Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Funniest Thing a Waiter Ever Said

Sorry, no mouthwatering pics with this post. Just a funny story.

Last night, after taking a visiting out-of-towner to Disneyland, we found ourselves starving at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. Never a particularly good combination, but we finally settled on the midscale Uva Bar, which has pleasant outdoor seating right in the middle of the complex.

After my Better Palate and I were hit on by a handsome young hustler ("It's my birthday, do you want to buy me a drink? Or am I not sexy enough? No?... Well, I'll be at the bar if you change your mind." Saw him having similar conversations with other couples the rest of the night. Seriously, this kid works the vacationing middle aged couples at the Disneyland resort? Can you say "The Happiest Ending on Earth?" Anyway...), we took our seats. Sa ordered grilled octopus. Friend ordered a salad. I asked what the special grilled catch of the day.

"It's steelhead trout."

I don't have trout very often, but I love it, so I was pretty much onboard.

"Is it fresh?"

"Yes, of course."

"Is it good?"

"Oh, yes, it's good. It's got the texture of salmon, but it tastes like trout. It's good."

I had already made my choice, so I sort of shrugged at this last comment and took the plunge.

When our entrees arrive, the waiter says "Your trout," and sets down a plate of some lovely roasted artichoke hearts, grilled grape tomatoes and... a nicely grilled piece of salmon. Now like I say, I don't have trout that often, and it had been a long day, so I question myself for a second: I'm pretty sure it's salmon. I check with my tablemates, take a taste. Yep, that's salmon alright.( Don't get me wrong, I love salmon, but I have it at home all the time. I want trout.)

I try to flag down my waiter but he doesn't see me. A manager sees me. "Yes, sir?"

"I was told the fish of the day was trout, but this is salmon."

He looks at the salmon. "Well, I can check with the chef, but I'm sure that's trout."

"Yeah," I say, "Why don't you check with the chef?"

He bows, Fawlty-like, and heads for the kitchen. A moment later the waiter sweeps by to ask if everything is okay, and I say, "Well, you said the grilled fish today was trout."

He looks at the salmon. "Yes, sir."

"This is salmon."

He looks at it again, and says, I kid you not, "It's a special kind of trout. It tastes like salmon, but it's trout."

I say, "What?"

And then he says the funniest thing a waiter not named Manuel from Barcelona  [Ees no rat. Ees hamster. Special, filigree hamster!] has ever said.

He says, "It's half salmon, half trout."


Yes, sir. Half salmon, half trout.

"It's some sort of hybrid? I really don't think so."

"That's what the chef told me, sir."

"That's scientifically impossible," Sa says.

I say, "I would really like the chef to come and tell me that this piece of fish is 'half salmon, half trout.'"

The waiter goes back to the kitchen and returns moments later to apologize, saying he's sorry, it was salmon, it's his fault, they hadn't changed the menu board in the kitchen from the day before, when the special was trout. I nod, although this certainly doesn't explain why the chef thought he was serving an amazing breakthrough achievement in fresh-water fish biology right there at Downtown Disney. Or why the manager, for god's sake, was able look straight at a piece of salmon, and say it was trout.

I also can't help wondering how many other couples were served the salmon-that-tastes-like-trout, without saying anything more than "Hm. This trout sure tastes like salmon, doesn't it, honey?"

I also can't help wondering if any of those fictional couples got the happiest ending on earth.


  1. Hilarious and surreal. What a WEIRD thing to lie about!

  2. Steelhead trout does look like salmon at first glance, but it's less oily and fishy tasting - like a mild salmon. It's pretty easy to get the two mixed up, see?

    So they way he explained it kind of makes sense - texture of salmon, taste of trout.

  3. Actually salmon-trout (also called rainbow trout) exists, and yes it looks and it taste very close to the salmon.
    Even if it was a salmon, what the waiter said was not that stupid...

  4. Anonymous12:58 AM

    yes salmon trout is very delicious and i am having a crush of it Los Angeles Indian restaurants