I am truly grateful to my dear friends M & H, not only for being such good friends, but for providing us one helluva time at their wedding reception on the Queen Mary last night.
Having ducked out of the post-ceremony church crowds early, we arrived about an hour and a half before the reception started. It was about 600 degrees outside, even in coastal Long Beach, so we quickly sought air conditioned shelter in the ship's Observation Bar which was once the ship's First Class Lounge. Back then, home to snobs dressed in ballgowns and feathers who'd have access to life rafts if the ship hit an iceberg. Nowadays, home to guys and gals in tank tops and short-shorts donning fanny packs, or older women wearing glittery Vegas mu-mu's.
We sipped a few slightly watered down vodka tonics to help the time pass.
Isaac had stopped off at a sketchy taco stand down the street from the church to get a bite to eat before the ceremony. The taco stand was run by Asians who spoke perfect Spanish. (Sorry, no pictures!) Anyways, the rest of us had not eaten anything and were starving. There was over an hour to go until dinner, so our friend grabbed a cup of snack mix from the bar. I've always been kinda scared of bar snack mixes, plus they were kinda stale, but it didn't stop us from munching.
Ahh, 6pm and the Queens Salon, the very posh art deco reception area, is finally open. Isn't it bee-yoo-ti-ful???
We ate fruit, cheese and crackers and crudite along with a variety of passed hors d'oeuvres with our pre-dinner drinks...
Our group of friends were strategically seated by the bride and groom at Table 5, a table kind of off in the corner and closest to the bar. Open bar was only on for another couple of minutes, so each one of us at Table 5 got up and grabbed a few drinks for the "table stash." We are high class.
Afraid that the beers would get warm, our friend got up and asked the ballroom host if we could please have a bucket of ice. The host asked why. Our friend told him that we needed to keep our beers cold, and the host gave our friend a dirty look. They brought one anyway.
We also had a stash of about 20 vodka tonics at the table that we sipped all night long. Mmm, watered down vodka...
These are the balls of butter that came on the table. I passed them to a friend and his partner who were sitting next to me. "Balls?" I asked. "Why yes, thank you," they answered.
Now for the relevant stuff. We were served a romaine hearts, bacon, red cabbage and croutons. The romaine hearts were cool and crispy but the bacon was obviously Bac-O's and the croutons were stale. I simply swept that stuff to the side and ate the romaine hearts and red cabbage.
Dinner was chicken breast, rice pilaf and asparagus. A little generic upon first glance, yes, but I was pleasantly surprised that the chicken was so juicy for a mass produced meal for 200 people. Paired with some mushroom reduction sauce, a pile of buttery rice pilaf and a few stalks of tender asparagus, it made for quite a satisfying meal.
The lovely and lightly luscious cake, sexily adorned with dark red roses, was from Chinatown's Phoenix Bakery. I definitely have more of a liking towards "Chinatown Cakes" (as I used to call them growing up) now that I'm older because they're not sickeningly sweet--they're made of fresh fruit (strawberries in this case) and cool whipped cream amidst layers of light-as-air sponge cake. This stuff doesn't make your cavities hurt.
And of course no Asian wedding is complete without Remy. Which I never understood. It tastes like rubbing alcohol.
Though our hosts had fed us quite well, Isaac and I still needed something to soak up all the watered down vodka in our systems. We made the trek back downtown and stopped for izakaya at Haru Ulala, open extra late (3am!) on the weekends. A perfect end to a perfect evening!