Last Saturday we had dinner at The Stinking Rose over in La Cienega. The restaurant’s claim to fame is its prominent use of garlic in all its dishes. It was evidently so in every part of our meal – from appetizers, our main course and even dessert. The ambience of the place was somewhat elegant –in a dimly-lit-lounge-meets-a-Roman -amphitheater kind of way. The décor was old world Italy with muted lighting and stone and marble décor, velvet drapes and cozy booths. We started dinner off with warm garlic rolls and the bagna calda (the restaurant’s signature appetizer, “spreadable” roasted garlic cloves, in olive oil with a slight trace of anchovy).
Since I was having dinner with 4 guys (Jojo, Jules and my good friends Jeff and Ray), our meal was a carnivore’s dream. We shared large servings of the Forty Garlic Clove Roasted Chicken, the Garlic Encrusted Full Rack of Ribs, and Garlic Roasted Prime Rib – a 20 ounce piece known as “The Slab”. Each dish came with creamy garlic mashed potatoes (which were really good – my favorite part of the meal actually). And our only attempt at a healthy respite to this rich meal was the sautéed spinach which was more of a garnish rather than a side. For dessert, we shared garlic infused ice cream with caramel sauce. It was actually quite good and yes, you could savor the mild garlic aftertaste with every bite.
It was an interesting dinner to say the least and really nice catching up with Jeff and congratulating Ray – he and his wife (Janice) just had a baby. Too bad she couldn’t join us for dinner though.
Also on Saturday, we finally got TFC (The Filipino Channel) on cable. My hubby finally gave in and agreed to get access to 5 tv channels from back home. We have ABS-CBC (Channel 2), GMA-7, one channel that shows Tagalog movies, and two others that I don’t recognize. I spent Sunday afternoon watching “The Buzz” and “Showbiz Central” (entertainment news programs similar to E News, Access Hollywood, and The Insider). It was strangely comforting to watch these shows and to see familiar showbiz faces (although there are so many new faces and names I hardly recognize at all).
I remember when I was back home in Manila, Sunday afternoons were spent with my sisters watching “Showbiz Lingo” before we would head over to my grandparents’ place for dinner. My mom, dad and brothers would be napping while Atsi Jen, sometimes Joy, and I would avidly watch and react to all the entertainment gossip. This time, while I was watching these shows, I sort of felt like I was back home, in my parents’ room, on a Sunday afternoon, with my sisters.