Food and music
Trip to Feng Mao for Korean lamb skewers with the Los Angeles-area Ars Technica forum members. Lots of tasty things in addition to lamb, including pig ear, cold cucumber, squid, quail, chicken hearts... nom!
Death Cab for Cutie up at Santa Barbara Bowl that night (setlist). Slightly more melodic feel than the Los Angeles show but only a tad-- maybe due to the smaller venue as well. Ben Gibbard became sweat man, next to indecisive man, while the rest of the group did their usual rockin' out... which is to say, Death Cab as a band still has very little stage presence.
But that's okay, they do banter a little, the crowd feels appreciated, and they music is oh-so-very-good still, particularly during a few songs where they've finally perfected jamming the guitar into the microphones behind 'em. And the encore of Passenger Seat, Marching Bands of Manhattan, and Transatlanticism is even better the second time around!
Santa Barbara Bowl is a very pleasant venue with a polite (and high) crowd. 30 minutes into the opening act (Best Coast) it was still possible to saunter up to the rail in the GA section and get a decent view, although having to pay cash at the concessions was annoying. The fake banh mi was so-so and ridiculously expensive too, although that's my fault-- the pizza they were selling was both tastier looking and much better priced. Oops!