What’s so wonderful about having a fourth of July fall on a Wednesday is that you have two blissful days that feel very much like a Friday. On a flip side, the worst part about celebrating a holiday in the middle of the week is that you have, well, two Mondays. You can pretty much determine whether you’re an eternal optimist or a glass-half-empty pessimist simply by the way you viewed this week. Would anyone care to take a wild guess as to which one I am?
Our family usually celebrates the nation’s birthday at our parent’s house in the Valley. It’s a tradition that my father mends the grill while my mother makes some wonderful side dishes … while my sister and I, and our beaus, nibble on appetizers over a glass or two of wine. This year, however, we decided to postpone the annual BBQ a few weeks because my sister was away on business and none of us wanted to be in a food coma, knowing that we have to return to work the following day.
Kevin and I invited Shannon and Raf over for dinner at home but instead, they invited us for Thai dinner at their favorite restaurant in Pasadena — and even treated us to this wonderful dinner! We enjoyed a glass of wine at their home before heading over to President Thai for an early dinner at 6:00 p.m.
I was surprised to see that the place was lively, even at this time of the evening, with patrons who, like us, decided to skip the traditional BBQ dinner. We sat in the outside patio, near the waterfall. The outside was breezy and perfect and although we were seated toward the back, the service staff was very attentive.
The food was superb – easily one of the best Thai foods I’ve had in many years. We started out with an order of Fried Tofu, hich were crisp and flavorful, and not at all greasy.
We ordered my favorite Thai dish, Yum Woon Sen, or glass noodle with shrimp, ground chicken, onion, and cilantro. Many places put too much fish sauce in the dressing and make it way too pungent, but this one was just right!
Pad Thai was loaded with meat and vegetable. I don’t usually order Pad Thai so it was a pleasant change to my usual Thai repertoire. Very delicious.
I enjoyed the Fried Rice very much, especially the dried pork on top.
BBQ Chicken was tender and flavorful. Although I’m not much of a chicken person, even I had to have some kind of barbeque for the Independence Day!
After dinner, we headed over to Kevin’s friend’s house for a fireworks viewing party. This breathtaking properly sits on top of the Pasadena hill, overlooking the Rose Bowl. Kevin, Shannon, Raf, and I, along with 100-plus of their friends sat on the front yard grass and watched the beautiful fireworks, from the best seats in town. (I found someone’s recording of the fireworks here! This person probably recorded it from inside the Rose Bowl, but this is exactly how we saw it too!)
It was simply an amazing, amazing night. Happy birthday, America! And thank you, Shannon and Raf, for such a wonderful dinner.