My first night back at work was easy-breezy ‘cause the work hubby is back from vacay and there was no full moon. (I swear – it seems like the hospital fills up every time the werewolves come out.)

I even had five whole minutes to chow leisurely on the leftover chicken and vegetable stir-fry I’d packed.

When the sun came up, I rushed back to our dusty house to pick up piles of clean laundry and let the contractors in to continue work on our floors. Then, I sleepily drove back to the hotel – while slapping my face to stay awake – before collapsing in bed to snooze the day away.

In the evening, my hubby and I were child-free because the Double-Os were off to spend the night at my parents. How’d we spend our fleeting hours of adults-only time? Survey SAYS…we returned home to frantically pack up all of our worldly possessions!! As my Chinese mother would say: How LOW-MANTIC!

In all seriousness, we were crazily flinging things into garbage bags and luggage because EVERYTHING in our home is being moved into a gigantic storage pod tomorrow morning so our floors can be stained and sanded. We were tired and frustrated from schlepping our stuff – but then our doorbell rang and we received a surprise meaty parcel from Lava Lake Lamb. (BTW, go sign up for their cool summer grilling package giveaway right here!)

We spent a couple of hours hauling our stuff into our cars and garage, but we eventually just threw our hands up in frustration and escaped to dinner at Birch Street.

Birch Street is the new incarnation of Palo Alto’s popular Bistro Elan, the Cal-French bistro that recently moved after 16 years on California Avenue. Birch Street’s in a smaller space, but it still serves up farmers’ market-driven fare that’s elegant and fresh.

We opted to dine al fresco. After we placed our order, we were served an amuse bouche of smoked salmon topped with a dab of mustard on a crispy potato chip. (Cuff me, Paleo Cops: I ate the chip!)

For our starters, we split two seafood apps: albacore tuna salad with beets, avocado, green beans, and paprika…

…and fresh Dungeness crab salad with avocado, grapefruit, mint, toasted pistachio.

For the main event, we shared sautéed local wild king salmon with broccolini, carrots, and brown butter shallot sauce (along with an unexpected smush of whipped potatoes that wasn’t listed on the menu, and remained untouched)…

…and aged grass fed New York steak with asparagus and béarnaise (which, for those of you who can’t be bothered to Google it, is clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks and flavored with herbs).

We saw a bunch of families with kiddos in tow, so we’ll definitely bring the boys the next time we return.

After dinner, we took a stroll around the neighborhood and my jaw dropped when I spied that Spice Kit is coming to California Avenue. 

Before going Paleo, I’d frequented the original location in San Francisco many times. The chef-owners have impressive pedigrees, having worked at some of our all-time favorite restaurants (French Laundry! Per Se! The Ritz Carlton Dining Room!). At Spice Kit, they’ll be serving up casual Asian street food made with super-high-quality ingredients.

You know I’m a huge fan of Asian Box, but I’m looking forward to having another option for Paleo-friendly Asian salads (hold the peanuts!) when Spice Kit opens up in July!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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