(This picture was taking Christmas '05. My hair is longer and curly now but he's still just as cute.)
So the day was pretty typical, except for maybe a few stolen kisses. As our gift to each other, we had purchased tickets to see Les Miserables later on this month. Still, we wanted to do something special. The Man had gone to a cool restaurant for a business lunch and thought I might enjoy it. It's called Sakura, a Japanese place with the teppanyaki cooking style (where they cook dinner on the table in front of you).
I got a babysitter, put on extra deodorant and we were set to go! Since it was a quiet Tuesday night, there was no wait for a table. In fact there were only two other groups inside. A photographer was working with one of the chefs to take some pictures. This style of cooking uses flames for show so there were endless blasts of heat coming from the photo shoot, which just happened to be the table next to ours. Poor guy probably didn't have any hair on his arms after that was done!
I decided to be brave and we ordered sushi for an appetizer. I was a little nervous. See, I don't like fish (or bananas). The Man has had sushi before and liked it. We tried the tamest one on the list: tuna tataki. It's thinly sliced tuna that looked like it had been seared a little - a very little. It's was rather pretty, set on top of carrot noodles and a sprig of sprout. The sauce was a little spicy. It was actually pretty good! While we were munching on raw tuna, another group joined our table. One couple goes to this restaurant frequently. In fact, this was their third visit in a week! Crazy people.
After the appetizer, it was time for the main course. Our chef (the same guy who was in the pictures) wheels his cart out of the kitchen, honking a bike horn as he makes his way to our table. Now comes the fun part! First, let me state that this guy was nuts. Seriously wacko. That always makes for good entertainment. He does the cool flips and whirls with the spatulas. First, he makes the fried rice and noodles. Fried rice has scrambled eggs in it. He flips and whirls the eggs around, too! He did drop one and immediately blamed his mistake on one of the people sitting at the table. Then he squirts sauces from various bottles. As he is doing this, he very casually aims one bottle at a woman and squirts! It was a gag bottle, a little plastic tube pops out but no liquid. He keeps cooking and making jokes and just generally making us laugh.
After he serves us the rice, he cooks up the shrimp appetizer. Then he flips three pieces of shrimp into each guest's mouth (except for me...I gracefully bowed out because I don't like shrimp). The Man caught one of his three.
Next was the main entree. I had beef, the Man had steak and shrimp, while another guy at our table had steak and chicken. Have to talk about the onion ring volcano. He carefully stacked rings from an onion slice, then filled it with the various liquids in his magic bottles until it bubbled and smoked like a volcano. Pretty entertaining. He keeps whipping his spatula around, always tapping it and keeping it moving. While it cooks, he chats a little with us. He's been cooking like this for 7 years. Before coming to Utah this past January, he lived in Alabama. He doesn't like snow. Hmmmmm, this might not be the best location for him.
Once all the food is done and served, he announces he has one more trick. He turns off the light over our table. On the cooktop, he sets three small, metal bowls. Liquid from those bottles is squirted into each bowl. Then, he lights it. So there are three bowls with flaming liquid inside them. He proceeds to flip the bowls, one at a time, on top of his hat! Liquid is not exactly stationary so as he flips the bowl, the flaming stuff is splashing all over him! The last bowl's contents set his necktie on fire. He just pats it out with his bare hand and says "It's getting a little hot in here." He said the first time he tried this trick, he lost an eyebrow.
The food was really delicious. And since it was our anniversary, they gave us dessert for free. It was fried ice cream. Yummy! We really enjoyed "dinner and a show," leaving the restaurant feeling full and still laughing over his flaming tie.