Why is food like humour?
For my last night in sunny California (and yes, it’s been sunny and fine throughout my time here), I went to the posh italian-flavoured restaurant next door to the hotel. It’s the only one in the area that looks and feels like a restaurant (as opposed to a café), and it’s twice the price of the others, so I went in with high hopes.
Distinctly underwhelmed. It was adequate, but no way was it worth the premium over the other local eateries.
Overall, I’ve encountered a variety of food here, ranging from excellent to distinctly mediocre. That’s much the same as back home. The difference is that back home I can usually make a reasonable judgement before committing to eating somewhere, while here I’m struggling. So the best restaurant meal I’ve had was with my colleagues in a thai place they know and love, while probably the worst was the one I had on Saturday in San Francisco, also in a thai place, but one I found for myself.
Thinking about it, when I first lived in Italy I encountered more bad food than you’d believe of that country, but my experience improved with time. I guess it really is about experience, of a kind that doesn’t travel very well between cultures.
Like that famously-bad traveller, the sense of humour, perhaps?