Pretentiousness you can whip up at home
I went to a friend's birthday party last night at J.J.'s Steak House in Pasadena (his wife's choice; I wasn't paying) and to make things easier, there was a limited menu for our group of about 30.
Served with each entree (a nice filet; chicken; some kind of fish) were two spears of asparagus (tasty, though) and what was billed as garlic mashed potatoes.
What we got (and remember, J.J.'s is quite expensive) was about an ice cream scoop's worth of pureed potato (there may have been some garlic) with -- and this is the stroke of genius -- two potato chips stuck upright into the mound, rather like sails on a boat.
But these weren't just any old potato chips: they were Ruffles. Or at least they had ridges.
No complaint about the food, which was swell. But I thought small portions went out a couple of decades ago. And whoever came up with sticking a couple of chips into a mound of whipped potato deserves some sort of award. Is there a chutzpa cup?.
Nobody tell S. Irene: she'll wax endlessly about the exciting new trend among hipster chefs, or something like that.
My point, such as it was, is that you can stick a couple of Ruffles into a pile of potato and duplicate what's served at a very expensive restaurant.
It's not the Ruffles that are pretentious (by my definition, British accent notwithstanding), but the concept, which any of us can easily duplicate at home. Then when our guests ask why the chipsare sticking out of their potatoes, you can explain, with a flourish, "that's how it's being done in Pasadena!"