Love You, Little Shrimpies

Regular readers no doubt know that we like to complain about being busy. For most people, this is a sneaky way of saying “I am busy, therefore I am important!” For L’Fork, however, it’s a cry for help—a reminder than even though we love doling out tasty food nuggets for your eye-tongues, we have a lot to do. You think that food’s eating itself? You think those delivery orders get placed on their own? YOU THINK WE EXIST IN SUSPENDED ANIMATION WAITING UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO READ US?! Hell, no.

So, yeah, anyway, we were busy, right? It was a nutso week full of heartache and heart palpitations and heart-shaped boxes. Thusly, we forgot about a lunch on Tuesday, and that’s deadline day—the hardest day of the week. Not wanting to use the apps (because those $6 burritos can quickly turn into $18 burritos with fees and such), we settled quickly on Izmi Sushi (across from our office), and that’s what we’re here to tell you about today:

For $14 freaking bucks (small amount, we say), we got a whole-ass bento box with some veggie and shrimp tempura, rice, a couple adorable little egg rolls and a salad with that amazing ginger dressing, you know the one we mean. Now then, setting aside the aroma perfection emanating from ye olde shrimp, the crisp and minimalist salad set our tastebuds aflame. Moving quickly to the onion ring and eggplant, we dipped and munched and almost called our mom to be like “You know, we are eating a really great lunch special from Izmi.” When the time came to dig into the shrimp, we brilliantly phased between shrimp bites and sweet potato bites (sweet potato has been scientifically proven to be the best part of the tempura).

When all was said and done, we were sated but not overfull, pleased with the affordability and pumped on how friendly the young server who took our order was. Are we going to say we’ve consistently had the best sushi of our lives at Izmi? No. In fact, we’d honestly felt worried the bento would be not so great because of the sushi experiences we’ve had at Izmi. But we were proven wrong—and it’s only one of the items on offer for the eatery’s lunch specials.

Basically, what we’re saying is this—restaurants deserve more than one try, tempura dishes are amazing, we wish we could find that ginger dressing in the wild (and don’t give us that “Trader Joe’s has one!” BS, because we’ve tried it and it sucks huge) and if there’s only one kinda food on Earth to fall in love with, it’s the weird Americanized version of Japanese food. In other words, we’ll order from Izmi again (they’ve got an adorable sushi bar) and we straight up DEMOLISHED that shrimp tempura bento.


-This is more of an Albuquerque thing than a Santa Fe thing, but we hear an Albuquerque court approved a class action settlement that requires the former owner of Kellys Brew Pub to pay its servers over $1 million. Apparently they were violating the living wage laws in ABQ these last few years. This story has been developing for some time, but the moral is always the same—people deserve to be paid for their work. Still no word on The Fork’s complaints to the restaurant that having a television on the wall no matter what direction you’re looking is sucky.

-Oh, hey, remember how we said someone over here would call up the woman who made the quarantine cookbook? Well, they did, and SFR even has a recipe from the book for your cooking pleasure. Here’s a link to the story, and if you forgot, here’s a refresher: A woman made a cookbook that’ll benefit Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. It’s very cool and she’s very nice. READ THE STORY!

-You know about Open Kitchen? The project of chef HueChan Karels? Here’s a link. Anyway, Karels is teaming up with chef Ray Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo) for the amazing-sounding Viet-Pueblo Dinner, an event that brings together Karels' Vietnamese style and Naranjo’s Indigenous cooking expertise. This’ll all go down on Oct. 10, and if you click that link above you can sign up for delivery or pickup. In other news, social media tells us Karels may be in search of a new commercial kitchen soon, so if you’ve got a line on something, hit up that Open Kitchen site and let 'em know.

-The COVID thing forced our bud Natalie Bovis (The Liquid Muse herself) to move the annual Taco Wars event out of the summer and into (Oct. 4), but that doesn’t mean you can’t get down with special taco deals from Joseph’s Culinary Pub and Rowley Farmhouse AlesLearn more here and be like, “Oh, shit, I love tacos!”

-Chef Fernando Ruiz of Santa Fe is reportedly right on track to open his new joint Palace Prime Steak+ Seafood in ye olde Palace Saloon spot at 142 W Palace Ave. If you don’t know Ruiz, he beat that Bobby Flay jerk at cooking and that should be all you need to know. OK, maybe you need to know the restaurant is supposed to open this fall (which is kind of, like, now).

-Earlier this month, New Mexico’s most beloved foodie (for our money) Nick Peña picked up the Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Award, a very prestigious thing because his Food Tour New Mexico company is so popular among people who visit New Mexico they just rave and rave online. It doesn’t end there, either, because Peña’s been working on the tour to make it pandemic-viable. Trust us when we say there’s literally nobody else we’d trust more to take us on a socially responsible food tour than Nick “No Nickname” Peña. Congrats, Nick!

More Tidbits

-Cream of Wheat is removing the Black chef mascot from its boxes, following with brands like Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth’s who altered their messaging following police killings and a massive uptick in the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, we’ve done some independent research and have since been told most Black people would prefer police reform rather than token gestures based on marketing, but the rest is up to you.

-Oops! Speaking of racism and food, Costco will reportedly pull products from the Palmetto Cheese company after the founder of the South Carolina company called the Black Lives Matter movement a “terrorist organization.” Maybe people should stick to making cheese instead of chiming in. Or maybe anyone who wants to say something racist should just shut up forever.

-Y’know Smucker’s? They make jams and jellies and such? Well, turns out its honchos found the old logo (strawberries next to, like, some leaves or some shit) a tad passé, so they’re introducing a new logo that looks like it was created by a last year graphic design student who just realized everyone learned how to make their own fucking websites while he was busy snorting coke and not attending his final. The new logo also kind of looks like a strawberry and, like, some leaves, but in the cloying, annoying internet way that makes your mom say “Why do they have to change everything?!” with a tone that makes you pray she doesn’t mean the Cream of Wheat box.

-Do you know about Freedge, the movement that’s giving away free refrigerators to help fight food insecurity? They’re cool, and NPR has a big fat story on them. Dang, if there’s one thing nobody can {hopefully) ignore moving forward, and we mean this especially for America, it’s that people don’t get enough food here. Thanks, Bezos (who seriously could end world hunger if he felt like it).

-It’s no secret we like that English show about baking, and apparently the internet at large is all atwitter over some very funny bust cakes (they’re cakes that are like busts, which are people that are, like, statues, but only from the shoulders up). Check it out here to laugh.

-Sohla El-Waylly, who previously worked for Bon Appétit (until she was fed up with racism and the dude-o-centric nature of the Condé Nast company and went public about onscreen PoC not getting proper compensation) has teamed up with the Binging With Babish people for a new YouTube show called Stump Sohla. Now you know. Oh, also, for whatever reason, saying “Babish” really bugs us. Just one of those words, we guess.

-Lastly this week, our buds at Oregon alt.weekly Willamette Week (it’s our sister paper!) wanted to let the world know their city, being Portland, is hosting the new season of Top Chef, which, we’re pretty sure, is a show about chefs who cook while spinning on some sort of gigantic top constructed with TV magic. We’ve never actually seen the show, but there’s also no way of knowing for sure if we’re right or not until it all airs. The season kicks off in 2021.

This is just The Aquabats (for fans of Devo, third-wave ska, fun) singing about pizza, so ... score.


A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence

Number of Letters Received 24 *Hmmmm...

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader) “Do you know where we could go with my brother’s kids?”  *If you’re a New Mexico resident, you can go to National Parks. Also, y’all should try to be more specific.

Actually Helpful Tip “Jiro is a complete ass. He will not tolerate non-Japanese speakers. Fortunately, I speak Japanese. He insists that you eat all 23 pieces while sort of seated, sort of standing in 25 minutes as he wants to turn the tables over as fast as he can and charges a fricking fortune.” *So sayeth Fork Champ (TM) Lawrence L., to which we’d say that we have this thing wherein we feel like if we met Alec Baldwin and he wasn’t kind of a dick to us, we’d be disappointed a little. Like, it stinks that Lawrence went out of his way to dine with a sushi master and he was a bit of a jerk, but also...geniuses be jerks (not that Baldwin’s a genius per se, but he’s pretty good in that thing we saw him in).


The Fork