Turns out the $1500 (and an hour at Whole Foods) must go toward stocking a completely bare larder -- ah, no Top Chef kitchen, no Top Chef pantry. Mai Buddha finds some of what they need unavailable, and settle on a substitute for their sticky rice. They leave Whole Foods with two dollars, and on the way to Pier 1 Imports, Lisa, who's kind of like and angry Buddha, says that Mai Buddha got officially excited. Spike and Stephanie take front of house duties, with Spike focusing on all things long, red, and Buddha, and Stephanie zeroing in on simple and white. They return to the space with only five hours until service. Stephanie's ready to rumble, but Mai Buddha has beat her to the punch -- Dale and Lisa are already arguing, as Spike looks exasperated but pleased to be out of the kitchen, decorating the dining room. Setting up all that furniture looks like a huge pain in the ass.
At Warehouse Kitchen, aka the modern American gastro pub, Antonia is executive chef, Richard is chef de cuisine, and Stephanie is out front serving "simple, beautiful, clean, well-executed flavors." Their first course will be a beet and goat cheese salad with ras el hanout (again!) or linguine with clams; second course will be trout with cauliflower and hazelnut brown butter or "lamb squared," a red wine braised leg and a seared, roasted loin. Dessert will be Stephanie's gorgonzola cheesecake or Richard's recycled banana scallops. Spike Buddha-fies the dining room, and Lisa explains Mai Buddha's menu (no, that's my Buddha): shrimp laksa or pork and pickled plum pot stickers to start, butterscotch miso scallops (oh, nasty) or braised short ribs to follow, and halo-halo or mango sticky rice for dessert.
Antonia's back to her "Dale cooks only Asian food" song and dance, and says it's no surprise they're opening "a Chinese restaurant." Why the hate, Antonia? Spike, taking time out from the dining room to deploy his "own one dish" signature, takes the braised short ribs -- long, slowcooked, can be left alone. As Stephanie manhandles dough in a bowl, Antonia explains that they stupidly didn't buy any back up pasta, which is already on the menu, so the stuff Stephanie's got in the bowl has got to work.