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[Comments] (3) Squid Ink: A while ago Sumana and I found out that the squid ink used to dye pasta is taken from the ink sacks of dead squids. Previously we had naively imagined that it was extracted like milk from a cow. Like you'd put a bunch of squid in a tank, and suddenly hold up a picture of a thresher shark. Oh no! Water full of squid ink. Move the squids to another tank and distill the inky water into squid ink for pasta. That doesn't really make sense if you think about it. There's no real point to putting squid ink in food except for aesthetics' sake, so we stopped eating stuff with squid ink.

I bring this up now because there's an Italian deli on Valencia I've always wanted to go into, and today we were there when it was open and we did go into it and they had little bags of squid ink for sale. We were on Valencia to have a dinner to celebrate my newfound unemployment. We ate at the fittingly-named Last Supper Club, which was tasty. Sumana liked it more than I did. I would probably have liked it more if we'd had a cheese course instead of dessert: I really had my eye on the gorgonzola fondue.

The first time we ate on Valencia it was at an Italian restaurant called Bistro Annex. I got suckered by the romantic candles on the tables. It was not good eats, though apparently it's a spin-off of Watercress, which we've been to and liked. Bistro Annex had subcontracted their desserts to a dessert company, and the dessert company had printed up a dessert menu that was a lot flashier than the main menu. It was, I realize, disturbingly like Brendan's restaurant that instead of having a kitchen just goes to other restaurants to fulfil your order.

Basically we should have gone to the Salvadorean restaurant next door. We still haven't been to that restaurant, but it probably would have been pretty good.

Anyway, I have just recently started to really observe restaurant kitchens. The neatest thing at Last Supper Cafe was how they cook the pasta. They have deep-fryer machines full of water which they occasionally top off from a pot set under a barely dripping tap. To cook a bunch of spaghetti they drop it into the basket of the deep fryer. When it's done they pull out the basket and reuse the boiling water. It's probably some specialized $600 pasta-boiling machine but it basically looks like a deep fryer full of water instead of oil.


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