Having Alice’s Baby Shower on September 28th wasn’t so much to ignore my own birthday, but actually give my sister two reasons to come back down to Los Angeles for the weekend. What better way to celebrate both our birthdays than dinner at Lawry’s once again. Looking back this is the third time we celebrated our birthdays at Lawry’s but the party will continue to get bigger with Kaylee joining the festivities this year.
(I’ve just been really busy at work and home to get to writing any blog postings but i’m going to catch up this week, i swear)
Saturday i got back onto the golf course for the first time this year. It was my basketball friend CJ’s birthday and he gathered some people for a round of golf at Long Beach Recreational course. They day was perfect with little wind, and the course not that crowded. My swing is still all over the place, and a barely pulled off a 99 by shooting an eight on the 18th hole.
After the round we gathered with the rest of the friends at Echizen in Cypress for lots of Tuna, and Sake. He’s goes often enough where the owner/chef came out from behind the grill and started doing very large shots with him at the end of the dinner. Happy Birthday CJ.
After months of waiting after my fateful morning of calling France to make a dinner reservation the day had come. Of course it did not come without a little trepidation that they actually wrote down my correct information and that it would still be there after all that time. After coming back home from the day of walking around the city i received a voicemail message email from my google voice account confirming my rsvp for the night, but unfortunately there was no phone in the apartment and all pay phones in the city use a calling card so what was i to do. So of course we just walked on down to confirm in person. With some time to kill we walked along the Rue Montorgueil which has a bunch of local type cafes, boulangeries, fromageries, and did a little shopping and snacking.
Once it was time for our reservation we found a line of people waiting for the Frenchie wine bar to open up across the street, and a few people seeing if there were any cancellations for the main restaurant (which there weren’t). It felt pretty special to come to such a exclusive type place that didn’t cost an arm and a leg to eat at. There are only two seating times 7pm and 9pm, and which i learned the 7pm is basically the seating for the Americans as we got to know our table neighbors were from Philadelphia and the other from somewhere from the midwest.
They offer up basically two different choices for each course along with a Foie Gras supplemental. We ordered once of each dish, along with the Foie Gras and a bottle of wine for our meal. The meal was paced out nicely and every dish was delicious. The stand out dish for me was the Foie Gras and its typically hit or miss for me, but i really enjoyed it with the fig compote. The Foie itself was smooth and not gritty and along with the sweet fig and toasted bread was delicious. The horseradish on the smoked trout kept surprising me, which made me go back again for another taste.
Foie gras torchon, figs
Mushrooms, speck, chestnut
Smoked trout, horseradish, fennel, Granny Smith
Royal sea bream, Swiss chard, sorrel, pine nuts
Quail, celery, raisins
Napolean sheep’s milk cheese, summer truffle honey
Mirabelle plums, lemon curd, aromatic herbs ice cream
After our meal Joy made me go take a picture with the Chef Greg Marchand. Probably the only thing that i wouldn’t have had would be the espresso after the meal because in the middle of the night i was buzzing and couldn’t go back to sleep. That stuff is crazy strong.
Normally i actually like to make a big deal for my birthday, but this year it just didn’t feel right. It was the opposite of the perfect storm, that this year it was my 32nd birthday (big whoop), it fell on a wednesday, and the trip back to Thailand was recently booked. Although I didn’t have a big party I did find a way to get together with friends and family all week long.
The Saturday before last I went out to dinner with my parents at Roy’s in Newport Beach. Since my sister was traveling to New York for her birthday my mom had to fly up to San Francisco to dog sit, so we had the dinner early. I chose Roy’s because it always seems the right balance between fancy and comfortable. Their happy hour specials are worth it enough, and for $5 the Roy€™s Original Hawaiian Martini is well worth it. Although though i was disappointed in my steak i enjoyed the rest of the night.
My actual birthday dinner Joy took me to Gjelina on Abbot Kinney with Ben and Tiffany. This is a restaurant that i’ve had on my list for quite a while, but never quite found a reason or could get a reservation to eat here. The dinner couldn’t have been better, we got seated outside next to the fire pit (loud interior) and all the food was awesome. We tend to order a lot with the Manichans and i was happy with everything we ordered. Between the Arugula, Shaved Sweet Corn salad, Ravioli in brown butter, Squash Blossom pizza, and Grilled Asparagus with fried egg the meal did not miss a point.
Saturday night was a night traveling south to Boiling Crab in Garden Grove for a big bag of peel and eat shrimp, oysters, corn and fried catfish with Tbang, and Shane. Between the four of us we could not finish 4lbs of shrimp but cleared off everything else. Afterwards Jonathan met up with us for drinks at Gaynor’s Lounge which we thought would be some Asian run bar, but when we walked in, it was like we were in a Wyoming truck stop. After a shot and a drink we were out of there.
Overall the week was great, and i’m looking forward to my future birthday gift of the new Kindle Fire … unless i find something else to get.
Tuesday was my birthday and I thank everyone that sent me a birthday message. It was an overindulgent couple of days and afterward with my sister coming down from SF to celebrate our birthdays together. It also was a good excuse to get together will all of our families for multiple eating opportunities.
We started the celebrations a few days early as my sister flew down while jesse was in NY for work. At the moment that Joy and I picked her up from the airport we were off to eat. We started off by getting to Paulette in Beverly Hills for some French Macarons, because i wanted to know how they compared to the ones she had earlier in the month at the originator of the stuff in France. After enjoying a few with some coffee we headed just a little east for our dinner reservations at AOC.
For dinner Ben and Tiffany, my culinary appreciative friends joined us for a meal of three cheeses, bacon wrapped dates, corn cakes, duck confit, and a couple bottles of wine. Its still one of my favorite “special” places to have dinner, and i always leave happy. For dessert we skipped the menu and went to MILK for some ice cream, and cookies, and nina even picked up some corn ice cream to eat later.
Sunday it was family time and for lunch we met up with my parents, uncle, aunt and cousins. Jonathan and Janelle also came by and there were a bunch of kids to go along with lots of food. Dinner we met up with Marie and Kenji in Tustin for sushi and lots of it. You can say we over ordered because we had more than a few pieces left over, but i did get to try uni for the first time. Although i think it tastes good, its has a similar texture to avocado which if yo know me isn’t my favorite.
Monday it was our family tradition of dinner at Lawry’s. It was a very delicious meal of course, and Joy’s parents got to enjoy the restaurant and it was the first time i’ve seen fish come out of the kitchen since they don’t eat beef. Lets just say i racked up plenty of bonus points and will be expecting my gift certificates coming in the up coming months.
For the finale of my actual birthday I ended up going to BJs at the Foxhills mall in Culver City with Jonathan and the family. I really was just planning on getting a salad and calling it a year, but Jonathan had a $100 gift certificate so we said why not. I even got a mini birthday pazooki with a candle on top to round it all out.
It was definitely€ a good time with friends and family and i actually still need to meet up with my orange county friends for more food.
I have to say Thank You to the best wife in the world for throwing me a birthday weekend i could’ve guessed. I thought it was going to be a pretty quiet weekend of some food, and maybe a drink or two. I was truly surprised when i got home from work at Joy had a present for me, the 50mm 1.8f lens that i’ve been looking at for a long while. Later that night after a quick trip to Disneyland i got home and found that my sister flew down for the weekend to celebrate my big 3-0, and her bigger 3-4.
Saturday night we had dinner reservations at Josie in Santa Monica. Its small fancy restaraunt that i’ve been wanting to go to ever since i first moved into my SM apartment. We got to the area a little early so we went to Copa di Oro for a quick drink, then ate a nice meal with Ben and Tiffany. We then headed to the Golden Gopher and was just enjoying my time and then got completely surprised as friends and families kept arriving. I was quite drunk by midnight and we finished off the night with another bacon wrapped hotdog. Great night, great friends, and a great family.
Sunday Nina used a pair of tickets to disneyland that she got while working there 15 years go since our birthdays was actually today (Monday) and she couldn’t the day off. My other cousins with their kids met us there. Rides, Haunted Space Mountain, Spam Musubi and Wine make a memorable 8ish use of our annual pass.
Only one year left until i hit the three oh! mark. I can’t believe that its getting there, but i can’t complain since beting 28 treated me well. I celebrated the new age by heading out to K-town with a few friends, for some beer, ok lots of beer, and soju. We went to this place called Crazy Hook, in what i could describe as the TGIF of Korea, The place is decked out in Pirate theme, and serves beer by the CCs out of beer towers up to three feet tall. In all we finished off three 5000cc’s of budweiser and a Patron bottle of peach soju. I was a little worried when i was double fisting a glass of soju along with a glass of beer. Fun times, but i totally forgot to take a picture with the pirates at the front of the restaurant.
Afterwards the guys from the office said that we should head out to Little Temple for a night cap, but mainly so that they could actually have girls that they could hit on. Korean girls are probably a little too strong for their taste. The bar ended up being a sausage fest, and 100° inside so we didn’t stay too long, but for my final birthday prize we ordered up some bacon wrapped hotdogs for dessert, with all the fix’ins. Joy got me home nice and safe, and i have to say i love K-town.