La Comida Loca: Fat and Very Nice

Scenes from a Marriage, 1974

En Español

“Why can’t we be big and fat and good-tempered?“

Does anyone remember that line from “Scenes from a Marriage”? Does anyone watch old Ingmar Bergman films anymore?

On some Mission days I think about Liv Ullman’s question to her fictional husband.

Tuesday started with lunch at the Local Mission Eatery on 24th Street, a place where I once ate dinner standing up — happily.  We ordered what we thought of as a light lunch: chicken and tomato and avocado salads.

We read the menu wrong because the salads turned out to be sandwiches, on grilled, crunchy, perfect bread.

Mmm, time for carb triage — the side of potato salad would go to Mimi. But then I made the mistake of tasting it. No matter that I knew my husband and I planned to try Beast and the Hare on its opening night, Mimi got none but her own potato salad.

The space the Beast occupies on 22nd and Guerrero is a corner spot that has eluded success since Mangia closed many years ago.

“The waiters are meant to look scruffy,” Mark said. The walls, unadorned, are a very deep blue. It’s minimalist except for the tatted waiters.

We kept to small plates: pickles, pulled pork with frisee, fried cauliflower, sautéed greens, shredded beet and fennel salad. It was all, as my sister-in-law Deb would say, delish. The couple across from us vouched for the ravioli in broth.

From the moment I looked at the menu, I wanted the Basque cake for dessert. Any hint of a separatist battle on a menu deserves to be tried, and Mark agreed to share it.

What can I say? A fork fight ensued.

I came home and looked up Liv Ullman’s full line of dialogue.

“Sometimes everything seems utterly pointless. Why should we grudge ourselves all the good things in the world? Why can’t we be big and fat and good-tempered? Just think how nice it would make us….”

Filed under: Food, Front Page

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