Now, due to the lateness of me arriving to Colette due to a bit of excessive travel time, I didn’t look at the menu. Instead, I said “whatever you prefer” to Trevor and settled into a seat at the table.
My first impressions of Collette was that it was casual and slightly sparse in decor. But honestly, I was too busy swatting at flies and watching staff kill other flies with a blow torch and electric rackets to really be able to take it all in.
Trevor ordered the half CRISPY STUFFED CHICKEN (Deboned air-dried chicken, shrimp paste) and the LOBSTER WITH STICKY RICE (Sticky rice stir-fried with lobster).
The crispy stuffed chicken arrived and I was immediately curious.
This is one of the most unique dishes I’ve ever had. So unique, I couldn’t even fathom how it was made. The shrimp paste sandwiched between crispy chicken skin was just – extremely unique. But, I really liked the sauce. I just didn’t know what to expect. So, when it arrived I went with the flow.
I was deep into a conversation with Trevor about our different opinions and experiences in Tokyo, when the waitress returned holding something in her hands. When I looked up, I was momentarily shocked.
Our waitress brought a live lobster to our table.
And it looked at me, arms wide open.
I immediately stuttered: “This is a new experience. I have not experienced this before. I’ve never been brought a live animal to my table to inspect, before it’s cooked.”
I mentally named it Pedro. There was a definite before and after with Pedro the Lobster.
This is the before.
And this is the after.
Again, I was surprised because I didn’t expect this experience for lunch. But, I can be a rather adventurous person. So, I went with it.
Now, the unfortunate aspect of having a whole lobster broken up on a plate and served to us is that we weren’t given the right tools to get access to all areas for the meat. I would have appreciated a small fork, as the large fork just could not handle.
But, the consolation price is that I asked for a small bowl for the discards. And they had that…. so…. yeah.
When the bill came, I had my final surprise of the lunch. Honestly, we both were surprised. In fact, all I had to do was laugh as we split the bill. Between the flies and the abstract humor of the whole situation, it was just an experience to remember.
Not to say that the food wasn’t good. But, was the half order of the crispy stuffed chicken worth $40? Or, the plate of lobster sticky rice worth $120?
975 N Michillinda Avenue
Pasadena, California 91107