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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Living on the Edge

It’s true. I still bend to peer pressure even though I am old enough to know better. Or SHOULD know better. But sometimes I relent when I hear the words, “Live on the Edge!" or "Stop being a fuddy duddy!” It is kind of like someone calling Marty McFly a chicken in the movie "Back to the Future." It is like there is a secret hypnotic word that can make a person do things they know they shouldn't. But they do.

My friend has a quest to try all the 100 restaurants in the bay area that were featured in the San Francisco Chronicle’s listing of the “Top 100 Restaurants in the Bay Area”. So, off we go to Berkeley (since that is now where I seem much of my free time these days).

Before the adventure, I went to Yelp to find out more about this restaurant. Over and over again the reviews mentioned the fantastic and wonderful RAW chicken. Yes, RAW! I told myself there was NO WAY I was going to eat that. I mean, I do have some scruples and standards.

So, we are the restaurant and our waitress is guiding us through the menu, explaining the Japanese characters and ingredients. She is VERY persuasive about trying things outside of our comfort zone. (My comfort zone is usually limited to the English vocabulary, but here we were in what looked like Japan).

So, my friend orders the raw chicken dish.
When it arrived it has a raw egg yolk on top of this chopped up chicken mixed with herbs. She breaks the yolk, stirs it up, and voila, it now looks exactly like tuna tartar.

She takes out the chop sticks and grabs a glob of the stuff and puts it in her mouth. She smacks her lips and does that “hmmm” sound over and over and over again with each bite. It was getting annoying.

Between her “humm” sounds she would say things like, “You have lost your mojo and are stuck in your comfort zone. Where is you sense of adventure? Have you forgotten how to live on the edge??? You should try this.”

That did it.

I took my chopstick and stole a piece of her raw chicken and put it in my mouth, chewing it very, very slowly.

The sound “hmmm” involuntarily left my lips.

It was wonderful. It tasted exactly like tuna tartar. No kidding.