"I can’t eat too much raw stuff. But I try everything at least once."Photo: Melissa Hom
Tila “Tequila” Nguyen, the “Madonna of MySpace” per Time magazine, met at least some of her 1.7 million virtual friends when she lived in New York City and “experimented with drugs and a hardcore lifestyle,” according to her bio. She eventually moved to Hollywood to start her career as an Internet celebrity, model, and singer, and by the time she was returning here weekly to host VH1’s Pants Off Dance Off she had moved on to vices like dirty-water hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, and mushroom pizzas. This week Tila flew in once again to promote her new self-released single and to pose for the cover of yet another magazine (“It’s the Baddass issue,” she explained). We asked her what she noshed on to get through the grind.
Thursday, March 14
I woke up eating hot dogs and a pizza, some Chinese noodles, and Sierra Mist. If it’s breakfast, that doesn’t mean I’m going to eat breakfast foods.
Wednesday, March 13
I ordered room service at the W Hotel for breakfast: I had penne pasta with tomato sauce and a Red Bull. I drink five cans of Red Bull a day. Coffee makes me get anxiety; the taurine works better for me. The pasta was light.
For lunch, my friends took me to Masa, and I had a sushi canapé and fugu with Sprite. I don’t know sushi very well. I can’t eat too much raw stuff, it grosses me out especially if it has a strong fishy taste. But I try everything at least once. The fugu was actually very nice.
For dinner, I had a hot dog and pizza on the street.
Tuesday, March 12
I had breakfast at the Bagel Maven: a bagel with egg and cheese and an orange juice. Fried egg sandwiches are my favorite; I like them sunny-side up with lettuce, tomato, and mayo on white bread and hash browns on the side.
I love Red Bamboo— they’re straight-up vegan, but some of the food tastes better than the real food sometimes. There I got barbecue buffalo wings with white rice and a Coke. They put it on this wooden stick so it looks like a real bone, and they wrap it around with real barbecue sauce and the soy meat is really meaty and chunky.
Nobu was all booked up, but because I was well known and I was with another friend who is also very known (I don’t want to say who it is — I’m very private), they gave us a table without reservations and took very good care of us. We got to cut in front of people. I got the tuna sashimi and their infamous black cod. You can tell they put a lot of time into cooking that dish—but they should add rice; I eat everything with rice. The litchi martini is so good. And I got a litchi dessert bowl. I’m Vietnamese so I grew up with exotic Asian fruits. They taste so much better than apples and oranges.
Monday, March 11
Room service: ham-and-cheddar-cheese omelette, Pepsi, and hash browns. I always have to have my breakfast foods with ketchup — I just pour it all over my omelette.
I went to Zen Palate. I had five appetizers. We ordered so much. They were great.
Megu was my favorite: The Kobe beef is amazing. It’s not too dry — when you bite into it, it melts in your mouth. And I had red wine. I’m allergic to alcohol. I got my name because the first time I drank, when I was 13, I couldn’t handle it and broke out in hives. My classmates made fun of me the next day. This year a doctor told me if I take a Zantac 150 before I drink, it kind of prevents allergic reactions. But I’m still a cheap date. Red wine is pretty heavy for me.
Sunday, March 10
I had a bagel with egg and cheese at Bagel Maven. Most bagel sandwiches are dry and hard, but theirs are really cheesy and good.
For lunch, I had a vegan chicken-salad crêpe. I can’t take my vegan friends to places I want to go to; they can’t eat cheese.
For dinner, I went to Basta Pasta and got the uni spaghetti. My favorite pasta is spaghetti Bolognese. But I like to try different things. The weirdest thing I ever tried was this thing with pasta and eggs and a bunch of gross stuff, I forget what. But this one was great. Uni has a really strong flavor, but with pasta it’s not as bad because it’s Americanized with the scallions. —As told to Daniel Maurer