On Friday night I got home and stuffed my face with Trader Joe’s frozen pomegranate seeds (aka “kernels of rapture”) while waiting for my sister to arrive (she lives in San Jose and was heading up to visit for the night). We had no real plans other than to consume brownie batter, listen to ‘80s music and hold a finger-nail painting session with my newest pink polish, but after she arrived we all decided to head over to this fabulous little Japanese joint called Shiro for happy hour. Sushi is only $3.50 a roll during happy hour at Shiro (score) but we got so carried away that we ate $100 worth, which, as you can imagine, is a whole lot of sushi. (To be fair our friend Doug also joined us, so the meal was dispersed four ways.)
We decided to make a night of it by having “tastings” at other restaurants within walking distance. First up was Modern China, a lux Asian-inspired restaurant with standard, Asian-inspired décor. The kind of place you’d expect to see on a Sex and the City set. The swank patio out front housed a dozen or so tables near a tall, trickling Zen fountain in one corner and a giant Buddha statue near the back. I had wanted to try it in forever, but apparently I’m a sucker for atmospheric cliché, since Modern China was…well…underwhelming to say the least. We had cocktails and appetizers, which basically equated to pineapple juice in a martini glass and a two pieces of cold, ill-tempura’ed tempura shrimp with what tasted like Trader Joe’s sweet and sour sauce on the side. (Not that I don’t like TJ’s sauces, but c’mon, really? I thought, guzzling the last of my frothy pineapple frappe.) From the outside the restaurant seemed hip, but if you looked past the hollow Buddha statues and Zen fountains, it was just one big, hot mess. Especially since they were playing loud latin salsa music that really didn’t go with the décor, which begged for more of a downtempo, ambient soundtrack. Clearly the Modern China folks didn’t get the memo on that one. It’s like mixing a Western theme with chop suey -- just…no. I could go on and on, but I’ll save my review for the new foodie blog, “Eat the Creek," that J and I have started.
After imbibing on food and spirits all night, I sent J off the next day to play golf with his brother while my sister and I
After a few hours of shopping sis and I had too many bags to walk the five blocks home with, so
That night J and I had dinner reservations at this Vietnamese restaurant called Élevé near our apartment. The calories from the last 24 hours weren’t settling well, but I threw a dress and heels on anyway, determined not to let some poor eating choices hamper my night. And I’m so glad I soldiered on because the food at Élevé was spectacular, in every varying shade of the word. Élevé is best-known for their cocktails (I tried the Moscow Mule on hand-chipped ice – divine!) but their food was top-notch as well. We had the shrimp spring roll appetizer in soft rice paper with peanut sauce, then for an entrée I ordered the sticky rice claypot replete with thick, succulent prawns, shiitake mushrooms and sweet onions. For our side we ordered the carmelized root vegetables – carrots and other “roots” tossed to perfection in a candied ginger glaze with hints of nutmeg and other spices.
The ambiance was cool and sophisticated (the bar against the wall had backlights, giving it that contemporary urban vibe), we got to sit at a table near a window, and the service was impeccable. In the words of Travis Birkenstock, “Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. Fine holiday fun.”
Then came Sunday, wherein J and I spent all afternoon admiring furniture at Scandinavian Design, before buying a living room set on clearance ($1,200 marked down to $479, die!). The sofa and chair set are very mid-century modern -- something you’d expect to see in an office at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce -- which is perfect for me.
On Monday I visited with friends over Chipotle and a big, honking scoop of ice cream from the San Francisco Creamery (i.e., solid, delicious fat in a cone, with chocolate chips). And...Jesus, reading over this post makes me feel ill; clearly this week will be all about detoxing (that Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookie I had today at lunch does not count). All the food and furniture buying was delicious and satisfying, but now I feel like my stomach and my wallet need a break from all the mass consumption.
Ever feel that way?