Category Archives: Los Angeles

Smiling’s My Favorite!

There are a few things that are really making me smile at the moment.  The first thing is Hot Chip’s new music video for “I Feel Better”.  These dudes have succeeded in making another hilarious music video that you cannot help but laugh out loud too.  It is ridiculous without being cheesy, and they manage to gain cool points despite the utter absurdity of this video.  Check it out below and SMILE. :)

Second, is the SUNLIGHT!  I absolutely LOVE how it is still light outside when I leave the office.  It genuinely makes me feel happier and puts me in better spirits.  Mmm, I love you, Mr. Sun (yes, that’s his name).  Here’s a super awesome song that is basically an ode to Mr. Sun that makes me smile too.  It’s called “Sun Hands”, by Local Natives, (who are ridiculously amazing btdubs.  My company manages them now and I may or may not have had a little something to do with that, holla!)

Third thing is Huckleberry restaurant in Santa Monica.  Some friends and I brunched there this Saturday morning and absolutely loved the place, (plus it was on our list of LA restaurants we wanted to try so we were super excited to check it off).  First of all, they have the most ATTRACTIVE staff ever.  Like, did they only hire hotties?  Because wow, hotties left and right at that place.  But, that’s not really why I loved Huckleberry, although it was a delightful plus.  It was definitely the delicious food that won all of us over.  I had the fried egg sandwich, which consisted of fried egg, (obvi), gruyere cheese, (my fave), applewood smoked bacon, and arugula on toasted sourdough bread.  It was messy, due to the egg (see below), but absolutely delicious.  We topped off our meal by trying a few items from their bakery.  We sampled their maple bacon biscuit, their chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies, and their sugar donut holes, all of which were sooo yummy, (and do not fear, we had absolutely no problem finishing all of those items).  So moral of the Huckleberry story is, it made us smile due to its delectable fare and eye pleasing staff, and I think it will make YOU smile too.

So, I hope you’re smiling now because I know I am.  And I think it’s only fitting that I end this post by saying, “smiling’s my favorite!” Thank you, Buddy the Elf, for that one.

Dream Jobs

Recently I’ve been thinking about how awesome it would be to have careers as either a food critic or a music supervisor.  I’ve decided those are my two dream jobs of the moment.  I love my current job, and really hope to continue to grow in my industry, but it’s fun to dream right?!  Food critics and music supervisors couldn’t be MORE different, but together they embody my three favorite things—music, food, and writing.  I’ve been doing research on both of these careers and have realized that I’m not too qualified for either.  But, there are real, tangible things I can do to help my cause.  Like continually trying new restaurants and writing about my experiences!  I need lots of writing samples, and a very eclectic palate if I were to ever seriously consider being a food critic.  For music supervision, continually researching new music is key.  I already do LOTS of that, and love it, and will keep doing it!  My favorite music supervision company is called Chop Shop and is run by the goddess of music supervision, Alex Patsavas.  Chop Shop does supervision for TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl and for movies like Twilight, (best soundtrack ever).   Basically, they have great taste in music and are responsible for breaking a number of artists, including The Fray from a Grey’s Anatomy episode a few years back.  It’s pretty freakin’ awesome how music placement nowadays plays such an important part in an artist’s success.  Sigh.  ‘Twould be cool to do that one day.

Now, back to my other fantasy–food critic!  My dear friend, Liang, started a google document of 100+ LA restaurants we want to try, Ting-Ting and I are contributors.  I’m super excited to start trying them and blogging about them! Food critic, here I come!  Get ready for even more posts about food. :)  Speaking of food, last night I had dinner at STK.  STK is a fancy shmancy, super trendy steakhouse.  The ambience was great–very funky and cool, but the food itself was subpar, especially for the extremely high price tag.  Their steaks were good (we had the skirt and the filet), but nothing to write home about.  Their sides, on the other hand, were delicious.  We loved their mac and cheese, green beans, corn pudding, and their garlic truffle fries (mmm, mouth watering).  Overall, good food, but their steak is no Mastro’s!  I have failed to mention that my ambition to try lots of restaurants and write about them is going to leave me homeless.  My measly paycheck cannot begin to support the foodie lifestyle I wish to lead, but one can always try, right?!

And because it’s been awhile, here’s a picture of my handsome Hoagster.  Cool photo effects thanks to the iPhone app, hipstamatic.  How un-hipster of me to download an app with such a title?!

“Hipster Hoagie”

And you know I can’t end a post without some fun music!  So here’s a fun track called “Alley Cats” by Hot Chip.  I really like their entire album, “One Life Stand”, which was just released this past February.  Check it out!

Well Hello, March.

It’s March! How is it already March?! I feel like it was just yesterday that I started this blog and it’s been a whole 5 months! Crazy! So, a few things I’d like to share with you all today. Here it goes.

1. Mercantile, the restaurant. My favorite foodie buddies, Laura, Alex, and Ting-Ting, and I tried another delicious restaurant this week called, The Mercantile. It’s technically a gourmet market and wine bar but boasts a mouth-watering dinner menu too. We used our Blackboard Eats discount* so we had to choose from a prix fixe menu. We got the ricotta gnudi with English peas, mushrooms and parmesan, and the smoked trout rillettes with beets and horseradish aioli. Omgeee, they were both absolutely delectable. For dessert, they served us homemade ice creams that were basically mini scoops of heaven. My favorite flavor had to be what Ting-Ting ordered which I believe was a chocolate, nutella, banana? Ya, um, ridic. So, go to Mercantile and indulge in yummy wines and even yummier foods.

And a photo, courtesy of Ting-Ting.  My beautiful friends, Laura and Alex posing with their gnocchi.

*If you haven’t signed up for Blackboard Eats, you must!  It gives you great discounts at eateries in the LA area, (sometimes up to 40% off of your meal)! I believe they now have a NY chapter, and are working on a SF one.

2. The Grilled Cheese Truck.  Ok, this whole food truck craze is probably just a fad but I am LOVING it.  Today, I enjoyed the Grilled Cheese Truck for the second time.  Dear lord, their “the works” sandwich, which is pulled pork and macaroni and cheese IN a sandwich, is pure sandwich BLISS (see below).  Mmmm…Plus their tomato soup and tater tots are damned good too.  Find out if the truck is near you on their Twitter.  Also, find out where ALL LA food trucks are at any given time here: Find LA Food Trucks.

3. Chocolate Tiny Teddies.  Basically, they are like teddy grahams, but the Australian version, and SO MUCH BETTER.  They are only sold in Australia though, so good luck getting them here.  I didn’t know they existed until my Aussie coworker, Katrina, got them in a care package from Australia.  She had me try them, and I fell in love.  She also had me try vegemite.  Let me tell you, that shit is SICK.  STAY AWAY.

4.  And finally, on a non-food related note, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite bands of the moment, most of which have released new records recently.  Check out: Broken Bells, Hot Chip, Active Child, Rogue Wave, Surfer Blood, 22-20s, Yeasayer, and Two Door Cinema Club.

Wellll, this post was almost all about food.  But hey, I love food, and I enjoy spreading the food love.

And as per usual, I will close with a song I love from one of the above bands, “ONE” by Yeasayer.  Rock out, my peeps.

EAT AT STREET!

A few girlfriends and I had a nice little dinner date at a newish restaurant on North Highland the other night called, Street (www.eatatstreet.com).  My oh my, was it absolutely delectable!  It was started by chef and travel enthusiast, Susan Feniger, whose idea behind the restaurant came from her love of street food.  With the delicacies of street vendors from around the world as her inspiration, Susan has created an incredibly diverse and amazingly tasty menu.  The most delicious thing we ordered was DEFINITELY the Kaya Toast, which hails from Singapore.  The toast is like a mini grilled cheese sandwich, but instead of cheese, it has a coconut jam spread.  You then dip the mini sandwich in a soft-boiled egg that is covered in a soy sauce.   Sounds weird, but it is SO good.  We kept dipping everything else we ordered in the strange egg, soy concoction.  Beyond delicious.  Please allow your mouth to water at the picture of the Kaya Toast below. 

Another yummy street food we ordered was the Spinach Varenky dumplings.  These little guys are Ukranian and are like pillows of fried heaven.  Basically, everything we tried did not disappoint.  Plus, the ambience of the restaurant is very hip and cool.  The walls are painted a deep red and are designed with funky figurines drawn in white chalk. (It felt like we were outside on the street, which is quite fitting for a place named Street, that’s all about street food!) We sat on the patio, next to a cute little fire, and because it was a bit cold, they brought us blankets, (really soft, yummy ones…amazing).  To make things even better, our server was great, the wine was delicious, AND we had a fun celeb sighting.  B.J. Novak of The Office was at the table next to us.  B.J. and I, (yep, we’re on first name basis now), were in each other’s line of sight and kept making eye contact accidentally.  That made our fun girl’s night out even more fun, as you can imagine.  So I think it’s safe to say that I highly recommend this place!  As would the three amazing girls I dined with, two of which have their own blog!  Check them out here: www.lauradaily.wordpress.com and www.vivalemani.wordpress.com. The four of us have decided to try a new restaurant each month and have one of us blog about it!  Stay tuned for more of our fun eating adventures.

Also, because I love Hoagie, here is a very cute picture of him from this past weekend, sleeping on my chest, with his little paw in my sweatshirt pocket.

Second also, because I love music, here is a song that I like right now.  It makes me very happy and I think it will make you happy too!  Here’s “11th Dimension” by Julian Casablancas:

Rooftop of Hotel Erwin? Yes Please!

Last night was my dear friend and coworker, Jose’s, birthday celebration. He decided to have it on the “High Rooftop Lounge” (as it is called) of Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach. I had never heard or been to this small hotel. Apparently, it used to be a dingy Best Western. Dingy Best Western no longer! It is now a chic, funky, and colorful (literally) little spot that I really hope to visit more often. The décor of the hotel is so Venice Beach. It full on has graffiti-type murals on some of its walls. Check out the awesome mural that is right at the entrance of the hotel:

Hotel Erwin
But what really makes this boutique hotel special is the “High Rooftop Lounge” that Jose had his soiree at. It is (obviously) on the roof of the hotel with 360-degree views of all of Los Angeles, including the beach. Seeing all of the twinkling city lights, and the moon shining over the ocean, made me feel a bit better last night. Plus the weather was nearly perfect. When it got chilly, we could migrate toward the heat lamps, or onto the couches that were adorned with white fluffy blankets (pretty amazing). The servers there were also very attentive, and thankfully, the bartenders made some pretty strong drinks. I really liked this place and hope to come back. There are so many great spots like this in LA that I’ve never visited. I am REALLY going to try and expand my horizons and check some new stuff out, (and then share it with you all, of course!). So, I highly recommend that you visit this little gem of a hotel. I was lucky enough to enjoy it last night while surrounded by good friends. Thanks to those who were there who really helped me have “fun”, or at least as much fun as I can have at this point. Oh, and happy birthday boo bear!

For more details on Hotel Erwin, check out their website:  http://jdvhotels.com/hotels/venicebeach/erwin/