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Osmanthus in Oakland was our pick for lunch after the naturalization ceremony in Oakland’s Paramount Theater. Pizza is what we would have celebrated with but with the gluten intolerant microbiota, we decided on Asian cuisine instead. And a modern pan Asian restaurant to celebrate the occasion was perhaps even apt. Of the 1097 fellow Americans who took the oath representing 55% of world’s nations (yes, a whopping total of 109 nations!) over two third were formerly asian.
Oakland, thank you for supporting restaurants like Osmanthas (and Juhu Beach Club and Asmara and …) . And thank you for restoring the Paramount theater and hosting this celebration there. It is an important milestone in our lives and it is extraordinary to share the experience with 1000 others in this stunning old Art Deco theater. It was a solemn occasion with speeches and presidential videos (w/ camera flashes and twittering and cheering!). Throw in 15 minutes of Charlie Chaplin on the big screen next time or even Walt Disney cartoons and lets us feel the true glory of this beautiful venue, Might even lull the crying babies!
Also the basa fish with fermented black beans and “kiang ton” spareribs. Every dish was done expertly with the usual play of textures. Dishes were served with this delicious Japanese style pickled cabbage that elevated this simple vegetable to fine cuisine. The flavors in their fermented beans and sichuan peppers were memorable enough that my taste buds can recall with clarity after 24 hours!
Thinking about the wings now, I would say that only thing that could have made the chicken wings better is if they were Pok-Pok’s. But at the time, after a wonderful glass of Plummy Manhattan, I was happy.
Last weekend, we went back to one of our favorite Bay Area restaurants, Juhu Beach Club (JBC). Last time we ate here, we could still eat gluten and we were impressed by the pavs. This time, we opted for the JBC Fried Chicken n Doswaffle – gluten free! Waffles were made with dosa batter – fantastic concept, yes? And the fried chicken were dipped in lentil batter.
Post Peter Cat, we decided to do a family outing to Outram ghat and threw in a boat ride. Last similar trip was in 2008. We had desperately needed the exercise but instead our boatman got some. The ghats along the river are full of untapped tourism potential but as a third generation Calcuttan, I have now finally given up hope. However, it never fails to provide some elements of interest. During this particular boat ride, we drew close to Prinsep ghat and found a long haired baul singer entertaining the crowd. When he got up for an ovation, we realized that he was a hipster to boot. We found remnants of bisarjan, a long legged goddess, dangling by her ankles at one of the canal bridges.