< June 16, 1998 >

Good Food

Meandered about during most of the day through tests and through various things in my head. Some of them on the Web. The most obvious thing that was on the Web was a new Sony laptop. Look at the link, then it uses scripts to take you down several levels, so I couldn't find the link to the exact laptop in question, but it's the 500 series ones, the cheapest of the lot, but likely with a memory upgrade and a CDROM player in addition to the things given. It's still under $3k and 3 lbs. and 1 inch thick. Not the fastest or the best processors, but with that kind of weight and the ability to take dictation... My.

I should likely hold off until I actually can touch one.

But it's so darned tempting.

Had to go to the dentist's for lunch, because I was supposed to be getting my toothguard back, after extensive changes by the dentist to it. So I got there, napped in the chair while waiting for the doc to get done with a filling and that felt good. Then I got my guard and meandered over to Uwajimaya, which is a Japanese food store. Everyone stared at me. That was kinda interesting to see in the Japanese store. Maybe the ties to anime are closer.

But I marched over to the frozen foods section and found myself a couple of boxes of coffee ice cream mochi balls and bought 'em while they were on sale. Yay! They're basically balls of ice cream wrapped in a rice flour ball of dough. The texture of the wrap is chewy tender and sweet with sweet rice and a dusting of rice flour. So you can hold a ball of ice cream without getting it all over your fingers, and eat the wrapping as well as the creamy sweet ice cream. Yum.

I had one of those along with a bottle of Odwalla SuperFood, the really nasty looking green stuff that tastes of bananas and mangos, for lunch. Then got plunged back into testing, again.

We got out around 6 p.m.. Early because we were supposed to have dinner with John's parents, an early Father's Day and a late birthday present for John's mother. We met at the Third Floor Fish Cafe at 6:30 p.m.

The review has it pretty well. The view out the windows is just utterly gorgeous and the time and day we'd picked couldn't have been finer. It had started out grey and awful and raining, but by the time dinner rolled around the sky had cleared so the sunset we got was clear and golden and lit the far mountains in spotlight. We could see across Lake Washington to Seattle. Marvelous.

The food lived up to the expectations set by the review as well. All of it, from the salads and appetizers through to the exquisite desserts. I had the roasted heart of Romaine salad, which came with a lovely vinaigrette, plenty of bleu cheese and crisp bacon crumbles. It was the perfect texture too, just a bit melted by the heat but still crisp at the heart. The arugula salads that John and George had were pretty keen as well, with a good mix of other stuff that balanced the savory taste of the greens well.

The main courses were pretty astonishing. The seafood stew that George had was plump full of all kinds of sea things, and had a curry based gravy layered over everything. Isabel's roasted salmon was nicely prepared with crisp basil and an orange based cous cous. John's scallops came with a beet risotto and frizzed carrots (slivered, deep fried and cutely arranged on top of everything else). I had the seared ahi and when the waiter had gone on about all the fish being done medium rare, I'd asked him to be sure that the seared ahi was extra, specially rare to even raw, and he looked a bit bemused.

I mean, seared ahi should be just jello clear through, just a bit of searing on the edges is okay, but it should NOT be cooked, damnit. I just wanted to make sure, and I was glad when it appeared. The ahi medallion had been just lightly seared on both sides and all around and then sliced in half, through its thickness to show the ruby redness of the truly gorgeous tuna. Wow. They'd seared it in butter with just a touch of herb so that it lent the mildest of tastes to the fish. Then planted it on a bed of curry raisin cous cous with a layer of stir-fried baby bok choy. The balance was perfect. Especially with a gentle squirt of the curry that the cous cous had been cooked with and a light squeeze of wasabi-based sauce gave it just a bit of zing that could be consciously dipped into or not. I completely cleaned my plate.

For the last two months, I really haven't eaten all that much. It's been something that's just kinda happened since the surgery, my appetite has shrunk significantly since my soccer days. I'll happily attribute it to the simple fact that I'm not doing nearly as much, physically. But the main line is that I just haven't eaten as much. This was likely the first time in the last several months that I actually had a salad and a dinner and cleaned my plate.

And then came desserts.

Everyone else didn't really want dessert, or said they didn't, but I wanted to at least look at the dessert menu. It turned out very well, as the have an on-site pastry chef of the day, and he does certain things each week or so, or something. But what they had for that day, was a frozen chocolate mousse with candied ginger, a peanut butter and chocolate cake with a side of chocolate sauce and peanut brittle, and a ricotta cheesecake with a walnut crust brandied cherries and just a bit of lavender water. I had to have the cheesecake, and after seeing the menu, John ordered the frozen mousse and George and Isabel shared a peanut butter and chocolate cake. Yum. They did the dry capuccino right, as well.

All in all a really good experience. So John and I are likely to go there again on some special occasion. Yay!

We brought Isabel and George back to our house with us to show Isabel a birthday card her brother had sent her via the Web, as they didn't have a browser handy. John shared some of his third batch of beer, a solid porter, with them as well, and they liked that. Fezzik got pets and they left around 10 and were pretty happy with the whole celebration.

John noted to me that I was the one that introduced him to the concept of eating at a good restaurant and just sitting back to enjoy it rather than guilting about cost or whatever. That was cool to know. I love really great food, and it's worth doing once in a while to just enjoy it deeply. So, yay!!

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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