Sunday, May 25, 2008


Thanks everyone for your kind comments! I'm starting to feel a little bitter (oops, better). Yeah, I'll be fine and I'll find something else where they actually appreciate me. In the meantime, I am registered with one staffing/temp agency and hopefully they'll be able to keep me busy until I find something else.

We ended up going to Trader Vic's for dinner Friday night. I enjoyed it, but Tim thought it was "eh". I think it's just a matter of me ordering better than he did. I had a Caesar salad to start and the macadamia-crusted Mahi-Mahi with whipped potatoes and broccolini. Tim had an egg roll to start and the seared ahi tuna with rice and sesame vegetables.

The egg roll was brought out on this little metal boat with a candle underneath to keep it warm. Unfortunately, it came out of the fryer lukewarm and the little candle didn't do much to heat it up. I like my food screaming hot, so I wasn't a huge fan. We got some red sauce that was kind of a cross between fruity and barbecue-y (is that a word?) and some hot mustard. I didn't enjoy either sauce, either. The egg roll tasted okay, but the temperature and the sauces turned me off.

My Caesar salad was a very classic presentation with romaine, croutons and shaved Parmesan. It was dressed perfectly - not dry and not dripping with dressing. I enjoyed it, although I've had better Caesars.

My fish was terrific. The macadamia crust was slightly sweet and the fish was nice and flaky. There was a drizzle of roasted pepper beurre blanc that just made everything that much better. The whipped potatoes didn't have a lot of flavor, but the beurre blanc helped in that regard. I'd never had broccolini before, and I loved it! It was like a very sweet broccoli. I think it was roasted, although I'm not sure. Totally rocked my world, though.

Tim's seared ahi came with rice and sesame vegetables. He said the tuna was fine, the rice was fine and the veggies were fine. Nothing really stood out.

We also got a side of the panko onion rings to share. They were cooked absolutely perfectly. The crust was crunchy and golden brown and the onion was cooked to exactly the right doneness. However, what we didn't know was that there was cayenne pepper in the batter. I almost died with my second bite. It was even a bit spicy for Tim. I can't eat spicy foods at all. First of all, being from Minnesota, I have no tolerance for it, but I also have ulcers and spicy foods tend to really give me some stomach pains.

For dessert, Tim wanted to try the Bananas Foster and I got the Polynesian Snowball with bittersweet chocolate sauce. Tim's Bananas Foster wasn't the traditional preparation - it came out on a place with bananas and a scoop of ice cream, then a separate bowl with the flaming sauce. Tim got impatient waiting for the sauce to stop flaming so he blew it out and poured it over the bananas and ice cream. However, what he didn't realize was that he didn't let the alcohol burn off, so his first couple bites were pretty potent, especially given that he doesn't drink. He didn't like it, though. His friend Joe makes Bananas Foster a different way and he prefers it that way. I don't like bananas, so I don't know anything about Foster.

My Polynesian Snowball was awesome. It was Haagen Dazs vanilla bean ice cream rolled in toasted coconut sitting in a pool of the bittersweet chocolate sauce. It was terrific. I loved the toasted coconut - it was crunchy and wonderful. It was almost like it was candied or something. The chocolate sauce was a great addition. I also stole the macadamias off Tim's bananas since he can't have nuts.

To me, it was a great meal, although Tim didn't really enjoy his that much.

On the ride down to the restaurant, however, I kind of lost my "celebratory" mood and turned a little blue. I promised Tim I would only wallow in self-pity for a couple days and then I'd be fine.

I'm working on it.


Geggie said...

that snowball sounds tasty. I think I can make that at home.

I've not been to Trader Vic's, but I think it's the kind of place Patrick and I could get into some serious trouble with over fancy cocktails and pupus.

JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) said...

I'm glad to hear you stopped by Vic's! Tim's experience was certainly a matter of you ordering better than he did; Tim managed to pick quite a few duds on the menu. Next time, sit at the bar and I'll order for ya ;-)

It appears from your review that you didn't have a drink of some sort... naughty naughty naughty :-P Like Howard Seftel said in his review of us, "Sure, you can go to Trader Vic's and not drink. You can also go to Las Vegas and not gamble or go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower; you could, but why?" Even if you're not in the mood for alcohol, there's some delicious drinks on the menu. My favorite is Queen Charlotte Fruit Punch, a lovely mix of orange, pineapple, and passion fruit. I make huge vats of it for parties, and then if someone gets overserved, I give 'em a Queen Charlotte and just tell them "You won't BELIEVE how much alcohol is in this!" and let their brains take over from there.

The egg roll is one of my favorite appetizers, but I've had my fair share of ones that didn't come out quite hot enough. I think the Crab Rangoon are far superior, mostly because we use real crab in ours. I think you should have had the Green Goddess salad instead of a Caesar; our Caesar is decent, but there's precious few places in town that still do Green Goddess. It's butter lettuce tossed in a creamy herb dressing, topped with cherry tomatoes and roasted pine nuts. I can't get enough of it.

The seared ahi is the same ahi I've seen on every other menu in town, certainly one of the weak links on our menu. I'd go with the halibut from the wood fired oven for a seafood dish; it picks up a little smoke from the oven and turns out just heavenly.

I know the onion rings have a little spice from togarashi (a Japanese red chili seasoning), but certainly shouldn't be as fiery as they were.

We're already changing the Bananas Foster to a bit more traditional of a preparation; I think you got there on the second day of us offering the new dessert menu.

The Polynesian Snowball is one of my favorite desserts on the menu. We've been serving it longer than you've been alive. It's certainly simple enough to make at home- just take a big scoop of ice cream, roll it in shredded sweetened coconut, and serve it in a bowl with chocolate sauce in it. We don't toast the coconut, but it would certainly be fabulous done that way. I'd likely do hot fudge instead of chocolate sauce, too.