Wednesday, April 06, 2005


"I think you'll like it, once you get over the fact that it smells like gym socks."

Hmm. This is what my college buddy Jon said to me when he was in town last week. We were meeting one of his friends at Spices! II for dinner later that night, and he was hoping they'd have stinky tofu. Yup, stinky tofu.

Jon is the only jewish boy from Long Island I know who has a master's in Chinese and has eaten zebra. He has the same reaction to certain foods that I do (excited bouncing up and down) so I usually will eat anything he likes without hesitation. But gym socks??

Spices! II, unfortunately, did not have stinky tofu, but if they had, I probably wouldn't have been able to taste or smell it. The first dish to appear on the table was "numbing spicy cucumber" - marinated cucumber spears that were garlicky and hot - it looked just like this kimchi my mom makes, so I wolfed some down - and then my mouth was on fire. I can handle hot stuff, but this was....yowza! I panted my way through the rest of the dishes - braised pork with pickled peppers (the peppers were slightly sweet so a very yummy combo), eggplant with fresh garlic and basil, dry-braised eel strips, and tan-tan noodles. Everything was really good - or were my tastebuds just shot? At any rate, the chinese pop music videos in the background were amusing enough to distract me from the flames shooting out my mouth.

There is also a Spices! I a couple blocks away, and they serve stinky tofu. But the dishes are different. On Monday I went after a salsa class and we ordered the cucumber and tan-tan noodles. For something new, we tried braised beef shank with 5 spices. Disappointing. :( The cucumber tasted slightly medicinal and the tan-tan noodles were greasy from some weird ground beef sauce, a far cry from the peanutty goodness we had tried the first time. The beef shank just tasted salty - no 5 spice flavor anywhere. So from now on, we'll stick to Spices! II.


Alice said...

My roommate LOVES spicy food, and your description sounds like something he'd be all over. I went to look for Spices! II and guess what google gave back:


Something tells me this isn't the Spices II I am looking for... Will you tell me the address for your Spices II?


starchmouse said...

Sure thing!

291 6th Ave (at Clement)

Gotta love astronomers for coming up with an acronym for *everything* :)