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Sunday: Tofu-Rama & La Vie (longish)

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Sunday: Tofu-Rama & La Vie (longish)

Will Owen | Aug 15, 2005 02:09 PM

Got down to the Tofu Festival a bit later than intended, especially after the parking hassle...next year, Saturday morning! Anyway, a quickish reconnoitre and a mutual aversion to long lines led us away from the BBQ etc. and towards...well, eel for starters, which was incredible, and was anyone else eating this? We then got a couple of OK rice balls, then into a shortish line for the Thai curry etc. That was utterly delightful - Tania gave me the bell pepper (she hates it) from her stir-fry, which I devoured happily with the rest of my spicy coconut curry goop - yum! That used up our 15 tickets, so we got another 15 and headed back for more eel, then wrapped it all up at the adjacent sushi booth: one salmon (OK), one tuna (OMG!!) and three itty bitty cucumber rolls. Notice, please, that we had managed a very nice midafternoon snack at a tofu fest and had eaten only token tofu...

In the PM was Ma-in-law's b-day dinner en famille at La Vie, a little south of Garvey on San Gabriel Blvd. in Rosemead. This is a big fave of theirs for two reasons: it's solidly old-fashioned Classic French (I believe it's run by some Vietnamese), and it's CHEAP. The cooking has nothing adventurous about it: Coq au Vin, Ris de Veau, Canard a l'Orange, all done competently and well, and all for under $20. The parents always get the Ris de Veau, Papa always asks for the wine list then always gets two bottles of Beaujolais Villages, and almost everyone gets the soufflé for dessert. And everyone but me orders in French, and then has to translate for the waitress after all. But I love it. I had some roast pork with slices of tart apple in an apple-accented cream reduction, served with potatoes scalloped in cream, a squash/carrot purée and some fiercely underdone green beans, and a somewhat grainy but glorious chocolate mousse for dessert while everyone else was going nuts for their soufflés (I love eggs, but never for dessert).

The high point for me was overhearing a young Asian mother ask one of her children, "Would you like the escargot?" Damn, I love SoCal...

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