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Also known as Siamese fighting fish, the variegated variety behaves like a lion in a pride: “One male gets all the females,” says Bernie. Don’t introduce another male, or you’ll spark some Thunderdome action as each nips at the other’s fins until they can’t come up for air—a battle that can go on for as long as three days.
Come lunchtime, this upscale mall (above) is host to what seems like the bulk of Torrance’s dense Japanese population. Around small wooden tables, locals slurp bouncy ramen in pork broth from Santouka and oyakodon (chicken, egg, and green onion simmered in a sweet sauce and served over rice) from Miyabi-Tei.
Coffee? Nope. Soda? Oh, please. Black, green, or passion fruit infused, iced tea is the official beverage of lunch. Its bitter kick too mild for the morning but too brisk for the dinner table, this chilly refreshment is exclusive to the hours of Cobbs and clubs. Shun the pink and blue packets—a lemon wedge will do.
David Myers’s hip bistro delivers two courses of brasserie classics for $20. Spend the money you save on an afternoon rum fizz.Karen and Quinn Hatfield put on a show in their glass-walled kitchen. Maybe that’s why the $19 three-course lunch has been dubbed the “Studio” prix fixe.
A soft baguette with lemongrass-scented pork, pickled carrots, jalapeños, and cilantro. A soda biscuit with egg and smoky tocino (bacon) that packs the pleasure of home cooking. -
Some Angelenos don’t wait for Hollywood to discover them. Their fame is self-generated and, in a city of narcissists, hard won. Other characters express their passions in public with such missionary zeal, they make our own bashfulness all the more apparent.
Breakfast may be the “most important meal,” but lunch is our favorite.

Elijah and Salhaddin Harris were shot dead in their car in the Bronx, beer bottles still in their hands and takeout food still in their laps, on Sept. 10, 1992. The sun had just set and the block was not yet dark. Elijah was 24 and Sal was 25.

Bool BBQ’s truck has set up shop outside the E! Entertainment building along the Miracle Mile, and there’s a scrum of people eating and waiting to eat. A cyclist in a Giro d’Italia outfit waits his turn. So do two workers in Dockers and rumpled shirts.
Raymond Chandler, the besotted prince of L.A. noir, is said to have once signed a contract during a three-martini lunch to write a screenplay. The contract stipulated that he could remain drunk while finishing The Blue Dahlia, and he did so inside of two weeks. Now that’s American efficiency
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