February 08, 2009

Weekend Entertainment: Zydeco Flames, Kodo, Mt. Baldy and Mulberry Street Pizza

Wow - what a weekend.  We started  off Friday night at Mulberry Street Pizzeria in San Rafael to try their award winning "For the love of mushrooms" pizza.  The restaurant is tucked in a strip mall in a remote corner of San Rafael.  You would think it would be relatively quiet, with the recession in full swing.  But when we walked in, it was completely packed!  People were snaking out the door to wait for a table at this unpretentious little pizzeria - made famous by the charming and talented chef that won the Food Network pizza challenge with his cheesy oozy goodness with sauteed portabello mushrooms on a wheat crust topped with a red wine reduction.  Pure pizza bliss.

After our pizza feast, we headed to Marin Civic Center for a taiko drum performance by Kodo.  The concert was more than I had ever expected.  From the soft, almost cricket-like timber of the small drums to the soul-stirring vibrations of the giant drums beaten by the atheletic drummers.  I heard sounds I had never experienced before - at times it was almost transcendental.  I highly recommend Kodo, even if you're not a fan of taiko.

On Saturday, Dominic and I took a little hike up Mt. Baldy through Phoenix Lake.  We kept remarking how it felt like we were miles away from civilization - all you could here was the rustle of the wind through the leaves and bird song.  The views left me breathless (or that could have been the steep uphill climb!).

In the evening, we headed to Rancho Nicasio for the first time to see Zydeco Flames.  The restaurant is like a rustic old cowboy lodge blended with a swanky supperclub.  We had fresh bbq'd local oysters, giant roasted garlic, chicken-fried steak and garlic pressed chicken.  Zydeco Flames got the crowd dancing from the first song and we had a great time working off our calories with the infectious tunes that inspired everyone to feel good and dance.

Zydeco Flames' singer Lloyd Meadows, originally uploaded by kathyjohnson.

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