15 July 2012

Bastille Day & Dasiwa

Today was wonderful! It's Bastille Day, so the Eastern State Penitentiary had a revolution-themed performance. I suppose the actors were running late, so they had the guillotining occur first (before the storming of the Bastille). This included the beheading of 5 watermelons. I wanted a chunk, but I was too far in the crowd to get one. The crowd's enthusiasm died down after about the 3rd melon, though.

After a bit of improv by the crew, Edith Piaf (acted by a male, part of the Bearded Ladies Cabaret) finally appeared in heels, a dress, and drawn on eyebrows! The songs were mashed up pop/rock songs, with a melange of French (spoken well!) and English, dipped with political humour. They even mentioned "cheese-eating surrender monkeys", which is a term from The Simpsons! I wonder how many others knew the reference. The show was fantastic, with a climax focusing on the lack of bread (preceded by an original song about bread, with a giant baguette who got shot), culminating in the release of over a thousand TastyKakes (Butterscotch Krimpets) from the roof of the Eastern State Penitentiary.
Unfortunately, SP and I were standing too far away to catch any. Later on, someone threw a Krimpet and it hit me with full force on my nose. For a lump of oils and sugars, that surprisingly hurt! I'm also surprised that they expire within a month.

Edith ended the show with "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien", a song I immediately associate with Edith Piaf. As people were leaving, I looked for more Tastykakes, but there were none! However, I saw a bunch of little kids with piles of them, and it probably gives them more happiness than it gives me (my time for collecting mounds of prepackaged cake treats have ended, I suppose). Besides, SP and I were going to eat a splendid sushi dinner at Dasiwa (honestly, IGNORE the reviews from before 2012...they are seriously out of date)!

Dasiwa was neat! It is half cafe, half sushi place. As I'm not really a fan of cafes, I anticipate just coming here for sushi in the future.
In aspects that seem to be big deals for others, but aren't important for me:
1. Appropriately decorated: Beautiful art on the walls, cute bathroom walls and ceilings (fish paintings), and stylish plates.
2. Great service: The waitress was really helpful and showed us what yellowtail and flounder look like. One of the other guys also had a sense of humour. First, as I was about to take a picture of the food, he joked "$5 extra for a picture!", and as we were finishing up, he told us (quoting SP because I was too busy staring at SP's beautiful face) "I've never seen a young couple with such an eye for delicacies! You know how to eat!".
3. Plating: Nicely done. I got a hibiscus flower that smells like ham.

So now, the stuff that does matter for me: foooooooooooooooood taste! So, I guess I do eat fish and possibly other animals now. We first got the salmon maki (roll), the tuna roll, and the octopus sashimi. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there was avocado and cucumber in the rolls too!   The sushi was delicious, but I'm not a sushi connoisseur, so I generally appreciate anything rolled up in vinegar sushi rice and nori. SP, however, has more sushi experience than me, and he thought that it was "great!". 

We got 4 pieces of octopus sashimi, even though the menu said that we'd get 3 - perhaps they just sliced the same weight of octopus more thinly so that we'd have an even number of slices to share. One of the pieces looked super squiggly! Octopus is really chewy and a bit tough. I think I prefer squid over it.

Then, we got the yellowtail roll and some squid nigiri. Yellowtail flesh is differently coloured, so our sushi was quite pretty (although this time, there wasn't any avocado). The squid looked like a slice of onion, but it tasted way better! I am quite pleased with myself, because I managed to nibble on more wasabi (or dyed horseradish; I'm not really sure) than I've ever had my whole life (minus the wasabi peas). I'm actually starting to like it!

Before we left, the chef gave us each a spoonful of scallop with melted butter, roe, scallions, and ponzu sauce (with citrus). I didn't catch everything the waitress said, but it looked fancy. I envision myself eating this kind of thing when I'm a millionaire a few decades from now. Or not; I'll probably still be munching on comforting peanut butter sandwiches while working 12-hour days at the lab. It tasted a bit foreign to me: buttery, sour/vinegary, fatty/oily, and orangy. Interesting mix of flavors and tastes.

As we walked back home, we swung by Wholefoods. I was disappointed that the almond flour was $13.99/lb, but we were both satisfied with dessert - some tea cookies from the choose-it-yourself place. I tried the lemon and rosemary biscuit, which was interesting, and the vegan gingerbread with raspberry filling, which was extremely moist and delicious. SP got a cream filled double chocolate chip cookie sandwich (good), a cookie sandwich with ganache (good), and a swirly hard cookie with a dot of jam (dry and bland).

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