Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Most Dramatic Birthday Week

I'm finally back blogging. I've been through so much (or I can say too much) this past week. But, let's start with the happy events...

My birthday was last Sunday (Oct. 3). On Saturday night, some of my very close friends took me out to Kiwami Restaurant in Studio City for dinner. Kiwami is one of a few sushi restaurants I like to go to in LA. Their sushi is always fresh and nice. The place is so lively and fun.

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Here are just a few pictures among all the dishes we had. We started with oyster shooters (fun!), then we had assorted sashimi, houroku yaki, (seafood, grilled in the dish and served with soy-butter sauce), tempura (shrimp stuffed shishito peppers were so nice), and finally all the sushi. Wow, the food was really excellent.

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Kiwami's corkage fee is also reasonable ($10/ bottle). We had 2002 Domaine Bouchard Pere & Fils, Meursault Genevrieres 1er Cru, 2007 Domaine Ramonet, Puligny-Montrachet, and 2001 Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 1er Cru.

Sushi and Burgundy, to me, always create magical pairing. All the wines shone so well with the dishes we had. I had such a fantastic time with wonderful friends...thank you so much for the special time, friends!!

Then, on my birthday, Jason took me to Osteria Mozza for dinner. It's also one of my favorite restaurants in LA and he took me there as a surprise. How sweet! We shared various dishes...the picture is braised rabbit and rabbit sausage, which was one of their special of the night. All the dishes we had were quite impeccable.

However, there was a reason I couldn't eat much at Mozza that night. I was starting to feel very sick and couldn't even attempt to order a nice bottle of wine for my birthday (so we ordered carafes). I got food poisoning from a fish taco I had for lunch at a restaurant (it's a popular place) on the same day, and my condition was going downhill in the evening. I was actually already feeling something strange in my stomach right after lunch, but I originally thought maybe I got too full or just a reaction to the spicy sauce).

So, I could manage to go through the dinner Jason planned for me, but as soon as we got back home, I went to bed and started moaning. On monday (next day), I was very sick. In the evening, as soon as Jason got home from work, I was taken to the ER for the first time in my life. I was so sick that I couldn't eat anything all day. After different IV's etc., I was finally released from the ER, still feeling, sick, but Jason was so worried that I hadn't eaten anything all day. So, he stopped by at a restaurant on our way back home to pick up "organic" chicken pho, so that he thought I could at least taste the soup. This is also a very popular restaurant and always crowded.

He served the "organic" chicken pho for me as soon as we got home. The chicken was BAD. I mean, it smelled so stinky and so bad. I just couldn't believe it. "Adding insult to injury"...I can't find any better situation to use the idiom than this. Jason was so angry (for the situation) and dumped the whole thing to the sink. Organic my ___.

I continued to struggle the next days and finally started to feel close to normal by Friday. But, I am still very much traumatized by the whole experience...I don't want to even see or smell fish or meat for a while.

I feel like I am born again. I just don't want to repeat the same experience EVER again. Just want to tell you (who have kindly read through this posting) that please be careful when you eat out. I only try to choose reliable places but it still happens. I mean, how can you serve bad chicken (they should be able to smell it before even start cooking!)?? It's terrifying. Then also, there are many wonderful restaurants which are committed to the highest food safety and serving the best stuff in Los Angeles. So, I am grateful to them for their good work.

Because of this unexpected event, I couldn't cook all week. Now, it's time to go back to DONABE cooking! Today, I hosted another Shojin Bento class (here is the link to the previous class). I was so happy that I didn't have to cancel the class, and got to spend wonderful time with really nice guests!

Happy donabe life.