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Saturday, May 9, 2015


A few final photos of my Napa-Vacaville adventure:  first a warning about golf course rattlesnakes and, in the background, how grapes look on a vine in May:

I got home to 15 Craigside just in time to join our dining out group to Sarento's, where a special elevator took us right to the Top of the Ilikai:

You can't quite see what that First Place is all about, but the below photo indicates that Sarento's is among the 100 most Romantic Restaurants in the USA (by Open Table) and one of the 100 Best Scenic View Restaurants in America (USA Today).  That is their house special Osso Buco at the bottom.  

Here is Eppie with what must have been the world's smallest restaurant-served oyster, and just one cost $4:

My escargots, which were fabulous:

I recently purchased a beef shank to experiment with by just frying on my lanai like a piece of steak so I could enjoy the marrow.  To my surprise, with a glass of robust Cabernet Sauvignon, while the flesh portion was a bit tough, it was edible, quite tasty--considering that the only flavoring was salt/pepper--and the fatty marrow was well worth the effort for the miniscule cost involved:

So I ordered osso buco:

I enjoyed this dish, especially the marrow, which had the most volume I've ever had in my life.    The risotto and sauce were superior.  However, Sue, sitting in front of me, had just too much to eat--some of Ann's Caesar salad, one of my escargots and a lot of bread and lavosh--so only ate her marrow, while a couple of others who ordered this featured osso buco mentioned that the meat portion was a bit dry.  As Sue forgot to wear her hearing aid, I ended up repeating these statements to the waiter for the group.  Apparently, he had been telling the chef for some time about this flaw, and might have escalated his relationship with the kitchen by bringing us two new osso bucos, which we said was not necessary, for they were not that bad.  So he took them back, but, it turned out that my efforts at trying to be the translator resulted in this $50+ item (with tax and tip) being deleted from my bill and Sue's.  Appreciating that this must have been an example of restaurant politics more than anything else, I accepted this windfall, though somewhat reluctantly.

The photo above is of Fred truly savoring his rack of lamb.  The three ladies around me, and Fred, ordered glasses of red wine, something they hardly touch in our 15C dining room.  So they were well lubricated for the discussion, which featured Fred as the life of the party on our end of this table for 14.  He was the only one that ordered a dessert, some kind of custard with a variety of fruits.  There was a lot of reparteeing about his sharing it with the five of us, and he remarked he didn't realize he had so many friends.  I can't believe it, but this small old man almost ate the whole thing.

Friday night at Sarento's means fireworks from the Hilton Hawaiian Hotel, right in front of our table:

Another great dining out experience for 15 Craigside.  Having just returned from San Francisco, I was thoroughly exhausted during this three hour meal.

Typhoon Noul is a major Category 4 typhoon at 135 MPH, and is projected to just nick the tip of northern Philippines, zoom past Taiwan, remain a Category 2 by the time it gets close to Okinawa, then head for Japan:

There is another looming typhoon heading for Guam:

Along the Eastern Seaboard, Tropical Storm Ana at 60 MPH will soon make landfall at Myrtle Beach, never attaining hurricane status:

A lot of commencement ceremonies will be impacted.  I might add that Kenji's Safari a decade and a half ago attempted to golf at Myrtle Beach, but it rained on them for just about the whole trip.


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