Sunday, October 01, 2006

Global Partners for Development Gala at Safari West. Global Partners Gala started late yesterday afternoon at Safari West, and Linda, Yalda, Olivia and I decided to take the trip together. We took a short tour and I caught the above cute young giraffe while he was enjoying the post. The action was lively as usual, and it was good to get together with good friends who have the same goals of making a positive impact with leveraged dollars in East Africa. The silent auction was one of many successes of the weekend, and I was surprised to win three auction items this year, including a weekend away in a secluded cabin in the woods near a river... I heard that people had to be turned away as the maximum capacity of 300 was reached, and it really showed when everyone lined up for the buffet dinner, but it was a nice time to socialize.

Today Jo-Ann and I spent a day exploring and trying a ramen restaurant in San Mateo we'd heard a lot about, Santa Ramen. I had miso chashuu ramen, and Jo-Ann pork ramen with a shared chicken karaage set (2 pieces on rice). The broth was tasty, but heavy with oil and very salty, especially Jo-Ann's. Mine had some fresh moyashi which was a nice touch. We got there at 11:35 and the first seating was already eating (the restaurant opens its doors at 11:30). The waitress takes your order as you are standing inside. Even though we were the third party seated after the first group was inside, they had already run out of the stewed pork! We waited about 30 minutes to be seated (which isn't bad according to review sites), and it took another 30 for our ramen to come, although pre-ordered. We left around 1:15. It was fairly authentic, but still saltier than most I've had in Japan. The surroundings were crowded, noisy and uncomfortable with little effort to decorate. The only menu were pieces of paper taped on the wall with the various ramen combinations. Interesting and consistently popular, but I've had better.

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