Triple Celebration

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Saturday, the fourth of August, was my birthday and the first Saturday I was spending time with Ericke in my three years as a Los Angeles resident (I officially became an Angeleno the day after my birthday in 2015. I’ve been working all weekends since I found a job, and I just got my best gift ever. Nothing tops the taste of weekend… cheers to life, love and family!

Literally stopped and smelled the roses.

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Nothing better than The Ivy in Beverly Hills for my birthday brunch with Ericke. Still in mourning black, yet feeling the freshness of life without my father — celebrating the full and long life he had, and my new existence with a guardian angel who I believe was instrumental in the unpredicted new normal week for me.

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Ericke brought me to Glossier, and we took photos at the Canyon Room. As we were strolling along the chic Melrose Place, we hatched a new project.

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Never one to back out from challenges, I was pretty stoked but anxious to claim the initial funding for a more purposeful pursuit, my actual birthday present from Ericke which we got from Blick. Praying for an abundance of energy and an overload of inspiration. Hello, heaven!

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My mom and I had an AYCE dinner date in the evening. It felt good to be home.

Sunday night was reserved for my sister Nikko and Ed. They brought me to one of LA’s finest, Redbird in the downtown. The restaurant used to be a rectory.

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I’ve been craving for foie gras for years and I got one on rhubarb jam with crisp and light as air lychees. Hurrah to the lifting of the foie gras ban in California! We also had hamachi with teasing kumquat, calamansi and coconut cream fraiche, beef tartare with egg yolk jam, perfectly seared scallops on a bed of oxtail orzo and peas, squid ink bucatini in uni butter (the burst of flavors hits you after a while, literally orgasmic), and halibut with charred corn, potato cream and unexpected chicharon (fried pork rinds).

Food here, by Chef Neal Fraser, is all about a masterfully crafted singleness of various elements, textures and flavors. I have nothing unpleasant to say about the honest “degustacion” treat.

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A universal tradition… not one, but two cakes — Vietnamese coffee and not your basic banana cake.

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Birthday wishes do come true… chase them.

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