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Small world dinner


Bob and Suzanne Diller were up in town today, having driven up from Los Angeles for a friend's mother's 90th birthday party. They stopped by Santa Barbara on their way up, driving the 101 through Salinas where some event backed traffic up for an hour to drive twenty miles. Like we've ever heard of such a thing.

Suzanne's friend Savite selected an Indian restaurant for dinner on Friday night. I convinced Kris, I don't know how, to join me at the dinner, and off we went. I didn't realize the restaurant was an Indian buffet restaurant. With a name like Kabob Korner, I was expecting more of a, oh, I don't know, Afghan or Greek restaurant. At least one which served kebobs of some sort. Shish kebabs maybe?

In retrospect, I should have realized the difference in spelling of "kabob" and "kebab". I didn't.

Bob and Suzanne arrived slightly late, giving each of us time to become ravenously hungry, gnawing on each other's arms in a circle waiting for the Dillers. They arrived in good spirits, so off to the buffet where I managed to find two dishes that I could in theory eat, neither of which turned out to be non-spicy enough for me to actually eat.

Did I mention I really don't like Indian foods? "Mild Indian food" is an oxymoron.

At one point Bob commented, "In Pasadena, we have an Afghani restaurant that serves a cross between Persian and Indian." I, admittedly, had to stare at him for a long time before pulling out my phone to text myself that quote. When Bob looked at me puzzled, I had to assure him that I had absolutely no idea how to tell the difference in tastes among Afghan, Persian and Indian restaurants. "Well, if you'd visit us, we could teach you."

Oh, the bitter bite of truth. I clearly need to visit them more.

Once all of us had our food, conversations started up, and Bob turned to us to ask where we had travelled recently for tournaments. Peter from across the table asked what type of tournaments did we travel for. I managed to say all of, "Kris and I play ultimate frisbee," which is when I usually pause to take a breathe in anticipation for the explanation of what ultimate is and how it doesn't have any dogs or freestyle in it, when Peter commented, "Oh, Joann's niece also plays ultimate. Maybe you know her?"

Thinking, "Ugh. You used to live in Indiana? I have a friend who did, too. Maybe you know his family?" I replied, probably not, but possibly. Where does she play? She plays in the City, her name is Bea. Maybe you know here?

Holy crap. Yes, I do know her! Peter and Joann are uncle and aunt to Bea Leung who plays on Brass Monkey, and wow, yes, I do know her, and heh, wouldn't you know her team is our cross-town rival, and oooooo, they beat us last weekend, but we're playing again next weekend, and isn't her blog great with all the food reviews, what, she's going on a two month vacation, that's awesome, yes, I do know Will Lavery, he's an awesome ultimate player, have you ever seen a game. The conversation was wonderfully entertaining and delightfully animated as Joann told Bea stories.

We talked a while longer before I asked Bob how he knew Peter, and had I ever met him before. "Haven't you ever had Peter's Caesar salad?" Peter's Caesar salad being a salad Bob makes, and has been making for years that is fantastically good. Peter laughed and commented that he hasn't had a Peter Caesar salad in ages, he didn't know what it tasted like any more. Oh, but he didn't know what he's forgotten!

When we left that evening, I couldn't help but laugh with Kris at just how small this world is.