So I had my Life Day dinner last night, and it was indeed heavenly. We had booked the "Worst table" in order to save a little $$$. Of course, I made my reservation way in advance, warned them of my food allergies and let them know it was a special day. In fact, since I had been there on April 14th last year for Life Day, they were able to "look me up".
We arrived at 7:30 pm, dressed well and hungry.
Now, to answer everyone's biggest questions-which table is it? How bad is it?
The table is a two top in the room to the left of the entrance (the "white room" with the flowery things sort of stuck to the walls. It is the table on the right side of the exit to the patio as you are facing the patio. It sits near the sommalier/bus station, but the wall dividing the patio from the room also blocks the station.
It wasn't bad at all. In fact, I found it rather nice, to tell the truth. I got a great view of the room, everyone in it, and who was coming in the doorway. My husband looked out on the patio, he couldn;t see the sommlier/bu station, but could watch the people dining on the covered patio when he wasn't gazing romantically into my eyes. there was plenty of space between us and the table to the left, and the pathway ton the other side was so large, I didn't come near to any waiter, sommalier, etc. "contact" as one would in a cramped room. It made it easier for our server, and Drew, the sommalier to get food to us. As the patio was headed and covered, I had no issue with cold breezes, and Saturday night was chilly. I would actually request that table again, even without the 10% savings. I know some chowhounds pooh-pooh that particular room, but it ws very nice.
I had asked upon entering if the chef's table was free for perhaps 2 (Saturdays, they prefer to book at least 4 there), but it wasn't. Had I been at the chef's table, though, I wouldn't have had as wonderful an evening!
For the dishes. Well, many wonderful dishes! We had the Chef's Tasting Menu, and I was told it was designed especially for my, my food allergies, and in honor of Life Day (they looked that up, too). We had bought a bunch of wine for Drew to match with our meal, and he did a splendind job. I had to keep a low intake, I'm afraid, as I have little body fat and weigh under 107 lbs! The hardest part was asking them to stop refilling my glass every time it emptied!
I won't go into every dish, the evening was a blur, and it's hard to describe the vibrance of flavors.
Basic highlights of the many course (over 15! ) meal-in no particular order- included Raw Scallops with purple shiso, konpachi, salmon risotto with salmon roe, berkshire pork belly, king crab, lobster, foie gras, prime new york steak, turbot, two massive salt curst and rosemary baked femal santa barbara spot praws with the heads and roe (presented and "dissected" at table side!), and expanded cheese plate with 6 small samplings of cheeses, the famed white chocolate cardamom lolly pop, and petit fours. I know I'm eaving some out, but it's just the morning after, and some memories need to be refreshed. let me just say the flavors were fresh and crisp and vibrant. The peas and pea tendrils on a few of the dishes tasted right from the garden.
We paired with a home made honey mead, a california made malvasia bianca, alsacian reisling, a california vignier, and a california black muscat (of course we DIDN't finish any botles. Drew also snuck me tastes of a malbec from the south of France and a very light fruity red, the varietal I'm afraid to say I can't recall.
Partwas through the meal, one of the hosts came over and apologized profusely then asked if a photographer for a food site could take our picture, as they were interested n the "worst tabe" offer, and wanted to publish info on it. He couldn't remember what site, I think he said "Citysearch" (dark music here). I suppose we looked fabulous enough to photograph.
That, or we looked cheap enough to take the worst table for a discount!
It was an amazing meal. We were there from 7:30 PM to past midnight, spoke to wonderful people next to us, had great people watching, had our picture taken and ate an amazing meal.
Had I gotten the chef's table, I would have had the amazing meal, but not any of the other stuff!
All that for two, with corkage, sparkling water for $430 before tip. I tipped big-based upon the meal BEFORE the 10% discount, of course.
What an evening!