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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Siam, I Am


Yesterday, Bruce and I went to Fort Mason to return a piece of "artwork" that my office had rented from the SF Museum of Modern Art.

It disturbs me that my boss is an architect and also has such bad taste in art. I mean, this thing that hung behind me for the last 10 months is the most god-awful, insipid, inane, and downright stupid piece of crap behind glass that I've ever had the unfortunate opportunity to witness and be near.

What is it with "art" that looks like some five-year-old's finger painting? That shit should be hanging on the refridgerator, not in a museum! It would be nice if it really was some kid's attempt at art instead of some pseudo-Artiste's wankfest on poster board. To make matters worse, the "piece" had some badly drawn ballerina on it whose tutu was so short you could see her damn poontang!

Graphically drawn, to boot!

I'm sure in my boss's psyche that's what led him to pick out the painting/collage/artwork. Not because it was "significant" or "crucial", but because he needs to get a lil' sumpin sumpin. In his selection of that "piece", I got way more information than I needed, ok?

Anyway, after being greeted each morning for what seems like forever by the Poo-Nanni Ballerina, she and it is finally out of my life, and to celebrate I took Bruce out to lunch, my treat.

At my suggestion, we headed over to Lombard Street since he and I had a serious hankering for Thai food, and since Lombard has an unusually high amount of Thai restaurants. In fact, if one were to boil down Lombard Street into two things, it would be Thai Restaurants and retro Motels from the 50's and 60's.

Thai food was also fitting since the word "thai", in Thai, means "freedom". Making "Thai" land, "freedom" land. Which happens to be why so many trannies go there to have cheap operations. And after living next to that damn monstrosity disguised as art, I too was ready to ride that freedom train. Or get a sex change, which ever came first.

We stopped at the first place we saw that looked good and was open for lunch. It's called Gatip Classic Thai Cuisine and is at the corner of Lombard and Steiner.

Despite the cheesy exterior, and parts of the interior, the restaurant seemed clean, open, and inviting.

There only seemed to be one person at work in the dining area and she was the cashier, the busser, and the waitress. The nice thing was, she did all of this with a totally authentic smile and demeanor.

She was, like, totally getting her Buddha on.

First, we had to get this party started right, and ordered the Thai ice tea.

Here's what we eventually decided on:

Starters:
Som Tom
Shredded Green Papaya salad with lime, chili, tomatoes, and peanuts.

Beef Satay
Skewered beef marinated in coconut milk and Thai spices, charcoal broiled, and served with peanut sauce and cucumber salad.

And for the main dishes:
Gang Kwew Wan Ta-Lay
Seafood (oysters, shrimp, and squid) green curry and coconut milk with zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, and basil. Served with rice.

Gatip Noodle
Pan-fried rice stick noodles with chicken, egg, shrimp, basil and yellow curry.

To start with, the tea was awesome! Bruce and I have had Thai iced tea many times before, but often the tea is weak. This, however, was the strong stuff.

The perfect blend of tea and cream and sugar. Really, this should be dessert, but if I happen to have it first, I won't complain. I had to pace myself with this drink, otherwise it would've been gone before our food even showed up.

The first food to arrive at the table was the papaya salad. Although Bruce and I have had better and fresher at Cha-Am, this salad was still a nice way to start our lunch. It had just the right amount of spicyness to it (we asked for spicy hot), coupled with the acidity of the lime juice and with noticeable hints of Nam Pla, aka fish sauce.



Before I get too far ahead of myself, Buddha Waitress perfectly timed the arrival of our courses to coincide with the moment just when we were finishing our last dish, despite having 5 other tables of 2 diners or more, and despite almost tripping twice over someone's 3 year old daughter who was allowed to run around in the restaurant. What the hell is wrong with you people?

Also, a word to well-meaning honkies: people in Thailand either eat with their hands or with forks. They do not eat with chopsticks, so when trying to impress your Asian or other honky friends, forego asking the waiter or waitress for chopsticks, like you've got the inside tip on Thai table manners. You don't. And if your waiter doesn't roll his eyes to your face, he sure is behind your back.

I swear to God, I told Bruce we'd see at least one misguided fool of Caucasian descent fumbling with the chopsticks in whatever Thai restaurant we went into, and it pleases me to tell you that I wasn't disappointed when we sat down to eat at Gatip.

In general, fellow honkies, please don't ask for chopsticks at restaurants – it just embarrasses the rest of us. If they are at your table, fine. Use them, but only if you can use them well. However, most times, using the fork will make your life a lot easier, and no one will think any less of you, that is, if they think of you at all.

Now back to the food...



As we were finishing the salad, the satay arrived. Again, I've had better, but this wasn't bad either. Lemme tell you, as soon as that peanut sauce-covered piece of goodness touched my lips, it was like Nirvana. Maybe not because it was the best I've had, but definitely the best in a long time (I really should eat more Thai and less Chinese and Pizza). The cucumbers were also a godsend, since my mouth was still on fire from the papaya salad. The meat was a little dry, but that wasn't a big distraction.

As we were finishing the satay, the last of our food came out.



Let me start with the noodles: Hum, was ok.

They were kind of clumpy, which often happens with fried noodles. The curry sauce wasn't completely to my liking, but the pieces of chicken and shrimp were juicy and the dish had a lot of flavor. Even after we decided to stop eating and get our food to go, I found it hard to stop eating the noodles, so I guess they were good after all. Not great, but good.

What was great was the green seafood curry. The broth/coconut milk was mouth-watering rich. I thought Bruce was going fill himself up on the curry without eating the noodles since he didn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. After a brief intervention, I got him to move on the noodles (so I could eat more of the curry! Ha!).

Truly, this curry rocked. It was mild, but flavorful. Besides the rich broth, the fresh basil in this dish blew me away. The squid, which was the most prevalent seafood in this dish, was cooked tender. There only were a couple of shrimp and 1 oyster, but that wasn't a big deal.



When it was time to pay, the total check was $30, plus tip. A good price for a lot of good food.

Overall, I would say Gatip is a good, not great, but good Thai food restaurant that I, if in the area again, would definitely stop at. And I definitely walked out of that restaurant happy, with full Thai craving completely quenched and satisfied. Ah, happiness!

Buddha Waitress, I think I love you!

But for now, I have the urge to make some Thai food at home.

Keep your eyes peeled,

k.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to tell you that I'm a fan of your blog. Please write more regularly! I like the fact that you are an actual home cook as well as someone who just plain loves food. And your commentary about people and places is pretty damn funny too.
-Mia

1:17 PM  
Blogger Bacon Press said...

Thanks Mia,

It's always nice to receive complements from people you know.

It's even better to receive them from people you don't know.

I'll try my damndest to keep you entertained for the New Year. I can already tell it's going to be a bumpy ride.

k.

6:07 PM  

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