I wanted to have dinner at COCO500, where Jennifer Biesty, one of last year's competitors on Top Chef, worked, but she is no longer there and I can't find out where she is. It is a great eating city, and I'm sure we'll have at least one memorable meal.
I lived in
At Sam Wo's, you entered the narrow building through the kitchen and walked up the stairs to the second or third floors, which were the actual dining rooms. The object was to get seated on the second floor, where the waiter named Edsel Ford Fong ruled over the very few tables croweded with diners. He was a great floor show, and made a lasting impression on a lot of people. You can even look him up in Wikipedia. Herb Caen called him the world's rudest waiter. Robin Williams confessed in an article in TV Guide that he wanted to learn Chinese so he could go to Sam Wo's and confound Edsel Ford Fong, who "considered every occidental a challenge" in the words of one review from those days. One of these days, I will ask Harlan Ellison to ask Robin if he ever actually did this. It would have been a beautiful thing to behold.
On the night we were there with a group, the pretty young blond (not me--I was a brunette in those days) was shanghaied into setting the table and taking the order by Eddie. He would brandish a fist full of spoons in front of every occidental's face demanding "insurance?" I was always glad that I had mastered the use of chopsticks early in life.
Oh, yes. Dinner for 5 of us was $11 that night.
I hear the restaurant is still there, but Eddie is gone. I'm not sure the food has the draw of the entertainment.