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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Second Weekend (w/ the parentals) Part 2

Saturday started with brunch at home. My mom laid out quite a spread: brewed coffee, juice, toasted baguettes, beef Kielbasa, and different kinds of cheese (Stilton, Asiago, Manchego, and a kind of goat cheese). Now I am by no means a cheese connoisseur (am perfectly happy with cheddar cheese on crackers, parmesan on spaghetti, and mozarella on my pizza - that's about it), I nevertheless tried a piece of each one. Did not really enjoy them the way my mom and brother did. Am still a long way to go before I can be called a cheese aficionado - didn't even appreciate the Stilton which my mom claims is known as the "Queen of All Cheese".

After brunch we whiled away the time trying to decide what to do. Some of our options included shopping at the Charles Wilson Park Farmers Market or spending the day at the Roadium Flea Market in Redondo Beach. I am quite sure my parents would enjoy both activities. However, Saturday turned out to be very sunny and quite warm (unusual for this time of year here in LA). For most folks around here that would mean basking under the sun in beaches, parks, or outdoor amusement parks. Not my family. We are a very heat-wary and sun-averse bunch of people. So we did the next best thing that still involved shopping, we headed over to Circuit City to buy electronic stuff.

Over at Circuit City, we certainly made our salesperson’s day by purchasing 2 sets of dual-line cordless phones (for back home), a digital camera (for my mom), a video camera (for my brother), and a CD player (for my dad). If that weren’t enough, Steve (our salesperson) sold us a bunch of other stuff like memory cards, batteries, camera and video cases, etc, etc. I wandered around after about an hour of listening to his sales pitch since I was definitely getting an information overload! In my opinion, there are two sides to the salespeople over at Circuit City. On one hand, the good thing about them is “they are very aggressive, quite knowledgeable, and will really pull out all the bells and whistles to convince you to buy every add-on known to man for your purchase”. On the other hand, the bad thing about them is “they are very aggressive, quite knowledgeable, and will really pull out all the bells and whistles to convince you to buy every add-on known to man for your purchase”. Enough said.

After stopping by the house and watching my brother, dad, and hubby test the electronic gadgets, our next stop was the Redondo Beach Pier where we had a great time walking along the Boardwalk and enjoying the weather (which had thankfully cooled down). We got the chance to see a really magnificent sunset and then again acted all “touristy” by posing for as many pictures (of the same view) as we could. Our next dilemma was where to have dinner. After a long, careful deliberation and a lot of debating, my mom made the executive decision and we ended up at the Pacific Fish Company. The restaurant is pretty non-descript, just rows of wooden tables and chairs, with no art or paintings on the walls. Instead there are mirror panels and windows that look out to the sea. The staff is mostly Asian and quite curt and abrupt. Like many Asian eateries, the noise level was quite high and the lighting was fluorescent bright. Ambience-wise this place was nothing to brag about. But the food, well, that is another story.

We placed our orders at the counter and waited a few minutes for our table to be prepared. We were then showed to the back of the room, next to an open window. The first to arrive were our drink orders: Cokes, TsingTao beer and hot tea. A few minutes later our appetizers arrived. We ordered fried scallops (still juicy and tender on the inside) and calamari rings (also tender and lightly seasoned). My hubby had a seafood combo plate with battered fish, fried shrimp and oysters (the oysters were a bit fishy tasting though). Next we had a steaming pot of fish head stew with shrimps, tofu and mushrooms, flavored with Korean red-bean paste. It was really good especially since the weather had gotten quite cool. The soup was spicy with a kick but it balanced out well with the fish and vegetables. Last to arrive (but certainly worth the wait) was a platter of steamed Dungeness crabs. Our server brought over our crabs, removed the main shell and quartered them before placing the platter in the center of the table. Armed with plastic bibs around our necks, paper strewn across the table, and wooden mallets in our hands, we (except my hubby who is allergic to crabs) had a delectable crab feast. The crab was so full of meat, very fresh, and really, really good. You could choose to dip your crab in melted butter, vinegar, or chili sauce. Although I found it better to just enjoy the crab without any dipping sauce at all. Twenty minutes later, all we had in front of us were crab shells, empty plates, and full tummies. Aaaahhh.

We walked off our seafood dinner by the beach. The nice thing about Redondo Beach is that it is well-lighted and there are a number of joggers, bikers and families enjoying the place even at night. It was great walking along the water, feeling the cool sand against my feet and hearing the waves coming ashore. Of course, half an hour later my dad had a hankering for dessert, and so we all walked back to the ice cream stands by the Pier and shared a dish of strawberry shortcake and a couple of frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and nuts. The perfect way to end the day.

Sunday is coming up ...


jol said...

Again, an outstanding detailed account of our unforgettable Saturday happenings. Am now looking forward to your Sunday narration. Your magic wand continue to dazzle me.

jml said...

Have not been much of a crab eater, but those crabs we shared in Redondo beach has made a convert of me. Amazing how great tasting crabs, shared with a loving and fun family can change an ordinary evening into a most memorable experience.