Thursday, May 7, 2009

Andalucia, Yaesu

Yeeeessss, one place wasn't enough for all the conversation we had to get through, so Preacher and I strolled around debating what to do, finding no particular place where we wanted to settle in after eating so much at Hanaya. A few blocks passed before we found ourselves in front of Kavach and the ill-starred Andalucia, site of an unfortunate nijikai last year. In an effort to erase bad memories, I suggested a plate of pork and a nibble of sherry; the outside table was available, so we plopped down and ordered up.


Andalucia is part of the little 'Spain Club' group, which also includes similarly-authentic shops in such far-flung locations as Tsukishima (honten), Kioicho, Omia, Shimokita and...er...Monzennakacho. While I have recently had great reason to doubt my capacity for spotting authenticity (or at least some evidence that I'm a sucker for chain-manufactured verisimilitude), the atmosphere at these places is appealingly tiled, stuccoed and wooded. You'll like it.

The thing that they really do well, of course, is pork. Big platters of the stuff, bursting with fatty flavor! OK, not so much, because serving 'big platters' is distinctly un-Japanese (unless they're covered with vegetables intended for the nabe). But they sure do a good line in it. Being after dinner, we just nibbled (1) through a few plates - one of Bellota, the fed-on-acorns Spanish pork, and another of sliced sausages, including a marvelously earthy and somewhat feral chorizo. I like chorizo.

Beverages come in all shapes and sizes, most notably including a large range of sherries, but also including glasses of whatever you want, and bottles of it too. Other food items look good, and Preacher asked for a special note to say that he enjoyed the little breadsticks and soft cheese that come with the table charge. Service is really very pleasant; I have a feeling they'd be happy to discourse at length on the food if that was your thing. On the whole, the Spain Clubs are a good thing, and every so authentic!


So deliciously true to the Spirit of Spain!
03-5299-4361


(1) I can't say the word 'nibble' without thinking of the first scene of Farewell, My Lovely, where Marlowe meets Moose Malloy and Moose says "Let's you and me go on up and maybe nibble a couple." This sounds like I'm funnin' ya, what with the Mooses and all, but F,ML is one of the better of Raymond Chandler's ouevre, and Raymond Chandler would have to be in my top 5 favorite authors (2). Actually, he didn't write enough long fiction to produce anything bad, so pretty much any of the books is a classic in its own way (as long as you like LA crime fiction).


(2) As long as we're just chatting casually, who else would I include, you ask? What comes to mind is John Steinbeck, Wright Morris, and Ray Bradbury. I think all 4 of them share an idealistic, dreamy quality that appeals to the escapist reader in me, as well as a patriotism that appeals to the American (even when they're writing about life on Mars. Seriously.). #5, I'll have to think about (3).


(3) I thought about it, and it's Kurt Vonnegut. How could I forget that? Vonnegut is funny because he manages to be dreamy and abstract using nothing but short sentences and direct descriptions, and of course he has that tired, tired worldview. So he's sorta like Hemmingway, but not a dick.

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