Posts tagged ‘Ruth’

Better Things To Do

Oh lawd. Tonight’s Sunday service sucked a big dick.
I know it’s all Labor Day and all, but really, people: howzabout you stay home and do some grilling and shit?

It was already a bad start when there were people waiting outside (and some even peering in) before we were open. I hate that. Don’t you people have better things to do than to dine at 3:30pm like a bunch of geriatrics?
And then the initial rush ended, but it was only the calm before the storm that was official dinner hour that didn’t let up until midnight. Holy crap. I didn’t even know the kitchen was supposed to be closed until Ruth mentioned making Richard (our goofy-lovable apprentice and goodnatured Sunday dishwasher) dinner and then I looked at a ticket and it was 11:58pm. What the….

As bad as it was for me for a while, Ruth had it way worse. She was getting killed and I couldn’t really help her. It was mostly pastas and sweetbreads that were bogging her down. I felt so bad every time I had to tell her to fire multiple pastas at a time. That’s the stuff that chips away at your morale: that feeling of “Didn’t I already do that” coupled with the overwhelming inner wail of “Why isn’t this over yet?” I’m pretty sure those who have paid attention have heard me singing on multiple occasions “Make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, make it stop now!”

On my side, I had multiple focaccia pickups that always had salmon dishes in between tickets so that it was always one or the other. Salmon is such a quick pickup that I can’t just make two focaccia and have it be all hunkydory. I have just enough time to roll a focaccia and throw it in the oven, slap a fish on the plancha, peek at the focaccia, turn it, flip the fish, wait a couple seconds and take it off the heat and brush it with a glaze, before I pull out the focaccia to cut in half. And then I plate the fish and finish the focaccia. It’s a pain. On top of which there are other little, easy-pickup dishes on my station. But they require me to stop what I’m doing to do them.
I’m gonna stop complaining. I didn’t have it as bad as Ruth did. By the time service was “winding down” (it never really did), she was unabashedly (and almost comically) bitter, especially about pasta. Trying to plate some cheese in the middle of fish, pasta, and ribeye pickups must’ve been hell….

Oh gahd. I work 3 Monday night. This is going to be a shitshow….

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While My Eyes Gently Weep

So… I’m currently on vacation. I usually don’t usually update the blog during this time (or my off days either) because I’m not working and there’s nothing to say. But something happened that had to be noted.

Two days ago I got a text from Koren saying how she loved me and would miss me. Thinking that she forgot I was on vacation, I thought nothing of it and just replied how I loved her back. I may have wondered about the wording but then again, I tend to take things at face value a lot.

A couple of hours later during a drive, I got a text from an old coworker asking how avec was doing, he’d just read an article about mom (Koren’s nickname).

“I’m outta town right now. Everything was fine when I left. What did the article say?”

“That Koren left avec. Officially.”

….

WHATDAFUQ?

And when I got back, I hopped on eater and there it was, about how she’d left. But nothing about why.

I have my theories on why she did, though they don’t mean shit until I get the truth or some more details. Until then, I texted Ruth asking stuff. Apparently there’d been a meeting about her departure. Paul and Donnie were both getting “misty”. Apparently Publican’s Earling will take over. My first reaction was: AUGH! WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO US ALL?!??! But with a couple days passing I’m over it now. Koren’s left. I’m leaving. I mean, the change was in the wind. I’m out soon and for better or for worse, avec’s gonna weather the storm.

Looking To The East

Times are a-gettin’ desperate sort of and we’ve been getting in stages to try to fill positions left by others. It was a little disheartening when everytime I’d come in Amranzo would tell me a stage had cancelled 😦 Come on! We’re awesome! (Aside from the brutally long service and shtuff.) Oh well, your loss.

Anyway, yesterday we finally hired someone. Um… he’s not my first pick, but we’re kinda desperate (eeek!) and he’s not too shabby. He got line time last night and he did alright. He didn’t burn any dates and he wasn’t too agonizingly slow >.>;;;
Anyway! Welcome to the family, Andrew! He starts officially next week.

We’ve been joking that avec has been becoming more and more Asian lately. There’s me (Chinese), Fred (Thai), and Ruth (who watches so much anime she’s now infused with a little bit of Japanese, haha). And now Andrew, who is Korean. Ruth and I jokingly tried to poach Blackbird’s Lorraine (Vietnamese) because we need more girls on the line but it was not to be. To add to the funniness, Ruth and I have been slowly stocking up dry storage with Asian staples like soy sauce, miso, and Shaoxing cooking wine. A couple of weeks ago I bought a bag of sushi rice, and am aiming to bring in some furikake. No worries, all of this stuff was for the intent of using them for comida, but then again, Fred’s newest chicken dish on the menu has lemongrass and fish sauce and doesn’t even try to pretend to be Mediterranean….

I’m just pleased that with Andrew as a new addition, Fred will probably see some station 3 action, and hopefully, if I’m still here by the time Fred is proficient enough, we’ll all be scheduled together on the line and it’ll be a freakin’ HOOT. Mwahahahahaha!

Heat Wave

It’s freakin’ hot!
Despite the a/c at avec, despite not one but TWO summer showers that day, yesterday’s outdoor temperature of 102 carried over to the kitchen. Service was brutal only because the heat made it so. Ticket flow was fine (though Sylvester was getting a little clobbered by cheese tickets) but Katie and I were just desperate for the night to be over. If the servers wearing sleeveless tops were hot, how do you think three line cooks wearing black pants, chef jackets, and their heads covered were feeling?

My bangs felt like they were plastered to my forehead, and several times I could feel the sweat dripping down behind my ears. Arrrrrghhh, Liz please order us double the amount of short-sleeved dishwasher shirts!! >_<

Still, I'm enjoying the summer. Sweating may not be the most fun activity, but thanks to my first avec summer last year, I've learned to be able to stand the heat.

After work, Katie and I bonded at Dimo's where this week's special was an apple pie pizza. Yum! Katie made a small announcement a couple of weeks ago that she was leaving avec and so every day working with her has been really precious. I'm going to miss my awesome work buddy and line ally! Next week is her last ;_;
Ruth "jokingly" penciled in herself and me into the schedule so that we'd have an all-ladies line for the last time. Hopefully no one (*cough cough* Armanzo) messes with the schedule….

Tomorrow is Saturday soul suck with an extra dose of heat. I say, bring it! After I stop by a store and buy a truckload of Gatorade, that is.

Oh Boo

Saturday soul suck, I mean, service, wasn’t actually too bad. For once, Station 3 was the busy station (except Ruth is awesome and could totally handle it).

Ruth made comida tonight, which was Cioppino Version 3.0, except I was so excited for the food that I scarfed it down really fast and didn’t even pause to take a picture or analyze what made this one different, aside from shaved fennel, julienned onion, sliced yukon potatoes (ver. 1 had sliced fingerlings), no alcohol of any kind and it was much thinner (less concentrated in flavor) than version 1. O. Still tasty! And to my surprise, even Master Blaster wanted in on the soup, when usually he’s all pizza or steak-and-potatoes. It’s the magic of Ruth’s cooking.

I work station 2 tomorrow (Sunday) again as well. Who would’ve thought that Station 2 is actually fun. Holy crap Elliot was right. Which goes to show that he really is that freakin’ awesome. Sunday soul suck! Oh well, the only way to combat it is to bring in some tasty treats to share. Or buy a ton of Gatorade for the troops. With temps reaching the 90s all week, we’ve been guzzling down the stuff. C’mon Gatorade–I think line cooks should be included in your commercials as well.

Oh, Snap!: I Made Some Comida

No time for a full entry! Look at these pretty pictures!

Ever since I moved up the ladder and we got Master Blaster as our dishwasher, the responsibility of making food for the dishwasher has all but diminished. Sure, we still make him food. But it’s not like before, when we used to make it with whatever was in the walk-in and every dinner was a delicious surprise (or, depending on the line cook, a passable offense). Nowadays, the ole Blaster asks for something and we make it. I long for ye olden days.

So last Saturday night, it was with gleeful delight that undertook the making of staff meal. Whoa, that’s a term that’s not often heard at Avec. Ruth had handed me a quart of whitefish scrap to make comida for Master Blaster, but those plans fell through, and well… everyone else benefited. Heck, I wasn’t going to let a quart of super fresh fish go to waste. And immediately I thought, “Cioppino!” except we didn’t have any other seafood other than squid, and some salt cod (in the brandade). Whatever! Not like that stopped me and Ruth from making some tasty fish soup. Version 1 (pictured above) was made on Saturday and included fideo, potato, roasted endive, and a heavy finish of pastis.

Version 2, made on Monday, had fennel, roasted endive (love that mellow bitterness!), rice, fava beans and considerably less pastis, with the addition of sambuca. Maybe I’m partial to version 2 because I can wholly call it my own (version 1 was a Betty and Ruth collaboration), but I liked the subtle flavor of the liqueurs I used to finish, preferring to let the seafood be the star, as opposed to Saturday’s soup with its long pastis finish. I guess I’m all about subtlety.

It felt really good to make a good meal out of random odds and ends of ingredients. I’m thinking that as long as there is really good fish scrap, I’ll be making really good fish soups all summer. Hmm, next up, fish chowder?

Oh, Snap!: New Kid On The Block

No time for a full entry! Look at this pretty picture!

The old Meiji space two doors down from us is now Alimentari, which opened its doors last Friday (three days ago). To be honest, I’ve taken a look at the space and exterior, and it looks like Avec Lite. I’m not saying we hold the exclusive rights to natural wood exteriors, but when your neighbor builds a house that looks similar to yours, you can’t help but raise an eyebrow.

But hey, it’s probably coincidence, right? I’m sure on the inside it’s a different beast altogether. Hmm, according to Eater, the place also has a wood burning oven. No biggie, what restaurant DOESN’T want one? Those things are awesome. Besides, the place is Italian, so it’s like a given. Oh, they’re doing charcuterie and small plates too? Meh, that stuff must be all the rage, just look at the Purple Pig.

We got a copy of their menu and Ruth and I took a look at it. Oh hey! Alimentari will have burrata on their menu too! A roasted half chicken? Seared white colored fish? Cheese with honeycomb? No way, us too!

As Ruth says, imitation is the best form of flattery. May our new neighbor become our new waiting room!