After reading Danny Bowien’s New York Diet on Grub Street, you get the feeling that the Mission Chinese chef strongly believes in the power of karma, which makes him possibly the nicest person we’ve written about thus far. Unless, that is, you call him a hipster: “Hipsters don’t have fucking jobs; if they do have a job, it’s not what they want to be doing. I’m married; I don’t do drugs; I don’t have a trust fund; I have motivation!” But as he goes about his week, his Random Acts Of Food (And Free Beer) Kindness always pay off in unexpected dividends, often in friendship:
I was stuck in Detroit on a layover, so I walked around. They gave us vouchers for a free meal, so I just gave it to some family; and then karma happened because someone gave me a free ticket to the end of a baseball game! I had a hot dog there. Then I went to Slows Bar B Q. I ordered smoked wings and a bunch of white-wine spritzers; they were looking at me like, “Who ARE you?” I purposely over-ordered ribs and brisket and just shared it all with my taxi driver who I’d met earlier. He was like, “You’re an animal, what’s the deal with you?”
Occasionally in alcohol:
Went to Ushiwakamaru. It’s a really special place. I generally try to order the hikari mono, which is the shiny fish… Every time I’m there I see Mark Ladner from Del Posto … so I sent over a glass of sake. And then Mark, being Mark, sent over A BOTTLE. So I got tanked.
And, on the night the New York Times gives you an awesome review, a hell of a party:
[Christina] Tosi brought us the nicest cakes. The Prime Meats guys brought stuff. We got way too much alcohol. I walked to our favorite karaoke bar Karaoke Boho — where I usually like singing “Mother ’93” by Danzig — but we also had a Lilith Fair night recently which was a little sleepy but the Alanis Morissette part was great. Anyway, I got us a room and a billion bottles of really cheap, shitty Champagne. We had like 45 people there.
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