If you found this blog by Googling my name or by following sundry noxious links (you know where), please note that all claims that I was fired from my job are 100% false, as are most of the other things written about me. I don't know the people who are libeling me, but it's clear they have some imaginary axe to grind and way too much time.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mikey@Nooch

“There’s only one-hour parking around here, let’s go to SoHo.”

On the way to meet Mikey at the Starbucks on 9th and 2nd, I had told myself, “Don’t get into a car, don’t get into a car. Honestly, how dumb would that be? Don’t get into a stranger’s car.”

But how was I supposed to say no? I was the one who suggest Pho Sure on Christopher Street after we’d already made plans to meet on the East Side. And I couldn’t ditch the guy who drove all the way from Long Island for having the perfectly reasonable problem of not being able to abandon his car.

I got into the car.

“Damn that’s a big bag,” he gestured as I wedged my Mary Poppins against my knees.
“Yeah, I hope you’re not trying to kidnap me, because I have a Taser in there.”
He laughed easily. “I believe it.”

I think he noticed I was a little nervous, and kept up a steady patter of conversation. My paranoid mind wondered if he was just tying to distract me.

But I loosened up since he was so easy to talk to – a thickly accented, freely cussing type. And he seemed to think the same of me:

“I love the fact that you swear, none of my girl friends swear.”
“Really? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t swear. And I don’t think I swear that much…”
“Oh, you do, you’ve said ‘fuck’ about five times. It’s great, ‘cause you’re like this cute little Asian girl with a total potty mouth.”

Yeah, I’m fuckin’ adorable.

We ended up circling the restaurant for ages, looking for parking. I don’t know what he was smoking, thinking it’d be easy to find parking in SoHo on a Friday night. Eventually, we just gave up and went to Nooch instead.

The selection of Nooch says a lot about Mikey, in the limited capacity that I now know him:
1) We decided to go there in passing, as we were driving up to Koreatown.
2) He found the place much the same way – stopping in on a whim
3) “The food’s pretty good. Not the best restaurant in the world, but okay. Any place I take you is going to be okay.”

He’s the only person in recent memory who has made the word “okay” sound like a positive in conjunction with food. I like that. He was laid-back, more in search of the act of searching than some ultimately sublime food experience.

So, Mikey was great. Nooch, on the other hand, was everything I’m suspicious of in a restaurant – overly designed, hip (with questionable success), having a nonsensical name that sounds like it should be dirty, and a pan-Asian menu.

And God, can we talk about GeishaFace for second? Nooch has some Asian girl’s dolled-up face in the window alluring passerby, but while not all manifestations of GeishaFace are this literal, it is quite a pervasive transgression.


Mikey in front of Noochy GeishaFace

Other perpetrators of GeishaFace: Tao, Suzie Wong, Geisha House, and um, every place where naked girl sushi is served.

[Memo to these tasteless restaurateurs: GeishaFace is sooooo ‘90s. It’s like restaurant equivalent of Chinese-character tattoos. Hire a real chef and stop culture-fucking me and my sisters to sell your mediocre food.]

But Mikey was right; it was okay for a restaurant with a dj booth in the middle of the room. Well, the summer rolls were terrible, but my crispy duck was surprisingly good and surprisingly generous. I had a bite of Mikey’s pad see ew, which was tasty if a bit too dark and too sweet.




"I don't do much," Mikey said toward the end of the evening. "Eat. Drink. Shop. That's all I do. That's it." A guy with simple pleasures.

I'll take his cue: the food was okay, and the company relaxed. Good times.

"You're pretty cool," he pronounced on the way back to the car. Thanks buddy, you're pretty cool too. I'd get into a car with you again.

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