So the Academy Awards are happening on Sunday, and what better way to celebrate the cult of celebrity than to visit Farringdon’s premiere American-style diner, Tinseltown?
I’m going to spend a bit of time here going into fullblown rant mode about this place for a minute, and then, in an effort to bring this back to an actual point, I’m probably going to try and shoehorn in something about easy fame at the end, we’ll see. At this point in the post, we’re both as unsure as one another about what the outcome of this is going to be. It’s like Schrodinger’s really bad burger.
So, to caveat this, I’m going to point out that, in terms of general fun and morale of the group, this must have been one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I’ve never laughed so much in the face of despair in my life. It was like being overcome with panicked hysteria as your turn at the guillotine approaches, or the euphoria you apparently experience when you accept that you’re drowning and you can’t do anything about it. They should put that as their strapline, they really should. ‘Tinseltown. You’ll feel like you’re drowning’.
So, let’s just get this out of the way real quick. I’ve already sent a lengthy email to a friend who, sadly for him, couldn’t make it last night, so I’m going to use that but also I’m going to change bits to make it funnier here and there. Just ignore that and pretend I’m funny even when I’m firing off hatemail about fast food.
So, firstly, the food was terrible, and the service felt like we were in the lost city of Atlantis and were unable to speak in burbles.
Every single thing had at least one bit missing, and considering we were there because of a ‘lightning deal’ offering a metric butt-ton of food for every customer, you would think they would have had a staff training evening about serving more than one item per person. Presumably, though, they had never done that before because, at Tinseltown, if you order one thing, you don’t want any more things. My favourite bit was where we had to tell them each, individual missing item, one by one, and they would go away and come back with it. It took so long that we didn’t even have everything by the time we finished eating. That said, we finished eating pretty quick; not because the ‘challenge burger’ beat us, but because we just couldn’t be bothered to finish it. It was more like reading a bad book than eating food, which is not a comparison people make very often. So bad. And it’s the tackiest, grottiest, most tired-looking place you’ve ever seen. It looks like some enterprising businessman had opened the first burger joint after a global nuclear war. And they keep showing 10 year old videos of celebrities saying ‘whatup y’all hope y’all are enjoying tinseltown’, but it’s all like Xtina from her dirrrrrrrrty period or 50 cent. The most cringe-inducing was snoop from 10 years ago talking about enjoying your burgizzle at tinseltizzle. Then magic FM resumed.
I think my favourite thing was how, if it’s your birthday (it wasn’t, and for a while I genuinely felt like it never would be again, so completely had any faith in future happiness been sapped), they play a birthday video with the same confused looking has-beens saying happy birthday, but then use it as an advertising opportunity to tell everyone where the other branches of tinseltown are. All of that costs some poor mug at your birthday party a fiver. You literally pay them to advertise themselves on your behalf.
I guess the best way to understand how Tinseltown feels would be to watch the Oscars on Sunday. Tired, confused celebrities of yesteryear sitting in the audience, numbly watching the great and good of today, that they used to be, pass under their nose. They’ll still command the same price as them, for a while, but the green formica on their faces is going to start peeling soon, and no one will want to be around them. And then, in 30 years, I’ll walk into Tinseltown Farringdon and I’ll see Mike Myers having dinner with Ja Rule, both of them crying onto a piece of Swiss cheese that refuses to melt, no matter how much they ask for their frozen burger to be re-microwaved.
Forget it, Jake. It’s Tinseltown.