Valentine’s Day week – Dinner and a couple of surprises

Valentine’s Day week – Dinner and a couple of surprises

IMG_5988I always know what’s going on around me. Mostly, because I make sure I know everything. It’s extremely hard to surprise me. I believe I’m good at noticing when somethings being planned and I’m quite good at figuring people out. But this week I was SO wrong! And it takes a lot for me to admit that.

Generally, I tend to underestimate my husband. And I feel extremely awful for saying that. He’s never given me a reason to do so. Especially, because he’s always come through with something special.

We had to do Valentine’s Day two days early because he had to go back to work on Friday. He informed me that we’d be going to dinner somewhere in Hollywood and the reservation was for 5:30 pm. My father-in-law and I were joking that it was “senior hour.” Justin tried to justify it with trying to avoid the horrific LA traffic.

For some reason, we only ended up leaving around 5 and we hit rush hour. When we got to Hollywood, we ended up parking in a lot where we had to give the time, when we’d pick up our car. Apparently (I was told that later), the valet guy asked “Are you going to the Pantages Theatre?”, to which Justin answered no. He told me later that he felt bad about lying but I didn’t hear this conversation at all.

As we were walking down the street, passing some fancy restaurants, I realized that we were heading straight for the Sushi restaurant we had been to before and we both hated. As soon as Justin realized the same, he turned around and we ended up eating at Katsuya. I’ve always wanted to go there but I thought it was too expensive.

I was teasing him all through dinner, that this is a typical cute and clumsy mistake. I felt extremely bad at the end of the evening because I had thought he just didn’t have time to remember that we’d been there. When really all of this was one, very well thought out plan.

Whenever we have Japanese food, it’s always super hard to find something for Justin to eat. Katsuya had rack of lamb on the menu, so the evening was saved. We ordered some interesting dishes: a very American mozzarella and crab tempura (Justin loved it, because it was a lot like mozzarella sticks), I had sushi topped with spicy fried shrimp. The drink I had was pretty yummy, too. It was a Kiwi & Gin mix.

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Kiwi Cocktail & Mozzarelle / Crab Tempura

I really wanted to order dessert and Justin kept looking at the time. Which made me feel weird, but I still didn’t suspect anything.

The plan was to go bar hopping in Hollywood, since we usually don’t go out in that neighborhood. But Justin sprung it on me that he wanted to go see a friend at the Frolic Room, which is a bar right next to the Pantages Theatre.  I wasn’t excited about that but he promised it would only be for a second. So as we walked up there, we saw a big commotion outside of the theatre as everyone was walking in. The conversation that follows went something along these lines:

Justin: “So what’s going on with all these people?”

Me: “They’re here to see the Book of Mormon. Maybe you’ve heard of it?” (He promised me we’d go twice before and never followed up. And when I asked him out for one of our first dates he said he didn’t want to go with me.)

Justin: “Cool! Maybe we can still go in?”

Me: “We’d need tickets.”

Justin:” You mean, tickets like these?!”

He pulled out two tickets out of his pocket and for the first time ever I was really surprised. It was such a great night, and even though we both decided that it didn’t quite live up to everyone’s hype, we still had so much fun.

On the actual Valentine’s Day, he managed to get me to work on set as a production assistant. So I got to spend that day with him. And after a 15-hour day he even stopped and got me flowers. Sometimes, I can’t believe that I’m so lucky. I need to appreciate him more.

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Rack of Lamb at Katsuya

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Sushi with Spicy Shrimp

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Pantages Theatre

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Pantages Theatre for the Book of Mormon

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Justin & I

Culinary findings at the mall

Culinary findings at the mall

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Meizhou Dongpo at Westfield Century City

Since my spring semester won’t start for another week, I have quite some free time on my hand. And yes, I’ve been preparing and bought my books already, most of my time is spent running around the city.

So one of these days, I decided to waste my time at Westfield Century City. I love this mall. It’s the perfect mix between high-end fashion/luxury brands (because we are in Century City!) and open-air family mall.

I was especially excited when I heard that the Chinese restaurant Meizhou Dongpo had finally opened its doors. (It took me a bit to spell this one right.) They had been advertising it for a more than half a year and it was scheduled to open in October. Somehow I had lost track of it or I would have stopped by sooner.

Recently, I’ve found out that this is somewhat of a chain. When I sat down, they were just training their new staff at the other table and they served them a feast of all the items on the menu.

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Pork belly over cabbage

I wanted to order some of their crispy peking duck but they told me right when I sat down that they were out of duck. What a bummer, since 3 of their main dishes included duck. A little disappointed, I decided to go for the pork belly, which sounded absolutely delicious. For some reason, I thought it was going to be crispy. It was served on a bed of cabbage and could have used a little less salt. Nevertheless, it was quite the pleasant experience.

Should you ever get to that side of town, you should definitely try that place out or go to one of the Japanese joints in the food court. They are amazing, too. I can recommend the baby octopus.

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At the japanese joint: Baby Octopus, Kiwi Green Tea, Spicy Tuna Roll

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Blue skies over Century City

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Inside the restaurant