NYC Weekend: Great Meat…. Crappy Musicals

You know that saying – if something is too good to be true, it probably is? That’s how I’ve felt ever since I stumbled upon a deal for tickets to Bring It On: the Musical on Broadway for less than $40 a seat, a good 80% cheaper than a lot of Broadway tickets. But I thought that Legally Blonde: the Musical would be bad too and it turned out to be okay. Actually, I think when I saw it I thought it was too cheesetastic even for me but after a season of watching wannabe Broadway stars compete for a chance to be the new Elle Woods on Broadway, I added a good portion of the songs to my workout mix.

In any case, I figured if we were going to trek into the city, we might as well make a night of it and stay for dinner. While searching tumblr blogs to find the perfect place for dinner I stumbled upon Casey’s review of Takashi. She had me sold by her title of “Adventurous Eaters Only” but I became absolutely dead set when the review then went on to say that Anthony Bourdain called it his favorite new restaurant.

Since (as you know) Ryan and I both worship at the temple of Anthony Bourdain, there wasn’t even a thought about trying anywhere else after that. Takashi doesn’t take reservations for parties of less than four so I was adamant about getting there right when it opened at 5:30. We were running a little late and ended up getting there closer to 6 and scoring the last of the 2 seaters (at the bar). 15 minutes into our dinner we could hear the hostess telling couples that the wait was now 2 hours. Woah. What is pretty cool is that if you show up and find you need to wait, the hostess takes your number and actually calls you when it’s time for you to head back over to the restaurant. Much better than waiting in line for hours or getting one of those crappy buzzing devices that has a working radius of 5 feet.

Complementary starters of salad, kim chee, and bean sprouts.

We did a lot of blog research before showing up so we were ready with our appetizer choices before we even walked in the door. Just so you know, Casey’s review wasn’t kidding by stating “adventurous eaters only” as evidenced by the first item on the menu: Calf’s brain cream (in a tube) with blinis and caviar.

We decided on:

Niku Uni – chuck flap topped with sea urchin and fresh wasabi

Yooke – thinly-sliced chuck eye tartare in special sauce

Stewed Beef Tendon Casserole – this was a request from Ryan that I was not interested in having. And it completely blew me away by how good it was. Possibly my favorite dish of the night.

When it came time to pick our grilling meats (they bring you raw meats for you to grill yourself), we were at a loss. We wanted to be adventurous but didn’t know what was both adventurous and good. So we decided to leave it in the hands of our waitress (whom was a complete ninja the entire night, empty dishes magically disappeared under her sly ways). We weren’t impressed by her first suggestions, which were the most popular dishes of the restaurant: short ribs, rib eye, and beef shoulder. B-O-R-I-N-G. But I’m including them here in case the thought of eating a heart makes you faint.

Nevertheless, when Ninja Waitress saw we were not impressed by the popular items, she recommended tongue, heart, and cheeks. Sold.

They were all really good. In order of preference, I liked the tongue the most, followed by the heart and then the cheeks. Ryan liked it the exact opposite, so clearly a matter of personal preference.

We also ordered the Bakudan (a rice-bomb with Korean seaweed and pickled sesame leaf) and the scallion vinaigrette salad.

All in all a great dinner.

And so happy and stuffed we headed off to Bring it On: the Musical. And…. Um…. So I don’t think I have a huge readership of 16-year-old girls, but if you are one, go see it. With a group of your girl friends. And get dressed up. And let your dad bring a friend with him when he chaperons you all so he’s not lonely. Because these girls, dressed to the nines, and walking into the theater singing songs from the musical that they had already memorized. These girls looked like they had the time of their lives. But I thought it was horrible. The plot was dumb. The singers from the X-factor 100x better than the singers on stage. And no catchy songs. Oh, and it’s not based on the actually Bring it On in case you were wondering. I kept waiting for… “Brr…. It’s cold in here, there must be some Toros in the atmosphere….” No dice.

But on the other hand it really did seem like Ryan and I were the only ones not cracking up at any of the “funny” parts. Oohing and Aahing when the girl and boy get together. Jumping up to give a standing ovation at the end. Maybe we are just hard to please…. Maybe especially me…

Ryan: That was so horrible. The songs sucked and the plot was stupid, they just tried to build a musical around the idea of going to a cheerleading competition.

Sonja: Don’t even get me started on that cheerleading competition. That was the most fictitious thing I ever saw. Just their uniforms alone broke a good number of the rules and regulations governed by the National Federation!

Ryan: And that’s my cue to stop listening to you.

Sonja: These things matter!

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