We ain't ever getting older

// Philadelphia, PA

Today is my 34th birthday. I took a red-eye from Las Vegas to celebrate it in Philadelphia. First time wearing pants in months.

Yesterday, I realized that I did not acknowledge the 16th anniversary of Adam Riff™ on September 10.

Come next September 10, I will have operated this website for half of my life.

These violent delights have violent ends

// Las Vegas, NV

I wonder how Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud feel about being marketed alongside Cake Boss.

Oh, this is a touring show?

Al Pacino is doing two evenings in Buenos Aires at the end of October.

The Palazzo is hosting a baccarat championship, which… It's a game of chance. There's no skill or strategy involved.

Video blackjack with a live dealer is the best of both worlds – no socializing necessary, and no computer dealer shenanigans.

How did Spy vs. Spy get a slot machine?


If washrooms in a place are single-use, and the men's washroom is occupied, is it acceptable for a man to use the women's washroom?

Desert Trip

// Las Vegas, NV

While my Uber is stopped at a red light, I look to my right.

Does that say… Penis? Oh. Puppetry of the Penis. Oh. Erotic Heritage Museum.

"Home of the world's largest sex bike."

Sapphire Las Vegas is the world's largest strip club, offering "more than 70,000 square feet of topless entertainment."

[googles "world's smallest strip club"]

At Top Shot Las Vegas, you can shoot real guns at your friends:

The "futuristic" ammo is non-lethal.

Meanwhile, at Adventure Combat Ops, you can shoot zombies with real special operatives:


Ross has two stores on the Strip for some reason.

Idea: A Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, but for cocktails.

I'm a motherfuckin' starboy

// Las Vegas, NV

What if his restaurant struggles?

Vegas's got America's Got Talent talent.

The Spa at Monte Carlo's specialty treatment is "the champagne and caviar facial, which reduces fine lines."

Aria not having a Cirque du Soleil show is like USC not having a men's soccer team.

Radiohead has only played Vegas twice, "opening for Tears for Fears in 1993 at the Aladdin—where a furious Thom Yorke reportedly kicked out half the stage lights—and again in 1995 at the old Joint, during a problem-plagued tour with Soul Asylum." #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes

Pikachus are the new Olafs. I saw two Pikachus side by side outside The Linq. Olafs aren't going away, though.

Where does one get an adult-sized Pikachu costume?

"When I grow up, I want to be a gondolier in an artificial indoor canal."

Adding dancing fountains outside the Wynn – really, Steve?

Bellagio adjace.

I feel like working in luxury retail here is an easy job, because I never see anyone in luxury retail stores, let alone buying stuff.

The restaurant in Trump's hotel is named "DJT."

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

40. Guns don't kill people (Atlanta, S01E05)

Honourable Mention

  • Silent Student Film (You're the Worst, S03E05)
  • Chris Jericho (The Eric Andre Show, S04E08)
  • Mr. Robot (Saturday Night Live, S42E01)

Stray Observations

  • "How could she be so sick but still so strong?"
    "Like the economy!" (Bob's Burgers, S07E01)
  • "It's so cool how he's, like, a spirit that can be different things to different people."
    "Like Tom Brady." (Bob's Burgers, S07E01)
  • "Chicks love corn nuts." (Son of Zorn, S01E02)
  • Betty Draper shot Don Draper (The Last Man on Earth, S03E01)
  • "God, Tandy, why do you have such a tent in your shorts about these guys?"
    "That's collected fabric!" (The Last Man on Earth, S03E01)
  • Ballers Season Grade: D
  • "Cool, cool cool cool cool cool. Our country is broken." (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S04E02)
  • "See you never, drive-through vape station!" (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S04E02)
  • "We can outsmart some small town sheriff. We're NYPD detectives. We caught the Son of Sam. Ice T plays us on TV. We keep the Tonys safe." (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S04E02)
  • "Enjoy your blood yogurt." (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S04E02)
  • "Maria Conchita Alonzo. Celery Flintstone." (New Girl, S06E02)
  • "'Every moment you're on this earth is a moment I know where you are.' You know who wrote that?"
    "Great James Baldwin."
    "No, you wr— James Baldwin? What?!" (New Girl, S06E02)
  • Black Bieber (Atlanta, S01E05)
  • "How much for a beer?"
    "Oh, it's gratis."
    "Oh, well… I'll have a Hennessy and Grand Marnier." (Atlanta, S01E05)
  • "I guess I've been trying to be so cool lately that I became something I'm not."
    [turns hat forward]
    "This is me. This is the real Justin." (Atlanta, S01E05)
  • "People don't want Justin to be the asshole; they want you to be the asshole. You're a rapper. That's your job." (Atlanta, S01E05)
  • Biz Markie (Empire, S03E02)
  • Andre's life matters? (Empire, S03E02)
  • "We have surrounded our kids with so much white people stuff that they no longer believe in God. So, from here on out, no more almond milk, radicchio, hummus, goat cheese, or quail egg. To hell with Whole Foods. From here on out, we are a Food 4 Less family. And you know who shops there? True believers." (Black-ish, S03E02)
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. doggystyling Lady Gaga (American Horror Story, S06E03)
  • A Taiwanese dude named "Jianyu" (The Good Place, S01E04)
  • "It's impossible for anything to be more perfect than perfect."
    "It isn't, actually. Any place or thing in the universe can be up to 104% perfect. That's how you got Beyoncé." (The Good Place, S01E04)
  • "Beautiful, beautiful Jacksonville." (The Good Place, S01E04)
  • "Of course I have dreams, man. I don't want to be a DJ in Jacksonville forever. I want to DJ in Daytona, Tallahassee, Tampa even. I want it all." (The Good Place, S01E04)
  • "Bortles!" (The Good Place, S01E04)
  • An episode told from a dog's point of view (High Maintenance, S01E03)
  • Hannibal Buress roundhouse-kicking Flavor Flav in the face (The Eric Andre Show, S04E08)
  • J.B. Smoove? (Transparent, S03E01)
  • Nathan Fielder? (Transparent, S03E02)
  • "Jewish men don't do demo."
    "I am a Jewish woman, Joshy, and Jewish women do whatever the fuck they want." (Transparent, S03E05)
  • "Who's Trevor?"
    "He's the gay who comes with my room. I am on a completely different level. I get a poached egg on demand." (Transparent, S03E10)
  • Transparent Season Grade: C+
  • Raphael Saddiq (Luke Cage, S01E01)
  • "You like my Biggie photo?" (Luke Cage, S01E01)
  • "Just slapped you like a little bitch. I'm not the kind of man to used a closed fist on a woman." (Luke Cage, S01E01)
  • An ABC production using a TNT NBA telecast (Luke Cage, S01E02)
  • "I'm surprised to see you this far uptown."
    "I'm mostly midtown nowadays. Puffy ain't got shit on me, baby. I'm the real bad boy worldwide." (Luke Cage, S01E02)

Still the AR™TV World Drama Champion: Stranger Things
Still the AR™TV World Comedy Champion: Atlanta


Jewelry and Firearms

// Austin, TX

Seems like every girl here is gluten-free.

Why am I being warned about the risks of drinking while pregnant in a men's washroom?

"Whiskey" without an E looks wrong.

A homeless dude slumped over in a wheelchair on the side of a highway exit ramp turned down my La Barbecue leftovers because of an upset stomach.

Great OutDogs is "the go-to place for outdoor-related dog gear." [pause] White people, amirite?

The Indian musical numbers and Indian music videos that precede Fantastic Fest screenings seemingly all feature a middle-aged-looking man with a mustache and dad bod singing and dancing with a horde of young women.

Floppy Disk Repair

// Austin, TX

Chefs here sure like goat cheese.

The Texas School for the Deaf has a football team. What schools do they play?

I hate that you have to go up to Barton Springs or down to West Mary to get from South First to South Lamar. Bouldin = Lake Union in Seattle.

I walked down East Sixth Street on a slow night. It was just a parade of loitering bouncers.

Still no Brandon Stroud sighting at Fantastic Fest.

When a bed has a flat tucked-in sheet on top of a fitted sheet, are you supposed to sleep under said flat sheet?

No Guns, No Smoking, No Meanies

Carnival Cruise Corporation Venturing Into Original Programming

Carnival has created three original TV programs that will air on major networks on Saturday mornings beginning October 1.

"Vacation Creation," featuring "In Living Color" star and comedian Tommy Davidson and YouTube celebrity Andrea Feczko as hosts, personalizes vacations of a lifetime for couples, individuals and families facing hardship, in need of hope or seeking much-needed time together.

Carnival Cruise Corporation created a television programme in which In Living Colour's Tommy Davidson and a YouTube celebrity surprise the tired and poor with dream vacations.

It's like a Mad Lib.

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

39. Toy Story (Brad Neely's Harg Nallin' Sclopio Peepio, S01E10)

Honourable Mention

  • Graveyard Slumber Party (One Mississippi, S01E06)

Stray Observations

  • Mike Schur "cameo" (The Good Place, S01E01)
  • Point system examples (The Good Place, S01E01)
  • An Asian character named "Jianyu" (The Good Place, S01E01)
  • Ted Danson licking his sweat (The Good Place, S01E02)
  • "I wasn't freakin' Gandhi, but I was okay… I was a medium person. I should get to spend eternity in a medium place, like Cincinnati. Everyone who wasn't perfect but wasn't terrible should get to spend eternity in Cincinnati." (The Good Place, S01E02)
  • "We could've literally been flying, and all you wanted to do was talk about morals. I mean, you're like the worst part of Superman." (The Good Place, S01E02)
  • "I'm not a mountain of strength; I'm a canyon…full of poo poo." (The Good Place, S01E02)
  • "End of the line, slut."
    "I'm sorry. Huh? What are you trying to say?"
    "He said, 'End of the line, slut'!" (Vice Principals, S01E09)
  • Principal Gamby knife (Vice Principals, S01E09)
  • Vice Principals Season Grade: D+
  • Father John Misty (Brad Neely's Harg Nallin' Sclopio Peepio, S01E10)
  • Brad Neely's Harg Nallin' Sclopio Peepio Season Grade: D
  • DJ B-day (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S04E01)
  • "That's a high school graduation ring. Dan Marino High."
    "Marino High. Home of the Dolphins, I suspect."
    "No, Pet Detectives."
    "Classic film. One of my childhood favourites. And it only gets overtly transphobic at the very end, so, a win." (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S04E01)
  • "I poked my head in the shower. Perfect. Gentle, unrelenting pressure. Like when my mom made me rehearse my Haftorah portion. (New Girl, S06E01)
  • Schmidt's pronunciation of "coupons" (New Girl, S06E01)
  • "You can't control who you panache." (New Girl, S06E01)
  • "Narnia…" (New Girl, S06E01)
  • Arthur meme (Atlanta, S01E04)
  • "But you know who Steve McQueen is, though."
    "Yeah, well, I'm Nigerian." (Atlanta, S01E04)
  • "Black people don't know who Steve McQueen is." (Atlanta, S01E04)
  • "Chinese people are short 'cause of Genghis Khan." (Atlanta, S01E04)
  • ♫: Michael Kiwanuka – "Home Again" (Atlanta, S01E04)
  • Birdman (Empire, S03E01)
  • "You got to go ahead of Green Day. Did you see the puss on Tré Cool?" (Black-ish, S03E01)
  • "This isn't Burn Notice. There are no blue skies for you out there. Characters like you are not welcome here." (Mr. Robot, S02E12)
  • "TerenceColby@aol.com." (Mr. Robot, S02E12)
  • "What is really happening?" (Mr. Robot, S02E12)
  • Mr. Robot Season Grade: C
  • "That's what the money's for!" (You're the Worst, S03E04)
  • "Nothing gets this pimp through a dumb baby class like toilet beer." (You're the Worst, S03E04)
  • "Rainbro Cones" (One Mississippi, S01E05)
  • One Mississippi Season Grade: C-

Still the AR™TV World Drama Champion: Stranger Things
Still the AR™TV World Comedy Champion: Atlanta


Dishoom Reigns

// Austin, TX

Traffic lights here stay green hella long.

Big Red is no Cheerwine.

You can't twist the cap off a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola?

H-E-B's logo reminds me of Ren and Stimpy.

Steven thought Whole Foods Market was a local chain.

I got stuck behind Harry Knowles and his wheelchair while trying to exit the Fantastic Fest venue to catch a bus.

Black Beatles

I switched up the stops on my autumn tour this year.

First stop: Austin, TX for Fantastic Fest – my first visit to Austin.

My tentative Fantastic Fest schedule:

Thursday, Sep 22
5:00PM Arrival
8:30PM The Handmaiden
Friday, Sep 23
11:45AM The Red Turtle
2:30PM Viceland's Nirvanna the Band the Show
4:45PM Toni Erdmann
8:45PM The Bad Batch
Saturday, Sep 24
2:15PM They Call Me Jeeg Robot
5:15PM The Eyes of My Mother
8:45PM Re: Born
11:15PM Headshot
Sunday, Sep 25
11:00AM Fraud
2:30PM Playground
4:15PM Puke and Explode: The FF Eating Contest
6:00PM Raw
Monday, Sep 26
11:45AM Pervert Boy
1:45PM The Age of Shadows
5:30PM Down Under
8:30PM The Girl with All the Gifts
11:15PM The Young Offenders
Tuesday, Sep 27
2:00PM American Honey
5:15PM A Monster Calls
8:15PM Elle
11:45PM Call of Heroes
Wednesday, Sep 28
8:45PM My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea
Thursday, Sep 29
10:45AM RZA: Live from the 36th Chamber
5:00PM HBO's Westworld
7:20PM Colossal

Bummed that I could not fit in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children or Asura: The City of Madness.

Eater's Digest: Downtown Los Angeles

Previously on Adam Riff™:

I have a formidable backlog of food notes on New York City and Los Angeles dating back to May 2014 that I desperately need to clear. Some restaurants I tried have closed. Some dishes I tried are no longer available.

Phase three:

Downtown Los Angeles (May 2014 – September 2016)
b.s. taqueria / bäco mercat / bar ama / barrel down / bearclaw kitchen / belcampo meat co. / birdies / the black sheep / bombo / bottega louie / the briks / broken spanish / burritos la palma / califas taco / the chairman / chego! / chicas tacos / crepes sans frontieres / crispy cuban / donut friend / downtown donuts / fritzi / eat drink americano / eggslut / eko eats / gelateria uli / good gravy bakes / gresescent / guerrilla tacos / guisados / howlin' ray's / j's mart cafe / knead and co. / lemonade / the little jewel of new orleans / little sister / madcapra / mariscos jalisco / mcconnell's fine ice cream / mr. ramen / octopus / ohana poké co. / ol' skool bbq / osso / otium / the pie hole / pitfire pizza / pizzanista! / plan check / poke express by honda-ya / poke-2-go / preux and proper / raindrop cake / rucker's pie / sea salt fish grill / semi sweet bakery / seoul sausage co. / sidechick / sixth street tavern / sonoratown / spitz / spread mediterranean kitchen / the stocking frame / stoked! california bbq / sugarfish / triple 8 / ugly drum / valerie confections / van leeuwen artisan ice cream / wafl / wokcano / woodspoon / zema

Steak Tartare with Mustard Ice Cream (Eat Drink Americano)
raw diced filet mignon, home-made dijon mustard ice cream

^ The difference in temperature can be jarring.

Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon (Preux and Proper)
pain perdu, smoked strawberries, doubletree sorghum, fruity pebbles

^ I've eaten foie gras with French toast and/or berries before, but never with SMOKED berries and Fruity Pebbles.

Jambalaya Biscuit Pizza (Preux and Proper)
wild mexican white shrimp, pulled chicken, persillade, smoked moz

^ The biscuit base was unappetizingly chewy.

(Woodspoon) is a "rustic Brazilian kitchen" that flavours its water with a cinnamon stick. To my amusement, it neighbours an Argentinian restaurant.

Brazilian Chicken Pot Pie (Woodspoon)
hearts of palm, black olives, hard-boiled egg

Not sure what is Brazilian about this pot pie, but it was pleasantly dense.


8. Fried Chicken (Eko Eats)

7. Birdies Spicy Sandwich (Birdies)
fried chicken breast, cole slaw, ghost pepper mayo, tillamook pepper jack, cured pickles
—Not spicy at all.

6. Chicken and Donuts (Sixth Street Tavern)
tapatio whipped cream

^ Tapatio whipped cream!

5. Nashville Hot Chicken (Howlin' Ray's)
bread, pickles
—Prepare to queue an hour to order.

4. Da KFC (Seoul Sausage Co.)
twice-fried wings, gochujang honey, pickled daikon
—Hella crispy.

3. Half Fried Chicken (Osso)
potato salad
—Because it's cooked-to-order in a skillet, prepare to wait half an hour for this to arrive.

2. Za'taar Fried Chicken (Spread Mediterranean Kitchen)
za'atar ranch
—A boneless delight.

1. Southern Fry Sandwich (Plan Check)
smokey fried jidori chicken, spicy green pimento cheese, duck breast ham, pickles

^ Plan Check's Plan Check Burger (americanized dashi cheese, KETCHUP LEATHER™, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun) didn't wow me, but its Southern Fry Sandwich is on my Mount Rushmore of fried chicken sandwiches.

The Classic Brik (The Briks)
tuna, capers, shallots, harissa, egg

A brik is a Tunisian deep-fried filled filo dough pastry.

(The Briks)' menu is presented in a Pee Chee folder and its washroom walkway is wallpapered with pages from a print version of the Urban Dictionary.


6. Churro Funnel Cake (Bar Amá)
chocolate sauce, powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream

5. Man Salad (Seoul Sausage Co.)
tater tots, kim cheese, pickled veggies

4. Ooey Gooey Fries (Chego!)
beer-battered fries, sour cream sambal, monterey jack and cheddar cheese, cotija, chillies, cilantro, pickled garlic

3. Fish and Shrimp Po'Boy (The Little Jewel of New Orleans)
golden fried catfish, shrimp
—My go-to when I want a meal delivered in DTLA.

2. Fresh Thick-Cut Fries (The Chairman)
—Bomb thick fries.

1. Beef Tallow Fries (Belcampo Meat Co.)
—Bomb thin fries.

Midnight Slider (The Black Sheep)
pork sausage patty, hash brown, fried egg, american, pepper jack, chipotle aioli

^ The inclusion of a hash brown patty was interesting.

Slut (Eggslut)
cage-free coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar, topped with gray salt and chives, served with slices of baguette

^ An eggy mashed potato spread.


5. Cochinita Pibil Taco (Guisados)
shredded pork cooked in a sweet red achiote spice, black beans, yucatan compliments, pickled red onions, habañero chile

4. The Foghorn Leghorn (White Boy Tacos)
geiikikan sake-marinated chicken breast, scrambled eggs, red and yellow bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, home-made old bay aioli

3. Tripita Taco (Sonoratown)
mesquite-grilled, house-made flour tortilla, chopped cabbage, spicy red salsa, avocado sauce

2. Clams and Lardo Taco (B.S. Taqueria)
garlic chips

^ Brothy!

1. Fish Taco (Chicas Tacos)
beer-battered fish, caesar salad, croutons, morita salsa, queso manchego

^ A fish taco topped with Caesar salad.

Smorgasburg is a weekly outdoor food market.


4. Strawberry Passion Fruit Crumble (Bearclaw Kitchen)
layers of fresh strawberries, fresh cream, passion fruit curd, shortcake crumble

3. Hainan Chicken (Sidechick)
garlic rice, pickled cucumbers

2. [tie] Fritter Seems Forever (Donut Friend) /

Polar Berry Club (Donut Friend) /
lemon glaze, fresh mixed berries, mint

Chocolate from the Crypt (Donut Friend)
a chocolate cake donut, chocolate glaze, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, chocolate shavings

^ The best fritter, yeast-raised donut, and cake donut that I have ever eaten on the west coast are made by the producer of Blink-182's Dude Ranch and Finch's What It Is to Burn.

1. Pastrami Sandwich (Ugly Drum)
prime brisket brined for two weeks, rubbed with pepper and spices, then smoked with hardwoods overnight; served on izzy's rye from la brea bakery with plochman's spicy brown mustard

^ If Franklin Barbecue's brisket and Mile End's smoked meat sandwich mated. If only it didn't cost $20…

3. (The Pie Hole)
2. (Gresescent) Ice Cream
1. (Gelateria Uli)

3. Double Crust Apple
2. Fresh Strawberry
1. Chocolate Crostata

4. Raspberry Nutella
3. Strawberry Jam
2. Lemon Bar
1. Blackberry Mint Mojito

5. [tie] Rye Bread / Poblano
4. Snow Queen Nectarine
3. Strawberry Stracciatella
2. Orange Passion Fruit Stracciatella
1. Chocolate [Sorbet]

Raindrop Cake (Raindrop Cake / Smorgasburg: Los Angeles)

^ The viral dessert of 2016 is a blob of water and agar served with roasted soy flour and a syrup [in my case, matcha green tea].

While the "cake" is supposed to be flavourless [you're practically eating water], it is acutely flavourness, and no amount of syrup can mask its acute flavourlessness.

Initially, I thought it was a baked cake, and was mystified by its translucence.

Strawberry Shortcake Donut (Birdies)

^ Cream overload.

112 (Westbound)
grilled peaches, ginger beer gelée, peach cream, celery apple sorbet
—Peaches and cream, heh.


Popcorn (Westbound)
distilled vinegar powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt
—An addictive complimentary snack. It's supposed to taste like Cool Ranch Doritos?

Oxtail Quesadilla (Broken Spanish)
plantain, habañero, salsa quemada

Lamb Neck Tamale (Broken Spanish)
king oyster mushroom, queso oaxaca

Macaroni and Cheese Pizza (Pizzanista!)
tomato sauce, elbow macaroni, asiago, fontina, cheddar, grana padano

^ Macaroni and cheese and RED SAUCE.

Califas Taco (Califas Taco)
—A messy taco topped with fries.

Potato Waffle (Fritzi)
—Literally mashed potatoes pressed into a waffle maker – bizarro waffle fries.


(Goldenboys Chinese) – "Los Angeles-inspired, farmer's market-fueled, stoner Chinese Food."

The Jane Goodall (White Boy Tacos)
donald duck orange juice- and chili-marinated tofu, grilled banana, aunt jemima maple syrup
—That description…

Beet Trifle (Westbound)
orange cake, regan's orange bitters, beet meringue, spring herb ice cream, brandy caramel

Tim Tam (Westbound)
almond milk panna cotta, nutella crunch, cacao nibs, espellete

^ I assume it tastes like a Tim Tam.

$100 Edible Gold Donut (Birdies)
cream cheese champagne glaze, flakes of 24-karat gold leaf

^ I was talked out of trying it.

claro rum, cognac, meletti amaro, apple, cinnamon


Spinach Bucatini (Otium)
egg, bacon, clam, crème fraîche

^ Orgasm in a bowl.

Bologna Taco (B.S. Taqueria)
kewpie mayonnaise, escabeche

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich (Eat Drink Americano)
english muffin, wakame seaweed, saffron aioli

Pilgrim (Eat Drink Americano)
slow-roasted turkey, traditional stuffing, corn foam, cranberry sauce

Crispy Sunchokes (Bäco Mercat)
tarragon, dukkah, butter croutons

Potato Terrine (Osso)

Donabe Smoked S'mores (Otium)
kumquat, olive sable

^ For brunch, (Otium) serves an off-the-menu donabe smoked French toast and pork belly.