(This particular indulgence was worse than Sagal thought. Last week, just after Vice was published, Brooks was arrested on 21 counts of embezzlement and other crimes; investigators say he charged that party, among others, to his company, which makes body armor for soldiers.)
One of the most hilarious chapters is about a dinner Sagal and his wife have at Alinea, a highly acclaimed Chicago restaurant. Its chef, Grant Achatz, is a practitioner of molecular gastronomy, an elaboration of culinary art cross-bred with chemistry, a rather chilly type of extreme cuisine.
As Sagal writes, a molecular chef "would look at a banana and see something to be frozen, microtomed, processed into foam or liquid, or maybe, through some magic bit of alchemy, turned into a meatball."
The result is both strange and irresistible: "Waiters carefully place in front of us: a square of Lucite, four inches by four inches by half an inch, standing on edge. On top of the square: a sliver of metal, holding what looks like a single yellow die on which the spots were applied by a blind person with a tiny brush. This is, according to the menu: 'corn, with coconut, cayenne, and lime.' It looks no more like corn (or coconut, cayenne, or lime) than a Whopper looks like the Queen of Romania."
But when he eats it, the result "is quite literally indescribable as if somebody poked your brain with an electrode and all of a sudden you started tasting things nobody had invented words for." After a couple of dozen courses and a lot of very fine wine, Sagal writes, "I paid the US$750 bill and licked the glass."