For a few years now, I’ve been hearing about the Hwe Dub Bap at A-Won Japanese Restaurant here in Los Angeles. This Korean dish, which is basically sashimi piled on top of lettuce and other veggies, has been thoroughly documented by the local media, blogs, and various Yelpers over the years. However, I’d never actually tried it before. I certainly had come close — going so far as to actually sitting down at the restaurant with every intention to order the dish. The thing is that A-Won also specializes in albap, a rich rice bowl topped with a beautiful assortment of caviar, and try as I may, I simply am not one who can ever resist a giant bowl of fish roe.
This weekend, however, I finally decided to MAN UP and go for the much-heralded Hwe Dub Bap. I had spent much of Saturday afternoon ambling about Disneyland (as one does), and while there had been a midday corn dog to stave off a wave of violent hunger pangs, the shocking truth is that it simply was not enough to sustain me. By the time dinner at A-Won rolled around, I knew a meager bowl of fish roe simply would not due. Delicious, yes. But enough to counter a ravenous post-Disneyland appetite? Hardly. And thus, the landmark decision by me to eschew my beloved albap for hwe dub bap was made.
Great news for whiskey fiends: this Saturday is World Whiskey Day! Never heard of it? Neither have I. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were some silly creation manufactured by Jack Daniels, but who really cares? Any excuse to go out for a drink is a good one by me (unless it involves numbing the soul from having committed a crime so vile it cannot be uttered to another being. But I digress).
Anyway, after the jump, check out a few whiskey options here in Los Angeles that may help scratch your itch for the brown stuff.
Lisa Timmons and I recorded our latest episode of Banter with Ben and Lisa this morning, and we had a total blast. We hope it translates! Here’s the official description:
Is there any other podcast that can weave together recently outed NBA star Jason Collins, Exposé, Super Mario Bros., anthropomorphic M&Ms and, of course, Sade? I don’t think so. But that’s exactly what Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) and Lisa Timmons (Socialite Life, Idolator) do on this latest episode of Banter With Ben and Lisa. Listen as the highly caffeinated duo take on all of the above topics and introduce a new, important segment called “Operation: SEDUCTION.” What are you waiting for? Press play!
I’ve decided to start a new little section of the blog called “Restaurants Are Fun” (name subject to change) to document some of the random spots I go to with my friends (and sometimes enemies, but that is VERY rare). I wouldn’t say these are full on reviews per se, but they’re kind of a simple “I ate this, and it was good” or a “I ate that, and it was bad” kind of thing. Whatever. This is a blog, not the New York Times. Just let me DO WHAT I WANT.
Anyway, today I want to focus on two Asian restaurants I went to last month: Takara, the new ramen shop in Hollywood, and Sun Ha Jang, a Korean spot specializing in duck. Pics and thoughts after the jump…
Well, ladies and gentlemen, here I am with my fourth Rick Bayless recipe from his book, Mexican Everyday. I suppose one of the advantages of an “everyday” cookbook is that you can truly cook from it everyday without it being a “thing.” That’s why I was more than happy to take on this double-recipe: Swiss chard tacos with caramelized onions and feta as well as a chipotle salsa ditty on the side.
The journey through Mexican Everyday continues. Yes, I am here with my third Adventure in Domesticity in about a week’s time, and I’m continuing my journey through Rick Bayless’s aforementioned cookbook. For those keeping track at home, the results have been largely positive, save for the Pollo Pulquero dish which I evidently screwed up (and erroneously blamed on the recipe). Nevertheless, even as a miss, the Pollo Pulquero was still pretty good, and let’s not even talk about the Avocado and Mango salad that I made earlier this week. I whipped it up again today with leftover ingredients from the first go around (ie. the bacon, pepitas, dressing, etc), and I swear, it’s a big time winner.
Nevertheless, after having sampled Mexican Everyday’s chicken and salad recipes, I was eager to move on to seafood. My motivations were twofold. Or perhaps threefold. Many folds were had. First, I wanted to make a shrimp dish because, well, I love shrimp. Second, shrimp is a healthy option. Third, I had just bought a deveiner that I was eager to test out. And thus I recruited my dear friend Sly to take pictures of me as I tackled both this latest Bayless recipe as well as my new kitchen gadget.
Pics after the jump. Just a warning, what you are about to see includes graphic images of both deveined shrimp and my messy kitchen.
Well, it’s the New Year (Chinese, at least), and I’ve been more or less keeping to my resolution to eat healthier in 2013. This has meant cutting out late night McDonald’s visits (sadness) and, well, early afternoon McDonald’s runs visits (more sadness), but not all has been lost. In the place of delicious Big Macs have been a variety of veggie-oriented meals, many of which have stemmed from Yotam Ottolenghi’s magnificent Jerusalem: The Cookbook as well as his previous tome, Plenty. It’s from the latter book where I found a recipe for Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt. You see, I had just returned from the Hollywood Farmer’s Market where I had spontaneously purchased two bundles of rainbow chard. This was not normal behavior for me, but strange things have been happening in 2013 (healthy eating, watching American Idol again, bought a knit cap — everything is topsy turvy).
Anyway, the sudden influx of chard meant I could do two things: a) find a way to use the chard, and b) come up with several chard puns. Sure enough, it was a good day to die chard because the aforementioned Chickpea Sauté recipe called for mass amounts of chard, and that’s exactly what I had. But could this recipe truly thrill me like two all beef patties with special sauce? Or would I be facing the cold chard facts that veggie food simply isn’t as good as the greasy stuff?
A horrendous thing has happened in Los Angeles: my dear friend Sly and I have ceased making cocktails. Terrible, I know. To be fair, it really isn’t my fault. Every time I invite Sly over to make a beverage, she always denies me coldly — often with some excuse such as “I’m sorry, I just ate three pistachios” or “I’m sorry, but I’m currently perusing a pamphlet about Rodin” or “I’m sorry, but I may have just boarded a flight to Durban.”
Luckily, as the fates would have it, Sly decided to grace me with her presence this past weekend, and with her was Aletheia, who sharp-minded blog readers may remember from the verrrrry first Quaff post, known affectionately then as Fresh Cocktail Hour. Anyway, the two lovely ladies showed up at my apartment with sacks of produce from the farmer’s market, all meant to be juiced, muddled, and transformed into cocktails. Clearly, we had work to do.
Draw Something surfaced in late February of this year, and within days it became a top seller, going so far as to reach 50 million downloads in only fifty days. It has blown up all over pop culture, causing many people to abandon their endless Words with Friends games and opt for the quicker, more amusing thrills of drawing.
The game certainly has an appeal, but it’s not without its flaws. In fact, ask anyone whose played it for more than thirty minutes, and you’ll hear more than a fair share of grousing about the technical aspects. Truth is, Draw Something is a shoddy, shoddy app whose smart concept has somehow kept it afloat despite its shortcomings.
Luckily, gaming giant Zygna purchased OMGPOP, the small publisher of Draw Something, and soon we will be treated to a much-needed update. Rumor has it the next iteration will feature better social media integration, more words, and who knows what else.
I’m hopeful that Zygna will fix all the major problems, but in case they don’t, here are the major things that should be improved with the game.
Update: Timing is everything. Turns out Zygna released an update JUST TODAY fixing several of these issues. Yay! But still far from perfect…