Hat-Cat-moe.-B.lou-Ween Bday!

Every year, I try to put together fun events around my birthday to distract myself from paying attention to how old I am.
The run for this year was as follows:
Thursday “day of” girls dinner at Hatfield’s.
Friday dinner at Hungry Cat, then stumble over to Henry Fonda Music Box for the moe. show.
Saturday dinner at Bottega Louie, then cruise over to Ween at the Wiltern.

Dinner at Hatfield’s was great. The space has been occupied by a number of restaurants since I’ve lived in L.A. and I’ve tried them all. It was Citrus (1986-2001), Alex (2001-2004), Meson G (2004-2006), Red Pearl Kitchen (2006-2009), and how Hatfield’s. I had been to Hatfield’s a few times at its original location on Beverly (where Eva is now) but hadn’t been since it moved.
We had a round table for 6 out on the patio. I liked the feel of the main room better, but we were going to squeeze a 7th in for drinks later so the round table was the way to go. Beansie scored a cocktail at the bar while we were waiting to be seated. To me, it was too mild, sweet, and weak. But I’m very much an “in your face” cocktail girl. Less sugar, more ginger, less watery, more booze, please! I decided to stick to the wine list.
I capped our selection at $60 which was pretty limiting, but gave us a few options.
We went with a Malbec first. Home Fry had never met a Malbec she didn’t like. I didn’t like this one. It was sour, high acid, pretty foul. The sommelier insisted on taking it back and we went with a Pinot Noir. It was drinkable. We tried a Syrah for the second bottle and that one was fine too, but neither one had me running to purchase for my house.
Here’s what we ate, ordered from favorite to least favorite:
“Croque Madame” Yellowtail sashimi, prosciutto, sunny side up quail egg, grilled brioche – My favorite dish. Never disappoints.
Chilled Poached Main Scallop with bulgur salad, horseradish creme fraiche, muddled citrus – Small portion but great flavors.
Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib with blue lake beans, braised radish, horseradish potato puree – The short ribs were in slices instead of the usual braised and falling off the bone, but still delicious.
Date & Mint Crusted Lamb with roasted heirloom root vegetables, fresh chick peas, potato chive puree – All great flavors.
Warm Creamy Crab Buckwheat Crepe with pickled beets, marinated radish, fine herbs – A little too creamy, but still done well.
Charred Octopus with caramelized fennel, saffron vanilla braised hearts of palm, red wine olive puree – I wanted to love this dish, like as much as Laney did, but I thought it was a little bland. I tasted none of the saffron or vanilla on the hearts of palm (I barely tasted any hearts of palm in the hearts of palm…)
Potato & Egg Yolk Filled Raviolo with creamy goat cheese, roasted baby beets, sherry vinegar emulsion – One big raviolo in a beet heavy sauce. Pretty good.
Brown Butter Roasted Cauliflower with sauteed plantains, roasted almonds, golden raisins, parsley root puree – Not bad if you’re a raisin person.
Kabocha Squash Agnolotti with roasted chiodini mushrooms, pork confit, maple brown butter broth – This was the least memorable to me.
Our lactard was told to pick a protein and they’d make it for her with no dairy. She got salmon and it was fantastic.
Sugar & Spice Beignets with chocolate fondue and a Mexican chocolate milkshake shot – Their signature dessert. The milkshake rocked.
Chocolate Caramel Semifreddo with salted peanut crunch and bitter chocolate sorbet – Didn’t suck.
Great meal, great friends. Good attention to detail, though I wasn’t WOW’ed by as many dishes as I’d expected.

Team Hatfield's Valet

The Hungry Cat was the second set of the run.
I picked it because a) it’s rad and b) it’s super close to the Fonda. But they wouldn’t take a table bigger than 8 ppl for a reservation. So I took matters into my own hands and had three friends each get a table for 4 ppl on Open Table and then put in the notes that we wanted to sit together. Worked like a charm!

We arrive at The Hungry Cat!

Here’s what we had:
Cocktails –
The Sleepy Jean (cue The Monkees) – chamomile-infused reposado tequila, honey water, dash of dolin dry vermouth – awesome!
Luke’s Lemonade – blue ice vodka & mint, house-made lemonade *for every Luke’s Lemonade sold a donation is made to Alex’s Lemonade Stand- love the charity portion, but it was a little sugary for me.
The Michelada – Tecate, lime, hot sauce (w/ or w/o grapefruit) Nirvana! I will dream about this cocktail

The Michelada

OYSTERS! – the cherry on top to any bday

Just stick a candle in the ice bed, please!

Crab Salad – would have loved it if it actually didn’t have cilantro in it.
Octopus – Yum

Salmon Beignets – Delish

Crab Legs – Super sweet (this was the right place for sweetness!) and meaty!

Scallops – One of my faves

Striped Bass – the picture didn’t come out, but this was the best dish.

The pouty face I made when I was told we couldn’t get the Pumpkin Beignets with bacon maple sauce for dessert (because it was only on the DineLA week menu) worked as we were presented with a plate of it with a big candle shortly after. Totally worth whatever dignity I lost in the process. They were unbelievable.

The Meyer Lemon Parfait was bad-ass too.

Team Hungry Cat

On to moe. at the Music Box at the Henry Fonda, next on the agenda. Thankfully I had my pregnant friend Amy with me. We were able to cut the line that wrapped around the corner and enter through the handicapped entrance! The show was a slight bust. I love the fonda and I love moe. but this show wasn’t my fave. It was a little sleepy and spacey. The downstairs was a mess. I didn’t meet up with half of my friends. BUT, I worked us getting two tickets for the upstairs balcony (Baby Stouffer – whom I affectionately call Efferifus – gets MVP of the evening) and was able to stub my six ppl up there with us. So we had a nice seated row of the “adult section” and were able to chill. Not a rager, but it all worked out in the end.

Here’s the setlist:
Set 1: Jazzwank > Plane Crash, Where Does The Time Go? > Yodelittle > Skrunk > Yodelittle, Seat Of My Pants
Set 2: Opium > Downward Facing Dog, Chromatic Nightmare, Y.O.Y. > Puebla > Tubing The River Styx > The Pit > Moth, E: New York City, Crab Eyes

Amy, Jord, and Efferifus in the "adult section" upstairs

Bottega Louie was insanity. Happy, stimulating, insanity. Not only was there a line for a table, there was a line to put your name down for the list for a table. The waiters were super sweet, the food was great, they were hassle free for a large party, and downtown is really convenient for a Wiltern show.

Team Bottega Louie

Here’s what we got:
Caprese Salad – good, the tomatoes were peeled, I liked it.
Burrata Pizza – how could that be bad?
Clam Pizza – not bad, but wasn’t expecting sweet roasted peppers in the mix.
Pappardelle – with mushroom and fois gras duxelle- best dish by far
Fettuccini Belmundo – with cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan – good
Trenne – with braised rib eye and kale – wanted to like it better.
Brussles Sprouts – I love them always, but these were a little salty.
Meatballs Marinara – Mmmmmm.
Portobello Fries – Good, but would have liked a lighter batter.
Grilled Squid and Chorizo Ravioli – the ravioli was good but could have had a richer sauce.
Diver Scallops – wrapped the Prosciutto with lentils and salsa verde – awesome.
Dessert: Le Grand Macaron – I was stuffed, I didn’t try it, but everyone else was happy with it.

Wine:
Nebbiolo Malvira Langhe Piemonte 2006 – was a little light and boring, but drinkable.
The Prisoner – Orin Swift Napa 2008 – makes me cry with every sip. I want a case every time.

Ween at the Wiltern was killer. Shamefully, I can’t quite remember if I’ve been to a Ween show before. I think I have. But this is the one I’ll remember. My friends had a pit wristband waiting for me when I got there and the crowd was rocking.
When I said I wouldn’t be upset if dinner ran into overtime and we were late for the show, it never occurred to me that they’d play Spirit of ’76 in the lost beginning. But the entire show kicked ass so I almost didn’t notice I had missed it. We apparently arrived while it was playing but someone had to chat in the lobby for a few minutes and take a picture…

Here’s the setlist for Ween at the Wiltern Saturday January 29, 2011:
1. “Exactly Where I’m At”
2. “Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy”)
3. “Touch My Tooter”
4. “Even If You Don’t”
5. “Freedom of ’76”
6. “Spring Theme” (“Transdermal Celebration”)
7. “Bananas and Blow”
8. “Spinal Meningitis”
9. “Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony?” “Learnin’ to Love”
10. “With My Own Bare Hands”
11. “The Argus”
12. “Gabrielle”
13. “Puerto Rican Power”
14. “I’ll Be Your Johnny On the Spot”
15. “Object”
16. “Did You See Me?”
17. “Buckingham Green”
18. “Your Party”
19. “Let’s Dance” (David Bowie cover)
20. “Slow Down Boy”
21. “Ace of Spades” (Motörhead cover)
22. “Push th’ Little Daisies”
23. “What Deaner Was Takin’ About
24. “Roses Are Free”
25. “Put the Coke On My Dick”
26. “Ocean Man”
27. “The Mollusk”

Encore:
28. “Fiesta”
29. “Take Me Away”
30. “Mr. Richard Smoker”
31. “Lucky Man” (Emerson, Lake and Palmer cover)

Boogie in the Back!

Thanks so much to all of my awesome friends who helped me celebrate in such style this weekend! Your turns are next!
oxoxo

Part of Team Ween

The true closer of the weekend was TV recovery day Sunday. The ProBowl -> SAG awards on delay. Ryan made us dinner and I swooned over my latest Spanish wine discovery, Juan Gil 2008. It’s 100% Monastrell and there’s a little recovery packed in every sip.
Sunday Monastrell and Couch Recovery

Lazy Ox Down and Dirty

I had an awesome girls dinner at Lazy Ox. Here are some snippets from the evening:
Lizelette: Have you been to Rivera?
Jordan: Yes, it was amazing. I went there on a Jdate.
Alex: Which one?
Jordan: The one where I was a dirty little whore.
Sarah, who was either half listening or just distracted by how good our Siduri Pinot was, heard only part of that.
Sarah: I need to add “Dirty Little Whore” to my list of places to go!
Jordan: No, lovey, the place is Rivera, I’m the dirty little whore!
P.S. Thank you to Alex and Lizelette for pretending to see that as a specific Jdate identifier.

Here’s what we had:
Bellwether Farms Ricotta Fritters with saffron honey – to appease the waiting from the kitchen, nice touch, our table wasn’t that late.
Dashi Marinated Yellowtail with avocado, hash brown & tonburi – this was the best
Lengua Ravioli – second favorite
Bone Marrow Special with lentils – amazeballs
Lamb Neck Hash with toasted quinoa & fried jidori egg
Beef Cheeks – yum
Heirloom Tomatoes with cheese, torn basil & corn pudding
Beet Salad
Rice Pudding
Temporary Insanity Tempranillo
Great meal, can’t wait to go back!

Lizelette, Alex, Jordan, and Sarah at Lazy Ox Canteen

Words With Friends. And Family. At Mas.

The other day I got a call from my mother.
“What the eff game did you send Dad for the iPhone? He’s obsessed with it, he plays it all day long (pronouned oohwall day loo-wong).”
“Oh, I sent him an invite to play Words With Friends – Scrabble for iPhone, but he hasn’t accepted my game request, is he just playing with strangers?”
“He’s playing with strangers All Day Long!!”
So I sent my dad another request now that he had downloaded the software.
He accepts the game and sends me a message “No Mercy!”
Today we were discussing where to to for dinner when I get into town on Wednesday for a belated bday celebration for my dad. He wanted to go to Del Posto but couldn’t get in.
I told him to pick another restaurant and went to go turn the ALCS Game 3 on.
He goes, “OK, but what happened to that scrabble game we had going?”
I said I was busy with football yesterday but will make a move later.
“You’re leaving me too many open spots, Jordan!”
“I’m still winning, Dad.”
“Yeah, we’ll see!”
He decided on a repeat restaurant, Mas.
The last time we were at Mas was for its soft opening. My dear high school friend’s brother is part owner and we all got a table during the debut evening. We noticed a man at a neighboring table with a bottle of Sine Qua Non Ox (their 1999 pinot noir) and ooh and aahed over it. Apparently he caught wind of this and we were soon greeted with three glasses of the stuff. I all but sat on his lap in thanks. This time we brought our own, along with the 98 vintage – Veiled.
I surprisingly liked the Veiled better…
While the Veiled was my favorite part of the wine portion of the evening, one of the highlights of the conversation was the followng:
I was discussing how I had quite a few friends going through separations and I heard from someone who majored in Sociology, that studies show the hardest years of marriage to get past are 4, 7, and 24.
“24!!!” both of my parents screamed out in unison agreement.
“24-40!” they added.
Happy Birthday, Dad!

The Zuckers at Mas - (pre Jordan WWF victory)

Much Ado, about Matthew

Last night, my friend Brig and I had post football dinner (Advantage LA) at Ado on Main St. It was Van Gough’s Ear when I first moved to town. Then it was something else, then it was Amuse, which was great but closed due to liquor licenses or stairway permits, blah blah blah. Now it’s Ado, pronounced AAAAAH-dough, named after chef Antonio Mure’s partner’s Grandpa from Sicily.
Turns out I’ve been following Antonio around town. He hung out with me and Brig and we closed the place down. I picked up a little on his history in the process.
He started out at Piccolo – where 5 Dudley was.
I went there one year for my bday goals dinner with Matt.
(Now I digress)
Matt is what you’d call “my gay best friend” in layman’s terms. But that implies that I met him out one night being fabulous and we quickly formed a Carrie Bradshaw-Stanford Blatch relationship. This is NOT the case. Matt is actually one of my closest friends. His mother was my first grade teacher, I was a year behind him in school. I was her favorite student and since she’s reading this and that’s undiplomatic of me to say, I’ll rephrase. She was overwhelmingly impressed with my feat of winning the bookworm contest by half a classroom length, (aka landslide), and thus began a lovely relationship of mutual respect and admiration. Matt and I both did plays, GIA (government in action), and SGA (student government action), (Yes, hi, I’m a nerd.) in high school. We both went to Penn, and we both then moved out to LA. He was the only person I knew when I moved out here. I see it too, we’ve lived eerily parallel lives.  So he’s basically one of my best friends, who happens to be gay. (a slight variation of my gay best friend…) We also both have January birthdays.
So we started a tradition of doing a birthday dinner. We pick a hot new place to dine and go out for a meal and each treat the other. Which means we split the bill as if it were any other night out, but it’s cuter this way. Matt came up with the idea to do “goals” at each dinner, so starting in 2000, we brought paper, envelopes, and pens each year. We listed goals we wished to set out to accomplish by the end of the year, sealed them up in an envelope, and then opened the envelope from the previous year and checked off what was achieved. Sometimes we’d give each other freebies, just to boost our ego being able to cross one off. e.g. I listed “Scan goals in case there’s a fire.” and it seriously took me until the night before we had our next dinner to get them in. But I did it!
Incidentally I embarrass Matt EVERY time we go out, bday dinner or otherwise. At Piccolo I believe there was an incident where I was sharing desserts with one of the four other tables in the tiny restaurant and the whole place was singing to us come candle time. Amazing meal.
Then at La Botte there was controversy over how much wine to order (a bottle to split, right??!) And I succumbed to Matt’s protest and ordered a half bottle, only to open up my envelope from last year and look at goal #1. DO NOT LET MATT TALK YOU INTO ONLY ORDERING A HALF BOTTLE OF WINE!!! IT’S NOT ENOUGH!!! I couldn’t cross that one off, but it was worth it for the fifteen minutes of hysterics it sent us in when I read it aloud. CLASSIC, no? Fab Italian, again, but the cozy ambiance of Piccolo wasn’t as strong.
Anyway, last night I had dinner plans with a girlfriend (yes, Brig, if you’re following) after watching football on the Colston Couch (only people who own Marques Colston in their fantasy football leagues can sit on it during football). I had been wanting to try Ado for a while so we met there at 9pm. It was winding down, but we sat downstairs and it was the intimate environment we were craving. Conversations with the neighboring tables, (Brig was supposed to meet the people next to us some how…) closing the place down, hanging with the chef, finishing up his Passito (Italian dessert wine) and Pastiera Nopolitana (ridiculous ricotta dessert with orange blossom water) with him before we all headed home, and a delicious meal. My ideal evening. Thanks, Antonio!!

Antonio and Jordan enjoy the Passito

The Table at the Arclight

I’ve mentioned that the Arclight is my go-to movie theater in LA.
What I haven’t mentioned is that it’s my go-to theater ALBEIT the bathroom hooks that I need a step stool or a black Achilles heel to reach. #femalebathroomsclearlydesignedbymen.
Anyway, I went to see The Social Network last night with a fellow Sorkin fan. We already wanted to see the movie over again after the opening scene. I, predictably, was equipped with a bottle of vino. This time I brought a Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma called The Table.

Thumbs up for the movie, the wine, and the company.

Motorino – East Village

Gnarly Dudes in Flip Flops

The weatherman apparently heard that the Stuy town movie on Thursday was Ghostbusters, as the tornado hit like the gatekeeper had actually met the keymaster… It was quick, and on the UES, painless (though Queens can’t boast the same). However, it didn’t make for a lovely, dry, movie night on the lawn. So I opened a bottle of Two Hands Gnarly Dudes with some friends and moved the evening indoors.

On to the dinner portion of the evening… When we went to try Momofuku Noodle Bar and faced an hour and a half wait, I wished I hadn’t canceled our late resie at Peasant. But it turned out OK as Motorino was right around the corner, on my list to try, and could seat us in 10 minutes.
While we were waiting, a girl sitting at the open window table, turned to face the street and puked all over the side walk. Twice. The party then got up and left. The restaurant cleared the table and welcomed us to it. I explained what had happened and requested a hose down of the adjacent street. Apparently she had just done a number on the bathroom as well. Once they finished cleaning that, the sidewalk was next.

Yes I Can Get a Hose Down!


The pizza was awesome. Doughy but thin crust with a little char. The octopus app was delish, the meatball was OK. I got the Brussels Sprouts Pizza. MMm MMMm MMMm. And our bottle of red was packed with nice fruit and a few questionable decisions. Thanks Motorino!

North Fork Bachelorette

For the life of me, I couldn’t fall asleep last Friday night. I had just rocked out to the Sister Sparrow and Orgone sets at Sullivan Hall and decided to head home at around 1:30am to make sure I got a decent amount of sleep. There was not an available taxi in sight in the area and after waiting over 30 minutes and wandering around with my arm in the air trying different corners (what?), I stumbled upon the 6 train and decided to go the subway route. By 3am I had made it to the Upper East Side, only for my body to fight in protest that we had flown 3,000 miles west, not east, and refuse slumber. So when my alarm went off at 8:00am granting me enough time to take care of Louie’s 14 year old puppy routine and pack for the weekend, I had to mind alpha my body and take charge of this east coast time zone.
Only five minutes late, but still the last one there, (sometimes I like arriving alphabetically), I met up with the girls at our mid town limo pick up location. Mike, chauffeur extraordinaire, from Crossroads Limousine was about to take seven sassy women on a Long Island Vineyard Tour for a bachelorette. So we cruised across Long Island, blasting Billy Joel, and venturing to explore the grape world of the North Fork.
It was a glorious day, weather wise, company wise, activity wise, etc. But to be honest, none of the wines were that memorable or dazzling. The whites definitely outshone the reds, but nothing I wanted to take home with me (and I’m usually so much easier with wine than with men, wait… I’m not.)

Jason's

Our first stop was Jason’s. There was another bachelorette party of 20 + girls all seemingly under the age of 25, and all in pink custom printed tops. Immediately upon entering I exclaimed, “Crap, Lauren! We forgot your penis hat!” No one was rattled, mostly because there was no such hat left behind. This was the one stop where we didn’t get to taste all of the wines, which I didn’t like. What if I missed the one I’d want to buy? Give me a sip of each, please! I think the winner here was the Reisling. I was the only one who could handle the Merlot; it was smoky, like mama takes her scotch, so I didn’t mind so much. Anyway, onward to stop #2.

Macari

Second stop was Macari. These were some of the best of the bunch. I actually wasn’t completely turned off by their Chardonnay. (I’m an ABC – “Anything But Chard,” but I’ll always try it just in case…) Not surprisingly, their first chard had a splash of Sauv Blanc in there. This helps.
At one point I turned to Lauren and said, “Look at that cute old man with his pants up to his boobs.”
Lauren (who’s possibly my funniest friend) responds, “That guy has proprietor written all over him.”
Mr. Macari sure does keep his ribs warm.

Laurel

The third stop was Laurel Lake where we had lunch that was pre-ordered through the tour. The lunch was crap, next time I’ll pack a picnic basket for everyone, but we had to include some solids in the diet for sustainability purposes. This stop had the best staff and a really low key vibe. The guys always made sure we had wine in our cups and weren’t at all stingy on the pours.
They also had a musician doing a little acoustic set.
“Hey Liza! Play something that doesn’t have lyrics involving someone wanting to die,” we requested.
“Oh, you girls just missed the happy set.”

Osprey's Dominion

Refueled with some carbs and ready for the second leg, Mike safely deposited us at Osprey’s next. We had to shut off my iPod with The Greyboy Allstars cranked up in the limo and subject ourselves to what seemed to be a Kenny G cover band in the mid-lawn pagoda at this one, but we managed to enjoy ourselves. (Actually, it was beautiful.) I pulled out a move from my 21st bday (when people were buying me more shots than I could handle and I’d cheers them and throw the booze over my shoulder instead of down my throat. “Jordan, we can see you do that!” they said. “What, I’m pacing myself!” I retorted,) and tossed some of the samples on the lawn at this one. First of all, drinking all day requires skill, if it wasn’t worth drinking, I won’t do it. Second, the other wineries had dump buckets, the lawn was just asking for it!

Pindar for Magic Hour

Since Mike was mistakenly under the impression he was taking us back to the city, when he learned he was leaving us at our hotel in Riverhead, we decided to add an extra stop, Pindar. This one had the best wines yet (or maybe our buds were failing us at this point, can’t be sure.) But we got a bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc and a bottle of the bubbly and went out back to enjoy the Magic Hour with the vines.

Our accommodations for the evening were at The Hotel Indigo, a cute boutique hotel with pretty nice rooms, comfy beds, a pool, and a painfully slow restaurant. I seriously wound up having to eat my eggs benedict (which wasn’t even what I ordered) out of a to go box at the Jitney bus stop Sunday morning on my way to make it back to the city for first football Sunday kickoff.
After a dip in the pool and a shower, we pulled it together and got in a $10/pp (what is this, New Orleans during jazzfest!?!?) cab ride to Amarelle in Wading River.
Great choice. Dinner was lovely. My fresh strawberry cosmo made me forget I don’t go for girly drinks. And the Pinot Noir was the best red we’d had all day (2008 Fin, Finnegan’s Lake, CA). Lauren and I split the lobster crepe (Mmmm) and seared scallops with crispy leeks (good). She didn’t touch my clams because of the bacon sprinkle (best part!), and I wasn’t the hugest fan of her fluke (insert your own “kitchen fluke” joke here). All in all, the perfect end to a perfect day.
Cheers, Lauren!
Cheers, North Fork!

Bay Cities, Longboard Red, and Dr. John at the Pier

My favorite time of day is called “The Magic Hour,” (aka The Golden Hour for its photographic offerings). It’s the hour right before sunset (so about the last hour of daylight.) The sun is low and lights up the air with warm orange tones. I originally thought of calling it “The Laughternoon” because it was the late-afternoon (well, in January at least), but it seemed like a misnomer to me. For although it brings on a natural high, it’s not really a giddy high. It’s more peaceful and beautiful. I think I’m going to take a picture for a photo journal every day during this time. (We’ll see how I do with that one…)
Yesterday I wound up on the beach just south of the Santa Monica Pier during The Magic Hour. We were setting up for this season’s final Thursday Night Twilight Dance Series with New Orleans legend Dr. John headlining. A few tapestries, sheets, and blankets spread out on the beach, plus a bunch of surrounding votive candles in sand filled paper bags created our little lantern village.

Setting up "Lantern Village" at the pier.

Large Godmother. Works. No pickles.

I had made a stop at Bay Cities Italian Deli, a Los Angeles landmark. I had a friend in from NY that was joining us. Any time I have an out of towner visiting I usually insist that they don’t leave with out having a Bay Cities sammie (or In N Out, but who’s still late for the train on that one?) The go-to order is The Godmother. If I’m “watching my figure” I’ll go with a turkey. But as my friend Mike’s declared, “I’d eat a turd sandwich on THAT bread!” You really can’t go wrong. As a pseudo bi-coastal girl, I often am faced with the “Which city do you like better?” question (NY vs. LA), which I staunchly refuse to answer. But I’m compiling a list of assets for each. It’s a pretty well balanced list. Bay Cities = Advantage LA.

I was not the only one to try this!

While I was browsing the deli aisles, I also grabbed a bottle of the Point Break red blend from Longboard Vineyards. This was our one stop the last time I was up in Sonoma for my friend Megan’s 30th bday dinner at Cyrus. The winery is owned by surfers and their tastings are a blast. A fellow taster was a man donned in polka dot trousers. One Cabernet in and I, of course, was asking if I could play Twister on his pants. We also were making friends with the staff, naming the Syrah “The Jewish” one… because it had a big nose, etc. Not surprisingly, our whole party didn’t even make it through the caviar course at dinner. We thankfully had the rental van parked right outside on North St. for him to snooze in. Clearly, this was the bottle I was choosing from the Bay Cities selection.

Langer's first Godmother experience

Whit's Bahn Mi Sammie (SANS CILANTRO for mama!)

Whit also brought fixings for Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwiches. I went to visit some other friends and hang with their kids when he broke out the cilantro.

Whit’s Bahn Mi:

Meatballs:
– 1/2 lb ground pork
– 2 t garlic, chopped
– 2 t green onion, chopped
– 1 T chinese 5 spice
– salt/pepper to taste
– Mix everything together. Form into little 1-2″ balls. Bake for 8 min. in a 400 deg oven. Turn. Bake another 7-8 min. until brown. Remove, cool, and slice in half.
Sandwich:
– 1 french bagutte
– roman lettuce
– kimchi
– sliced/diced carrots
– chopped green onion
– spicy mayo (2 parts mayo, 1 part sriracha)
– chopped cilantro (optional) (NOOOOOOO!!!!!)
– assemble as desired.

Girls Night at Arclight

The Arclight is a five footer’s dream theater. I get to see the entire movie comfortably. I love it there. (Save for that one time when it first opened and I arrived late to a movie and was denied access to the theater and wound up driving to The Grove to catch it there. But that d-bag who wouldn’t let us in has long since been fired, I’m sure.) So when some of my girlfriends and I decided to go see Eat Pray Love, I voted for the Hollywood Arclight. I thought I would wisely stash a bottle of red and some solo cups in my purse and instantly be the hero (thank you Australia and your glorious screw tops), but for some reason I didn’t calculate correctly (ah, the pressures of being a math major…). One bottle for four girls barely got us into India. By Bali I was stewing my shame of being ill equipped/prepared. Lesson learned for next time. One is sometimes not enough.

I did like the movie. The Italy scenes took me back to my summer abroad in 1995. I almost forgot how much I loved it there. India was as colorful as I remembered, though it still doesn’t make me want to meditate (P.S. I SUCK at meditating). And Bali has now jumped to my top 5 for places I want to hit next. Especially if they have more Javier Bardems there, (yes, I just slapped myself for being a cliche). A lot of the depth of emotion from the book was absent, but that also meant that a lot of whining from the book was gone too. I didn’t check my fantasy baseball stats once during the entire 2.5 hrs running time, so I’ll take that to indicate I gave the movie a thumbs up.

I also give the wine a thumbs up. The only thing wrong with it was there wasn’t a second bottle. It was a 2005 Henry’s Drive Dead Letter Office (Australia), a bottle I had picked up at my beloved Berkeley Bowl. It’s mostly Shiraz with a little Cab in there. And it’s JAMMY (which is how Mama likes it)! Fruit forward, deep purple in color, with a slight hint of mineral. Not an obnoxiously huge finish, but certainly big enough. Which, unfortunately, I can’t say about the bottle…
Wine Rating: Please Sir, I’ll have some more!

Girls Night Leaves Its Mark