A Blind Dining Experience
Tuesday, September 09, 2008, 7:40 PM

In early April 2008, I tried to convince a couple of friends that I wanted to go eat in a restaurant that served its food in pitch blackness after reading about dark dining in a magazine left on the lunch room table. I was turning forty-years-old this year and I figured why the eff not?

It took some doing. Nobody really wanted to go. There were worries about cat or dog food being served in place of [fill in the blank], worries about hygiene, and worries about cost. All reasonable, yeah, but I brushed them aside again and again.

"Why don't you come over for Bar-B-Que chicken this weekend," Anna said. "You can eat blindfolded and we won't even charge you $99.00 for it."

No, dang it!

I wanted to have an experience.

Besides, we tried eating in the dark at T's house, which totally didn't count because we weren't eating in pitch dark beside the neighbor's house with his outside lights...and the friggen lights from text messages on cell friggen phones. Ahem.

Anyway, it was...interesting. Okay, disconcerting. I found it annoying not being able to see the white of my potatoes from the green of my squash (I wanted the potatoes and the chicken, but not the squash so much). So I used my fingers because stuff tastes better when they are fed to my mouth by my fingers. But it still wasn't what the dark dining site promised.
"This is not just a simple game that plays on the sensual nature of food, but a trip into inky darkness."Cindy Dorn - L.A. Times

"I’ve certainly never had an evening like it before."Richard Foss - L.A. City Beat

The months passed.





The girls forked over their funds for our dark dining experience. I heard a grumble now and then, but mostly I think they tried not to think about it. I think it was the not being able to see what I'm eating and the hygiene thing of it all.

Um, well, there was the cost, too. Nobody wanted to spend $99 on dog food paraded as beef.

"Oh c'mon," I'd say (wail, cajole, moan, gripe). "Do you really think they'd stay in business if they fed Kibbles-n-Bits to the patrons?!"

What follows is our experience via photos. There was the road trip from Los Angeles to San Diego; finding our hotel. Discovering Opaque. Ending the evening in a hotel bar that used to be a bank. And then, God help me, Little Italy the next day...

All I can say? All I can really leave you with right now? It was an experience worth every penny. And I'd do it again, too.

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