Knee-jerked reaction

Pub date May 3, 2011
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap Eats

CHEAP EATS I left my uke in New York City — technically in Boston, in the back of a station wagon headed for New York City. I left my baby, my toothbrush, my second-favorite pillow, and my other baby in New Orleans. My rabbit-fur jacket that I only ever wear to Rainbow Grocery … I left that in New Orleans too. I left my stomach in Dallas. I left my left knee in San Francisco, on the 50-yard line of a football field at Crocker Amazon. I don’t know where I left my pink cowboy hat. I can’t find it, and it’s pink cowboy hat season.

I got the ain’t-got-no-cowboy-hat-or-left-knee-neither blues.

One thing: I do have a new baby. He’s four months old and lives upstairs in my apartment building, so the commute’s real easy compared to Louisiana or even Berkeley. And he likes to suck on my left bicep sometimes while I’m rocking him to sleep, which gives me cute little hickies there.

In Dolores Park, a live dog’s got a stuffed bunny by the throat. He’s thrashing it this way and that, hammering it into the ground, growling, and beating the living fuzz out of it.

In various states of revelry and/or reverie, my friends and I are occupied in just generally occupying a couple of blankets, watching this big dog do its thing.

“My money is on the rabbit,” I say, because it is. I love an underdog.

In fact, we all are one — back in last place, our one-game winning streak having come to an inglorious end earlier that morning. Dig, who had an important sack on a third-and-short, our play-of-the-game, goes, “Look! It’s playing possum.”

Sure enough, the rabbit is lying very still in the grass, the dog standing over it, watching warily. I’m not a dog person, but I almost feel bad for this un. Its prey, this shattered, chewed-up Easter bunny, is limper than limp, is missing an ear, and arguably never had much fight in it; Nevertheless, I more than half expect it to at least jump up and run away, if not kick the dumb dog’s ass first.

Next week is the Kentucky Derby, and now that I officially “play the ponies,” I will have to find me a long shot to get behind. And get shat upon.

I got the ain’t-got-no-cowboy-hat-or-even-no-left-knee-neither blues.

My own Hedgehog says I ain’t no spring chicken farmer. I’m afraid someone’s going to buy me golf clubs for my birthday. Please don’t buy me golf clubs please. I got some team sports left in me, and contact ones at that. I know I do. Get me a knee brace, an ice pack, and a Costco-size bottle of ibuprofen, I got the ain’t-got-no-left-knee blues is all.

When that happens — that is, this happens — there is only one thing for me, and that is some quality Chunks de la Cooter time. It puts everything else in perspective. So I went and made a chicken pot with them, and bathed them and sang them to sleep and woke up with them in the middle of the night, and in the morning I took them to their Chunk Fu class, and then to Arizmendi and then what they call “the new park” because it’s probably the oldest park in all of Berkeley and therefore not on their beaten path. And I took pictures of them on the big-girl swings.

It was hard to say goodbye, so I didn’t. I went to dinner with the whole de la Cooter fambly down to Solano, to the new-to-me Korean bowls-of-things place, called Bowl’d.

The idea here — at least the main one — is bibimbap in stone bowls with your choice of meat or tofu. They also give you a choice of white rice or mixed grain. Either way it’s going to get all crusty and delicious at the bottom of your hot hot hot stone bowl.

At the top: cabbage, carrots, sprouts, greens, bulgogi if you’re me, and one nice sunny-side-up fried egg.



I wish there was a little more meat in it. But the meat there was good, and so was everything else. They don’t give you so many little bowls of things for the table, but they’ll refill what you love. In my case: kimchi. Super spicy. New favorite restaurant. 


Sun.–Thurs.: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.;

Fri.–Sat.: 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

1479 Solano, Albany

(510) 526-6223

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