Saturday, February 05, 2005

Fusion Cuisine

"Fusion cuisine" is just another word for 'experimental.' Notice that 'fusion cuisine' only happens in snooty, trendy date restaurants that want you to have a 'dining experience' rather than 'dinner.'

And just to be clear, "pan-asian" is another word for 'not asian.' It's a way for white people to have asian-like food that's prepared by one asian chef and his mexican assistants all using french techniques so that the white restauranteurs can ensure that their clientele be completely free of asians.

Somebody in Seattle thought it was a good idea in the 90s, and white folks flocked to the snooty pan-asian restaurants they were told to enjoy. The most evil was "Obachine" owned by Barbara Lazaroff, wife of Wolfgang Puck. She had a racist painting of an effeminate chinaman in a kimono sipping tea while sitting on a crate. When asian groups asked her to take it down, she said "my asian friends in california don't mind it!" and then left it up as a first amendment issue.

I never walked by that restaurant without flipping off the customers in the front window, saying "RACIST! RACIST! RACIST! RACIST!" One time, a white woman coming down the street in the other direction with her baby in a stroller looked me straight in the eye as we passed and said, "I agree!" Here's a link to the NW Asian Weekly article.

Luckily, most of those pan-asian places in Seattle have closed by now. Some noteable exceptions are Wild Ginger (which didn't even have a chinese soup spoon when I asked), Blowfish Cafe (where the waiter looked my friend and I in the face and explained to us how to order 'family style), and Wasabi Bistro (whose rolls FALL APART).

Sigh. It's Saturday and I have to go in to work, first for a three hour meeting, and then to chaperone a dance. GRRRRRRRR.

Clarification: 'Fusion' cuisine is experimental and original. Sometimes, it's even good. 'Pan-asian' cuisine might also be tasty sometimes, but it is always infuriating. In either case, if either phenomenon happened at a diner or low end eatery, you'd throw it in your server's face. Somehow, it's only acceptible if you're paying too much.


Anonymous said...

I sooooo agree with you my love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ding said...

oooh, then the next time we are in chicago together i will not foist sushi samba rio on you.

it's from new york (which explains alot). it's supposed to be the hottest thing since crap and while i liked my lunch there (because i was getting toasted in the middle of the day and i wasn't paying for it) it's ... gruesome. who the fuck decided that sushi and latin american food 'style' went together?

and if i want a piece of crap sushi named after chicago...well, 'nuff said there. (it had cream cheese in it!!!)

DC Food Blog said...

Preach it!