The weekend was quite eventful, and I figure I'd write a bit about it as I play some online poker. So, my buddy who runs the Programmer's Almanac was unexpectedly in town. His wife had planned a surprise San Francisco trip to celebrate a life event. She also brought along a couple friends of theirs to add to the merriment. Anyway, I learn all of this Friday morning, and made plans for QB and I to head out for dinner and drinks with them.
We went to the House of Nanking. I actually went there with Mr Programmer's Almanac years ago, and I guess he remembered it being really good, so that was the restaurant choice. We get there at around 9pm, and after a short wait, we're all seated. The restaurant owner(?) decides to order for the six of us, and overall he did a decent job.
The table started off with a thick seafood soup... it was almost as thick as a porridge. We then had a really delicious calamari appetizer. This was followed by some really tasty Chinese food... scallops with mushrooms, a spicy shelled shrimp dish, a dish of pork cutlets, a mu-shu wrap dish, and also a sesame chicken dish. There might have been another dish that I forgot, but the important part was that there was plenty of food.
The next stop was to get some drinks in us. The original plan was to head to the top of the Bank of America building and enjoy the view from the Carnelian Room. But, it turns out that the place closed early for some reason, and we were denied. So, it was onto Plan B. And, that was to head to the Top of the Mark, a bar at the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel. We get there and the crowd isn't really what we were going for. The place was really too packed, and they also had a dress code that a couple of us didn't exactly fit. And, upon this denial, we played it safe and had drinks over at the 13 Views bar in the Hyatt.
We all had a good number of drinks and chatted a bit about random stuff. I got a bit obnoxious at one point when I went into poker conversation mode after I learned that one of their friends actually went to play poker over at Ocean's 11 recently. I thought it was the most awesome thing ever, since it seemed so unlikely that she'd be a poker player. Guess you can never judge a book by its cover. And, that's pretty much how the night ended.
The next night we headed out to the city again to meet up with a couple friends. One of them, we hadn't hung out with in quite some time. QB and I stopped in Palo Alto for dinner on our way out there. We tried out a relatively new Italian restaurant on University called Madison and Fifth. We were seated after only a short wait.
The restaurant is really loud. Definitely has a hustle and bustle type of feel. Not sure if they intended that or not, but that's how it was. We started off with raw beef Carpaccio topped with greens and Parmesan cheese. I don't usually have this, but just had a craving for it. And, it was good. QB had a seafood fettuccine dish, and I had a blackened seafood ravioli dish. I thought the food was alright. Nothing spectacular, but it was good and we enjoyed our meals. Not sure I'd really go back again, but to be clear, it wasn't a bad experience.
Here are a couple pictures. Not the greatest looking dishes, but I assure you they tasted fine.
So, after dinner we made it to the city, and we hit up a restaurant bar/lounge that our friends frequented... the place was called PT and it's on Arguello and Geary if I recall correctly. Anyway, the place was nothing special and had a near 100% Asian crowd. We ended up playing pool for a $1 a ball and basically drinking a good amount. I won $12. Yay.
Afterward, we went over the Mel's Drive-in, and got our post-drinking eat on. We pigged out on omelettes, fried zucchini, and burgers. After stuffing ourselves, we went home. And on Sunday, we rested.