The Bruni Digest

In which I sit on a dirt mound somewhere in Brooklyn with my ears pricked, waiting for New York Times head restaurant critic Frank Bruni, who I imagine to be a Venetian count in a huge ruffled collar, to dole out stars from the inside breast pocket of his brocaded chamber robe. This blog is predicated on the suggestion that every Wednesday, in the Times Dining Out section, Frank lays a huge faberge egg of hilarity.

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Location: New York, New York, U.S. Outlying Islands

I am fiscally irresponsible, which means I have weak bones and a dorsal fin. And a penchant for dining out, even though I am, in the words of many rich people, a "poor people". I make a different face when speaking each of the foreign languages in which I am shittily proficient.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Yumcha: As Yummy as, say, Fleetweek? or Josh Hartnett?

Ummmmmmmm, is it just me, or was this review, like, totally GAY? And not in the way idiot teenagers mean when they’re applying “gay” to, say, U.S. foreign policy or the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil,” but rather in the sense of actually…gay. Or frequently just…erotic. Listen, have a Malibu and soda, relax, and let’s explore, college-style, shall we?.

Frank Opens:

“LIKE private school admissions, the Tony Awards and Judge Judy, the New York restaurant scene isn't entirely fair, and the first cuisine to tell you that would be Chinese.”

OK…Private school, Judge Judy, the Tonies…nothin’ gay here…


Incidentally, when a survey of “what is the most unfair thing in the world?” was given to 150,000 starving Indian children, almost all of them responded with “Judge Judy”

“Bullshit! That Jersey bodybuilder DESERVED to keep his razor scooter out of the hands of his cloying bitch ex.”

Frank probes further into the question of Chinese cuisine's struggle for status:
“It seldom stops hustling, knowing that if it doesn't come on a bicycle to you, you may not find your way to it…”
True. If Chinese food wants respect in this city, it's going to have to stop bike-hustling, a lesson I learned the hard way.

I am now a devoted fan of pants, along with dignity.

“And it usually pretzels itself into predetermined positions.”
Ahem. Cough. Next.

“While a large part of [Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s] 66's approach is to upgrade the quality of ingredients in an otherwise recognizable lineup of appetizers and entrees, Yumcha presents a more original, albeit much shorter, menu.”
Ok. Well! That’s informative and direct! Hey guys, you can remove your hand off your toddler’s eyes! Frank continues:

“If you sense in those descriptions a blurring of boundaries - a sort of pan-Asian embrace coupled with a French kiss - you understand Yumcha's wiles. It christens its come-on ‘modern haute Chinese.’”

We’ve seen sweet and savory “flirt”, we’ve seen onions and olives “consort”, but this is getting randy. What's next? “The eggplant was vulnerable, like an oiled-up grifter who hitches to the city on a flatbed Chevy, hungry for love, unbuttons his tattered flannel shirt and winds up at the Cock with a knapsack full of pennies and a handful of stranger.” I would literally not bat an eye.

“Sichuan peppers dust beef tenderloin: steak au poivre on a jaunty trip to the Far East.” Presumably to get a little of that steak trimmed off hmmm?

“hey Timothy…how was Thailand?…”

“Hunks of pork rib shimmer under a sesame glaze.”
Another prime example of a highly-glazed shimmering hunk:

“Ginger and garlic romp proudly across the plates.”
Proud of their love, Ginger and Garlic hold hands as they walk their pug across the buffet.

AAAAND finally, it seems that Frank is going to beat me by joining me, authoring perhaps the most elaborate frilly metaphor since Margaret Mitchell confused her Epsom salts with raw meth and wrote an entire novel about a heaving bosom:

“At Yumcha, Chinese is relieved of its bicycle, put into a limo and squired to the prom, where it sashays onto the dance floor, giddy and resplendent, and cannot figure out precisely how to twirl.”

I repeat: I DID NOT WRITE THE ABOVE SENTENCE. LITERALLY? FRANK BRUNI DID. I will now light my tits on fire in thanks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe you didn't address "...the many bright parts add up to a surprisingly dim sum."

1:21 AM, June 09, 2005  
Blogger Jules said...

If you had been outside my office door yesterday when I first read that you would have heard me say out loud, very slowly, "No. He. DIDN'T."

But it's kind of like in pirate movies or Goonies where you're like, "DUDES, you left so much treasure! Take more!" but you know, there's only so much room for booty in one's pants.

9:45 AM, June 09, 2005  
Anonymous Rob said...

You are the only thing that makes me laugh out loud during work.

There is nothing funnier on the web.

I love you.

3:26 PM, June 09, 2005  
Blogger Lonesome Hero said...

Jules, you were the very first person I thought of when I read his last line. After I stopped spasming from laughing. After the paramedics resuscitated me. After the oxygen flowed back into my brain. After the second fit of violent laughter died down. Thanks for not disappointing.

7:38 PM, June 09, 2005  
Anonymous Greek Man said...

He is gay.

Ga Ha.

2:57 PM, June 10, 2005  
Blogger Jules said...

Really? I had no idea! I am the most awesomely bad journalistalker EVER. I not only didn't do my homework, I traded my entire trapper keeper to a skinny girl for her twinky and then sat on the twinkie in the bus and walked home with it stuck to my cuords.

Anyway, makes sense. If I love it, it's probably gay (here's lookin' at you, Suze Orman).

3:37 PM, June 10, 2005  
Anonymous Genderhook Tartletoot III said...

Serve it up
work work work

4:11 PM, June 10, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know it must get boring to read all this praise but you rock righteous.

5:42 PM, June 10, 2005  
Blogger the jaded giant said...

laugh out loud funny. You, madam, have a way with words(or is it have your way with words?)

3:12 PM, June 15, 2005  

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