Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Fig, my love.

Last night was Fig's birthday. Our small decadent celebration at Hatfield's was one of the loveliest meals we'd had in a while. Our reservation was at nine but Fig was stuck at work and by the time we got there it was almost closing time. Never mind that all the other tables were eating dessert, we got our table and the service was impeccable. We weren't rushed or discouraged from ordering the seven course tasting menu. So we did. (This might come back to bite me on Friday when I close at work.)

One peach basil cocktail later the day was left behind, the bubbly was popped, and the celebration began. First there was a cold corn soup in a shot glass and a tiny deviled quail egg. I'd never had a quail egg before. By size alone I loved them before I tasted them. Eggs, in my opinion, are nearly perfect food. Sealed in their own package, endless in use, comforting, delicious, and always in my refrigerator. Quail eggs are, bar none, the cutest food. Sorry, zebra tomatoes you have been dethroned.

The parade of food was endless, and though I tried to document our entire meal tiredness, hunger, and champagne got the best of me.

This is what I remember. The magical feeling of eating late at night in a nearly empty restaurant in LA. The giggling that ensued when the actor sitting at the table behind me bragged about himself in a way that seemed perfectly in-sync with one of the characters he played on SNL. The belly laughs when, for a brief moment, it felt like someone had turned the heater on high, and we meltingly blew on each other as we joked that they were trying to kick us out though only one course had arrived.

Everything was tasty but my favorite parts of the meal were the fried quail egg on top of a "croque madame" and the corn agnolloti with dungeness crab and white truffles. Dessert seems like a blur, which given my sweet tooth says a lot about how tired I was. All I remember was a tiny malted vanilla milkshake that came with a beignet and the bite-sized chocolate cupcakes with espresso meringue that came with the check.