Celebrating Pearl's birthday by hosting Pearl, Simon, and Mason for the weekend! Way too much food, starting with a quick run for donuts at Randy's, then a very solid lunch of tsukumen at Menya Musashi Niten Ichiryu with the Shimizu-Piper family. Then the two families headed off into the rain for Kieran's birthday that afternoon up in Santa Clarita.
Trekked up north to join them all a few hours later for dinner at Charcoal Korean BBQ. Not as good as k-town, it was still decent enough, especially considering the difficulties that would have been encountered otherwise, now that multiple small children are involved with Pearl's group of friends. And it was great to see Tomm and Brandis for the first time in forever (and meet Kieran!).
The next day started with lunch at Original Pancake House, for pancakes and Dutch babies. Some very decent eggs and bacon as well, although it was definitely a step down in quality compared to Plums Cafe and Catering or even Bacon and Butter.
Met Sue and Ophelia at Redondo Beach Pier, as Mason and his dad enjoyed the final days of the old Redondo Fun Factory. Air hockey and skee ball were definitely the highlights, although by now the skee ball machines are all looking pretty decrepit. We then nom'ed on Pearl's birthday cake from Lady M, courtesy of Sue and Ophelia, as Mason's energy began to flag. Managed to avoid Quality Seafood because, well, dinner was next anyway...
Dinner was with the Hioyshi family at Ritter's Steam Kettle in Alhambra. Decent enough fish stew, although next time I may have to try the po boys, gumbo, or pan roast-- those honestly are more intriguing to me than the bouillaroast. By then, Mason was seriously wiped out... and helping to carry a semi-passed-out four year old is no fun! (I don't know how Pearl and Simon do it. They're waaaay braver than I am!)