|Tostones at Oba|
We walked around the corner to a place called Paragon (1309 NW Hoyt St.). It was absolutely gorgeous, with an amazingly beautiful bar albeit a much darker ambiance than Oba. There was a roaring fireplace and a DJ spinning music that was not loud enough to overpower conversation. Perfect. I was craving a flowery cocktail (remembering a lavendar martini recipe Denise sent me) and asked the bartender if they had such a thing. He wisely suggested the Peach Elderflower Cosmopolitan, which BLEW ME AWAY! This is my favorite new drink. It was sweet and fresh, flowery but not too perfumey. It was complex and fun, and I just loved it. For our appetizer, we ordered a Rockfish Ceviche with Yuca Chips. The concept was great, but I found the ceviche a bit too limey and the fish itself was a bit chewy and rubbery. No matter - I WILL be back for the drinks so I will definitely try other appetizers. Side note: I was chatting with the Beverage Director, Bob Brunner, and telling him of my interest in flower-flavored concoctions and he introduced me to a rose-flavored vodka which he kindly allowed me to sample. It changed my life. Now I am on a mission to find it (to bring home). :o)
|Peach Elderflower Cosmo|
We decided to move on from the Pearl and headed over to NW 23rd/Nob Hill area. I had been to Casa del Matador on Burnside with co-workers, but didn't know there was another one on NW 23rd. We arrived shortly after 10 p.m. and found that Happy Hour had just started....what luck!! It was very busy, but we had no trouble finding seating. In the end, we opted for the outside sidewalk table, which was lovely. I decided to forgo the exotic cocktail and opted for a standard gin and tonic. Since it was happy hour, we decided to splurge and order two appetizers. We got the Jumbo Habanero Prawns and Chorizo Tacos. The prawns were Rob's favorite "eats" of the night. He actually ordered seconds. The chorizo tacos were on soft flour tortillas and at first looked more like salad tacos than anything. Biting into mine, though, I realized what a good, fresh complement the fresh lettuce and tomato was to the spicy chorizo. Delectable.
Our friends Janaki and Bryce met up with us at Casa del Matador, then we headed out for some Karaoke. At the insistence of Janaki and Rob, I sang my first karaoke song ever: Madonna's "La Isla Bonita." The only thing that sucked was having to sing after Janaki, who is such a talented singer, but I had fun. And people DANCED!!
Right after that adventure we needed something to satisfy our sweet tooth. Janaki suggested a food cart on Hawthorne that sells fried pies and is open late-night. I am so glad we went!!!! The cart is called Whiffies Fried Pies, and sells only....you guessed it.....fried pies. These pies look something like an empanada and are filled with heavenly delights such as blackberries, peaches or (this was my choice) - chocolate, coconut and some type of cream. The latter is called "Mounds" and is fashioned after its namesake candy bar. Yum. No, double-yum. We left at 2 a.m. and the entire little conglomeration of food carts was still poppin'. I hope to be back soon.