Oprah’s Inagural Party Pick

19 01 2009

The Rise of Obama Part 9

Richard Johnson a New York Post writer reported:

“OPRAH isn’t shy about her love for Barack Obama,
but she’s trying to keep secret the party she’s throwing in honor of his
inauguration. An insider told us: “Oprah is planning a lavish bash at TenPenh,” a swanky Asian-fusion restaurant in DC. “She’s being extremely secretive about it,” said our source. “But there will definitely be a ton of A-listers there.” She (Oprah) will also be hosting her show from Washington next week. A rep for Oprah insisted, “She is not having a party.”

(Ha! They’ll soon learn that DC is America’s -secret – here they have their own unique culture code and you can’t dictate whether a party is a party in the District. Folks – Black, White, Asian, Hispanic – will create the party. Some years ago one Judge’s daughter showed up at a stuff shirt affair and did a back flip in a dress revealing
bikini panties. That loosened up the crowd. Music sprang from somewhere and the party was on!!! )

On a more serious note, two weeks ago I listed four 5-star spots that may have tickled President Barack Obama’s fancy. What did Gayle pick? Common, over-priced, and swanky. Notice that the New York Post didn’t use words like posh, chic or trendy. No wonder Oprah is trying to keep this a secret.

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC

TenPenh’s web features some of its own recipes like Grilled Thai Beef Salad. None of the décor was featured. Instead they showed the TOO OVER PLAYED ancient artifact pictures then bragged that a Feng Shui Master respectfully directed the owners to follow certain Asian customs and guidelines, and Cliff Wharton, born in the Philippines was tapped (probably at the INS lock-up in Alexandria) by Chef Tunks to be his Chef de Cuisine. Who is the clientele? The FBI. Who goes to sit with the FBI for lunch or dinner? No one.

Now don’t get me wrong, TenPenh is decent and it’s on Pennsylvania Avenue. But it sure is obvious the owner or prime investor is a friend of Oprah’s or Gayle’s or something. I couldn’t find anything about the décor. I never heard anyone rave about TenPenh’s food. In fact, on their website they list two write-ups in magazines. What’s worse is that Gayle drove right past Oya’s, one of the best Asian Fusion places in town, who can boast over 20+ laudable magazine write-ups.

Now before some of you reincarnated ancient’s start hollering, DC’s Oya Restaurant is Asian owned. Yes, some few hundred years ago when Jerome and Dwayne made their way to Polynesia they took many of their pagan deities with them – like Oya, Osun and Mommy Wata. Most of these deities made their way into the mainstream and have achieved a second immortality with alternate titles like St. Mary. While others have been vilified, imaged, and given residence at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception just up the street from the U.S. Capitol. This may be one reason Barack can’t show. But believe me the Asian Fusion food and service is so good and comes out so beautiful that the one time Senator Barack Obama probably cabbbed over regularly when he didn’t have a taste for P. Diddy’s Howard U slide — Ben’s Chili Bowl.

So why did a fabulous restaurant like Oya’s lose out to the likes of TenPenh? The answer is Easy Security. For instance, you will drive right past TenPenh because it looks no bigger than a DC Lunch time Carry-Out. Ten Penh’s low key cover takes care of 90% of Secret Service’s job. Also, TenPenh and it’s neighboring restaurants want you to shell out $50 bucks for a Salad! In this economy, not even the well connected Washingtonians waste their hard earned dollars in such places. Besides, who wants to eat with a G-man starring down your throat.

Here’s a few pictures that may have gotten Oya’s –by far the best Asian Fusion restaurant within the city limits — the thumbs down by our U.S. Secret Service. If you look at the pics in Photo 1 you’ll notice that Oya’s has lots of windows and natural light. Anyone who has been to Polynesia knows how much the polynesians like light, and open spaces. BTW, for those of you who aren’t getting it – Hawaii is the American gateway to Polynesia. But unfortunately all the light, glass, and very trendy ornate art is a problem for Secret Service. Also the location may have proved challenging, Oya’s is located on 9th and H Streets NW in between two hotels and just two blocks from the Washington Convention Center where no less than 6 Inagural Balls will be taking place. Across the street is its competitor Ruth Cris Steak House offering great state side cuisine and valet parking.

Photo 1: Folks can peer inside Oya’s and ogle at its diners from the street (Top center and Bottom right). This would be a nightmare for Secret Service. Another nightmare may be that beautiful gas fireplace (Bottom left) and ornate glass decor

OK so from what we know right now, Oprah is trying to appeal to President Barack Obama’s Obi Wan persona. But let’s face it Obi Wan isn’t from south east Asia’s mainland, he’s from America’s gateway to Polynesia – Hawaii. This is why he also likes Chili Cheese half smokes and enjoys a round of hoops once in a while. For the most part, Obi Wan is probably more amenable to the bohemian style Polynesian cuisine that has more of a posh-chic Jerome and Dwayne twist like an Oya’s.

Let’s hope that over the next week while Oprah is shooting her shows at DC’s Kennedy Center that she and Gayle take up with a few well connected locals who can show them a little about DC’s unique culture and where the real Obi Wan style eateries are located.





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