It’s time for me to make a confession that a lot of foodie’s wouldn’t want me to admit to.
I do not have better taste in food that you do.
Nope. Sorry. I’m afraid it’s true.
I do not have some kind of special pallate, some gourmand level of expertise, or some access to insider tips that makes me a better foodie than you.
The stuff you see on this site is just an assemblage of stuff I’ve come across or experiences I’ve had, put into a handy-dany, accessible to all online Database that is hopefully easy for everyone to use.
I have met people…actual, living Angelenos mind you…who have never ever been to Philippe’s the Original. I know someone who doesn’t get the big deal about In-N-Out Burger. There are people who are still too intimidated to go into Koreatown. There are people living in one of the greatest cities on earth for Chinese Cuisine, outside of China, still think going to P.F. Chang’s is a mighty exotic experience.
Then again, those people also think that by going Taco Bell they’re having Mexican Food.
Now, do I think those people are nuts? Why…yes, yes I do.
Is that fair of me? No, no it’s not.
Do those people have bad taste in food? I would argue, believe it or not, that they do not. But they do highlight the central difference between a Foodie like me, and one of them.
They just haven’t had as many food experiences as I have.
Yeah, that’s a big difference.
It’s not just I went to P.F. Chang’s and found something better, it’s that I’ve been to P.F. Chang’s, and Elite in Monterey Park, or Mission 261 or Lunasia in San Gabriel, and I’ve been able to compare those four restaurants, and describe what I like the best.
Granted, it helps to have a Godmother from Shanghai and a Godfather from Tsingtao. They would be a help to anyone who wanted to know what the good stuff is supposed to taste like. But I don’t have anyone Korean in my family, or Vietnamese, or Mexican. But you go to enough restaurants, you compare and contrast enough of the same dish, and you’ll start to figure it out.
Here’s another thing to remember. Rarely, and I mean an “if ever” kind of a rarely, will you get a bad tasting meal. A bad tasting meal just doesn’t happen in a restaurant.
You may get a poorly prepared meal. Your meal may not be cooked the right way, or the way you ordered it. Your meal may contain an ingredient you didn’t expect, and wasn’t described on the menu (this has happened to me, someone with a peanut allergy more than once). But the odds of that meal actually tasting like @#$% are about the same as Rick Perry ever remembering what the heck that third thing was.
If you’re at a Restaurant, of even the worst quality, and you get something actually tastes phsyically awful…odds are, it was prepared correctly. You just weren’t ready for the way it tastes.
It happens, particularly with dishes we’ve never tried before. Even that’s rare, but it happens.
It’s also possible that you might have been poisoned by…who knows…anti-Foie-Gais terrorists. But I doubt that.
Yeah, sure. Something could be physically wrong with the ingredient, but remember…Restaurants don’t last long poisoning their customers. No one is out to hurt you intentionally, though screw ups can happen.
The worst, and I mean, worst you can expect from a Restaurant is a flavorless meal, something that makes chewing on notebook paper spicy and savory by comparison.
Nasi Lemak is a Malay dish, something akin to a beloved national favorite. It’s a simple thing, Rice, Red Chilies, and a little bit of shrimp paste wrapped in a banana leaf. I went to a Houston Restaurant, and looked at something called Nasi Lemak. I looked at what was in there and no Shrimp were mentioned (again, an allergy). I went ahead and dived in anyway. It arrived. Okay, no Banana leaf, but that’s apparently not standard all the time. It was a pile of white rice surrounded by Malay condiments. One of which was dried pickled Fish, which I had never heard of. Another was a spicy vegetable medley which was fantastic. The whole experience was a mixed bag, and I left convinced I had not yet tried the full-on for real Nasi Lemak.
Even though I maybe had.
So if anything, this is an argument for you…the non-foodie whom this blog was intended…to not give up. It is an argument for you to shake it off (or…whatever you need to do to recover) and go out and try more new restaurants, more new foods. It should also be an encouragment to not necessarily give up on a quote-unquote beloved local favorite just because the first time you tried it, it didn’t float your boat. Try it again, but try it somewhere else.
My adventorousness should necessarily be your adventurousness, just as my limitations sure as @#$#% can’t be your limitations. You’re not necessarily going to like what I like. Some of my favorite foods in the world might just make you gag.
The point is to push past your own boundaries. Not medically, not to try soemthing that’s going to land you in the hospital, but maybe something you’re not as comfortable with. I’m not a big Offal fan, but I have tried some of the odder bits