Turning 70 is HUGE, especially for us Koreans. Lots of K-peeps will throw big banquets, orchestrate family reunions and the like. Though we considered following suit and kowtowing to tradition (really for a New York minute ... reunions are so not my thing), in the end, we decided to make it a nuclear family kind of party. So last weekend, my sister and I flew out to AZ to usher in dad's "new" year at a ritzy steakhouse called Mastro's in well-to-do Scottsdale. Now, just to preface, when we were growing up, dad ever and always chose a fancy steakhouse for special events such as birthdays or graduations. So, it only seemed right that we do the same for him.
My big sis did the research, made the rezzies and even picked up the bill (woohoo). A good thing too cuz with champagne to start, chopped salads as apps, huge hunks of meat for our mains (veal porterhouse for pops, bone-in filets for mom and sis, rack of lamb for me), plus a few sides (the creamed corn, insanely rich and delicious, was hands down our fave) and of course a bottle of Grgich Hills' 2004 Zinfandel that was big, luscious and perfectly spiced, our dinner cost more than a few pretty pennies.
The best part of the meal was the finale. As we pored over the dessert menu, picking first one and then another option, out came a HUGE platter of decadent delights lit up with candles that had my dad grinning from ear to ear. We sang happy birthday with great gusto and then dug into the key lime pie, brown sugar cake a la mode and chocolate mousse cake ...
Holy mother of pearl. No amount of coffee could bring my busting belly under control. I was stuffed for hours after the meal. And I woke up with a terrible food hangover. But heck, it's now more than 24 hours later, and I'm feeling worlds better. All worth it for dad's epic day.