This past weekend marked the twenty-third year of my existence. And while most of my peers would enjoy a raucous night on the town hammering shots of Hennessy (no judgment), I always prefer something more subdued. After all, it’s not the actual birthday I want to celebrate – because really, it’s just like any other ordinary day (I’ve never understood this fixed fascination with birthdays) – but rather what’s important to me is the celebration of 23 years of friendships and love and experiences that have culminated in the me I am today. In my opinion, it’s a good time to reflect and be grateful that I made it this far and still respect and love many of those individuals who helped me along the way. Many of these individuals may have become estranged over the years – ex-roommates, deceased relatives, lost childhood friends, and even ex-boyfriend. But in some way or another, they added a bit of value and a splash of color and a lot of meaning to my life – and for that, I must be thankful. Additionally, a birthday is a congratulations and a reminder of the joys of living, giving us great hope for the future. I stand on the verge of my 23rd and peer over the edge, excited for what joys await me.

The House
1230 Grant Avenue (at Columbus)
San Francisco, CA 94133
*Reservations highly recommended

And so my birthday passed quietly, without too much fuss, but marked by really good food and really awesome company. The House in San Francisco needs no introduction. With more than 1700 reviews on, The House is a San Franciscan gem. The menu features Asian inspired dishes with French and American remixes. Co-owners and husband and wife duo Larry & Angeal Tse have been operating The House since 1993 out of the small North Beach location. Every dish is a feast for the eyes, and strikes bold flavor notes on the palette.

We began our meal with tuna tartare over a fried cake and Fuji apple slices. I wish the portions were a bit larger so we could have a better taste of the actual tartare. I thought all the garnishings distracted us from the freshness of the tuna.

Our second appetizer for the night consisted of a towering crab cake and tangy remoulade. I was really impressed by the amount of crab meat in the cake – not just filler, but actual soft crab meat that contrasted so well with the crunchy exterior. All in all, the dish was well seasoned and the flavors were delish.

We shared the remaining entrees, beginning with a unique unagi (eel) and avocado roll, topped with a flutter of bonito flakes.

Our next dish was the grilled sea bass, served with thick udon noodles and a fragrant soy sauce.

Being practically pescatarian at heart, I also had the black bean halibut, served with a pile of mashed potatoes. To be fair, the mashed potatoes seemed like an afterthought

To balance the seafood dishes, we also enjoyed a beautiful ribeye steak that was crusted with (surprise!) a rich black bean paste and teriyaki sauce. Though you can’t see, the ribeye is nestled on a huge mess of rich mashed potatoes, as well.

So in all, the food at The House did not disappoint. And for the price, I think it’s a steal. Though delicious, none of the dishes knocked my socks off, and the dessert menu was a bit too blasé. We ended up at Bi-Rite for ice cream. So glad we did.


So another year come and gone, and not a disappointment or regret to be had. Sure, every year seems to go by faster than the last, and sure – there are things that we all wish could have gone better or done differently. And while we can appreciate that past, there is simply not enough time to dwell on it. And so with my head held high, I look forward to all the adventures and challenges that lay ahead. There’s just so much more life to live.

PS. Thank you well wishers =]

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2 Responses to Twenty-third

  1. Colleen says:

    So beautifully written Anh! And happy 23 years of existence!

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