the only times available for our party were either 6:15 or 9:30 and later, and since i'm old and crotchety anyway we opted for the earlybird slot. heading out to the westside on a saturday evening is always a challenge, and even leaving more than an hour early we still managed to pull up to the valet about 7 minutes late. oh well.
no worries though. we checked in at the hostess' desk and were seated right away - although the hub was a little less than pleased to find himself in a chair at the end of the table that was halfway in the hallway that led to the restrooms. it was a pretty small restaurant, and they'd crammed as many tables as they possibly could in there.
at each place setting there was an intricate rectangle-shaped charger with the menu placed on it and a napkin folded into what looked like a bathrobe on top of that.
we got our first taste of barton g's famously over-the-top presentation with our cocktails. the old lady's margarita came with a quick flash of fire that i was too late to capture.
the hub ordered a moonshine drink, and we were all super amused when this contraption was placed in front of him:
the server returned with a decorative bottle, which he poured into the top and then turned a screw or something at the bottom which dispensed the drink into the glass waiting at the bottom with a huge sphere of ice in it.
my drink, the "sabrina-tini" (and i'm still not sure who sabrina is, but her drink was super tasty) came with a champagne popsicle and a chocolate monkey hanging from the rim.
and the special friend's "highway to heaven" cocktail came like this:
and yes, that was a dancing girl on the miniature screen. it caught the attention of the table full of giggling pre-teen girls behind him, and we all hoped that dancing girl ≠ stripper.
the bean perused the mocktail menu and ended up ordering a virgin sabrina-tini that looked just like mine, only her popsicle wasn't made with champagne and there was no chocolate monkey on the rim. and when she took a sip she swore it had soda in it (you know how much she hates fizzy drinks) and promptly handed it to her sister, who loved it.
and the lobster pop tarts, served in a cute retro toaster.
as we munched on our appetizers (which were actually really delicious, so it was nice to see that it wasn't all just for looks), we noticed someone being served the "lawn moo-er," a giant porterhouse steak for two plus a bunch of side dishes...served atop an actual lawn mower. hopefully you can see it:
and at another table, someone was being served their popcorn shrimp appetizer - in an actual popcorn machine.
i was on my second sabrina-tini by then and i was feeling pretty good.
our main entrees began to arrive. first up: our "platinum ranch tomahawk," which said it was for 2 but we split it with the bean since there was a lot of it. check out this giant steak:
which also came with a platter of grilled lobster and shrimp:
after we'd taken in the presentation and snapped a few pictures, the server whisked the steak away to have the chef slice it up into easier-to-eat portions.
the old lady's braised short rib entree came inexplicably in a brightly-lit UFO.
and her special friend's filet arrived next to a gigantic fork with herbed bone marrow butter.
the bean and i thought the food was super delicious and grubbed down happily, although everyone else seemed to think that everything was too salty. the hub was still bemused at being seated in the pathway to the restrooms, and the old lady just shook her head at the crazy shenanigans. when we'd all eaten as much as we could, they whisked away our leftovers to pack up (including that giant tomahawk bone to take home to stevie) and brought us this little basket of dessert menus.
there were lots of great options to choose from, but we ended up going with the carnival fun cakes - funnel cakes served with dipping sauces to share. it was delivered with a fun carnival game to play, plus a sparkler and a little chocolate "happy birthday" plaque to commemorate the occasion:
we were all pretty stuffed by then, but we managed to power through at least half of that dessert before we threw in the towel. and along with being next to the restroom, we also happened to be right next to an exit that led right to the valet's kiosk. i was amused as i held the door open for everyone and turned around to find the hub sneaking a few last bites of funnel cake:
it was a silly, crazy fun dinner and a pretty awesome way to kick off my birthday celebrations.
i say "celebrations" because you KNOW i'm gonna milk it as much as i possibly can. you'd be disappointed if i didn't.