He's a Michael Bauer or Jonathan Gold in the making. Four-year-old Desmond Appelgren recently provided a read-my-face restaurant review for the San Francisco-based blog the Bold Italic. These pictures are worth thousands of words.
Writer Jessica Saia notes on the blog that the San Francisco restaurant Mission Chinese Food draws professional food critics with refined palates. "But why get your information from a professional when you can go straight to the purest source: the post-bite facial expressions of a four-year-old."
And Desmond wasn't eating macaroni and cheese and Cheerios. These were chili-oil-fired dishes including such ingredients as eel, pork belly, ginger and bitter melon.
Saia told the Los Angeles Times on Friday by email that the kid's-face review was a hit.
"This was the first of what I'd love to become a little series," Saia wrote. "After its success yesterday, I'm thinking of other SF restaurants that would be good to try next with some new little ones. (The idea of going somewhere notable and fancy, dressing them up in tiny suits is just too good.)"
Desmond is the son of the site's marketing lead, Chris Applegren. His dad told Saia that they "try to do food adventures at home" with him. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. What you can be assured of with a 4-year-old is an honest reaction.
At Mission Chinese Food, Desmond sampled Thrice Cooked Bacon: Shanghainese rice cakes, bitter melon, tofu skin and chili oil. Then came Salt Cod Fried Rice: mackeral confit, Chinese sausage, lettuce and egg. Tea-Smoked Eel was the next dish, with fresh rice noodle, Chinese celery, salted plum hoisin sauce, braised pork and cognac soy. Egg-Egg Noodle was a soft hen egg, ginger and scallion. Finally, there was Tiki Pork Belly, with soy caramel, Mandarin orange, pickled pineapple, shaved coconut and macadamia nuts.