A weekday dinner at Pei Wei Asian Diner can be most illuminating and amusing. In Los Angeles, home to numerous and authentic opportunities to experience food from throughout Asia, it is kind of amusing to see a menu that boasts "something foreign, yet familiar." You realize that it is familiar because elements of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese are blended in a Disney-esque attempt at creating a small world - or a least a small continent - on your plate.
Eleanor says that she read somewhere that red dishes make you eat more than you should. For me, red dishes with good food on them is what does the trick. Despite my snarky observations, Thai wonton soup with tofu and pork dumplings hit the spot. So did the Mongolian beef with scallions. I don't know what Genghis Khan would have thought of brown rice. But as it was a bit undercooked, he probably would have considered it a warrior-worthy test of gastronomic fortitude.
I've just seen a face. And my fortune - "cookie," that is.
I believe in eating dessert first, whenever possible. Apparently, so does Pei Wei, as they have a basket of fortune cookies at the self-serve drink station. Our fortunes were of course, cryptic. But at least they could be considered fortunes, rather than affirmations and lotto numbers.
A fortune that would have been pretty amusing to receive the last time I ate Chinese food would have been, "You will eat your words." It's hard to believe a whole year has passed since I started the moveable feast that is GMS with nothing but my smartass outlook and an appetite for food adventures.
So here's to another year of soup and sass!
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