Fish & Friends, notes

You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don’t want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something. 
-Mitch Hedberg

A few notes from earlier years – On Fish.

June 2007:

The tailor Al down the street says he won’t trade tailoring for fish.  I tried to trade some Mexican grouper in exchange for some hemming, but he wouldn’t take it this week.  Persistence pays off.  I’ll try again next week.

July 2007:

I went back yesterday – Al laughed and said, “I WILL NOT TRADE FOR FISH!!” “Someone came in and asked if I trade for Fish.”  I guess he is yelping cause he read my review.
Giggity.  We are good friends.

November 2007:

I told the chef I’d bring him some fish.  He’s so well respected (many consider him the best chef in LA and a top 5 chef from Italy – he’s a culinary legend), and he’s my friend, I can’t bring him one fish to his house.  That would be embarrassing.  So I dive from 4:30-5:45pm in my backyard in Laguna Beach and get two small fish – Sargo.  They are similar in shape to Mediterranean Orata available in Italy.  But still, it’s pitiful, and it gets dark so early this time of the year.  I go up the road to my friend Sebastian’s cottage to dine al fresco – enjoy some wine he’s made while his wife spoils us with chocolate souffles.  After a few bottles, He says in his heavy french accent,

“You need to get more feesh?”

The drinks pass our livers and I see fish on the Pacific Coast Highway driving over to the dive spot??  Just kidding.  He is a good friend and we Dive from 8pm-3am with flashlights.  There is a lot of life out.  To hold a gun, a flashlight, and a camera, I wish I were an octopus sometimes.  7 fish – mostly Sargo, a Calico bass, and one of my favorite fish – Sculpin/Scorfano which has poisonous spines and dangerous to handle underwater, especially at night.  The best things in life are the most dangerous, no?  One Octopus, One eel, 3 lobsters, scallops… it’s a good night.  Chef will be pleased with the bounty.

December 2007:

I just get back from Mexico, and the stays are never long enough.  I want to extend the fiesta or siesta, so I make a stop to visit my friend Arturo who owns the Mercado in my neighborhood, armed with a large slab of grouper.  He invites me to the huge family fiesta for his daughter’s birthday where there are perpetual Christmas lights year-round, Christ statuettes, and I dig into pozole, ceviches, carnitas, homemade trays of family recipes, and wash everything down with Coronas, dance on the driveway.

Conclusion?  I love fish.  Even if Al doesn’t.

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