Friday, May 13, 2011

random moments at the rice paper scissors pop up


i had a bit of a surreal experience this evening. i ran into AB's man at the rice paper scissors pop up.




we've met a couple of times and i've had dinner with them before they officially became a couple. he's in the industry. i thought he was cool before but these days i think he's great....especially because he appreciates AB. he's got good taste in the ladies.

yet, the topic of the blog has never come up.

probably because i usually don't talk about it.

AB, obviously, knows about the blog but i don't know if he knows. then it turned into a further odd moment when AB's man invited me to share his table....with industry. i had already put in my order for the bun bo hue...


and they were waiting for additional people to show up...more industry people....when they invited me. now, i think anyone that reads me usually knows what my MO is when there are industry people around.

i avoid them.

well, i obviously don't avoid the hapa ramen crew or folks like AB, who i have known for a long time. but usually, i scamper in the opposite direction when my foodie hunter sense tells me industry is nearby. quickly. yet, this was one of those weird moments where it would have been absolutely incredibly rude to not accept joining the table. so i just sucked it up and joined the table with my soup. their orders would come later.

i must also confess that i also showed up to the pop up with my own mam ruoc hue (fermented shrimp paste).

this is a pic of the jar i have at home...i didn't bring this jar in the pic...i put a rather large tablespoon into an small empty jar and brought it with me. please ignore how this translates into "fish sauce" on this label. whatever. it is shrimp paste. this is a condiment that i usually enjoy with my bun bo hue...and i was willing to bet that the rice paper scissors folks weren't going to have that on hand....and i didn't feel like asking for it. it is also an ingredient in the bun bo hue stock btw. bun bo hue stock usually is a combo of pork, beef (bones, hock, + meat) with added mam ruoc hue and nuoc mam as accents. yet, i figured it is just easier to bring it with me and would be unreasonable to expect them to have it on hand since they were setting up in a temporary space where they would have to bring everything in. while having mam ruoc hue on hand for bun bo hue....is as typical as having the sriracha and hoisin on the table when you are eating pho in the states....i didn't think most people coming to their pop up tonight would be asking for it.

you can always figure out who is the passionate and curious cook by the questions they ask. AB's man was curious about the paste and took me up on my offer of tasting my bowl of bun bo hue when i added it. see? this is further evidence that he is good people. on the flip side, in general conversations with folks....you can tell who doesn't cook a lot...or doesn't seek out to have an extended archive on tastes, textures, or various building blocks of flavor.

fascinating.

just fascinating.

i did feel a bit like an interloper though. i know how most industry folks feel about "bloggers" and there was only one person that had the potential to know that i am one while the rest did not. so i slurped through my soup as quickly as possible. i asked a couple very polite and innocuous questions of the other people in between the slurps.....mentally deleted any and all statements from the foodie hunter short term memory bank that didn't come from AB's man in between the slurps...dodged some pictures being taken of the industry folks i just happened to be sharing a table with....then said my good bye's to AB's man with a promise to see and eat what he's cooking up soon (which i was always planning to do btw)....and then scampered out....as fast as my cowardly interloper ass could take me.

as i waited for muni to head home, i texted AB to let her know that i ran into her man. i also just kind of shook my head at the experience. i'm pretty certain i wasn't rude...which ...really was the most important thing to me. i definitely did not want to be disrespectful to AB's man.

the whole experience though reminded me what a small town san francisco is sometimes.

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