There is a saying in the world of theater: "A bad dress rehearsal means a perfect opening night." Its a thing that many a harried director clings to as he watches set pieces falling down around his actors and knows there is nothing he can do about it, except for praying to every deity in existence that the nails will hold up the following night. Usually everything turns out just fine, but on occasion, there is a disaster so horrible that it can not only end the run of the show, but a few careers as well.
Brandy was delighted when Buttercup phoned her one day to let know that she and her manager husband, Bear, would be coming into Chicago for New Year's Day. "I'm currently touring through the Midwest with Andrew Lloyd Webber's new show," (Brandy later found out this show was Evita 2: Go Ahead and Cry Argentina) "And we would love to see you!" "Of course! I've got plans with some friends to go to brunch that day, but you are both welcome to come along. It should be a spectacular one," Brandy said. "Oh now," Bambi scolded her, "Don't tempt the gods like that!"
The restaurant was surprisingly busy, forcing the group to wait for about 30 minutes before being seated. They were taken to a somewhat narrow table, which was shared by another party of 3 rather territorial people. Though the entire staff of the restaurant was also wearing their pajamas (a stark contrast to the ultra modern, industrial chic interior) their hearts did not seem to be in the spirit of the thing, rushing in and out of tight spaces with dower faces, avoiding eye contact with every patron. Brandy couldn't really blame them, as chaos seemed to be reining everywhere, even on the menus, as the party had been provided with two different sets of them and no one could figure out which one held the actual items available.
Brandy started herself off with a Kir Royale Mimosa, a rather syrupy concoction with no garnish to even attempt to justify the $10 price tag. Bear ordered himself a plate of chef Takashi's famous Duck Fat Fried Chicken, which immediately put him in a better mood. Moist on the inside, crispy outside, nice sweet sauce, and a spicy Asian slaw on the side meant a good mixture of flavors and textures to snack on as the group waited for their entrees. And waited they did.
Her bento box also came with a small bowl of Miso soup, which was brought to the table after her entree, but before everyone else's, and without a spoon with which to consume it. Once a spoon had been aquaired, Brandy and Bambi (who had also ordered a bento box) dove into their soups with gusto. They found the soup to be quite rich and deep in flavor without being too heavy or salty, as miso can sometimes be.
The other three had ordered a variety of noodle bowls: the Miso Ramen for Hawke, The Slurping Noodle for Bailey, and the Tonkotsu for Bear. Having previously had chef Takashi's noodle bowls, Brandy soon became jealous of her cohorts' choices, covetously starring down the generous portions of noodles while the others ate. Bear found his bowl fairly flavorful, especially the braised pork shoulder, but didn't think the dish anything special. Bailey's bowl was nicely earthy with a good hit of cilantro to brighten things up. But the decided winner was Hawke's bowl, which had a wonderful spice to the broth that reminded Bailey of a jambalaya.
The Short and Sweet Review