I was outside at Sava’s patio on a breezy evening in September under the pretenses of a date–a rare, almost mythical situation for an undergrad.
As my date rambled on about his MBA and favorite Indian curry I realized that this was going nowhere. Whilst a very nice guy, I could tell that his idea of a wild night consisted of overindulging in a fried appetizer. Still, I felt obligated to feign having a good time.
I found refuge in the menu, a safe space to pass the time between half-laughs. I’d been to Sava’s a few times before and never was impressed. It had a decent variety of well-priced offerings and faux-chic ambiance. It was, in sum, a safe bet for a mediocre to good time.
“Oh Sava’s,” I thought to myself. “I don’t care if that butternut squash ravioli comes with liquid gold, it’s still about as avant-garde as Eggo waffles. And your attempt to reinvent the chicken pot pie with velouté sauce is trying way too hard.”
Then I saw it. They had a special of fish tacos, paired with a spicy aioli and avocado cream sauce and a marinated cabbage slaw. “Finally,” I said under my breath.
I sat silently as my date droned on about his love for yoga and his sister in Chicago. When he mentioned his ex for the second time I actually pretended to drop my fork on the ground to avoid keeping up my end of the conversation. Luckily, at that point the waiter had come with our food.
TBH, I don’t remember much after that. The sweetness of the avocado cream danced with the savory fattiness of the fried fish, the spicy/creamy aioli singing above it all like a choir of prepubescent church boys. I was taken aback by the bold simplicity. Sava’s, which had always garnered a B+ rating in my book, had suddenly earned “most improved” in it’s class.
Those tacos seduced me in a way that my dinner date never would.
After my date and I parted ways, “Yeah, we should totally do that again sometime!” NOT!, my roommates obviously wanted to hear all about it.
“Oh it was fine…he was nice, I guess,” I said, “But there were these tacos. I think I’m in love.”