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Feeding Mr. Smith, pt. 2

Will Owen Jul 3, 2006 05:08 AM

After our Culver City adventures and a couple of hours at the Getty, we had a 7:00 date with some friends at the WILD HARE, on York in Highland Park. I understand this place used to be a Chinese restaurant, but they've made it feel just like a generations-old neighborhood bar, albeit one with a sharp menu and something approximating a wine list. At this hour on a Friday night the help outnumbered the patrons, and so we had no trouble sliding into the huge booth at the back of the room and ordering some meaningful beverages. I am a Martini Fogey of the Old School ("Anything drier than five to one is just iced gin." - Lucius Beebe), and I must say my classic silver bullet was smooooooth perfection. Mr. Smith hit the Boddington's for the second time this trip, now with an elaborately-specified tequila chaser, and declared himself similarly satisfied.

Our previous Wild Hare outing predated their adding salads, sandwiches and entrées to the menu, and I'd intended to explore these new capabilities, but the gang wanted platters of their old favorite hors d'oeuvres like last time, so I'll have to try again. We got double orders of the Belgian fries, the cheese plate, the fried calamari and the mixed sausages, each platter with its own sauce, though as far as I'm concerned they could have simply given us a bucket of the aiöli (comes with the fries) and forgotten all the rest: mustard is just mustard, sorry, the marinara has no zing, and you don't want to get me started on ketchup...

Anyway, the food and drinks were good*, as were the jukebox and the service. It was jumping and quite late (for us old poops) when we left.

Saturday morning we had a dim sum brunch date with Mrs. O's parents at 888 in Rosemead. We picked'em up at 10:30 and got there just shy of 11. The wait was aggravated by a huge part of the room's having been blocked off for a wedding party, but we still were seated in less than the promised 20 minutes. As our visitor was a complete dim sum neophyte, of course we had to load up on all the tripe and feet and octopus and other parts unknown in Tennessee, just because we're like that. He took it in very good part. Or parts. As we had none of our Asian friends with us, we practically had to fling ourselves in front of the "You No Like" carts to get any of the serious stuff, but we made a thumping good meal out of it, and all for about $11 each before the tip.

For our farewell meal, we rendezvoused with one of our regular Eatin' Posse members at SUEHIRO on First Street in Little Tokyo. Oddly enough, both she and I had been introduced to this place by friends, and we both remembered it fondly for its nice food, friendly vibe and lack of pretentiousness. Just under ten bucks gets you miso soup (yeah, of course, but isn't it always exactly what you need?), and a wooden tray of sweet slaw, mac salad, cold spinach, steamed dumplings and a slab of lovely, crusty grilled mackeral (or pike if you prefer), with a bowl of rice. Mr. Smith and I split a couple of itty bitty bottles of some adequate chilled saki, and the women ordered some edible but rather around-the-bend sushi rolls which we helped them with. With tip, we ponied up $17 apiece for all this.

And then this morning we went to Burbank and put Mr. Smith on a plane back to Nashville. I trust he will speak kindly of us...

*Except for the pinot noir. Get the chardonnay, get the cabernet, but DO NOT get the pinot noir.

  1. Mrs Fang Jul 3, 2006 03:55 PM

    Nice reviews, the both.

    One of these days I'm going to have a friend make me a little table-top placard in Chinese that says "We Eat Everything!" Maybe I can sell them in the 888 parking lot.

    1. Dommy Jul 3, 2006 04:39 PM

      NICE Chowing Will! I love Suehiro for their Eggplant House Special. One of the best meals in Little Tokyo and open SUPER Late! (Sometimes we used to just stop in for some green tea/red bean ice cream to refesh after dancing the night away at the alleys nearby... :))

      --Dommy!

      1. Chowpatty Jul 3, 2006 04:48 PM

        Dommy, how is the Eggplant House special prepared? I always get stuck on the soba or nabeyaki udon at Suehiro but that sounds good, I love eggplant!

        1. Dommy Jul 3, 2006 05:06 PM

          It's a miso braised Eggplant (Like the miso marinade on the Black Cod). It's a little on the soft and sweet side, but absolutely PERFECT to go with Japanese Rice. It's a combo special. You get soup, the eggplant and dessert for about 10 bucks! :)

          --Dommy!

          1. d
            Dave Feldman Jul 4, 2006 04:59 AM

            I wish you were feeding Mr. Feldman. Thanks for the great reports.

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