7:30 P.M., LAVANDOU, CLEVELAND PARK
Saranah: I got to the restaurant first, and they sat me right away. He was late, about 25 minutes. [However,] when he walked in, I thought he was very attractive. I typically do not like dreads, but his weren't bad.
Brian: It started me off on a bad note, thanks to my accursed GPS sending me the wrong way. But I had a smile on my face; she's gorgeous. And she had a very open look about her, not guarded. I went to the table and sat down and apologized and got right into the conversation.
Saranah: I really liked the way he handled it: He just explained and apologized and moved on. Then the waiter came over and told us the specials.
Brian: Both of us were kind of underwhelmed [by the restaurant]. We were the youngest people there by about 40 years. And I've stayed away from French food all my life. During dinner, we talked about our experiences in the area. She asked me if I was from D.C., and we talked about her being from California, why she'd come here.
Saranah: We both [did some work] for the same company before, so we know the same people. It's very D.C. He was laughing, saying that his friends would be like, "You didn't need to go on Date Lab; we could have set you up ourselves." We talked a little bit about what we do in our spare time. I like [going to] different things that come to the city, like concerts or cultural events. But I've never been to a lot of the museums. I mentioned I've never been to the Air and Space Museum, and he's like, "Oh, my God, that's my favorite one."
Brian: I got a feeling that there was a lot in common. I love going to concerts and traveling. And I used to play pool [near where she lives] all the time.
Saranah: He lives with his sister and helps her a lot with her daughter. I'm very family-oriented, and I want kids. So that's attractive to me. [But] we didn't really get into a lot of personal stuff. At one point, I asked him if he'd ever consider cutting his dreads. He said he'd keep them unless he started to get bald. Then he said very quickly that he was adopted, so he didn't know if he had the gene for baldness. But he didn't go into it more.
Brian: I just didn't think that would be good, to tell my whole life story on the first date. You got to leave some mystery. [After dessert,] I noticed she was kind of feeling ready to go. I walked her to her car and asked, "Honestly, do you feel like this is something you'd like to do again?" She said that it was. We exchanged numbers.
Saranah: He gave me a really nice hug and a kiss on the cheek, and that was that. I'd say the date was a 4 [out of 5]. He seems like a great guy. I'd like to get to know him better.
Brian: I'd rate the date a 4, just because of the venue. She was great; I'd rank her a 5.
Interviews by Elizabeth Chang
UPDATE: The two went on another date -- dinner and a movie -- before Brian left town on vacation. "I'm definitely up for seeing her again," he says, "but I'm not too sure where she is with it." Saranah says simply, "We have no plans at the moment."
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