Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 9 – Charlottesville

The Blue Ridge mountains are the real deal. We had a few friends in Charlottesville courtesy UVA and Red Light Management. Our host for the evening had just moved there and I really think it suits her Bohemian style. We enjoyed our last evening on the road. Ready for the home stretch, next stop NYC!!

Michele, Jordan, and Liza enjoy dinner at The Local

Michele, Jordan, and Liza enjoy dinner at The Local

Marc and Jordan outside of The Local

Marc and Jordan outside of The Local

C & O boasting their local affiliations

C & O boasting their local affiliations

The Rick Alvarez Trip tearing it up

The Rick Alvarez Trip tearing it up

Happy girls on the last night of the journey!

Happy girls on the last night of the journey!


Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 6 – Memphis

Memphis is going to be our favorite, no question. We loved everything about it. A Sooouthern city. I’ve been craving a good drawl and I finally got it. It’s bustling, vibrant, soulful, and sophisticated. Our dinner tonight was a dream. I may want to fly a whole party out here just to dine at Iris and have Jeff serve us. Taxis were easy and inexpensive. The Peabody was old-school (in a charming way), happening hotel. Beale St was a hoot. Go once, and then just listen to the Marc Cohen song. I went to the Stax Museum and I could have stayed there for hours playing the trivia game and watching old footage of their acts but I cut myself off after three rounds, and Gladys Knight and the Pips doing “Midnight Train to Georgia.” In the morning we went to Graceland. Liza and I both have a new crush on Elvis. I know, #latetothegame Memphis FTW!!!lizaandjordangraceland

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 4 – New Orleans

I almost skipped nola. “I’ve been,” I told myself. I’d have just been for jazzfest. Turns out there’s no way I could ever have skipped it. NOLA has a hold on my heart and soul like no other city ever will. I went for the first time in 2000 for jazzfest and it changed my life. I will always go back given the opportunity, and create one if none surface soon enough.
Loft 523 is kind of stinky. Maybe we should have stayed at The Modern. But it was a nice big room in a great part of town.
Every time I go to New Orleans I love it more. And I always have a memorable cab driver. This time, his name was Raymond, my new New Orleans grandpa. We’re going right on Burgundy.
It was nice to check on the city when it’s not a crazy festival weekend like mardi gras or jazzfest, or a friends wedding or movie shoot or super bowl. You go through Gambit weekly and there are still fifty options of music in the hundreds of venues every night.
We hit Vaughan’s in the Bywater, right near our dinner for our dose of a late night boogie. Corey Henry didn’t disappoint.
Thanks NOLA! See you soooon!
Kuffa, Corey, Liza and Jordan at Vaughan's

The Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 2 – Marfa, Texas

I was ill-advised to watch the movie Nebraska. Sure, it made the latest episode of Glee all the more enjoyable when June Squibb guest-starred, but people close to me should have KNOWN my competitive streak would take over. Now I’m embarrassed just thinking of having to tell the checkin clerk at the Thunderbird Hotel that it took me 9 hrs to get to Marfa!
Also, if I had researched a little more, I would have made the Marfa nail the James Dean poster from Giant. You know, side view with the hat and his feet up. Or the Prada label, or some twinkly lights. Sorry, Marfa! You were better to me than I was to you. I’ll make it up to you next time. oxo

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.

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”

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!

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

Substance Free

I’ve been on the master cleanse for the past 10 days. I do it every January. I still go out, I still do stuff sober and hungry. I just haven’t had any good stories this week. I went to the mint twice. Once for Pimps of Joytime and another for Stanton’s show. It’s not that nothing exciting happens when I don’t drink. It’s just that nothing exciting happened this time when I didn’t drink. It’s just a coincidence. Really. Don’t read into it too much.

Hollywood Palladium, I tried to stay away…

We all have our favorite magical venues. On the other hand, there are the nightmare venues only offering memories of terrible nights and bad energy experiences. The Hollywood Palladium holds the prize for worst venue in LA. After two tries, both rendering it Sketchville, USA, I swore I’d never go back.
In 1999, my dear friend Alex and I ventured out to try to go see an unannounced Prince show there. Tickets were $75 for face and they were never on sale to the public. We found a guy selling them for $100 outside the venue and went to stand in line to enter. The whole scene was shady but we felt like we had to try it. The usher took one look at our tickets and deemed them fakes. There was no way I was about to leave after coughing up a Franklin for these. Alex was so pissed off she just wanted to split. But I stood ground, and apparently was in the way of the VIP line. I told the guy working VIP the situation and he literally laughed in our faces. (He ultimately wound us letting us in and Alex and I fed parking meters and paid back whatever good karma we could think of for months. But still, it was an unsettling experience at first.)
The second time was for an Oysterhead Halloween show. It was just 6 weeks after 9/11 and when security was starting to go into agro overdrive. And it was unusually heightened at this place. I was in a Wonder Woman costume which basically meant I was in a one piece bathing suit and boots. Now everyone think back to pre 9/11 when our purses were sacred privacy. So I, of course, was walking around with a bag of bud, a glass pipe, and a bag of boomers in my purse. People were being strip searched and having innocuous belongings like their lip liners confiscated because “You could stab someone with them,” and hence they were considered weapons. Really, people?!?! I could do more damage with my fist and I have zero upper body strength. I did manage to get in, mostly because I’m talented, and also because I sacrificed my old camera to the bushes. People were abandoning their belt buckles, throwing them and hundreds of other “hazardous materials” behind the building shrubbery. It was like Christmas that day for the homeless of Hollywood. Needless to say the entire audience was frazzled and violated upon entry to the poorly laid out establishment. I’ll put money that anyone who was there would list it in their five worst show experiences, (except for this guy…).
Cut to nearly 9 years later, (that’s today). Blame it on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (shot there and I loved that show), blame it on the renovations (didn’t do anything for the layout, but the sound and paint job showed small signs of improvement, at least), or blame it on me going softer with age, I returned last night for The Black Keys. And I’ve lived to tell the tale.

The Story of Mr. Weemit

Since the TV fall premieres are taking over my social life, I’m adding a post from the past.
Here’s a story I had sent my girlfriends this past March.

Friday night I wound up at Brooklyn Bowl for the Derek/Susan Bowlive sit-in.
As one would expect, mama was accompanied by an icy cold glass of tequila rocks.
I rested said glass on a case of bowling balls, only to turn around two seconds later to find a gentleman sitting right where the beloved tequila had been residing.
“Excuse me, I think you’re sitting on my tequila,” said I.
The gentleman stood up, revealing my toppled, spilled glass wedged in the crack against the cushy lane seats.
“Let me replace that for you,” said the dark gentleman.
“No,” said I, quickly grabbing the glass and throwing the dripping remains down my throat, “That’s OK, I’m already drunk enough.”
“Well, then let me replace it for you another time,” pleaded the gentleman.

Apparently I gave him my number because he called me the next day. Not recognizing the number, I let the call go to voicemail.
We spoke on Sunday and made plans for Monday evening to go see The Allman Bros at The United Palace Theatre. He called himself Robert.

Sunday evening I was out having a few glasses of the brown stuff (after all, it was rainy) with my friend Tiffany. Surveying the circumstances of my next evening activity, dear Tiff inquired, “What’s this Robert’s last name?”
“An excellent question!” I retorted, “I couldn’t make out what he said on my machine, (a term I still use to refer to my voicemail). Here, you listen and tell me what you think he’s saying.”
I played back his message and handed her the phone.
“HA!” she said, “He didn’t say his last name, Jordan! He said, ‘Hi, it’s Robert, WE MET at the Brooklyn Bowl last night.’!!!”
So from here on out, we will be calling him Mr. Robert Weemit. Admittedly, my vision is far superior to my hearing.

The date was OK. He’s attractive (but I didn’t find myself resisting urge to rip off his clothes, or even throw him against the wall and kiss him like he’d never been kissed before), generous (those Allman tix don’t grow on trees), polite (but almost too much, I felt like I shouldn’t be cursing around him… which is limiting as certain colored words in my vocabulary make for such excellent emphasis), smart (he programs digital mapping, like google maps, but for the police dept.), and likes music (this helps). However, there was no spark, and the conversation was so canned, I felt like he had recently read an article in guy cosmo on “what to say on a date.” He kept hounding me with questions, firing them off one after the other before I’d even had the chance to finish the first one, and without having any of my responses lead to further discussion or sharing his answer to the topic.
I think the poor guy thought he had scored first row tix (they were avail that day actually) as he wanted our seats to be a surprise, and then hesitated a little when he saw the first 15 rows were double letters. We were in row A. “Row A!” I exclaimed, “This is the best sound in the house! Look, we’re dead center and right next to the soundboard!”
The Allmans rocked it. Mama got her “The Weight” (that Warren sure can sing ANYTHING!!), “Jessica” (best driving song evs), and “You Don’t Love Me” (in my top five for sure!)
After the show, we tumbled out onto 175th St and headed to the subway (passing the Jesus Deli, Jesus Hardware, Jesus Bar, and We love Jesus Rite-Aid.)
I gave him a peck on the cheek and thanked him as the A train rolled into the 96th st. stop before darting out to catch a cab across the park. He was continuing on to Penn Station to catch LIRR to Mineola, the Nassau county seat.
I also sent him a thank you text later that week after the Bijou* craziness had subsided a bit. (*My dog had died suddenly the next day.)

Since then I’ve gotten random “Hi, Jordan, how are you?” texts. But predictably, none of my responses have triggered anything more than small talk (if it could even qualify as that…).

And that brings us current with the story of Mr. Weemit.


Discussing Mr. Weemit at Girls Night at Salt

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.)


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.


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.


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:

– 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.
– 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.