Wednesday, January 08, 2014
The extremely helpful hostess helped our party, swollen from 8 to 11, to squeeze into a round table with a nice view of the very active kitchen. We started, as our waiter suggested, with a cocktail. It was tasty, a bit tart, and the name is now lost to the sands of time*. But it's the first on the menu:
Next up were the starters: Our group of sharers chose two from the menu, Elotes and Duck Fat Fries. It's hard to say which was the bigger hit -- the rich, sweet and slightly spicy elotes with queso fresco on top or the creamy yucca with a hint of duck-y goodness and topped with cotija. Both plates were immediately cleaned. Any blurriness or poor composition in the attached photos is due to the combat conditions of trying to get a shot while fighting off ravenous friends. It was basically Thunderdome.
Next up were the Share plates -- we opted for the griled romaine salad, a surprising winner, the amazing chicken lollipops, and the meltingly-tender short ribs. Others at the table inhaled their barbacoa banh mi sliders before a photo or a taste could be had. They did rave about them.
Our aptly-named Large plates were Ramen, decadently rich and meaty due to the marrow, sea bass and flank steak drunken noodle. I normally opt out of sea bass due to pretentious overfishing reasons, but I'm glad I kept my liberal mouth shut and enjoyed the HUGE portion of succulent flesh.
The drunken noodles, a variation on my favorite thai dish, Pad Kee Mao**, was divisive at the table. Part of the group was off-put by the barely-cooked onions, while the rest hoovered them up and enjoyed the crispy bite that offset the sauce. Personally, I almost came to blows over the last bits. So you know where I stand. The sad remains are shown below:
Our final Large dish was the Ramen. The noodles and accompanying tasty bits are cooked separately, then the broth, which I estimated to be 72% bone marrow, is added tableside***. With only one ladle, the mob was a bit more restrained for this dish, but the popularity was the same.
Size-wise, a pair would probably want a Share and a Large, and even then will likely want to take some home. However, it's a fun, social place and I would recommend a group of 6 or so like-palated eaters to cover as much of the menu as possible. And request the table overlooking the kitchen!
As stuffed as we were, we couldn't pass up an offer of Mexican chocolate cake with coconut cream and a heavenly coconut ice cream. You know how homemade coconut ice cream never even approaches your memory of that one time you had it in Mexico and it changed your life? This one did. And the cake, with its mole ganache? Yo yo ma. I'd like to try Kate Weiser's chocolate fortune cookie, but it'll have to wait for the next visit.
As for wine, we opted for the very reasonable Pinot Noir, quite tasty for $36 bucks a bottle. This is in keeping with the restaurant in general -- with drinks our bill came out to under $30 each. All in all, a fabulous experience, marred only by our waiter's less-than-stellar service. However, going on the opening night means this sort of thing (plates arriving out of order, a disappearance or two) is to be expected. If it continues on the next visit,
* And to the pinot noir we had with dinner
** Your mileage and spelling may vary
*** "Tabletop" is a bit more accurate
Monday, December 23, 2013
Well, that is not how they do things in the US Air Force! The Air Force was unwilling to half-assedly sexually harass the occasional female like lazy civilians, and instead they went the wholesale sex assault route at Lackland. With the same can-do attitude, AFB Gen. Michael Carey decided that a five-day trip to Russia to liaise with his counterparts in control of Russia's nuclear arsenal was a good chance to get really ripped, make a drunken fool of himself and repeatedly hit on hot women that were, in retrospect, likely spies. I'd go through the whole list of hijinks, but suffice it to say that he tried to give a fist-bump to a tour guide at a monastery, mocked a translator and then tried to make up for it by calling her beautiful, and spent the morning rides to events sleeping off the previous night's debauchery. For the rest, check out the writeup:
Of course, what did Chuggin' Carey get for all of this? A change to an "advisory" role that doesn't involve any responsibility. But not, you know, real punishment. Ugh.
You Stay Classy, USAF!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
- “The worst that can be said about her is that she did not comply with the amounts that was supposed to be paid under your law. I don’t think that justifies treating her like a common criminal” according to India's Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid. Guess what, asshat? Acting like a common criminal justifies being treated like one.
- The rights of the maid's family are not equal to those of the officer: “I don’t think they are so valuable to our relationship as a diplomatic officer of the government of India.” So, your government thinks that its officers can break employment laws, even when it harms YOUR citizens?
- The Indian government was warned in SEPTEMBER about this -- more than two months before the arrest. They did nothing because they “didn’t expect this could happen.” This is the 3rd time since 2010 that Indian government employees have been busted for the same type of law -- and they didn't change their behavior. Will you "expect it to happen" next time?
And anyone in India that is offended by the treatment of the woman arrested, are you also offended by her breaking the law to underpay one of your citizens? I didn't think so. You stay classy, India
Monday, December 16, 2013
- You can have female slaves, and sleep with them if your wife fails to produce a kid (Go Abraham!)
- You can lie about your marital status to people that want to sleep about your wife that would disapprove of you being married -- but they still get to sleep with her and you're off the hook (Abraham again!)
- If your brother dies without a kid, you MUST marry his widow and knock her up -- or there will be smiting (Onan -- it was not doing his brotherly duty that got him condemned)
- Have another wife -- it's all good. All the big names did it!
- Finally, if you're hearing voices, it's totally ok to climb a hill and slaughter you first-born son. After all, one must have faith.
Of course, these are no longer "traditional" or "biblical", at least if you're the Family Research Council:
"Throughout history, marriage has been future-oriented, focused on the next generation and the best interests of children"
So, if you have problems with the legalization of gay marriage, feel free to ignore the parts of your religious texts that might be awkward for your argument. It's traditional!
Oh, and FYI, the Utah decision didn't legalize polygamy -- it struck down a restriction against "cohabitation". Moral of the story: it's also ok to be a completely uninformed jackass when complaining about something that you think you disagree with.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Creationists are always insisting on teaching "theories" that they claim are alternatives to evolution. But most scientists think this is just a backdoor to teaching religion in schools. I have a simple test to separate those who have legitimate qualms about "holes"* in the theory of evolution from those concerned about religion more than science:
Which concerns you more, the lack of space given to alternatives to evolution in science education, or the lack of space given to alternatives to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics?
If they answer "evolution", they're either woefully uneducated about quantum mechanics (and so they need to study up before they talk about science education), or they are more concerned about religion than valid scientific controversy. Feel free to deride their lack of knowledge of basic science or the nature of scientific controversy.
If they answer "quantum mechanics", take the time to discuss with them their views on science education and problems with the theory of evolution***, if they have any. And feel free to discuss the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics!
* Just fyi, there will always be holes in the fossil record, since so few living beings are fossilized**.
** As a homage to this process I try to treat explanatory comments in my coding as fossils, this explaining why they are so rare and often confusing.
*** Personally, I think the platypus is the best argument for creationism/intelligent design. Though in this case it's more drunken design.
Monday, September 09, 2013
I thought for a second and replied, honestly, "Probably about a 3... billion". Happy birthday to the best Wild Man in the world!
* This didn't happen, but it was a good setup for the bit.
Sunday, September 01, 2013
It's the usual shtick -- you create a character, choosing his/her race (elf/human/dwarf/etc., not black/white/asian/etc.), class (wizard, fighter, thief) and alignment (the nine combinations of Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic and Good/Neutral/Evil). These choices affect how other characters in the game (not online) relate to you.
My character, Sir Hardass, is ostensibly a Chaotic Good Barbarian (barbarian is a life choice in D&D, not a judgement). So, he's generally a "good" guy, but he doesn't let The Man* determine what he should do. After all, a man's gotta have a code.
I picked up a real badass guy for my "party"**, but he was "Evil". So evil, in fact, that if my party did too many good deeds, he'd leave me. I was in a bind -- I wanted to see how his storyline played out, but I also wanted to stay "Good". Naturally, my curiosity (and desire to keep this badass around to help me kick ass), led me to keeping him. But to finish the story, I kept being required to do good deeds. So, I can be "Good" and lose the tough guy, or I can do some selective "Evil" acts and keep my bodyguard. Naturally, I chose the latter. So I killed some random civilian and this balanced out all my "Good" deeds.
Now, the question is, should I feel bad about this? I did something in the game that I would NEVER do in real life***. It didn't hurt anyone real, just affected a "character" that's really just some lines of code. So, should I try to maintain a moral code that's vaguely similar to mine in real life, or is it ok to embrace my dark side in video games?
* or The Woman
** or entourage, as I like to think of it.
*** From a morality standpoint. I also would NEVER in real life fight a bunch of angry ogres or cast a fireball spell.