Being that today is the day for announcements – well, I thought the day would never happen but I’m engaged. My significant other Ned, hails from the grassy hills of New Zealand and we met when he was on tour with his movie ‘Black Sheep’ at the Toronto Film Festival. We didn’t hit it off right away – I thought he seemed a bit gamey and he thought I was a bit of a cold fish. And while I actually love all forms of mutton and could eat it everyday, I never really considered dating one. Yes, some of you may consider me a speciest and I’m prepared to deal with the onslaught of criticisms. Like fellow offender Sung who has posted about how dating preferences and family don’t mix, I too have a mother who had a lot to say about my dating habits and certainly sheep were at the bottom of the food chain in her mind. She told me to stay away from the sheep and derided them as ‘cursed Mongolians’. However, she made an exception for dragons, phoenixes, and fu dogs because they were considered good luck.
But ultimately, Ned’s sensitive gaze and warm coat won me over. I then summoned the courage to stand up against my mother in the name of interspecies love and as they say, the rest is history. Though he comes from a Hollywood family (his mother played ‘Daisy’ opposite Gene Wilder in Woody Allen’s ‘Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask’), he has little interest in continuing with his film career. So we’re exploring our options right now and I may have to return to his family farm in New Zealand. Moving across the world for love isn’t the difficult part as I’m truly looking forward to an agrarian life. However, changing my diet and carnivorous foodie ways will be the challenge. I have made some compromises including, cutting out the red meat (it makes Ned too uncomfortable) and have moved on to crustaceans as a substitute. However, it will be a long while before I go all out vegan and enjoy the pleasures of freshly cut grass (which is still an acquired taste for me).
So as I bid adieu to lamb, here are the fine dishes that I will have to learn to live without:
My Taco’s Barbacoa Grilled Lamb Taco (Highland Park): A tender, smoky pile of lamb shank is served on a platter and accompanied with a cup of consomme. Apart from the lamb taco, the potato hard shell tacos are also deliciously crunchy and satisfying.
Ji Rong’s Lamb dishes (Rosemead): Ji Rong is the home of delicious beef rolls (which I will discuss in a later blog), but also has some wonderful dishes with lamb. They make mini lamb kebobs that are lightly fried and tossed, with garlic and cumin. Beware of eating this dish on dates as you will resemble an Indian spice shop after consuming. They also do a lamb stir-fry with green onion which is smokey and fragrant.
Don Pichon’s Patagonian Lamb (El Calafate/Patagonia): Argentina is the land of carnivores, with restaurants hawking roasted spits of meat that keep on coming. When I was in El Calafate in Patagonia a few years ago, I stopped by this lovely hillside restaurant Don Pichon that specializes in roasted Patagonian lamb. The lamb was slow-smoked and had a succulent, fall off the bone texture akin to the best Beijing roast ducks. Indeed, Patagonia has the lamb that will rule them all.