Chino Latino and the Pineapple Affair !

This weekend saw BigB, me, MGirl and MBoy make our way to Chino Latino, a trendy bar and restaurant in the Uptown area in Minneapolis.

Now, CL is so hip, that they dont advertise their name on the outside, being fronted only by a silver-gold shimmery facade and a scary black industrial-type door, the one which you know will lead to a darkened warehouse with chains and meat hooks gleaming from the ceilings , the type in the movies that people enter but never leave alive (aside: do the restaurant industry get a discount on these doors?? after the movie's over ?? because lately I see them everywhere) .... and, of course, being trendy means that the average wait time for a table is anywhere from an hour to longer.

Not that I was bothered by any of the above, it was our first visit to the place, after hearing about it from the M's who love it. So, I was enjoying myself, the company was good, I loved the atmosphere of the place, some faux-bamboo seating for that oriental feel, the bright art and colors on the walls, the urban crowds, the full bar, the idea that all the food was meant to be shared so every entree was for 3 people or more ...

What I didnt enjoy was the level of noise in the place, I heard only 1 word in every 10, and that was before the music started. And the food was underwhelming and expensive. So we had the popocateppe, which in the tradition of messy American finger foods, were fries piled high with black beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole, some fried plantains, Brazilian empanadas (bars and fried food, what can I say) and Phillipine paella. All so-so. The paella was good but the only thing Asian about it was that it contained spring onions. And the least they could have done after making us pay through the nose for it was to use saffron, but they used annato. Hmph, cheapos!!! The cocktails were yummy, inventively named though, I loved the caipirinha and my flirtini a pineapple, champagne and vodka martini. Now, all woould have been well, if only we hadnt ordered a drink which was delivered in a honking big pineapple, the cynosure of all eyes as it made it's winding way to our table and the waitress announced the name in the middle of the only lull all night long - El Orgazmo ... aarghh!

Ordinarily, the pineapple thing would have bothered me quite a bit, but not that night (is it just me, or would anyone else have been embarassed too??). See, B's nickname for me is Tiny, I'm an average Indian woman, my height is .... average, for an Indian woman that is (5'3" if you must know). But, that night, I had on my 4" heels, had already made a very drunk male who got a little too close extremely sorry by stepping innocently on his instep and while still nowhere in the range of B's rarefied stratosphere, the personality of the AmazonPapaya did not include shy and retiring from any angle. So, I laughed it off and continued having a great time, until later when I told B about my 'slight' embarassment. And he decided I was nuts. With a capital N.

Needless to say, the evening didnt end as well as it began :(


Smita said...


Unfortunately all the dishes you have talked about have gone over my head n brain ;-)

But I would say that your stepping on that drunk man's foot, serves him right :)

And to add on to it I don't fall in the avg height bracket, am short :)

samir said...

LOL, loved your post. Could have told you my views on expensive US restaurant/bar food (never mind, I think I already did once before.)
Hmm. Minneapolis, and a bar; now could that "well-mannered" gent have been; no let it be, do not want to get sued by the Republicans.

couchpapaya said...

smita - i've been called short all my life. shouldt it be un-PC to mention that word ... do we not bleed .... and all that? :D

samir - this place has street food from all over the world. i'm hoping we made some wrong choices because the items on the menu sound seriously delish. btw, who do u mean?? racked my brains and cant figure it out :(

Smita said...

Nah! I don't bleed. I say good things come in small pacakages ;-)

BTW I forgot to add, noice in a restaurant bugs me when I enter it but later everything besides foos ceases to exist :)

samir said...

HeHeHe, don't fret; just taking a potshot at the merry old GOPers and their convention in Minneapolis.

Mama - Mia said...

what a pity it didnt taste as good as it sounded!!

now i know when M tells me, you should travel the world just to taste so many different kinds of food! :)

4 inch heels? seriously?? i would like a regular giantess with those on!! :( and have a killer backache if i manage to stand on em for about 37secs! sigh!



couchpapaya said...

smita - oh ya i understand, tho this time it was the drinks not the food which distracted me :) i love ur philosophy, will take it to heart ... or atleast until the next time i go into a store and find some top to luuuurve but whose waist will reach my ass the minit i try it on :(

samir - ahhhh yes, those were a fun couple of days arnd here :)

abha - knowing the foodie u are, u'd enjoy it tremendously. my feet werent in a great state, maybe that's why the evening ended as it did. but, it's good to blame it on someone else isnt it :P

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