Thursday, September 30, 2010

Battle of the Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. The weather gets cooler, the leaves change, we get an excuse to eat pumpkin flavored everything... I could go on all day! Even though LA has been experiencing record highs (in the 100's!), I've been celebrating fall by drinking Pumpkin Spice lattes.

My favorite coffee haunt is Peet's (c'mon, have to represent the Berkeley roots!), so I may be partial to their version of the PSL. The other day, though, I was at a grocery store right next to Starbucks and wanted to actually give them a chance. Their PSL seemed to be all sugar, no coffee, and that's not my style. Looks like I'll be sticking to Peet's!

Anyone have suggestions for another place with good seasonal drinks?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tomorrow: Abbot Kinney Festival 2010

Tomorrow is the Abbot Kinney Festival. There will be bands playing, all kinds of art to buy, and all kinds of food and drink (tons of food trucks are confirmed- yes!). The festival is designed to raise funds and re-invest in the community. I've been a couple of times, and it's always super fun. If you're around Venice tomorrow, it's definitely worth checking out.
For more info, click here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Baby Blues

Blissing Out on Banana Pudding
The other day, a girlfriend and I spent the afternoon strolling around LACMA. Okay, giggling around LACMA, getting in trouble for carrying water and taking photos. So we like to have a little fun with our art, what's wrong with that!?

Anyway, all that art made us HUNGRY! And what's best to eat when you're famished? BBQ, of course! She lives right next door to Baby Blues on Santa Monica (lucky or unlucky, depending on your perspective), and I love the Venice location, so we stopped in for a quick bite.

I pigged out on the pulled pork with collards and fried okra. The okra was a bit salty for my taste, and I was very sad that my order didn't even have one piece of bark! If you aren't well versed in BBQ terminology, that's the really flavorful black stuff that comes in pulled pork... long story short, every plate of BBQ should have it.

Baby Blues' banana pudding is definitely the main attraction, though. Creamy, frothy (is it whipped?!) and delightful, I'm not opposed to going just for that! While I still like the Venice location's funky vibe better, the Santa Monica location is worth a visit.
 Baby Blues BBQ, 7953 Santa Monica Blvd, LA

Bob Harper PSA for 2010 AIDS Walk Los Angeles

If you read my blog regularly, you know I love The Biggest Loser. Imagine my delight when I saw this PSA for the 26th Annual Aids Walk LA by Mr. Bob Harper himself.

Please donate to a worthy cause or sign up to walk yourself! (See previous post on AIDS Walk for where to donate.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AIDS Walk LA on October 17

The 26th Annual Aids walk is taking place in Los Angeles on October 17, and I'm walking. Please donate to my page, or join as a walker yourself!

Donate Here!

Tacos and Two for One

Who doesn't love two for one margaritas at happy hour? What about $2 tacos all the time?
If you said yes to these questions, read on and thank me later. Candela Taco Bar on La Brea looks random on the outside, but the interior is decorated with dark woods and beautiful carved furniture, and once you taste the food, you may not ever want to leave.

I only tried the Lengua tacos because the idea of eating cow tongue grossed me out, but they are outta control delicious- tender, moist, savory, everything a taco should be.The Rajas y Queso (chile and cheese) were my personal favorite... strips of roasted chile with cheese combine to form pure heaven in your mouth. The others in our party sampled the pork with pineapple, fried fish, and spicy shrimp... each taco was as good as the last.

2 for 1 fish tacos on Monday, $1 taco Wednesday, and Salsa dancing on Thursday- it's cheaper than eating at home and so easy to become a regular here!
And it's open til midnight!

Candela Taco Bar, 831 S. La Brea Ave, LA
(Photo provided by Candela Web Site)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Carolina On My Mind

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I honestly can’t stop thinking a lot about my recent trip to SC. While I relished the all of the fried goodies, a stop into Magnolia’s for refined Low country cuisine was definitely in order. Yes, Magnolia’s was on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”- and for good reason.  While the pimento cheese was awesome, the blue crab bisque was simply out of this world, and I had a salad with cherries, bitter chocolate, and goat cheese that was from an entirely different universe (and I wanna go!).  And you can’t go wrong with pecan pie!

Magnolia’s 185 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Multi-Cultural Evening: Part II

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For the second part of our evening, we headed East to (what we deemed) Little Cuba. To be honest, I selfishly thought about not blogging this spot because it’s that cool.

La Descarga is easily my favorite spot in LA. It’s a speak-easy with a cigar bar, an amazing house band, super hot burlesque shows, and strong yet delicious drinks. Even if you can’t dance Salsa, you’ll be motivated by the couples spinning and stepping around the dance floor.

Get there a little early and head to the Cafe Con Leche food truck that parks down the street for delicious fare and sweet, hot Cuban coffee. If you go later, expect a delicious pastry to be available, but risk missing the popular items like the El Manolo (steak sandwich) or Arroz Con Leche.

Drinking a “dark and stormy” at La Descarga, 1159 N. Western Avenue, LA

A Multi-Cultural Evening: Part I

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The other day, a friend and I headed down to Little Ethiopia for a new experience. It was already starting to get kind of late, so we chose the place with a sign in the front that said there was a “super secret comedy show” going on inside.

As soon as we walked in, the “comedians” started talking to us through the bar, and proceeded to heckle us with inappropriate obscenities throughout our meal (I mean, we were bright red, and I’m not easily offended). My friend ordered a glass of wine, which took about 15 minutes to come out (in a soaking wet glass), and we saw the waitress pour the end of one bottle in and open another to fill it all the way.

Neither of us had ever tried Ethiopian food, so we asked the waitress what was good. We ended up with this combo plate of chicken, lamb, and beef- she threw in some lentils to sample, too. The meat was pretty good- especially the chicken, but we both liked the lentils best. There are no utensils, so you eat with Injera and the sour flavor combined with the fluffy-ness kind of freaked us both out.

All in all, it was a new experience- I’d try it again to sample the vegetarian dishes, but don’t think I’d ever have a craving for it. Everyone working there was very nice and helpful…just be sure to stay away on comedy night.

Rosalind’s Ethiopian, Fairfax Ave

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vote for Me in the Mad Men Casting Call!

Banana Republic and Mad Men are having a contest where the winner gets a walk on role on AMC's Mad Men.
Please help me out and vote. You can do it every day, so tell your friends and family!

Post-Yoga Lunch

After a grueling yoga class, a friend came over to enjoy an amazing lunch of brie, crackers, grapes, and prosciutto. A friend did point out that melon would have been ideal, but you've gotta work with the ingredients on hand!
Yes, this is why we work out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Birthday Dinner at Belmont

Me and my besties gathered to celebrate my birthday at Monday Night Crab Night at the Belmont on La Cienega. Must tries? The crab, of course, and truffle mashed potatoes. Yum!Good food, good drinks, and good friends- what more could a girl ask for?

Best BBQ in Los Angeles?

In the South, BBQ is like another food group. Pretty much anywhere you go to get this tasty treat can be relied upon to be high quality and delicious.
West of the Mississippi, it's another story... don't even think about Carolina Mustard Sauce. After searching around LA, I fell in love with "The Pig" and their supply of Ne-hi, only to find them closed a few months later. And so the search began once again. My ex-roomie is from Oklahoma and took me to Baby Blues in Venice, which is pretty amazing for LA (and their banana pudding is out of this world!)

While I still love Baby Blues, the search is on once again for the best BBQ in LA. I know there are some new places, and I'm willing to travel out of the city for the good stuff.  Anyone have suggestions?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How To Do Vegas

Friday night, I decided to go to Vegas. Saturday morning, I hopped on a flight with some friends and ate, drank, and danced my way through Vegas til Monday. My favorite eats? Tao and Lavo!
Sushi by the pool at Tao Beach
Many plates, just one course at Tao

Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Taste of Beverly Hills

Is going on this weekend! If you're in LA, you should totally go and check it out. Tickets are around $130 per day, and that's for unlimited food and drink tasting from restaurants all around the Beverly Hills area. There will be music, celeb. chefs, and other special guests.
More info is available here.

Thank you, Ms. Renn

I just loved this quote from Crystal Renn's book: "A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. When your biggest concern is controlling your body, you're not thinking about all the things in the world- besides yourself- that you might be working to change."

Sometimes, all we need is a little push to change our perspective.