My plans for Valentine’s Day this year included me and Joyce spending the night in a super nice hotel here in Pasadena called the Langham. I got the room all decorated with LED candles and rose petals, put on Valentine’s Day boxers with long chili peppers on them along with a blue shirt and the necklace Joyce gave me for my birthday, and went to pick up my girlfriend.
Of course we had to eat before the romantic night in the hotel. And I haven’t told y’all where I was taking Joyce for dinner yet.
You may think it’s a totally cheapass way to take your super generous girlfriend out on Valentine’s Day, but I took Joyce to a dim sum place in San Gabriel.
I had my reasons. Six good ones:
- Joyce likes dim sum.
- I like dim sum too. (Who doesn’t?)
- Most of my Valentine’s Day budget went into the hotel room and the candles.
- The dim sum place came highly recommended.
- The restaurant at the Langham is a steakhouse, and steakhouses are where Joyce takes me because I like them.
- I didn’t want to be in a restaurant where I’d be surrounded by dudes who want to murder their girlfriends. I figured that, in a neighborhood as Chinese as San Gabriel, not too many people would be celebrating Valentine’s Day.
I got a little nervous when I parked the car in the strip mall where the restaurant is and saw the look on Joyce’s face. The dim sum place is upstairs and it’s a lot nicer than it looks from outside in the parking lot. It’s nicer than all the other dim sum places I’ve seen. It still wasn’t anything like a super fancyass restaurant, but the look on Joyce’s face got better once she saw the place and I told her it was only the first part of what I had planned. She still wasn’t completely sold, so, without telling her what a bitch Monica was last year, I told her reason 6. I said I wanted to be in a good mood, and it’s hard to be in a good mood when you’re surrounded by a bunch of guys who look like they’re in pain.
So she smiled and I could tell she got it. Besides, anybody can take their girlfriend to a fancyass restaurant and have the special Valentine’s Day rip off menu. Y’all gotta give me some credit: dim sum in San Gabriel is at least original.
I found out about the place by asking the person I know who has the most contact with Asians: Keaton. Yeah yeah…you shouldn’t ask your best friend to ask a prostitute where you should take your girlfriend for Chinese food, but, when you think about it, it makes sense. Actually Keaton didn’t ask one of his girls; he asked the dude who gets most of his girls for him. Keaton says he’s asked “Ryan” about restaurants in the past, and his recommendations have always been on point.
And, no, I am not planning to tell Joyce where I got the restaurant recommendation from lol.
It was one of those dim sum places where the waitresses come around with carts with all the different things on them for you to choose from. Joyce and I were like the only white people there, and the waitresses could barely speak English…so we had to point at what we wanted and take our chances with what we were eating. Especially as you can’t tell what’s inside a dumpling until you’ve bitten into it. Since y’all know what kind of tacos I like, you know I don’t mind eating stuff when I’m not completely sure what it is, as long as it tastes good. And, like I said about taco trucks, sometimes you don’t want to know what’s inside lol.
So we had a pretty hilarious time trying to figure out what we were eating. The important thing was that it was good. Dang good. There was one soup dumpling that Joyce liked so much she wanted another one. The only problem was that she’d eaten it before she decided she wanted the second one, so she couldn’t show the waitress what it was she wanted. And since we weren’t totally sure what it was, we couldn’t ask for it…even if the waitress spoke English. Finally the waitress brought Joyce something, but it wasn’t the thing she wanted. I got one of them too. Even if it was the wrong thing and I had no idea what it was, it was good, although Joyce said the right one was better.
And of course dim sum goes down great with Chinese beer. (Not every dim sum place has a liquor license. One of the things Keaton was in charge of finding was a place that had beer.)
Turns out we had a great time…and dang is a dim sum dinner easy on the wallet! We must have had at least ten things each and I came out under my $50 budget. That’s including two beers and the tip.
How many dudes can say that their Valentine’s Dinner cost them less than they thought it was going to?
Y’all know what’s coming next: dessert. Which means ice cream. We had a big rich dessert coming from room service at the hotel, but y’all know that I get cranky if I don’t get something sweet after dinner. And it’s not like Joyce doesn’t like ice cream: her freezer wasn’t stocked with half a dozen containers of Thrifty’s brand before she found out that ice cream is the only food item I like more than beer.
I even thought of going to get a couple Thrifty’s ice cream cones at the Rite Aid…but then I decided that, while you can get away with taking your Valentine date for dim sum, you can’t take her to a pharmacy for dessert lol. So it was the Baskin Robbins right near where Keaton lives which was practically on our way to the hotel. And you gotta admit: getting ice cream cones on a date is always fun.
Ok so the hotel was my big surprise. I was thinking of blindfolding Joyce after we finished our ice cream, but then I thought that might make her car sick. So I pretended to get lost on the way, just to build up some suspense. When she did find out where we were going, I could tell I did the right thing. She even said she’d always wanted to stay there, but how often do you go stay in a hotel in the city you live in? (Duh: Valentine’s Day lol.)
Now it was my turn to get nervous about the candles and the rose petals and everything. I needed for it to be on point.
It was. Even I thought it looked cool when I opened the door. Turns out Joyce isn’t the only one who can do holiday decorating.
She loved it. Like she loved it so much she started to cry. She said no one’s had ever done the candles and rose petals thing for her and it looked just like the movies. That’s of course what I was going for, so it was hard not to feel pleased with myself.
I’m not going to go into details about what came next…y’all already know about the bathtub anyway lol. But I did have one more surprise up my sleeve: the hotel was including a heart-shaped flourless chocolate cake with their special Valentine’s Day promotion. (I even got room service to send along some vanilla ice cream.) The cake looked great, with a rose and everything, and was good, even though flourless chocolate cake isn’t my thing. But chocolate is definitely Joyce’s thing, and I reckon that’s what mattered most.
Oh yeah…Joyce liked my chili pepper boxers too.
So, guys, I pulled off the impossible: a Valentine’s Day both me and my girlfriend enjoyed without having a fight. And all it took was dim sum and a couple dozen LED candles lol.
Now y’all know what to do next year.