A few weeks ago I headed up to San Francisco where I saw a bunch of my friends, including blog regulars Meeshie, Malibu Judie, and even IndianJones. The weekend was full of all sorts of high adventure including waterfalls, ice cream, and trail mix. Okay, so not much adventure. But neat photos!
After the jump, check out some pics from the trip, as well as a few, brief restaurant notes…
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve blogged about cocktails (and it’s been an even hotter minute since I stated a blog by saying “It’s been a hot minute…”). Nevertheless, I’m here to buck the trend. Last night, my friend IndianJones and I attended a “tasting bout” sponsored by Tequila Herrandura and UrbanDaddy at Los Angeles’ Soho House. The event was simple: four mixologists battled it out for cocktail supremacy in front of an esteemed panel of judges, with each barkeep enduring at least two rounds of competition. First they had to serve up a signature cocktail. Then they had to whip up as many margaritas as possible under three minutes. Winner advanced to a final round that involved incorporating chocolate into a tequila drink. Fun times all around.
Of course, while the competition was fun to watch, it merely was an excuse to enjoy some tasty tequila (shots were abundant) and make new friends. In the end, master mixologist Steve Livigni took home the title belt, much to the delight of the many boozy onlookers. I didn’t get a chance to try any of Livigni’s cocktails, but I can assure you I more than made up for it with a variety margaritas, shots, and other assorted libations. A few random pictures of the event after the jump…
So who are our finalists? In one corner we have Alyssa and her Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies. In the other corner Tanya with her Brandied Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yes, two cookies with white chocolate chips — kind of shocking. There were some other fascinating entries, but they had to be DQ’d for being bars, not cookies. Read the directions, people! (There was also an intriguing cookie sweetened with banana that I wanted to try, but the ingredients — almond meal, coconut oil — would have cost $17, which is entirely way too much for cookies, especially because I don’t know what else I’d do with almond meal and coconut oil).
Anyway, after the jump, check out pics of the cookies and learn who the winner will be!
If there’s one thing we know about women, it’s that they can’t brew a good cup of Joe. Amiright? At least that’s the conclusion one might reach when watching this supercut of coffee commercials from the 1950s.
Recently, I purchased the book Left Coast Libations, which proudly culls cocktail recipes from a wide swath of mixologists in Los Angeles (way too under-represented), San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. I absolutely loved the concept of the book — finally, I could emulate cocktails from The Roger Room here in LA or Bourbon and Branch up in SF. Too bad that nearly every recipe employs amazingly esoteric ingredients; so much so that for the past several months, the book has collected dust on my shelf, occasionally migrating to my coffee table where I would toy with the idea of making one of the recipes. Finally, this past weekend, I declared to my cohort Sly that we had to finally delve into Left Coast Libations. I ordered her to select a recipe, and after many minutes of leafing and perusing, she finally chose not one but two options, both ginger-centric. And so the ginger showdown was born.
Sly and I immediately tromped off to the supermarket to fetch supplies (including a flashy new bottle of Canton) and then an hour an a half later (we got sidetracked by an impromptu stop at a foot massage place), we were ready to go ginger crazy. Results after the jump…
Back on Friday, I posted a super cool video of French DJ / music producer Madeon mashing up thirty-nine songs on the fly. The most impressive part of all: the resultant mix, called “Pop Culture,” works as its own standalone song. If that isn’t cool enough, now someone has gone and tracked down the music videos for most of the tracks and created a video mashup of Madeon’s mashup. Yes, it’s a mashup of a mashup. How very meta. How very cool.
Thanks to IndianJones for tracking down the new video.
With the premiere of Big Brother last night, I wanted to cook myself a dinner that would honor the show in some way. I ultimately settled on a much lauded dish from Fuchsia Dunlop’s Sichuan cookbook Land of Plenty. The recipe in question: Ma Po Do Fu, or Mapo Tofu as it’s commonly known in restaurants in America. Many reviews of Land of Plenty have singled out Dunlop’s Mapo Tofu recipe as one of the strongest in the book, and for several months, I had been meaning to try it. Well, this was the perfect opportunity. After all, Dunlop’s version is translated as “Pockmarked Mother Chen’s Bean Curd.” There could be no greater tribute to The Chenbot than to whip up a dish with the name “Mother Chen” in it (although, I do not believe than Julie is pockmarked like the Mother Chen of note here).
After the jump, see the fun and at times dangerous process that went in to making Mother Chen’s bean curd.
Sausage is the new black here in Los Angeles, with restaurants such as Wurstkuche and Berlin Currywurst drawing crowds (rightfully so). Joining in the fun is Grindhaus, a specialty sausage shop that opened up a few months ago in Hollywood. They don’t cook sausage, but they sell it, and after having sampled some of their venison, boar, and bratwurst sausages a few weeks ago, I quickly became a convert.
That’s why over this past weekend, when Grindhaus tweeted that they were selling some fanciful chicken-fig-balsamic-bleu-cheese sausage, my friend IndianJones and I made a special detour to the shop to get in on the action. The bad news: they were already sold out. The good news: we emerged with three other promising options. Sadly, IndianJones had to skip town before he could enjoy the sausage (and yes, I’m sure he really appreciates me using that turn of phrase), but that was okay. It meant more sausage for me.
I’m really not going to be able to get out of this post without about fifteen more inadvertent innuendos.