Vain, Passionate, Screaming Chefs and Mr. Yum

Love Bites is a regular column on Short Order. Find other installments here.

Mr. Yum has been around for a few months and the owner has a great reputation from Sushi Rock -- it was the perfect place for distraction. When visiting last week for the first time, I was instantly charmed by the ambiance: low ceilings, lots of orange and white accents. My guests and I put in our app orders and instantly began to dish about the hot topic du jour, failed relationships. By the time our steamy miso soups and iced green teas arrived, they were champing at the bit for details about my last breakup. But before we got too deep in the menu, they asked the one question I should know to anticipate by now: "Why don't you date a chef?"

The answer isn't so simple. The short response is, I have dated chefs. I was madly in love with one. And I was engaged to a restaurant owner a few years ago because I thought it was close enough to be safe. I love chefs. I obsess about chefs. I dream of spending the rest of my life with one. The only problem is the things I love about them are the very reasons it is impossible to have a relationship with 'em.

First off, chefs are incredibly passionate. They're a fiery lot, not unlike the Top roll ($16.95) that tricked my tongue with its spicy tuna and spicy mayo (avocado provided some cooling relief). This trait makes them pretty good in bed, I've found, but it also makes them prone to yelling loudly if there's ever a disagreement. Arguments with chefs can get ugly and loud, especially if you mess with them after they've worked in a hot kitchen with no a/c for half a day.

They also tend to be a bit vain which, fortunately, makes them pretty damn sexy. Just like the gorgeous lobster tempura roll ($22.95) that was presented practically preening with its tail meat extending from a martini glass, wavy lines of sauce, curled carrot shavings, and a feathered orange peel. But you know how that goes--if I think they're hot, chances are flocks of other girls do, too. And believe me, vixens will make their way into that kitchen even if they have to sneak in on a rolling cart. Unfortunately what goes on in the cooler stays in the cooler, too. A chef's staff is more loyal than a herd of German shepherds.

And those hours! They typically work every Friday and Saturday night and every holiday, plus one can't forget about all the charity events and times they are asked to cater weddings, bar mitzvahs or what-have-you. Get yourself a football fan and you've lost him Sundays and Monday nights, too. Yeah it's nice to have a guy like this in the picture if you like to lead an independent lifestyle, but try being ready for sexy time at 4 a.m. every night or 2 p.m. every afternoon when you work a 9-to-5 job.

There are some sweet moments, too, like when they bring you home some gorgeous concoction they thought you might like or they parade you around the restaurant telling the whole staff that your beauty was the inspiration for their latest masterpiece. I recalled a few of those times as my three buds and I devoured a dessert plate cream puffs and chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, mango, and green tea mochi that the chefs whimsically decorated with a Japanese character in chocolate sauce.

I snapped this photo of the dessert before we annihilated it and e-mailed it to a friend whom I trusted could translate because the guy has mad language skills. Sure enough he figured out the symbol was "yun," perhaps the closest thing to "yum." When I asked what it meant he explained it showed motion and could probably be understood to mean "moving on." That, I thought, was entirely apropos. The Riki Train is moving on, away from criminal defense lawyers and, alas, even yummy chefs. But she'll definitely be making a round trip back to this resto for more sushi.

Mr. Yum/Date Rating

Food: 4/5
Hip Factor: 5/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Cost: 4/5
Date: N/A
Overall: 4/5

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