Noah surprised me for my birthday last night and took me to Bastide, a french restaurant on Melrose Place. He kept the secret well but of course I had an inkling. :) We had reservations at 9pm and showed up a little early. The maitre'd put chairs in front of the fireplace and served us champagne while we waited for our table. He sat us at a table in a private room with only one other table in it besides ours. Another couple was dining at the same time. The menu had only two choices: a four course meal or a seven course. The courses had no descriptions, just what the main ingredient was: fish, duck, suckling pig, etc. We ordered the seven course with wine pairings. I can't even begin to explain how amazing each dish was. Perfect flavors combining, nothing too big, just beautiful tastes paired with some great wines. The sommelier just kept pouring the wines. We must have had over 10 different wines. He seemed excited about his job and would pour two different wines for us to try with courses. He even poured a sake with a beautiful abalone and noodle soup with uni (sea urchin) flan and dashi broth. We continued to be blown away by the food and flavor combinations. The chef came out and introduced himself and gave Noah a tour of his kitchen.
We struck up a conversation with the couple across from us and it turns out the guy is a chef at one of our favorite spots in LA, Pizzeria Mozza. He and Noah knew a lot of the same people. He asked me if I was "in the industry" and I replied, "The nursing industry." His wife said "Me too!" She is a nurse at Cedars Sinai. How bizzare that we were sitting right across from a chef and nurse couple. We got a big laugh out of that. Then the server brought them a dessert with a candle in it. It was his birthday! More laughs!
The evening wrapped up and we got the bill. What was supposed to have been a 400 dollar bill was only 200. Bastide had only charged us for the wine, not the food. We left a huge tip. It was worth every penny and more for such a special evening with amazing food and great conversation and company. We left high from the whole experience and keep talking and reminiscing about it today. Fabulous birthday!