Thursday, May 21, 2009

pop chefs

Hmm... what do we have here? Could it the Top Chef Cook-Off? Yes, indeed. Betty versus Stefan. Good versus Evil. Pigtails versus Bald. Who's got the skillz to pay the billz?

While Stefan and perhaps Betty (shudder) were chatting up food groupies who make Trekkies look cool, the rest of us were wined with some really cheap rubbing alcohol that was passing itself off as Chardonnay and Cabernet Savignon. Sure, I drained my glass. I had to figure out why it tasted so damn bad. After three glasses, I realized, it's just really bad wine.

The Cook-Off was a marketing tool for the mediocre restaurants at The Grove. The amuse bouches, or whatever the plural for that term is, perhaps it's just les amuse bouche?, from Whisper Lounge was surprisingly good. It could be the "chardonnay" talking, but the Wagu bite bit me like a mad cow with that smoky, clean, salt, blood and fat flavor that distinguishes a great bite of beef. The carrot cake and tuna tartare were spoon fillers and nothing more.

Two fat pillows of pasta from Maggiano's. These obese twins were stuffed with chicken and cavorting in a cream sauce. Obscenity in pasta form. There oughta be a law against this kind of thing. It was rather tasty though.

Stefan stormed the stage like Wolfgang Puck meets Howard Stern. Betty was there doing her Marianne Faithful meets Little Steven impersonation.

Before his ass got to pot handling, Stefan joked several times, "I'm just going to go smoke a cigarette now." Clearly, he has not got over criticism of his perceived arrogance in leaving the semi-finale for a few smoke breaks instead of thickening his roux. I pity the foux who don't thicken their roux!

Stefan and Betty were supposed to cook for an hour and much as we love Top Chef, this fan needed dinner. Elan was there supporting Betty. Even more reason to flee the Cook-Off.

Under the influence of the "chardonnay", Lisa and I made our way like Manchurian candidates to Whisper Lounge. With a cheesy name like this, it's no surprise that I once saw Andy Dick here. However, I had never eaten here before. But now, I was DUI (dining under the influence) and the beet salad with steak was quite lovely.

The shrimp and scallop was also pretty solid. Dipping the grilled bread in this lemony garlicy sauce was the best part of the meal.

We decided we needed mussels too. These were odd with chunks of potatoes and some smoky slices of sausage. We didn't finish this skillet but it wasn't bad.

This one scoop (two spoonfuls) of gelato cost $6. I wanted to get two scoops but was overruled. Will I ever eat food at Whisper Lounge again? Doubtful. But I'm glad I tried it.

Whisper Lounge on Urbanspoon


  1. I took someone's ressie to this event.. and then didn't show up. yup, that's how we flake.

  2. That's terrible Tony, but you didn't miss much.

  3. stefan was an ass in the show. LOVE top chef.