aim for the sky, and have a drink while you’re at it…just don’t fall off the edge.
villa del balbianello, lake como. this is also where they filmed scenes from casino royale 007. pretty unreal. more soon…
beautique || 8 w. 58th street, new york, ny 10019 ||
“first impressions are of utmost importance, especially in a pretentious setting.”
blame it on the recent write up on page six in the new york post attracting a particular high profile clientele now scrambling over to this venue like there’s no tomorrow. wear your 9′s, bring your 10′s because this is serious.
upon entering beautique [after getting the approval from the almighty gatekeeper that you are worthy enough to join] you are instantly greeted by a beautiful giant bouquet of flowers + a shiny birchwood baby grand piano — double win.naturally i had to test it out. then you pass a staircase of angled mirrors [last looks to ensure your face is perfect] before you descend into a den of
judgmental patrons & staff more opulence. [the staff was actually very warm + welcoming.]wallpaper of bittersweet cut rose heads or lychee, i haven’t quite figured it out yet, but either way, really contributing to the aesthetics. they care!if you are special enough, you will be guided through the kitchen to a secret back room only available to the VIP & such. the walls are covered in artwork including warhol originals & other reputable artists.of course i made a pitstop behind the kitchen counter. “i’m topchef i swear!”concentrating on placing the snow pea shoot perfectly onto the roasted leg of lamb dish. quick snaps of a few dishes: salmon + soft-shell crab. the lighting is dark in the back room & since i dislike flash for dishes, i didn’t photo-document the complete dinner. recommended appetizers not photographed: mixed green salad with fruit – simple yet delicious. // spaghetti in a sweet tomato sauce.
recommended main courses not photographed: roasted chicken breast – very juicy & tender – not overcooked at all – i was impressed. // roasted sweet potato over buckwheat, mushrooms, & spinach mix
basically i’d like to return for the 3rd time to try everything else on the menu, especially the items laced with foie gras, & even more so after learning that beautique is under the helm of star chef craig hopson, formerly of le cirque.espresso martini + double espressolouis xiii + other fine whiskeykeepin it classy with the soft shell crab: slightly salty but the bed of puréed peas & greens was delightful.snap of the ladies. you can’t sit with us but you can try to charm us.
i hear tuesday nights are especially great there since rogue nights brings in a
crazy wonderful bunch. from the beautiful decor to the trendy, upscale crowd to the attentively crafted menu selection, this is a rare combo + gold medal winner.
beautique is simply magnifique!
also it’s located near the infamous plaza hotel & right next to the paris theater…oh paris.parting is such sweet sorrow, but there will always be tomorrow!channeling the end of the night scene of [classy] drunks on the piano from gatsby.
novikov || 50a berkeley st., london || +44 20 7399 4330
touchdown [fancy] londontown!
this dark [yet perfectly lit for footos: foodie photos], decadent, festive, sexy venue filled with beautiful people [with british accents] & especially fresh seafood [+wifi!] deserves a proper standing ovation, so here it is:
les poissons, les poissons…hee hee hee…hoh hoh hoh…after saying hello to the kitchen staff & shaking hands with the lively seafood on display, onto the real excitement – the
eye candy food & beverages:from the bar area, starting with perfectly crafted espresso martinis – not overly sweet like one too many places.as we venture over to our table, the dining room faces the fresh seafood flown in first class from various parts of the world + the seemingly open kitchen for you to enjoy the art of cooking segregated by a glass wall so as not to ruin the scent of our carefully slathered perfumes [or colognes].shrimp dumpling topped with ikura.langoustine carpaccio – YES.o-toro, you’re so fatty. hotate, you’re so hot. YES.
ikura, you’re so ballsy. YES.[edible?] floral drinks for the ladies. crispy fatty duck with microgreens, pomegranate, pine nuts = mixed guilty + guilt-free feelings cancel out = nonetheless, delicious.king crab legs cooked with superman butter.lightly seared razor clams in a citrus sauce – YES.spicy sea bass in an orange sauce [think fancy orange chicken] – not my favorite but still done well.crispy soft shell crab – yum.i changed it up to a whiskey-based drink served in bamboo for a tropical effect. for dessert, we had few more espresso martinis – they were consistently great. overall, wonderful experience! bravo novikov!
next stop: the rififi club [members only] for restaurateur arkady novikov’s newest creations. more soon!
brazil should redeem themselves & get 3rd, germany 2nd, & argentina should take 1st & make evita proud. all the winners should do
nude half-naked ad campaigns featuring their perfectly-sculpted bodies. this is what world cup is about. this is real life.
july 13 add-on: ok so brazil didn’t really redeem themselves. those
cutie pie netherland boys played better & won deservingly, despite some controversial referee calls.but go argentina! take home the trophy!
love notes from paris,
drums on my heart…
paris fashion week is here. an up & coming turkish designer brand is making waves across the borders: les benjamins. the cocktail party in le marais hosted by the lovely paula was filled with special guests & fashionistas as the new collection was unveiled.when paula & i first met @ cannes film festival, all dolled up & glowing #tbtmy favorite piece in the collection: albert einstein + miley cyrus. e=m[iley]c[yrus] squared. brilliant. sister loved it too.cute + hyperactive dog spotted. must pick up. he went for a kiss.must take photos.some help from his owner.
me: is he neutered? [random question]
he: what? [laughs hysterically]finally got the shot [after 20 tries]. meet easy, the dog.thanks to victor malecot at ten days in paris for our sibling photo.coolest kids in town selfie: L-R yours truly, myself [in creepy shadow]; benoit, a talented jazz musician [& natural charmer]; martin the attorney; baby co, the little sister & attorney in the making.baby co had
harassed chased down stalked pet every single dog in sight during our monthlong eurotrip. what is one more lovable italian greyhound?les benjamins has an effortless chic & feel to their designs. trendy streetwear full of attitude mixed with symbolic images allow one to ponder about pop culture and its influences. the understated cool factor is here to stay.
osteria pastella || via della scala, 17/r – 50123 firenze || 055 2670240
“this is the
boyvongole i’ve been looking for all my life!”
ciao! as i explored italy with my sister, we stumbled upon this place all on our own – no tripadvisor, no help from yelp. i was instantly drawn to the front window showcasing a sous chef making fresh rows of pasta. what can i say, i fall for appearances, thus, this new restaurant had already
stolen my heart passed the first test & quickly became my favorite in florence. [plus they have wifi!] puff of joy starter.the caprese was interestingly stacked high & executed well, tasting of mouthfuls of freshness.the fresh tagliolini alle vongole was hands down the best vongole i’ve had in italy [at such a reasonable price too]. the strong but well-blended wine + the finely chopped garlic parsley as their sauce was magical – this is the boy vongole i’ve been looking for all my life!we went with the pio ix dessert option which was recommended by our server & it was indeed a unique delicacy. i don’t know much beyond the fact that it is named after pope ix & it was delicious. took me a lot of googling to find out exactly what that nostalgic tasting fruit was: a european gooseberry.
then as a very kind welcome to osteria pastella + florence, the [awesome] big boss presented us these following italian specimens: tasty dessert wine & [drum roll] grappa. a lot of grappa.it was a challenge we couldn’t refuse.
their usage of flavors + quality of ingredients + presentation are comparable perhaps even superior to fine dining places but without the arm-chopping fine dining prices [and snobbery]. it really shows they care about maintaining the authenticity of the cuisine with no extra side orders of bs. such a wonderful experience overall. this is a must-visit when in florence! cannot wait to return to try more from the menu.
note: on fridays, they have live jazz :D what more could you ask for? big thank you to pietro for being a wonderful human being who truly appreciates the arts all across the board – grazie & salute!
regrettably, i didn’t do justice for the welcoming window photo the first time around.
explorations, incomparable. can i ever go back?
my recent hiatus can solely be blamed on my latest travels: new york – lake como – milan – venice – florence – naples – rome – nice – london – paris. i will have amazing photos [and stories] to prove it soon, i promise. til then, arrivederci! au revoir!
shiki beverly hills || 410 n. canon drive, beverly hills, ca 90210 || (310) 888-0036
part of the excitement of food documentation is when you come across a new spot that has not been overdone with hundreds, thousands of reviews prior to yours [similar to claiming ownership of new territory, minus the bloodshed]. this time, it was finding shiki beverly hills, a recent addition to the greater los angeles area since april 2014, and to [restaurant] namedrop for the
obsessed snobby knowledgeable foodies, the executive chef mr. shige fujimoto has done his infamous rounds [10+ years] at matsuhisa & a notable michelin starred period at asanebo. rumor has it that he is the reason the latter had earned its star 2 years in a row. well this venture was sure to be promising.
surprises do happen: 5 of the staff surrounded me with this glorious plate, singing the happy birthday song to me. no, i was not embarrassed.
visit shiki beverly hills for a sophisticated but relaxed & proper japanese dining experience to impress a foodie friend with something brand new & awesome. friendship/courtship points will be given for sure. attire is business casual and the lighting is actually pretty bright [like soto ny] + perfect for
food photographing without the obnoxious flash chatting with my dear friend about the details of her upcoming wedding in lake como! can’t wait to share that experience with you soon. til then, let me know what you think of shiki so i can relive my experience there! じゃあね!
animal || 435 north fairfax avenue, los angeles, ca 90036 || 323-782-9225
me: if you were to be a dinosaur, which would you be and why? i’d be pterodactyl so i can fly + oversee everything.
he: i think you’d be t-rex.
me: …cuz i can be such a
manmeat-eating heartless [queen] b*tch?
he: cuz when the bill comes, your arms are so short, you can’t reach the bill.
returning from such a long hiatus, you’d think i’d have some animal cooler than a llama to post [does that exist?], but no, just food. from the restaurant, animal, where males and females are [wom]animals, the omnivores that we were created to be. it’s a “thing” ya know. first walking in, it’s a dimly lit, casual cool setting with a lot of tables
full of animals feasting on their latest kill, sniffing their next bambi-esque victim made of wood, very reminiscent of new york, [or am i just missing it?] especially traif, except minus the foie gras. here goes:
a llama always has a smile on his face, and it’s infectious.
on april 1st, the biggest, coolest april fool’s nationwide was having a real llama walk through the velvet ropes of new hollywood hotspot bootsy bellows [compared to the likes of the box in new york] named after co-owner david arquette’s mother’s burlesque stage name. the premiere for the new starz digital web series, llama cop has finally arrived with a big bang in the club, a debut on tmz, and a notice from the public health department threatening to shut it down [or give it a silly slap on the wrist, but either way, marketing genius for the show + club worldwide]. exclusive evidence that this was real life & that alcohol was served within the club premises with a live llama follows:
someone went crazy with the champagne selfies. it’s not everyday a llama walks into the bar…and i’ve met him before…
for more photos of the llama star & his friends [dalai llama, barack o' llama, pajama llama, drama llama] back in his fancy shangri-llama ranch before he was splashed all over tmz, now famed like serge [the llama kidnapped by those
silly drunk brilliant kids from a zoo & brought around for a fun night out], visit the la la llama post here from their wrap party, without the silly harness [like he would ever bite c'mon. he only spits]. otherwise, enjoy their trailer & show! congrats guys!