Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tamarind Tree

My attempt at artistic photography...yeah.

Every few months I get together with a group of women with whom I went through high school. (Notice how I didn't end my sentence with a preposition there? I had to retype it after putting "who I went to high school with." I am SO edumacated.) We usually refer to ourselves as the high school girls, which is kind of stupid since the youngest of us is 39 and 1/3. Anyway, we went to a great upscale Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown last night. It was so fabulous! So I thought I'd give you the whole run down.

First I went to Jill's house and hung out with her for a little while since we weren't meeting until 6:30 and I didn't want to sit at school that long. This is her vicious, man-eating, Wild Dog of Borneo, Lucy.

Okay, she's not like this in real life. I caught her mid-yawn. She's actually very nice. Part whippet and part who knows. She tends to get a little excited and barks and jumps when I come over to visit (not just me, everybody gets the happy dog treatment.) My only complaint is that my elbows and knees must taste really good, because she licks them whenever given the opportunity. I can't verify how my elbows taste, as I am not double jointed. However, my knees weren't very tasty the last time I checked.

Calm down, I'm kidding.

So this is Lucy in real life:

I couldn't get the reflection out of her eyes. Apparently the red eye correction only works for eyes that are actually red, not green. Make a note of that. Now, imagine she has soft, brown eyes. Ooohhh, Ahhhhh, Ohhhhhh.

After a while we went to go pick up Nancy from work (we are carpooling queens!) and then went over to the Tamarind Tree restaurant in the International District of Seattle. If I had to get there on my own, I NEVER would have found it. It's tucked up in a back corner of the downtown version of a strip mall. Apparently, everyone else knew where it was because it was packed. We met our friends Erin and Kathy there and about passed out when we saw Kathy's hair. 

This is what her hair typically does. It is short and has tight little curls all over. It's actually longer than this now. This picture is from our senior year in high school. I photographed it out of my old yearbook. I am pretty sure I will be dead when she sees this. So if you should come upon my decapitated and possibly mutilated body, you'll know who to arrest. Anyway, she had her hair cut and asked her hairdresser to blow it out.

So last night it looked like this:

We were all in amazement, never having seen it all long and flowing and soft before. So of course we all had to pet it and play with it repeatedly. It was kind of warm in the restaurant so as the night went on it started to get curlier and she even had a few ringlets back by the end. Which explains why she doesn't do this more often: all that time and effort to look good for five seconds before it all curls up again? Not worth it. But so cute! And she was wearing her chic retro dress and boots. She put the rest of us to shame! Although, we all looked hot. We always do!

Everyone was starving, so we ordered some spring rolls to share. These had shrimp and pork, the other kind was tofu. They were both good, but it's really the sauce that makes them. They are kind of boring otherwise.

This is our waiter, Conrad. He was very kind and had a gentle spirit. Plus, he was very good looking, as you can see. He put up with our craziness and let me take his picture for internet land.

I had to use the restroom, so I went in and it seemed that someone else was in there. I looked under the stalls for feet, but didn't see any. It still felt like someone was in there with me. I peed and got out of there quickyer. (This is a new word used by the group. Our first one was "whoremouth." Don't ask.) So, of course, I decided that the bathroom must be haunted. It seemed awfully pretty to be haunted, but it sure felt that way. Can you see any ghosts?

All I can see is a paper towel that didn't make it in the trash.

Of course the next time I went in a "ghost" from my table had to stick their head in and whisper my name. My friends are so thoughtful.

When it came time to order, I was feeling very clueless. Everything sounded good but nothing was really speaking to me. So I just ordered something off of the page I was on, which was the "Specialty" page, which meant wraps, I guess. I still couldn't decide, so I ended up getting two entrees. Not two appetizers, mind you, but two full sized entrees. My reasoning was that I couldn't decide between two, so I'd get both. I thought I could take leftovers home for the next day.

I chose the Tamarind Crepe, which was much bigger than I imagined. It was fried and full of bean sprouts and pork, shrimp, mushrooms and other yummy stuff. It came with a giant plate of lettuce and basil to wrap it up in and then I dipped it in the sauce. Once again, the sauce made the meal. So yummy. This kind of reminded me of an egg foo yung recipe my mom used to make when we were kids. Only about a million times better.

My second entree I actually ordered because it included sweet potato fries, which I love. It was called crunchy shrimp or something like that. Again you are supposed to wrap and dip. On this one you can see the lettuce and stuff. I felt like I was supporting a small farm with the amount of greens I'd received.

The best part was definitely the fries. They were tempura battered and quickly cooked. SO GOOD! I just ate the fries (after dipping them in the sauce, of course) and let other people have the shrimp, though, yes, I ate some of them, too. I am a pig. But did I mention it was SO GOOD! I didn't realize until they came that neither of these items would do well as leftovers. So I HAD to eat both.

As for the normal people who only ordered one dinner, Nancy and Jill both ordered Chili Lemongrass Beef Noodles, which they inhaled.

And Kathy and Erin ordered the same thing as well. But when I asked them what it was they both said, "I don't know." Okay... So here's a picture of something yummy.

Do you see the small round thing on the left side? It is a piece of sugar cane with some fried dough wrapped around it. I guess you're just supposed to eat the dough part. It was so cool! I've never seen anything like it before. They both said their meal was great. (Again, please excuse the blurry pics. I'm thinking I need a camera upgrade.)

Being a true glutton, I decided that since I'd already eaten two dinners, I might as well get dessert. All semblance of moderation was gone anyhow. So Jill and I both ordered roasted coconut ice cream.

The texture was really funky as it had little bits of ice all through it. Very good though. People were getting tired of me taking pictures before they could eat, so I didn't get a pic of the banana cake or flan that was ordered. Though it all looked very good.

Jill finished up with a Vietnamese coffee. 

The little metal container was like a mini French Press for the coffee, and there was sweetened condensed milk in the cup to be stirred all together. I'm not a coffee person, but it sounded and smelled delicious.

Overall we had a terrific time. I would definitely go here again, now that I can find it. The next time, though, I want to sit up on the little stage area so I can be famous-er than I already am.

See, here are the famous stage people, and a shot of Conrad's butt. Enjoy!


  1. Thank you! It was all that I could have wished for and more. Felt like I was really there.

    That Lucy picture really had me scared for a minute, thought she was going to come out of the screen and BITE me. Good thing it was mid yawn. By the way, I can attest to the lovely taste of your elbows! LOL

    Glad you had fun, when do I get to come have fun with you?

  2. You make me laugh!

    Thanks for the giggle. :-)


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