This is the story of how I showed up in the Araxi Restaurant and Oyster Bar, one of the nicest restaurants I’ve eaten at in the last 10 years, in road-weary Costco yoga pants and matching tee-shirt, bagging at both the elbows and knees, and a pair of sneakers.
We stumbled across the Araxi Restaurant and Oyster Bar while wandering around a deserted Whistler Village a few weeks ago, looking for somewhere to eat.
But Rick was hungry, bordering on hangry, so seeing “oyster,” we stepped inside.
Since the stools at the bar were the only seats left in the welcoming, burbling-with-happiness house (which tells you something in an otherwise empty tourist area, mid-week, in shoulder season), we took them.
This is the point in the movie where the plot makes a sharp, up-and-to-the-right twist.
Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The beauties above, for instance, were advertised on the current sushi-small plate offering of “Tuna, 3 Ways,” or something.
I forget, exactly.
But I can tell you that watching Yutaka craft these up close with his deft hands and devout attention to detail made me feel connected to something honorable and hard-won.
And my tastebuds have their own “how it made me feel” story. At minimum, “perfectly seared,” “wait! what was that exquisite slightly salty explosion in my mouth?!” and “THIS is how fresh sushi should feel!” all stuck.
Did I mention I was not particularly dressed for dinner?
It didn’t matter.
Apparently, Araxi’s brand of “classical dining experience meets fresh innovative local cuisine meets respectful acceptance of a diverse range of diners” made its way into my memory banks as well.
Amazing food + linen napkins + well-orchestrated service + being seen and yet not rejected = We’re coming back.
#happyhobbits? #trustfundhipsters? Didn’t matter.
They felt as welcomed as we did.
The food really was fun. And perfect.
For instance, this was a delightful potatoful thing: leek-based oil base, topped with mashed, roasted, and deep-fried versions of the humble tuber.
I feel that you’ll never look at a potato the same way again.
Bang-on ling cod something-or-other with beets that made me feel glad to be alive.
It was at this point, I think, that we met the table of hobbit/hipsters on their way out: New Zealanders celebrating the big dudes birthday, so I wasn’t far off.
We couldn’t risk saying “no” to how dessert would make us feel.
So here was perfectly accoutremented hand-craftish peach (or was it mango? pear? jeez…) ice cream, in a lean-to of patisserie-de-Bisquit-de-Paris or some such…
I felt blessed.
No surprise: Rick bought the book.
Sometimes, stars show up in your life when you least expect them.