Archive for May, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Essentials

May 26, 2010

Dig Lounge and Caroline on Crack usually put together comprehensive, professional-looking lists of LA weekend activities. Here’s my version of a Memorial Day weekend guide:

Start your weekend at McCall’s Meat & Fish Company. This blogger-approved, chef-run shop has all the protein you’ll need to satisfy a range of drunken party-goers at your backyard barbecue. Try their house-made burger blend or sausages.

I haven’t tried this yet, but Vermont Sweetwater’s Maple Seltzer looks like a fine beverage for a Memorial Day barbecue. It’s carbonated maple sap- 100%, not a factory-produced, fructose-filled soda like you’re used to drinking. Have it straight or mix it with your alcohol of choice.

This next item may not be a weekend essential to everyone, but the Ham Dogger appeals to my OCD tendencies. The gross-looking contraption forces your hamburger into a hot dog shape, allowing the most efficient use of grill space and bun-buying. Throw in some chicken fingers and corn and you can have an almost perfectly symmetrical plate of grilled goodness.

If you aren’t throwing or weren’t invited to a barbecue, there’s plenty of eating to be done outside of your home or yard. Slater’s 50/50 is a fine place to celebrate American pork and beef, as they literally specialize in burgers made from 50% prime chuck and 50% bacon. One of the many reasons to commemorate the deaths of our fallen soldiers- they died for your freedom to choose bacon when ground beef would probably work just fine.


(Photo by Food GPS)

After trying Baby Blues, Zeke’s, Phillips, The Smokin’ Joint, Wood Ranch, Dr Hogly Wogly’s, Woody’s and Mr Cecil’s, my next BBQ stop is Bludso’s. Word is they’re the best, so add them to your Memorial Day weekend plan.

Lastly, keep an eye on your Twitter for sobriety checkpoint locations. Or better yet, don’t drink and drive.

Happy Memorial Day!

LA’s Other Food Marathoners

May 25, 2010

From restaurant crawls to urban hikes to taco tasks forces, food marathons come in many lengths and forms. It’s really because LA has too many amazing restaurants and there’s not enough time to go to just one at a time. Check out LA’s best bloggers’ food marathons:

Noah, Mark and Jason’s Infamous 11 in 11

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HC, the Ultimate Urban Hiker, Conquering LA

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Caroline on Crack and HC Urban Hiking from West Hollywood to Culver City

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Teenage Glutser and Crew on the Fish Taco Task Force

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Food GPS, Mattatouille and Crew on the Birria Taco Task Force

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Street Gourmet LA and Crew on the Potato Taco Task Force

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The Minty and the Uncouth Gourmands’ Beef Roll Crawl

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40 of My Past Food Marathons

Fred Eric’s Night of Big Dreams

May 24, 2010

Chef Fred Eric is a character.

Whether you know it or not, Fred has been a part of LA’s food scene for as long as Joachim Splichal, Octavio Becerra, Ludo Lefebrve and Mary Sue Miliken. Fred 62 has sat along side of The Dresden as a flagship Los Feliz destination throughout the lives of Fred’s other restaurants Vida, Airstream and Tiara Cafe (where he continues his all-senses-go culinary offensive).

You’ll always find Fred at the Gold Standard, in his gold-adorned booth, pimping double-entendre-named food with his friendly staff, enjoying the event regardless of how crowded it is.

Fred’s restaurants are entertaining, but don’t mistake the showmanship for lack of talent. It’s not the most refine food in LA, but it’s tasty and fun.

Saturday he hosted a fundraiser for his kids’ school at Tiara Cafe. I got to sit with Sonja from LA Street Food Fest and Unique LA, who swore me to secrecy about the location of the next event featuring 50 food trucks… It’s very exciting.

The menu featured a Tiara staple, chickpea fritters and fried yucca root with harissa aioli.

The night’s salad featured tender asparagus, wild arugula, romaine, slow cooked cheery tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, fried capers and a pine nut dressing. It was served with a goat cheese bubble bread topped with an artichoke tapenade.

I chose the smoked and roasted rib eye for my entree, which was tender and delicious.

The event, crowd and food all were great and benefited our ailing educational system.

I just realized Wood Spoon is across the street from Tiara- so I should have done a Ludo Bites 4.0, Tiara, Wood Spoon marathon… so many restaurants, so little time.

Salt Must Die?

May 18, 2010

Sony recently unveiled the marketing for their new Angelina Jolie thriller called Salt. In what is a questionable marketing move, the campaign features SALT MUST DIE plastered across the side of buses and billboards. Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent accused of being a Russian spy.

So Sony’s appeal to their obese American audience- an audience that eat as much as 5,000 mg of salt per day, and 1,500 mg of salt in movie popcorn alone, that “salt must die.”

While this might be a great message for Michelle Obama to promote, it doesn’t seem smart to me, unless they’re trying to rally support for salt. I love salt. I love popcorn and french fries and potato chips and bacon! SALT MUST LIVE!

8 Restaurant Food Marathon in 8 Seconds

May 10, 2010

This is just hypothetical marathon, but with proper planning I guess it could be done in real life:

Forage
(Silverlake)
Has some service kinks to work out, but quality ingredients are evident in the rich flavors.

Earl’s Gourmet Grub
(Mar Vista)
Soft opening this week. Beautiful interior design, unique sandwiches. Perfect for beach picnics.

Ludo Bites
(Downtown)
Despite the hype and how professional the operation has become, it’s still a fun dining experience with food you can’t get elsewhere in LA.

Shojin
(Little Tokyo)
One of the best vegan restaurants in LA in terms of flavor and service.

Genwa
(Koreatown)
Good but not great, in terms of meat quality and flavor. Excellent banchan, service was very attentive.

Four Cafe
(Eagle Rock)
Wish this new seasonal restaurant was closer to my house. Worth the drive.

Spicy BBQ
(Thai Town)
Maintains excellent flavor, consistently offering delicious Northern Thai specialties.

Tutti’s off Main
(Ventura)
Yelpers hate this place, but we had a perfect Mother’s Day brunch on the patio.

Avocado, My Long Lost Cousin

May 4, 2010

I am a California native. Turns out the world’s most popular avocado is as well. That means, despite my complexion being less green, we’re distant cousins. It’s an honor having such an esteemed part of the food chain as part of the extended family.

A couple weeks ago the California Avocado Commission hosted a party to celebrate the avocado and Cinco de Mayo at Ciudad.

Famed chefs, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milken were in attendance to judge a guacamole contest and cook up some delicious avocado-based dishes.

The guacamole contest pitted teams of bloggers against one another in a fierce battle (well, mildly competitive). Both taste and name would be rewarded so I set my teammates (Active Foodie and Gourmet Pigs)to handle the flavor while I worked on the name (read: ate chips).

From the extensive ingredients, the contestants that chose bacon had the edge and won in flavor. We won Ciudad hats for our name- “Ciudado-Cado Relish,” because namedropping always works in Hollywood.

While I drank mojitos and sampled the winning and losing guacamole, the Too Hot Tamales cooked up lunch.

These are fried avocado slices, breaded with poppy and sesame seads. You can find the recipe here.

They were delicious, obviously. Fried avocados are only second to avocados with Marie Sharp’s.

They whipped up a 600 calorie salad- chock full of bacon and avocado. You can find the recipe here.

Next were chilaquiles, which combine chicken, chips, cheese and avocados. The recipe can be found here.

I usually order chilaquiles at CJ’s on Pico and these were five hundred times better.

For dessert the California Avocado’s were simply prepared with mango, yogurt, honey and lime. You can this easy recipe here.

There was also a simple avocado orange licuado as well. It may sound off putting to the untrained palate, but avocados are fruit and no one flinches at a mango, banana shake and shouldn’t at an avocado shake.

I know I keep harping on it, but you have to try avocados with Marie Sharp’s hot sauce. They’re two members of my extended family that belong together after all these years.

For all you restaurant PR people out there, this was a really fun even. The interactive element, the drinks, the elaborate cooking demo, etc. While this was an expensive event, it significantly raised the girls’ stock in my mind. Jan DeLyser from the California Avocado Commission was such a passionate proponent of the avocado she had me talking about them to everyone I ran into. Well done.

Happy Avocado de Mayo!


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