Monday, November 02, 2020

Menu of the Plague Year: Shake Shack

Fuck you, Shake Shack.

To put it bluntly, my introduction to Shake Shack did not go well. Despite the fact that I ordered online, I endured a harrowing half hour wait for these hype burgers, buffeted by a freezing gale, because my food had fallen between the cracks of Shake Shack’s abysmal pickup protocol. I got totally fucked over by “The Board,” a bizarre monitor that keeps track of peoples’ food orders, but which runs on its own internal logic that scientists cannot understand. I have never harbored more hatred for a tv screen, which is a damn shame, because tvs are among my favorite kinds of screens. I documented my misadventure on Twitter, so if you want the horrific backstory of my cursed quest to eat some fucking crinkle fries, follow me @surlygourmand. You’ve been warned: waiting 30 minutes for a hamburger is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Anyway, fuck The Board. Let’s talk about the food.

The ShackBurger is $5.99. That’s honestly not a bad price for a cheeseburger these days. Plus vegetables are free. So, to the ShackBurger’s default accoutrements of lettuce, tomato, cheese, and a smear of Shake Shack’s legendary ShakeSauceTM, I opted to add onions and pickles. This lettuce and tomato situation sucks. Just lettuce and tomato? Why the fuck? Of all the hamburger toppings, lettuce is the least flavorful, and tomatoes are the most likely to be shitty. It’s like they picked the wrong answers on a multiple choice test. It’s ALMOST correct, yet not quite right. This is like when you go to a foreign land and get homesick, so you try to order something american, like pizza, but you discover that the most popular pizza topping in Peru is CANNED CORN. If “What ingredients are on a cheeseburger?” was a question on Family Feud, lettuce and tomatoes are the last two answers that nobody guesses.

Given all of the breathless blowjobbery surrounding Shake Shack, I was expecting a cheeseburger so good, that if I started choking on it I’d keep taking bites of it before I died. When I opened the bag, however, my burger was smeared across the bottom, having fallen out of its paper winding shroud. No big deal; I just reassembled it. Besides, the burger’s deconstruction gave me a chance to inspect the ingredients.

The patty itself was pretty unobtrusive: a rich mahogany, it was obviously formed by hand. A skein of melted American cheese clung tightly to every crevice. The vegetables were quite fresh, even the tomatoes. Despite fall’s encroachment upon the land, the tomatoes were red and juicy. The green leaf lettuce was vivid and crisp. The pickles offered a refreshing snap when bitten into. There were way too many raw onions, but whatever; I like onions. The secret ShakeSauceTM, obviously one of those classic mayonnaise-and-ketchup style diner sauces, had a salty depth of flavor without the cloying sweetness that too often plagues this stuff. The bun was soft and golden; I think it’s a potato bun but it could just be yellow food coloring.

Taken as a whole, it’s a decent cheeseburger.

It’s the fries that are a blatant fucking ripoff. An order of Hot Spicy Fries is $3.99, and you don’t get a super huge portion of them and also, they’re fucking CRINKLE FRIES. Yeah yeah yeah, we all know the inescapable online chatter about Shake Shack’s french fries: originally an afterthought on the menu, they’re frozen. Shake Shack tried to switch to hand cut fries a few years ago, but for some reason customers rebelled, and they reverted to the original frozen ones. These customers who complained are dumbasses. I suppose the stupids prefer ridged french fries to overcompensate for their smooth brains.

Crinkle fries are easily the worst of all the fry shapes. Even Jack in the Box’s curly fries, voted “most likely to snap off and smear ketchup on your fucking shirt” by esteemed burgerologists, are better. One of the main raves about crinkle fries is that the corrugations retain more sauce. Too bad that doesn’t actually matter. You can put gallons of any fucking condiment onto a crinkle fry and they somehow remain elusively, maddeningly bland.

So with this in mind, I ordered the Extra Hot option, hoping to counteract the flavorless potato zigzags that I knew were coming. Besides, I never trust chain restaurants that offer food claiming to be “hot.” Everyone knows that, hoping to preserve their economy of scale while remaining mindful of pitiful midwestern palates, most chains dumb down the heat a few clicks. I’m no showoff, but I can handle a little bit of heat: I store my contact lenses in Taco Bell Fire sauce. So my expectations were low.

I admit, however, that the Hot Spicy fries are legit. They’re not painfully hot, but they can hold their own. The problem is that the heat isn’t evenly distributed among the fries: some fries were almost completely devoid of spice. Others were caked with seasoning, wallowing self-destructively in the maroon powder like they were trying to reboot Scarface with an all-fry cast. Yet despite this heaping pollination of spicy dust, the fries were STILL SOMEHOW BLAND. Yes there was pepper, but where the fuck was the SALT? The menu promises a ramekin of ranch dressing with your fries; my sauce was sadly missing.

To cool my burning tongue, I downed a chocolate milkshake ($5.49). Unlike its crinkle fries, Shake Shack shakes its milk in house, from frozen custard that they churn on site. It was a pretty solid milkshake; I have no complaints. Then again, I have a low bar for milkshakes. Unless they’re made of poisonous chemicals like McDonald’s shakes, they’re all pretty good. But on the bright side, I ordered only one milkshake but was inexplicably given two.

Color me a provincial rube, but I don’t see the Shake Shack appeal. I don’t give a fuck that it’s the same company as Eleven Madison Park and Granercy Tavern. It’s a solid cheeseburger, but how good do you need it to be, really? I’m not denying that the ShackBurger is objectively better than a Quarter Pounder; it sure as fuck is, but the main reason that McDonald’s exists is so that you can obtain valuable hangover-killing fat and salt as efficiently as possible. Convenience is the main reason that fast food is even a thing! Taste is explicitly coincidental. A cheeseburger that comes with a half hour wait is FUCKED.

And as I previously mentioned via my epic Twitter bitchfest, I certainly don’t appreciate the ordering system, which is a clusterfuck. Shake Shack is so densely clustered a fuck, in fact, that it collapsed in upon itself into a ShackHoleTM, which sucks your entire lunch hour into it, never to be seen again. The last thing you see before you vanish into nothingness is the aforementioned The Board, the frustrating flat screen tv I complained about at the top of this review. As your corporeal form gets pulverized into spicy fry dust by the mass of all the wasted time at the center of the ShackHoleTM, you notice that, due to relativistic effects, your order is frozen onto The Board in fifth place for eternity.

Maybe they’re understaffed. Maybe they’re struggling with the new rules imposed by the Department of Health since the plague descended. I’ve been writing reviews with kid gloves on lately, since the ‘Rona has put so many excellent restaurants in jeopardy and I don’t want to kick the industry while it’s down. But fuck that; Shake Shack is no struggling mom-and-pop. My disdain for ShakeShack is merciless: not only did they unapologetically bungle my order, they also hogged $10 million of Paycheck Protection Program loans. Although they DID return the loan, to their credit, the low interest PPP loans were intended for delicious local burger stands like Zippy’s to keep employees on the payroll while COVID cripples the economy.

So in conclusion, fuck you Shake Shack, you bunch of scammers. Nobody needs to go there.

Rating: 3 PPP’s out of 10

Shake Shack is located at 2115 Westlake Ave.

To place an order online, which won’t be ready until like a million years after you send it in, go to

Monday, April 20, 2020

Menu of the Plague Year: Le Coin

Our third Menu of the Plague Year is Le Coin.

Le Coin, which means “the coin” in French, is a charming French restaurant located in the building that previously housed Roux, and before that, the legendary malignant dive bar of pre-gentrified Fremont, the Buckaroo.

I’m a sucker for classical French cuisine, though it’s difficult to come by in Seattle because everybody insists on northwesting it up, but fuck it: in this post apocalyptic wasteland in which we live, beggars can’t be choosers. After all, yesterday I fought a raccoon for a pizza crust and traded one of my kids for a Clorox Wipe. Not a container of Clorox wipes. A wipe.

So by these wretched standards of living, Le Coin, naturally, was a real treat.

A salad of leafy greens ($7) included a lush underbrush of the eponymous flora, along with a dusting of crushed walnuts, and radishes sliced razor thin into diaphanous discs that practically floated into my mouth. This salad was doused in a transparent vinaigrette, sharp as a saber. Atop the bushy bushes of salad was a drift of microplaned pecorino or some such cheese. This was a pretty well-composed salad, all things considered, but the radishes weren’t an ingredient; they were a literary device: foreshadowing.

Truffle potato cream soup ($9) was creamy and smooth with a not overwhelming truffle flavor, but the soup was speckled with suspicious black flecks: maybe it was pepper? buckshot, suitable for reloading the shotgun shells necessary to ward off marauders? spores that will turn you into a zombie if consumed? No sweat, brah; it was probably pieces of truffle. A swirl of bright green oil on top and a few herbs lightened the proceedings, but then, incongruously, there were radishes lurking beneath the surface. Why the fuck? The crunchy, spicy little submarine mines disrupted the silky pool of what was otherwise a delicious soup.

Cassoulet ($18) was super beany: under a crunchy blanket of bread crumbs was a slumbering menagerie of beans. There were like six kinds of beans in there: chickpeas, gigante beans, lima beans, flageolets, navy beans, I don’t fucking know. Every kind of bean was represented except red beans and, I suppose, jelly beans. Amid all these damn beans were big stubbed toes of braised pork shoulder and gigantic chunks of carrots and celery: if normal-sized carrots and celery are mirepoix, then these big motherfuckers qualify as maxipoix. For some reason, there were radishes in this dish too! Like seriously, guys: stop.

Why is Le Coin so horny for radishes? Maybe they bought a fuckton of radish futures which they were unable to unload before the stock market crashed, and now they’re stuck with them. Accompanying the cassoulet was a stack of sliced rustic bread, made with the same care and attention that a toothless grandma, who dropped out of third grade, wearing a kerchief tied around her head and a brown wool skirt, would bake on a Sunday for her religious freak family.

Le Coin Burger ($16) was A BIG FUCKING HAMBURGER, easily a quarter of a cow, as juicy as a sordid secret, with a loose texture and unapologetically pink from edge to edge. I actually don’t know how they cooked it: the surface of the patty was hidebound with a delicious crust, mailliard as fuck, but the interior was pink through and though, from edge to edge. This outrageous burger was topped with a melted skein of cheese, mixed greens, and a couple slices of confit tomatoes which, by the way, are far better than the limp watery tomatoes of winter. With it was a bale of crisp and salty frites, the salt crystals glittering like sodium sparkles or whatever. Strangely, there were no radishes. But you probably thought that my foreshadowing about radishes meant that the radishes would be trespassing into every dish we tried. After all, as Anton Chekhov famously said, if you talk about shitloads of radishes in the first paragraph, you better talk about shitloads of radishes in the second. Unfortunately, real life doesn't follow the rules of literature. If it did, I would've written a story about me finding $1,000,000,000 dollars by now.

A little dessert described as a “sweet bite” ($2) was basically a quarter round of ganache with a smear of raspberry coulis or jelly or something, and a couple tiny spheres of crunchy chocolate thingies of unknown origin.

Le Coin is a glimmering gem, a bright spot in our otherwise dim world. With the plague raging outside the antiseptic confines of our homes, many restaurants will go out of business. For fuck’s sake, don’t let Le Coin be one of them! Hopefully Ruth’s Chris, the steakhouse with the puzzling possessive proper noun, didn’t steal all the government cheese.

Rating: 8 Surly’s Gourmand reviews out of 10

Le Coin is located at 4201 Fremont Ave N

To order takeout call 206-708-7207 or email them at (they require you to include your phone number in the email, so if you want to fuck with them you can place a gigantic order via a burner phone and then bail on it, but don’t do that because you’re an asshole if you do).

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Menu of the Plague Year: Homer

This bust of Homer (the famous Greek poet, not the Simpson) depicts a leatherfaced geezer with a big alcoholic nose and a helical cascade of whiskers, tightly coiled like the cord of an old touchtone. He looks like a guy who got trashed and saw something amazing, like an explosion or a nipple. However, historians debate whether or not Homer was even a real dude. Was The Iliad actually written by this wizened, curly-bearded bard, or is “Homer” just the personification of the literary tradition of drunk guys telling bullshit stories to each other? I hope my anecdote about the time I tried to put on an Indian condom has the staying power of The Odyssey.

Anyway, if somebody told you that there was a restaurant named Homer, what kind of food do you think it would serve? If it’s named after Homer the Simpson, then I’d say it would probably be an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet. Or maybe a Krispy Kreme. But if it’s named after the legendary ancient rhymester then it’s probably Greek food.

And Greek is what Homer is. Sort of. It’s not weird Greek food like spinialo or deep fried octopus ink sacs. It’s not even mostly Greek. It’s more Mediterranean, really, but I needed some kind of intro to this and that’s the best I could come up with so fuck you.

Like every other restaurant trying to survive the plague, Homer is bravely offering takeout. After all, they can’t close shop because if they did all their employees would be unable to pay the rent and if Trump gets reelected every American will be required to stay at Mar-A-Lago once a year and literally actually kiss the ass of a bronze Trump statue located in every city in every state or you go to jail without trial or protein until you die shivering in a pool of your own vomit. We wanted to avoid that situation from coming to pass. So as patriotic Seattle citizens, we did our part to keep Homer afloat, and ordered a few things to try.

A cabbage salad ($10) featured bigass chunks of roasted cabbage, charred on the edges with a juicy center that melted like a crayon on a minivan dashboard in the sun. A diaspora of pepitas, pickled mustard seed, sesame seed, dates, apple slices wandered this culinary landscape.

The lamb stuffed pita ($11) was, and I say this without the slightest miniscule trace of hyperbole, that this was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. A Persian rug of braised lamb shoulder was folded along with sliced fennel, a sweet and garlicky sauce, and lots of cilantro into a pita so fluffy it would float away into the sky with a gust of brisk spring wind. Prometheus, with his altruistic desire to enlighten mankind with the secret knowledge of how to make sandwiches, thought that the punishment, being chained to a cliff and having his liver nibbled by Dr. Hannibal Lector for eternity, was worth it to teach us mortals to become Sandwich Artists. Obviously, the mysterious founder of Homer restaurant was the first in line to be blessed with this skill, to create such a delicious sandwich.

A rack of lamb ribs ($17) which, by the way, a rack of lamb ribs is much smaller than you might think, was gamy and tender, with mint leaves, thinly sliced pears, and a speckle of pistachios.

Finally, an extremely silky and sweet hummus ($8) was topped with a crimson puddle of spiced oil with a couple chickpeas in the center. And if you want more of the aforementioned ultralight pita to dunk into this masterful hummus, a half dozen of them costs $6.

Nobody knows the true identity of the founder of Homer. And there is no way for us in the modern day to find out, because all the business licenses and tax forms and shit filed by Homer, were lost in the fire of the Library of Alexandria. Some say he was raised by a she-wolf and used her milk to ferment into feta. Some say he killed the Cretan Bull and ground its flesh into gyro meat. Still others say that he sowed a dragon’s teeth and after vanquishing the bronze eggplants that sprang up from the ground, he made them into a bitchin’ baba ghanoush.

We must look after one another in these times of pestilence. If you care about fine dining, throw your sourdough starter in the trash and go out to a struggling restaurant. Be a hero for humanity.

Rating: 8 hydra heads (one of them got cut off) out of 10

Homer is located at 3013 Beacon Avenue South.

Takeout can be ordered by calling (206) 785-6099 or through MobileBytes.

*In the spirit of Cinema Verite, I have to admit that I ate a bunch of edibles before I wrote this and that’s why there are so many non sequiturs and run on sentences. Sorry brah.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Menu of the Plague Year: Buddha Bruddah

Months ago I decided to start reviewing restaurants again, but then I didn’t: complacency settled into my lap like a curled up cat, warm and purring, and you don’t want to move for fear of making her leap annoyedly away.

But my procrastination was shattered by the arrival of the pestilence of our time: COVID-19, the coronavirus, the creeping death, whose appearance has heralded a massive blow for the service industry. Starting Monday March 16th, 2020, by emergency decree of Governor Inslee, every restaurant in Washington state has been closed for dining in.

This is a culinary apocalypse.

However, restaurateurs are resourceful. The emergency closure declared by the Governor includes a provision for restaurants to continue to offer takeout and delivery, even if the dining room must remain closed. So, like scrappy cockroaches, scuttling about the crater of the atomic bomb that failed to eradicate them, restaurant owners across the state have doggedly begun to do just that.

One such enterprising restaurant is Buddha Bruddah. I don’t have the bandwidth anymore to make fun of Buddha Bruddah’s dumb name, buuuutttt... maybe one jab: the AP style guide frowns on spelling a business’ name in dialect. So frustrating is the word “bruddah,” my spellcheck software committed suicide in protest, all the squiggly red lines inching across my laptop screen like a herd of caterpillars, to throw themselves, lemminglike, into the recycling bin on my desktop.

But is the food at Buddha Bruddah as bad as its name? Answer: no, not really.

Spicy Fried Chicken Wings were kinda sorta like a variation on Korean fried chicken. Bigass wings, which I actually think came from an eagle and not a lowly hen, were coated in a brittle panko breading, fried, and then splashed with a sweet and spicy sauce. The wings were speckled with finely chopped cilantro and studded with what I would call a confident amount of pepper flakes. The chicken meat was succulent. The spice level, despite the herpetic pepper minefield dotting the crust, was not as tastebud-obliterating as one might expect. However, the sauce was cloying, especially after eating 10 of them. I don’t actually know how much these cost because the menu says a 5-pack costs $8, so I guess 10 cost, I don’t know, $16?

Chicken katsu ($13) wasn’t bad. Once again, I question the species of bird that Buddha Bruddah refers to as “chicken,” because the breast they gave us was so enormous that even Christina Hendricks was scandalized. Seriously, it was a fucking ostrich breast, dusted in panko and fried. The coating was so thick and crunchy that it could cause tinnitus if you chomp down too hard, but sadly had trouble clinging to the slab of poultry below, instead sliding off of the meat to pile up in a humid sheaf on the plate. This was disappointing.

Included with the katsu was a double pile of rice that looked like tits, a scoop of macaroni salad, and a bale of slaw. Let me say this: I fucking loathe macaroni salad. Nobody wants a bunch of cold, flaccid pasta elbows drowned in a mayonnaise pool amid a stupid constellation of peas. Luckily this macaroni salad was nothing like that. The pasta was somehow al dente. The sauce clung unobtrusively to the macaroni, and was deceptively light, with a savory lift courtesy of celery seeds and cilantro. The slaw featured juliennes of (mostly) green and (rarely) red cabbage, lightly glistening with a crisp sesame vinaigrette of some kind. Circles of sliced scallion completed this grassy heap.

Phad Thai ($10) was a solid, generally middle-of-the-road effort. The usual tangle of rice noodles was stained a pleasant ochre by Thai dark soy sauce, flavorful enough. Not bad. You can instantly tell whether or not I’m going to be mad about an order of pad thai just by looking at it: if it's got enough tamarind paste to make all the noodles pink, then I’m going to complain. Phad thai should be beige, not pink. After all, Poor Richard’s Almanac has this to say: “If your phad thai is brown, then scarf it down; if your noodles be red, then off with its head.”

Finally, a whole chocolate cream pie ($30) was a creamy and soothing balm after the barrage of salt and sweet. When I opened the box I swooped my finger through the whipped cream topping and licked it off impudently and then shouted in outrage: the whipped scream wasn’t sweetened!

I eventually realized that they left the cream unsweetened on purpose: its blandness counterbalanced the stratus of chocolate filling beneath, a thick cocoa pudding more akin to ganache than mousse. Note: the preceding is the most pretentious sentence I’ve ever written. Guarding the perimeter was a sweet and sandy graham cracker crust.

Buddha Bruddah is a hyperlocal neighborhood restaurant. And the food is interesting. That having been said, I wouldn’t bother to risk the zombie horde by driving all the way down to Rainier Valley unless you happen to be in the area. But if you live south of I-90, and you didn’t die of coronavirus, and you’re looking for something to pick up for dinner, you could certainly do worse than Buddha Bruddah. In fact, I’m so impressed by Buddha Bruddah’s inspiring tenacity, I’m going to start a Buddha Bruddha tribute band.

Called Sidhartha Sista.

Rating: 7 Steppenwolf Stepmoms out of 10

Buddha Brudda is located at 2201 Rainier Ave S. To order call 206-556-4134 or order on their website.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A Trip to Los Angeles, Part One: Manuela

This is the first in a four-part series about places I ate in Los Angeles.

Manuela is located inside the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Los Angeles. I’m not much of an art critic. Some of the exhibits were fucking rad, like the cityscape made of cereal boxes or the futuristic chicken coop. Other things were fucking shitty, like the overturned antique armoire: that was all it was, a gigantic ornate armoire laying on the floor. That’s it. Some commentary on the fall of society or some such shit. Also, there was a video installation of a woman dry humping a column inside a museum; we watched it for a few minutes before the docent helpfully informed us that we could go because we’d seen the best part.

Anyway, the art was hit or miss, and bookstore inside Hauser-Wirth was similarly inconsistent. There were a couple preteen boys running around mocking things. I happened to be standing at the cash register, looking at a display of impulse items, when the boys ran up and started rifling through these flip books, the kind that make a little cartoon if you flip the pages fast enough.

The clerk was an archetypal Aging Art Chick: black Riot Grrl dress, a frizzy pyramid of brunette curls perched atop her head, severe bangs, American Traditional tattoos all over. The kids were flipping the flip books. I asked the clerk if it was okay for them to be doing that. “Yeah, it’s fine,” she replied. “But there are some naughty ones in there that I hope they don’t see.”

“Like what?” I asked, and she handed me one called the Stick Figure Kama Sutra, which when flipped depicted crude drawings fucking in every position.

“They’re not my kids,” I laughed, and called out to the ragazzi to come over. “Check this out!” And I showed them the Stick Figure Kama Sutra which, in retrospect, wasn’t creepy at all.

Outraged at the indecency flipping past them, the kids immediately began to riot, because that’s what kids do when they see porn, overturning spinning wire racks of Man Ray post cards and flinging all of the Jeff Koons books off the shelves. My friends and I made a hasty getaway while the clerk sighed and picked up the mess.

That kind of inappropriate troublemaking works up a mighty appetite, so we were looking for something to eat. Luckily, Manuela was next door.

We started with Devilled Eggs ($6). There were four devilled eggs, each topped with a creamy golden swirl of yolk and sprinkled with a spray of aleppo pepper flakes and a miniscule sprig of dill. The yolk was creamy and so smooth there was no way it hadn’t been forced through a chinoise, with a mellow luscious subwoofer and a mustardy tweeter. The only thing I didn’t like about these eggs was the fact that they sliced the eggs laterally instead of the typical longitudinal cut, and so the “bowl” of egg white on the bottom was the wide round end of the eggs. The more pointed end of the egg white appeared to be unused; what did they do with them? I posit that the line cooks stuck the pointy ends of the egg whites up their assholes, then downed shot after shot of hot sauce until they had ballistic diarrhea, and they sprayed the liquid egg white poop all over the floor, then they all did the centipede through the chunky wretched mire. Then they licked each other’s poopy t-shirts clean. The aristocrats!

Next up was a dish of blistered snap peas ($12), pleasantly charred, smoky, with little explosive fried bits of red quinoa which shattered in your mouth when chomped upon, ivory clouds of goat cheese, and more chili flake. Some sort of creamy vinaigrette lurked on the bottom.

We weren’t there to stuff our faces, because we had reservations at Craft (more on that in part three of this travelogue), so we wrapped things up with an order of cream biscuits ($10). Three of these biscuits came on a rustic wood block. I’m not going to waste words on my disdain of food served on a wooden slab, because I have funnier things to say later, but rest assured I consider it dumb. Along with the biscuits came a few delicious slices of salty country ham, the meat a glistening burgundy and streaked with translucent veins of fat. There was also an ENORMOUS mountain range of sweet cream butter. This was enough butter to moisturize an elephant; more butter than any human except Paula Deen could possibly eat. Even after we’d slathered our biscuits with like a four inch thick layer of butter, there was still approximately 17,000 metric tonnes of butter left, which we altruistically shipped to Somalia.

A word on these biscuits. They were as stratified as the fossil record, as flaky as a Tinder hookup, studded with salt. These biscuits were far superior to the petrified drop biscuits my mom makes. Hahaaaa, I said MY mom and not YOUR mom! What you thought was going to be a malicious barb directed at your family was ACTUALLY an autobiographical aside!

So sometimes when I was in college, I’d go back to my parents’ house for the weekend or whatever, to discover that my brother had invited all his friends over for a sleepover. After drinking all night, these fools would all be passed out on the floor like a bunch of walruses that reeked of stale Bud Light, Copenhagen, and night farts. Inevitably, my mom would dump pounds of Bisquick into a bowl and overmixed dozens of these priapic biscuits. Then she’d scramble up a dozen eggs, pockmarked unattractively with tablespoons of black pepper, and cooked until they would bounce off the floor if one rolled off of your plate.

I was hungry too, but this breakfast was a piece of shit, so after all of my brother’s dumbass friends had awaken and finished shoveling this sad breakfast into their hungover mouths, I’d sneak into the kitchen to make MY scrambled eggs.

Then usually my brother, always a late riser and an even LATER riser after a bottle of Jager, would saunter into the kitchen, clad in flip flops, cargo shorts, and an extra medium vintage tee, and see the golden pond of beaten egg I was gently coaxing into a buttery nimbus, and exclaim “DAAAMMNNN I want somma THOSE eggs.” Which of course I would give him some because I’m not mean.

The moral of the story is that I enjoyed the biscuits we ate at Manuela.

Manuela is a solid gem nestled in the bowels of the Hauser & Wirth. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was, expecting instead a subpar tourist trap. Kudos, Manuela. You have earned this praise.

On our way out, we saw the Aging Art Chick, finished with her shift at the gift shop. She was dining at the bar with a dude I can only describe as Former New Wave Basquiat Aficionado. He had a grey shock of Dr. Strangelovian hair, those weird round cartoon glasses that Roger Stone wears, and one of those wide- necked red and white striped shirts which Picasso used to wear. On our way out I apologized for inciting the tween riot and bought them an order of devilled eggs. I certainly hope they ate the eggs instead of using them like suppositories. The aristocrats!

Rating: 7 aristocrats out of 10

Manuela is located at 907 E. 3rd St. in Los Angeles, CA, inside the Hauser & Wirth gallery complex. For reservations call 323-849-0480 or click here.