So, after much back and forth about the details through email, we finally went to Ba Ren with Canine Cologne of Pink Candles at Ridgemont High and her husband, Bert and Kirk K of Mmm Yoso. So these people are like celebrities. CC and Bert are just so cool, and of course a good looking couple, and Kirk K... is Kirk K. No matter what he says, he's not just a regular guy. He is a very nice guy who knows the most about asian food of anyone I've ever met. Anyway, enough kissing their asses. Actually, I'm not kissing their asses, I just want you to understand how great they are! And if you haven't figured out from reading this blog, I'm kind of deep down a negative nasty hateful person, so if I say a person is great, then they really are. So if you're friends with me, you're in good company because of my few other friends....
Anyhoo, let's pull our heads out of the ass cheeks and focus on the dinner plates.
So, we were so excited to go to Ba Ren, we'd only been there once and totally didn't know what we were doing, even though the shit we got was delicious. We got there a little early because... we wanted to be there. So we got a few Tsingtaos. We sat there with anticipation. This was like going to school on the first day. I should have brought a notebook! We watched people coming in. There was a rather large group of 3 white folks. Can't really make fun of them. They obviously had good appetites and good taste to boot!
So Kirk K showed up first. He spotted us right away. He was very polite and very... conversational. I told him he should be like a gastronomy professor or something. I could totally see him lecturing about different regional asian cuisines.
So then CC and Bert showed up, and it was time to get down to business! We put the ordering in Kirk K's hands, pretty much. His wife preordered some food for us, and then we got a few other things that were some of the "greatest hits of Ba Ren".
You can read CC's blog about it here
So here's my pictures:
Three types of "sichuan cold cuts" is what I'm calling it. One was pig's ear, one was jerky, and the other was a different flavored...pork, or beef. Yeah, I know this is a food blog, and I'm supposed to write about what the food is to inform the reader, but let's face it... let's... already did.... (stupid inside joke from a New Orleans restaurant staff). But you know what, first of all, there's like only 3 people who regularly read this blog - and all three of them were present for the meal! And then also, it's a blog, not a review, so I can do whatever the hell I want right? And why are you criticizing me anyway? You were probably trying to look up pork porn or tita fuck porn or long dong silver porn and this came up when you googled it.... So anyway. I Really like thin sliced cold meats. I liked all of them.
So this was another plate of cold starters that you can get. I could get these 2 plates and be satisfied biologically, but of course not psychologically. Peanuts, edamame with greens and bamboo shoots. Yum. My stomach just growled. I could eat that stuff right now at 9:22 am.
Steamed Whole Squash with pork. This was the FP's favorite. It was, just a flavor parade on your tongue. Meaty, earthy, spicy, sweet... unexplicable, really. I didn't get a good inside shot, but man, you've got to get it - but you have to order ahead of time.
Stir fried beef with pickled mustard greens. Okay. I liked this dish alot. But, it was probably my least favorite among all amazing food. It's like if Robert Smith, Dave Gahan, Peter Murphy and Billy Corgan were all recording songs together. It would be like, all of them are great song writers, but it would also be like Billy Corgan's voice is horrible compared to everyone else's. Not to say that he's not a better vocalist than I am... but you can't compare.
Bejing style sweet corn with pine nuts. Okay. This is like... you could eat it at a football game. It's corn and pine nuts and it's battered in duck egg and deep fried. It's deep fried gluttony. It's heavy, but I liked it. I liked it a lot. It was salty too. I swear, I could watch a movie and have a bowl of this shit!
Hot Pepper Prawns. Okay. These are fried and with hot pepper sauce. This is like fireworks in the mouth. God, this spice is something else. Sichuan food is so different than other heat. It's like electric. My mouth is watering thinking about this, and it is 9:47 am.
Fish Filet in hot sauce. Just look at it. Swimming in that sauce. It's one of those dishes in which you just want to douse rice in. I have to say though, this was the last dish to come out, so I didn't do it justice. I'm pretty wimpy about spicy rich food - my stomach is made of silly putty - and I was getting full. Normally I would have eaten the shit out of it. This was really good though. I want to go back for more!
So we ended with the anticipated bean and rice pudding - which showed that we were not ignorant americans, but we were in with the staff - thanks to Kirk K. So this is supposed to sooth the stomach. I guess it's gelatinous and it coats the stomach, maybe. It was good, but I was pretty full, so I didn't finish mine. I gotta say though, those Tsingtaos go down good with spicy sezchuan food!
So we anted up - I don't recall, but very resonable for the feast we had. Then we all headed to our respective cars. So we get to our Element, and the back passenger tire is flat. Wa wa waaa. Completely. On closer inspection, whoever parked next to us hit the tire, seemed to have gotten stuck and just kept going anyway. They like shredded the valve stem. No offense, but bad asian drivers! Man! Why can't they drive? So Kirk K was still there, and he offered to take us to get that tire inflator stuff in a can. So we drove to target. We got 2 cans for good measure. We got back to the car, and we inflated the tire. All the way. It looked good. And then FP took the nozzle off the stem. And it completely deflated. So we got out the spare, and FP set to work changing the tire. Kirk K stood and waited with us, which was very nice, but probably put pressure on FP to change the spare as fast as possible... he he. But he did fine. Our little tricycle tire looked so small, but it did the trick. So we thanked Kirk K and drove home safely. The next day, we went to Pep Boys to get the tire fixed, and the techs and customer service guy were so appalled by our completely bald front tires, that they basically didn't want to let us leave without buying new tires. So out came my brand new barely used only for emergencies credit card. If ever there were an emergency, this was it. So Ba Ren ended up costing us a mere $420.... in a round about way. But boy, was it worth it. Ba Ren gets \/\/\/\/\/ ten out of eight chopsticks. Because it's amazing, not just because I was in great company....