Please visit the new home of Majikthise at

« Sign me up | Main | Vicarious cat-blogging »

June 10, 2005

The pupu platters of yore

Just one line from what is quite possibly the worst restaurant review of all time:

Skewers of duck breast arrived with a miniature grill of sorts and thus recalled the participatory theater of the pu pu platters of yore. [NYT--link fixed]

At last, the bar has been lowered sufficiently to allow me to experiment with food writing! Stay tuned for the Majikthise guide to the hot and sour soups of New York.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The pupu platters of yore:

» The pupu platters of my what? from Jim Snowden's Second Omnibus
I had no idea Frank Bruni had removed his lips from W.'s butt to devote them to the cause of restaurant reviewing, but now that he has, what a sentence! [Read More]


Reading that review was about as enjoyable as watching someone back into my car.

I'd like to hear Bruni's take on other subjects, like stubbing one's toe or dry heaving.


Maybe a typo? He meant "poopoo platters of Eeyore"? It would make more sense . . .

He didn't write about the fucking food. He noted it. I've written more about dinner with my partner and we were just eating and not taking notes.

Jesus this sucks. Badly.

Wow! It sounds like the middle line of a really stupid haiku:

One from column A
the pu pu platters of yore
One from column B


Harkening back to
the pu pu platters of yore
now my stomach hurts

I think the pupu metaphor is incorrect. As far as I know, they aren't especially participatory, unless the guests are much more creative than the chef.

Maybe I'm only familiar with the modern, neologistic pupu platter, and not the storied pupu platters of yore. God only knows what went on in the '70s.

Okay, Google informs me that the orgiastic pupu platter>is alive and well in some regions:

All Fired Up
The Eldorado Hotel and Spa in Santa Fe, N.M., uses an enormous flaming pupu platter as the centerpiece-cum-appetizer

The shame of it all is that he is destroying a long tradition of the NYT's restaurant reviewer being an excellent and informed writer. Look at the lineup:

Miller (Bryan, not Judith)

This fool is like the AL pitcher forced to bat during interleage play.

that review sounds like the poetry i wrote at 14, trying to be clever, thesaurus at my side.


I'd like to register, for the record, my ethical opposition to restaurant reviews and restaurant reviewers...

Hot and Sour Soup: When I first sampled HSS years ago, as a younger man, I was taken by its zesty, delightful flavor. Years having passed, scores of different soups sampled, I find myself having lost the HSS urge almost entirely, as the taste of good HSSs I'd loved for years faded from delectible to edible to horrible.

thus, I submit- is the universal secret ingredient of HSS dirty dishwater?

These days, I lean kung pao...

Sounds like some reviewer has been listening to just a little too much Iron Chef dialogue.

Personal embarassing moment:

This was the "official" opening weekend of an upscale Mexican Restaurant at which I served, and, of course, for the big weekend the AC failed.

So here I am, a guy with moderately long hair (a bit longer than in your photo, but not quite hippy length) whose job is to move as quickly as possible between a warm dining room and an insanely hot kitchen. As my luck plays out, I got the short straw and the local newspaper critic was seated in my section.

So the entire next week the restaurant gossip was not about how good the camarones maya tased. Oh no, it was all about how I had to wipe the sweat from my forehead when I took the guy's order.

Jesus Freakin' Christ

Who'da thunk it? Dan Okrent leaves the Times, and their standards fall through the floor.

Heh, indeedy.

Let us now contemplate the folly of a writer that starts his first two paragraphs with "let us..."

This review is truly wonderful. Thank you. But does anyone remember Molly O'Neill's weekly food effusions in the NYT Magazine? I read them every Sunday before anything else in the paper. It was the Nineties, and every week I was dazed at my good fortune--to be alive at the same time as the Worst Writer of the Millenium. She was epically pretentious and I never had the least idea what she was talking about.

As for Craig Claiborne, he couldn't write about a potato without first a twee paragraph of apology for dealing with something so . . . common. Bruni fits right into the NYT tradition, unfortunately(Hess and Reichl were indeed exceptions). It's not that the NYT editors don't know what good writing is. They know what it is, all right, and they hate it.

Is it just me or is the only reason anyone is writing here have to do with the owner of this blog being quite sexy?

Well, I think a lot of people stop by for the eloquent opinion - the sexiness is just a bonus.

"Let us now pillory the Frank Bruni, which has brown-nosed and slithered its way onto the pages of so many media outlets in our fair city, determined to prove that the ability to read a menu or press release and a thesarus can replace actual knowledgeable writing on food or politics in a craptastically naughty way in the New York Times as it can anywhere else."

Edmond, it's not the only reason, but it doesn't hurt that she's jaw-droppingly gorgeous AND wicked smart. She's got it all.

please post your favorite recipe for hot and sour soup. Out here in Oz, that is hard to find, and when you do, it's as bad as that review is.


don't read it in a quiet library unless you want to get yelled at for howling.

I think that the Time-Warner people paid Bruni off. Note that since he's come in he's given two TW restaurants 4 stars (Masa and Per Se) while downgrading Alain Ducasse and Bouley to 3 stars. Note that he gave Masa a full review and an upgrade to 4 stars ONLY 3 MONTHS AFTER AMANDA HESSER GAVE IT THREE STARS. The guy is on the take.

Ou sont les pu pu platters d'antan?

That review is really hilarious. The awkward purpling prose is just so comical!

Will the new Public Editor take our complaints about Bruni seriously? That's what I'm wondering.

Let's face it: the NYT has lost a lot of credibility as far as its reporting of actual news goes, in the wake of Judith Miller, etc. Everyone with a clue goes to WaPo for real news. People read the Times for its reviews of plays, art, restaurants, and the like. If Bruni destroys some of that, the paper will suffer.

Apologies to d mason, but I write (with my wife) reviews for the local alt-weekly. The editor who hired us had long resisted having rest. reviews for precisely this reason. His archtypal bad line was "The crepes did not disappoint," but I think that has been far surpassed....

What happened to you Pachito? You used to be cool.

The comments to this entry are closed.