It's official: Birthday dinners will never be the same.
Mike's snowmobiling accident in February derailed our plans for his warm-weather Miami birthday weekend. Last minute, we decided to get out of town anyway and jumped on a plane to San Francisco.
Our brilliant friends Thi and Marco offered to host his birthday dinner—and suggested hiring a private chef. A quick search on Feastly, a few email exchanges and phone calls later, we were sitting down to a 6-course Japanese tasting menu with Trifecta Cooks in the comfort of Thi and Marco's beautiful Potrero Hill home.
Starting with a menu that Trifecta Cooks customized with us...
Crispy-creamy octopus croquettes, a play on Japan's takoyaki (fried octopus balls). So reminiscent of late-night snacking in Tokyo.
Another of Mike's go-to dishes: miso black cod.
Engawa aburi (flounder fin, served lightly grilled) was Mike's absolute favorite nigiri from our time in Japan. I'd never seen it in the states—but threw it out there to the Trifecta guys because why not? Just in case. They came through with a surprise, and it was so special.
The icing on the cake—or the cream on the pie?—was ending the night with key lime pie (from SF's Three Babes Bakeshop), Mike's birthday dessert tradition, no cake cutting fees added.
Trifecta Cooks is a group of three chefs—Lai Chao, Ryan Gallego and Jason Artajos—that met working at Morimoto in Napa. They focus on modern Japanese cuisine, served small-plates style. You can dine with them through Feastly, where they offer group dinners, catering, and classes. For private dinner options, reach out to them at trifectacooks [at] gmail.com. They were hugely accommodating to my suggestions/requests and really created the perfect night for us.
THREE BABES BAKESHOP
Three Babes Bakeshop makes a dense and creamy key lime pie, baked into a gluten-free graham cracker crust. Conveniently, delivery is available anywhere in SF for a $10 fee!