I know this film came out a few weeks ago. I actually went to see it that opening weekend. I didn’t have huge hopes for it, but Adam Sandler is a funny dude, and I usually like his films. After seeing it, I really had no intention of writing a full review on this film until it hit me – I had to. However, I have to preface it with a quick story about about this new Thai restaurant that my girlfriend and I visited recently.
The chef had been pretty successful in his previous kitchens across the city. We’ve enjoyed many of the unique dishes that he’s created and one of them is my girlfriend’s absolute favorite. Unfortunately that restaurant, once located on prime real estate on Sunset Blvd. has since closed. Fuckin’ economy. Anyway, when we sawthis new Thai place opening and it’s kitchen was being run by one of our favorite head chefs – we had to try it out. The grand opening came and we grabbed a table. We ordered some of our favorites and decided to also try a dish that is pretty traditional in Thai cuisine, Rad-Nar. Our server double checked with us to make sure that’s what we wanted – “Yeah,” we said “… let’s try it!”
We were a little apprehensive while waiting for our order. Was she trying to warn us or did she clearly not hear me. Maybe I pronounced it wrong. Either way, the right choice was made. The appetizers came and they were right on point. Our entrees arrived and one of them looked suspicious, but we threw down a solid layer of rice on the plate, grabbed a spoon and started to dish out the Rad-Nar. The sauce was translucent brown and gloppy, that was a little strange. But the broccoli was bright green and looked really crunchy and fresh! The meat looked tender and full of flavor and the noodles were pan fried and begged to be eaten. Interestingly though, the dish didn’t really have much inspiration behind it. We understood that this was a traditional meal in Thailand and if it’s lasted this long, was on the menu and prepared under the supervision of a favorite chef it’s gotta be good, right?
After eating through half of the large portion on the plate, I couldn’t take it anymore. The texture of the goopy sauce and the absence of any flavor was too overwhelming. I couldn’t eat it anymore as is. So I grabbed some spicy chili sauce and dumped it over the top and mixed it up. Boy, that was a mistake. The Rad-Nar sauce became this pinkish clear slop with specks of red flakes huddled together as if they were trying to escape the gooey trap. The taste was somehow made worse. I love spicy food – but this was a fucking mess now. It was now clear to me that the chef had lost his mind. This may be a traditional Thai dish but it has no business on the menu in an American restaurant. This place wasn’t even located in Thai Town to maybe justify satisfying the locals. It wasn’t even in Korea Town, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and it was miles from the nearest landfill where it truly belonged.
Just because something is traditional doesn’t make it good. When I was a kid I used to make peanut butter and bologna sandwiches and I ate them everyday when I came home from school to watch Thundercats. That’s my tradition. Anyone else I’ve mentioned that unique concoction to threw-up a little in their mouth. Peanut butter and bologna on white bread. Go try it. So believe me when I say the Rad-Nar was atrocious. I’m certain after the description above, if you didn’t traditionally grow up with this dish, you wouldn’t touch it. So, now back to Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill…
I would rather eat Rad-Nar then watch that movie again.
I can’t even give my usual input on how to improve the film other than to say don’t make it. Maybe you put the smoking-hot Katie Holmes in a small picture-in-picture frame at the bottom of the screen where she would just give innocent Dawson Creek looks into the camera for 100 minutes, that’s the only suggestion I can think of. But then having a smoking-hot photo Katie Holmes next to a plate of Rad-Nar won’t make it taste better. I must also issue the disclaimer – I laughed my ass of watching Don’t Mess With The Zohan. I’ve seen that flick more than once and loved it. And Zohan is not even close to the greatness of Billy Madison.
No offense was intended to those who enjoy a plate of Rad-Nar, Thai people or Thailand itself. However, to Al Pacino, please retire.