Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants


My latest review, of Il Grano , is up on la.foodblogging.

As a bonus for all of my many fans who are dying to know all about ME!ME!ME!, I had a couple of rambling thoughts I didn't include, since I am under no illusions that anyone cares, but since this is MY blog, I can put them here as sort of a "director's cut," if you will.

*My Magic Wine Powers: As I was thinking about my wine choices, I started musing about the magical wine power I have. You see, if you give me any list of wines, or a bunch of bottles of wine and tell me to pick one out, I will hone right in on the most expensive one. I am not sure where this talent comes from. My only theories are that I have either inherited some kind of "luxury" gene that causes me to gravitate towards expensive things, or this is my super hero power.

I think of this now because in the restaurant, I thought for a moment that instead of ordering different glasses of wine, I might just order a half-bottle. So I turned to the page of half-bottles and immediately zoomed in on a Sassicaia. Sassicaia has a kick-ass name and is a "Super-Tuscan," which is a type of wine that doesn't adhere to traditional rules for Tuscan wines. You could say it's a kind of outlaw wine and they have become very popular despite the region's attempts to beat them down. Sassicaia is one of the most well-known of these Super-Tuscans, which is how I know about it. So I thought: "Hmmm ... maybe I'll give that a try." Only then did my eye wander over to the price section of the list and found that my prospective little half bottle would cost me $135. It was by far the most expensive on the list. Yes, thank you, no need to applaud. I sadly trudged back to the wines by the glass list, where I narrowly avoided ordering glasses that cost between $20-30 apiece, because I seemingly can't turn the power off, even when it's just a glass.

So, you know, if you ever run into some eccentric old bazillionaire who will allow you to take one bottle of his wine, as long as you pick it only based on the name or label, give me a call immediately. I will probably be able to pick out the super-secret holy grail wine he is hoping you don't pick. I'm not really sure what else my super hero power is good for, except to make me a really expensive date.

*My Problem with Raw Fish: Raw fish plays a small part in my restaurant review, but I didn't intend to talk about it. And I really didn't talk about it much. Except I have been thinking about it because there was a discussion about it yesterday at work. In my dinner I ate an oyster, even though I generally don't eat raw seafood and it was fine. So you see, I *am* willing to try things, even if I wouldn't generally be inclined to eat such things. I'm not one of those stubborn just for the sake of it people who gets an idea and then will never consider changing their mind. Let's just establish that right off the bat.

So yesterday at work, I was talking about my textural problems and one lady was saying she had similar problems. So I said that one of the things I could not eat was raw fish, including sushi. Well, all of the sudden, everyone was like "Are you SURE?" "Have you tried it?" "Have you tried really good sushi?" "Are you sure about that?" "Maybe you should try it again."

Okay, I know that everybody luuuuuuurves sushi, and it's like the best thing ever, blah blah blah. But geez, give me a break! I don't just not eat sushi because I am afraid of it. I had just finished telling them that I had gotten over my food fears a LONG time ago. I've tried sushi several times. I've tried cheap sushi and expensive sushi. I think the last piece of sashimi I tried was from Sushi Roku. I don't believe they serve garbage fish there. I had a friend who worked in a sushi restaurant at one time and I ate there all the time. In college, the sushi place was the only bar that would let you in and serve you without an ID in college. (Alas, 'tis gone, sorry young Bruins). Okay? I've been to sushi. Lots. I've tried raw fish. More than once.

Okay, here's the thing. Maybe people don't get it when I say I have a physical problem with the texture. I am trying to be delicate and spare you and maybe I am being too delicate. So here it is. When I say I have a physical problem with the texture, what I mean is it sets off my gag reflex. There's something about my uvula or throat muscles or something, I don't know. And when something smooth and slippery, or something squishy and globby (by this I mean, like, cottage cheese texture) hits the back of my throat, I gag. It is gross, and not pretty. So this is why I do not eat these things. Nor do you want to see me attempt to eat these things.

So please, people of the general public. Next time I tell you I have a physical problem with the texture, just go with it. Don't be all "really, are you sure?" Just accept it and move on, happy in the knowledge that now there is more sashimi for you! Unless you want to push it and be witness to me gagging fish pieces at the dinner table. It's probably even less fun for you than it is for me, since I can't see it.


We are kindred souls. May I just copy and paste this whole post on to my blog?

said by Acme Instant Food at 7:10 AM Delete

Hee hee! Yes, just put quotation marks around it, that should cover you.

said by KT at 9:54 AM Delete

We are going to Koi next week for Ed's birthday and I'm going to be "that guy" who brings the party down because I have to order something besides sushi. Oye.

said by Acme Instant Food at 1:50 PM Delete

Okay, I think we really ARE kindred souls because my man's birthday is next week too! We are going to ... I can't say because it's still a surprise.

You order whatever you want. Probably you'll get something really good and everyone else will be jealous. I've had some awesome non-sushi stuff at japanese restaurants that you might not ever discover if you always just get whatever sushi.

said by KT at 2:03 PM Delete

His b-day is the 21st.

And, going to Japanese places always give me an excuse to order a big plate of fried food. TEMPURA COMMIN' RIGHT UP! :)

said by Acme Instant Food at 2:22 PM Delete

Mmmm ... fried. I love fried food.

J's is the 19th. You gotta love those December birthdays, he's totally gonna haul in the loot this month.

said by KT at 2:31 PM Delete

A tip o' the hat to "J."

said by Acme Instant Food at 2:39 PM Delete

Are you sure you don't like gagging? Have you tried it? Maybe you just haven't gagged the right way yet before.


- Chubbypanda

said by Anonymous at 10:55 PM Delete


Um, yeah, maybe I will consult an expert. Who knows what I am missing?

said by Anonymous at 11:21 PM Delete

Did you try the bollito misto? That place is two seconds from my house, and I kind of want to try it, but it gets patchy reviews on Citysearch...

said by Demery at 7:14 PM Delete

No, I did not try the "mixed boiled stuff" as appetizing as it sounds.

I too had read the mixed reviews, but our experience was very good. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised because I was expecting some bad service, but our waiter was attentive, friendly and attractive too, which doesn't hurt.

said by KT at 9:47 PM Delete

Creative Commons license The content on Gastronomy 101 may be reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.