Monday, September 27, 2010
Dinner and a show
Saturday was the boy's birthday. Though he won't like me to tell you, he turned the big 3-7. (I know this might come as a shock to some readers who don't know, but yes, he is 12 years older than me. But we all know what they say about a man's age and their maturity level, right ladies? Tee hee.)
Anyway, there was no big celebration this year. No piles of presents. We kept it low key and affordable. But still full of fun and love.
The boy was returning from a trip to visit his grandma in Temecula Saturday morning, so I didn't meet up with him until later that afternoon. His sister Kelly, brother-in-law Mike and niece Miranda wanted to treat him to dinner, so that's what we did. We decided to go to Yamato Japanese Restaurant in Valencia, where you can get dinner and a show.
While waiting for our teppan table, the boy and his niece went outside to feed the koi swimming below the restaurant's front deck. Yamato's has candy machines that dispense fish food pellets for 25 cents. Miranda was quite pleased when I was able to find two quarters in my wallet and so were the fish, who caused a feeding frenzy the moment the pellets plunked into the water.
There were also little turtles swimming in the pond. Most stayed out of the way of the koi but at one point a little guy got swept up into the crazed, circling fish. But don't worry. He held his own.
While I'm a bit wary of sushi, I love teppanyaki. It's fresh and flavorful, and seeing the food cooked right before your very eyes just adds to the culinary experience. And the cooks! They put on a true tableside show, twirling their utensils and chopping ingredients with such dexterity. Spinning an egg into the air and splitting it with a spatula. Then using that same spatula to flip a bowl filled with fried rice. It's pretty amazing!
Of course everyone's favorite part is the flaming onion volcano. I'm not even a big onion fan-- save for the fried variety and those little minced ones on McDonald's hamburgers-- but I gobble these charred rings up, no problem!
While we complimented our chef on his grilling skills, Kelly asked if he cooks for himself at home. The answer? A resounding no! He said after cooking for people like us all day, the last thing he wants to do is go in a kitchen. I can't say I blame him!
As the grill cooled, we filled our bellies with far-too-much food and Sapporo, a light Japanese beer. Even though the boy and I shared-- we had the filet mignon and shrimp entree, which of course came with bowls of miso soup, salad and rice and tons of yummy veggies-- we still had a hard time finishing our plates.
Dinner was capped off-- literally-- with the boy wearing a silly hat and being serenaded with two birthday songs... the traditional American tune plus one in Japanese. He told me later he was a bit embarrassed by the whole thing since everyone in the restaurant turned to look, but he took it in stride, clapping along.
He also got a dessert out of the deal. A scrumptious... fruit plate! Ha! All the credit for that one goes to his older sister, Kelly. The alternative, and the most oft chosen one at that, was a chocolate fudge cake, but she decided to go the healthier route. He is 37, after all.
(I would have splurged on the cake.)
P.S. The night ended with the boy and I seeing "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." It was a bit long and at some points all the money stuff went over my head, but overall I enjoyed it. I especially loved watching the adorable Carrie Mulligan because she and her haircut are just too cute. Same goes for Shia LaBeouf. And I've gotta hand it to Michael Douglas, aka Gordon Gekko. He is one witty sonofabitch. I feel like I want to watch it again just to catch all those snarky quips one more time. Better yet, I need to rent the first one!
P.P.S. How was your weekend? :)