one of the problems of having mostly guy friends is that you end up with the occasional unknown date scenario. maybe i’m just oblivious, but one second you’re just out doing something fun and then comes the awkward moment when your friend goes silent and looks at you in a way that makes you turn around and see if he’s eying some other girl across the room (in this specific case, we were at a red robin so the selection was frightful). that’s what happened the first time i went rock climbing, and subsequently, i took some time off from rock climbing AND my friend. four years have passed since that unfortunate night and when invited to go rock climbing again, i made sure to bring a conduit and pick a better post-activity nosh spot. thank goodness for the late-night happy hour at moshi moshi, the only place in ballard where you can get a well-crafted cocktail AND food so that you’re not sloshed in 7 seconds flat (sorry hazelwood, tv dinners don’t count). being that i love flips and fizzes, i was in luck as the cocktail special of the night was an alta plaza fizz: gin, muddled strawberry, lemon, benedictine, egg white, rhubarb bitters, and club soda, finished with a light dusting of nutmeg. and while i love the value a good happy hour menu can bring, i always order the eggplant dengaku off the full menu, because it’s just. that. good. and what better ambiance for a non-date than a monolithic plastic sakura tree flocked with LED blossoms? at least you can be guaranteed no one will be singing the red robin happy happy birthday song.