LUNCH IN THE GARDEN of the Norton Simon Museum, a favorite spot: simply this "salade niçoise" (quotes for lack of anchovies) and water.
But dinner, oh my, with a couple of old friends seeing plays with us and a daughter and son-in-law who happened to be in town on business. A feast, too friendly, busy, and romantically lit for photography.
Bread and housemade buttersand four desserts too complicated to describe but too delicious to neglect mentioning.
Olives marinated with harissa, bay, and preserved lemon
Mikey's pickles: chunks of cucumber, dill, vinegar, and piparras
House pickles: dill, sweet and sour
A bowl of lettuce with lemon dressing and smoked salt
Burnt carrot salad with avocado, onion, feta, parsley, cilantro, arugula, and pepitas
A bowl of soup
Grilled hanger steak (me)with salsa verde, roasted carrot, roasted garlic, English peas, and rosemary
Salmon (my companion) with maitake, English peas, basil, and potato emulsion
Duck (nearly everyone else): sliced breast in fermented black bean sauce with smoked onion and creamed broccoli
Marinated lamb (the carnivore) with Brussels sprouts and horseradish-pecorino mashed potatoes
Grenache blend, "Chat Fou", 2014: light, fruity
•The Raymond Restaurant, 1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue, South Pasadena; +1 (626) 441-3136