Saturday, December 28, 2013

Those Who Know Me…

will agree that I don’t have a “warm and fuzzy” personality. And that extends to the Christmas season. Especially to Christmas movies. I am no fan of It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. And White Christmas' thin plot line is cluttered with way too much singing and dancing. But, perhaps because of my Midwest upbringing, I will admit that I am a sucker for A Christmas Story.

Did you realize that this is the movie’s fiftieth anniversary and it was only a modest hit upon its release. Now, of course, you can watch for twenty-four hours straight beginning Christmas Eve and extending into Christmas Day. And what memorable lines. Ralphie describing The Old Man’s leg lamp as “the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.” The Old Man saying “Fragile... Must be Italian.” I don’t know about you, but I never see the word “fragile” without pronouncing it as “fra-gee-lee”. And then there is the closing scene with Ralphie and his family sitting in the Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day and being caroled by the Chinese waiters with “Deck the harrs with boughs of horry; fa ra ra, ra ra ra, ra ra ra.” Not politically correct to be sure, but I still find it humorous.

So when Chuck’s cousin Raina suggested that she, her husband Jesse, her mother (and Chuck’s aunt) Evie, and Chuck and I go out for dinner Christmas afternoon, where else could we choose to go than to a Chinese fusion restaurant? So we met at Tottie’s Asian Fusion #1.
“Tottie Kaya, owner/chef of Tottie’s Asian Fusion in Scottsdale, always dreamed of having her own restaurant, but it took a major journey to accomplish her goal—literally.

“She came to the U.S. from Laos in 1979 and got her first job at a McDonald’s. She earned an associate’s degree, worked as an engineering assistant at Motorola for 15 years, moonlighted as a bartender, and server at Asian restaurants throughout the Valley.

“Her first restaurant, which opened in 2003 at Thomas and Hayden roads in Scottsdale, was originally named Shanghai Palace. She renamed it Tottie’s Asian Fusion in 2007 to better reflect the Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese menu (it also features a sushi bar). Kaya herself is of Chinese, Thai and Laotian heritage” (Geri Koeppel at
“As an adult, Tottie experimented in the kitchen and shared her food with friends and coworkers who eventually encouraged her to open Shanghai Palace in 2003. The restaurant attracted a loyal following and rave reviews in local magazines. In 2006, Tottie appeared on the cover of Food & Life magazine as one of the Valley’s Best New Chefs” (
A few years ago, Chuck, Raina, and I ate at Ms. Kaya’s second restaurant—Totties #2—and the two restaurants’ menus are virtually identical. But the décor of #2 is far more sleek and modern than #1.

“From the outside, this restaurant seems like it might be rather small, possibly outdated in décor. But once you enter, it's quite a large space, elegantly decorated, and seemed to be set up in a feng shui manner as well…” (Darci Juris at

“The dining room says upscale Asian with red, black and earth tones
and a stunning lighted Swarovski crystal dragon light display.
The sleek sushi bar beckons, ‘Pull up a stool and stay a while’…" (Geri Koeppel
We started the meal by sharing a bowl of hot and sour soup that was a combination of egg thread, scallions, Chinese fungus, and a meat that was either pork or beef in a dark broth. I should note that the photo here shows the bowl after five good sized portions had already been served.
There was enough soup for us each to have two servings except for Chuck. He had three.

Then the entrées began to arrive. First came Tottie’s Pan Fried Noodles—egg noodles pan fried until crispy and then smothered with shrimp, chicken, beef, broccoli, mushrooms, and snow peas in a rich brown sauce.
Then the Thai dish of Pad Lard Na arrived. This was a bowl of chow fun noodles topped with onion, broccoli, bok choy, pea pods, and beef and stir-fried with brown sauce similar to the previous dish.
Next up was the Mongolian Beef surrounded by crispy fried rice noodles. This was a much less spicy version of this Chinese-American dish.
Then came the Sweet and Sour shrimp,
followed by the Sesame Chicken.
Again, this was a different version of this Asian restaurant classic. I am used to the chicken being lightly battered and then coated with a sticky almost-honey sauce. Tottie’s version was uncoated stir-fried chicken in a sauce that was a bit sweet and a bit sour.

And with all of this came a bowl of plain steamed rice and another of fried rice.
As is so often the case, we had too much food and many to-go boxes were needed. Maybe the rule of thumb should be that when you have five people to only order four meals.

While I will only give Tottie’s 4.0 Addies for the food, we were certainly in 5.0 Addie company.
Raina (left) and Kate

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.


eyad ammar said...

اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

eyad ammar said...

اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم

eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك
شركة نقل عفش بابها
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بحائل
شركة نقل عفش بالظهران
شركة نقل عفش واثاث
شركة نقل عفش