This post is not about food. It's about life while I was eating it.
Spicy Duck Laab Salad, toasted rice, ground chili & romaine hearts
I saw it a mile away. I guess I'm at that point where "I have news for you" can only mean so many things. We already ordered drinks. I got a South by Southeast, a silky blend of bourbon, guava nectar and lemongrass. She got a crisp Kin & Tonic -- Hendrick's, St. Germain, cucumber, cilantro and tonic. Somehow, she hid her left hand from me until we moved from the bar to our table. Then she told me, right before we opened up our menus.
I've been wanting to try Kin Shop for a really long time. We ordered between squeals and I pretended to know things about wedding planning. I ate on auto-pilot until the duck laab's chili really started to sting and I noticed the grilled eggplant was rather sour. She's my first close friend to get married and this made me emotional in a way I did not expect.
Selection of Grilled Eggplant, rice pearls, fish sauce & mint
In 8th grade, my best friend got contact lenses without telling me. She just showed up at Chorus practice and pretended like nothing happened, like she'd forgotten about all our conversations that contacts are weird and glasses are not so bad.
It was a turning point. After I got contacts myself, I also started thinking about things like looking good for boys. Someone told me that the body you have when you're 16 is the one you keep for life, and I remember obsessing over this thought, as if I were carving my dress size in stone. I started thinking about college. And then I wasn't a kid anymore.
Skate & Calamari Jungle curry, bok choy, pickled green peppercorns & crab paste
I guess it's the end of another era now. The stories will change. Disconnects will emerge. And then more people will take that step, and I will too, eventually.
Stir-fried Rice Flakes, rock shrimp, cauliflower, sawtooth herb & fried garlic
The skate in the Jungle Curry was flaky and crab-like. The curry popped with the clarity of sour. The stir-fried rice flakes (more like noodles) were delicate and generous of spirit, like perfumed silk scarves rolled up in your Mom's drawer.
We ordered pistachio ice cream at Cafe Cluny, a recipe amplified in every way. We finished up with drinks in the front yard of the Waverly Inn. It was such a lovely night. Her fiance (who I love) joined us. And then we parted ways and I went home.
Food doesn't exist in a vacuum. In the end, I can't say the food was good or bad. The whole night was just different.