Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Anthony Bourdain goes to Sizzler

I have watched every episode of Bourdain's new CNN series Parts Unknown. The best episodes by far are Myanmar and Koreatown (Los Angeles). Here, Bourdain dines at a Sizzler. It's a chain restaurant known for its salad bar. When I was a kid in Southern California, you could get a steak dinner there for $7.99, which was not inexpensive. Hence, whenever I went there, it was always for a special occasion.

I remember once a family friend took me there. He was a hot shot with an E21 Alpina. We were going to have dinner there and then drive to the desert to catch Halley's Comet (remember that?). He insisted that I get the steak and shrimp meal. I felt like a king. In the eyes of a 12 year old, it was fancy.

There is still a Sizzler nearby. I have not been there for almost twenty years. Now that I have had some perspective, it's not exactly haute cuisine. But after watching this piece, nostalgia has hit me and I think I'll take my wife there next weekend. I promise not to enjoy it in an ironic, faux hipsterish kind of way.

And just as background, the guy in the red suit is an artist. He painted murals for Facebook's office back in 2005. He was paid in stocks (in lieu of $60,000 cash). Those stocks are now worth $200,000,000.

Skip to 16:26:

And here is a typical 1980s ad:


mtc said...

Sizzler! My god, the memories. We live in such an enlightened age now, gastronomically (and relatively) speaking.

Anonymous said...

Shit I left that comment on the wrong post, damn tabs!

Anyway, to keep a theme going...

Budweiser isn't terrible if it's very cold and you're very thirsty, but I like Pilsners--Urquell is much better, though.

Have you read Eddie Huang's book Fresh off the Boat? He's got a Vice food/travel series similar to who he calls "Uncle Tony" specializes in, superb stuff. His family is from China but fled to Taiwan with Kai-Shek--super interesting dude with a fascinating family story, definitely recommended viewing/reading.

Maxichamp said...

@mtc: I agree. My friends and I all lived solid middle class lives, and we actually thought Sizzler was about as good as it gets/got. We ate canned food and frozen pot pies. Now, I look back and just scratch my head about the whole experience.

Maxichamp said...

@Alan: Bud isn't that bad, and is even better than some microbrews I have had.

At our wedding, we had four beers: Anchor Steam, Pilsner Urquell, Yuengling Lager, and Kirin Ichiban.

I think you told me about Huang. I have not had a chance to read his stuff yet.

Rich said...

Our local Sizzler was a pre-exam study hall during college: Bottomless drinks, salad bar, and cheese toast. Can't get that in a cafe.

Thanks for posting that. Tonight's dinner may have to be at our go-to local tofu stew place.

steve-vh said...

check out Bourdain's trip to the US location of Jollibee's. Pinoy's can fill you in on what Jollibee's is

Maxichamp said...

@Rchen: Is this the one on San Pablo in Albany? When I was in school, my friend would treat me to a dinner there whenever he got paid from his waitering job at Fenton's.

What is your favorite Korean BBQ place in Oakland?

Maxichamp said...

@steve: I only tried Jolibee's once. I had the spaghetti and it was really sweet. Really sweet.