Still recovering from a good friend's 9-course, 4-hour birthday dinner at Masa's in the city (San Francisco, that is). It started with a white demitasse cup of Italian butterbean soup laced with white truffle oil and ended with me slumped over and sucking on a pink homemade lollipop. In between, I ate every food known to man: crab, lobster, foie gras, bone marrow (deep fried), sea bass, another soup, beef, duck, blood orange sorbet, and who knows what else. But, for the love of Bambi, I passed on the venison.
Since I don't partake of spirits, I'm always sooner or later faced with the mildly embarrassing task of asking some impeccably dressed waiter for a Diet Coke. "With lemon," I add, as if this additional request will keep me from looking like an uncultured moron. I'm always certain that the staff will instantly report me to the chef, who will emerge from the kitchen red-cheeked and screaming "Mon dieu! This Daly City bumpkin ees ruining my men-oo!"
All in all, the evening was lovely, albeit a bit of culture shock for someone who these days usually just ends up eating the discarded crusts of her daughters' peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. While standing.