“Sorry to Bother You” and Bibigo make for a badass combo

By Angela Matano

Sesame seeds and egg take bibimbap to the next flavor level

To paraphrase Tessa Thompson, one of the stars of “Sorry to Bother You,” if a movie has something to say, it often goes down like medicine — but this film, you’ll be happy to find, goes down smooth.

Badass, surprising and playful, “Sorry to Bother You” follows Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), a young black man struggling to make ends meet in a not-too-distant dystopian future. Upon landing a telemarketing job, Cassius discovers that using a “white” voice makes him a lot more money (BTW, David Cross of Arrested Development plays the voice).

And then it gets weird.

Director Boots Riley riffs on a bunch of cultural millstones (including racism, capitalism and art) while using everything in his power to keep all his balls and whistles flying through the air, provoking laughs, gasps and silent jaw drops along the way. Careful with your oversized soda — you don’t want to spit it out and spray the dude sitting in front of you.

Like “Get Out,” “Sorry to Bother You” is just so damn entertaining. Genre elements from magical realism and science fiction poke their heads into the plot at various moments, waking you up like a hit of smelling salts. Vibrant and jazzy with great performances and a plot that clips along just right, it manages to inhabit the darkness and brutal-realism of race-focused works like “The Invisible Man,” but without sparing any amount of fun. It’s a strange combination of tones that seems like it shouldn’t work but absolutely does, like attending a protest rally wrapped in a music festival. If that doesn’t get your tuchus in the theater, go for the dramatic twists involving slave labor and weapons of mass destruction. You will walk away with something to talk about.

In the fabulously funny TV show “Portlandia,” Carey Brownstein pokes fun at the city’s crafting obsession — embroidering, painting and adding a bird figure to anything and everything, from T-shirts and necklaces to curtains and dishes. A lateral foodie joke could easily be to put an egg on it. Sandwiches, salads and bowls all get the egg treatment. Still, you have to admit, putting an egg on it is pretty great.

Bibigo, a new fast-casual Korean joint on Sawtelle Boulevard, is clearly in on the jest. Not only can some of the offerings come with a fried egg on top; all of the offerings are improved with said egg.

As is popular of late, Bibigo functions as a sort of Build-a-Bowl, choose-your-own adventure of eateries. You begin with a base (did you know black rice is even better for you than brown?), mix in a wide variety of different veggies (like pickled radish and kale), choose from one of four sauces, select a protein and finish it all off with garnishes like sesame seeds, crispy onions and, as you’ve probably guessed, a fried egg.

Mixed all together, the bowls can skew healthy or decadent, depending on your choices. I went for all ten vegetable options with tofu, black rice and sesame sauce, and was able to leave both smug and satisfied. My colleague Jessica Koslow threw caution to the wind, slathering kimchi rice with pickled jalapenos, kohot sauce (sweet and spicy), Bulgogi beef, spicy pork and red chicken, sesame oil and the dreaded egg. Phew! Jessica is badass.

Not unlike “Sorry to Bother You,” Bibigo is surprising, badass and playful. The night I went, the kitchen was trying out a new dessert: crispy fried taro
chips drizzled in honey and smattered with sesame seeds. Sometimes, even
in these trying times, things take a turn for the better.

“Sorry to Bother You” is screening at Cinemark Playa Vista and XD, AMC Santa Monica 7 and AMC Dine-In Theatres Marina 6. Bibigo is at 2210 Sawtelle Blvd. in Sawtelle Japantown. Call (424)293-2561 or visit bigousa.com

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