Monday, April 30, 2012
The Emperor Has No Dinner
I am not hip enough for Venice, CA.
My boss and his wife and I had dinner at a tapas restaurant/wine bar with a job candidate and his wife in Venice last night. As the beautiful day slipped into a slightly chilly evening, the restaurant staff turned on a combination of pillar-like gas burners and heat lamps hanging from the trellis surrounding the patio. Quite cozy.
The menu was eclectic and interesting -- asparagus with prosciutto, cheese platters, an olive and almond platter, bacon wrapped dates. The server recommended we order eight selections, which seemed reasonable for five people.
When the "cheese platter" arrived, I struggled not to laugh out loud. It contained about half a tablespoon of a creamy cheese, a cube of cheese about half the size of a piece of string cheese, and a 2-inch square of cheese sliced so thin you could read Salon.com through it.
When I order asparagus, I expect...spears of asparagus. Not here in Venice. The dish -- meant to share with five people -- consisted of three leaves of baby lettuce, one chip of prosciutto, and six or eight dots of asparagus that collectively could not have equalled half a stalk.
The place was filled with folks paying $20 a plate for a nickel's worth of food. No one (including me) pointed out that the emperor was not only naked, he was hungry.