Saturday, January 28, 2023

Yer a Wizard, Johnny

Our friends Gabby and Derek invited us to a Harry Potter themed party at their house. I always sort of secretly wanted a Hogwarts outfit and wand since we visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando like ten years ago. Well this party plus our pending trip to Universal Studios Hollywood pushed me into wizard mode.

It's completely normal to dress like a magical British school child, I think.

Gabby really went all out with the menu. There were wands made out of asparagus with like croissant dough wrapped around them, and deviled eggs with little olive spiders.

They had a boozy butterbeer in production as well. Somewhere in the middle of mixing up a batch of these Derek blurted out that Gabby was pregnant!  That was fun. Maybe we won't completely lose all of our friends after we have a baby after all.

In addition to growing a human she also made some pretty frightening little potatoes.

I brought some fancy booze out of the beer cellar from the far away land of St. Louis.

I also brought a non-alcoholic potable from the even farther away land of a Saudi Arabian shopping mall with a big hole on top. We initially planned on popping it for New Year's but ran out of time.

Derek has a 3D printer he's proud of and made several creations with that. They also printed some fun Harry Potter style nerd glasses with lightning bolt included that were fun.

At the end of the night we did a lot of Expecto Patronum spells at some black Dementor balloons that attacked us. They even had some 3d printed patronus animal figurines inside. These guys really went all out. 

I went home with my very own 3D printed Dobby the House Elf parting gift.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Mangophobia Triggered

TechCity Bowl in Kirkland is such a fantastic futuristic name for a bowling alley likely built in the 70s that I was excited to take a peek. It was actually pretty expensive which surprised me. We were also paying by the hour not by the game which seemed a little shady to me. I haven't bowled much recently so it's possible that I'm just not bowling cool anymore.

I was forced to drop the bowling hammer on my enemies.

We had some exotic desserts at Redmond's Hui Lau Shan.

The place was covered in cases of mangos.

I apparently did not get the memo that I should order a mango thing. Instead I ordered a black sesame mochi ball situation but I had major regrets.

I started to play Grounded on Xbox and was greatly amused that there was an Arachnophobia trigger warning in the beginning of the game. Kids these days are worthless and weak!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Lydia Orders the Bukkake

We've been hitting the Eater list of "The 38 Essential Restaurants in Seattle" hard because we're not sure what our dining situation will be once we are booking tables for three.

I do have a rough idea of what Ernie will look like though.

I was even more excited to eat at Kamonegi than I usually am for a new restaurant. The sign out front proudly proclaims that this is a tempura and soba joint, and soba is an under-appreciated Japanese noodle art form that you don't see much in the US. It's cousin ramen takes all the accolades. Anyway, Eater had this to say about the place:

"Star chef Mutsuko Soma makes soba from scratch at this petite Fremont destination, which was one of Eater’s Best New Restaurants in America in 2018. Soma serves traditional soba shop dishes like seiro soba (cold with dipping sauce) and super-crunchy tempura, but also more creative dishes like noodles topped with tri tips or oreo tempura. Make a full night of it by sampling some sake and snacks at next-door sibling bar Hannyatou."

The first thing you notice when walking in is how small of a space it is. It's very cozy.

Lydia sipped on an ume shiso soda. She's so fancy.

I ordered a tsukemono plate for the table: "housemade Japanese pickles; seasonal vegetables."

Lydia hilariously ordered off of the Bukkake menu.

"Shogatsu bukkake

shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, daikon oroshi, wasabi, fried mochi, tempura flakes"

Apparently it's called bukkake because it is "chilled broth poured over cold soba noodles and topped with various garnishes." Typically in my experience soba comes the way I ordered it, with just a nice pile of noodles with the sauce on the side. I had a fun time explaining to Lydia the other meanings of that word.

I ordered the "Ten zaru: chilled zaru broth, seasonal vegetable tempura, wasabi, scallion." I washed it all down with a carafe of Tozai Snow Maiden junmai nigori sake from Kyoto.

I narrowly avoided ordering the Oreo tempura and opted for the:

"Duck fat mochi cake and pecan ice cream

soft cake with apples, candied walnuts, a scoop of butter pecan ice cream with kokuto."

It was a great meal. You definitely have to book a reservation ahead of time here but I would definitely return.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Escape the Train, Eat the Meat Cake

Today we went to an escape room with our friends Kuoling and Jason.

Conundroom is a pretty rough name for an escape room company. Sheesh.

The theme of today's escape room was Stop the Train! and involved a runaway train that will crash in an hour if you don't solve a series of mind bending riddles in order to stop its engine.

Annoyingly one of the hardest parts of the whole thing was that old timey luggage has all of these weird fake locks and sliding keyhole things that you have to deal with even if you have the correct key. Not being from 1932 I did not know this, and so was frustrated with opening these containers despite it not really being a riddle. There were a couple of sort of rough edges in this escape room that were annoying, but I enjoyed the time with my friends anyway.

Kuoling and Jason love hot pot places so we go with them a lot. This time the joint was Shaburina. These places may as prevalent in the Seattle area as bubble tea and that's saying something.

The people next to us were celebrating a birthday and were presented with some sort of majestic cake made out of meat. I didn't know what it was but I did know that I needed one.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Academy Tour

This whole "having a child" thing is starting to feel kind of real. Also after my tour of Evergreen Academy Montessori school I became keenly aware of the also very non-imaginary cost of childcare.

After a few rounds of the Outer Worlds I wondered if childcare was free in space.

Amazon recently restored and installed an Elephant Super Car Wash sign from a car wash that used to operate just blocks away for more than 60 years. It's a bit of a Seattle landmark.