My husband and I took an Uber to dinner the other night and were met by a very excited driver. “I see you’re going to SALT,” he said. “Good choice, that is the best restaurant in LA.” Just like that, as if it were a scientific fact. I was excited about our dinner and had heard great things about the place, yet his statement irked me, as it always does when someone calls something “the best”. I don’t mean using the expression “It’s the best!” I get that, it’s just an expression, but it bothers me when someone says it as if they are stating an actual fact, if it isn’t. “The best ice cream in all of Italy.” “The best artist of the 20th century.” “The best movie ever made.” “Best director.”
How can anyone use those words with a straight face when talking about something culinary or creative? Those are subjective experiences – we all have different tastes when it comes to food and art. I could subsist on oysters alone for a week, and honestly say that I like oysters the best of all foods, but I have friends who gag just seeing them served. You get the picture. I guess that’s why award shows always make me roll my eyes. I love celebrating people’s talent and hard work, but could we maybe change the award to Director of the Year, instead of Best Director? Anyone agree with me? I know, I know, this isn’t terribly important, I’m just worried my eyes will get stuck at the back of my head from too much rolling.
Okay, I’ll stop now. Back to our dinner at SALT. I won’t say it was actually the best in LA, but I will say that it was fantastic and that I highly recommend it. We arrived just as the sun began setting and were seated on the outdoor patio with a view of the harbor. I love boats, there is something so summery and relaxing about them to me, seeing them bob in the water, suntanned people in shorts sauntering up and down the docks.
The sun kept setting the entire time we were there…I’m not sure how that happened, but it felt like the longest, most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. And I mean that literally. The wine and the service were excellent, and the food was beyond that. I wanted to lick the plates to taste every last drop, but managed to control myself, because, you know, I’m a lady and all that.
We shared a burrata and plum salad and a salmon dish. I don’t always like salmon, the wild caught tends to get too tough and chewy for my taste, I guess from all the exercise the salmons get from swimming upstream, but the salmon we had was very tender. The chef either performed a miracle or our salmon had been extremely lazy during his lifetime, never leaving the couch, never letting go of the remote or his bag of chips, not developing a single chewy muscle.
Ugh, the image of our food just got too personal. I’m always conflicted about eating other living creatures, when we can survive on plants, but can’t quite stop craving meat and fish. I’ve tried being a vegetarian a few times, but the last time it ended with me craving meat so much that I found myself circling the deli at Whole Foods with my eyes on a bloody piece of roast beef behind the glass. It was as if I had turned into something from the nature channel, like I suddenly wouldn’t be able to stop myself from attacking the prey, as in jumping up onto the glass and grabbing the roast beef with my teeth and devouring it right there on the spot. It felt like a bad thing to do at Whole Foods, especially since there were so many of Chloe’s classmates’ parents there, and she might get a bit embarrassed if I turned psychotic carnivore in front of them. “Isn’t that Chloe’s mom? Wasn’t she class parent last year? What happened to her?” …so I just bought the meat instead and figured I could deal with my inner turmoil later. What do you all think? Do you eat meat? How do you stop your cravings if you want to go vegetarian?
Well, those are my thoughts for today.
Until next time…