The Boyfriend left work early last night and took me to Samovar Tea Lounge in Hayes Valley for a light dinner. He ordered the Russian Tea Service, which consisted of a devilled egg and caviar centerpiece surrounded by apple, pear, and Clementine slices, smoked salmon, tarragon-marinated beets, and crackers. They substituted his brownie with a crumble cake that seemed flavorless initially but yielded a surprisingly rich aftertaste. I ordered the Paleolithic Tea Service, which included smoked duck, steamed beets, carrots, kale, and a fragrant black Lychee tea. I enjoyed the beets and the devilled caviar egg most. The highlight of the meal, however, was the brown sugar that patrons are supposed to dispense in dainty amounts into their tea and that I proceeded to inhale straight from the bowl. Mind you, it was no regular brown sugar–it had this fascinating, poignant flavor that disappeared almost as soon as it hit my tongue, and I consumed many a spoonful trying to figure it out. The Boyfriend thinks it was cinnamon or allspice, but I’m not so sure.
tea service at Samovar Tea Lounge
After dinner, we went to Sundance Kabuki Cinema in Japantown to watch Rango, which turned out to be fun and surprisingly adult-oriented. The Boyfriend thought the imagery too creepy, and I thought the jokes, which included references to sexual promiscuity, gay rights, and “giblet” amputation, too risqué for younger kids. Additionally, I think Rango’s adult vocabulary (he actually described another character as “hirsute”), convoluted syntax, and self-deprecating soliloquies would have flown over the heads of most kids under age 14. And despite its happy ending, the movie had a more ominous vibe and showcased weightier social issues than anyone would have expected from a children’s animation film.