the birthday bash

When the PM called back in March to say that they were coming to LA to celebrate B’s birthday, I was literally speechless. I honestly didn’t know what to say after last year’s fiasco. I felt sad for B that his parents wanted to come and ruin his day once more.

I do try to learn from my mistakes, so it was decided after last year’s awful dinner that when ever we went out with them, we would need to pick a place where the average entree was $12 or less. Of course, Chinese restaurants are probably our best bets, but even they get tired or Chinese food.

It took me a while to figure out where we could go, especially as another criteria is that it cannot be too far from the house. In the end we decided on The Yard House as we had taken them there last year, and they seemed to like it. Of course, what they like one time, has no reflection on how they might feel about it the next time.

B’s birthday fell on a Saturday, and the one drawback to The Yard House is that they don’t take reservations. When picking a restaurant, we also need to be aware that they do not like to wait, as they seem to feel it is beneath them or something. Thankfully the wait was only about 15 minutes.

We were lucky to find a place to sit, but then B’s parents took turns going to the restroom. I almost knew that as soon as the Beast was gone, that our pager would go off. And sure enough, it did.

B and I were seated, while the PM went to find the Beast and then eventually our table. We lucked out and got a booth. Still, the place can be a bit noisy, so it was hard to make conversation.

The first thing the PM shared though is that the next time I decide to make blueberry pancakes for breakfast (as I did that morning for B’s birthday – with bacon), I should tell them. The thing is that for the first time since they have been here, the decided to come downstairs before us for breakfast. The rest of the time they have made an appearance in the kitchen right as I would put the last dish in the dishwasher. How did I know that after 10 days this pattern would change?

Instead of my delicious blueberry pancakes and bacon (did I mention the bacon?), they had 9-day old Costco cinnamon-raisin bagels (despite that they were told by the baker they really are only good for a week). The PM made a joke that the early bird doesn’t always get the worm. I wanted to say, no, it’s more like you reap what you sow.

There was a bit of a problem as they ordered a beer after we had placed our dinner order. One thing that may have made it worse is that almost every time we have been to The Yard House, it seems like the server we get goes on break, so we get another server who fills in. On this visit, the stand-in was put in place before the outlaws actually got to the table. At least the waiter apologized and there wasn’t a need to call the manager over. And yes, they once again shared a beer.

We also forgot that the menu at The Yard House is really a book. Honestly I forgot because the last several times we have been I have just ordered a bowl of their tortilla soup. In the end, both B and his mother ordered appetizers for dinner and the PM got the lobster noodles, which for some odd reason had cheese. Still, he cleaned his plate.

Actually, he had about a tablespoon full of noodles left on his plate when when of the servers came by to clear the table. The PM gave the server the look of a dog when someone tries to take his bone. The server left the plate.

The Beast was still working on her dinner, which for some reason was rather late to the table, despite it being an appetizer. The service wasn’t great, but the place was pretty busy.

The bill came and B and the PM “fought” for it. In the end, B paid. And we left.

I had made cherry pie for dessert, so we went back to the house and had that. It was pretty good despite that the cherries I used were frozen from last year. I bought some of the last cherries of the season, pitted them, and froze them so I could make pie when cherries were not in season. The result is that the pie is a bit mushier than if the cherries are fresh, but it is still good.

Overall, I would say that things went okay, although we have very low expectations going in. It was certainly better than last year, but that really isn’t saying much.

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