Bon Vivant's written and pictorial diary of her culinary adventures that will amuse and excite your virtual taste buds...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Saturday, March 11th (Part 2) - From Tantra to Tabla

I leave Chinatown sans a no front license plate ticket (thank you, Saint Richard!) and I'm off to the Music Center where I see a production of "The Cherry Orchard" with my mother.

I leave my car in the LA DWP parking structure since I have another event tonight at the Disney Hall so the moms drops me off at Tantra where I am to meet USC Prof P (three times in one week!), Ms. Hollywood and her friend Balaka, Fox, and Maestro (Maestro Gourmet N has asked to be referred to simply as "Maestro" and after he solved the whole Sopranos' Tony Uncle Al riddle for me I have to concur.)

The theme of the evening seems to be turning into Indian "lite." I would have preferred the strong (and I might add good) flavors of India Sweets and Spices (not to mention paying a sixth of the price) to those of Tantra's but Tantra is closer to the Disney Hall and it has booze and atmosphere. Oh, and Tantra has this weird reservation policy - a $15 per person no-show charge. Since we get there right when it first opens and the restaurant is 98% empty this seems a little extreme.

USC Prof P gives me a ride down to the Disney Hall in his totally fab Integra - one of the greatest cars ever made. We meet up with Mr. Taste of Thai, Goddess Gourmet G, and Tracy. The show, "North Indian Master Musicians" is actually being held in REDCAT and it is very crowded but we get seats together thanks to Mr. Taste of Thai.

The show is supposed to begin with "a 10-tabla ensemble in a set of classical Hindustani repertoire" and who walks onto the stage but 10 ferengi! Uh, je m'excuse but where are the ten gorgeous Indian guys I've been anticipating for two months? Ok, breathe, all is well. But then one guy is playing this one instrument which is like a lilliputian organ that has been cross-bred with an accordian. Ok, I recognize the sound from listening to Indian music however this guy is playing the same bar of music over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again for about 45 minutes. I feel like running onto the stage and smashing the thing with my foot but am worried that audience members will say, "what a bitch." But then find out later that I would have been heralded a hero had I done so.

At the beginning of the second act the headliner, Swapan Chaudhuri, comes out with more ferengi - WTF! When they start playing you know these guys are musicians' musicians. At times the music is a little to experimental and atonal but overall it is quite enjoyable; however, I want to hear more classical Indian music so I feel a little disappointed.

Drink of the night: Mango Method (Stoli Vanil with mango juice)

Affirmation of the night: Never make a reservation at Tantra.


Anonymous Maestro said...

We should definetly do some North Indian Classical gigs sans the Ferengis and the Piano/guitar duo!

2:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was underwhelmed by Tantra but enjoyed the evening overall. The final musical performance was really great. - Wanda

11:32 AM


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