Mistaken Prostitution

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Re-wrote this old restaurant review I originally posted back in 2006. The restaurant, 55 Degrees, closed about two years ago. The meal was forgettable, but what happened beforehand was anything but. ~Garrett

I had postponed getting together with my friend Kim and her hubby twice at this point for various reasons, so this time I was determined to not miss this dinner date. Unfortunately, I had come down with a bit of a cold, so after almost a bottle of cold medicine and a heroic amount of multivitamins I sluggishly tromped my way out to downtown. Luckily, even though I was sick, my taste buds had not been affected, so eating out was still an option. Kinda.

We had decided to meet up at 55 Degrees, one of the more contemporary restaurants that could be found on Capitol Street. Its steel and glass aquarium design created a chic, elite, sterile feel where politicos of every stripe came to dine and impress their guests. In a sea of suits and Prada loafers we were sorely out of place, but we heard the food was good and decided to wade through the business formal in a business casual manner.

Now, funny story on the side - I arrived about 20 minutes early so I paced around outside Capitol Street taking in the tall, abandoned scenery. It seemed I was the only person on the street which was both awesome and creepy in an Apocalyptic/Freddy Kruger movie sort of way.

After a while having exhausted any bits of garden or sculpture to examine I leaned back on a dimly lit lamppost and checked my test messages. "10 more minutes. - Kim." It seemed they would be late. I looked up to find my line of sight locked with an idling car a few meters away. The car then drove up, rolled down the window and a doughy, middle aged man poked his head down to look at me to, I assume, ask direction. This would be his loss as I was still relatively new to exploring Sacramento having rarely left the town of Davis. He looked at me, "How much?"

At this point my face contorted into I can only imagine what (probably something of a placid, white hot rage) as I stated in a dead tone, "I... am not a hooker!" His face went pale. He looked away and in an instant the car screeched off with a trail of smoke from his tires burning out trailing behind.

Great. This was worse than the time my I couldn't flag my mom down at the airport to take me home because I was wearing my dingy, old hunting coat. She thought I was a crazy homeless person. (Thanks, mom. And, yes, I still wear the coat.)

Stunned. I turned around and saw Kim and her husband and I ran up to them. "Hi! Sorry we're la-"

"Do I look like a hooker!?" I screamed in a slightly frantic manner.


I explained. Kim conferred that I did not look like a prostitute and we attributed the pervert's mistake was due to my pacing Capitol Street, leaning on the lamppost, and my hunting coat which, yes, I was wearing. Maybe it was the blush that my slight fever gave, possibly street light gave my sickly paleness an alluring street-walker look? She thought the whole damn thing was hilarious, and in retrospect, it is.

Either way, lesson learned: no more walking the street in dingy coats. That, or, ask how much first.


  1. Good summary of our dinner, G. I can certainly contest that you did not resemble a prostitute in any way Saturday night.

    I will add to your post that the pommes frites that accompanied your mussels were quite addictive and again, enough to feed three. The side of mayo was a nice touch, too.

    And a quick correction: M. is not, at this point in time, my hubby. He's simply my DP. ;)

    Glad you're feeling better, BTW.

  2. That story is funny. At least the guy had good taste!

  3. It's always nice to know you have a fallback career. ;-)

  4. My son's ex-fiance introduced me to a little bit of Thai food and I love it. Your words here really make me hungry!

    Now, as Cookie Monster would say (if he changes his food venue, of course) "ME WANT CUPCAKE!"

  5. Wow, I can't believe you were asked that. Unbelievable.

    When you said "99 degrees" were you talking about the weather? Because I hear you guys have had some really weird (read: HOT) weather in California. Bizarro.

  6. Kim - Thanks, I totally forgot about those. Best pomme frites ever.

    Beastmomma - Damn striaght. I can't help how hot I am.

    Sean - You'll be my pimp though, right?

    Jeni - Nothing, and I mean nothing, berat Thai and Indian food. You'll get a cupcake soon. I promises. :3

    Jennifer - 99 degrees is the slight fever I was sporting that night, though it was probably more than that.

  7. Sho'nuff! I've also been pimping food bloggers' Cafe Press wares on ThisNext, so I'm already in the pimping bidness. So we both have fallback careers. :-)

  8. You know.. I really really wanted to concentrate on the cheese part of this post... but seriously the prostitution mix-up bit was just way too distracting! Classic!!!

    Some friends of mine and I had a similar thing happen to us when I was in college in Ft Lauderdale... while trying to cross A1A some slimey old guy lurched up in his car... we thought he was gonna ask for directions.. so in turn we went to his window... boy what a shocker!!!

  9. Haha! It happened to me too- two or three times when I used to live in a really dodgy area of London. It was almost next door to a 'massage parlour' so I guess I shouldn't have been that suprised.

    Anyhow, it sounds like you were a lot more polite to that guy than I was to the ones who tried enquiring about my services.

  10. Well DARN!! After following your link to this post, I clicked over to Restaurant 55's website (via your link)... figuring I might stop by and check them out when I'm back in the area in June.

    But alas, they are no more :-( Have you heard where Chef Luc Dendievel has landed???

    Thanks for the post, anyway!

  11. Garrett - I know this is an old post, but it's flippin' hilarious. You do find yourself in the funniest/strangest situations. I just read that 55's chef, Luc Dendievel, is now executive chef at the Willard InterContinental in D.C.

    Too bad 55 closed... the food there was really great.

  12. Too funny. I love how sometimes the context eclipses the food. Also, on your earlier post, I second your love of restaurant supply stores although I am equally guilty of plunking down far too much at Williams-Sonoma.

    I visited one while seeing friends in NY (restaurant supply store not W-S) and was shocked at how cheaply I could get a basket to use for deep frying and a nice, deep stainless steal pan w/ lid I plan on using to store homemade ice cream/gelato.

  13. Now I am curious how your dingy coat looks like!
    Your story always make me laugh. Thank you for sharing your story :-)


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