Jake and I viewed The Rise of the Planet of the Apes at the VIP theater in the Mall of America.

This was both of our first times attending an “adult” theater where you can consume adult beverages while watching a movie on the big screen.

The VIP theater mostly indistinguishable from any other movie theater except that each seat seemed designed to custom fit the worlds largest man and there were individuals who scurried down the isles serving alcohol.  The tickets were affordable and cost $8 apiece for the 5 p.m. showing while beer was $5/bottle.  Not bad.

As an individual who would never choose to see this move on my own free will, I actually enjoyed Planet of the Apes even though it made me cry twice.  May I be on Team Ape?

On the way to a restroom break, I was busy checking phone messages.  On my way out, I noticed drops of blood.  In absolute horror, I froze, staring at the floor and the sink.  It literally looked like there was a sword fight in the bathroom.  Or that humans had, in fact, been infected with the T-13 virus.

I washed my hands about 10 times, ran out from the restroom, and grilled the nearest theater attendant, exclaiming that there was blood all over the restroom.

The theater attendant’s response was nonchalant as he explained they already knew and were sending staff to clean up the blood bath.  They continued to keep what looked like a crime scene, in use.  Open to the public.

When I asked what happened, the attendant reported someone had a bloody nose.

I would have rather soiled my own pants while attempting to run to a different restroom than walk into such a mess.  This week, I watched clips from TLC’s “Strange Addiction” where one woman was addicted to eating laundry detergent and another addicted to bathing in bleach.  Until this evening, I can’t think of a moment where bathing in bleach or consuming Kaboom crystals sounded more appealing.

For dinner, we ate at Crave.  The only other time I’d been to Crave was during a happy hour which I rather enjoyed.  Part of me was curious to find out of I thought Crave deserved the foodie loathing.

I forgot to grab my camera and so we are stuck with blurry phone pictures.

I kept it simple and ordered a spicy tuna roll, $7.25 and a pickled daikon roll, $4.

I was generally satisfied with the spicy tuna roll, pictured to the left.  I tried an isolated bite of the tuna mixture and it tasted slightly fishy and not all that spicy.  When eaten as a whole, with soy and wasabi, it did not taste fishy.  The tuna was plentiful and its texture was like a pulverized paste.  The spicy tuna roll is $5 during happy hour which is a better value.

The pickled radish roll, pictured above to the right, was simple and decent.  A few pieces of the radish were difficult to chew.

What I did like was the texture and temperature of the sushi rice.  The wasabi was also especially pungent.

Jake ordered the Tuna Tataki appetizer, $13.95, described as “seared sushi grade ahi tuna, orange soy reduction, and togarashi salt, wasabi cream” and mussels steamed in a “ginger and miso broth” with baguette for $12.95.

To the left is the Tuna Tataki.  I found the seared tuna to be fresh and of high quality.  The frizzled, raw carrots were bland and unseasoned.  The cream dollops a top each slice of tuna tasted like unflavored whipped cream.  I did not detect even a wisp of wasabi and felt it tasted too sweet, almost like a dessert whipped cream.  I smeared the tuna slice around in the “orange soy reduction” sauce and found it be watery and bland.

As a beverage, I ordered hot tea which arrived over-steeped and bitter.

Crave mussel rant
I was annoyed by Jake’s mussels.  Although the picture above to the right is nearly invisibly blurry, you will notice that the mussels were completely covered with raw vegetables.

Jake was satisfied with the quality and flavor of the mussels.  He also complimented the three slices of toasted bread.  I did not taste a mussel, but tasted the rest of the dish.  One of the best parts of steamed mussels is the broth.  I was generally OK with the miso mussel broth which was mildly rich and garlicky, and tasted slightly of fish sauce.  However, I was puzzled by the addition of soft tofu cubes and annoyed by the overabundance of raw bean sprouts and julienned pea pods.  Some of the pea pod strips were hard to chew and I wonder if they were not de-stringed properly.  All of the cold, raw vegetables and large chunks of tofu distracted from the comforting experience of eating steaming mussels, dominating the seafood and the broth.  I yearned for Meritage’s Moules et Frites.

After dinner, we felt kind of unfulfilled.  The meal was certainly not terrible, but we felt it was over-priced for what was actually delivered.  As we stood up to leave, we looked at each other with eyes that said “Let’s not come back to Crave. Unless it’s during Happy Hour.”

Pretzel Dog saves the day

Jake and I soothed our confused and still-longing stomachs with Auntie Anne’s Pretzeldogs, 2 for $5.  Salty, sweet, and snappy.  I’ve always been a sucker for fake orange cheese sauce.  The salsa cheese actually contained a slight sensation of heat and the hot dog was firm and of a higher quality than expected.

I was surprised to feel very engaged by The Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  I still feel traumatized by my experience at the MOA Theater so next time, we may try St. Louis Park’s fancy theater.  The dinner menu at Crave seemed generally mediocre and over-priced, however, our server was fantastic.

I have joined both “Team Ape” and “Team Pretzeldog.”  Maybe if they work together, apes and Pretzeldogs will curb the obnoxiously-expanding Crave empire.