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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best Year in Music History

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those who think Justin Bieber is the pinnacle of music genius.

Happy New Years!  2013 was a great year for The Dry Rub.  We achieved 20x the site views we had in 2012, highlighted by the Sandwich and Hamburger Tournaments. Personally it was a great year as well.

But it was also a great year in music too.  In a departure from our usual culinary flair, let's look at one of the great water cooler debates.  Which year was the greatest year in music history?

Unfortunately, music is not as clear cut as wrestling.
This is not a cop-out, but music is subjective not just in taste, but as in where you are in life at that certain point in time as well.  A certain melody can take you back to childhood, college or high school.  And just like cheap perfume, it can take you back to a relationship as well.

Here is a look at the contenders.

In 2013 we saw the following Albums released:
Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampires of the City (Their best work to date)

Kanye West- Yeezus (Possibly his best work and owner of the best celebrity feud between him and Kimmel)
Arcade Fire- Reflector (NOT their best work, but a great reinvention of their sound)
Queens of the Stone Age- …Like Clockwork (Their best work and this album snuck up on me.  It's the best rock album to come out in years)

The National- Trouble Will Find Me (I like this just as much as High Violet and yet somehow it's even more depressing)
David Bowie- The Next Day (Creatively brilliant and he's 70)
Beyonce- Beyonce (I've never heard this album, but the reviews say it's her best work)

We just had a great year in music.  I lot of established bands put together some of their best work.  But a little water under the bridge needs to occur to see how this group plays out.

Nirvana- Nevermind, (The album that not only killed hair metal, but defined the decade.  As well as a morally questionable album cover)
Pearl Jam- 10 (The best work of a band that is STILL relevant 22 years later.  Who would have thought they would have a better career than Mookie Blalock?) 
U2- Achtung Baby (Their best album and maybe my favorite album.  If you haven't scene the documentary, you are missing out.  Looking back at their career, they have always taken themselves a little too seriously)

Metallica- The Black Album (Some call this their best work, it's certainly their most commercial.  I'm a Master of Puppets flag carrier)
Guns n' Roses- Use Your Illusions I & II (The beginning of the end.  This should have been one incredible album, but their self aggrandizing led to releasing two albums and eventually their break up)  
Red Hot Chili Peppers- Blood Sex Sugar Magik (This put them on the map.  Which map, I'm not sure, but they are on some type of map somewhere....)
REM- Out of Time (not crazy about this album, but since I live in Georgia, I feel contractually obligated to include it.  Automatic for the People remains one of my favorite albums to date)
A Tribe Called Quest- Low End Theory (One of my top 5 rap albums ever)

Soundgarden- Badmotofinger (Thanks to Nevermind and 10, this album gets overlooked, but it's one of the great rock albums of my generation)

Prince- Purple Rain (His best album out of a brilliant career despite his movies.  Though Morris Day makes the movie somewhat bearable.)
Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA (His most misunderstood album that historically gets lost) 
The Smiths- The Smiths (I hated these guys back then, but have grown to be a fan)
Run DMC- Run DMC (The most groundbreaking work of the group)
Van Halen- 1984 (I wore this album out.  Apparently it wore Diamond Dave out too)

Madonna- Like a Virgin (One of the most successful all time albums)
Metallica- Ride the Lightening (eh, great album, but not their strongest)


Bruce Springsteen- Born to Run (His best Album and one of my Top 5 albums,
RIP Clarence Clemons, the Big Man could rock a sleeveless shirt though)

Bob Dylan- Blood on the Tracks (Not a Dylan fan, but I get it)
Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here (Has there ever been better drug music?)

The Who- Tommy (The one and only "Rock Opera")
Queen- A Night at the Opera (The greatest lead singer of all time- the late great Freddy Mercury)

Led Zeppelin- Physical Graffiti (Zep's most critically acclaimed album, which basically means the critics finally got "it."  And Kashmir is their best song.)  Could we get a reunion tour?  What's the downside?  Oh yea, Robert Plant's an asshole.


Beach Boys- Pet Sounds (Sound perfection)

Beatles- Revolver (the album remains "Here, There and Everywhere.  I still am amazed by how prolific these guys were)

The Rolling Stones- Aftermath (Paint it Black is one of their best songs, but it's not their strongest album)
Simon and Garfunkel- The Sounds of Silence (Paul Simon's effort to pussify the world is continued)

Art Garfunkel's Jew Fro is one of the most underrated item's of the 70's
Bob Dylan- Blonde on Blonde (I still don't get it)

Any of these could win except for 2013.  But in 10 years, maybe we'll look back on 2013 as fondly as the others.  Only time will tell.  My favorite year?  1991.  That was when I went away to college, so that was a transcendant year in my life.  That fact knowingly and unabashedly weigh that into my decision.   

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Heirloom BBQ- Korean Style Barbeque

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those like to sit while they eat

Heirloom BBQ is where Georgia meets Seoul (not the James Brown type Soul either).  It's a unique concept that has been lauded by many different folks.  Fox News, the Huffington Post and Food & Wine all sing their praises. And they are all very well deserved.  These guys do great work, but it's a different type of place and may not be for everyone.

Your first impression (if you can find parking), is it's one of the most understated store fronts you will see.  It shares a space with a convenient store in the shadow of I-285 (and the soon to be new Braves Stadium).  Parking is VERY limited so, if you can, go during "off peak" hours.

Bill and I got the meat platter with pulled pork, brisket and sausage with the Kitchen- Spicy/ Fresh sauce and of course the KB sauce.

The brisket was excellent, the pork was good, not great.  But what makes Heirloom great is the sauce.  Their KB- Korean Style Sweet Heat is the best BBQ sauce in Atlanta.  It's just a touch sweet and there is a hint of peanut in there as well with just enough heat to keep it real.  I could do shots of this stuff.  Seriously, don't tempt me.

I also had the Texas Beef Sausage, which was my 2nd favorite meat.  And it needed no sauce, just the sauteed onions it came with.
"Insert 70's Porn joke here"
Their Mac n' Cheese was pretty good too and packed a nice little punch.

Overall, Heirloom was great.  If you are into smoking your own meat, do yourself a favor and pick up some of their KB sauce.  If you want to try their meat, I would recommend the brisket.

I completely understand their strong presence in the Atlanta and National culinary landscape.  This truly is something you can't get anywhere else.  That being said, your dining "in" option is standing room only outside.  They do have a covered area with heating lamps, but you do have to stand while you eat.  So maybe you don't want this to be your first date place.  There are also a bunch of folks that get it to go.  There are plenty of short term parking options.

The view from the porch.
So Korean BBQ, who would have thunk it? I'll tell you who.  This guy!
I sleep like a baby knowing Dennis is on that wall
Apparently, he's the Modern Day James Baker.  Can we change "Jumped the Shark" to "Rodman'd?"  This can't end well, can it?

Today's Footnote:

The Dry Rub has unearthed a meeting in the Los Angeles between Dwight Howard and Dennis Rodman regarding basketball (apparently last spring) that went like this.  It surprisingly is reminiscent of a Nicholson's scene from A Few Good Men:

Dwight Howard: Dennis, did you execute the Triangle Offense?!

Phil Jackson: You don't have to answer that question!

Rodman: I'll answer the question. You want answers?

Dwight Howard: I think I'm entitled!

Rodman: Dwight, your entire career shows that you are entitled, but you want answers?!

Dwight Howard: I want the truth!

Rodman: You can't handle the truth! You idiot, we play in an NBA that needs rebounds, and defensively those baskets have to be guarded by men with guts. Who's gonna do it? You? You, soft ass Dwight Howard? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep because Kobe won't pass the ball and Pau Gasol has better ball skills. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that my threesome with Madonna and a midget, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, wins championships! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me rebounding that ball. You need me rebounding that ball. We use terms like "team defense", "taking charges", "playing the lanes". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent supporting Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Isaiah Thomas and Joe Dumars . You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps on the coattails on the defense that I provided through film sessions and conditioning, and then question the manner in which I play! I would rather you just said "thank you", and keep taking horrible 12 foot jump shots. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up some ball skills and learn to play in the post. What are you known for? Coming out of a phone booth and dunking the basketball? I averaged 19 F*CK%ING rebounds per game in 1991-2. I averaged 15 rebounds per game on the GREATEST TEAM in the HISTORY of the NBA and only averaged 5 points for the good of the team! Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

Dwight Howard: Did you execute the triangle offense?

Rodman: I did the job that—-

Dwight Howard: Did you execute the triangle offense?!!


And we wonder why he's lost his mind.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Community Q- BBQ Meat Perfected

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate to children under the age of 13 and definitely vegans.  In fact vegans need to hit the back button immediately.  Don't Pass Go, Don't Collect $200

On the east side of town near Decatur resides Community Q.  These guys do some great work and have perfected the meat and sides.

Previously, we have stated before that Fox Bros is our favorite BBQ joint, and that's still holds true.  The innovation they bring to the table in terms of their original and unique offerings is unparalleled.

Community Q is a completely different animal.  In fact, I wouldn't really consider them competitors.  They perfect the meat process and their pork is slow cooked to perfection.  Great pulled pork is the benchmark for great BBQ.  It truly almost melts in your mouth.  Then you add their Carolina Vinaigrette Sauce and it is pork perfection. I will say, it is very difficult to find a good Carolina style sauce south of the Queen City, but CQ has it!  The Queen City is Charlotte, NC for the geographically impaired.

The meat trifecta!
The sausage was great.  Nice smokey flavor, but not overpoweringly spicy either.  For the sausage I used the more traditional molasses based sauce which was a better match. Also pictured was their special chili.  The manager recommended it to us and it was well worth it.  It was unique because the meat was their brisket giving it a very hardy flavor.  So on this plate, I had pork, brisket and sausage.  I should be a cardiologists dream.  Thank god for my Asian genetics.

And to pile on to my (or into my) arteries, we had their famous Mac n' Cheese.  Their recipe includes rigatoni, cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Parmesan, and heavy cream.  This may be my favorite Mac n' Cheese in the ATL and this heavy, yet creamy side could be a meal within itself.

If you are craving straight ahead BBQ, I couldn't give a higher recommendation than the Community Q.

Today's Footnote:  Famous "Q" people.  Queen's do not count.  Yes, even you Queen Latifah.
Whatever happened to Bamboo Earrings and a bad attitude?
There aren't too many choices here.  But there are some keepers.

Quincy Jones (one of the great music producers.  His artists are the whose who of music)
Quentin Tarantino (incredible director who may be doing his best work now)
Dan Quisenberry (an all time great reliever and possibly the best side arm pitcher in history)
Dan Quayle (a former Vice President for those under 30.  Prediction, in 5 years we have a cage match between him and "Smokin" Joe Biden for the most inept VP of the last 50 years).  Sorry Al Gore, you are ineligible for inventing the internet and making people believe Richmond will become beachfront property in 20 years.
Q-Tip (the second concert I ever went to was a Tribe Called Quest at the 930 club in DC.  Unbelievable show, then these guys blew up.  Literally and figuratively if you've seen this incredible documentary)

And I'll leave you with this classic music video.  For those under 30 MTV used to stand for Music Television and they played something called music videos.  It was kind of cool.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Com, Vietnamese in Dunwoody

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those unfamiliar with Pho

I don't often eat Vietnamese, but when I do, I eat at Com
Vietnamese cuisine may not be as popular as Chinese, Thai or Sushi, but it's an Asian staple that need not be ignored.  And in Com, you have a restaurant that won't make the suburbanites brave the murky waters of Buford Highway.  Their Facebook Page says it's a vegetarian restaurant.  It's not at all.

Aesthetically, it's not Nan or Chopstix (RIP), but it is pleasing to the eye.

The dining room is very spacious and the service is great
Today I had the Lamb Bourguignon Stew Garnished with crispy onions & Asian herbs Vietnamese Baguette.  The lamb was tender and the broth was tasty.  Accompanied with it were both the egg noodles and baguette.  A perfect compliment to a chilly day.

Good luck pronouncing Bourguignon
The Rice Vermicelli "Bun Nuong (as they call it on the mean streets of Ho Chi Minh)" is cooled thin rice noodles over a Vietnamese salad of lettuce, pickled daikon & carrots, cucumbers. And its topped with scallions, roasted peanuts & crispy onions.  I had it with pork.  I'm looking forward to trying it with shrimp next time.

My favorite dish at Com
The Banh Mi is the perfect lunch companion, a toasted Vietnamese baguette sandwich, stuffed with savory filling & enhanced with creamy Vietnamese mayonnaise & soy sauce. Topped with pickled daikon & carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, tomatoes and jalapeno slices. Served with soup or salad.  I would highly suggest the creamy coconut soup.

The Vietnamese lunch staple
There is no question the French Indochina cuisine is unique and delicious.  Com gives you a choice to try it in the burbs and it delivers in spades.

Footnote #1:  Vietnam the country.  I never have been there, but I have close Vietnamese relatives that tell me it's both beautiful and fun.  I've been told you could almost retire there on $20k.  I seriously doubt that, but for $30k if I'm willing to try to be the Nino Brown of Indochina!

Am I your brothers keeper?
New Jack City should have been an all time classic.  It framed for the first time in cinema, the effects of crack cocaine on inner city society.  It was pretty good, but was wildly miscast with "B" actors that all thought they were "A" actors at the time. Wesley Snipes, Mario Van Peebles and Judd Nelson?  They are basically the homeless mans Denzel, Terence Howard and John Cusack.  When Ice T is carrying your movie, that's just embarrassing.  It also was a little too close to Scarface in story and King of New York in its release.

Frank White is one of the most underrated characters in 80's cinema
Footnote #2:  The Vietnam War movies are a high water mark in our cinematic history.

To me "Apocalypse Now" still holds up and is the best film of this group of movies.  Francis Ford Coppola used to make great movies before he started selling mediocre wine.  You had the two craziest actors of their time, Marlon Brando and Dennis Hopper, doing what they do best, playing criminally insane characters.  I can see Coppola telling Brando during his village scene, "Just act like it's a typical Saturday at your house, but with a few dozen Asian kids running around with guns."

The other great Vietnam movies are Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and The Deer Hunter.  Somehow The Deer Hunter gets lost in this crowd.  The film stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, John Cazale, Meryl Streep, and George Dzundza.  A once in a lifetime cast.  It won 5 Academy Awards and the Great Christopher Walken got the nod for best supporting actor.  It's a two mention Christopher Walken blog!  We all win.

Tom Berenger gave the performance of his life in Platoon and somehow couldn't turn this into what should have been a much better career.  He should have been the Christian Bale of the 80's.  Warning:  this scene is disturbing.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

First Carolina Deli: North Carolina's Best

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate to children under the age of 13 and those unfamiliar with Tobacco Road

Like our FB page as well:

First Carolina Deli in Greensboro, NC is my favorite deli south of South of Katz's and the Carnegie Deli in NY.  They have some of the benchmarks that make a great deli.  In the south these are difficult to come by.

#1 Great Pastrami- Check
#2 Unique Sandwiches- Check
#3 Taylor Ham- Double Check.

Full disclosure, I went to college in Greensboro and we tend to romanticize things from the past and in particular, we tend to romanticize college.  I am more than guilty of this as well.  We waste ALOT of time in college and I wasted some of my best time at the FCD.  I wasted most of my time at the Corner Bar.  My buddy Hot Plate used to bring his books to the bar to study.

We also wasted alot of time making up great nicknames too.  MOFA (part man/ part sofa, he wasn't very active) and Mystery Meat (nobody knew his name, but he was at every party) were my favorites I can put in writing.

"The Big Chill" did a great job framing this point.  But it's possible "Old School" may hit a little closer to home.  But I always remembered the FCD being my favorite deli.  And you know what?  I didn't romanticize it.  It is really that good.

This has to be one of the greatest ensembles since the Godfather, right?

But for me, college was a little more like this

But the reason college was what it was for us leads back to the GREAT John Belushi.  Though it may cost me a few years on the back nine of life.  Totally worth it though.
And their menu has NEVER changed, it looks the same as it did in 1991.  They are the masters at what they do.

The majority of their sandwiches are named after towns in New Jersey, Dean who opened the shop in 1985 is surprisingly from..............Jersey!  In an unofficial poll, most of my college buddies favor the Hoboken.  The sauteed cherry peppers are what makes the Hoboken unique. In fact I ordered one today and it's exactly how I remembered from a long time ago.

My favorite?  The Italian Sailor.  Pepperoni with Pastrami?  You bet your ass that works.

After those, our other favorites (in no particular order) were the Sky Dog, Emerson, Continental and the Hackensack.  Then the Taylor Ham and Cheese is another classic.  Nobody south of Jersey cuts their taylor ham this thick.  Use a little ketchup and BAM, deli perfection.

Nothing makes me happier than sharing one of my college favorites with my daughter.

I have cursed my daughter into being a Redskins fan
The greatest cook in FCD History:  John Alperti, he went from making sausages to racing them this summer!
So if you are passing through Greensboro, NC or staying there, stop by FCD.  It's a true hidden gem.

Today's Footnote:  The iconic college movies of all time.

Animal House:  This is no longer your grandfathers college.  I blame this movie for our 1,000 people fraternity parties with a two story beer bong.  I'm sorry, our alleged two story beer bong.  I may still be liable for an incident that I would like to keep quiet.

Revenge of the Nerds:
A picture says it all
The Big Chill:  It was all fun in games until we find out William Hurt is a strung out Eunuch

Old School:  We all would like to hang on to the dream a little too long.  And I love it.

I really do have a great sand guy.  Maybe we do some bubbles too?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fiorella's Jack Stack: Kansas City Magic

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and NY Yankee Fans

Zagat's and the Huffington Post both recognize Jack Stack as one of the Nations BEST BBQ venues.

So on my inaugural visit to KC for business what do I do?  I go to Jack Stack for an ungodly amount of meat.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200.  Also, I have never had "upscale" barbecue before either.  And Jack Stack pulls it off in spades.

And I can now unequivocally state I know why Andy Reid moved here.  And it ain't the weather.

Hands down the best Halloween Costume in 2013
There is a tradition that you rub the bull for luck before you dine.  Who am I to break tradition?

Thanks Patty for the great recommendation!
Growing up, I was an Orioles fan, but I had admired George Brett and his KC Royals.  Brett was the consummate competitor.  Kansas City is also happens to be the home of "Greatest Two Moments in Baseball Bat History."

This just goes to show that MLB will always rule in favor of the Yankees.  This was an atrocity that highlights MLB's years of stacking the deck for the Evil Empire (that's the NY Yankees for the baseball challenged).  Does the name Jeffrey Maher mean anything to you?  The Yankees encompass everything that is wrong with sports.  For example, just as they were fading, this year they actually let A-Roid suit up and play?  The next thing you know, we'll find out Andy Petite was on steroids and it will have been acceptable.  Oh wait...........

So let's go to the beginning.  We had the Onion Rings, which were "lightly breaded" to perfection.  Many places tend to over bread their O Rings.  These were perfect.

Stacked to Perfection
We also split the "Burnt Ends."  Searing meat is an underused method.  I loved seared fish, but rarely get my meat seared.  And these bite size chunks are one of Jack Stack's specialties.

Seared Perfection
For the entree, I went with two types of ribs, baby back (these were great as expected) and the lamb ribs.  I was shocked by how much I loved the lamb.  I am famous for going off the reservation and regretting it, but I LOVED these.  When you think of rack of lamb, we tend to think of a Mediterranean preparation.  These are prepared in the classic BBQ style, but if you like lamb, give these a shot!  They do a great job of pulling this off.

The MVP of my meal!
And of course any self respecting BBQ establishment need a signature side.  Jack Stack has the Cheesy Corn Bake.  I would tell you what's in it, but cardiologists may get together to ban this from our lives.  I for one am not willing to take this chance.

Take an extra Lipitor with this one, but it's worth it.  I may not be a doctor, but I sell commercials during TV shows with doctors
But unlike many BBQ joints, Jack has an outstanding dessert.  Their Mom's Carrot Cake.  It's served warm with cream cheese frosting.  This was a big and welcome surprise.

If you don't have room after the meal, make it.  This is ridiculous.
So the next time I go, I'll check out Oklahoma Joe's or Gates which I've heard are just as good.  But for "upscale" BBQ, Jack Stack is your joint.  Believe the hype.

Today's Footnote:  The Greatest Athlete Ever

Without question Bo Jackson was the greatest athlete I have ever seen.  Period.  This guy could not just do everything, he excelled at everything.  I've never seen a better raw defensive Outfielder and I've never scene a guy his size out run defensive backs.  If you haven't seen ESPN's 30 for 30 on him, check it out.

Here's a reel of Bo Jackson Highlights:

Footnote #2:  Kansas City's own Dan Quisenberry was a highly underrated relief pitcher.

When I was a child, the best relief pitchers were Goose Gossage, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers and KC's own Dan Quisenberry.  What did they all have in common?  Great mustaches of course!  The 70's and 80's ushered in an incredible era of mustaches.  I'm glad to see Andy Reid keeping up the tradition for KC.

The Quiz lead the AL in saves five times and retired as #6 in saves.  He also finished second in the Cy Young Voting twice as well as 3rd in Cy Young voting twice as well.

Quisenberry was the premiere submarine pitcher in the league and quite a character in his own right.

He was once quoted as saying:  "I've seen the future and it's much like the present, only longer."  Unfortunately he passed way too young in 1998.

Ladies and Gents, "The Quiz"

Friday, November 1, 2013

Rumi's Kitchen, Persian Perfected

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those who think Kublai Kahn was a guard for the 1986 Milwaukee Bucks

Rumi’s Kitchen takes Persian Cuisine to the next level.  Much like when Phil Jackson started coaching Michael Jordan’s Bulls.  You knew Jordan was great, but Phil took him (and more importantly the team) to the next level.  Rumi’s did the same with Persian and made it upscale and more importantly, they put their unique signature brand on it.  

Phil got these Hall of Famers to buy into, "The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts"
Phil know you had to start with the fundamentals and building blocks.  In Rumi's case, they start with an impressive array of their appetizers.

Their shrimp seasoned with garlic, black pepper & saffron with a creamy feta sauce
Not a generously portioned dish but an incredible one.  The saffron makes it stand out from other shrimp.  In today's NBA, it's more of the Derrick Rose of the group.  Small but powerful!  It's a strong runner for our next app of the year.  As D Rose will probably end up the "Most Improved Player of the Year."

D Rose is going to bring the noise this year
 The Mirza Ghasemi is smoked eggplant with tomato and garlic was a delicious surprise.

I didn't expect my eggplant to be a dip!  But we  loved it.
The Dolmeh minced beef with rice, herbs wrapped in grape leaves was the best grape leaf wrap I've ever had!  
Granted, there is very little competition in the Grape Leaf space
The Hummus rounded out the apps.  The hummus was very good, not quite Cafe Agora good, but good.

Combined, these app's are the strongest we have had at any restaurant.  They really set the up the table (in this case meal) like my man Chris Paul.

Nobody dishes like CP3.  The Clippers should be strong this year.  But then again, they're the Clippers.
Every main course comes with a different rice.  

Rice Heaven
And we all liked different ones, though the dill (far right) was our least favorite.  The saffron offerings were the best.

And then there were the meats.
The lineup from left to right:
1. Lamb Kabob 2. Chicken Barg 3. Roasted Salmon 4.( and batting cleanup) Chilean Sea Bass
The Sea Bass was my favorite.  Granted, it's my favorite fish, but it was cooked to a moist perfection and the spices on it were perfect and not at all overpowering.

Beth and Leslie liked the Salmon best and I can't argue that because it was delicious and had that perfect hint of saffron.  The lamb was great too.  But if you are a self respecting Middle Eastern Restaurant, you can't f*ck up the lamb and have any street cred.  The chicken was a little dry and thus was the least eaten meat on the platter. 

The waiters hand may or may not have been on my ass
For dessert, they recommended the "authentic" ice cream sandwich.  It was god awful.  The bottom line is this, Middle Easterns and Asians make horrible desserts.  If you are east of Greece and want dessert, you are screwed.  I'm sure Marco Polo must have bulked up on the Tiramisu and then Baklava on his way to China.  I imagine a fresh Tiramisu in ancient Persia was worth at least 10 virgins to Kublai Kahn.

I love how Kublai always had an entourage around him in any rendition.  He would fit right into the NBA!
Of course Kublai Kahn was the inspiration for this modern day villain and this iconic William Shatner scene.

And Shatner owns possibly the best belly dancing scene in TV, Persian inspired of course

Overall, this was an outstanding venue.  It's unique, the decor was extremely upscale, the service was impeccable and the food was delicious.

Today's Footnote:  If you haven't noticed, I'm very excited for this NBA season.  Here are my predictions:

MVP:  Lebron, he'll have to carry his team more than the last two years, so his stats will be a career high.  But Kevin Durant will give him a run for his money and may average 35 points a game in November. Derrick Rose will be #3.  Dark Horse Candidate:  Demarcus Cousin's will finish in the MVP top 10

Comeback Player of the Year:  Derrick Rose, with Pau Gasol at #2

Eastern Conference Finals:  The Bulls over the Heat.  Since LBJ will have to carry his team this year, the deep and talented Bulls team will prevail as we  watch LBJ run out of gas.

Western Conference Finals:  The Houston Rockets over the LA Clippers.  I can't stand Dwight, but he's in the perfect spot with guys with actual courage, so he can do his rebounding and blocking all day.  If Blake Griffin stays healthy, they could win though.  James Harden will be the difference in this series, though they will have one hell of a time containing Chris Paul.

World Champs:  The Chicago Bulls.  They have the bodies to battle and get into the head of D Ho and the athletes to bother James Harden just enough.  This will be the Derrick Rose Coming out party.