January 12, 2016

Casual and comforting pasta

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The evening started out on a very sour note.

After sampling The Frenchie - the hot dog created by Chef Richard Ekkebus for the month-long pop-up from New York's Please Don't Tell at the MO Bar - I had been longing to try the other three hot dogs created by three other local chefs for the pop-up.  So I made plans to drop in after work with Hello Kitty.

I wasn't sure whether we would need reservations, since the pop-up occupies a subsection of MO Bar.  So Hello Kitty called them up, and was told that the earliest booking available tonight was from 11pm onwards... but that we could come by earlier.  We didn't understand why we couldn't book an earlier slot, but figured we'd show up anyway...

When we showed up at the entrance to MO Bar shortly after 6pm, I saw a sign displayed indicating that there was a private event at PDT.  So I asked, and was told that there was indeed a private event... and that the earliest we could get into PDT would be 10pm.

I was pissed.  It's one thing to be disappointed about not having those hot dogs, but what pissed me off was that we tried to make sure we would not make the trek to MO Bar in vain by calling in advance to check.  If the place was closed for a private event, the staff should have told us on the phone.  We would have known not to show up before 10pm, and chosen to go somewhere else.  It was a vital piece of information that the staff failed to deliver, and I can't understand why we simply weren't told.

For a few minutes I was just royally pissed, and couldn't think rationally about an alternative.  After a few minutes spent trying to calm myself down, Hello Kitty suggested we go upstairs to CIAK in the Kitchen.  There was plenty of seating there, and we settled in and ordered some simple food and drinks.

I needed some comfort food, so I took the trenette, clams with garlic, olive oil and chilli pepper.  The pasta itself still had plenty of bite, and came with a generous amount of clams.  The sauce was simple and familiar.  Delicious.

Hello Kitty had her eye on the baked classic lasagna, wagyu beef bolognese.  The flavors are also familiar here, and very satisfying.

Well... the evening ended up OK.  I could always count on Chef Umberto Bombana's team at CIAK.

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