I wasn’t planning on having a despedida, but my sister insisted on doing something the night before I left for San Francisco. So she, my mom and my cousins came over around four in the afternoon. We sat and chatted and ate cheese, parma ham and olives, all washed down with a glass of Cava. Then we went to Japantown and had a fantastic dinner care of my future cousin-in-law Raj. I ordered my standard orders when in a Japanese restaurant… sashimi (salmon, saba and hamachi), miso soup and grilled saba (mackarel). The saba was perfectly cooked which is important because a few seconds more on the grill and you’d have a dry and stringy piece of fish. Raj ordered the lapu lapu (grouper) sashimi with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce, which was excellent. According to Raj, who went to school in Japan, the Japanese tourists always order this dish because its relatively inexpensive in Manila and extremely expensive in Japan. So we ordered another round and soon regretted it after stuffing ourselves with the rest of the dishes we ordered. The uni (sea urchin) was unsually fresh and sweet, not normally my favorite dish, but more than tolerable this time. Everyone else was raving about it.
After dinner we went to an Irish pub called Murphy’s for drinks. The Irish cocktail was really good, I had three! It had Franjelico, hot chocolate and Grand Marnier, topped with whipped cream. Yum! I texted some friends at the last minute and three more people joined us. Two of them were still in a meeting and one had to wake up early for a motocross competition. We had a fun time, especially when Marco showed up after his late night massage.