Monday, July 7, 2008

Nopa? No Problem.

Friday the 4th of July was a long and painful day. Since I am not DIY-inclined whatsoever, pretty much everyone knew that Eddie would be doing the bulk of the work on the deck, but I still tried to help him out. But after helping to sand nearly half the deck and helping out with some of the painting, I was done. Kaput. Finished. My arm couldn't take it anymore. While Eddie continued on his quest for painting perfection I tried to not scream from the pain that radiated from my shoulder to my fingertips. No matter what I did or how I positioned myself it would not stop hurting. I even resorted to using Tiger Balm, which prompted Eddie to ask before we went to bed, "What is that smell?" Sexy, huh?

Much to my relief, I was a bit better by Saturday. I was still popping Tylenol every four hours on the dot, but I was feeling okay enough to head out for something I had been looking forward to for weeks: dinner with my closest friends FogCityDweller and Claire at:

"NoPA" is local shorthand for the area of the city that lies north of the panhandle of Golden Gate Park. The restaurant Nopa is located at the intersection Divisadero and Hayes Streets. When my parents and brother first moved to the U.S., they lived in an apartment building just a few blocks away from this location. Back in those days, the neighborhood was cheap, somewhat dangerous and pretty undesirable. Now, however, the area has transformed itself into an up-and-coming hip little neighborhood.

Nopa has an extensive cocktail and wine list, but green drinks were all the rage on Saturday night. The colors are a bit muted in this picture, but my Old Cuban (rum, mint, sugar, lime juice and cava) on the left was nearly flourescent green, while FogCity Dweller's Elderflower Gimlet (vodka, lime juice and elderflower syrup) was a very pale green. There were many other green drinks on neighboring tables. A quick perusal of the spirits menu revealed that other cocktails featured green tinged liquers such as absinthe and chartreuse. So much green ..... and it was nowhere near St. Patrick's Day.

Since I'm still getting used to blogging, much less blogging about food, I wasn't entirely comfortable with taking pictures of all of our dishes. I'm sure I'll get over that eventually. :-) I can tell you though that all three of us thoroughly enjoyed our dishes which included goat cheese crostini, flatbread topped with fennel sausage and beet greens, cauliflower soup, a grass-fed hamburger with pickled onions, braised duck legs and a brown butter-chevre cake for dessert. Here is a pic of the "friendship fries" that came with my hamburger. After I placed my order, the waiter commented that having the fries available for sharing would make sure that my dining partners would be always my friends. I like to think that the many years of friendship the three of us have shared is based on more than sharing fries, but these really were damn good fries. We later learned that they were fried in rice oil which created a perfectly light and crisp french fry that stayed light and crispy. No greasy fingers!

After dinner we hung out at Claire's place for a bit. By the time I got home Eddie was fast asleep. I found out from my dad (who was waiting up for me) that Eddie had been painting until past 9pm! The man really was on a quest for perfection. Much of his best work ended up being on the underside of the deck, which I didn't get a picture of, but as you can tell by this 'after' pic, he accomplished his goal of a beautiful, protected deck.


WeezerMonkey said...

The deck looks awesome!

valerie said...

Mmmmm, elderflower gimlet. I can use another one...or maybe six after my private eye tactics and discovery from last night.

Hey, Eddie did a good job on the deck! Bravo!