This year's World Cup, even without Nate Silver's cockamamie rankings, has been a prime tournament for culinary obsessives.
Not only did Sunday's U.S.-Portugal game pause for an unprecedented water break — did mom remember the Sunny D? — but Tuesday afternoon, with the eyes of FIFA and the world upon him, Uruguay's Luis Suárez stopped for an impromptu bite of Italian food.
Of course the snack in question happened to be the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, Suárez forgot to bring the chimichurri, and there was no parrilla in sight, but Uruguayans have always had a carnivorous bent, as anyone who has attended a traditional asado can attest.
Still, this leaves the question of where to watch today's U.S.-Germany match in doubt.
The German places, you know about — Wirtshaus, Red Lion, even the weissbier-sloshing confines of Alpine Village (833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance), which may be as German as anything gets in Southern California at the moment, but is also where the U.S. coach — Jüergen Klinsmann, a longtime Manhattan Beach resident, goes himself to hoist a stein.
Really, his autographed picture is on the wall and everything.
If his team weren't on the field in Recife, Klinsmann might well be at the restaurant, noshing on weisswurst and red cabbage and cheering on his countrymen.
The official policy of Alpine Village, at least as stated on its Facebook page, is to root for a tie, at which point both their customers and their landsmen go on to the round of 16.
But if you are rooting for the United States, and why shouldn't you be, the question becomes more difficult.
Would it be patriotic to seek out an open Applebee's or Buffalo Wild Wings? Do you want to nibble croissants and watch the game within the cerebral precincts of the Hammer Museum in Westwood. Shall you join the approximately 200 people per square foot on hand at the Cock & Bull in Santa Monica or the Happy Ending in Hollywood?
I suggest Bludso's Bar & Que. (609 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 931-2583) Because there is no earthly reason you should be at a barbecue restaurant first thing in the morning, and they kind of know it too, but the screen is big enough, you can drink craft beer out of coffee cups, and maybe somebody will toss you a slice of brisket if you're very, very good.