Thursday, December 15, 2022


 A few years back when cannabis became more or less fully legal in California, various Los Angeles restaurants offered tasting menus that included ‘cannabis pairings’ – different types of dope for each course, designed to match and enhance the flavor of different foods.  I’m not sure that these establishments ever really caught on, though I see they do still exist in some form.  I also see that the internet is awash with recipes for ‘cannabis cocktails’ and even ‘cannabis gin.’


I never went to one of those cannabis restaurants, mostly because I know that my own reaction to cannabis is very unpredictable.  Some types and dosages leave me completely unmoved.  Other types have been known to turn me into a drooling, dribbling wreck. There may be a time and a place for that, but I’d say not when you’re sitting at a table in a restaurant.


However … finding myself in Palm Springs recently (long story) where there’s a cannabis store on many a street corner, I sampled some edibles and then set out with the (untainted) inamorata for a couple of martinis at Zin, which calls itself ‘American bistro’ – no definite or indefinite article.


The walk there from the motel was an experience.  Most of the time I had no idea where I was or where I was going, and the roads seemed hundreds of yards wide.  It wasn’t unpleasant but it was very weird to feel that way before dinner, before even having had a drink.


Photo by Caroline Gannon

But we arrived at Zin, sat on stools at the bar, and ordered a couple of martinis from the cheery, mask-wearing barman.  He asked what kind of gin we wanted and I said Tanqueray possibly thinking of Snoop Dogg and the fact that he rhymes Tanqueray with Dr. Dre in the song ‘Gin and Juice.’ The barman then asked, and really do I believe this was the first time I’d been asked it by a barman, if we wanted the drinks shaken or stirred.  The latter obviously.


Well, I was certainly not a drooling, dribbling wreck and the martini was very good, and then I tasted the olive, and OMG!!!

It seemed to explode with brinish intensity not just in the mouth and taste buds but also in my brain, in my very core.  It was, and I hesitate to use the word, COSMIC.  I asked the barman where he bought his olives and he said just down at the local supermarket, and of course I was well aware that the bang was in me rather than in the olives, and probably it was an unrepeatable experience. Even if I could guarantee the ‘pairing,’ it no doubt wouldn’t be the same next time.  

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