Last night, Fondy and I checked out Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, rumored to be one of the better restaurants in Vancouver’s hip Yaletown district. More upscale casual than fine dining, the place is spacious and brightly lit, with an open lounge area out front and two t.v.’s over the bar area for those interested in following the televised sport of the night. We were being seated just the pre-hockey crowd was finishing up, decked out in their Vancouver Canucks caps and jerseys, ready to head over to GM Place for the big game.
Fondy and I settled into a booth, perused the menu, and placed our orders. For starters, Fondy had a romaine salad with a creamy garlic vinaigrette and what was described as “Asian bacon”. Fondy suspected it was diced lup chong, that tasty Chinese sausage often found in dim sum sticky rice purses and my wife‘s rice cooker, but it was, quite frankly, nigh impossible to identify because they’d been reduced to tough and tiny blackened bits. “Wow,”I marveled. “They really cooked the shit out of those little fuckers, didn’t they?” Fondy ignored me, pushing aside the leathery nuggets and focusing, instead, on the romaine. Amused, I redirected my attention to my starter, a butternut squash with minced ginger and…hell, there may have been something else in there but I couldn’t get past the ginger. A little goes a long way and, in the case of this evening’s soup, a long, long, LONG way. The soup had the consistency of baby food and was topped with a half-dozen sad-looking sprouts. I tried two spoonfuls and then set it aside. The waitress noticed I wasn’t a fan and was kind enough to take it off the bill.
For our mains, we both looked seaward: the sablefish for Fondy and the ahi tuna for me. We also ordered three side dishes as culinary support: hand cut taro chips, brussel sprouts, and bacon-fried rice. My tuna, described as “thai spiced” possessed no discernible spicing. Grilled medium on the outside, rare on the outside, and cool all over, it lay there like a disinterested escort, or an Amanda Bynes movie, neither impressing nor offering offense. Fondy’s sablefish, on the other hand, was perfectly cooked and thoroughly delicious, served with a miso glaze, gai lan, and a lemongrass broth. It was hard to believe both dishes came from the same kitchen.
Of the side dishes, the rice was the clear winner – fried with bacon, scallions, garlic, and topped with three sunnyside quail eggs. The brussel sprouts weren’t too bad either although, for my money, I still prefer Bistrot Bistro’s version. The taro chips were fine.
For dessert, I had a coconut-chocolate gelato millefeuille which was good, but a long way from the decadent Montreal versions of the millefeuille I grew up with. Fondy simply adored her banana spring rolls served with cashew butter and caramel sauce.
The service was excellent.
Well, in preparation for my Tokyo trip, I headed down to the mall today to pick up a few travel necessities: jeans, work-out sweats, and new running shoes to replace the ones Lulu has chewed into a matching pair of polyurethane and rubber pancakes. While I was picking up my jeans, I ran into a former SG-1 camera assistant and we ended up reminiscing about the good old days of the original four: Rick, Michael, Amanda, and Chris. From there, I headed over to Foot Locker where, I suspect, the employees were all participants in a bet to see who could avoid assisting a customer the longest. Two girls in the front were folding t-shirts, deep into an involved conversation while the lone guy in the back was moving boxes around. I picked out a running shoe (I say running shoe as opposed to a jogging shoe, basketball shoe, or murdering someone and burying the body shoe) and elected to try the guy in the back. “Excuse me,”I said as I approached – which was a mistake because he was far enough away that he could pretend not to hear me and disappear into the back. I turned and headed back up to the front, interrupting the conversation to request a shoe in my size. Girl #1 headed into the back and came back, minutes later, holding the same shoe. Apparently, they only had two sizes, hobbit and the one she was holding which was half a size too big. But I tried it on anyway and even though it was somewhat roomy, I decided to grab them. I waited for her to return, grew tired of waiting, went to the front assuming she’d resumed her conversation but she wasn’t there, went to the back assuming she was manning the register but she wasn’t there either. In the end, I never did find out where she disappeared to. For all I know, she accepted the impromptu marriage proposal of a passing employee from the neighboring Stitches and eloped to Yemen. I wound up hailing down Girl #2, holding up the lone running shoe and announcing: “I think I’ll take the other one too.”
As she rang me up, she ran through a list of preventative measures I needed to take to ensure the durability of the shoes. I didn’t catch all of what she was saying, but I believe it involved spraying them with some protectant, airing them out, and then slathering them with Cool Whip and dillweed. Okay, I’m not sure about the airing them out part. Anyway, once she’d bagged by purchase, she pointed to the row of shoe sprays lining the counter. “That one’s a silicone spray. That one’s for waterproofing. Spray that one on and it’ll keep your shoes from turning yellow…”
“Do you have one that repels wolverines?”I asked. “Because I’ll probably be doing a lot of wilderness running.”
Oblivious, she seemed to honestly consider my request, then sadly informed me: “No, we don’t.”
So I left the store, satisfied with my purchases, but making a mental note to track down the wolverine repellant once I got in to Tokyo. That place has everything. Even Cucumber Pepsi!
Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday cat/girl NeKo.
Sheryl writes: “OK, when are you going to do the Brad Wright Q & A?”
Answer: Whenever he’s done. A few other things have been keeping Brad busy of late.
Wraith Cake writes: “So, I dunno. I’m a little incredulous when writers say they don’t read amateur writers’ material.”
Answer: With all due respect to fan fic in general but why would we? I mean, seriously – after spending the greater part of our day coming up with ideas, spinning, breaking, outlining, writing, reading, watching, and talking about Stargate: Atlantis, the very last thing any of us want to do on our free time is track down and read more Atlantis-related material. This isn’t a knock against the quality of whatever is out there, simply the reality of the situation.
Ytimyona writes: “Have you pitched your comedy pilot yet?”
Answer: Not yet.
Perragrin writes: “Joe, I have to ask.. ‘.. poisoned tape.”
Who’s moment of absolute brilliance was that, yours or Paul’s?”
Answer: Neither. Actually, that was the brilliant Richard Kind improvising.
Larissa writes: “Out of curiosity, why weren’t you allowed to air any of the pairings on tv?”
Answer: It’s not that we weren’t permitted to; more that we chose not to.
q-ball-er writes: “do u think that there is hope for Weir popping up in any movies…at all??”
Answer: Sorry. Weir’s journey has ended.