Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Restaurant report 4- 3TA

First the good things, we order Somasas, corn fritters and Roti for appetizers. Somasas were of the crispier, triangular variety(my favorite) as opposed to the regular cone ones. The Potato stuffing in somasa so reminded me of the Masala dosa stuffing, Corn Fritters were a novelty and Rotis were good.

On the entree side, we ordered Yellow curry with roasted vegetables and Pad thai. I forgot to taste the Pad thai.

Roasted vegetables - what can I say? It was all JA's fault. JA was busy describing some one he saw on T.V who resembled cheppakizhangu. And my taste buds got triggered with Cheppakizhangu roast. Roast as we all know in Tamil household means deep fried. I am aware of the term in the American context - few charred lines on the vegetables. But with nostalgia triggered, I ordered the roasted. The other option was boiled. It wouldn't have made a difference, you will realize soon.

Now on to the cribs.
Who brushes/pours oil on top of a deep-fried Somasa? If that wasn't the case and the oil was just the remnant one from deep-fry procedure, which good restaurant does that?
I don't know of anyway to find a bad peanut before biting one, so I would forgive the peanut sauce though as just one of case. Same with corn fritters we ordered. I found it wee bit lacking in spices, but C2s(DB,DG) loved it.

DG normally is very Calorie/Fat conscious and prefers the springs rolls made with rice wraps over the deep fried one. Salad is her most definite choice in all the places we go. So imagine my surprise, when she says the oily samosas were fine as the they were tasty. Being a foodie myself, I follow that argument to the T. Key being the food has to be tasty.

We were 5 and this automatically ensured a 18% tip. Is that why the waitress wouldn't fill even our water glasses? She did it when we asked for it though.

What pissed us the most was the serving dish. The curry was served on a plate. A flate plate. Not a bowl. I have thought of it from all angles, it just wouldn't work. There is a reason why rice is served before Sambar/Rasam. Imagine being asked to add rice on to to flat plate of sambar!

Little thought about the fusion word, I would have avoided the place altogether. If I can eat authentic Indian, Thai and have places that offer authentic Indian, Thai and I can eat them, why go for Fusion. Hybrid is for those hi-fi people.

Yodha - A R Rahman

Oh well, I came across this movie while browsing through you tube. what? you dont' do that? you don't spend some of your time reminiscing old songs through you tube? must just be me then.

Anyway, Yodha caught my attention because some one screamed it was the first movie Rahman composed music for. Ofcourse, I went back screaming, Roja, Roja was the first. The screaming back was only in my head though. Then, may be Yodha was the dubbed version of Roja. Nope, that isn't true either. Maybe Maniratnam signed Rahman first? I don't know.
But whatever stars aligned that day to make Maniratnam meet Rahman, I am going to thank them.
Watch/Listen at your own risk.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Story of my life

is that I look for stories.

Reading blogs,
Reading books,
Interest in politics,
Incessant arguing about inconsequential matters,
watching movie,
watching T.V,
listening to gossip,
a look at houses as I pass by(voyeurism, I know)
- all in search of stories. Nothing excites me more!

Friday, April 18, 2008

People talk about Blank Noise all the time but more terms of the past. What does one do if it happens at present?

U.S was a paradise in this aspect, till now.

There is a loosu in the third floor who keeps staring at me as I walk in the parking lot, either to my car or to my house. The first time I noticed it, i did not think too much, second time, i stared back, at which point, he moved from his window but still looking at me, i could still spot him ..

Creeps, Jeez Man, Sore loser, get a life!!!
Today, I thought I will stare at him and make him go away. but ...Disgusting Creep.

God, why would I keep attracting such creeps? World would have number of charming people as well, right? how about sending some of them my way?

Have had more than enough of this craps for 100 more janmams to come.

I mentioned it to D last week, she laughed it off. Today's incident, err.. I am now forced to put my head down and walk. D also reacted similarly when i mentioned the another horrible creep 10 years ago.

Planning to complain about him and at the same time, not let these creeps affect me.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Restaurant report -3

Taverna Bistro

S and I, landed in Sunnyvale downtown with a choice of Thai Basil/Dish-Dash. Dish-dash - yeah, right, as if I am going to get in there without the wait, even if it is only for lunch. For some reason, I remember Thai Basil as a place, I have to save a friend from. Unfortunately, sunnyvale downtown has quite a few of these.

S, then came up with a tried alternative. She had been to Taverna just the previous week. Taverna, serves mediterean food. Not the same kind as dish-dash whose M'shakaleh(how does one pronounce these names, thank god I am just typing) I am never going to get tired of, this is still quite good.

Polite and Fast service, great ambience(on the posh side) - I can't see anyone complaining on these regards.

We ordered Veggie Mousakka and Falafel Plate. These come with Rice, Brown Rice. For the first time in my life, brown rice tasted good. It could be because it was probably ghee rice. Still, Ghee Brown rice should still be healthier than Ghee white rice, right? On the falafels, I have had better(the one in steven creeks?) but this was good. Mousaka was delicious. I relished every layer except for the top, which kind of tasted cheesy, kind of wierd as the description doesn't say cheese. The entrees are usually served with rice, steamed vegetable and can easily serve two.

Overall, If you are ever in a similar situation faced with the alarming wait time at Dish-dash, you can easily take a stop here.

* More than half of my friends have names starting with S!

Restaurant report -2

Vaso Azurro
In the past 4 years, I have never ever gone to a restaurant without a friend's recommendation. Speaks something about my adventurous bent, isn't it?

All that changed last week. I haven't had Italian in months now. Luckily, When I called AS(A&S, from now on AS) , A suggested Italian as well. He wanted to eat Brushetta and Gnochi. Somehow, I ended up volunteering for picking the place.

Normally, when I pick a restaurant or make a choice for anybody apart from me, I am extremely jittery. Here I had some people who are quite vociferous when they don't like a place. I mean its not personal but as H put it, I perennially have a guilt conscious for one thing or the other.

I looked for help at Yelp which screamed Vasa Azurro. Vasa Azurro was on Castro street, much nearer to our houses than Palo Alto. Problem with yelp is, I never can gather much info about the vegetarian side of the menu. Honorable Desi junta, you ought to make your esteemed presence at yelp.

I spoke to a lady with british accent(!) and made reservations. Informed the concerned couples, hopped into the car, reached AS's place and then reality hit. Me being me, I had left the address of the restaurant and my cell phone right in my book shelf. I couldn't even recall the name(read the name again, before judging me people).

"Panic". I was running out of time as well. I parked the car right in the middle of apartment pathway with the hazard light 'on', hoping I could find the info again using AS's comp. I rang their apartment bell. S opens the door.

A: Call me.
Me, standing right inside his apartment: "i don't have my cellphone".
A: Stoopid.

He gets his home phone and dials his own number. That's when I spot his I-Phone(acquired just that day), which plays some not so nice, classicalish light music for . What can I say, that's A for you!

Back to my problem, I figure, since he has an I-Phone, I can make him search for the restaurant in the car. A googles and googles but never gets the restaurant. I turn into Castro Street and suddenly, S screams," Vaso Azzurro?"
Me: Oh, that was the name, how did you find out?
Turns out, we were right in front of it! Bulbeets!

We park which brings me to the question, why are all the arrows in the multi-floored public parking lot in castro, left-hand drive based? Did some one think they were in Britain/India?

We enter the restaurant, the lady asks,"Trubadletooo".
S and me are dazed now, Was that Italian?
A says, yes, yes. She repeats, table for five?

A British accent in an Italian restaurant, nice. We were the only Indians, that's probably why she could figure out that it was us who had made the reservation for 5. Somehow, A was very proud of the fact.

After being seated, a man with apron comes to our table."Hi, How have you been? Nice to see you". No, no, he wasn't exactly my long lost brother. It was mentioned in yelp that it is a family type restaurant and how the owner treats every one like family. Very much like family, I tell you.

All through our time there, we heard loud boisterous laughs. Closest I am going to get to the the Italian feel, I suppose. Encouraged by all these noises, We wanted to scream. I mean I am born with amplifiers the controls of which my cousins have been searching for a long time now. It is set at maximum. But even, I was no match.

The waitress was very polite. Sweet Maami. I saw couple of waitresses eating while we were there which is rather nice. Often, I see the employees eating by themselves in an empty place, looks a wee bit sad. All the tables were occupied yet I don't recall really waiting for anything. Overall, I loved the atmosphere. It was a find.

The menu strangely seemed short. But we got our Vegetarian Items, so not a lot of complaints there. For appetizers, we ordered Bruschetta, Aubergines Au Grill. Bruschetta was a little stale. Made of thinner bread strips and little more crisper than I liked. Aubergines... used some sort of cheese I don't like. C1, C2, if you must know, loved the appetizers, the food in general and the place. Immense relief came!

From the Entree menu, we had Penne Alla Diavola,Ravioli Con Spinaci Di Mascarpone and Gnocchi Di Spinaci Al Gorgonzola.

Penne and Ravioli were very good. Penne was light. Sauteed with the fresh vegetables, one of the best I have had. Ravioli had the right amount of cheese and was served in a delicious, slightly sweet, slightly creamy(mascarpone cheese) marinara sauce. Gnocchi turned out to be too floury and the sauce too creamy. Nobody touched it. Never ever order it. If you have a craving for Gnochhi, come back home, wait for your time at Pizza Antica.

Oh yeah, the bread was great. Great enough to ask for "to go" category.

On the dessert side, Tiramasu was just delicious to my taste buds except for the cream on top. Not at all heavy, just the way I like it.

* I have ex-friend and a friend with whom I was on a break once. I mean that's how the she put it. I guess this is how close I am going to get to the romantic lingo! Though I would like hastily add, I didn't/don't have romantic inclinations to either of them.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Now, I know my roots as well, Mr. Haley

After reading "Roots" by Alex Haley, I was moved by the story. I wanted to know the history of ancestors as well. I asked my dad about it. He said that we had moved from Mysore to some village near pondicherry to teach sanskrit 200 odd years ago. The problem is, my mother tongue is telugu. I described the story to one of my friend V. V was like, so you are saying, somewhere before the 200 years ago, you guys, shifted from somewhere to Mysore, in all probability to teach how to light a fire!

I also found out how some people note down their ancestry names in bible and all.
Me: What's your grandfather's name?
Dad: Krishna Iyer
Me: His father's name?
Dad: Venkata subbu Iyer.
Me: and his?
Dad: Krishna Iyer, before that venkata subbu Iyer - I realized recursive programming was invented long way back. I put the pen down. I was assured by this extrapolation, the names of all the ancestors upto the one's who invented fire.