Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chips Are For Plates (Not My Shoulder)

Every time I walk into a restaurant new to me, I'm interested, alert, alive.  What're they going to have that I'm going to love?  (Even though 90% of the time I've Googled their menu.)  "This is going to be an adventure!" has never deserted me.

If I didn't like the food/place/service, I just don't go back for more abuse.  Occasionally circumstances (namely Richie) conspire against me.  In this case, it was a return to Aimee's Bistro, 800 S. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach  310-316-1081

Aimee's has been in this location for the past 17 years; we must have last visited 15 years ago.  Aimee herself greeted us rather brusquely; she was trying to do three things at once -- direct servers, shoot dirty looks at the chef and seat us. 

Since her English had a French accent, I addressed her in French.  She ignored me.  Her attention was elsewhere.  By the end of the meal, I'd concluded she was, perhaps, a bit hard of hearing.  Almost nothing on her menu appealled (due equally I'm sure to our reception and the fact that I don't eat innards, fish or lamb.)

With Bastille Day approaching, Himself decided he wanted to go French.  As in Aimee's Bistro.  I pulled up the menu and decided on escargot and a Caesar salad. 

Aimee was nowhere to be seen, but a woman who could have been her daughter (but wasn't - I asked) was in charge.  Our waitress was from Russia, a young dumpling of a woman with a small nose set above a tiny, rosebud mouth.  She had absolutely beautiful skin.  She spoke English quite well. 
This is lemon-cured shrimp with diced peach, mango, red and yellow tomatoes and glazed avocado on a thin slice of cucumber.  Sprinkle brown sugar on the avocado and torch it for a crust. 

These are the escargots.  Billed as having the traditional garlic sauce, these had a lemon front taste with a faintly garlic back taste.  The dish looks yellow because of the Parmesan cheese topping!  They were different, but acceptable unless the real deal is available.  

I finally figured out that when a Caesar is served like this, it's okay to pick up a leaf by the stem end and daintily nibble on the lettuce.  Who knew?

Richie's entree - filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus and a potato galette as decor. 

Drinks and dinner $130 with a $22 tip.

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