happy birthday wolfie

thankful for this handful of joy, whose name is wolfie. full name, jonny wolfgang rascal co 

it’s his birthday now, december 2nd & he turns 2 today. a little wiser, a little cuter, same level of douchey doge. here are a few early photos from the stroke of midnight:
  more soon on the homemade dog-friendly pumpkin pie for the cutie pie that is prince wolfie. 🐕   

 yes, i got him a unicorn piñata for him to destroy at his birthday fiesta. 

…to be continued.

izakaya akatora la

izakaya akatora || 115 w. main street, alhambra, ca 91801 || (626) 943-7872

new gem by michael cardenas of innovative dining group [katana, sushi roku, boa steakhouse], and favorite trendy hot spots all across los angeles & las vegas has arrived: izakaya akatora. it’s a more casual, traditional sushi bar & izakaya feel but offering high-quality fish & tapas located in the historic city of alhambra — a city in the suburbs of la, known as the san gabriel valley.

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i aint sayin’ she’s a gold digger, but she’s only eating sashimi with gold on top.

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kinmedai. flame-torched golden eye red snapper. i ate the james bond of snappers, basically.

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omakase me pls.

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close up of the fresh, sexy oyster + uni & ikura neighbors.

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yam ice cream – a reinvented traditional japanese dessert that will make you swoon

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classic chocolate volcano done right

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remember to thank the sushi chefs

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sake to you…sake to me…

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akatora, red tiger in japanese, is named after michael’s father’s fishing boat.

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blondetourage. i’m wearing my favorite leather clutch by liucia

thanks michael for a wonderful dinner & for adding another awesome restaurant to this world! need to be back when i’m out west again [and try the foie gras]. arigatou!

for more delicious goodness, visit my post on the neighboring sushi roku in pasadena.

popfoods.tv

the all-star team behind this past weekend’s shoot for popfoods.tv, hosted by the infamous chef russell jackson, directed by raffi asdourian, shot by jon chen, and yours truly [me] as one of the special guests, along with award-winning, tv chopping star chefs lance knowling, and pastry chefs ashley holt & thiago silva. more soon. for now, you can drool over one of his recent tastings below and/or also a past tasting here at louro or the dirty bad santa xmas dinner party i hosted as the top chef.

the subculture dining experience: think a museum, with your favorite artist having an art installation ready for viewing, but only for a limited time — the bonus is you get to harass the chef himself and pull a portandia “can i see the chicken’s headshot & resume? did the chicken have a happy life?” kindly inquire about the dish choices and ingredients since the chef is in clear conversational view. foodies’ challenging questions are welcomed!

chef russell jackson has his “pop-up” tastings enjoyed at various locations, each with a different theme, different exciting courses, different wine pairings, simply different and full of surprises.
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the chef at work, and we have the pleasure of watching him add final touches to each course, aka front row for a top chef competition.

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avocado toast: compressed avocado, agua de chile, apricot ginger seed sauce, onion sprouts, crispy tostada
yucca: smoked in mesquite with spiced vinegar tapioca, orange mojo – great refreshing starter
paired with: anahitos

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empanadas: foie gras in chile spice crust, & spruce smoked calabaza squash and crab, hazelnut, currants, queso fresca – very interesting.
paired with: orange sugar gin, french 75 finished with champagne

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clams in pozole verde, poblano lime cumin broth, micro greens – excellent.

paired with: toasted kombu rum, velvet flurnum & green juice drink with muddled jalepeno

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and what do we have here? brown paper bag…bringing you back to its roots

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picadillo taco: aged cabbage, mexican creme, chile arbol salsa – amazing.

paired with: chile vodka, kummel, lime, pisco style

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chicken roulade: crispy skin, rose petal mole sauce [perfected poached chicken breast might i add]

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iberian carnitas press: cascbel adobo sauce & deep fried turnip, scallion ash, nori – something different.
main courses paired with: tobacco-infused rye, barolo, carbonated

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palate cleanser: deep fried pineapple. dehydrated honey and chipotle salt

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THIS MAGICAL DESSERT. in the glass for dipping: blue corn alote, chocolate, pilincco, buttered rum + buckwheat churros

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redefining churros, with a fancy, intoxicating yet delicate flair.

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loved it.IMG_1573.JPG

the redhot shot.IMG_1574.JPG

the pate de fruit, banana/dry rum

as per usual, i was quite behind on my cocktail pairings. amazing experience.

his next upcoming “art installation” is coming up and more info here! enjoy! 

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my birthday treat to you

so it was my birthday week and here’s my treat to you: new version of blizzard boyfriend featuring my sexy [blondetourage] blizzard girlfriends. enjoy responsibly :)

cinematography by chillah.

for the sober original version, click here.

eleven madison park

eleven madison park || 11 madison ave. || (212) 889-0905

merry christmas. wow. this delectable, decadent, exquisite experience is truly excellent. the following photos are worth a few thousand words and will perhaps tickle your taste buds.

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peaceful ambiance at 5 pm [since dinner will last for 4+ hours]

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getting gossip from the mixologist

there was also a farewell gathering of the staff & etc for the pastry chef that day. it was fun eavesdropping like a creeper from the bar before dinner began.

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cocktail selection is on point. happy with the options listed. [unlike per se  #spoiledfoodieproblems]

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secret ingredient choice. i choose you, coffee. or is that the marijuana plant?

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presents already? savory ny classic b&w cookies

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caviar + creme fraiche

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refreshing [hidden] oysters.

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“fruit salad”

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their logo now makes sense to me

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hey la tache = $12K

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dehydrated tomato stuffed with lobster topped w/baby basil & cream

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to fill you in on the tasty filling

note: to give you an idea of their stalkery absolute attentiveness, they noticed i scraped the creamy top off to the side of the dish and asked if there was a problem with it. i let them know that i didn’t want too much of the cream, and that preference was duly noted for the later items. thanks guys!

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light soup made from the tomato they previously squeezed the juice out of

ode to a new york classic. this is when the secret ingredients show face:  cherry soda to the left, coffee soda to the right.

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“pastrami & soda”

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pastrami on a fancy fiery simmer plate

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open-faced sandwich.if you want it put a pastrami on it

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cocktail: rye whiskey based egg white & anise

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old fashioned

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this cucumber salad was for the [silly] ones who opted out of their AMAZING foie gras dish that day. pretty and healthy but not on the same page.

the dish of the night: foie gras.

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the beautiful, seared foie gras with chanterelles. amazing.

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aerial view of what i loved.

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“salad bar”

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telling stories of the waldorf

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the waldorf salad + celery puree soup

curious to know how the celery soda would have tasted, we asked for a smidgen & they gave us a bottle. it was great, but cherry was surprisingly my favorite since they used fresh cherries.

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the sodas + fresh butter & bread

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halibut with paper thin radish

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green delight. celtuce.

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dbl espresso pls

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the herb-crusted dry roasted duck, stuffed with lavender

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the slice of duck that you get to eat, which was much more than i could eat at this point

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hmm. part of the duck

then there’s more…

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picnic anyone?

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added my little touch of tying the handkerchief on top.

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my name on the plates?!

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virginia sin, the artist behind the ceramic plating that appears to be paper plates

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goat cheese, candy grapes, basil paste in a jar

finally onto dessert…

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delicious dessert: butter cream, butter scotch, dehydrated milk, foam, crumble. yum.

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burning brain…

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charred brain…

and then because it was my birthday…

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pretty

sometimes it can be fun in the kitchen…especially special tours of it.

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hey kitchen crew! you’re awesome.

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photos along the wall are their farmers and growers from whom they purchase their ingredients

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37 staff in the main kitchen + ms. expediter

expediter: kitchen manager aka bootcamp captain aka “hurry the eff up, are you a snail or are you a chef” [i’d imagine she yells this] who makes sure everyone is on task on time, down to every minute, every second, and ensures a sufficient amount of all ingredients necessary for the amount of diners every day.

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the new sous chef making a special icy cone treat

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we’re all kids again! snow cones, fancy ones.

as if our 4 hour dinner + kitchen tour wasn’t obnoxious grand enough, they relocated us to a pleasant after-the-never-ending-dinner private corner lounge where we can further lengthen our stay by indulging in more caffeine and a complimentary bottle of grappa. if only it were scotch…

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the lounging area

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sweet classic new york b&w cookies & pretzel infused with dark, milk, & white chocolates

another birthday surprise…

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dark chocolate covered coconut bar of decadence

they decided to feed me for breakfast as well.

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fresh homemade granola.

so good, all the squirrels in the city came running over.

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the [wrinkled] menu.

a fantastic journey it was — overall a worthwhile experience for a special occasion especially since it is like a classic broadway show + new york history 101 + foodie heaven + michelin snob all packed into one night. take her/him there. :D

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momofuku ko

momofuku ko

8 extra place, new york, ny 10003 || (212) 203-8095

throwback edition of my visit at the old location of momofuku ko when it was at 163 first avenue. seems right to post some heavy-duty places during the holidays.

bravo, david chang! but a 22-course lunch plus beverage pairing? how can anyone even possibly do this? monsters? or maybe if i wasn’t hungover. this casual 12-seat arrangement is up close and personal along the counter with the chefs working diligently preparing your dishes right in front of you. this was great for all the foodies because we like to stick our noses into everything and ask a lot of questions directly from the chefs who know exactly what everything is, where it’s from, the name of the pig…

it was overwhelming for me, but i’m not complaining. i only have photos of the 1st three courses out of 22 — embarrassing. if i had known no obnoxious foodie pictures were allowed, i would have whipped out my phone discreetly when i was closer to the last few courses which are usually more impressive, like the frozen slab of foie gras shaved onto a wonderful dish of i-can’t-recall-because-i-ate-it-and-have-no-memory-without-photos.

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she: “sorry, we would like to ask you to refrain from taking pictures.”

me: “oh.” [boiling in misery & thinking to myself, why am i here? to enjoy the food & the moment?]

so i took photos in the loo. great selection of books. IMG_2240 IMG_2241

after a crazy, hearty meal of experimental fusion, i was greeted by this couple:

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 “hey boys! where you goin, room for one more?”

the new momofuku ko now allows photos and is much spacier i hear, but i have yet to try. what a beautiful, [heavy] lunch…and dinner for the next 3 days. thanks. good night.

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animal.

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 man meat-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:

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starting from a semi-blank slate

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resembles classic barf but the best gnocchi i’ve had as of late: ricotta gnocchi + 6-hour bolognese. i had one piece & i already felt full. so rich.

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hamachi tostada – one of my favorites not just because it was raw + light + refreshing but probably because it was raw + light + refreshing with an asian flair to it.

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veal brains. i tried it. it’s like other animal brains. brains will be brains. #hannibal

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uni dish. almost like a greek salad, but with uni.

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spicy beef tendon chips w/charred onion pho dip – this dip was phenomenal. all the flavors of vietnam in a dip.

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chicken liver toast – as great as everyone hypes it up to be. the additional concentrated caramelized onion on top was a happy surprise.

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crispy pig head. wasn’t too crazy bout this. i was looking for a fattier texture in the meat.

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“toad in a hole” basically duck egg, truffle, english pea, french ham, gruyere. more like a brunch piece.

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poutine, oxtail gravy, cheddar. basically fancy chili cheese fries.

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roasted bone marrow with chimichurri sauce. great, but FAT, but great. bone marrows are easy to make, but this sauce really did it for me.

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help. i want to tap out already. but notice their dinner napkins with a buttonhole. can be attached as your baby bib, or to your fancy cuff links.

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fried rabbit legs. couldn’t touch this. i don’t eat adorable little bunnies anymore – i made a promise.

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crispy broccoli [yay, something else healthy!] slathered in pancetta vinaigrette that tasted of butter sauce, soft egg, & parmesan

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yellowtail collar, jerk spices, watermelon radish, citrus, palm sugar. this was another light + refreshing dish with an asian flair done well.

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fried chicken wings.

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melted p’tit basque & chorizo. i couldn’t touch it.

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if “flirt with me & love me” were to ever be translated into a dessert, it’d be this LOVELY one: blueberry, frozen brown butter crumble, yogurt, bay leaf ice cream topped with purple edible flowers.

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interesting [but not a fave] dessert: meyer lemon sherbet, frozen citrus, white chocolate, malted milk

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this photo doesn’t do justice to my other favorite dessert: cheesecake pudding, passionfruit, seascape strawberries, graham. perfectly balanced so it’s surprisingly not heavy at all.

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errrthang on the menu, almost, except a few.

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warning: beer & wines only – no hard liquor. the scotch enthusiast at our table [me] was quite disappointed. but i did enjoy the last bottle of the rosé we chose.

i was shocked to have eaten so much cooked, hearty food that by the end, i felt i had transformed into the beast. a heavy yet exciting journey this was!

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…so then the beast roamed the streets of los angeles, ripping apart palm trees and claiming bentleys.