Commencing

This will be the longest picture post in a while (since WD-50?), as it depicts some festivities of the past week’s celebrations associated with commencement.
A night to remember: Commencement Ball

Stopping by the Boston Public Garden for some paparazzi action:

IMG_4314

Tracy’s Trolley Troupe

Some lovely ladies I’ve known since freshman year:

IMG_4318

Gonzaga Gals

Friends from China can play in Boston too:

IMG_4340

Su and Me

Some classy Heightsmen who I wish would’ve serenaded me:
IMG_4343

John and Jason

My fave Top Model:

IMG_4344

Ceej and Me

The lovely ladies of Gonzaga 401:

IMG_4349

Me, Mon, D9, Ili

中国的朋友们

IMG_4361

Wao Mao -2

pRob the smartest guy I know at BC:

IMG_4366

Rob and Me

Chi-Towners/my fave dancers:IMG_4346

Ceej and Jose

Unfortunately, the sky decided to rain during the morning of commencement. We made the best of it nonetheless:

Class gathering on Linden Lane before the procession. Oh and that golden ‘eagle’? It’s a falcon.

IMG_4378

After arriving a bit late (as procession was just starting), I eventually found my fellow CSOM grads:

Pre-rain excitement:

IMG_4372

Mike and Me

IMG_4381Kathy and Me

The last words of advice before procession: “When you proceed down the [million dollar] staircase, remember to try and stay vertical.” Wise words.

IMG_4385I’ll Miss The Workout You Always Give Me, $taircase

Oh hey, Deneen. Thanks for coming–fashionably late [as always], and with bangin’ hair [as always] 🙂

IMG_4388

D9 y Yo

I’ll miss you more than the Chocolate Bar’s Oreo Frappes you used to make me:

IMG_4387Alex Rios y Yo

Wifey!

IMG_4394妻子和丈夫

Fellow CSOMers:

IMG_4395Me, Lucia, Vicky, Angel

Way to rain on our parade. In the words of Deneen, we were “not havin’ it.”

IMG_4400Drab in Drab

I had lower expectations for the picture quality on such an overcast day but they ended up okay.

IMG_4402Alumni Stadium

Our entire row (the Ch’s) at the CSOM ceremony was Asian. No surprise there:

IMG_4417Louisa

Again, fashionably late. This is why I love D9 (besides the fact that she had the best diploma receiving hurrah of all the A-K’s in CSOM):

IMG_4412Attractively Sporting A Sandwich

Mon and Grandma look like handbag models. Okay, Grandma looks like a Patriots’ Day float:

IMG_4418Me, Mom, Grandma

We were excited to bail after the L names were announced and grab lunch. Sorry M-Z’s, Grandma was hungry (Okay, so I was too…):

IMG_4419Dad, Me, Mom

Thankfully, Aquitaine was open until 3pm and BC 09’ers and their parents didn’t know about the hidden gem on Rt. 9. Yay for no wait!

IMG_4420

Aquitaine

Mom and Dad ordered Turkey Club with French Onion Soup

IMG_4426

Soupe a L’Oignon with Melted Aged Gruyere and Amontillado Sherry, Turkey Club

I had the Turkey Club and Pea Soup:

IMG_4428

English Pea Potage with Taragon Crème Fraîche and White Truffle Oil Drizzle, Turkey Club

Grandma had the Friend Shrimp Po’ Boy on Baguette with Chipotle Rémoulade, Sweet Basil Pesto and Frites, however before I could capture it, she’d already scarfed half of it down. Oh Grandma…

The bistro food was executed flawlessly. We finished the meal off with coffees (minus Grandma who stuck to the hot water. No caffeine necessary for the young at heart) and a not-so-surprising-nor-coincidental encounter with my BC French professor, Margaret Flagg and her husband, Jeff.

A few errands and hours later, I had dinner at Elephant Walk (the Boston location on Beacon by Fenway) with Shelly. I’ve been meaning to try it for years and when I finally did, this is what ensued:

The use of herbs in these Cambodian Spring rolls reminded me of Vietnam:

IMG_4434Rouleaux

Cambodian spring rolls filled with ground pork, crushed peanut, bean thread, carrot and onion; served with fresh greens and herbs for wrapping and tuk trey on the side for dipping

The sauce was great but the crispy jasmine rice was bland and replacable:

IMG_4430

Nataing

Ground pork simmered in coconut milk with sliced garlic, crushed peanuts and chili pods; served with crispy jasmine rice

This soup was refreshing, however it could’ve been portioned smaller as it became too acidic many spoonfuls later:

IMG_4437

Chilled Avocado Citrus Soup

Freshly squeezed orange and lime juices, avocado, tomato, and button mushroom; garnished with cilantro

A must-have, these mussels were perfectly cooked and the accompanying flavors of cooked basil were intriguing and delicious:

IMG_4440

Leah Chah

Steamed mussels in a savory Asian basil broth

The description of this dish had my mouth watering. I love noodles, especially Shanghai noodles. The presentation was the first sign of disappointment. Noodles should be served in a bowl. Secondly, the noodles were too greasy, especially when paired with the salty braised short rib. They were a complete let down, as they reminded me of awful Chinese take-out. The short ribs were mediocre–a bit salty for my taste, however flavorfully braised. I guess as a third course on a prix-fixe, the chef’s aim may have been to strengthen the dish with saltier notes and reawaken the diner’s palate with such audacity. Had the noodles been boiled and not stir-fried, I think the dish could have been saved. The highlight of this course was the 2006 Rioja Gran Familia my waiter suggested, which was smooth yet dry on the finish.

IMG_4443

Khar Saiko Kroeung with Shanghai Noodles

Braised boneless short ribs with Shanghai noodles sautéed with baby bok choy, beansprouts and scallion

Shelly had better luck with the beef tenderloin. The garlic sauce and the fact that the beef was cooked perfectly tender anchored this dish. Again, the presentation was lacking.

IMG_4442

Loc Lac

Sautéed, cubed beef tenderloin, lightly caramelized in black pepper, garlic and mushroom soy

served over shredded lettuce with a lime and black pepper dipping sauce

Overall, if I had to go back to Elephant Walk for a family lunch or dinner, I probably would. I’d recommend it for those who have never had Southeast Asian flavors before and I’d recommend certain dishes over others. However, I have other places to try before I return there again, especially given what I paid. Even if it was an ‘off-night’ for the chef, every night is a live performance and so every night should be impeccably executed.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s