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Beth Spotswood

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Friend, Movie, Dinner: The Trip and The Boxing Room

Posted: 08/28/11 07:03 PM ET

The hilarious Tara and I decided to go see The Trip at the Opera Plaza theater. As far as San Francisco movie theaters go, this is not one of our favorites. But they show artsy-fartsy movies and it's very close to a good bookstore.

I know what you're thinking. We might as well adopt orphans off the television and start knitting Afghans. But sometimes it's just nice to go to movie and dinner with your friend and get in bed at a reasonable hour.

Anyway, we sat down in the theater, which seats approximately 12 people, and all of a sudden, this young lady movie usher marches to the front of the theater. Similar to one of those poetry beggars on a subway, she faces us and announces, "Hi, my name is Lisa and I'll be starting the movie really soon. Please let me know if you need anything, or if the movie is blurry. I'll be in several times to check on everything, but don't hesitate to come get me if anything is wrong." And with that, Tara beams and screams, "Thanks Lisa!"

The Trip involves two British comedians, one of whom we'd heard of, driving around the UK eating at amazing restaurants and talking. I have never seen My Dinner With Andre but based upon a lifetime of cultural references, I suspect it is very similar. They also do about an hour of Michael Caine impressions. Hey, I like Michael Caine. And I am mildly amused by a discussion on the nuances of his speech patterns over food porn. But after a while, I wanted to scream, "Do Walken!"

Opera Plaza Cinemas attract an older crowd of recent retirees who speak in their regular voices during the movie. The Trip involves lots of very high-concept dining restaurants. Now, it's not like I'm kicking my feet up on the table at Manresa every Wednesday, but let's all agree that 'foam' is no longer a big deal. There is no need to audibly react every time something arrives at the table with foam on it. Half of the audience had clearly seen an episode of Top Chef Season One and felt they were in the know on the foam fad. It drove me f***ing nuts.

Afterwards, we went to dinner at The Boxing Room which everyone is talking about and I had never been to. It's Louisiana food, so lots of crawfish and gumbo in low lighting with lots of charming skillets and chalkboards. If Forrest Gump was looking for a slightly upscale dining experience, he'd go to The Boxing Room.

Tara and I ate at the bar and spent as much time complaining about the movie's Michael Caine impressions as actually appeared in the movie. By the end of dinner at 11-ish, Tara announced the same thing she always announces towards the end of our late dining. "I know I always say this, I can't wait to crawl into bed with my book."

So true. Enjoying a weird (and thus entertaining) artsy movie and dinner night with my friend Tara and crawling into my adult, clean-sheeted and already-made bed by midnight with 2 chapters left of my awesome book is a wonderful way to spend a night in San Francisco.

*Programming note: Friend, Movie, Dinner will involve a friend, a movie and a dinner somewhere in the City. We reserve the right to review all three. We're also using the word "review" very loosely. This post originally appeared right here.*