Mark’s Birthday Party

You may remember that Amanda, Andy, Katherine and I spent Saturday afternoon at a pop-up beer garden. This was supposed to be the beginning of Mark’s birthday celebration, but sadly, he ended up with something else important to do this afternoon. No big, we started the fun without him.

We decided to continue the celebrations with a mini wine-and-cheese gathering at our apartment. At this point, Mark was able to join his own party. 😉

First, Andy, Amanda, Katherine and I stopped at a supermarket for some provisions. Katherine and Andy posed with some sausage. No big deal.

Appropriate. It’s what we are.

At home, we enjoyed a little champagne (well, those not driving did) alongside some cheese and crackers.

The crackers were in the form of Pretzel Crisps and water crackers, both picked up at the Wine Riot.

Next up, we started the official party at Umami Burger in Studio City.

Well, we tried to, anyway. Even though we’d called ahead and talked to someone who assured us it would be otherwise, we still had to wait over an hour.

Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of a pretty awful dining experience. This was quite the surprise, since our experience in Santa Monica was so fantastic.

Anyway, we entertained ourselves outside, at first. Here is a picture of Katherine and me.

We weren’t really posing for us. We were posing for what’s behind us. Look closely.

Yup.

When we got bored, we ended up going to a few stores around us. We entertained ourselves by taking pictures with hats in the Gap.

All hats courtesy of the Gap except Andy’s. That’s his. Obvi.

Anyway, when finally we got seated at Umami… boy, did we get seated.

These two tables are meant to sit four altogether. Potentially, we could have fit three on either side and still have managed to be somewhat comfortable. But, because Umami’s chairs are so absurdly big, they squeezed four people over there. It was pretty ridiculous and we (well, they – Amanda and I were okay) were totally cramped. The host and waitress both promised to fix it and then didn’t.

Here are our neighbors, who were basically at our table.

At least they were friendly. 🙂

Things looked like they were going to improve when we were offered free dessert. When we reminded them that we’d brought cake for Mark’s birthday, we were offered a free appetizer, instead. Hooray! So we got cheesy truffle fries.

Bloggers in action:

But then, we were charged for them later and basically ridiculed when we mentioned that they were supposed to be complimentary. Hmm…

Also, the waitress spilled water all over Amanda.

Mistakes happen, but poor Amanda.

Then the food came. Well, most of it.

For my entree, I got the Port & Stilton Burger, which comes with blue cheese & caramelized onions.

It was okay. I liked the Umami Burger, which I got last time, better.

On the side, I got smushed potatoes.

Sadly, though, we didn’t get any of our side sauces until two thirds of the way into the meal. Those are pretty necessary!

This was one of my favorite moments of the evening:

Katherine was still enjoying the effects of the afternoon. 🙂

I had also made Mark a Snickerdoodle cake! Here he is blowing out the candles.

I like Andy singing in the background there.

The cake, sans candles:

And cut into:

My slice:

I wish the experience at Umami could have been better, but it is what it is!

At least our friends are awesome. 🙂

Happy birthday, Mark!

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Mark’s Birthday Party

  1. I can’t figure out what the decoy photo is supposed to be of. Pier One?
    So confused….
    Bummer about Umami. I still haven’t tried it yet. Despite your review, I still plan to! Maybe I’ll try the SM one!

  2. Too bad about the restaurant, but looks like a blast!

  3. Haha, it took me forever to finally realize what was in the background of that picture!

    Sorry to hear about the Umami experience! I can’t believe how crappy they were!

  4. Ugh. I hate when things like that happen at restaurants!

  5. Mark

    I still want to go back asap. I LOVE that damn earth burger and onion rings!!!

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