February 10, 2006
The title made sense at some point.
I didn't know what to eat for lunch. Despite that my stomach was making sounds like some kind of semi-active underwater volcano ([bloopy blop gurgle hiss]), I wasn't really hungry. However, I had a lunch break and if I didn't use it, I would've just been hungry...later. Yeah. I guess that's the body's way of saying, "FEEEED MEEEE." Fancy that.
I wanted to have some more Ukrainian fare after yesterday's yummerful pierogi and blintz lunch (which I'll talk about in the next entry) but after it took me 15 minutes just to walk to the East Village, I stopped short of the cheap Eastern European eateries and decided to check out the Korean hole-in-the-wall Temple instead.
Okay, it's kind of big for a hole-in-the-wall, but that makes it pretty small for a...non hole-in-the-wall. One side of the room is lined with two-person tables and the other side is more suited for single-seating (you know...hermits). It's a clean, comfy little restaurant with nice decorations that are a bit on the trendy side, but not in a bad way.
While their large lunch menu includes standard Korean dishes (which is just my assumption, not being Korean) I went for the Korean Curry Rice since I'm not sure if I've ever seen Korean-style curry before (not that I thought it'd be a far stretch from Japanese curry, but I love all kinds of curry and figured I couldn't go wrong). Before I received the main dish, I was given a long, slim plate of banchan, those yummy Korean side dish thingies that fill you up before you can even eat the main dish if you're gluttonous enough to eat it all. Which I am. However, I managed to refrain from consuming all the kimchi, shredded radish, mung bean sprouts, tofu, and mushroom right away since it would've be sad if my stomach became distended before getting the chance to digest my main dish.
As I poked at the banchan with my chopsticks, I heard a man to my right ask the woman next to him if she would stop talking on her phone. And by "ask", I mean "command in an annoying tone".
"Would you mind using phone outside? You shouldn't talk on the phone while you're eating lunch."
Eh, he said something like that. The woman wasn't talking loudly at all. She didn't respond right away but at some point she said something back to the man, not that I could hear her as well as the man since she wasn't speaking that loudly. It probably wasn't a good idea on her part. His response went something like this:
"You shouldn't speak on your cell phone in a public place. Some people want to go to lunch and have a relaxing time. Have some delicacy. Stop talking on the fucking phone, bitch!"
While raising his voice to uncomfortable loudness, he either shouted "fucking phone, bitch!" or "phone, fucking bitch!" but I think it was the first one. There were only three of us in there. Awkward. Reading the quotes alone doesn't give you the sense of his somewhat menacing inflection. The waitress was in the kitchen; I wonder what she would've done if she heard what the customer said. The young woman probably said something in response to the man's scolding, but as I said before, her voice wasn't that loud to begin with and alas, I lack bionic ears. My initial reaction was, "Whoa, biggest asshole I've ever encountered in a restaurant" (I suppose I'm lucky). Also, while he may have meant to say "delicacy", I feel like that wasn't the right word. Yes, I can see it fitting in, but isn't it ironic at all that the man possessed much less...erm, delicacy, than the young woman? Than most people? Of course, there was nothing to be gained from pointing out something so painfully obvious, as I'm sure this man wouldn't give a damn. As much as the woman talking on her cell phone may have bothered him, I think his outburst was much higher on the bothersome scale.
I also thought about what I'd do if I were the young woman. Honestly...I think I would've left. It's not like I could switch seats to a table much farther away from the scary guy in a room smaller than the size of my dorm, meaning I'd eat lunch in discomfort. Of course, it's not the restaurant's fault, but if wasn't going to eat their food, there wouldn't be any point in staying.
The woman must have almost been done eating, so she continued to eat. When the waitress reappeared, she told her about the incident. I'm not sure what the waitress could say, aside from being sorry, but the man, who could surely hear their conversation, stayed silent.
...Whatever, there are much worse things and people. But still. Why would anyone be that rude?
When I received my bowl of curry rice, I found out that I wasn't allowed to take photos (despite that I had already taken a bunch; HAR HAR HAR). I suppose that's alright, but then I realized that that's the first restaurant I've ever been to that didn't allow photos. Innnnteresting? I can understand a bakery or food shop banning photography (not that I find it any less annoying), but I never thought about a restaurant having the same rule. Yeah, I know the rule exists (other people have told me about restaurants not allowing them to take photographs, perhaps to the point that the proprietor crazily berates them), but I'm somewhat brainless and didn't think about it. Hohum. Maybe I should start a list of places in NYC that don't allow photos so no one gets into trouble. My list is really short so if you have any contributions, let me know.
Ohhh, I should talk about the food, eh? It's hard for me to rate curry rice since I love just about every kind of curry and rice combination you could scrap together (although preferably, it wouldn't actually be scrapped together; that sounds kinda untasty), so I'll just say that if you like curry and rice, you'll like their...steaming hot bowl of curry rice. The curry is thinner than most Japanese curry I've had and is of a green/yellow color rather than brown. The sauce coated every little fat, chewy grain of rice in the bowl, which I wasn't expecting (it gave me less work to do since I didn't have to mix anything...oh yeah, I've reached the epitome of laziness). Chunks of potato, carrot, and onion were mixed with the curry, along with a garnish of chopped green onion. That's some tasty stuff.
With my check, I was given a 3 ounce shot glass of...yellow liquid. Hm. Umm. Being one to eat things without having to know of their origins (I predict that I'll die of eating a poisoning substance that looks like cake), I sipped the glass. Firt impressions: not pee, not tea! Kind of sweet. Tastes like...honey! I figure it's a Korean thing, but beyond that have absolutely no idea what it is. Had I not been in a rush, I would've asked the waitress...but ye know, my brain works at half-speed (of a goldfish).
So. That was an interesting lunch. I'd go back to Temple if I had an insane Korean food craving, but that rarely happens. The food is pretty healthy and it's a good deal for less than $10. Hopefully the angry cellphone guy isn't a regular customer.
Posted by roboppy at 2:02 PM
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