My folks arrived just days before my trip to Beverly Hills for this year’s Macula Society meeting. After groceries, dim sum, and a quick orientation for our new childcare routine, we celebrated the Year of the Dog with an attempt at a tea ceremony and a hearty “gung hay fat choy” from Westley. I arrived in LAX Wednesday morning and headed directly to Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles. Not knowing the difference with their annex across the street, I did a quick web search and opted for the heartier tsukemen at the annex. But the salty broth was overpowering and I made the mistake (again) of paying an extra buck for the large size that left me uncomfortable stuff on the way to the hotel. The poolside reception after the first conference session included the usual suspects from the retina world, and I went to bed rehearsing my talk. The next day, I left the meeting early and enjoyed springy noodles and a rich, nutty broth at Tentenyu Ramen. I tried to let it digest during the new member reception before having dinner with my friend Raj at Gwen. The overpriced Blackstone Wagyu flat iron steak at this manly restaurant/butcher shop however left me reminiscing about Matsusaka marbling. On Friday, the meeting ran later than expected, and I once again braved the agonizing LA traffic for french bistro fare at Ludo Lefebvre’s Petit Trois. The soft, cuddly omelette and scrumptious escargot were to die for, although the onion soup felt a bit undersalted and underflavored, but enough to keep me satisfied until our gala banquet. I was coming down with a cough by the last day of the meeting, but managed to get through my talk and met my friend Jeff for lunch over bacon-wrapped dates and a delicious Spanish fried chicken and cornmeal waffle at A.O.C.. I was ecstatic to see Melody bring Westley and my parents to pick me up from the airport, and we indulged in a lavish meal of fresh abalone, peking duck, and conch before returning home. With Melody leaving again soon for her conference, we took advantage of some Mondavi Center tickets from a colleague to enjoy a little alone time without the baby on Sunday.