After over 50 emails between my friend Amy’s husband, two of Amy’s other closest friends, and myself, we managed to do the nearly-impossible: we pulled off a truly successful surprise party.
It was Amy’s 30th birthday, so we had to celebrate in style. We started the evening off at Lala’s Grill, an Argentine restaurant in Studio City.
I want to take a moment just to say how absolutely wonderful it was to work with Lala’s. I changed the reservation on them roughly five times, and every time they were nice, courteous, friendly and helpful. That cannot be said about all restaurants. Furthermore, they were not only helpful but also a lot of fun while we were there. They totally stepped it up in moments where we’d messed up. Example: somehow, with four of us planning, nobody thought to get candles for the cake. So, without even waiting to be asked, they carved a cake-sized candle from their tealight candles for us. Yes, you read that right. They carved us a candle.
As if that all wasn’t enough, the food was fantastic. As was their sangria. I got a large, so I’d know.
For my entree, I ordered the Pechuga Dijon, which is “Grilled boneless chicken breast, brushed with a homemade dijon-white wine sauce.” My choices of sides were mashed potatoes and salad. Even the salad was delectable.
They clearly forgot to mention an ingredient: crack. That’s the only way to explain how completely delicious and addicting this was. I’m craving that sauce just looking at my (terrible) picture.
Please believe me when I say that my little point and shoot with flash did this meal no justice at all.
Just as wonderful as my meal? The company. It’s so nice to be surrounded by people who are all there to celebrate someone everyone adores.
To my right:
James (Amy’s husband), Drew, Anna, Vic and Christine.
And to my left:
Rachel, Vera, Mike, Ryan, John, Sara, Carolina, Amy and Nicki.
It was a great group!
The best part of the evening, of course, was the cake. Isn’t it always?
And what a cake it was.
It was a three-layer cake with both white and dark chocolate elements.
Nicki and I split a big piece…
…but even between the two of us, we could barely make a dent (which is more than I can say for our dinners, which we attacked with a vengeance).
After dinner, we headed across the street to Laurel Tavern, which is usually a favorite of mine, for drinks. I can’t say I was entirely impressed that night, however, especially after being completely impressed by Lala’s. It took a long time for them to let us in (They said they were “over capacity,” which is total B.S. – LA bars like to look popular by having a line outside), and then they shooed us into a very crowded part of the bar. To make matters worse, they advertised Pumpkin Ale and Oktoberfest on their menus but were out of both! Sheesh. I ordered their hefe but I was a pretty let down after how much I’d looked forward to trying their Pumpkin Ale.
Thankfully, again, the company did not disappoint.
I’ll end with the party planning committee. 🙂
Happy birthday to Amy!