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February 24, 2010

Lunch with _____

I met my friend _____ at Coco500, a restaurant in SOMA.

He works nearby as a high powered multimedia guru but managed to cut out for lunch, and I had all the time in the world for a leisurely meal with an old high school buddy.

He reads this blog, and before anything I asked if I could blog about him. He's very bloggable, you see.

"Sure. All my friends here are internet documentors, so all I have to do is hang out with them and then I can watch my life unfold before my eyes." _____ was recently profiled in a popular street fashion blog.

"You have it figured out. Even better than writing is being friends with people who write. The effortless autobiography. Or something," I said.

"Exactly. So what are you going to ask for?? I'm dying to see you in action."

In fact, I had no idea.

For the rest of the meal I kept joking that each question was my big "ask" for the day.

"So, how's work going?"
"When will you be in San Diego again?"
"What neighborhood do you live in?
"That's great you ride your bike to work. How far is your house from here?"
"So are you really a foodie or is that just your Facebook persona?"
"What do you recommend from the menu?"
"Can I have the salmon?"
Eventually, something more of an ask and less of a question cropped up. _____ loves Coco's mushroom truffle flatbread, so we ordered a portion to share as an appetizer. Indeed, it was exquisite. For the next 10 minutes, we tried to deduce the recipe. I said it must be easy to make, and he vowed to attempt it at home. If only we could decipher all the ingredients. Munch munch. Truffle oil. Munch. Porchini mushrooms? Munch. Parmesan or fontina?

When the waiter passed by, I stopped him.

"Excuse me, what is this cheese?" I asked.

"That is Parmesan. The recipe is really simple, actually. It's a rye flatbread -- rye flour and water -- which we roll out, then a mushroom puree and parmesan, baked. And then a drizzle of truffle oil."

Wow, thanks!

To top things off, after the waiter walked away I discovered that if you eat the flatbread upside down, you get all the cheesy, truffly goodness directly on your tastebuds.

I was in heaven.

But then, as we waited for the check, yet another ask emerged!

As a high powered multimedia guru with friends in interesting circles, ____ has seen both first and secondhand how the print publishing world has imploded. His galpal at Vanity Fair, for example, was saying that the mood at the magazine has totally chang--

"That's my dream job!!!" I squealed. "Vanity Fair!!!!!" Exactly the kind of cutthroat elegance Graydon Carter would covet in a reporter, no doubt.

"Well then, I'll have to put you two in touch."

"Really!? Then that is my second ask for the day: Could you email her and see if she minds if I write to her? Maybe, if she's tight with Graydon, she can put in a good word for me?!"


Amazing lunch? Check.

Catch up with an old friend? Check.

Shot at fame and fortune through the friend of a friend of a friend? Check (please!).

One problem remains: his pseudonym. I asked _____ what he wanted to be called, but as conversations tend to do between friends who haven't seen each other in years, ours jumped from one topic to the next and never came back.

So what's your vote, based on what you've read about him here. Also, this:

Sample quotes: "I use all forms of transportation." "He looks like Charleton Heston but instead of being a gun toting freak he's a brilliant physicst." "I am evil."
Here's what he was wearing: glasses, cool blazer, navy blue shirt and jeans.
He speaks French.
And his name starts with K.

A few options, or provide your own.

Refraction Man (like he's reflected/refracted in everyone's online reports about him, get it? get it?)
High Powered Multimedia Guru

[Image via summertruffles, PureExtracts and Bon Appetit]
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