Top Asian Dish of 2007: Year in Review

AsianWeek, List, Lisa Lee Posted: Dec 29, 2007

1. Bravo’s Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi splits with novelist Salman Rushdie after failed Hezbollah assassination attempt, and (like Rushdie) spites readers with second cookbook and chili honey butter diet. Later spotted making out with ex-husband at New York’s Bungalow 8 after announcing her “desire for divorce.”

2. Justin Lin’s Finishing the Game has a spectacular year, starting with Sundance in January and the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival in March. Tickets to the San Francisco premiere sell out, and cast and crew reunite at the viewings. Everything is kosher for Lin, Sung Kang, Roger Fan and Dustin Nguyen at the after-party at Club Six, until a merry prankster pulls the fire alarm and disrupts the Far East Movement performance.

3. Despite having 1,771,920 MySpace friends, Tila Tequila (née Nguyen) finds a real friend for keeps via MTV’s A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila. Spends most of the time claiming she is not a bisexual for TV and talking about her aspirations of becoming a stripper.

4. Undoing director Chris Chan Lee reveals that not every nude scene appears in the final movie. Sometimes, it happens after filming is over — as was the case with Bobby Lee, who recorded his lines naked in a sound studio. “All he said was, whether he could get more comfortable,” Lee said. “And then, all of a sudden, he just started taking his clothes off.”

5. Hayden Panettiere doesn’t outgrow a love of dolphins and takes on Japanese fishermen armed with only a few surfboards and a model in a sequined mermaid outfit. Later brags about Japanese police warrant for arrest. Meanwhile, Japanese American co-star Masi Oka quietly works with Dreamworks and Paramount to donate 500 XO laptops to students in Kabul, Afghanistan, through One Laptop Per Child and the Afghan Relief Organization.

6. Lost star Daniel Dae Kim gets arrested for DUI in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Oct. 25, and publicly apologizes for endangering the safety of the new place he calls home. Takes mug shot and reveals that hair gel truly is man’s best friend when pouf drops sexiness quotient by at least five points. (SF Mayor Gavin Newsom already knows that.)

7. Filipina designer Josie Natori dresses the actresses of ABC’s Desperate Housewives in sexy negligees. But when it comes to her own domestic matters, Natori proves to be clueless. Or maybe just bitchy: She shows up at her son’s wedding in a white couture dress, upstaging the bride.

8. Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey vow never to do a reality TV show together, reasoning that reality TV “screws up perfectly good relationships,” Lachey says. Lachey then goes on to do a reality TV show sans Minnillo, gathering a gospel group to compete with Aretha Franklin and Michael Bolton, while Minnillo pouts and refuses to sign a prenup. Meanwhile, ex-wife Jessica Simpson is deemed by the Hollywood set as a bad omen for all her boyfriends.

9. What do pop star Britney Spears and golfer Michelle Wie have in common in 2007? Both love sparkly accessories, can’t drive very well, and are riding a hot ascent to the top before they drop the ball – leading their long-time managers to ditch them both. Wie’s manager, Greg Nared, quits when Wie places 19th out of 20 at the Samsung World Championships.

10. The Malibu fires destroy more than 1,000 lavish dream homes in Southern California. But one star knows what’s truly valuable: Tia Carrere races out of the house clutching only her evening gown, knowing that the premiere for her film Dan in Real Life is only days away, and she would have to look fabulous. No word on the Wayne’s World memorabilia.

11. American Idol contes-tant Sanjaya Malakar becomes embroiled in a child labor suit regarding his American Idols Live 2007 tour with Jordin Sparks. Unfortunately, no one actually pays to see the concert series, so no real wages are actually lost. If this pop-star thing doesn’t work out, Malakar, with his incredibly malleable hair, still has a stunning chance to become the next spokesmodel for Vidal Sassoon.

12. John Cho is selected to revive George Takei’s original role as Sulu in the next Star Trek movie remake, and Leonard Nimoy will play … well, himself, I suppose. This sparks a heated monologue from William Shatner: “That doesn’t make good business sense to me! I’ve become even more popular than [when] I was playing Captain Kirk.” That is, if you count his commercials and album Has Been as part of that trajectory of self-parody and caricature.

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