You were wearing a black Journey t-shirt; and I was in a striped navy, grey and pink dress with pointy flats purposefully chosen to coordinate with my Hobo clutch.
You probably don't remember that part, though; just like you probably don't remember my name (Diana), or that I live in West Hollywood and don't usually get over to the Westside, let alone all the way to Venice, on a Friday night.
Unless, of course, I'm provoked.
Or a friend sends an Uber with the directive, "Be ready in 10 minutes."
What you likely remember is that we sang a duet of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid before we'd even formally introduced ourselves, or perhaps considered whether it would be appropriate to sing Disney in a restaurant bar not outfitted for karaoke.
You probably remember that we inappropriately giggled like 12-year-olds over the size of a poor, unsuspecting bar goer's Adam's Apple.
And you might remember that after we chortled through the lyrics to "Les Poissons," I started to refer to you as Mufasa. (Because Prince Eric, or your real name, Clark, would have been too obvious.)
The whole interaction was easy and relaxed and fun and everything that IT should be.
You know, that connection/chemistry/attraction thing that we are all trying so hard to find on OkCupid/Tinder/Coffee Meets Bagel through gritted teeth, forced conversations and far too much alcohol.
Which is why it was so startling to find IT there, in the middle of the bar at Scopa Italian Roots, while others around us were fumbling through opening lines and throwing back Bullocks-Wilshire cocktails. They, those fumblers, had nothing on us. Mufasa and Sebastian (Ariel or Diana would have been too obvious).
It was irritatingly cute and perfect... except for the minor insignificant detail that you were on a first date with someone else.
And of course she had to be all sweet with her J. Crew necklace and black date night dress, as she insisted that my friend and I stay, talk and keep intruding on your conversation like it wasn't the most annoying thing in the world. And you were chivalrous and found her a bar stool to sit on because her feet hurt, and when it got late, and we ran out of Disney songs to sing, you said you had to get her home without a hint of an ulterior motive polluting your voice.
And just like that my heart broke into a million pieces for what might have been if you weren't a good guy, and I weren't... me.
So, you walked away, and I stayed. And we missed our chance.
* * *
It's probably too late to be sharing these two recipes that call for pomegranate seeds in the precise moment that the season is coming to a conclusive end. In fact it's rather cruel of me to be mentioning them to you at all - parading them before you with the unspoken taunt, "You can look, but you can't touch."
I fully realize it should be all things blood oranges and tangerines and pomelos at this juncture of winter, but if you can still find a vibrant red pomegranate at your farmers' market, I command you to make both of these dishes immediately.
Before you, you know, miss your chance.
Avocado Toast with Pomegranate, Lime, Feta, and Cilantro
1 piece of thickly sliced bread
1/2 medium avocado
Juice from 1/4 a lime
Scoop avocado into a bowl with lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Smash with a fork until relatively smooth.
Spread avocado over toasted bread. Sprinkle with feta, pomegranate seeds and cilantro leaves.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
Honey lime dressing
Zest of 1 lime
1 small bunch of cilantro, minced
1 14-ounce black beans, drained and rinsed well
4-6 radishes, sliced into thin half-moons
2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
Arugula or other greens
1 avocado, sliced
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Honey Lime Dressing
Juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
Combine ingredients in small bowl. Whisk together until well-incorporated.
* * *
In a medium pot, bring 1 3/4 cup water to a boil. Add quinoa, season with salt, and simmer, covered, until water has absorbed (approximately 20-25 minutes). Remove the lid, fluff with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes.
Transfer quinoa to a large bowl. Add the lime zest, dressing, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Use a fork to stir the ingredients together. Let cool in the fridge while prepping the other ingredients.
Once cooled to room temperature, toss the quinoa with the cilantro, followed by the black beans, radish slices, pomegranate seeds, and arugula. Serve topped with slices of avocado and the toasted pepitas.