I’m here in Houston for training and feel somewhat confined to my not-quite-urban neighborhood. So I decide to walk around to get dinner and pick up a few things for folks back home. Best place to do that is a 20-minute stroll down the road to the Galleria, home of Neiman Marcus, Saks’, Missoni, Jimmy Choo etc. My boredom and slight annoyance with the homeogenity of it all was dashed to the barnacle-ridden rocks below when I saw that Oceanaire also lived at the Galleria.
Now, when I was a food and travel writer for Sunset and other publications — this is Seattle circa 2005 — I did dine at possibly the best fish house in the country, the Oceanaire (and other fine establishments) on a regular basis. The chef there used to make me tuna poke when I asked for it, even though it did not exist on the menu.
So tonight, I practically prance into the place, gushing about what a huge fan I am, and they show me to a table. Franken flops, cargo pants, dumb short hair pulled into a ponytail (I am desperately trying to grow it back, 2000 mgs of MSM a day), no makeup.
But after I ask the busboy to check if the chef will make poke, they switch into celebrity mode. My waiter insists that I try no less than four types of wine. The manger comes over with a little bow and hands me his card and asks if there’s anything he can do. The chef comes out and shoots the shit as he hands me my poke. The waiter has me on his radar and gives me his card. The chef comes back after the subsequent courses and gives me his card too.
Did they do a retinal scan?
Did they tap my email to discover that indeed, I am writing for Sunset again?
Did they think I was someone else?
Probably, but I can’t imagine who.
Regardless, tonight I fall asleep full and happy in my Heavenly Bed (TM).
Because in the state of Texas, I am alone and a star.