Last night we feted a good friend for her birthday, and because she very wisely chose New Lai Wah, we feasted for a meager sum.  I brought Pyramid Valley’s 2006 Lebecca Vineyard Riesling (just a $5 corkage fee), and it really sang alongside the dishes we ordered. I’ll post more about Pyramid Valley in the near future, but for now I’ll say that it is one of the few non-European wineries I’m actually excited about! Mike Weersing, a native Californian, settled in New Zealand after working at top-notch wineries in France and Germany. His Riesling is made in the Mosel style, and it fit perfectly on the table last night:








The Pyramid Valley 2006 Lebecca Vineyard Riesling tastes like peaches and lemons, with a Kabinett-like sweetness.









The cold dish was chicken (recently plucked and still a bit hairy) covered in a Sichuan pepper oil sauce, with peanuts, cilantro, and scallions. We also had a bottle of Hitachino Nest (was it Brown Rice Ale?) on the table. I don’t know much about the brewery, but everything I’ve had has been tasty!









Perhaps the most exciting dish of the evening was a geoduck picked out of the tank, and prepared into two dishes: the body (top photo) came out as a delicate sashimi, reminiscent of raw littleneck clams I’ve had on the east coast — briny and fresh. The head (bottom photo) was prepared into a soup, with bok choi, tofu and ginger. The broth was wonderful. It too was reminiscent of New England, specifically the Rhode Island style of clam chowder (no cream).









Next was the always excellent plate of ton choi with preserved tofu sauce (I recently discovered they do this same dish at Macau Cafe, but with spicy fermented tofu and chiles!)









We finished with the lobster and glass noodle dish our group has come to love. It’s an excellent summer dish, because it’s light, gingery and refreshing.

If you live in Sacramento and haven’t been to this restaurant, I highly encourage you to give it a try. Bring a bottle of wine or two, order family style, and then be surprised when the bill comes at how you can get such expertly prepared, elegant food and be charged so little money for it!