processed Butter Over the Top
Vodka, who is decidedly on the savory side of popcorn preferences, picks up her fifth kernel and brings it to her mouth before declaring, "Ugh, I can't eat anymore of this" and placing the single piece back in the bucket.  Ginger deposits the rest of the of the container (which is still at least 90% full) in her handbag, vowing to not eat anymore popcorn, as she's not sure what it will do to her digestive track
Cut to That Evening, When There Are Six Kernals Left in the Bucket
"Remember when I wasn't going to eat the popcorn?" she asks Vodka.  So perhaps, what Ginger has really found is a new marketing strategy for ArcLight Cinemas and their caramel popcorn: the ultimate hangover cure.

ArcLight Cinemas's Caramel Corn: 3 stars

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