Lately, most of my adventures have been in food. A great deal of it has centered around my proximity to Ricardo Zarate and Stephane Bombet of Mo-Chica, Picca and now Paiche fame. They are my bosses. (Amazing bosses, by the way.) So, I’ve had the chance to eat some of the best food being created in LA.
Part of what happens when you are in the nexus of awesome energy is you meet a vast array of amazing people. DTLA people are quickly becoming my favorite sorts. They are artsy, creative, edgy, a little dangerous and full of life. One of those people is Jean Francoise Valcarcel.
I recently got to participate in a Chef’s Tasting at the soon to be opened Mayan Bar and Grill here in Monrovia. The Mayan will be in the historic Aztec Hotel in the space formerly occupied by the Brass Elephant. It was a fun experience. Tasting and rating menu items for a new restaurant before it goes public. The Mayan will focus on Central American cooking a first for my little corner of L.A.
The food was simply pretty terrific. First up was Ensalada Esmeralda which was a simple mix of roasted chilis and greens tossed with a bright avocado and cilantro dressing. Next up was a Puerco Mole Verde, or pork medallions in a somewhat spice, but deeply flavored mole sauce. The last course they gave us was the Tequila Lime Shrimp…with a spicy sweet mango salsa. All in all I rated them all very highly, made comments where appropriate but really enjoyed the experience. The new Chef at the Mayan did not disappoint.
Do you want to get in on the tastings too? Simply friend the Aztec Hotel on FB and watch for their notices and instructions on what to do for the next event. Its really as simple as noting date, time and emailing the hotels General Manager Art Desaultels that you want to attend. This Thursday is nearly full and they just added in Friday for another tasting. They fill fast so act fast. Read the rest of this entry →
Do you write a blog? Like to read blogs? Like to meet the folks behind a blog? Well then this annual event is made for you. There are usually a few dozen local bloggers there and their groupies (not including each other).
This is the 5th annual held at this park, but if you have followed me on blogging.la for a while you will know that we, a large diverse group of us bloggers in the SGV, have been getting together since ’07. This picnic got going when it was determined we needed to do it annually in one location and blogger Timothy Rutt of the Altadenablog got it all rolling for us.
This is a pot luck affair so bring a tasty bit to share with the group. Don’t be surprised if it gets blogged too.
Deets: March 30, 2013, 11AM – ???, Farnsworth Park,568 Mt Curve Ave, Altadena, CA 91001 MAP HERE
Yup, it was such a success last time around at Santa Anita Park they are returning this summer. If you made it to the Pasadena locations last year you were probably put off by the density of the crowds and difficulties with parking and stuff. The move to Santa Anita Park alleviated those obstacles and made the event really fun. Of course, if you made the ones after the move to Santa Anita you are well aware of how much fun the place was.
The folks at 626 Night Market are so happy with the change of venue they are looking to increase their crowds. They are having a contest on facebook and are giving away 5 passes to each of the 10 winners. To enter all you gotta do is like their page and share it with your friends.
626 Night Market is also looking for artists, food trucks and other vendors to pack the place with and add to the fun and enjoyment. If you are interested visit their web page HERE. Yes, the prices seem steep, but it includes your canopy, lights, outlets and most importantly your permits.
I’ll post more on the dates as we get closer to the event. If you want more deets visit the main 626 Night Market site when you have time.
Hat tip to my friends at Arcadia PD for this tip regarding a fund raiser for the fallen officers due to shoot outs or outright assassination by Chris Dorner last week. (You remember Chris Dorner, the ex-LAPD officer on a bizarre vendetta to prove he was wrongfully terminated by LAPD )
20% of your total bill will be donated to the respective police associations for Officer Crain and Detective McKay who wound up dying as a result of shooting by McKay.
To participate all you need to do is print out the flyer to the right of this post and present it to your server at the time you order at California Pizza Kitchen February 25-28 2013.
The quarter seen next to the plate is for scale. The Hollenbeck Burrito is the creation of a singular master by the name of Manuel Rojas who owned the famed Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Cafe in Boyle Heights. But the Hollenbeck is hardly the largest burrito he makes — or I should say made, since sad news came yesterday that Señor Rojas has died at the age of 79 after a half-century of serving them up.
That distinction belongs to any variety of Manuel’s Special burritos, each of which roughly calculates out to being about 250 cubic inches of gut-busting deliciousness (here’s an example with the unknown patron exhibiting the appropriate level of shock and awe). Simply laying my eyes on such massiveness the one and only time I ordered a Manuel’s Special was almost enough to stave off my worst hunger pangs. Since then, it’s been Hollenbecks for me and they’re pleeeeeenty! But if the previously mentioned dimensional quantification is hard to wrap your head around, try this alternative: it weighs in at five pounds.
I’m having trouble wrapping my head around Rojas no longer overseeing the construction of his classics, but I take solace that they live on, and I will most certainly be paying a visit in the near future to honor him by digging into one — and taking the inevitable leftovers home.
The first effort was grand, but it was way to small to handle the crowds. The second event was in a bigger location but even then it was too small for the crowds it drew. How to make it even bigger and better? Score a deal with the folks at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Race track off Huntington Drive. This event is promised to be big enough to handle any crowd tossed at it. Add in ample parking (there is no mass transit to there yet) and this is set to be a really fun event without the horrendous waits of the original back in July.
Warning the video does drop the f bomb so it isn’t entirely safe for work.
This past weekend I braved the heat (102F at 1 pm) and attended Variety’s Power of Youth at Paramount studios. This annual event acknowledges young entertainers for their charitable efforts. This years honoree’s were The Jonas Brothers, Vanessa Hudgens and others.
This was a really fun event with several different corporations there to help with the event. These corporations all had programs focused on our kids. Ford was there with practical hands on demos that were a fun way to learn the dangers of distracted driving. Allstate was there with their “X the Text” program where the kids could sign off on a car promising not to text and drive. Sony was there hawking their PlayStation with hands on play time at their corner of the event. Cartoon network was there with the stars of “Regular Show” Rigby and Mordecai were there for photo ops. Read the rest of this entry →
Where to start…maybe the fact that this year Chicken Charlie out did himself, twice? First is a wonderfully spiced shrimp served up with pineapple and rice in a hollowed out pineapple. The second drop dead delicious treat isn’t as healthy as the first. ITS FRIED COOKIE DOUGH. The latter my kids absolutely went nuts over. The first option, known as Pineapple Express, will only be available at the Chicken Charlie’s outlet at the far west end of Broadway in the park.
I got to go to the Fair’s food preview night the other day, to see all what else I sampled, including BOOZE options you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →
So some 18 million of us in the greater L.A. area can’t be wrong about the famed In-n-Out burger. Food and Wine just named it one of the best burgers in the country. The only “chain” to make the list.
For my daughter and Son-in-law no trip “home” is complete without a trip to In-n-Out. There is much discussion on which version we prefer, I’m a purest and go for the regular cheese burger as does my daughter, the SIL likes it animal style. What’s your preference?
I’m a first amendment kind of guy, but I’m smart enough to know that what you say (or do) has consequences and you need to live with them. As a refresher Chick-fil-a has donated some $1M towards anti-LGBT causes and publicly has acknowledged doing so and said it saw nothing wrong with supporting those causes they believed in. Now they are all butt hurt that people who disagree with them aren’t letting them open new businesses and promoting boycotts of them.
With a few very highly publicized refusals to allow them open new restaurants because of their political stance and voice the folks at “The Liberty and Freedom Foundation” are trying to rally people to attend the restaurants in protest. At least according to this face book meme (pic attached) there is an effort to get them some love. Maybe its time again for folks to consider exercising their free speech and gather in a picket in front of Chick-fil-a’s restaurants to educate folks on the hate this place supports? I for one have boycotted the place since learning of their politics and encourage others I know to do the same. Often.
I bought this 6 oz. container of grated parmesan cheese at my local Ralphs today, & then noticed the little label on the container. It reads: “20% MORE CHEESE Than 5 oz. Packages”. What exactly are they bragging about? Note that it’s not 20% more for free, it’s simply, “our container is bigger than a smaller container.” Wow.
After dancing around and debating about going or not I broke down and went this weekend. Why I was putting it off I don’t know. It was actually a lot of fun, something one needs to do at least once in their life. There is a lot of period confusion among the fair goers, its not all pure Medieval Renaissance times with some fun in the form of trolls, ogres and fairies tossed in for good measure. But its all in good fun.
You get a good smattering of crafts, free wine tasting courtesy San Antonio winery, beer huts, music, free shows…minstrel, comedy/variety, magic and wenches all tossed in with some pretty good food too.
This isn’t a free event. Tickets at the door are $25 head, you can purchase slightly discounted tickets at select Walgreen stores enumerated HERE. Parking at the Santa Fe dam will also set you back $10 bones for a dirt lot. Map to location here near the junction of the 210/605 Freeways. Better hurry as next weekend is the last weekend it will run this year.