Jeff Yanc is the program director at the Loft Cinema. He was a co-owner of the late, lamented Readers' Oasis bookstore.
Fried avocados at Pastiche. It's creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It's two distinctive kinds of fat: You get the grease fat, which is the bad fat, but then you get the good fat from the avocado, so you feel like it's a healthy snack, but it's really not. I think I'm hooked on 'em.
Best place to pick up old instructional videotapes?
The Friends of the Pima County Public Library book sale. I was just there recently and got a Fabio workout tape. It's really great. There's a lot of stuff there, because people donate their old junk. And there's a lot of stuff from the library. ... It's great for finding books. They just had a great comic-book sale, because someone had a very, very big collection of comic books they donated to the library. They have bag day, where you can take whatever you can fit in a paper bag for $5.
Best Asian shopping experience?
G&L Import Export Corporation (4828 E. 22nd St.). It's kind of like the Wal-Mart of Asian imports, but it's funky and independent. I think it's been around for decades. Each aisle is dedicated to a different Asian country. It's mostly food—there's a lot of very strange food. There are also home-decorating items. The candy aisle is amazing. I like these little rainbow chips. They're almost like pork rinds, and they're multi-colored. They're sweet, and they're sprinkled with sesame seeds. There's a drink counter with all sorts of weird drinks, and I always like to get one, just to see what it tastes like. They have a shark-extract soda. It's kind of like a Sprite, but with a fishy undertaste. You'd think it would be disgusting, but it's actually very good, and supposedly very good for you.
The Bread and Butter Café (4231 E. 22nd St.). The chocolate-cream pie is to die for. The atmosphere is great, too. You can usually tell the best diners by how long you have to wait to get in, and there's always a wait, so you know it's good.
Best place to see a movie outdoors?
The De Anza Drive-In (1401 S. Alvernon Way). We're going to be in a world of hurt if the De Anza ever closes, because it's a unique thing we have here in the Southwest. I like that you can look around and see snippets of other movies. It's best if you're really not trying to watch the movie you came to see. You tend to get people sitting next to you who are talking, drinking, listening to music and having sex. It's all part of the experience.
Best place to hang out on a Sunday?
The Evergreen Mortuary Cemetery (3015 N. Oracle Road). It's very quiet, and you're outdoors. There are also a lot of great stories. You can walk around and look at the gravesites. There's a lot of history there. You can construct stories in your mind about these people's lives. It's very beautiful there. A lot of people don't think of going to a cemetery, but it's very relaxing. And there's always something new there. They're always adding to it.
Best late-night live theater experience?
The Etcetera series at Live Theatre Workshop (5317 E. Speedway Blvd.). They pick really edgy, interesting plays that would never play during prime time. They're at 10:30 p.m. Sometimes, there's nudity, a lot of cursing (and) a lot of simulated drug use. They're great plays. They did Fat Pig recently. They've done Hedwig. They did a take-off on Charlie Brown recently, where the gang was in a modern-day high school, dealing with teen-pregnancy issues and drug use and coming out of the closet. Snoopy kills himself in the beginning, and that sends Charlie Brown on a kind of existential (journey) to find the meaning of life.