Saturday, May 10, 2014

Grub Club: L'Usine

So this is more than a week late.  I suppose it's a good commentary on my life, that I've been too busy to blog regularly, but I can't help being disappointed in myself.  Last year my blog was my baby, and I feel kind of like I'm neglecting it.  However, since I'm neglecting it in favor of real children - my ahmahzing students - I can't work up that much self-loathing.  If you taught them, you'd understand.
Anyhow, L'Usine was Squeaker's last Grub Club pick for the year.  It's a new French restaurant in the Regency Residence, just across the lobby from Mexikhan.  Last year when Fearless Leader took us to Le Triskell (HIS last pick, as it turned out), I said that picking a French restaurant is cheating.  In spite of the fact that L'Usine is completely different cuisine than Triskell or even Le Bistrot Francais, I stand by that statement.  Especially because the - owner?  Manager?  Whoever the guy running the show was, he was a smoking hot French guy, and even Blondie, who likes the French about as much as mouth breathers, agreed that he was a very fine looking specimen of manhood, which was, no doubt, part of the strategic rationale behind choosing this restaurant (well played, Squeaker, well played).
"Where's the beef?!"

L'Usine only just opened recently, and already was doing a pretty brisk business, but they have a few bugs to work out.  I was going to go for the chicken dish on their limited (albeit delicious) menu, but it was out.  Engrish thought their salad with beef sounded great, but was a little confused when she couldn't find the beef.  Turns out it was supposed to be "beets," which she said were much more delicious, anyways.  It was, however, lacking the nuts it promised, but the chef more than made up for it by bringing her a dish with lots of walnuts, pine nuts (which are worth their weight in gold here), and olives.

My biggest gripe was the fact that they didn't have coke.  Honestly - who serves pepsi outside the States and Vietnam?  I did a bad thing and helped myself to a couple of cokes from the convenience store in the lobby, which made my experience bearable.  I also had the croque monsieur and the French Onion soup (pictured at the top).  Originally I was only planning to have the sandwich, but Blondie's soup was so delicious that I had to have my own serving.
Champ ate half of Geek's special guest's food - a cheese thingy? - before she figured out that it wasn't her pot pie because it didn't have any meat.  She also ordered the onion soup because she thought her "pot pie" was not going to fill her up.  Then she figured out that that thing in the middle wasn't her pot pie, and when it arrived she realized she'd made a huge mistake.  Or possibly a wonderful one - some people do like leftovers, you know.

Little Miss Catwalk (formerly known as Wallflower) had a life-changing experience the previous week at Blondie's vegetarian cafe, and was never going to eat meat again, but since I didn't show up in a long red dress with black gloves (don't ask!) she ended up ordering this delicious fish dish (say that five times fast).  Or else she was kidding about the whole vegetarian thing. 

This grub club took place on the first of the month, which as my six regular readers may know, is a dry day in the great state of Mongolia.  You wouldn't have been able to tell that from our conversation on the taxi ride home.  For some reason Blondie and Little Miss Catwalk started using the word "butthole," and neither of them could stop.  Champ and I did our part, too, egging them on by laughing as if the many uses of the word "butthole" were the funniest thing in the world.  There are a great many reasons why I don't drink, but I think this car ride illustrates the best of them - I don't need to drink.  Life is hilarious and wonderful (not to mention I have few enough inhibitions) stone cold sober.  I feel really lucky to have friends that get that, whether they drink or not.

Now you'll have to excuse me - I need to get my butthole to bed, as I'm kind of sick and hope to be better for school tomorrow.

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