East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Monday, April 23, 2007

"A Forest"

just follow your eyes...

When I saw morels at the Berkeley Bowl, the $29.95 a pound price only caused the slightest hesitation. I'd been looking for morels at the markets for a couple of weeks, and it wasn't like I wanted a huge quantity of them. But after picking a dozen of the mushrooms (2.4 oz, $4.49), I realised that to justify buying them again any time soon, they'd have to be the best mushroom's I'd ever had by a large margin.

They were the best mushrooms I've ever had by a small margin. I sauteed them in butter and olive oil with a shallot and some garlic, and the morel taste easily held its own. It's hard to describe exactly what this taste is: foresty, I guess. Still, if the price stays constant, they'll probably be a once-a-year treat. Now maybe I should try chanterelles, they're only twenty-five bucks a pound...


Since my formative restaurant experiences were in Chinese joints, I'm not one who expects courteous service, thinking of it as a bonus. Hotsy-totsies should avoid Tajine, the Moroccan restaurant recently relocated to Nob Hill. Eating at the counter, after my server brought my chicken bastilla, another server TOOK IT AWAY without saying a word, and gave it to the guy two seats down from me. To his credit, my friendly server replaced it almost immediately, though I think he miscalculated the tax on my bill.

So when I say the food was worth this nonsense, realise this doesn't take much. In fact, the food was worth several times this nonsense. The bastilla (nine bucks) was a filo pastry filled with chicken and nuts, topped with icing sugar and cinnamon. Ostensibly an appetiser, it was sufficient for a small main, and was agreeably succulent. The mint tea was, unfortunately, sugary in a less interesting way.

Coming: chaat attack.

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