Lamb Face Salad

LOCATION: Xi’an Restaurant, East Village, NYC

For the longest time, my co-worker would not stop ranting about the incredible food over at Xi’an.

Ox-tail soup? Cheap, delicious dumplings? What’s not to like?

The second I walk in there, I’m filled with memories of my trip to China solely based on the smells.

Sweet, salty, delicious spicey melodies all in the key of Cilantro.

On the wall were all the picture of the celebrities who had come to visit.. Anthony Bourdain eating a lamb burger, the bald Baby-man from “Weird Eats”, and some photos of inconsequential models and politicians.

Before long, the adorably androgynous clerk takes my order and I’m on my way.


The first couple bites of the dish are delectable.

It’s exactly what it sounds like- chopped up pieces of a lamb’s face in a salad (hey, at least they’re using the whole thing). Cold dressed and briney, cut with the oil and a tinge of spice that brings out the flavor of the tender lamb.

Further into my eating, I notice that half the dish is oil. The super fresh herbs add some texture but all I can taste is cilantro.

Initially, there are no digestion problems.

Keyword: Initial

********Stomach Comfort******* 3/5
********Aural Digestion******** 5/5

A few hours of hitherto inaudible digestion pass. I had some gas that burned a bit on the way out, but nothing I would consider a public health hazard.

But then… a sinking feeling.

Something’s wrong.

There’s intense pressure in my intestines and bowels. Not quite the horrible “Get me to the throne immediately” pressure, but ya know…not good either.

Thinking I probably have some time to finish my thoughts, I sit there for a moment.

Big mistake.

The flood of poo is coming like the Yangtze, Jinsha & Mekong Rivers, and my corn-cutter is the Three Gorges Dam … the only thing capable of saving the surrounding villagers from annihilation.

I squint my straining starfish as I descend the seemingly endless stairs, gravity exacerbating the already dire(hea) situation.

******Expulsion Velocity***** 1/5

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse…


All stalls are occupied. Split second decision… do I do an emergency maneuver into the urinal? Or take my chances running to the next bathroom down another flight of stairs?

Just then I felt the pang of a solemn memory… I took an emergency poop in a urinal one time at a Dave Mathew’s concert when I was 18, only to be laughed at by every bro from VA to VM. Never again would I endure that embarrassment.

I round the bend to the bathroom with the precision and haste of a racing stead, my balloon knot struggling to quell the impending riot of zesty excrement.

I meticulously wipe the seat from what, in my mind, can only be a filament of AIDs or Herpes that the person before me clearly left there. I’m careful not to bend over too far so as to compromise the vacuum seal on the liquid lamb face. 

And then it happens. 

*****Consistency***** 2/5

With the velocity of Vesuvius, magma erupts onto the anti-splash nest of toilet paper below.

The heavens weep and my colleagues evacuate the surrounding stalls.

The acoustics of the toilet bowl and room come alive as they echo, in perfect pitch, my colonic purge.

The release isn’t even entirely satisfying. It didn’t inspire that feeling of “ah, great poo.” I felt like I had more to go, but couldn’t spend 25 minutes in the bathroom.

*****Clean-Up***** 1/5

I felt as though I needed to shower… Like I would never be clean again.

Lamb Face Salad- 12/25

Lamb Face Salad

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