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The Enthusiast

The Week in Food

* Mango sticky rice with extra coconut sauce, and green curry with pork, peas and bamboo shoots at the Thai Buddhist Temple's Sunday brunch in Berkeley (on Russell near MLK, a block from Ashby BART).

* Cambodian hot coconut soup at Angkor Borei near Cortland on Mission, where the food is cheap and fresh, but not extraordinary; don't forget the butterscotch marble waffle-bowl sundae from Mitchell's for dessert.

* Homemade vegan blueberry pancakes with blueberry compote and mango-nectarine salad, with magazines and friends on a weekend afternoon. Apparently the secret to a good vegan pancake batter is mixing in lots of fresh banana. Who knew?

* Crisp, tasty pizza with artichokes, spinach and fontina, with a tall, cool Hefeweizen from Jupiter Brewery in Berkeley (near Downtown Berkely BART), then a movie at the beautiful, vintage California Theater. Unfortunate movie choice, however; The Libertine is one of the dumber period pieces to be released in recent memory. At least the pizza was good.

* Spaghetti with Trader Joe's organic marinara sauce, Yves brand fake ground meat and parmesan, a surprisingly flavorful pasta dish that wouldn't have the same sweet-savory tang if it were made with real meat. Oddly, it's at its most delicious when served cold or room temp.

* Champagne, doctored decaf coffee (whiskey? black russians? you choose), and a packed house at the Castro Theater's Midnite for Maniacs series last Friday, featuring Valley Girl, The Legend of Billie Jean (a fun, feminist classic!), and the only existing print of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, featuring Diane Lane and Laura Dern as teenage bad-girl punk rockers on the road in a reggae jalopy tour bus. The next series is all dancercize movies: Staying Alive, Flashdance, and Heavenly Bodies. Must figure out how to best mix alcohol with health shake.