Monday, August 21, 2006

Raven Higashi West

Tomomi & Eiichi at Higashi West

My friend Frank demanded I see the show of Haida Art as well as the Arthur Ericson retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Along with the Haida pieces, the museum showed off some of its other First Nations collection, including Secret Flowers, by Mike Macdonald. I had seen this at North Van's presentation house more than a decade ago. It's a video presentation, mostly closeup videos of flowers and butterflys, seemlingly randomly displayed. I learned that Mike had died recently, alas. I still recall his talk accompanying the display of his art, encouraging us locals to plant flowers to attract butterflys, which remains good advice.
I'm begining to think of Ericson as Vancouver's own Gaudi, so prominantly do his buildings add to this city. Particularly striking were Ericson's "collaborations" with Bill Reid- Reid's statue of the Ericson-designed Canadian Embassy in Washington DC began this blog last May, and the way the roof of the Museum of Antropology highlights Reids sculpture Raven and First Men, which is the first piece of sculpture I actually liked. I'm told by students and professors that Ericson's SFU campus is much better to look at than to attend. Frank was raving about Ericson's Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Unlike Gaudi, but like Raven, Ericson gets around.
On the way back, I stopped at the new Japanese fusion restaurant Higashi West at Lonsdale Quay. I ordered the scallops to eat there

as well as raw beef salad and shrimp gyoza to take home. The scallops were delightfully fruity. I wondered what it was, then discovered it was pineapple. The scallops were somewhat spicier than I tolerate, particulalry with the little shoots they were with, but the pineapple mellowed them down and the sake margarita with the scallops proved the perfect companion. Once home, I dug into the beef salad, which has a great salad dressing but its beef slices were too thick, and the ebi gyoza, which wasnt so good. Fumiyo insists that all gyoza taste lousy compared to hers. Today, guests just in from Japan, we all visited Higashi West for more food.

The chicken bits with sesame seeds and a subtle mayonaise dressing was most refreshing.

An interesting take on Mabodofu, a spicy tofu and meat Chinese dish popular in Japan. This tasted unlike any Mabodofu I've had before. Intriguing, and not as spicy as the scallops.

Lemon and chili'd squid went splendidly with the lychee drink.

Duck spring rolls are not to be ducked.

The guests wanted to try cold ramen. I was in no condition to eat noodles, after all those other goodies, but I was finally prevailed upon to eat what Fumiyo called "asian spaghetti." With orange pepper, tomatoes and slivers of chicken, it was unlike and much better than any bowl of ramen I'd ever encountered.


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