I've been hanging out a fair amount lately with Chandler Burr, who wrote a fascinating book called The Emperor of Scent about a guy who developed a new theory for how our sense of smell works. Conventional wisdom is that our olfactory receptors determine a molecule’s smell by its shape. This guy, Luca Turin, says they determine it based on its molecular vibration.
It’s really fun to suggest this to biologists because they get really angry and defend the shape theory like it’s really important.
Anyway, I threw some work Chandler's way and since then he has been helping me explore Thai restaurants. He also accompanied me to a recent meal at Duvet, which is one of those restaurants where you eat in bed. I have learned from those restaurants that tables and chairs are extremely practical when it comes to eating, especially soup.
This evening, Chandler, who also is The New York Times' new scent columnist, asked me to hang out with some friends of his, Mark Kingstone and Kevin Laursen. We met at their apartment and after much discussion resolved that ordering from Ali Baba, a neighborhood Turkish restaurant, was our best dinner option.
What we ordered from Ali Baba:
Lahmacun (flat bread with lamb on it)
Arnavut Cigeri (fried cubes of calf liver)
Icli Kofte (beef-stuffed bulgur croquettes, like kibbeh)
Yogurtlu Tavuk (chicken in yogurt)