Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pagan Restaurant, San Francisco

Sunday, January 27, 2012

After walking around the Legion of Honor Museum and the nearby Lands End Coastal Trail, we decided to stop by somewhere nearby for dinner. We looked at Yelp and found that Pagan Restaurant served Thai and Burmese cuisine, and was nearby.

"Pagan" is pronounced "Bagan" and is named after a famouse ancient Burmese city, which is home to thousands of Pagodas.

The restaurant opened at 5:00pm on Sunday and we were one the first guests there. The restaurant filled up fairly quickly after us. The menu had both Thai and Burmese dishes and seemed reasonably priced.

Inna and I ordered a Tea Leaf Salad, which consists of imported Burmese tea leaves, mixed nuts (sesame), friend garlic, sesame seed, peanuts, grounded shrimp, and dressing. It was delicious.




Being unsure about Burmese food, we chickened out and ordered Thai dishes, including Tom Kha soup (traditional Thai spicy coconut soup with lemongrass, lime leaf, and mushrooms). The soup tureen was enormous - it probably could feed 2-3 people.


I ordered Panang Curry, which is a traditional Thai curry dish. It tasted fine but not any different from any other Thai restaurant.

Inna was more daring and ordered Traditional Lamb Biriyani Rice from the Burmese menu. It was really delicious and much better than my Panang Curry. This was the best dish of all.

For dessert, we ordered Fried Banana with Ice Cream (FBI) and it was quite nice.  Overall, we liked all of the food, but especially the Burmese dishes.





Legion of Honor Museum: Royal Treasures from the Louvre

Today, we visited the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco, to look at the Royal Treasures from the Louvre: Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette.

Having been to the Louvre in Paris twice before, I was hoping to see a larger collection. However, there were only a couple of interesting items on display. There were a lot of small snuff boxes (used for holding powdered tobacco) with intricate design, precious stones with fine workmanship from both France and Germany. There was also a small sample of fine china (but this doesn't compare to what is on display in Hofburg Palace, Vienna or Louvre, Paris). Overall, I liked the collection but I wish it was a bit more extensive (and included some of the wonderful art from the Louvre).

Here are some of the main items of the collection below:










After visiting the gallery, we stopped by for lunch at the wonderful Legion of Honor Museum Cafe, where we had a nice Antoinette salad  with a couple of delicious desserts.






Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Ching Chong Chinaman (City Lights Theater)

Today, we attended a preview of Ching Chong Chinaman at the City Lights Theater Company in San Jose. City Lights theater is a small, 100-seat theater in downtown San Jose. I purchased a 8:00pm Friday night preview tickets as they were a lot cheaper than the full price tickets for the rest of the week.

The plot for Ching Chong Chinaman is as follows:
By Lauren Yee 
Directed by Jeffrey Bracco Choreographed by Lori Martinez January 24th – February 24th, 2013 Featuring Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Anthony Chan, Monica Ho, Anna Lee, Nick Louie, and Chiho Saito. 
The Wongs are as American as apple pie. Desdemona wants to go to Princeton, but could use a little help with her calculus. Her brother Upton wants to be a World of Warcraft champion, but needs more free time to train. Upton solves both their problems by bringing in an indentured servant, but they soon discover that “Ching Chong” has an American dream of his own!




The play takes place in a small house/apartment where the family lives. The Wongs were an interesting Asian family with some typical and some atypical Asian stereotypes. The play was somewhat funny and sarcastic at times. However, the ending was a bit silly.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: Anything Goes (Golden Gate Theater)

Today, we saw Anything Goes Musical (revival) playing in San Francisco's Golden Gate Theater.
According to Wikipedia:
Anything Goes is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The original book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Billy Crocker is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin aid Billy in his quest to win Hope. The musical introduced such songs as "Anything Goes", "You're the Top", and "I Get a Kick Out of You."
The revival musical playing in San Fracisco's Golden Gate Theater featured Rachel York as Reno Sweeney.
I really enjoyed the performance as all the songs are standards. I wish I could see this on Broadway with Sutton Foster playing the role of Reno Sweeney.








I really liked Cole Porter's lyrics of the song, "You're the Top" sung by Reno and Billy:

You're The Top Lyrics 


by Musical "Anything Goes"
from Best of Broadway - American Musical Soundtrack


[RENO]
Billy, where's the old Crocker confidence? You 
Think he's got one tiny fraction of your brains, 
your looks, your...your... 
At words poetic, I'm so pathetic 
That I always have found it best, 
Instead of getting 'em off my chest, 
To let 'em rest unexpressed, 
I hate parading my serenading 
As I'll probably miss a bar, 
But if this ditty is not so pretty 
But least it'll tell you 
How great you are. 

You're the top! 
You're the Colosseum. 
You're the top! 
You're the Louvre Museum. 
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss 
You're a Bendel bonnet, 
A Shakespeare's sonnet, 
You're Mickey Mouse. 
You're the Nile, 
You're the Tower of Pisa, 
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa 
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop, 
But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top! 

[BILLY]
Your words poetic are not pathetic. 
On the other hand, babe, you shine, 
And I can feel after every line 
A thrill divine 
Down my spine. 
Now gifted humans like Vincent Youmans 
Might think that your song is bad, 
But I got a notion 
I'll second the motion 
And this is what I'm going to add; 

You're the top! 
You're Mahatma Gandhi. 
You're the top! 
You're Napoleon Brandy. 
You're the purple light 
Of a summer night in Spain, 
You're the National Gallery 
You're Garbo's salary, 
You're cellophane. 
You're sublime, 
You're turkey dinner, 
You're the time, the time of a Derby winner 
I'm a toy balloon that is fated soon to pop 
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, 
You're the top! 

[RENO]
You're the top! 
You're an arrow collar 
You're the top! 
You're a Coolidge dollar, 
You're the nimble tread 
Of the feet of Fred Astaire, 
You're an O'Neill drama, 

[BILLY]
You're Whistler's mama, 

[RENO]
You're camembert. 

[BILLY]
You're a rose, 
You're Inferno's Dante, 

[RENO]
You're the nose 
On the great Durante. 
I'm just in a way, 
As the French would say, "de trop". 
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, 
You're the top! 

[BILLY]
You're the top! 
You're a dance in Bali. 
You're the top! 
You're a hot tamale. 
You're an angel, you, 
Simply too, too, too diveen, 
You're a Boticcelli, 

[RENO]
You're Keats, 

[BILLY]
You're Shelly, 

[RENO]
You're Ovaltine. 

[BILLY]
You're a boom, 
You're the dam at Boulder, 
You're the moon, 
Over Mae West's shoulder, 
I'm the nominee of the G.O.P. 

[RENO]
Or GOP! 

[BILLY]
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, 
You're the top! 

[RENO]
You're the top! 
You're a Waldorf salad. 
You're the top! 
You're a Berlin ballad. 
You're the boats that glide 
On the sleepy Zuider Zee, 
You're an old Dutch master, 

[BILLY]
You're Lady Astor, 

[RENO]
You're broccoli. 

[BILLY]
You're romance, 
You're the steppes of Russia, 
You're the pants on a Roxy usher, 
I'm a broken doll, a fol-de-rol, a blop, 

[BOTH]
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, 
You're the top!

I also liked the lyrics from "It's De-lovely":
[BILLY]
The night is young, the skies are clear 
So if you want to go walking, dear, 
It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely. 
I understand the reason why 
You're sentimental, 'cause so am I, 
It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely. 
You can tell at a glance 
What a swell night this is for romance, 
You can hear dear Mother Nature 
Murmuring low, 
"Let yourself go!" 
So please be sweet, my chickadee, 
And when I kiss you, just say to me, 
"It's delightful, it's delicious, 
It's delectable, it's delirious, 
It's dilemma, it's delimit, it's deluxe, 
It's de-lovely". 

[HOPE]
I feel a sudden urge to sing 
The kind of ditty that invokes the spring. 

[BILLY]
I'll control my desire to curse 
While you crucify the verse. 

[HOPE]
This verse I started seems to me 
The Tin-Pantithesis of a melody, 

[BILLY]
So spare us all the pain, 
Just skip the darn thing and sing the refrain... 

[HOPE]
Mi, mi, mi, mi, 
Re, re, re, re, 
Do, sol, mi, do, la, si. 

The night is young, the skies are clear 
So if you want to go walking, dear, 
It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely. 
I understand the reason why 
You're sentimental, 'cause so am I, 
It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely. 
You can tell at a glance 
What a swell night this is for romance, 
You can hear dear Mother Nature 
Murmuring low, 
"Let yourself go!" 

[BILLY]
So please be sweet, my chickadee, 
And when I kiss you, just say to me, 
"It's delightful, it's delicious, 
It's...It's de-lovely".

Bluestem Brasserie, San Francisco


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Prior to enjoying our scheduled performance of Anything Goes Musical (revival) playing in San Francisco's Golden Gate Theater, we stopped by for lunch at Bluestem Brasserie. We parked at the Jesse Street Garage, which is conveniently located close to both Bluestem and Golden Gate Theater.


The lunch at Bluestem was fantastic and we especially enjoyed the Baby Beet Terrine, the Dutch Baby Pancake, and the Farmer's Market Quiche. For dessert, we had the Graceland Cheesecake, which we ate during intermission of Anything Goes.



All of the dishes were delicious, and especially Baby Beet Terrine. Most of the food served comes from local farms and it shows in the freshness of the ingredients.

We will surely be back!