Thursday, March 19, 2009

Movie Premiere and Free Grub

Even when I try to take a break from my food blog, I still stumble upon some kind of food event. That happened to me a couple of nights ago when I went to the world premiere of the independent film “White on Rice” as part of the 27th San Francisco Asian American Film Festival.

Despite the name, the film has nothing to do with rice. So it was just going to be a night out to watch a new film by director Dave Boyle (not to be confused with Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle). But prior to the screening, the film’s sponsor, Iyemon Cha, hosted a reception for the cast and invited guests. (Basically, anyone who signed up for an invitation on its site was invited.) So I got myself an invitation and packed up my handy pocketsize digital camera and the result was yet another food post.

The reception took place at the Bar Bistro at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the main venue for the film festival. I’m guessing the food came from the restaurant operations, which I blogged about when the Kabuki re-opened under the Sundance name in 2007.

Here’s my plate of free grubs. From the left there are a couple of crab balls (nice crab meat, OK flavor), a honking big chunk of braised short ribs (I wished they served it in smaller pieces and in a bun) and smoked salmon on a tortilla chip (the smoked salmon had an incredibly intense flavor that I liked). I called this dinner.

The most popular guy at the event was this server who kept bringing out trays of chocolate truffles. I didn’t know who made them, but they were soooo good because all the different flavors of truffles were topped off with a sprinkling of sea salt. (I know, chocolate and salt is so 2007 but I still love the combination.)

Since the sponsor of the event was Iyemon Cha, that was the only beverage served. I had never heard of Iyemon Cha, which produces bottled tea drinks. This night they served their original green tea and roasted green tea flavors. I tried both and I have to say they were kind of flavorless, almost like water. There wasn’t a strong tea flavor and it wasn’t really sweetened. (I heard many people say the tea was like water.) Thanks for the free grub though!

Here’s the star of the film, Hiroshi Watanabe, talking to a couple of guests. The film is a quirky comedy about Watanabe’s character, “Jimmy,” who is a 40-year-old divorcee and a bit of a child trying to find love. It has flavors of “Little Miss Sunshine” and also stars (in a supporting role) James Kyson Lee of “Heroes.” It was an entertaining film, and like all quirky comedies there’s a child star who’s adorable, and that comes in the form of newbie Justin Kwong.

Here’s the official site where you can check out the trailer and see where the film will be playing next. (If you’re in San Jose, you can get rush seating when the film plays as part of the festival Friday night, 3/20, at 7 p.m. Get details here.) The San Francisco Asian American Film Festival wraps up this weekend, so rush out to catch a film, and maybe some free grub!


Nate @ House of Annie said...

Hmm, BSG final episode, or AA movie?

Passionate Eater said...

James Kyson Lee has made a few other great independent Asian films, so I would love to see this one!