I was traveling around the country by myself recently, and I spent some time up in Seattle. I love Thai food so I am always looking for a decent Thai restaurant, and I found one in Seattle, which is no surprise considering the sizeable Asian population there. The first time I went in I was standing at the counter looking at the menu, while a tiny Asian woman stared at me. I would later find out that she was the owner and the chef. I noticed that my favorite Thai dish wasn’t on the menu, so I asked about it.
“Do you have Larb Kai?”
She stared at me for a second and scrunched her face and squinted a bit. I should mention that she has a really powerful presence for such a small person.
“You like Larb Kai?”
I was like, “yeah I fucking love Larb Kai. It’s awesome. Probably one of my favorite dishes in the world.”
“You like Larb Kai?”
“Well, yeah. That is why I asked. It is my favorite Thai dish.”
So she grabs me by the arm and sits me down, slams her hand on the table really hard. Hard enough to spill the water glass.
“I will make you Larb Kai.”
I went there several times during my stay in Seattle, and she always sat me in the same place. It was a tiny table in the corner as far away from everyone else in the restaurant as possible, facing the wall. I think she was actually pissed that she didn’t have a shittier place to sit me. I am pretty sure if she could have put me in the employee bathroom with a TV tray she would have. But the fucking Larb Kai was awesome. I mean fucking unreal awesome. Every time I would come in she seemed angrier. She would sit me down, facing the wall, and slam her hand on the table and ask me something like, “what you want to eat today that not on menu?”
One of the last times I went in before leaving Seattle, I ordered off the menu and I asked for a spring roll and a half order of the chicken curry. It should be noted that I was always by myself when I dined there. I shit you not, she had a pad of paper and a pen in her hand and said this while she was writing:
“One half order of lonely man chicken, and a solitary sadness spring roll.”
If I weren’t so terrified of her I would do an impression of her on stage. I am just worried that it would get back to her somehow and she would be waiting for me on the street one night outside the show. Ready to waterboard me with a can of soy milk.
“Oh you think you so bery bery funny…so bery funny.”