Log out, still cute.

Why is it that people are willing to spend $20 on a bowl of pasta with sauce that they might actually be able to replicate pretty faithfully at home, yet they balk at the notion of a white-table cloth Thai restaurant, or a tacos that cost more than $3 each? Even in a city as “cosmopolitan” as New York, restaurant openings like Tamarind Tribeca (Indian) and Lotus of Siam (Thai) always seem to elicit this knee-jerk reaction from some diners who have decided that certain countries produce food that belongs in the “cheap eats” category—and it’s not allowed out. (Side note: How often do magazine lists of “cheap eats” double as rundowns of outer-borough ethnic foods?)

Yelp, Chowhound, and other restaurant sites are littered with comments like, “$5 for dumplings?? I’ll go to Flushing, thanks!” or “When I was backpacking in India this dish cost like five cents, only an idiot would pay that much!” Yet you never see complaints about the prices at Western restaurants framed in these terms, because it’s ingrained in people’s heads that these foods are somehow “worth” more. If we’re talking foie gras or chateaubriand, fair enough. But be real: You know damn well that rigatoni sorrentino is no more expensive to produce than a plate of duck laab, so to decry a pricey version as a ripoff is disingenuous. This question of perceived value is becoming increasingly troublesome as more non-native (read: white) chefs take on “ethnic” cuisines, and suddenly it’s okay to charge $14 for shu mai because hey, the chef is ELEVATING the cuisine.

2 on

Can’t stop listening to this jam!  I’m obsessed, beats and babes for days.  Tinashe and DJ Mustard are fire!  


Tender(loin) Is the Night. The stars of San Francisco drag’s gritty frontier

This is the Tenderloin. Crime rates here are 35 times higher than anywhere else in the city. But inside Aunt Charlie’s — which is long and low-ceilinged and as warm as a throat — there’s the serenity of cheap booze. It’s the last gay bar in the neighborhood and a favorite watering hole for men from nearby SROs and rent-controlled apartments. There’s Cowboy Bob in his big white Stetson; bug-eyed Eddie swaying to the jukebox; Jerry, a cigar store Indian come to life. By 9 p.m., most of the regulars have rotated out for the prime-time crowd there for the drag show.

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