Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 6: The Furlough and a Fork World Tour

For my last day of eating ethnic food over furlough, I went with friends to The Smiling Elephant before heading down to 12th & Porter for the Bodhicitta Belly Dance show.

Tom Kha soup…

…and Pad Kee Mao with tofu.

Over dinner Ann asked about our most memorable food experiences. For all four of us, it involved meals in other countries, and most of us couldn't remember the actual food. It was more about the people and the experience -- a cave in Belgium for Emily, seaside towns in Italy for both Ann and me, and a dinner over a pan of paella in Spain for Liz.

Toward the end of our meal, the Smiling Elephant owner Sam Kopsombut, a tiny Thai man wearing a racing hat, stood over our table asking about the food. He was still kind of winded from cooking. The place had been packed, and “I do everything,” he said as he gestured like tossing noodles. He also told us that it had taken him three years to get the restaurant ready to open.

But I loved it most when I asked him about the religious relics at the register where we paid our tab to an American server dude. Mr. Kopsombut said The Monk brings luck.

American server dude: “When will it bring me some luck?”

Mr. Kopsombut: “When you wish…(long pause)...and work.”

1 comment:

ceeelcee said...

I had that exact same meal at the Smiling Elephant yesterday. Creepy...

But it sure was good. I love it when black pepper makes me sweat.