Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Will Shill for Ludo: Ludobites 5.0

Ludobites 5.0
Gram & Papas
227 East 9th Street
Los Angeles 90015
(213) 624-7272

July 21-September 3, 2010

Reservations are a little complicated this time. 14 day advance for all reservations, lines opening July 7....

"Except for the first two weeks of reservations, reservations will open each day 14 days in advance of the selected date. On July 7th reservations for 7/21-8/3 will open. Reservations for 8/4 will open on 7/21, 8/5 on 7/22 8/6 for 7/23, etc…"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

UrbanHike: Where I Went & What I Saw

The #urbanhike, inspired by my friend and super blogger H.C. of LA and OC Foodventures. Gotta give him props for style and adventure.

I saw the Thirsty Crow as I headed footbound away from Echo Park. Wanna hit this.

Past a sale at a junk shop on Sunset in the nether region between Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Mickey Mouse's doppelganger.

Wonder Woman!

And I don't know who this is but I saw him in Silver Lake and later, much much much later, in Santa Monica.

The living wall on the outside of the new hair salon that used to be a video store in Silver Lake. Video store? Wha dat?

I am in love enough with the concept of a living wall that I have been contemplating buying these planters from Woolly Pockets to plant an herb wall on my front yard facing stucco wall. My friend E is designing some made of wood, and I think I will buy hers instead. Please stay tuned.

And as we left Sunset Junction, the scooter brigade was out in full force.


As we headed east from lunch at BoHo (inefficient service from a very nice waitress, mediocre food...again) we started passing hotels. This particular hotel has always had a very Bates-Motel-I'm-going-to-get-murdered-in-the-shower-when-someone-enters-my-room-through-a-secret-panel-with-a Ginsu-knife kind of feel to it. Quaint, yanno?

The battered and broken down cottages do not lessen the feel at all.  I imagine someone buying this and doing a whole Standard Hotel kind of upgrade, but I don't think the facilities would support hordes of money spending fedora hat-wearing trendoids. No pool, no bar, etc. It will probably continue to haunt my dreams.

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death The Museum. We passed this museum on Sunset Blvd in the heart of Hollywood, intrigued by its semi-Museum of Tolerance feel and set up.  We entered. The idea that all psychiatry is a deception forced purposefully upon us by an evil group of humans has always made me stabby.  I think we have all known people who have legitimately suffered from depression, PPD, mental illness and severe anxiety. I personally know two people who feel their lives were saved through the use of appropriate medication.  The idea that these people could have been torn from my life due to treatable mental anguish that would be denied them if we all fell in line with this type of reasoning makes me Ginsu knife stabby.  Fortunately, I can smell a Scientologist a mile a way and the crazy unmedicated ladies behind the counter were unable to deny this is indeed a Scientology supported museum (of intolerance). In the end, we didn't get past the lobby. While I admit, I am still kind of curious, I won't give them the satisfaction of going back.

Do I sound crazy? Maybe I am.

As one progresses toward the more western side of Hollywood proper the hotel/motel/Holiday Inns get a little less shady. 

But really? Only a little.

I find Sunset Plaza to be one of two things. Completely anaesthetized or boarded up and closed for business altogether. One art gallery has a Warhol exhibit on, but they were closed on Sunday.

The Viper Room. Still holding shows. The River Phoenix sidewalk. Rest his soul.

Whiskey a Go-Go.  The facade is much more impressive after dark!

Steel Panther, live at Key Club every Monday.  From their website:

They were high school pals, hanging out and getting high to stick it to the man. When in the course of being rebellious young men, Satchel, Michael Starr and Stix discoveredLexxi’s penchant for wearing his mother’s make up. To shock him out of his nascent transvestitism, the three school chum decided to burst out of his closet in full make up, a graphic depiction of the error of his ways. Then in a twist of fate,Michael Starr caught sight of the foursome in the mirror, recognizing at once that this look belonged on stage. A quick trip to the guitar store later, the band that would become Steel Panther was born.

I know a couple of you are lemming. You know who you are.

Only in LA does Blackberry try to sell itself by trying to sell out your agent. I don't have an agent. I don't need one. People are lining up to sign me (with sharpies, it's happened twice).

As we headed south on Doheny, I became intrigued by the 1960's architecture circa Mrs. Robinson. Wishing I had brought a longer more intrusive lens, I only got off a few shots.  The busier streets of Beverly Hills/West Hollywood are lovely for a walk: tall trees, well manicured lawns, the occasional baby carriage pushed by nanny or toy dog walked by doyenne. 

Art deco doorway.

One of my now defunct favorite bands used to play here now and again. Smart Brown Handbag.

Dan Tana's. I hear rumors that this is still mafiaoso-esque, but I think that's a romanticism.

Giraffes of WeHo.

If you know what this is, then you know at some point we hopped in a taxi. #urbanhike fail.

Front patio at the Georgian in Santa Monica. I don't know how I managed a shot with so few people, the patio was pretty crowded with people-watchers sipping adult beverages.

Camera Obscura overlooking the Pacific. Definitely worth a look-see.

You know the street performer drill. Out in full force on a Sunday early evening.

Our urban hike ended on an upnote at The Lobster solely for the view.  

Sourdough bread, Beau Soleil oysters. Afterward the long ride home on the #4 bus.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mahjongg in June

One of the things about blogging is that you are always most excited to post about your most recent adventure, even though there are dozens of adventures in the tank (the tank being the memory card of your dslr).  Almost most recently I played Saturday mahjongg with my ladies (and gent) with Miss J hosting the first mahjongg of summer.

Now, Miss J is often quoted as having said, when asked what kind of cocktail she would like, "anything vodka, with a little vodka in it".  Please see fourth video down in the posting linked here...for a laugh, if you want to hear the sound of 7 middle aged people getting progressively hammered at a holiday dinner party, just listen to all the videos in succession. Let the slurring commence!

ANYWAY! You know you are going to get a good cocktail at Casa J.  She started with fresh limes.

A bowl of mint leaves.

Vanilla vodka, fresh blueberries and a dash of curacao for color rounded out these summery glasses of blueberry/lime/mint perfection.

J can spin some tunes. She was working a summer 2010 playlist:
Katy Perry California Girls
Usher OMG
Jay-Z Young Forever 
Lady GaGa & Beyonce Telephone
Ke$ha Your Love is My Drug

Keiko is incredibly photogenic and a bit of a paparazzi whore.

A few of our mahjongg afternoons have had Asian themed food. J bought gyoza at Trader Joe's and fortunately they did not end up on the recent much commented upon list. You have probably read the list. If not, please click through to entertain yourself. Squid Ink's list of the 5 most disgusting things found in Trader Joe's frozen section. lulz.

We paired the gyoza with Mae Ploy chili sauce, yuzu puree (my personal favorite) and Chinese mustard. I was happy. I was drinking, playing a fun game and gossiping with some of my favorite people. I would have eaten shit-on-a-shingle and been chuffed. But I love anything with thematic continuity.

We also listened to:
La Roux Bulletproof
Jackson Derulo In My Head
Taio Cruz & Ludacris Break Your Heart
Jay-Z w/Alicia Keys Empire State of Mind

OMG!  Figs on a plate!  Don't tell David Chang.

One of our other favorite canines, Miss Moneypenny. Very camera shy. About 0.5 seconds after I shot this she bolted to get away from the press. I am pretty sure she wasn't wearing panties.

NEWS. If you know, you know. If you don't, well. This isn't the time or place.

This.was.delicious.  T brought homemade dessert. David Liebovitz' almond cake from a blog post last week. Not a dessert fan, however this is monstrously delicious. It needs to go into the file of successful recipes for regular rotation.  The cute story here is that while T was baking this she asked Mr. Liebovitz two questions in the blog comments section about the construction of said cake and he got back to her right away. We were both super impressed by how personally he takes his blog. David, the cake is fantastic.

Last mahjongg of the evening before I headed to Stevenson Ranch for dinner. I think this was T's "pointless pyramid".  

At a friend's house in Stevenson Ranch that night I got a schooling in real mahjongg from two Jewish ladies who have been playing mahjongg for years. They shouted out directions and rules out at me like I'm a shiksa making kishkas for an important bat mitzvah. Oy!  Turns out all these months we have been playing special ed mahjongg.  I love gaming, and T says she is OCD when it comes to rules and etiquette, so we feel completely compelled to do this thing right.  In the middle of the night Saturday night (insomnia, good times) I ordered four 2010 mahjongg hand cards from the National Mah Jongg League. Our mahjongg future is about to change dramatically. Bring it on!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why? Just why?

While severely neglecting my blog during a recent extended fishing trip, I spent a lot of time thinking about what this blog is, what it isn't and what I would like it to be. Sometimes we get to the highest levels of understanding when we operate at our most deeply cognitive levels.  A little compare/contrast, if you will.

Food, She Thought is and should be my ramblings on food, in any place, style, situation or ethnic perspective I find intriguing, engaging or yummy. Full stop.

Food, She Thought is not a public relations tool, a special events driver. money making, or simply a luxury restaurant review site. I was saddened recently when a friend referred her cousin to my site, thinking her cousin (a cook) might be interested in blogging about her cooking adventures, and the sister commented, "I could never afford to do what she does." I don't eat fancifully that often, and I certainly don't want fanciness to be the goal (although I am god damned fancy on the inside, my desk at work is under a god damned sky light, FFS).  I don't want to shy away from writing about the challenges of home cooking and commentary about places as banal as Claim Jumper or the newest offerings at fast food restaurants (even if they disgust me on some many levels).

Virtual moments (nano-seconds) have been frittered away thinking about the lack of uniqueness of Food, She Thought. Do I have anything to say that other bloggers don't? Not really. Do I go places others don't? Nope. Is there a unique perspective? Have I, as J. Gold would suggest "codified" my ramblings to give focus and definition so readers know what they are getting when they come here, to develop an archetypal perspective on food/drink/experience? Sorry, no.

Whilst fishing, much time was spent ruminating on healthier eating eschewing anything with rouille, foie gras, copious amounts of butter and ridiculous amounts of booze (booze? really? not really). My body feels better and my mind feels more focused, which is amusing because if anything I feel like allowing my blog to be less focused.  

I think I enjoyed this blog the most during the early days of its inception, with very little readership save my husband, T and a few hawties out there around the country (you know who you are).  Back then I was completely unconcerned with commentary, which postings drew the most hits and any tendency toward repeating posting patterns that garnered the most interest.

Additionally, I had a good time before I felt it painful to pan something I didn't enjoy. We went, we ate, I commented truthfully.  There are many bloggers out there who follow the coda, "if it sucked, you won't read about it here". I totally get that rule of thumb.  But I don't think it's for me, I think I am just enough of a bitch to say so when I don't like something, and just sweet enough to be fair and diplomatic.

I am streamlining, people.  Follow, if you will. I still appreciate your readership and am continually humbled that anyone reads and comments at all. And that's why.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Awaiting the Return of Lot 1

Strolling Echo Park last night looking for the future address of an upcoming project, the three of us eyed the darkened and emptied Lot 1 as a possibility. The back end was open and connected to the junk store next door where kitschy bric-a-brac, macrame purses, mixmatched chairs and one overpriced brooch were being sold. D, his inquisitive nature couched much more charmingly than mine, inquired about Lot 1. Apparently a beer & wine license has been acquired recently and they are prepping to open again for more regular business hours (as opposed to the weird weekend brunch thing they have going right now).

Echo Park is waiting!!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010