Monday, August 9, 2010

Captain Ahab and the Wailers Live in Concert!!

*I still think True Genius was a better movie than Weird Science, Kelly LeBrock or no
*With the bar rebuild getting ready to start, and Cornfest being the same weekend I had been considering, looks like the Blue Moai Room is going to take the month off.

*Went out to Tiki Terrace on Sunday evening to take the second Ohana night. This is a new event the restaurant is sponsoring to showcase Polynesian dance clubs from all over the Midwest. I never really thought there would be one, much less multiple Polynesian dance clubs in the Midwest. Just goes to show how in touch with things I am. Anyway, I was hoping that this time we'd be seated on the opposite side of the stage from the last time, and we were. So, things were starting off good. We remembered how, let's say, intermittent, the service had been at the last Ohana, so we made sure to get our food orders in early. I opted to try one of the vanilla ginger martinis as an opener. I couldn't find the ginger, but Sheri said she could taste it. I, on the other hand, was quite content to have a glass full of vanilla flavored vodka. So far, so good. OK, now one of the reasons for having these events is to showcase the clubs, and to have other clubs come out to support each other. Hence, 'Ohana', meaning 'family'. Now the place starts filling up with people, and we see that between us and the stage, they have pulled together three tables for one party. Hmmmm. And when that party starts to filter in, it's close to 50% kids. Young kids. Don't think a single one was older than 5. Somehow, the adults in that party were representatives of two other clubs that had come to watch the club that was performing. Anyway, I'm not really liking the looks of the table as a whole. Things continue to move along, and we get our appetizer, which was as good as it was the last time we were there. But by now, the notion of 'ohana' is really starting to show, as practically everyone who walks in the door of the restaurant spends a good 20 minutes wandering around greeting everyone else who's there, us and a few other people excepted. And somewhere along this point in time, it did indeed turn into what I would basically consider a huge family dinner. Kids were running all over the place, the 20-somethings were working on getting loaded, and the general noise level started towards the top of the charts. Sheri was starting to look a bit uncomfortable as the crowd of people started to press up against our table. Our server disappeared shortly after we got our entrees, and from that point on, we were basically on our own. The show was good, when it started, but the PA system was way too loud for the room. By the end of the show, the place had pretty much turned into a house party. A different server took pity on us and tried to take care of us, but by that point I was already fairly pissed. Even though Sheri's anxiety level from the general level of chaos was way up there, she encouraged me to not get too upset about how the evening was going. So I took a second and thought about it. If you took away all the kids, you'd be somewhat close to what happens when the FOM invades the Chef. That put the whole evening in a different light. I would still say that you should go out to Tiki Terrace and soak up some of the mega-over-the-top-tiki atmosphere. And I think you should try the moco loco, which was way too good. And all the wahinis are to die for. You may just want to avoid going on an Ohana night. And I really feel bad for saying that, since the point of the evening is to showcase these groups that are working hard to preserve a part of the heritage of Polynesia. But it really does seem that the staff there hasn't quite ironed out the kinks for this new event. They may just need to close the place to regular customers on those nights. But then that would keep people the general public from being exposed to these dance clubs (forgive me for not using the proper Hawaiian term here, but I can't remember it). I really don't think your average customer would sit through an evening like that, though. We're going to try and go to one of the regular shows, or maybe even a non-show night, and see if things are different. If they aren't, well, this place might get scratched off our list. I really hate to say that, because it is a cool place, but Sheri and I both agree that for what it costs and how far we have to drive to get there, the service needs to be quite a bit better. Still, I'm hoping that we find this past evening to be an anomaly.

*While she may not have come right out and said that a Halloween party isn't going to happen this year, it has been heavily implied. I am of very mixed emotions concerning that.

*Between going down to Peoria and heading up to Des Plaines, I spent what was for me a lot of time on the road. Looking back, it still kinda feels like I didn't really do that much this weekend, even though I covered a lot of ground in the process. I think I would have had more success getting from point A to point B and back again had not IDOT pulled up most of the road surfaces between the two points. Going up and down 39 wasn't too bad, even with it being one lane in both directions for quite a distance. Trying to get back home from Chicago on 90, however was quite a different story. That was quite a mess, to the point of being completely stopped more than once. Luckily when we got off at 47 it was clear sailing from there, at least until Burlington, when we got behind someone who was drunk, sleepy, elderly, or some combination of the above. There was just enough traffic that we couldn't get around them and ended up following them all the way to 89. I just think the universe was telling us that we needed to slow down on Sunday. Or maybe it was just IDOT. Hard to tell, really.

*Compared to the Tiki Terrace event, Steve's b-day get-together was a great success. Aside from the staff not being able to arrange a table for 8 that didn't involve climbing all over each other, things went pretty well. On the drive down to Metamora I did manage to get caught up on my backlog of podcasts, which was a good start. The fact that Steve had basically figured out that I was going to be there took a bit of sparkle off the day, but it was good to see my second family for a bit. I even managed to eke out a victory at dice before the brownies and ice cream marked the end of the evening. I was also quite surprised that the peanuts managed to stay in place for the entire ride home from Metamora.

*No bowling after the next Chef. Going to hit one of the all-night flea markets instead. Should be interesting.

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