Keanu goes head to head with Hugo Weaving in The Matrix.

Remembrance of things past, yes. Amazingly, it's nearly the 10th anniversary of the release of The Matrix, the 1999 metaphysical sci-fi kung-fu extravaganza that did for Keanu what The Pirates of the Caribbean did for Johnny Depp: It fixed for him an everlasting place in the Hollywood firmament, and it made him really rich. Keanu remarks on how the film gave the "vernacular," as he puts it, a "nomenclature"—turning, for instance, the question of whether you should swallow a red pill or a blue pill into a 21st-century Rorschach inkblot. "You know, you can take red pills and then sometimes they can turn into blue pills," he muses. "You thought you ate a red pill but really you had a blue pill. But then you can take another red pill. Maybe. But obviously I was drawn to the red pills. When I first read that script, it made my blood happy."

Right now, the thing that would make his plasma sing is an excellent sandwich. Which means we must return to our quest. "I know a couple of places to get a good sandwich," Keanu says, "but I'm talking about that other level. Like, in Chicago you can get the other level. And I'm sure that other level is here in Los Angeles, as well. I just haven't found it. But I've been on this search."

We exit the 10. Now we're on Lincoln, blocks from the storied sandwich. "This could be it," Keanu says, "here on the right." Yes. We see a deli. We see neon signs. We don't see a line, though. So transcendent is this repast that there is supposed to be a line out the door every day. But there is no line. And in the windows there is only darkness.

"There it is. Bay Cities Italian Deli and Bakery," Keanu says. "Oh, shit. What day's today?"


"They're closed Monday," he says.

"You're kidding," I say.

He grins. Ear to ear. And then he says it: "Awesome."