Love Bites is a regular column on Short Order. Find other installments here.
I 'd always wanted to check out Red Fish on Old Cutler Road, anyhow, but most of my dates had bitched it was too far from the beach. I was ready to see if they were missing out and, of course, if a man I once abandoned was worth reconsidering.
After a drive that took no more than 15 minutes from the Sunset area, "The Duke" and I arrived about 8:45 p.m. on Easter Sunday -- rather late, admittedly--but the staff graciously sat us and said they'd keep the kitchen open until after our orders were fired. We sat outside on plastic orange chairs and took in the uber-romantic scene--trees wrapped with lights, white tablecloths, and climbing bougainvillea--while perusing the menu and finally settling on a bowl of the soup du jour and a singular entree. I was told Red Fish offers a sublime waterfront view but it was too dark to see much beyond the patio.
We happily sucked up the smoked tomato soup on special that night, a bright red liquid delight that hid a degree of warmth and smoke thanks to the addition of chipotle. Red Fish's menu presented choices of pan-fried red snapper, Chilean sea bass, jerk mahi, and seafood risotto, but the entrée we chose to split was pan-seared grouper ($28) with a peppery crust, swimming in some near-flavorless white sauce the menu claimed was parmesan-tinged. The dish also included "oven-dried" tomatoes which, blessedly, weren't dry; leaves of parsley, and fingerling potatoes. Atop the creation was a large chip of dehydrated proscuitto. Though it was somewhat tasty and had a nice salty snap, the piece of meat really had no raison d'etre and it's seesaw appearance made a novelty of what could've otherwise been a beautifully presented dish.
Over dessert, a substantial brownie covered in squiggles of tart raspberry sauce, The Duke asked me to recount what caused the end of my relationship. After hearing me ramble for probably 10 minutes, he simply smiled and said: "Just give him a few days. He'll realize what he's missing out on and he'll make every effort to get you back. You're the complete package, Riki--he'd be stupid to let you go."
It was nice to hear, but at that moment I wondered if a) I ever really wanted Matlock back and b) why, if I was so gosh-darn great, did The Duke let me loose back when without much of a fight?
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I quickly decided it was best to just stop all the worrying and wondering. Fate always has her way with me, anyhow, so going forward I'll just give up all efforts to steer this wayward ship I refer to as my love life. So what if neither of these guys turns out to be "the one?" As my grandmother says, there are plenty of fish in the sea.
Red Fish Grill/Date Rating
Hip Factor: 3/5