Monday, August 22, 2005

The MCAT: Perfect Opportunity to Explain my Blog's Title

Some people wonder why my blog's title is "I like food, I don't like you." They say things like, "But Chris, that's so mean! I came to your blog expecting to read that special brand of pseudo-intellectual bullshit that's wiped fresh onto the toilet tissue that is the food blog. You know, the kind of blog that's created when people delude themselves into thinking they're even REMOTELY qualified to be a food critic? I'm also a huge fan of Rachael Ray!! Heehee! I ALWAYS say E.V.O.O. ever since I started watching her show!"
Well boo freakin' hoo whiny little bitches, and I FUCKING HATE RACHAEL RAY. Her's is the most vomit-inducing show on television, beating out even Nip/Tuck and My Super Sweet 16. She spends the entire show giggling and pretending to be all cute. "I prewashed my vegetables when I brought them home from the store because I'm SOO cute! TEehee! We do this all the time back in Buffalo where I'm from. Isn't that so CUTE of me?! I'm gonna add a little dash of E.V.O.O. here! Isn't my abbreviation super cute?!" For fuck's sake, Buffalo is a wasteland, you're not cute, and would IT KILL YOU TO TAKE THE 20 EXTRA MILLISECONDS TO SAY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL? Maybe she's worried that "30.000002 minute meals" wouldn't be as catchy. But I digress...

The MCAT.

I took it at the Holiday Inn Walnut Creek, which was probably the nicest possible place to take it. There were big tables, lots of space, only a few people so things went quickly, and the proctors let us have food and drinks in the room. I started at 8:00 and got out of there by 4:00. Had I taken it at U.C. Berkeley, I would've been there until 6:00. Anyway, the MCAT made me realize how much people just suck at life in general. Maybe it's just pre-meds, whom I hate with a passion. In the world of professional whining, pre-med students are the fucking team captains. After the first section of the test, several people complained that the time had been cut short by 30 seconds. Others were complaining that the room was too warm but the air conditioners were too loud. After the test, several girls were complaining about being too distracted by the proctors walking around (which they're supposed to do). "Omigod...she was like...walking back and forth and that like...totally broke my concentration, and that's like, totally the last thing I needed when I'm trying to like, focus every one of my three brain cells on this test." (That's actually what the girl said...word for word...except for the word "three" which I added in myself. Artistic license and so forth). Aren't these exactly the kind of people you'd want as doctors? "This operating room is too hot, I can't fucking concentrate with all those nurses walking around. This fucking patient bled faster than he was supposed to, I didn't have enough time to finish operating!" The 30 extra seconds wouldn't have helped solve the fact that you're dumb and you have the attention span of a flea. I had a fluorescent light constantly flickering over my head, and I didn't complain. If I had started to have a seizure I would've just gotten up, walked out onto the Holiday Inn's pool deck and retched into the hot tub. Then I would've sit back down and kept bubbling in like crazy...like a man dammit. (Had I also started to convulse, I'm confident that I would've convulsed in a manly fashion).
There was this tool in the Princeton Review program who wasn't in my class, but I met in a special Physics review session. He was in the testing center. When we got out of the test he instantly started complaining to everybody... "BRO! I totally fucked that shit up! I don't think I even broke a 30 BRO!" Then he got on the phone...
"No...NO....I FUCKED IT UP! IT FUCKING DIDN'T GO WELL! I DON'T FUCKING WANNA TALK ABOUT IT OKAY? JUST PICK ME UP MOM!"

So the MCAT was full of shitty people, as is life in general, so that's where that part of the title comes from...now for the good part.

In celebration of the MCAT being over my family went out to a nice dinner. We chose Pearl Oyster Bar on College Ave. in the Rockridge Area (Oakland). My sister had heard about it somehow (though I'm not surprised...I don't think she actually works...I think she just surfs the internet all day and looks for different restaurants). I later read about it in a magazine and saw a picture of the Tartare trio that they served there. They serve a variety of small plates (almost all involving seafood), and the prices aren't outrageous. We started with a dozen oysters, 2 each of 6 different varieties. I had the Kumamoto, which was quite sweet, and the Hama Hama, which had a pretty neutral flavor but had an incredibly creamy texture. The oysters were nicely presented on Rock Salt and seaweed, and came with Mignonette sauce as well as horseradish and cocktail sauce by request. There was no grit or bits of shell in the oysters, and they separated nicely (I think you should be able to slurp an oyster right off its shell...forks be damned). Next came the crab cakes. Two little crab cakes served with cucumber and two sauces on the sides of the plate. They were easy to share, and damn good. The spicy smokey fries with aioli had a nice barbecue flavor, but the aioli could've been a little more exciting. The tartare trio I had been looking forward to was well worth it. Small cubes of tuna, salmon, and halibut were dressed with a little bit of parsley, some really fancy "estate" olive oils, and each had a different salt from a different country. I can't remember exactly which fish had which super exotic salt, but the salt was nice and coarse. This made it so it didn't uniformly salt the fish, but instead led to some bites having a bit of a salty crunch to contrast the soft fish. All three varities of fish were excellent. Next was a calamari made with local squid. The calamari was good, but the standout part of the dish was the slaw that it was served with. Made with Napa cabbage, Thai basil, fresh mint, cilantro, pea sprouts, and lightly dressed with fish sauce and lime juice, it was the perfect accompaniment to the calamari. It was also served with Sriracha sauce, a sauce that I would be content to put on absolutely anything.
The surprise of the night was the Bruschetta, topped with caramelized red onions, grilled peaches, sonoma goat cheese, and hazelnuts. The grilled peach had a creamy texture that matched the goat cheese perfectly.
The one thing Pearl lacks is a full bar. After the MCAT I could've used a Martini or two, but Pearl only offers Sake cocktails, wine, and beer. I was happy with my Anchor Steam (brewed in SF! And with a name that just sounds like it should be had with seafood), and the wine list is pretty good.


Pearl
5634 College Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618

1 comment:

starchmouse said...

I was actually a little disappointed by the crab cake. It had lots of crab meat, yes, but just didn't wow me like the squid and bruschetta.

I'll post pictures of the food soon...