Monday, September 27, 2010

last night at hapa ramen pop up at bar tartine


well. i'm wired and punchy. these seem to be words that best describe me these days. i'm currently running on about 4 hours of sleep but i feel real good. i had an absolutely lovely time tonight at the hapa ramen pop up at bar tartine. the chance to connect with friends over and around food that makes me realize just how lucky i am.

before dinner, i dropped by the hapa ramen pop-up to drop off a "surprise" for some of the folks. i ordered them a couple of weeks ago but i had always planned on giving this surprise to them at their pop up.



it is a bit of an inside joke.

it all started at the sf street food festival when i could tell that hapa ramen mama really really really (i mean really) liked my portable travel stainless steel and wood chopsticks. then, by some odd workings of the universe, when hapa ramen mama and hapa ramen would talk about the chopsticks, i would appear. i figured that the universe was telling me that the really needed to have these chopsticks....and they were meant to have them....so hence, i thought it would be good to give them to them at the end of their pop up...... something to mark the moment as they move forward.

then i returned later to bar tartine to meet up with the best friend while we waited for AB to join us. while we waited, the best friend received a text message from AB....as she just wanted to confirm that it was ok to bring a friend. of course! any friend of AB is always welcome at the table. it was one of those random moments where i am reminded of how food brings so many people together.

after AB arrived with Mr. J from Chicago.... we tried pretty much almost everything on the menu.....a lovely salad with adorable pickled radishes, two orders of ramen (with the sous vide egg of course), the seared duck breast, the fried chicken (which i must admit was my personal fav...the skin!!! oh the skin...i could have eaten a couple of orders of that just to myself), and the thin slices of crispy pork belly paired with the watermelon and rice noodles. alas, there are no pics....the lighting was quite dark and i wasn't about to disturb the other patrons with a "flash" from my camera. yet, it was all very lovely. i also liked how everyone was all good about sharing things family style. i also realized as we were devouring our food and practically licked our plates.....just how much food from the hapa ramen folks i have eaten over the past few months. this realization came to me when i would hear the comments of appreciation about the ramen broth as well as some of the other dishes. i suppose, i've just come to expect great food from the folks at hapa ramen...and maybe.... i take it a bit for granted that they put so much into it....so that i know it will be great. i know that the meal, the company, and the laughter tonight will be something that i carry with me as i head to the uk for work this weekend.

the biggest surprise of the evening of though was when the check came and Mr. J from chicago decided that he was going to pick up the check. i think there were three looks of puzzlement directed at him. three of us gals at the table are pretty independent sort of gals. yet, while we sat there in puzzlement....our brain processing power was likely more slow than usual due to the heat and the infusion of alcohol.....he decided that he was just going to get up and handle it. um ok. it was a very lovely gesture though...especially that he included covering myself and the best friend....which is definitely something that he didn't need to do....but it was very nice of him to do so.

well, it is almost midnight and i really need to get some sleep....but i'll be going to bed happy and with a warm full belly.

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