After work a few nights ago, Kip, Gavin and I headed out on the town. We started the evenings' festivities off at a pretty classy joint inexplicably named Arnold (176 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia). Like walking into Saigon circa 1955, the expansive and atmospheric dining room glows with neon lights and the hippest of the hip dance the night away to Vietnamese classics and international pop standards (think Motown, not Katy Perry). This is the type of place that all of our grandparents frequented in the Eisenhower years. They had a live band of dexterous septuagenarians and were inviting diners to join them on stage and sing. Most of the singers had serious chops and although the below video has grainy sound it conveys the mood of the place fairly well:
For dinner, I ordered a plate of "Crab Vermicelli with Handle." The menu had some of the wackiest translations I have seen to date! We split the large portion of crab, noodles and veggies three ways plus ordered a massive helping of shrimp. I didn't eat the strange crustaceans because I dislike shrimp like I dislike stomach cramps and biting flies; however, the boys enjoyed them. Wine was ordered and by the end of the night I was invariably singing on stage. I regaled the small group of late night stragglers with an off-key, screeching rendition of Yesterday. I managed to embarrass myself thoroughly. As I got off stage, Gavin and Kip were nearly falling out of their chairs with laughter. I was told by a Vietnamese singer that she loved me, so I guess I wasn't that bad. I convinced Gavin to ask one of the wait staff for a dance. He was blanked by the gal due to his towering height. That didn't stop him from wiggling around the dance floor so vigorously that he was seriously sore the following day.