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  • Lillian E.

Birthday Food (and Cake)!

25th birthday weekend 2022.


What's a party without lots of food?


Birthdays are meant to be celebrated, and why not do the celebrating over multiple days?


Friday afternoon I was told to be ready by 6:30 because we can't be late! But I wasn't allowed to know what we're not allowed to be late for.

Here's how it more or less went:


Him: "I need you to be ready to leave at 6:30, no questions!"

Me: "..........Ok, then I have a statement.....

I don't know what to wear."


We drove off with our backs to the sunset and headed for Downtown, pulling up at the Ritz Carlton! I still didn't know what this was about.


Well, apparently neither did Marco! This was a gift to both of us, a dinner at Le Petit Chef restaurant!


The Ritz-Carlton's website sums it up on their site:


"Embark on an unforgettable culinary adventure led by Le Petit Chef, an animated 3D character guiding you through an astonishing tour of his virtual kitchen. The two-hour show tells the story of “How to Become the World’s Greatest Chef” with delicious, and sometimes interactive, food presentations. Watch your table come to life with projection-mapping created by the world-famous artists of Skullmapping and presented by TableMation, and enjoy a delicious five-course dinner served in unison with the animation."


It's got great views, but who can focus on the view when you have a teeny chef running around on your plate!




Everything (but the food) is projected right onto your little station, and is designed to look 3D!





For our first course, the little chef gave us a history of tomatoes, and then served us a tomato salad.



Tomato topped with whipped burrata, raspberry vinaigrette, basil oil, and aged balsamic.



Then we had a lesson on the "art" of plating!



I will admit, I forgot to take photos of some of the food because we were so engaged in the experience!


Course two was a pan seared striped bass with root vegetable purées, cilantro emulsion, and California citrus. I also remember there being a crispy squash flower on my plate, so perhaps they make modifications depending on season?



Third course was called "The Secret Ingredient is Love" and we got a peek into le Petit Chef's childhood as he made dinner with his grandma.


Chicken roulade, potato purée, roasted mushroom, haricot vert (green bean), and red pepper coulis.


Fifth course was all about "Technique" and we were presented with braised short rib, carrot veloute, french radish, and onion jam. Sadly I ate it before I remembered to take a photo.


And finally the fifth course was your final exam! Did we learn anything? Absolutely. We put together our very own dessert!





And then they came around and toasted it for you with a mini blowtorch!


At the very end of the evening, they came around and presented everyone with teeny diplomas, announcing we had graduated from Le Petit Chef University.


Catch us tomorrow running their kitchen!


And this was only the beginning of the weekend!




So on Saturday, we went to the beach to stake out a fire pit for a birthday bonfire celebration. I've made a separate post about that, so I won't go into detail.


Needless to say, there was no shortage of food.



And then on Sunday, which was my actual birthday, my friends joined me at my favorite brunch spot, République.



Most certainly a special-occasion kind of place.


Dilly (dill)y!


And if that wasn't enough, Marco took me to a new sushi place for dinner!



We both ordered the chef's omakase plate, and split some spicy tuna crispy rice. While the fish was beautifully plated, and looked so appetizing, something about it we just didn't like, but we ate every. single. piece. on the table. After paying the bill we spilled out into the parking lot clutching each other and laughing until our sides hurt because, despite really hating the food and pretending we didn't, it was still an experience we shared. I will say though, the crispy rice was good!


Everything was saved by the cake in the fridge. Mom sent me a little funfetti Milk Bar cake since I couldn't be home to celebrate with the family! Best cake I've ever eaten. Marco and I each took HEAPING slices for ourselves. We spent the evening unpacking books and shelving them in his new bookshelf, listening to Disney music, and drinking tea.


Monday we spent all day at Disneyland, eating their food! I tried churros, dole whip, beignets, and a few different kinds of Star Wars food. I especially liked their seasonal beef and pasta curry dish. Mostly we were too busy having fun to take photos of it all.



And I know it's not food, but I'd like to take a moment to appreciate the peonies Mom and Marco made sure I had for my birthday. They always remind me of home!


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