Wednesday, August 08, 2007

In Harmony and Friendship

It's been a while since I've seen Anna of Anna's Cool Finds. She has been consulting, going to school to get her Ph.D. and also dieting and exercising...something that I should be doing more of. We were finally able to get together this evening in Marin and Sweetie came with me and Anna's Dad came with her, so we had a great evening with good conversation and stories.

We ate at Harmony, a Chinese restaurant which is less than a year old. Harmony Restaurant is in Mill valley, in the Strawberry Village center, right off of Hwy. 101 and about an hour south of our home. It's a very elegant place with lovely stone tiles and highly polished bamboo tables. The serving pieces are beautiful to look at and functional, too. No paper wrapped chopsticks here. The elegant wood chopsticks looked like rosewood and were smooth and pleasant to use.

It was packed most of the night and for good reason. The dishes are prepared carefully and the cooks use fresh, high quality ingredients. The flavors really shine. This is some of the best Chinese food you are likely to eat outside of China (or Chinatown in a large city). They also have a busy take out section.

We started with dim sum. These small bites are traditionaly served for lunch and rarely after early afternoon. We were thrilled that at Harmony dim sum can be ordered all day and into the evening. The steamed dim sum are brought to the table in beautiful bamboo steamers. The morsels themselves provide taste and texture contrasts. Small dishes of soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce which includes Meyer lemon, and a medium hot red pepper sauce come with the dim sum.

Everyone seemd to enjoy the steamed scallop dumplings.

The shrimp gow have rice wrappers, succulent shrimp and some bamboo shoots. We also had the pea shoot gow which were my favorite. The shoots were very fresh and had a little crunch and there were also mushroom slivers. Sweetie liked the spinach dumplings and the buns with Peking duck.

Anna encouraged us to try the turnip cake. It was delicious and unlike anything I've ever had with turnip. The texture was creamy with a nice crust and it was slightly sweet, but the crust was slightly salty.

Next came calamari which had been quickly fried in a tempura type batter. It was tender and flavorful. It came dusted with a mixture of fried chopped garlic, green onion, jalapeno peppers and red peppers and garnished with lime slices The mixture was quite good; even when all of the calamari were gone it was eaten by itself and we noticed that the garlic bits were tasty all by themselves.

We had mu shu chicken accompanied by plum sauch and the thinest pancakes I've ever seen. The chicken was finely chopped and the mixture included fresh spinach, crisp bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms, and scrambled egg with wonderful seasoning.

The final dish was chow fun with barbq pork. The wide noodles held lots of a delicious savory sauce and the dish included lots of bean sprouts, onions, and tender pork slices.

We finished with a trio of hot teas. Oolong, Poy Nay black tea and jasmine tea provided contrasts in tastes and a fine way to enjoy more conversation and laughter.

As we were getting ready to leave, Sweetie and I were thinking of a few more friends in Marin who might enjoy meeting us at Harmony. It would be worth the drive.

Harmony Restaurant
800 Redwood Highway, Suite 401
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 381-5300
Open Daily:
Lunch: 11:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:00 - 9:30 p.m.


  1. What a lovely write up of an outstanding evening in every way! Until next time...

  2. Oh that calamari looks so popcorn. Glad you got to meet up with a freind.

  3. Anna, it was a great evening and great food.

    Peabody, you and Anna are the only bloggers I've met. Lucky me.
    The calamari was really light and tender...not overcooked. You're right...sort of like good popcorn in a way.