Two movie dates this weekend: Friday night we went to the NuArc, and following both a rec from some Hounds and the urging of our posse member we went to Javan for supper first. Mrs. O and I are South-Beaching these days, and so we had to order No Rice at a very rice-centric place; she immediately zeroed in on the lamb shank, and I thought our waiter was going to cry when she said "No Rice." He tried to talk her out of it, but she persisted. I got a ground-beef kebab whose name I do not remember (#31 on the menu), but whose delightful flavor and juiciness I will not soon forget. Our green salads were in no way exceptional, but the greens were fresh and the dressing perfect. The grilled tomatoes were nicely done, but a lot less mature than I like. Our posse-member got a pair of giant chicken leg assemblies and a huge mound of rice. I thought the chicken was a tad dry, but she liked it. The lamb shank was to die for - I'm coming back for that when we can have rice again. Under $60 total for the table, before tip.
Saturday we met two friends for a 7:20 flick at the Playhouse Seven in Pasadena, so we had to find a place open after 9:30...and it had to be veggie-friendly. As we had not been to President Thai on Rosemead since it re-opened, we went for that. Arriving as we did just a half-hour before closing time, we did not expect everything to be perfect, and in fact my Tom Ka Kai was obviously taken from the bottom of the soup pot, with eight or ten chunks of lemon grass and four well-cooked peppers. It was awfully good, though. We had some beef salad, papaya salad, tofu curry and another item I did not taste and don't remember. Service was friendly, if a bit brisk, and we were brought our check before we were quite done, though it was presented very politely. Around $75 for the four of us before tip, which included everything mentioned plus a pot of tea and a specially-requested bowl of brown rice, and there were sufficient leftovers for a couple of lunches.
While this place has neither the ambience nor the range of Saladang Song, our abiding favorite, it is quite a bit cheaper, and their cooking is in no way inferior.
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