Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thai curry and missing Al

Bangkok Chef is busy, busy, busy.

I pass the Nuuanu eatery almost daily now on my way to visit my mom, and the place is filled to the gills. Parking is so tight, more often than not I can't get my cherished chicken curry, so unique among curries because of that perfect blend of coconut milk, curry paste and basil. When parking at Bangkok Chef is impossible and their curry is inaccessible, that is a major letdown. Somehow, life goes on.

There was a time when Mr. Baseball, a.k.a. Greg Hornet, and Al and I would hit Keo's on King Street, next to the old Police Station, for curry, sticky rice and those awesome tapioca-banana-coconut milk desserts. Their curry ranged in heat from mild to medium to hot. I always got the mild. Hornet got the medium. Al, being the proud Korean that he was, always wanted hot. Then he'd pile on more chili sauce when the food arrived.

Al has been missing from our old circle for years now. Nobody knows where he is, or will admit to it, at least. Maybe he's in trouble. Maybe he likes going off into the great unknown. But having Thai curry tonight -- from Bangkok Chef (there was a single, sparse parking spot open) -- even three hours old and cold, brings back those old memories of tanking Heineken beers (circa 1988) with that spicy curry. It was the first time I ever liked Heineken, which is normally bitter, but makes for the best complement to Thai curry.

Here's hoping that one day old Al will have Thai curry with Mr. Baseball and I again. For now, solitude and Bass Ale -- instead of Heineken -- will have to do.

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