Eating for 1, Dreaming of 2

I am that person who scoffs at lactose intolerance. They say Asians tend to be lactose-intolerant. I say the phobia is in your head.

On the California ballet, I vigorously nixed Proposition 37’s Right to Know initiative which would have required suppliers to label genetically-modified foods. Who cares? For all the people who shop at Whole Foods or read labels or watch what they eat, all that diligence won’t stop those same people from forming lines around Mitchell’s ice-cream or Mission Chinese. I doubt every scoop and every dish comes from all-natural ingredients!

I rolled my eyes in church when the priest announced they had a special line for communion for people who needed a gluten-free host. Have you had communion before? The host is the size of a quarter and dissolves easily in your mouth. If you’re scared to eat the body of Christ because you might have a gluten reaction, then no amount of praying is going to save your soul.

Grocery-shopping, I gloss over the low fat and nonfat dairy. I skip the free-range, cage-free eggs. I zoom by the grass-fed, hormone-free meats. I storm through the organic fruits and veggies, opting instead for regular-priced for regular people.

All my life I’ve been on an all-fat, eat whatever makes you happy diet. Cheesecake for breakfast. Cookies for lunch. Chips for dinner. Wash it all down with 2 glasses of wine a day. I believe that fulfilling your cravings should be the mantra for food consumption.

Until now…this ghost baby has gotten in the way. Instead of saying ‘we’re trying to have a kid’ or ‘we’re trying to conceive,’ I’m just going to say ‘ghost baby’ because this kid is haunting the bejesus out of me and my eating habits.

“Don’t eat that chocolate, mommy. Your insulin will spike.”

“Mommy no! Dairy makes me gassy.”

“Put that glass of Cab down, mommy. Remember what the acupuncturist said about alcohol.”

“Gluten bad. Gluten bad. BAD MOMMY!”

I am going to throttle this ghost baby.

The Weekend in List Form

Saturday

Slept in. This is a luxury I cannot fathom giving up. I have been sleeping in on weekends since I was born. I remember talking to a friend about how I sleep in until around 11am almost every weekend and he said, “What’re you like 16 years old?”

Hung out with friends and their twins. Dean’s really good with kids. I think they think he’s one of them, but just super tall.

Got car tires changed. My mechanic, the Toy Shop on Geary, is the best. If you own a Japanese car, get your car fixed at the Toy Shop. Very good at what they do, and honest with reasonable prices. I love the guys there. The only thing they don’t do are tires so we had to get those changed elsewhere.

Watched the new Skyfall movie. Entertaining. Can’t say it’s the best Bond flick ever, but pretty good. I think it’s been hyped up so much, I was disappointed.

Dinner at Mr. Pollo. I will review in another post.

Sunday

Slept in

Got my toe nails painted. Cut my own nails, filed them, then went to the nail salon across the street and had them do a french paint.

Drinks at the Phoenix. The Mission is now fully packed on the weekends. We went to 3 places in a row and there wasn’t any place to sit.

Dinner at Mission Chinese. Still, hands-down, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Last weekend, I went to Chinatown and ate at Great Eastern which is the restaurant Obama got take-out from. I swear to God I gained 3 pounds when I weighed myself the next day. What a waste of calories, the food wasn’t even good. But Mission Chinese is good Chinese food, not that crappy stuff they serve in the bowels of Chinatown. After gorging on Mission Chinese, I weighed myself the next day bracing myself for another 3 pound gain and I swear to God I lost 2 pounds. Who loses weight after eating Chinese food? Mission Chinese–best diet ever.

Drinks at Beauty Bar. The place has turned into a major decrepit dive. Wow, won’t be going back there again.

Wine at a friend’s house. Can’t go wrong drinking wine with a friend who has hundreds of bottles at his home.

Mission Chinese: NYC

Mission Chinese, noted as one of the best new restaurants in the U.S., is my very favoritest restaurant in San Francisco. My stomach is a black hole when it comes to chowing down on the salt cod fried rice. I’ve learned my lesson. Going forward, one order for myself, and another for the rest of the table to share.

I was bubbling over with jealousy to discover that the dive was opening up a spot in NYC. When I learned that my trip would coincide with the restaurant’s opening, I had to investigate!

I knew as we turned onto Orchard Street in the Lower East Side exactly where the restaurant was located because people were spilling out of it and hovering in the drizzle outside. I stupidly thought that strolling in at 9pm would secure us a table. Ummm, no.

The young, respectful attendant told us the wait was about an hour and a half, but we were welcome to wait and tap the keg for free beer! Nice! We put our name down along with our cell phone, and returned exactly 90 minutes later. Even without a phone call, I was hopeful. We were up next! Yippee!

Before I progress into our dining experience, I have to mention that unlike the SF location, the NYC spot does take reservations for the bar. When I called they were booked for the night, but could put me down for the following night. I declined because we already had Friday night plans. Free beer and reservations? Already NYC is ahead.

All around, the staff is young, helpful, and friendly. We passed by much-revered Danny Bowien on our way to our table and I gasped, “OmiGod, there’s Danny.” He turned around probably wondering how people know him. Hello? Danny, your name and face is scattered all over the foodie-sphere. You are a food god! We also passed by Aziz Ansari, who ironically, we always cross paths with whenever Dean is in NYC.

Now the food. Well, just like the rest of NYC food (during this trip), a disappointment. I mentioned the distaste I had for NYC cuisine during brunch with Marc and I thought he was going to jump out of his chair and chew me. I’m sorry, but nothing–not even Mission Chinese–was as good as SF. There were only a trifle of things that stood out in terms of food in NYC. 1) Dinner with Care at the Fish Tag–my single amazing meal during the trip, 2) Mission Chinese even though it IS better in SF. 3) The $9.95 Indian Kati roll which is a smorgas of meat and veggies wrapped in a very light pancake roll. 4) The hot dog I got from the stand after exiting the MOMA on 54th Street.

I’ve already mentioned the wine, but given the context, it’s worth pointing out again. Trader Joe’s $2 Buck Chuck, doesn’t matter which one (Syrah, Cab, Merlot, Chardonnay), can beat any glass on any wine list in NYC. No question.

Summary of NYC Mission Chinese:

+ Service

+ Free Beer

+ Reservations

+/- Food

+ Ambience. A much cooler vibe in the LES than the Mission, that’s for sure. I like how the front wait section is separated from the back dining section by the kitchen. And I love that they’ve got a bar area.

Singles Awareness Day

Singles Awareness Day (SAD). I love that!

Dean picked me up from work bearing hybrid roses, chocolate truffles, and a 3-D Valentine’s card. So sweet. Poor guy, I was too busy to get him anything. And he’s probably even busier than I am! He closed the biggest deal ever for his company so you all need to slap him on the back next time you see him.

Came home to watch a live game cast of the continuing Jeremy Lin saga. That one ended with his game-winning 3-pointer. I heard he is a dragon. That is one lucky sign! Congrats to all my friends who had / are having babies this year. I read in the WSJ that fertility clinics are seeing increased interest from women wanting to have a lucky dragon kiddo.

Continuing with the Chinese theme, we met up with our favorite singleton KC for dinner at the new FiDi bar/restaurant Per Diem. Beautiful space–dark wood paneling, tall ceilings, looks like a modern speakeasy. For V-day, they were only serving a $75 fixed price dinner which I wasn’t aware of when I booked the reso. I refuse to pay that much money for a new restaurant, not yet critiqued, that we haven’t even had a chance to try first. Instead we opted for my favorite chinese resto R&G (well 2nd favorite behind Mission Chinese which will be opening up a restaurant in NYC soon).

I’m happy to report that we were the last customers. Yeah, we still know how to party. Ha!

Mission Chinese: the Good, the Bad, and the Yummy

I don’t have good recall, but I vaguely remember writing how much I love Commonwealth. It must be divine intervention that my new favorite restaurant is one apartment building over. Any budding restauranteur would be wise to open up shop in the retail space sandwiched between Mission Chinese and Commonwealth. Cha-ching!

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m not really a fan of chinese food. The only time I get a craving for honey walnut prawns is when this piggy forgets to eat, throws back the cocktails, and wakes up to a pig pen of a day. Completely shot and wasted.

Not in the mood for food, but knowing that grease makes it better, I drove us shell-shocked at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon to the Mission.

“This place gets mixed reviews,” I told Dean. “Let’s check it out.”

Over a year old, the place retained the sign of its predecessor Lung Shan with Mission Chinese written in sharpie on a piece of 8×11 paper taped to the front door. Despite the lack of formalities–including seating yourself–this joint ain’t no dive. A dive is Tu Lan on 6th and Market. A dive is Cordon Bleu on California. Mission Chinese is like the downstairs area of R&G Lounge! Cmon, people, quit saying Mission Chinese is a dive. It even has one of those long, sparkly dragon puppets strung up on the ceiling.

The service is regimented–a whole gamut of non-English speaking and American-born asians who aren’t into feigning friendliness.

Our soda cans arrived on our table like they’d rolled out of a vending machine. What you see is what you get. No extra glass, no ice, no straw. I was having major doubts until the food came.

A tea cup of well-spiced szechuan pickles–which was more napa cabbage than pickles.

The tiger salad should be renamed fresh spring rolls. Not sure why they called it a salad. This was too minty. Use half the mint, please. But so fresh. I guess it was too fresh for my hungover taste buds.

Salt cod fried rice–the god of all fried rice. So light, fluffy, and tasty. Best fried rice of my asian life.

Pork belly. Ok, I already said the fried rice was the best. Do I also have to say the pork belly was the best? I must. That was the crispiest, yummiest pork belly in all my years of dreaming of fried pig parts.

A little over $30 including the tip plus leftovers for later.

FOUR HAPPY THUMBS UP!

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