week 14: jungle fever

i'm still recovering from my meal at 
jungle fever
physically and emotionally.

when i first heard about the concept 
of celebrity chef rahm schlomicchio's new restaurant,
i was floored.

organic and sustainable cuisine that features
 free-range jungle animals.

the next step was obvious:
"do you have a table for two?"

with some sweet talk,
and a hundo for the hostess,
i was able to snag a spot at the grand opening 
two seats away from beyoncé!

my date: bestie brian, of course
{originator of weird food challenge}

and of course we decided to go all out on the 
5 course tasting menu
{i have a secret fund for desperate times like these, 
and let's just say... i'm going to have to wait a bit longer than i thought 
until i have enough moneys for le bernardin}

the first course:
steamed grass-fed panda belly dumplings
ok, ima need to get over how cute and cuddly pandas look,
because panda meat just became my new love.
you'd think because of their size and weight that the meat would be chewy and tough,
but quite the contrary,
it was light, fluffy, and just melted in your mouth.

the second course {pictured at the top of this post}
sauteed amazonian anaconda skin
 in a light lemon sauce, with fresh cracked pepper.
it wasn't terrible,
if i'm going to eat an anaconda,
i'd really rather it not be completely covered up by the taste of lemon and pepper.

and besides, my therapist says it's important to address my fear of snakes in other ways than eating them.

brian seemed to like it,
but then again,
he also eats regular amounts of cheez whiz...

third course:
west african chimpanzee tartar
with fish urine sauce.
this dish was perfect.
not only was it tender and juicy like a chimpanzee meat should be,
but it was spiced absolutely exquisitely.
 the idea of adding cilantro to monkey 
and then serving it with tempered fish urine
is genius.
schlomicchio, you da man.

fourth course:
curl-crested aracari ravioli
with a brown butter sauce and rosemary.
a.k.a. toucan ravioli
this ravioli was not my favorite.
although judging by the high pitched shrills
 from two tables away, i think my girl beyoncé was into it.

it was sweet, almost like a sweet potato,
but had a sort of aftertaste that was reminiscent of 
that time i had to get a root canal when i was five,
and had to keep gauze in my mouth for a total of 48 hours to stop the bleeding.

fifth course:

ding ding ding ding ding!!!
i told you donuts were the new cupcakes.
tanzanian lion donuts
vanilla ice cream.
did you know that if you let clippings from a lion's mane
 soak in rhino semen for three weeks, 
it breaks down and forms a sort of pasty substance
 that has the same effects as yeast when combined with sugar and warm water?
so, i mean, because of that,
these donuts didn't actually taste like lion,
but they were pretty good.
they were no bomboloni, but they were still good.

brian wanted to take pictures with them 
as spectacles,
but i told him no because i would have been embarrassed in a place as classy as this.


a year ago,
i never would have thought that i'd have been consuming things like panda and toucan,
but to be honest,
i've never been so satisfied with a meal.
there were such complex tastes,
and amazing textures,
that i didn't even know existed!!

it was actually worth the seven hours that i spent in the bathroom that evening.

but i say, if it tastes good,
eat it.
even if it does almost kill you.
what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

try to get there before the fda shuts it down, people!

...38 restaurants to go...



jungle fever is located on the corner of doofus st. and gullible ave.
happy april fool's day, lovelies.