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Good Friends and Lokal Eats

Despite us having two birthdays and two anniversaries among us (literally within a span of nine days), my crew of besties always takes me out for a celebratory birthday dinner at the beginning of May.

Okay, I'm not going to argue. I love these guys! And they - quite clearly - know how to make me happy. This year, we headed to Carmel Valley to check out Lokal; we haven't been since they opened. We were due.

This ceviche was my favorite from the evening! There were so many flavors on this plate: scallops, avocado, grapefruit, and crisp mole chips.

We all ordered dishes and shared. I don't remember who ordered the Prawn Mac'N'Cheese Balls, but we all took turns saying it. Mac'N'Cheese Balls. Mac'N'Cheese Balls. Mac'N'Cheese Balls. And I know that Brian ordered the Bones, roasted bone marrow with mushrooms on the top.

We tried the halibut over parsnip puree topped with arugula.

And, when it came time for dessert, we pointed at the chalkboard and said, "We'll take one of each." I'm not kidding. We had a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich.

The Burnt Jack Daniels Bread Pudding was comprised of sourdough breadcubes, burnt caramel, cranberries, Jack Daniels cream, and burnt milk ice cream. I think they used 'burnt' too many times in the description, but it was tasty.

White Chocolate Crème Anglaise with Fresh Seasonal Berries...

New York Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce and Fresh Fruits...

Homemade Olive Oil and Crème Fraîche Donuts with Hot Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar...

And, for the first time, we each brought a bottle of wine to share! Jenn brought a Berghold FootStomp Zinfandel. Brian shared a 2009 Italian red. And I brought the newly released Big Daddy - a fortified Pinot Noir - from Holman Ranch Vineyards. I think we'll have to do this again soon.

 Thanks, Jenn, Mike, Pia, and Brian, for the fabulous dinner. I felt celebrated...and stuffed!


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