Birthday is for Sushi and Cake.
This is birthday law. It’s the one day of the year where calories from cake don’t count! I asked Dr. Atkins. It’s true! Get ready for some foodgasms!!
Ok all jokes aside, I was not sure at all how my actual birthday was going to turn out. I’d kind of… forgotten about my birthday until the day before. And by then, of course everyone had plans! It suddenly seemed SO SAD to have to spend my birthday night eating alone.
So, the night before my birthday, I Tweeted in desperation. “Would anyone in NYC be willing to have dinner with me for my birthday so I don’t have to eat Chinese takeout alone?”
And that is how Olivia from Birds of a FIRE graciously jumped in to volunteer as tribute, and keep me company. (By the way, she has an amazing blog on Financial Independence movement. And you should read it so you can retire at 30 like she’s planning on doing!)
But seriously, she saved a potentially very lonely and sad night, and made it into a really fun one!
Birthday Dinner: District Saigon
Olivia recommended Ramen Shack in Long Island City, because they apparently make their own ramen, and have delicious bowls. I’d never been, so I was all in. Unfortunately, just as I was leaving work to head to the restaurant, I checked Yelp and found out that they are closed on Mondays. Drats!
Since I’d been craving pho for a few weeks at that point, we decided to go to District Saigon in Astoria instead.
I just ordered beef Bún chả. Olivia got Phở with a huge portion of bone marrow (and it was a lot more photogenic than my food). I tried some bone marrow for the first time, and wow! It’s felt like I was eating savory lump of buttery fat? Yeah, I know. I’m a master at making things sound appetizing.
We’d followed each other for a few months, but never met before, so it was exciting to finally chat IRL. (Is it just me who always has that anxious period before meeting a friend from the Internet? I’m always like, “What if they think I’m a complete fraud?!”)
But she was adamant that it’s delicious. I wasn’t so sure.
Dessert: Birthday Cake at Prince Tea House
Let me show you again the goodness that was the dessert after our dinner.
These, my friends, are Caramel Mille Crêpe Cake and Green Tea Mille Crêpe at Prince Tea House. Layers and layers of Crêpes piled high, lined with cream, drizzled with caramel or sprinkled with green tea powder…
Happy Birthday to me!
And the drinks?
Genmaicha Matcha Milk Tea and Rose Green Tea with…. You guessed it! The “Salted Cheese” Olivia was talking about earlier!
(They called it “milk foam cap,” because they probably had marketing people who were like, “No, you can NOT call it ‘Salted Cheese.”)
It’s apparently basically whipped cream cheese with some sea salt. It’s definitely thicker than what I would expect from normal “milk foam,” and the taste was really… Strange.
Not bad, but it’s just not a combination you expect. If you have a chance to check out a bubble tea place that has it, I recommend it! (I was at Gong Cha, and even their “milk foam cap” is the same!)
Ok. Have another photo of the goodness…
Agh. I’m drooling.
My sister dropped by to give me a birthday gift (a big scarf!), and she joined us in our chats for a while.
It was one of the most exciting birthdays I’d had in a very long time! (Also one of the first times I actually celebrated my birthday in years!)
The next day, I took the Amtrak down to DC area after work because I had a wedding of a college friend to attend. (My first wedding!)
The Real Birthday Cake
My boyfriend had a Vanilla Bean Tres Leches cake waiting for me when we got back to his apartment. I was like, “I’ve no idea what that means. Just that it sounds really sweet.” And he agreed.
It was delicious, but it was huge, so it took us over a week to finish it. I really want to know why they quit being fancy after the “i” in my name!!
Birthday Sushi: Sushi Ogawa
Few days after I arrived in DMV, my boyfriend took me for a birthday dinner at a high end sushi restaurant in DC called Sushi Ogawa. It’s walking distance from Dupont Circle, and is in a very surprising place.
We’ve tried quite a few upscale sushi restaurants, but this was my boyfriend’s favorite omakase. Mostly because they gave us 3 or 4 different kinds of uni (sea urchin), and he’s a huge sucker for sea urchins.
Omakase is a concept in Japanese restaurants, usually in sushi restaurants in the US, where the whole menu is “on the whim of the chef.” So the menu is basically rotating and based on what fish they have or what the chef feels like serving that day or at that time.
Here’s a teaser for a portion of the meal:
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I was absolutely stuffed by the time they were done, which is rare at an omakase. And we ended up eating for I think something like 2 hours!
10/10 would recommend! (The omakase booth is super small, so you would need to make a reservation beforehand. We made one only a few days ahead, but was able to get prime time.)
DC at Night
Here are some random DC street-views I snapped on the way home.
Wedding and Meet Ups
I attended my friend’s wedding, and also a few Personal Finance Meetups.
It was great to meet people I’ve been talking to for a while in person, and talk about topics you normally don’t talk about (mainly money). I really enjoy these meetups, because you get to meet people from so many different walks of life and different places in their careers and financial lives.
There are lawyers, doctors, serial hustlers, government workers, nurses, early retirees, partial retirees, and anything in between. Everyone has a journey, and a different story. And so many different methods of having gotten to where they are, or how they plan on achieving the financial life they want for themselves.
Unfortunately I didn’t realize this until after my birthday, but apparently there are 300 companies that give you free stuff on your birthday. Maybe next year…