Dinner at Baume’, Palo Alto

I had a delightful 4 ½ hour(!) dinner last week with Isaac Garcia, friend, interesting guy, CEO & Entrepreneur at Baume’ in Palo Alto.

I  have wanted to go to elBulli in Barcelona, Spain, for ages, but it’s had to get into, even more expensive than Baume’, and a long flight.

Baume’ is more convenient thus we save 1000′s of dollars on air fare alone :)

They describe the cuisine as French Cuisine Moderne but I think others would call it Molecular Gastronomy.

Isaac was in town and we both made time for a great dinner.

I brought a new, unobtrusive, Canon s95 camera with me and shot the pictures on “low light mode” of all the dishes.

The restaurant seats 22 and you may need a credit card to pay for things, but remember, closer than Barcelona. Don’t stress about the dress code. Anything remotely presentable seems to fit in.

We had the Menu Decouverte with wine pairing. It’s a prix fixe menu of around 15 dishes. We also added the optional truffle supplement. Ordering is easy enough as you basically choose one of the two selections and the only difference is how many dishes you get. Similarly with the wine pairing you don’t have to worry about the wine list. You probably want to budget 4+ hours so you’re not rushed, and be with someone you’ll enjoy talking to.

The dishes came at a nice pace and we had no trouble keeping up, while new glasses of wine appeared a bit too fast and at times we had trouble keeping up.

OK, pictures of the dishes in the order they came with what I can remember.

Carrot Spongebread to start.

Caviar on he spoon on the right. Little toasties on the left.

This was great – the green foamy things had a great taste. The little green dots on the plate were very lively and tasty. In the background one of the sauces was aged vinegar in olive oil emulsion.

The 62°C egg, apparently cooked for 2 hours to have a nice texture.

Pâté on the left and “Maple Coral” in the center, made with liquid nitrogen.


Fairytale Pumpkin soup with some kind of sorbet in it that magically didn’t seem to melt. The soup had a few toasted seeds which went well with it.


I believe this was something like “reconstituted orange”.  The orange piece even had rind in it, though it’s of unknown origins(!).

Mushroom dish and red wine has started to appear.

The don’t mess around with the truffles here.



Some of the dishes had either smoke from dry ice or a savory, was it apple smoke?

Beef

Isaac, and we are temporarily behind on the wine tasting.


The glass has some kind of meringue with pop rocks and something like spherified wiskey.  The pop rocks were a nice surprise.


Dessert.

A gift to take home.

And the final verdict is a great dinner and I would love to go again.

“I am impossibly, wonderfully alive.”

Joe Kittinger, 1959, after falling 60,000 feet in a training parachute fall for his record setting 102,800 ft jump in 1960.

“I am impossibly, wonderfully alive.”

Great 1976 article on Walter Browne, Chess, Poker, and Backgammon master

The article came out when he was 27 and the conclusion is brilliant and shows oh, the energy and optimism of youth

“I’m going to cultivate my own school of learning. I could be another Leonardo da Vinci. I want to do everything. I’m reading a lot now. Books like The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I want to find out about everything that was bad and great. I want the straight stuff. I’m going to buy musical instruments. Drums! I’m going to play the drums! I’m going to do everything in my life. I feel I’ve got a thousand, a million lives inside me. I’m gonna be a lot more than a chess champion. When I’m 70 I’m gonna look back and say, whatever else I was, I was really alive!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1148103/1/index.htm

“I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie,” the girl replied.

Pixar grants girl’s dying wish with home viewing of ‘Up’ | pixar, up, movie, home, show, girl, cancer, die, huntington, beach – Entertainment – OCRegister.com.

This is touching and heartwrenching :(

I remember another story in the news 5 or so years ago about a girl who had some serious disease and she was going to die but she was just focused on learning things in school and getting into the next grade.

Well – Better Running Through Walking – NYTimes.com

Depending on one’s fitness level, a walk-break runner might run for a minute and walk for a minute, whether on a 5-mile training run or the 26.2-mile course on race day. A more experienced runner might incorporate a one-minute walk break for every mile of running

via Well – Better Running Through Walking – NYTimes.com.

How SQLite Is Tested

How SQLite Is Tested.

Nice well written article.

Section 9 is especially interesting:

Our experience, then, is that static analysis is counter-productive to quality. In other words, focusing on static analysis (being concerned with compiler warnings) actually reduces the quality of the code. Nevertheless, we developers have capitulated to pressure from users and actively work to eliminate compiler warnings. We are willing to do this because the other tests described above do an excellent job of finding the bugs that are often introduced when removing compiler warnings, so that product quality is probably not decreased as a result.

China

From Business Insider: China Is Not Another Ascendant Superpower, It’s Just Another Nation with Structural Problems

“…when the United States catches cold, China gets pneumonia…”

“…the opportunity to put a better face on complete catastrophy will always be taken…”

…nothing is as it seems in Asia…”

That was Zen, this is Freud

Great NYTimes article on a long time Zen Buddhist monk who undergoes psychotherapy: Enlightenment Therapy.

13,000 year old caveman tools found in Boulder, CO

…with remains of a Camel on the tools! Pretty cool. The NYTimes has an article w/o pictures.
See this for a video:
13,000-Year-Old Stone Tool Cache in Colorado Shows Evidence of Camel, Horse Butchering
and this for
a detailed photo of the tools.

Python’s multiprocessing module is the new hottness

The new multiprocessing module in Python 2.6 and 3.0 looks pretty cool. It gets around the whole, um, design for low performance where the dreaded Global Interpreter Lock (GIL) makes multithreading difficult, by making it easy to spawn python subprocesses, communicate with them, and share data. They even have a form of security on the sockets so that bad guys can’t send any data to any of the processes w/o knowing a secret key.

Note to self: explore writing a toy multi-core mapreduce with ‘import multiprocessing’…

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