The Great Debate: In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack

Food

I’m an Angeleno who has had In-N-Out all my life and Shake Shack only once. It’s true this review/comparison may not be 100 percent accurate and only like 99 percent biased, but here goes:

The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the Madison Square Park Shake Shack was the line — SO LONG. Why. How. In-N-Out can be packed, but the line rarely ever gets too long. The service is quick no matter what time of day it is. At 6 p.m. on a Friday I spent at least half an hour trying to pick up food from Shake Shack.

In-N-Out: 1, Shake Shack: 0

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Shake Shack’s menu is definitely more diverse than In-N-Out’s. I expected that. Their shake flavor selection is pretty bomb. I had the black and white, which I thought was a cool way to rep the East Coast. Additionally, while I was waiting in line there was this really funny staff guy passing out menus and challenging customers to rock, paper, scissors — good laughs to pass the time.
In-N-Out: 1, Shake Shack: 1
The sauce is where it gets interesting. Both have their own special blend. In-N-Out has the thousand island-type stuff, while Shake Shack has a sort of spicy mayo. Both are equally good. Truly. Try ’em before you knock ’em.
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In-N-Out: 2, Shake Shack: 2
Burgers and fries are what we’re here for. I give a one-up to In-N-Out for having onions included. Yep, it’s that simple. Plus, In-N-Out uses more of their sauce, I think. Or maybe Shake Shack skimped.
In-N-Out: 3, Shake Shack: 2
Lastly, the price. You cannot beat In-N-Out’s price. The burger, fries, shake combo is definitely cheaper than that same combo at Shake Shack.
In-N-Out: 4, Shake Shack 2
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Such a cute little burger.

I could also score the branding. While In-N-Out has a classic, unmistakable logo, the Shake Shack little icon things are super cute. It’s very 21st Century. The fact that Shake Shack isn’t afraid of evolving with chicken sandwiches and limited-time items could earn them two points to tie out this score. But I won’t do that because LA TILL I DIE.
In-N-Out wins, duh.

Social Media Butter: Kendall Marshall

Sports

Prior to December 2013, the majority of Los Angeles had no idea who he was. And unless you hang tight with the Lakers or the NBA, you still may not recognize his name.

The Lakers pulled up Kendall Marshall from the D-League this past season after the point guards on their roster began dropping like flies to injuries. Marshall held his own on the staggering squad, finishing with an average of 8 points, 8.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game, according to NBA stats.

In the Lakers Kobe-less stretch, Nick Young stole the show on the court, claiming the nickname Swaggy P and becoming notorious for his shot celebrations. However, Marshall was able to build a following with his off the court personality — @KButter5 reigns supreme.

@KButter5Marshall’s follower count on Twitter trumps every Laker on the 2013-14 roster with the only exceptions being All-Stars Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. His Q&As, fast food cravings and comedic comments have garnered an audience.

As everyone has said since Twitter took off, it provides a platform for athletes and celebrities to connect with fans like never before. Marshall has mastered it. Scroll through his feed and it’s immediately apparent that he leaves up no walls between him and the world.

He’s for real and his social media reach doesn’t even stop at the blue bird. You can also join his 36.6K Vine followers to follow his life in six second bursts, most of which feature him singing or lip-syncing.

Or if you’re more into photos, of course he is on Instagram as @jethrowellington to the tune of an audience of 102K.

Third 2014 draft pick Joel-Hans Embiid has made noise on Twitter lately with his failed attempt to sway LeBron James to choose his team in Philly. And his most recent tweet at Kim Kardashian (he quickly apologized).

Yet Embiid’s wild antics still don’t quite bring him to the threshold of @KButter5’s 212K.

Marshall loves his Chipotle, he loves sharing across social media and we’ll have to wait and see whether or not the Lakers sign him up for another season.*

@jethrowellington: “safety first babygirl.”

Until then, he is worth keeping tabs on. You will be entertained.

@jethrowellington: “just bc one doesn’t tweet about it daily, doesn’t mean the work ain’t happenin. This is my job, what I’m SUPPOSED to do. No need to broadcast it. don’t let this social fool shit fool you from what’s fact. sidenote: spider push ups ain’t no joke. sheesh”

*UPDATE:  Kendall Marshall is no longer a Laker, but rather a Milwaukee Buck. He’ll jostle with Brandon Knight for the starting PG spot. The Bucks have the promising second lottery pick on their squad (Jabari Parker) and the unpredictable Jason Kidd as the new coach. Marshall said the following fittingly via Twitter:

“It’s been a roller coaster these first two years! Learning so much about basketball and business, loving the process. I’d like to thank the entire organization for giving me a chance. from management, coaches, to teammates. and lastly, I’d like to thank chipotle. I’m lookin forward to seein what the chipotles in MIL have to offer.

Sorry I Couldn’t Concentrate During Church Worship This Morning

Life, Sports

Hillsong LA

A tall guy in a backwards snapback snuck into the Belasco Theatre from the left of the stage in the middle of the opening worship songs during the 11 a.m. Hillsong LA service. He was non-disruptive, no one noticed.  But I did. This guy was towering over the two other men that walked in with him.

Then, I caught a side profile of him, and he really looked like Kevin Durant — as in 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant. I kept glancing over to the front row where he stood, each song passed and I tried to catch a better look.

Hillsong is similar to most Christian churches in that there is a point in the beginning where you’re urged to introduce yourself to those around you. Finally, the mysterious tall guy turned around, and surely it was Durant. While no one around me seemed to realize the great baller standing smack dab in the middle of the front row, I could recognize that face from a mile away. He left in the middle of the closing worship songs, the same way he entered. He swiftly and quietly hugged and fist bumped a few guys as he passed while exiting.

I’m guessing he was there to support the guest pastor from the New York City Hillsong, Carl Lentz. The two have photos together on both of their Instagram accounts. In the following snapshot, KD writes, “Shoutout my bruv @carllentz ! Happy birthday, love u man!”

And here’s one of the two catching some breakfast together with KD smiling.

The first reaction you may have to those photos is that this pastor is working for the wrong reasons, and that there is no way he’s a real pastor. Anderson Cooper touched on those skeptical views in a segment he did for Anderson Cooper 360º called, “Inside Hillsong’s ‘hipster’ church.” 

I challenge you to think otherwise. The way I see it, Lentz hanging out with the likes of Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Landry Fields (I’m sure there are more athletes/actors/etc.) demonstrates that these big names are human. They need spiritual guidance as well.

To those who say that flashy pastors and concert-like worship sessions shouldn’t count as “church,” I ask, “Why not?” Matthew 18:20 says that God is present where two or three gather in his name. If the pastor happens to be tatted up, an NBA All-Star happens to drop in, the service happens to be held in a theater, that’s all circumstance. The truth lies in the motives, as it does in everything in life.

Anyway, Lentz gave an incredible message about Psalm 23 titled “Like it or not,” I caught a glimpse of Durant. I’m overly excited for the next NBA season, despite the fact that the 2014 NBA Draft hasn’t even happened yet. And I highly recommend Hillsong if you’re interested in checking out a church.

 

 

Kings prove sports are awesome

Sports

I remember when the LA Kings were down 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks. At the time I was interning for NBCLA Sports, and I befriended a security guard who was a huge hockey fan from Michigan. I’m new to the world of hockey, so I would talk to him a lot and pick his brain. He told me that out of all the teams in the NHL, he would never want to face the Sharks in the first round. He said they’re the type of team to put up a hell of a fight.

Little did we know at the time, this Kings team is incredibly special. They rallied back, beat the Sharks and advanced to the next round to face crosstown rivals, the Anaheim Ducks. That round rocked Los Angeles, pushing to the brink of seven games — the Kings prevailed again. Then, off to Chicago they went to face the Chicago Blackhawks where — surprise, surprise — they hit yet another Game 7 and yet another clutch win.

Finally, against the New York Rangers — West Coast vs. East Coast — the Kings took control, jumping up 3-0. Tonight, following Game 5, they hoisted the Stanley Cup trophy after a grueling, nail-biting double overtime.

Defensive veteran Willie Mitchell told NBCLA’s Mario Solis postgame: “We scratched and clawed. It’s pretty damn cool.”

Cut to Puig:

 

#KamanLikeAWreckingBall

Sports

Stuntin’ the Sunday whites, 10-year veteran Chris Kaman carried the Lakers to a 115-99 win over the Phoenix Suns. Get this stat line: season-high 28 points, 17 rebounds and six assists.

He hammered down a dunk, sunk a step-back jumper, swept the boards and hit guards on the run. All of which warranted him the hashtag #KamanLikeAWreckingBall — I know, brilliant, right?

That’s the same guy who played six minutes, notching dos points and a single rebound in LA’s embarrassing 143-107 collapse against the Minnesota Timberwolves two days ago.

That’s also the same guy who blew me off when I asked for his autograph as a middle schooler. The basketball league that I played in did a shooting tournament once a year at Staples Center before Clipper games. Each team could send two shooters.

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It was around 2005 or 2006 when I was chosen to go. And it was awesome! Having the opportunity to actually be on an NBA court was incredible. We ended up taking third place (hence the medals). They told us that we’d get to meet a Clipper player.

As I hoped and wished Elton Brand would step out, we got Kaman instead. Cool, I guess. He was their center. I knew who he was at the time, so when my teammate and I went to take a photo with him, we naturally asked for an autograph.

“No,” he said. “Because then everyone else will want one and it won’t be fair.”

He crushed my dreams. Wow, dude. You can’t spare a couple signatures? You’re not Elton Brand. You’re no superstar. (Those were my thoughts in that moment.)

Ever since then, I’ve labeled him as the “mean guy who wouldn’t give me an autograph.” But now here we are. Caveman Kaman, 31 years old, in purple and gold. I honestly thought he was long gone, and that he’d wither away on a bench somewhere random. Instead, he decides to put a smile on everyones’ faces (including mine) and have an All-Star performance.

What I’m trying to say here is, “I see you, Chris. Keep doing you.” But please, if a little kid asks you for an autograph, just do it.