I knew little about the place. I thought I had heard something about it being a comfort food restaurant but, given that it was located only steps from Lucky Diner, Yaletown’s premiere comfort food eatery, I assumed I’d heard wrong. I arrived at a little after 6:00 p.m. to a deserted and dimly lit room. It was unnervingly quiet. I looked around. Hello? Had I been a character in a horror movie, this is the point where the audience would have been screaming at me to turn back and run for my life. As it happened, no serial killers on this night. Just a pleasant hostess who swept in out of the back, checked my reservation, and escorted me to my table.
As I settled in, I asked the waitress about the menu. She informed me that LK Dining Lounge, formerly LilyKate, had, in fact, started out as a comfort food restaurant. But, a year and a half ago, the owner decided to change things up and go with a Latin-American theme instead. “It was a great idea,”she assured me with a commendably straight face. “Business really picked up after that.” I resisted the urge to cast and obvious glance over the empty surroundings and, instead, redirected my attention to the drink list.
Carl finally arrived and, following a quick perusal of the menu, we decided to forego the entrees in favor of what we hoped would be a Latin-American culinary tour, assorted tapas-style. We started with the Jerk-spice mini sirloin burgers. Despite the advertised jerk spicing and the tiny dollop of orange-chipotle aioli that topped it, the bite-size burger was dry and devoid of any real flavor, the occasional price to be paid for working with the less-forgiving lean beef . The ensuing Pincho, a chipotle-glazed chicken skewer, while moist turned out to be disappointingly bland as well. The dry-cured chorizo sausage skewers that followed was a definite improvement over the first two plates – the smoky and spicy slices served with a good roasted yellow pepper aioli – but it was a dish that would have rated a solid average at any other meal. Next up was the house ceviche – cilantro-lime dressed tuna with tomato and avocado served in a soft tortilla cone – that was unusually cold and, again, bland. Unlike the dishes that preceded it, however, we elected to set this one aside after our initiatory bites. The crab-plantain fritters that came next were undercooked and lacking any significant crabmeat, but the final two plates made partial amends: tasty crispy coconut-prawn skewers, and a Mexcian-pizza style Adobo Chicken Tinga which was topped with roasted corn, cheddar, Serrano ham, salsa, and cream, offering a delightful mosaic of southwestern flavors.
We chose to end on a high note, skipping dessert in favor of the short walk to Chocoatl.
Service was excellent and the dining area was comfy, almost romantic, with its dark hues and tropical greens but, unfortunately, the food is the weak point here. Perhaps a change in menu may be in order. Third time’s the charm?
By the way, the new Bridge Studios pace cards are out. Collect ’em all, kids!
Let’s see what’s on your respective minds…
Lorr54 writes: “I use Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate, plus heavy cream, vanilla and Godiva Chocolate liqueur. They are very simple but I don’t take the time to make them look fancy. I’ll send you a couple of dozen when I make them again, probably in May.”
Answer: I’m not a big fan of milk chocolate but two I do like are Michel Cluizel’s 45% and Scharffen Berger’s exceptionally creamy 41%. As for your truffles – I thought they looked great. And huge.
4ps writes: “The ball has already begun rolling… no turning back now!! But chocolate and doughnuts you say? I’ll keep that in mind! Oh, and I also noticed you conveniently forgot to answer the question.. ;)”
Answer: Well, more chocolate than doughnuts. As for the pics – sure, go ahead.
Patricia writes: “Can you be bought?”
Answer: Of course not. (Quick! Behind the alley! Bring the foie gras!)
Anonymous #1 writes: “After SG1’s cancellation, Mark Stern made an announcement that one or more characters would move to SGA. That tells me “X marks the spot” where it was decided to dump Weir.”
Answer: It breaks my heart to do this, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to burst the idealized notion you have of the magical nature of this business. Simply put “t.v. don’t work that way”. As much as I’d love to say that we were a well-oiled machine making snap decisions and moving forward two, three, sometimes four steps ahead, the truth is, at the time in question, we were scrambling. We were focused on the SG-1 finale – much, much, MUCH less on any creative decisions that would impact the following year’s Atlantis. I appreciate the compliment, but you give us way too much credit. As for the quote from Sci-Fi – this may come as a shock to some but SciFi has always liked the idea of a character from SG-1 crossing over to Atlantis as it gives them the best of both worlds. In fact, it’s common knowledge that we even considered crossing Carter over as far back as a year ago. But having a notion is one thing; actually following through to make it a reality something completely different. Of course the network would have loved to have “one or two” SG-1 characters cross over but, if this was a done deal at this point (which you seem to suggest), then why be so vague and not name the character making the move? Moreover, I’m very curious about this potential second character. Who was he/she?
Anonymous #2 writes: “So if it wasn’t Amanda Tapping, then we’d have seen Michael Shanks or Chris Judge? […] For curiosity’s sake, who else were you considering besides Carter?”
Answer: Many, many years ago, I attended “a special evening with Sherwood Schwartz and Bob Denver”. Sherwood was, of course, the creator of Gilligan’s Island and Bob it’s star. It was an fun and informal opportunity for fans to hear about some of the behind-the-scenes goings-on, discuss burning issues such as The Professor’s spectacular ability to cobble most anything together EXCEPT a sea-worthy boat, and answer trivia questions for prizes (Quick! What was the name of Gilligan’s favorite band?). One of the questions that came up during the Q&A touched on the actors originally cast in the pilot – who didn’t end up making the cut when the show went to series. Sherwood refused to answer the question out of respect for said actors. Even though there was no audition process in this case (in fact, the other performers we considered didn’t even know we were considering them), it would be bad form for me to name names.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Is that midseason two parter a crossover episode with SG-1?”
David McKee: “Where would you say “The Departed” ranks in the Scorsese canon?”
Answer: Not among his best, but I liked it (except for the unnecessary on-the-nose shot of the rat scampering across the rail at movie’s end) – although I preferred the original HK version, Infernal Affairs. Was it the best picture of 2006? I can’t really say. I haven’t seen either The Queen or Letters from Iwo Jima. I did see Little Miss Sunshine which I thought was okay, but didn’t love (unlike Carl). I also saw Babel which I liked but, again, did not love (Why is it that whenever Western movies tell the story of an Asian protagonist, over half the time, he/she is suffering from some sort of sexual dysfunction?).
Anonymous #4 writes: “What does the sarcastic 8-ball say about the chances of seeing Kinsey in a movie?”
Anonymous #5 writes: “And do you think you’ll ever get the chance to write an SG-1 movie?”
Answer: If these two movies prove successful and we get future orders for more and provided I’m not busy with another production – I’d love to.
Anonymous #6 writes: “Did the news that SG1 is canceled affect in any way the decisions you are making about the stories in Atlantis?”
Shawna writes: “What comic book supervillains’ powers would the main Atlantis characters have?”
Answer: I’ll pair the characters with their supervillainish counterparts and you can figure out the powers yourselves. Sheppard = Deadpool, McKay = Brainiac, Ronon = Kraven the Hunter, Teyla = Elektra.
Iamza writes: “Of all the Stargate Atlantis scripts (all seasons) you’ve been involved with, which has been your personal favourite so far?”
Linzi writes: “Adrift (desperation), Lifeline (gamble), Reunion (roots), Travelers (rivalry), Missing (missing). Is that the order you expect the episodes to air in?”
Ankhmutes writes: “I was wondering if there were any plans to continue the Ford story arc.”
Answer: No Ford stories in the works so far.
Nathaniel writes: “What is your favorite type of Donut and what unusual flavors can you get?”
Answer: To be honest, I’ve cut down on my doughnut-eating. Given the choice though, I’d probably hit the classic honey-dipped.
Grey writes: “I had a costume question, mostly because it was the only thing that was visually irking me in “First Strike”, are the SG-1 type uniforms here to stay?”
Answer: Check out the new and improved Atlantis uniforms in season 4. As for the jalapeno jelly you mentioned – I love jalapeno AND habanero jelly.
NightSpring writes: “I know you must be tired of hearing questions about Weir by now, but can you at least tell us if we will be seeing her at all in the first half of S4?”
Answer: Yes, she will.
Anonymous #7 writes: “Well this years annual Masters of Food and Wine at the Highlands Inn in Carmel has come and gone. The piece de resistance being the $5000.00 8 course Rarities dinner.”
Answer: Bad timing for me. Any idea dishes comprised the Rarities dinner?