Monday, May 21, 2012

Pepe Le Pew Food with Madame Chou Chou

She sat, gilded and adorned with all the accoutrements of a fancy French whore every day, as I would stroll past her on Main Street. She beckoned to me with her garlic perfume that would swish out her door as other patrons sat inside her dark interiors that sparkled with all my favorite things: oversized, baroque golden frames, art nouveau style signage, rustic wood benches and tabletops, European bistro chairs, sleek, bare framed mirrors and white chalk sketches of whimsical furnishings and boudoir elements on black chalkboard walls. And her name was Madame Chou Chou, which just as easily could have been her bordello pseudonym as it could have been in homage to her 1940’s Parisian grandmother; both equally inviting for a girl enthralled currently with the wonders of French food.

The upcoming California-wide foie gras ban is what eventually led me to enter her lair this past weekend with the Cute Gardener. We were determined to have one last illicit meal with the dish before July 1st kicks it off the plates for gourmands in the sunshine state. Conveniently located in walking distance from my home, we chose it for its proximity and the fact that it had other inviting dishes on its menu that we wanted to try.

Like most high-priced prostitutes though, my grand illusions were busted once I got to know her. Unlike Henry Miller with his typewriter and an actual reason/craving to jump in the gutter, I was better off sticking to watching her from afar then transforming the fantasy of knowing her into a reality.

The Cute Gardener ordered a quail starter, which looked great on the plate but was smothered with too much sauce that diffused the crispy, fry. His squash blossoms were soaked in garlic, a fact that permeated the entire evening.

The sought after foie was a tiny, thin slice on a saturated piece of bread almost cloyingly sweet from the raisin soaked dressing. Bite number one was luscious and I oohed and ahhed my way through a few more before handing over half to my other. Within a few minutes though, I had the notion that I might incur a stomachache from all the sugars.

His veal loin was better than anything else we had, unadorned and cooked well. The sweetbreads accompanying it were creamy as they should be. But the rest of the dish again was emanating strongly with garlic.

My gnocchi with lamb ragu was really a smelly pile of what looked like filthy rags of sinewy lamb and raw garlic next to fluffy, potato pillows that were far from gnocchi, and again saturated with what became that evening the most annoyingly scented bulb.

We were fed a final dose of overdone fragrance with dessert. I liked my lavender panna cotta enough after everything else had left a bad stain on my tongue but it definitely overdosed on the herb. His almond and nectarine tart was dull and indiscernible as well.

Maybe the chef was having a hard time tasting and smelling that night thus explaining the over seasoning of everything on our plates. Or maybe, like a fancy French whore, he thought dousing everything dirty in a strong, fragrant smell would deceive us into thinking we were eating fare cleanly made. As we watched the other patrons come in for seating, we noticed they were all being given breadbaskets, something we did not receive. The bread would have been nice because my man left still hungry (after miniscule portions that were highly overpriced for what they offered) hinting at the idea of stopping along the way home for oyster shooters or anything else refreshing that would cleanse his palate from the aforementioned meal.

Like Pepe Le Pew, the famous lothario skunk from my childhood cartoons, I was easily seduced, went in for the chase, and then was left panting on a barren sidewalk in the end disappointed as the booty I had so wholeheartedly chased failed to appease me but instead presented me with a literal and scorching heartburn. Heartburn-something I haven’t experienced in years that should not be the tail end of a healthy eater’s indulgence at an establishment that touts itself as in an echelon above the norm.

1 comment:

  1. Dude you are so lame...maybe you should stop writing...