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Happy my birthday!

April 1, 2009

I had the BEST birthday ever this year. But hopefully I’ll be able to say that every year…

It started on Saturday, with margaritas and fun at Cuatro’s. So many of my friends came, and we chatted and laughed and drank margaritas all afternoon.

On Monday (my actual birthday), my coworkers took me to lunch at Fino. I’ll have to post photos of that soon… it was delicious! I’ve been there many times, but never for lunch; it’s such a great lunch spot. I had the fattoush salad and the celery root bisque. And the strawberry semifreddo for dessert. So yummy. And my friends at work gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble (they know me so well). Plus my parents and Justin’s parents sent birthday moolah.

And THEN, on Monday evening, Justin gave me my birthday present: dinner at Uchi with the omakase tasting menu. Wow. Just… wow. We started with glasses of Veuve Cliquot champagne (only the best for my birthday!), and continued with tasting after tasting. I had a couple of glasses of JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc, and Justin had a couple of glasses of cold hoyo genji “shining prince” junmai sake (described on the menu as well-rounded with hints of fresh almonds and hazelnuts).

I don’t remember what tastings came when during the evening, but we had:

  • An amuse-bouche of jellied yuzu… I don’t remember what else was on it but it was so bright and light
  • The uchi salad – tiny glasses of small leaves of romaine lettuce sprinkled with puffed rice and panko crumbs, and served with an edamame dressing
  • Nigiri, with black bass and lemon zest, tuna and ginger, and aji and wasabi
  • Usage foie – a roasted rabbit and foie gras cake with mustard seeds and kyoho grapes and a creamy tofu sauce
  • Machi cure – maplewood-smoked baby yellowtail wtih yucca chips, asian pear, marcona almonds and garlic brittle; you piled everything on top of the yuca chips to eat it
  • Ho-o shipo shita (which our waitress referred to as tongue-in-cheek) – beef cheek, tail and tongue cooked sous vide, a slow-poached egg (it was just the yolk, perfectly runny! I have no idea how they did that), red and green leaf lettuce, and Korean pepper
  • Hotate tataki – seared diver scallops with watermelon radish, parlsey and heirloom yellow tomatoes
  • Shun no sakana – pan-seared black bass with shishito (pepper), citrus juices and Japanese cucumber
  • Omaaru ebi – Maine lobster with red radish, honeydew melon, fresh basil and jalapeno
  • Hirame usuzukuri – thinly sliced raw flounder with smoked sea salt, yuzu zest, daikon radish and fried quinoa (which they called “quinoa candy”)
  • Okashi (dessert) – all hazelnut: hazelnut sorbet, hazelnut parfait (creamy outside, hazelnut crunch inside), hazelnut croquant (like a tuille, thin cookie), and hazelnut butter (plus toasted hazelnuts)

It was amazing. The service was impeccable, the head sushi chef Masa was friendly and talented, and the food! Oh, the food. (Sigh.)

And last night we had dinner at my friends Brent and Laura’s place, and they made me my own two-tier chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Brent called it “cakewad,” because it wasn’t a perfect two-tier cake (more like a cake mound), but I loved it, because it was smothered in icing.

Have you ever heard of such a fabulous birthday? I’m so happy to have such wonderful friends and family. I think my 31st year will be a good one.

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9 Discussion to this post
  1. woozie says:

    what a lovely assemblage of people around you, crystal, it is obvious you love and are loved in return!

    a big toast to you on your birthday, and many more that include light and love… thanks for sharing such a special time, and treats!

  2. Joe says:

    Happy Belated Birthday!

  3. Crystal says:

    Thanks, guys! 🙂

  4. Cheri says:

    Yay! Sounds like a wonderful birthday!

  5. Sicilian says:

    Happy 31st Birthday. . . .can’t think of a better way to spend it. . . . food and friends.
    Ciao

  6. Happy Birthday Crystal! sounds like you had a great one…best judy

  7. Crystal says:

    Thanks so much, everyone! 🙂

  8. Lindsay says:

    Happy birthday! Sounds like it was quite the success! You’re lucky to have friends with such good taste 🙂

  9. Your birthday sounds wonderful – and that omakase, completely divine! Thanks for sharing!

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