Friday, February 15, 2008

What Fengshui means to the Golden Arches

Golden? Too electric. Lemon Cream arches? Cornsilk arches? Muted earth tones and an open watery dining area seem to be the prescription for a Fengshui McDonald's in Hacienda Heights near LA. As a tangent, I think that's where this cool Buddhist temple is that serves a very decent veggie lunch for a very reasonable price. But if you don't want to go the vegetarian route, you can now get your zen on at McD's.

They mention that they're putting a McCafe in the new McDonald's. They tried a McCafe at my local McDonald's here, and it didn't do so hot. It was actually a pretty decent little coffee shop, but I never saw anyone go in. I think they may have been intimidated by the swanky decor compared to the tile floors and plastic swivel chairs of the McDonald's. It definitely threw me for a loop. Well, best of luck to them; may their feng blow and shui flow freely.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Not his only crime...

I was waiting in the doctor's clinic reading my favorite newspaper, The Palo Alto Daily News. It's my favorite mainly because it's FREE, but also because it gives local news not given by most internet providers. Anyway, the story I read this morning was that a local restauranteur, Simon Yuan, was sentenced to four months in a "detention facility," four months of home confinement, and a year of supervised release.

I hadn't seen the reports that federal tax agents had busted into his establishment 3 years ago; the article says they blew open the front and back doors of the restaurant. I wish I could have seen that. Tax evasion seems like such an attractive crime. A criminal could almost convince themselves that there's no victim or at least see themselves as some sort of small-scale Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to themselves. However, it's still a crime of theft with the motive of greed and personal enrichment. Simon used the proceeds to fund trips for his wife and luxury automobiles.

Perhaps the biggest crime against our Palo Alto Community itself, however, is related to the so-called Hunan cuisine they serve there. Having been taken to eat at my white friends' "favorite Chinese restaurant" and being served the "Hunan" food there, I feel violated.

I really don't have much against Americanized Chinese food ~ if I know that's what I'm gonna get. PF Chang's? Get me some Pepto-bismol and I'm gtg. Panda Express? It probably saved my life when I was living in Virginia. But the problem isn't the Americanization of the menu (which is obvious from the cocktail bar, upscale decor and smarmy white-tablecloth service). It's that the food tastes genuinely WEIRD. I mean... it's weird. I order a signature Hunan dish ~ Hunan spicy pork, and it LOOKS like Hunan spicy pork, but what's that flavor? And the flavor extends across the menu (that I've tried) ~ it's like they have a "special" sauce going on back there that they douse everything with. I'm guessing it's polyurethane. That, or semen (which I've never tried and could explain my inability to place the flavor).

To add insult to injury, just a few miles away is Hunan Homes restaurant, which while far from being my first choice in Chinese restaurants, serves very credible Hunan food without the weird taste.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nothing to write about

Actually, the title of this post is inaccurate. It would be more accurate to say there's a lot to write about, but nothing that I want to write about. There's actually a ton of stuff going on in my life atm ~ people moving all over the place, politics, health issues, and of course my nephew and niece (so cute!) - but none of those topics seems like something I want to put in this meaningless blog. Apparently, my posting criteria are (a) pithy and (b) insignificant.

I mean, seriously, my last few posts have been about Wii-mote modifications, a comedy painting near a bathroom, and the SMURFS.