Posts Tagged ‘john’


March 9, 2010 2 comments

Back from a much-needed mini-vacation to the Pacific Northwest.  Seeing family and exploring the city was marvelous.  With me I brought back 1. a cold, 2. some pretty cool photos, 3. a crackbrained idea that I too can win the jackpot at the penny slots, and 4. an unhealthy longing for coffee and triple coconut cream pie.

…and pizza, and crumpets, and Greek food, and salumi, and brioche breakfast buns, and coffee.  Did I mention the coffee?  Ya, it’s cliché, but they make outrageously good coffee in Seattle.  Maybe overcast weather is conducive to good coffee.

The afternoon we arrived, cousin Roxy and her fiancé Joe took us for lunch to Dick’s.  Dick’s, they described, is Seattle’s version of In-n-Out.  The menu is pretty purist – burgers, burgers with cheese, fries and drinks.  Dick’s was pretty good, but it ain’t no In-n-Out!  I’m biased, sue me.

Trying to get some sightseeing in before meeting up with the rest of the family that evening, they took us to a park in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle which had a spectacular view of downtown.

Roxy and Joe!

We went and paid respects to the master and his son.  The buried at Lakeview cemetery have the most rockin’ view evah!  Visit sometime, you’ll see.

They took us to the Pike Place Public Market.  I vaguely remember visiting this place when I was younger.  This time around, we came with a laundry list of food to try.

I wish we had something like this close to home.  And looking at the photo above, I wish I had more of an upper lip, but I digress.  Back to the food.

Beechers.  Great cheese.  That is all.

Piroshky, Piroshky… I was not impressed.  But maybe it was because we ordered the wrong thing or was just too full from breakfast at the Crumpet Shop.

Speaking of…   They are sort of like English Muffins, with nooks and crannies, but are made with a batter instead of a dough.  The crumpet-maker dude at The Crumpet Shop was so awesome.

Behold, the first Starbucks.  This is the first one – of 16,635 stores in 49 countries.

Brioche buns and a Caffé Vita soy latte at Belle Epicurean just a block down and over from our hotel.  The best breakfast known to mankind.

We spent most of our money on food at Tom Douglas’ restaurants.  We ate at…

Lola.  Greek food.  Late night menu is awesome.  I ache for their pork honey-harissa kebabs.

Dahlia Bakery.  Things to try:  house-made donuts, fried to order with dipping sauces and the triple coconut cream pie.  That pie will make you think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

And Serious Pie.  And they are exactly that.  Seriously.  Good.  Pie.  That there is a guanciale, soft egg and arugula pie and their cherry bomb peppers and sweet fennel sausage pie. Excuse me while I wipe the drivel from my chin.

Over at Pioneer Square, we made a pilgrimage to Salumi.  People, believe me when I say that you’ve never tasted salumi until you’ve tasted Armandino’s salumi.

The made us a Moffo.

And it made our tummies happy.

Then we went to Zeitgeist and had another latte.

A trip to Seattle would be incomplete if you don’t stop by the Space Needle.

And you should definitely visit the Experience Music Project.  That there is a tornado of geetars.  And I guess a keyboard accidentally got sucked in.

And since Jimi Hendrix was a Seattle native, they had a bunch of his stuff.  This is his address book.  Crazy.  Jimi had pretty good penmanship.

We had an absolutely wonderful time there.  More [non-food-related] photos here and a video here.  Now off to find a good latte in LA.  Ta ta for now.

Categories: here and there Tags: , , ,

Pho Ya!!!

January 27, 2010 2 comments

[A posting by JOHN – I’m sure you can tell.  The photos are better and the copy is funnier.]

What the Pho.  Ap-Pho-tizing.  Pho King.  Fee fi Pho fum.  Okay that’s enough I’ll start already.

Since I’m on hiatus and income is short, I’ve been cooking a lot.  Home cooking saves a lot of money and for me is very challenging.  Sometimes I cry, sometimes I scream, sometimes I cheat, but in the end I’ve created something from a bunch of stuff and it’s edible.  Recently I made Pho for the first time.  Growing up, my parents made it all the time but I never bothered to learn how.  I’m an eater not a cooker, lover not a fighter, driver not a walker.  I just knew it took a long ass time and I had to skim the fat off the top of the broth.  That was my job, I was good at it.  We never had oily Pho in my house.  Never.  Instead of asking them how to make it, I looked up a recipe online.  I figure I would take a shot at it first and perfect it based on their suggestions.  Here’s how I did it.

First you have to get all your spices ready.  I used cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, star anise, and cloves.  I couldn’t find any cardamom so I excluded it.  You can also get a Pho packet that has all the spices you need.  That’s easier.

Second, I started to broil the onion and ginger.  Add a little olive oil to it and put it on the top rack of the oven and watch the magic happen, it’ll take about 10-15 minutes for that magic to happen.

Third, you have to start making the stock.  I used oxtail for this.  Why did I use oxtail?  Because I like oxtail.  I am sure you can use other parts of the cow if you want. I boiled it first for 10 minutes, threw out the water, and put it back in a pot with new water.

Fourth, add the spices, onion, ginger, and beef into that pot of new water and let it simmer for about 3 hours.  You can add some sugar and fish sauce to taste.

Once it’s done, boil some Pho noodles, add mint, basil, bean sprouts, rare steak (sliced thin) and enjoy.  Add hoisin sauce and Sriracha to taste.

My first attempt at Pho wasn’t even close to how good my parents made it.  Next time I’ll probably use a few more pieces of oxtail, keep the original water, and let it simmer with the ginger and onion for a couple hours and ad the spices in the last hour.  I hope your mouths are watering now, oh it’s so good.

Categories: home, john, milestones, num yummies Tags:

The LA County Fair

October 8, 2009 2 comments

A couple of weekends ago, John and I along with our friends Viet and Helen headed over to the LA County Fair because I had a jones for a chili dog.  Ok, not for that reason entirely, but it was a huge motivating factor.  As is obvious from the images below, in addition to the chili dog, we also had a giant smoked turkey leg and an equally ginormous corn dog for breakfast that day.


Because we were in Pomona and it was a thousand degrees out, the four of us decided to check out the Dr. Pepper van which looked to be air-conditioned.  While inside, Viet decided to spin some vinyl.  He so multi-talented.


Now fairs are well-known for fair food – overly sweet, huge-portioned and fatty fried goodies.  Unfortunately, low on sugar and starving because he was “pacing” himself earlier, John was talked into trying a deep-fried White Castle burger.  Uhmmmmm…big mistake.  I think we would’ve been better off having the porkchop on a stick or the Mexican funnel cake, which is believe is one long twisty churro. Maybe an even better choice would’ve been the “zucchini-weenie” where he could’ve at least gotten a [fried] serving of vegetables.


After White Castle-gate, we decided to hoof it over to the section of the fair where the farm animals were to hopefully try to catch the cow-milking demo.  We missed it and instead caught the “goat-milking nazi”  She flipped out when the kids – who were supposed to come up one at a time to have a try at milking the goat – came up without being called.  Ok, I understand her concern.  These are animals who could potentially freak out and kick someone, but come on.  Maybe my opinion will change when I have my own kids and don’t want their teeth knocked out by some goat but for now, I think she should lighten up.

boat-milking nazi

We also went into this big red barn with tons of animals.


It was super crowded and we lost John amidst all the sheeple [sheep and people].  Eventually though, we found him.


We ended our day with a pig race and a visit to yet another section that housed little piggies and baby goats.  While there, a baby goat fell in love with Viet.  Helen was mortified.  Not because another “person” was vying for Viet affection, but because he let this happen.


Categories: friends, john Tags: ,

Tee Hee

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

…is really not a sound that is commonly uttered by grown men.  Last night however, the relative position of the celestial bodies must have been in such a way that curious, peculiar and just plain-old extraordinary things must have been happening all over the world.  Because last night, my friends, “tee hee” happened.

Some of our friends so graciously pooled together their hard-earned pesos and bought us a wedding present.  A wedding present so grand that John, most likely under some sort of conjuration caused by the aligning of the stars and mere stupefaction at the majestic, magnificent and mighty item before him, well…you know.


Categories: friends, john, wedding Tags:

Something Blue

August 4, 2009 2 comments

I wore a number of blue items on my wedding day.  These are my blue shoes.  Photographed by the huz.


Categories: john, wedding Tags: ,


May 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Taken 13 years ago on some rocks on a beach in Malibu, after a class field trip to the Will Geer Theater.  Jeans shorts and overalls!  It took a little finagling on John’s part to get our class advisor to stop the bus, but he got him to do it.  Now that’s talent.

we were so young

we were so young...and weighed less

Categories: milestones Tags: ,

Mastro’s, get in my belly!

April 6, 2009 Leave a comment

John and I celebrated his birthday proper-like at Mastro’s Ocean Club this past Saturday.  You know you’re getting older when birthday celebrations become low-key affairs for two, instead of club or bar extravaganzas with 50 of your closest friends.

We completely over-indulged,  ordered too much, drank too much, ate too much.  The ride home was not a good one.

John had oysters for the very first time.  He liked.  He liked so much that we were like “we should’ve ordered a dozen.”  In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t (see above mention of the ride home).  On the recommendation of a good friend who said “trust me on this one”, John ordered the bone-in filet.  Sticking to my guns, I ordered the bone-in ribeye.  Survey says?  Bone-in ribeye wins.  Never, ever doubt the ribeye.  Ever.  Trust me on this one.

the leaning tower o' left overs.  what's inside? steak, chocolate and butter cake, gorgonzola mac n' cheese, lobeter mashed potatoes, fried tomatoes.  the boos said it was the best doggie bag ever.

the tower o' left overs. what's inside? steak, three-layer chocolate cake, (formerly warm) mastro's signature butter cake, gorgonzola mac n' cheese, lobster mashed potatoes, fried tomatoes. the boos said it was the best doggie bag ever.

Categories: john, milestones, num yummies Tags: ,