webcowgirl: (Default)
We have finally found a place for Vietnamese. "Pho," 86 St John St, near Smithfield Market. Everything , including broth, made fresh daily. So happy!
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webcowgirl: (Food!)
Well, financial meltdowns don't make the need for lunch go away, and today (since the build is delayed AGAIN), [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy and I went to Asadal, a lovely Korean restaurant right next to Holborn station (and when I say right next I mean in the doorway between the big exit to the station and the sandwich shop that's exactly on the corner - all it is is a doorway!).

This was rather splurgy as the entrees were £7 for the cheap lunch plate, but since what we ordered eventually came with three sides (sauteed beansprouts, kimchee, and potatos in some kind of savory sauce) and tea was only £1 a person (with free refills), I wound up thinking it wasn't actually a bad deal. I wound up getting the Beef Bulgogi set meal (£12, kick me please but I was weak), which had soup, salad, mystery meat side dish (deep fried and full of thick mushrooms) and eggy zucchini cakes as additional side dishes (not to mention rice) - and I couldn't finish it all. Sitting and eating in this lovely room with perfect lighting over the gorgeous wooden tables, it was all so gorgeous, and I think it was actually worth it. God only knows if the economy totally tanks I'll be sorry I didn't save it all ("and invest it"), but I guess I could have lost it then anyway just like I did in 2000 with the dot com crash!

Apologies for the lack of pictures, but I left my phone at my desk. It would have only made you hungry, anyway. Now, for the rest of the week, I'm thinking I will be able to make it back to the gym - I'm only coughing a little bit and my energy levels are improved, so I'm about ready to call myself well and get back on the horse. I do surely need the exercise and since the gym is paid for through October, and since I bring my lunch when I go there, it's really a money-saving venture to go!
webcowgirl: (Food!)
Tonight I went with Josela and my coworker Cate (and [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy) to see a play, but FIRST we went to dinner at a place called Red Hot, a Szechuan restaurant on Charing Cross road. Damn, the four of us ate like pigs - just wiping out plate after plate of amazing food. I screwed up though and ordered a fifth plate - "Pockmarked Lady's Tofu with Minced Meat" - which we weren't able to finish, because, oh, somehow FIVE entrees and a side of vegetables and a appetizer and a dessert was just a big much for four. But, God, we tried, and it was wonderful trying. Please, if you like spicy Chinese food, do give this place a try.

Er ... we also saw Fat Pig, which I enjoyed very much (even though it wasn't perfect). How good was it? It was so good that even though I was just bloated with food, I was really, really caught up in it. If this had been a boring show, I would have fallen asleep due to all of the food. Review tomorrow. Sleep tonight!
webcowgirl: (Attack!)
After a day that was actually a little more than stumbling from one meeting to the next (hey! I went to volunteer training for a program where I'm going to help elementary school kids to speak French! and I did an employee review! and I made Emergency Stuff happen! and I did Coordination because we're understaffed and have more work than we have people!), I went to Soho to meet up with my friend Josela for dinner at Assa, a dumpy little Korean restaurant in that strip behind Centerpoint. Now, Josela is a GREAT person to have dinner with, because he likes the hot stuff, including Korean, which about nobody else I know likes. And we went balls to the wall with the hot stuff; rice dumplings with chile sauce; sauteed pork belly with tofu and more chile paste than you can shake a stick at; beef bulgogi with rice; more beef with mixed vegetables; pickled seaweed; bean sprouts with sesame oil; kimchee; and we ate it all. And the grand total was just under 30 quid. We will be back, and we WILL have hot pot.

Afterwards we went over to Josela's apartment and chatted and finally packed up the Mexican food goodies he'd had shipped over her for me ... AND the huge box of tea I'd ordered from the Perennial Tea room that he'd brought in his luggage back from Seattle. What a champ! We were just running out of almost every kind of tea I have so this is a huge relief.

On my way back home I was feeling so excited about a world in which people randomly invite me to go out for dinner after work. God, I like living here. And now I'm sitting in my living room eating some fantastic cheese [livejournal.com profile] wechsler brought back from France for me (Coulommiers, for those of you that speak Cheese), and life seems good. Yep, I bet I'm nearly over with this cold. Tomorrow: why Proust is like Star Wars, and a day of training in Sutton. It hardly gets better than this.

Now: back to the cheese!
webcowgirl: (E-love)
Yes, I worked out today, even though it gave me no joy. 25 minutes, go me - rowing plus elliptical plus biking. It's just dull. I miss Pilates.

Meannwhile, for all of my atheist friends out there, I present this work of genius, linked to by [livejournal.com profile] lolliepopp:
AynRandGoat (67k image)
I'm feeling a new user icon coming on here. And it's comforting to think the website in question is telling evangelical kids to just leave me alone, though with any luck I'll confuse them with my joie de vivre anyway.

The original is Flash, and the goat's quotes change as you click on it. This quote was my favorite.

Also, I found a place on Red Lion street that does a Thai food lunch box for £3.50, and I'm a very happy girl.
webcowgirl: (YellowLeaves)
I'm excited, tonight we're going to see the first third of the Peony Pavillion tonight at Sadler's Wells with [livejournal.com profile] robot_mel! Beforehand I think we'll be trying New Culture Revolution to kind of get in the moodn (and the menu _does_ look good). It won't be as pleasant as actually being served dim sum and tea while we're watching the show like we had at Slippery Mountain but I think the artistry will be much higher ... and we'll have good seats since I managed to rebook us for the £15 floor seats that I saw on offer.

I was good and went to the gym today and even almost made it to 25 minutes. I did 3 minutes of rowing, 14 minutes of biking (while reading the very first Stephen Dobyns Saratoga mystery, though I didn't get very far in), and then ... well, it was going to be 8 minutes on the ski machine, but I got really worn out around five and just barely made it to seven. Gah, so tired. Then it was test test test this afternoon and be a good little monkey. I've been exercising enough that I've needed to buy a few new clothes, so when [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy returns from his trip to America I'll have some new gear well suited to all of the rather unladylike sweating I've been doing.
webcowgirl: (Ballet)
Well, I've got my review up of the New Works thing we saw tonight at the Linbury studio in the Royal Opera House. It reminded me of "the good old days" in Seattle when we'd frequent the Northwest New Works series and could frequently be found at On The Boards and Velocity Dance Studio. I guess I've spent a lot of my life looking for the next new thing, at least when it comes to theater and dance - or maybe hoping to support people early in their career when they need it. The quality of dancers tonight was amazing, but the works were - mixed, if uniformly better in general than what I used to see back home. But also - I don't know, dryer. And I came to see a piece by one particular choreographer (Wayne McGregor), and for whatever reason they didn't have it on the program. Boo.

That said - dinner at Wahaca was great. They've added some new items to their menu, substantially expanding their vegetarian options (spinach tacos! nopalitos tostadas!) and changing out moles (I can't remember what the new one is but YUM).

Overall I think I can say I had a good evening but GOD blogging a show right when I get home is just taking it out of me!
webcowgirl: (Default)
Last night, [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy and I trucked off to the deep wilds South o' the River to see Annie Get Your Gun. The Union Theatre is an adorable and tiny space built under some spare railway arch, which meant several songs received unexpected dramatic emphasis from the rumbling of the "building" as steel behemoths lumbered overhead. The show itself was the kind of show I thought was often done really well in Seattle - a small, highly talented cast jammed into a tiny space, with live music (piano, guitar, violin, and occasional addition percussion from the actors) and even lots of fun dance numbers. They made imaginitive use of a small budget in regards to costuming and sets, and I bought the whole thing. They were on a train! They were at a fancy party! They were travelling on a boat full of cows! It was great, though it might have been hard to kill those Irving Berlin showstoppers - one brilliant song after another. (Note to self: get soundtrack, practice "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun.") I also related to the lead character rather a lot - sassy and independent, but prone to pissing people off because she doesn't follow "tradition." Go, Annie Oakley!

Aforehand (to borrow the vernacular of the show, pure Hollywood "corn pone"), we had dinner at Bangalore Express, a new joint that opened across the street from Waterloo in the space formerly occupied by Thai Silk (103 Waterloo Road, website appears to be not built yet). It's got all of the shoulder to shoulder shared tables I hate, but also an adorable "bunk bed" dining section where you have to walk up a ladder to get to the tables. (I'm not sure how they serve people up there, but when J's foot heals, we'll find out.) Their menu was $3 for sides, $4 for small mains, and $8 for large mains (okay it's supposed to be pound signs but I don't have that on this computer). We got a "regular" duck and potato dosa for $4 and a "large" combo plate (spicy coconut curry tandoori chicken on rice with a small side of sweet potato salad) for $8, and walked out of the door _with leftovers_ for $12. (We also didn't buy drinks as we were feeling cheap.)

Er, in theater news, Summer Strallen of Drowsy Chaperone is now going to be Maria in the West End Sound of Music. I don't really want to see that show, but I adore her so maybe I will. Also, three of the guys up for the local theatrical awards (Oliviers) are ones I saw in the roles they are nominated for this years - pretty cool!

Er, also, very tired, don't have a lot of stamina these days and sadly I'm due to go into work tomorrow. And the tension backache I tend to have has returned after a two month break. As a sign of recovery, it's one I could have happily missed.
webcowgirl: (Christmas tree)
Today we were somewhat blowing with the wind. During our discussion at [livejournal.com profile] rosamicula's last night it came up that I was interested in seeing the Millais exhibit at the Tate Britain; I woke to discover Miss Micula had offered to guest [livejournal.com profile] butterbee in to the exhibit. So off we went, at the late, late, post-cleaning-up-the-house hour of 1:45 (but I felt much better for having all of the wrapping paper and presents out of the living room and also for having made little roast beef sandwiches for us to have for lunch).

The exhibit was nice, especially when you consider that all four of us made it in for eleven quid and the price of a round of heavily doctored cups of tea ([livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy is not recovering gracefully from his cold - I imagine it kicking and screaming from its position deep within his sinus cavities). The first two rooms were mostly filled with the paintings of his I've seen a million times before - Ophelia, Mariana, Christ in the House of his Parents, The Order of Release, Autumn Leaves - the really pretty paintings I'm so fond of but .... well, let's be honest, which occasionally have a touch of schmaltz to them. (I still like many of them quite a lot, and enjoyed seeing new works I'd not seen before, such as "Love," pictured, and the studies for many of the paintings I was very familiar with.)

The "schmaltz" factor seemed to more and more take over as the exhibit wore on. I was happy that he found love in Effie Ruskin, but once he had eight kids to feed, I guess he threw artistic purity out of the window in favor of commercial success. Sappy sweet kiddie portraits, random decorative romantic "scenes," society portraits ... the middle three rooms ("The Boyhood of Raleigh," "The Ruling Passion," bleah!) were full of what looked like the kind of crap you need to crank out to keep the bills paid.

That said, the last room was full of lovely Scottish landscapes that he painted when he ran away from London society and went to live "the life of an English gentleman," which apparently involved a lot of hunting and fishing and hiding in little huts for seven hours a day painting water pouring over volcanic rocks. Unfortunately I was a bit too tired by this time to really appreciate this art and just wanted to sit down and have some more tea and recover a bit.

Afterwards, off we went to Liverpool Street Station to meet [livejournal.com profile] spikeylady and enjoy a christmas tour through the Dennis Severs house. All of the house was lit by candlelight and in each room it appeared the occupants had just left - leaving behind a half eaten softboiled egg, a whiff of perfume, some overturned crockery, etc. I found it all quite charming but felt like a little bit of it was passing me by! Apparently the whole house was the artistic project of Dennis Severs, who died some years back, but like my last trip to see a Punchdrunk production (in this case Faust), I felt like I was just a little bit behind getting what was holding it all together. But it was neat, anyways.

That said my big fun was having dinner afterwards at the Nazrul Restaurant on Brick Lane. Of course, the whole thing was an experience, with every damned restaurant having a shill outside trying to drag you in and make you a paying customer. I was insistent that we find a place that had an "English menu" with fish and chips on it so [livejournal.com profile] butterbee could have something utterly unspicey to eat, and managed to escape from the clutches of many proprietors based on needing to fill that criteria (one offered to bring us some from down the street while we ate, which was really just OTT but had me say, "We may be back!"). But we were convinced at last and settled down for a nice dinner (with fried fish, and with the discount I'd been offered elsewhere carried over to this one - 20% off plus free drinks :-) ). It was YAP YAP YAP for about two hours or so and then we all called it a night and slunk back home after getting some sweets down the street (burfi and that fried honey pretzel thing, yum!) and passing through some of the Ripper haunts we'd visited when we did the tour. It seems like we didn't do much today but we are all now very tired.

65 words

Touch Typing online



And now, cake! ("Cake!")
webcowgirl: (Default)
I was up and off to [livejournal.com profile] booklectic's for cohosting duties (and didn't even read LJ!) before noon today. However, this was Official Transportation Woe Daydetails, it was a cold day to be outdoors for any reason. ) and BLAH BLAH BLAH an hour and a half later we are home and I'm thinking [livejournal.com profile] scarlettina had the right idea with the flannel sheets. I am, however, sad that we couldn't stop by a Chinese food joint and get some congee on the way home.

That said, what I'm really wanting to do here is witter on about the wonderful Ethiopian food we got last night. We went up to a place on Caledonian road, over the bridge that crosses the Camden canal, called Merkato (193A Caledonian road). I can't tell you how exciting it was to walk into a restaurant that smelled like frankincense and Doro Wat! There were hand painted portraits of Ethiopian women on the walls, embroidered table clothes, and chipper music playing over the loudspeakers - it was just like being back at Mesob in Seattle! And, unlike Queen of Sheba, our food, when it arrived, was in GENEROUS portions, and so, so tasty! The injera was flabby, alas (I don't think they used tef to make it), but when we ran out, they gave us more with no questions. We stuffed ourselves for 21 quid (just a bottled water, no beer), and for vegetarians you could feed two for 14, I'm pretty sure. We thought it was DELICIOUS and wonderful and I look forward to going there again!
webcowgirl: (Proust book)
It's a completely gorgeous day and I was unable to resist the desire to go outside during my lunch break. [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy was accomodating and met me at Coptic Street, in front of the British Museum (because I like the idea of there being a Coptic Street, and it meant less pedestrian traffic for both of us). We eventually made it to Gluttons sandwich shop at 55 Goodge street, which appears to not just make their own sandwiches but to likely make their own bread as well, a la my beloved Bakemans. I got a coronation chicken sandwich, and it is indeed quite good, apparently a curried chicken salad. Yum!

We noticed, however, that in the street across the way (Goodge Place), there's a little set of trucks selling food to go, including (yay!) a(n almost genuine) taco truck. The options were Chinese, Thai, crepes, Mexican, and ... I don't know, something else, but it all looked GREAT and I'm sorry we'd already bought our food as £3.50 for Thai takeaway is totally my price.

In news Proustian, I'm at page 135, and our protagonist has succeeded not just in leaving a party but also in making a jerk out of himself in trying to get a girl to come over and visit him. To think he's going to wind up marrying her!
webcowgirl: (Default)
"Aubergine lasagne - very Sicilian!"
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and at £4.50 eat in really quite a deal!
webcowgirl: (Food!)
For reference: Sfizio across the street, for the £1.20 ham and cheese croissant and a "bon giorno" to boot
The Tandoori Raj at WC1R 4NA (65 Red Lion Street): £3.90 self-pack takeaway box (makes me miss Sagar but the minced lamb and spaghetti is nice and spicy)
Cuddlebox (?): the place with the £1.50 egg and bacon breakfast bap.
webcowgirl: (ActionFigure)
Tonight's B-Movie look: "I couldn't be arsed," which was enough to get me out the door in a reasonable time. I left work a bit early, had a lovely bike ride home, and took a nap on the couch, which gave me enough energy to leave but not enough to stay. Oh well.

Discovery: nice restaurant called Chop Chop right across the street from King's Cross Station, plates of "special fried rice" for £2.85, Singapore noodles (vermicelli with shrimp and curry) for about £3.50, similar price for black bean beef chow fun. These were no London portions: the food literally covered our (very large) plates, and we ate no more than half of either. Pretty cool in my book - both good food and good portions, great prices and a convenient location for later.

Tomorrow: cleaning, might take a trip to the Borough Market if I get out of the house early enough. For now, sleep.

PS: Obviously if I'm too tired to write a decent post I should already be in bed
webcowgirl: (candy)
Tonight after I left work, I met [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy near his work for dinner at a new restaurant called Inn Noodle (on Oxford Street near Tottenham Court Road).

DAMN, folks, we're talking about the best Chinese food I've had since I came to London, the kind that makes you want to go into the kitchen and look for the crack shaker. They do home made noodles there, and by home made I mean a little man is in the window stretching and cutting the dough. DAMN damn DAMMITY damn so GOOD! I ordered Dan Dan noodles (noodles in a spicy peanut soup, £5.50), and it was like being back home at 7 Star Pepper (well, almost - the noodles weren't fat like I like 'em but they were still dee-lish) - I ate so much that my tummy hurt later. I also got my ever-favorite "soup dumplings" (called "Shanghai steamed pork dumplings" - £3.20), and folks ... they were the best I ever had, even though I ate them too soon and burned my mouth with the first bite (hint: put them in a soup spoon, tilted up on the edge, and bite and suck at the same time).

Anyway, it just opened, and I can't help but think everything they've got on the menu is likely to be brilliant (his "stewed beef pot," £6.50, and the Chinese pan fried onion dough, £2.20, which I bought strictly to dip into the dan dan broth, were both taaasty and made of high-quality ingredients to boot). I want to go there over and over again and try everything on the menu (well, except for the fish).

I should add that The Science of Sleep was very enjoyable, but when we're talking about "changing your life," it's going to be Inn Noodle that stays with me. 25 Oxford Street W1D 2DW.

And once more, YUM! Not that I'm not still full.

Anyone want to come over for games tomorrow night?
webcowgirl: (London)
I celebrated my sixth month anniversary today by having a lovely lunch box from Sagar (only £3.25!) with [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy on the banks of the Thames in Hammersmith - Furnival Gardens, to be exact.

Tonight I'll celebrate by going to see a play with friends new ([livejournal.com profile] rosamicula, met since I moved here!) and old ([livejournal.com profile] itsjustaname, who invited us, [livejournal.com profile] spikeylady, [livejournal.com profile] lilithmagna, and [livejournal.com profile] wechsler), and of course my lovely husband. It seems like things are going well here, really.
webcowgirl: (Default)
At work today, and I'm bored again and feeling lazy to boot. [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy came to join me for lunch, and we walked up to King Street and got £3.50 tiffins from Sagar (near the Ravenscourt Park tube station). Their takeout boxes are pretty good - vegetarian, of course, with rice/chappathi/raita/daal and today a garbanzo bean curry entree and some kind of lettuce/cucumber side dish. I do wish it came with a dessert and a wee dosa like the place down the road makes 'em, but this is still very, very good, filling, AND has the advantage of being closer to my office. In fact, we were able to walk up there (along the Thames path, a very nice walk), call in the order on the way, pick it up and go back to the park and eat all in time for me to make it back to work before an hour had gone by. Now, that's convenient, and God only knows it will be quite a bit nicer to do when it's not still winter. I'll be here in about two weeks, though (provided I get the reservation in this weekend), so I do at least have a break from the chill coming to me.

No one else seems to want to go Ceili dancing, so I could save the money and stay home, but I really want to kick up my heels and [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy is semi-game, so off we go. Tomorrow, a lovely ballet with [livejournal.com profile] bathtubgingirl (12:30!), then maybe a museum and then karaoke.

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