Friday, August 03, 2007

Wally’s 4th Annual Central Coast Wine & Food Celebration

This Sunday marks the next (4th) annual Central Coast Wine & Food Celebration at Wally's Wine in West LA.

Remember last year?

Yeah, I pretty much gorged myself on treats from Spago, Hitching Post, Bouchon, Lucques, AOC, Sona, Sushi Roku, Campanile, Wolfgang Puck, Literati II... and they'll all be back... along with B.L.D., Mozza, Hungry Cat and several others.

Oh, and one can't forget the wine... Sea Smoke, L’Aventure, Linne Calodo, Saxum, Ambullneo, Clos Mimi, Brewer-Clifton and Alban among others. Looks like I'll be walking home...

Click here for tickets

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Playa Del Carmen - Part Uno

Last week I took a much-needed vacation and even managed to pull the technology heroin needle out of my arm. No phone, no laptop, no email, no blackberry, no watch, no anything that could remotely remind me of work. Don't worry, I laid on the beach and fantasized about work, which is almost as fun as being there.

We took a trip to a city I instantly fell in love with - Playa del Carmen - and stayed at a cool little hotel - Hotel Deseo, which I also loved (even though you need earplugs to fall asleep).

We ate, we drank, we walked around, we shopped. I got AT LEAST two shades darker. And while most of my vacations center around good food, this one was more about a good beach.

That said, this is a food blog, not a lay-on-the-beach blog, so here is a little quiz for you.
Playa del Carmen has really good:
1) Guacamole
2) Ceviche
3) Tamalas
4) Tortillas
5) Pizza
6) Margaritas
7) Salsa

Ding ding!! You guessed right. They have really good pizza. Super good, in fact... it's like, almost New York style good. Who knew.

Here's a slice of four cheese and a slice of mushroom... I also had pepperoni which was equally delicious. The place: Pizza Pazza on 12th.

OK, let's get serious. Nobody really reads these things, right? Just scroll down to see the food photos. I made a couple lazy grumblings along the way. (Geesh, I am turning into the laziest food blogger ever... please go here, here, here, or here if you want to read real food blogging that reflects time, thought and effort... I'm all out).

First up is a cute little Italian cafe called Casa Mediterranea. These people really care about they food they serve you, and they don't take credit cards. And they like to rhyme.

Complimentary Brushetta.

Roast beef with truffles and Parmesan cheese - this tasted a lot better than it looked.

Ravioli something or other doused in butter.

Gnocchi. I really love gnocchi and this one didn't have the best flavour, but it did have the best texture of any gnocchi I've ever had... like soft down baby pillows that melted in your mouth.

Overall, this was an average meal in a charming little place. If your mom cooked this for me, I would think she was a good cook. But your mom doesn't live in Playa.

Next, we went down to Tulum (Mayan ruins) and then to a really beautiful beach club (Paraiso) and then we had early dinner at Mezzanine, which is a hotel that has a Thai-flavored restaurant inside.

Umm... how can you not enjoy a restaurant when the view over your mango margarita looks like this?

MMMmmm. Mango margaritas. My favorite.

OK, I said the food was Thai-flavored, right? Not so much authentic Thai, but still relatively good. Made much better by the view of the Caribbean in the background, of course.

Chicken satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad...

Crab wontons...

Vietnamese (or Thai-ish) spring rolls with a mango chutney

(not so) spicy beef salad - completely bland...

And the big winner of the meal... lobster curry, which was a huge fresh lobster tail that was doused in a mild-but-tasty green curry. Probably the best food dish of the trip besides the pizza.

OK, I've got to drag this into another post... more to come. Yes, I did actually eat some Yucatan food when I visited the Yucatan peninsula, that's coming next.

Orange Mocha Frappucino!!

OMG! Starbucks finally released the Orange Mocha Frappucino! Freak gasoline fight accident not included.

*OK, not technically. But they have an Orange Creme Frappucino and an Orange Mocha so it is close enough. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you clearly missed the greatest comedy of all time. The end.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Frozen Faux-gurt: You Know You Want It

Dear Pinkberry -
From the looks of your homepage, you seem to be doing a decent job of crisis management (acknowledge the issue, address the issue). Exhibit A:

But Pinkberry - PLEASE - unleash the marketing expert within you - this could be the next, NEXT big thing!

At my day job, we have a motto: if you can't fix it, feature it.

And in L.A., as you've probably discovered, people love "faux."
Faux fur, faux tan, faux boobs, faux relationships, faux dessert.

Frozen Faux-gurt

Real frozen yogurt has got to be damaging to the environment or cruel to animals or something. Give people a reason to go faux, and they'll be your faux friend forever.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

B Cafe - The BEST New Spot in Town

OMG, like, where have you totally been for the past two and a half months girl?

Ummm... DUH!!!!
I've been hanging out in the coolest place ever... the B Cafe!

Haven't heard of it? Well, it's pretty new. Yah, they got super sweet grub... pizza, salad bar, cappuccino machine, fro-yo (not Pinkberry, but it's just as good).

That's me and my bf in the picture - he's pretty cool.

Pretty soon it's gonna be SO popular that you might have a hard time getting a table. But give me a heads up that you're coming and I'll be sure to save you a spot.

Meet me there!!!

p.s. yes, this is my day job... it RULES

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Peeps S'Mores

Nearly one year ago today, I photoblogged what I believe to be "the greatest dessert invention of all time," roasted Peeps. No, I'm not claiming stake to the invention of roasted Peeps - people have been doing it for many years - rather, I felt it was my DUTY, my OBLIGATION, to share such a magical creation with the world, step by step, in photographic detail.

And today, dear readers, nearly one year since I documented Peeps Flambe, I share with you the next generation, nay, the ULTIMATE Peeps recipe of all time: Peeps S'Mores.

Such remarkable genius of food invention is rarely stumbled upon while sober. In this case, we were celebrating the birthday of my seen-on-TV foodblogging friend Dylan, who may have been in a state to come up with some really creative food inventions of his own (Iron Chef Sizzler, anyone?).

I'm not sure when exactly the idea struck. I'd hear about, read about, and thought about Peeps S'Mores before. But somewhere between the Gold Mountain, Taco Bell, Ralph's, and my kitchen table, the ingredients and the will collided.

And from this point forward, I will take the voice of the Peep.

Hello there. And how are you? What say you, on such a lonely night as this, so full of longing and anticipation? Dost thou admire my coat, sparkling in a saccharine pink essence? As I sit atop a step of chocolate, I notice the fragile crumbs of graham cracker scattered delicately about. My right side exposed, naked, white. What dost thou think of this discovery?

Such warmth. Despite being skewered, so fragile and exposed, I feel the warm breath of dear Bernzo heavy upon me. Oh Bernzo. Your breath fills me with a sudden terror. You are burning me alive.

So this is how it ends... smashed between the rich and the banal in a careless embrace. Bargain basement graham crackers mock me, and yet I am melting into the finest Belgian chocolate. Conflicted. Confused. Dead.


It goes without saying that the magic of the Peep S'More is the delightful crisp and crunchy bruleed sugar that melts into the chocolate. Yes, it's decadent. Yes, it's delightfully tacky. Yes, it's pseudo-playful gourmet (I'm waiting to see this on the menu at Grace or BLD, complete with a mini campfire for the table).

It's everything I've ever wanted in a dessert, and somehow more.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Colleen Cuisine on KCRW's Good Food

Here's another little piece on Pinkberry from one of my favorite radio programs, KCRW's Good Food. Evan Kleiman interviews Jennifer Steinhauer who wrote the recent NY Times piece "Heated Competition. Steaming Neighbors. This is Frozen Yogurt?"

Jennifer, thanks for the shout out for Colleen Cuisine!

Click here to listen

(thanks Eddie for the heads up!)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Pinkberry left its wallet in El Segundo

Why, cruel world, why? I can deal with the rapidly-spreading virus that is Pinkberry infecting countless neighborhoods other than my own. But Pinkberry is getting a little too close to home with some new digs that are literally WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE of my office. I mean, if I were desperate enough, I could walk there (but I'll probably drive just so I can carry some extra back to the contraband freezer hidden under my desk).

Yes, come June, I'll be hooked up to the IV once again.

And those of you traveling from out of town can pick up a fix right on your way out of the airport.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Pinkberry Swirl is Official

Like I said back in September, it was only a matter of time before Pinkberry finally figured out that they could make money by sticking the original and green tea flavors together and calling it a "special menu item." I mean, rather than telling people "No, no you can't have the two flavors together because we don't know what to charge you for it and it's not on the menu anyways. Nee-ner-nee-ner-neeeee-ner."

However, I am a bit mystified that this will only happen until February 14th (small print: offer valid until Feb 14th, Valentine's Day).

What happens after that? Does green tea decide he's too good for plain and dump her a** for Captain Crunch?

Ita-Cho on Beverly

So, today a friend of mine asked me... "don't you have a food blog?"

And I was like, "yeah, I think so."

And she was like, "I haven't seen anything new on there in a while."

And I was like, "you know, you're right."

I kinda forgot to factor foodblogging into my Janorexia plan. Whoops.

So, this place, Ita-Cho, is pretty hit or miss. In case you couldn't tell by my utter lack of enthusiasm, I'm feeling a little dining unmotivated these days. What is up with that? Do I need an inspiring new restaurant, neighborhood, and/or food vice? Or would just one good meal do? (unfortunately, I've already blogged about Nozawa... so those two great meals I had this week won't cut it).

Harumph. Bah hamburger. Here. Food pictures.

Exhibit 1: Infinity pool sake. Jump in...

Exhibit 2: Remember that one time when people were afraid to eat spinach? Spinach sesame salad: peanut-buttery-ish. A near hit.

Exhibit 3: Broiled enoki. It's pretty hard to mess up enoki, kinda like it's hard to mess up bacon-wrapped dates. Always a hit.

Exhibit 4: Karaage. Hit. Again, it's fried chicken... did you expect it to be bad?

Exhibit 5: Miso-glazed eggplant. I used to love this dish, now I find it kind of gross. Too sweet, too mushy, like severely bruised fruit. Miss.

Exhibit 6: Maguro sashimi. BO-ring. Miss. Next.

Exhibit 7: King crab legs. Yummy. Bring it on...

How 'bout a little upskirt action?

Tally: 4 hits, 2 misses, 1 near hit.
The end.

7311 Beverly Blvd.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Is it just me, or did anyone else decide to give up food for a couple months to save for one of these things?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Random Snacking: Hannam Market

One of my favourite pasttimes is walking down the aisle of Hannam market and buying the most random stuff I can find. Sometimes you get a hit, sometimes a miss, but it's always something a little unexpected.

Like, for example, this box of frosted cookies whose package and inner wrapper seemingly promised a smily tongue face on the uppermost cookie.

There is no smiley face on the cookie. This is, however, enough trans fat to warrant a felony in the state of New York.

This is a fun little green tea cookie. The package is so cute, kind of like a zen sanitary napkin.

The green tea cookies were a hit... crispy and light with a delicate green tea flavour. If only I had finished on these instead of the last snack...

WTF. Seriously, what does this look like to you? Cause to me, it looks like a field of beautiful daisies where tiny children dance and laugh in the sunshine. Or not.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Colleen Cuisine in the LA Times

Some fun news for the LA Foodblogging community...

Tomorrow's LA Times Food Section features an article on the LA foodblogging scene, plus a great big list of local foodbloggers. Colleen Cuisine is in there - my second LA Times mention so far, yay! - and I didn't even have to talk about Pinkberry.

Oh, crap. Apparently, I am "very fond of Pinkberry."

Well, whatever... I'll take it! As you all know, I'll slut myself out to Pinkberry for media coverage anytime.

The article went live tonight on - read it here. I'll scan and post the hard copy sometime tomorrow.