Tonight I walked over to Kababish of London and had my usual, chicken seekh kabob roll (which was as scrumptious as ever). The break in the weather seemed like a good opportunity to survey the environs and see what, if anything, was new (new businesses on Devon sprout up and disappear as faster than "Monkey's Head" mushrooms).
Heading West on the South side of the street towards California there was not much going on save a few new pieces of luggage for sale, though Manchow, the Bombay-Chinese joint has closed and has been replaced by a new sweet and snack shop with plenty of tables to enjoy a masala tea and some chat while chatting up your favorite "rani" or "raji". Sadly, at 8 PM the place was empty.
Continuing on, I rounded the corner onto California, to my great pleasure Taboun Grill was packed and there was a wait! The place was filled with the usual, sexy "young & Yiddish" set, but seated at a large table in the window, were no less than 8 Vietnamese 20-somethings enjoying filo wrapped "cigars" and pepper salad, God I love this town! (yes Rob, there were pickles on the tables). There were also posted reminders that "Purim" is nearly upon us and Taboun will be happy to take care of all your catering need for this joyous holiday (can hamantashen at Levinson's and Tel Aviv bakeries be far behind?)
Heading back North on "Cali", it appears that Arcadia Deli and Restaurant may be closed. This was a strange joint. No menus, just a large buffet of heavily fried goodies for self service and tables of Russian men drinking Cognac and talking politics (though I actually never saw anyone eating the food there).
Traveling back East on Devon, I stopped into a couple of produce markets to see what items of the season were being offered. Well, as you can imagine, every variety of "Winter" citrus was on display...plump satsumas, tiny mandarins, a plethora of various tangerines, oranges, etc. Most interesting, was that all the stores had a special on "raw" peanuts in the shell, still moist from the ground (anybody know who uses these and for what?).
Continuing East across Western I noticed that the Pekin House (the oldest Chinese restaurant on the far North side) is now Vietnamese/Chinese with much of the menu weighted towards Vietnamese offerings. There were at least three untranslated secret menus posted in the window offering full feasts for 2,4,6 & 8 people starting $37 for two and $86 for eight. Also displayed were pictures of "crab and fish stomach soup", "salt and pepper crab", "crispy Maine Lobster and noodle" and "Peking Duck" with 24 hours advance notice. A variety of bubble teas and smoothies may also be had.
Finally, heading back to the 2-flat I noticed a sign the reallly made me smile.... on the West side of Western is yet another Pakistani "cabbie-kabob" joint, as the temperature was beginning to fall this one was aptly named...."Shirazi Grill and Chill" (I'm sure I'll be test driving the biriyani here soon).
Ciao for niao,