Pasta Lab: Clean But Cold Decor, Nice Owner, Uneven Food

Hm, I may have to redefine the scope of this blog. I can see myself occasionally writing about dining experiences.

Pasta Lab is a new Italian restaurant that recently opened on Wuding Lu (武定路) near the intersection with Yanping Lu (延平路) in Shanghai’s Jing’an district. As far as I can tell, there is no official website or online listing yet except for this Foursquare page. Neither were there business cards or delivery menus visible.

As you can imagine from its name, it involves customizing your own pasta meal, mixing and matching either various types of pasta or ravioli with a choice of either tomato (red) or cream (white) sauce, as you would “experiment” in a “lab”. Ho ho. I believe the past ingredients are fresh but I’m not sure. I do remember an advertised intent to provide vegetarian (or was it vegan) options to its target customers. It is therefore targeting a yuppie, white-collar class demographic.

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Sherlock S03E01: Still Funny and Clever But 2 Years Is Too Long

Just finished watching the first episode of the long-awaited Season (or Series?) 3 of the BBC’s Sherlock (Wikipedia/IMDB) on Youku (神探夏洛克 第三季:第1集).

I actually began watching the episode half a day ago but decided to stop and go to sleep about halfway through it, which likely says something about the episode’s ability to keep me riveted to my seat despite how much anticipation I had to see the continuation of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman’s take on the famous detective duo. Let me therefore say up front that the episode has left me somewhat lost and confused.

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The Butler: Proving that Movies About Racism Still Need to be Made

the-butler-movie-posterLee Daniel’s The Butler (Wikipedia/IMDB) was another pirated DVD (白宫管家) I recently purchased to watch, though I found that it added to PPStream just a day or two later.

The movie features an ensemble cast with Forest Whitaker (whom I’m still annoyed with from The Experiment [Wikipedia/IMDB]) in the lead role of Cecil Gaines, a black man who learns how to work as a servant for white employers, eventually getting a job in the White House. As the history of political race-relations plays out in the White House over the terms of multiple American presidents (from Eishenhower to Obama), we see how race-relations also estranges Cecil from his son Louis. The father believes in keeping his head down, just thankful for the opportunities he’s had to improve life for himself and his family, while the son chafes at the persistent racial inequality, becoming an activist pushing for change in society, first as a pacifist following Martin Luther King and later momentarily as a militant Black Panther.

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Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood Has Smaller Eyes Than Asians

Just watched Gran Torino (Wikipedia/IMDB) on PPStream (老爷车).

Gran Torino (2008) movie poster.The movie features Clint Eastwood as an ornery old white war veteran stubbornly living in an increasingly run-down Detroit neighborhood that has been taken over by Hmong Asians. There’s culture clash, a lot of racial slurs thrown around, and most major American ethnicities get a cameo, including Hispanics and blacks.

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