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Thursday, March 11, 2010


I found myself at the Palms this morning, and looked around for a good lunch spot. I was told that Simon was the best, so I found my way there and was surprised to learn that what was said to be American Eclectic was, in fact, Japanese, with a large sushi bar. I started with toasted tomato soup with white cheddar zeppole, accompanied by a wok-charred edamame (soy beans) with ginger salt and togarashi, the best I've ever had in my life. With small bottles of Kanchiku daijingo sake from Niigata and Kamotsuru junmai sake from Hiroshima, this looked like, maybe, my best lunch ever. Unfortunately, the second course of spicy tuna on crispy sesame rice topped with Unagi sauce (okay) with a side dish of salmon caviar was disappointing. One tablespoon of ikura for $16 is outrageous. Amanda was a splendid hostess and Kiyoshi a particularly friendly sushi master. The experience was very positive, and the total price was half what I paid at my #1 lunch in Munich, but those salmon eggs need to be re-thought.

I then went to the Palms theater area and learned that the Imax 3D showing of Alice in Wonderland was sold out into the future. This was also true for Avatar when it had its run there. However, there was a plain 3D theater with seats available, and was all of 15% filled. There is something about Imax and 3D that draws moviegoers.

I don't know if it was deficient technology or the intent of Tim Burton, the director, but the movie was too dark. This was an older Alice, age 19, played by Mia Wasikowska, looking like a hybrid of Mia Farrow and Gwyneth Paltrow, who returns to Wonderland. Let me just say that the movie was, like the ikura, disappointing, even though all signs point to this film becoming #1 this week, and staying there for a spell.

The evening was supposed to be Jersey Boys followed by dinner at Charlie Trotter's or Woo's, but that did not work out, so Sharon, Dan and I went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. The steak was terrific, and almost as good as the Wagyu beef I had at Four Seasons in Chiang Mai.

The Dow Jones Industrials rose 45 to 10,612, while world markets were mostly down. Gold remained unchanged at $1110/toz and crude oil is at $82/barrel.

Two tropical cyclones, both now at 40 MPH, popped up in the West Pacific. One will head for Vanuatu and Australia, while the other for American Samoa and Fiji. Both was expected to reach 100 MPH, so will be dangerous.


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