Monday, December 31, 2012

Pat & Lorraine's Revisited

Back in February, I posted on a fantastic breakfast burrito at Pat & Lorraine's in Eagle Rock. It's New Year's Eve, and I have another opportunity to meet a friend for breakfast. P&L was convenient, and I had a hunch they'll serve me pancakes with a face.

Voila!! This is a pecan pancake, to boot. Delish!! I'm happy to share that the intermingling of the chocolate sauce and syrup made me super happy. What a great way to launch 2013!

Pat & Lorraine's does not have a Web site. Their street address is 4720 Eagle Rock Boulevard, Los AngelesCA 90041 and phone (323) 257-7926.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Colonial Kitchen

It's Christmas Eve, and I want breakfast. Inspired by Charles Phoenix's show last week, I want pancakes with faces!

Thanks to a recommendation, Colonial Kitchen was the destination. This place is a hoot from the first step into the door. The lobby houses a gift shoppe to get your Colonial English going (too bad it wasn't "Ye Olde Gift Shoppe), plus a nice display of beer steins and Elvis collector plates. The restrooms are marked Mr. and Mrs., so I was totally out of luck if I needed a visit.

Then comes the menu - classically old (olde?) school diner! I went with the huge Titan breakfast: pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage links, O'Brien potatoes, toast and juice. You're only seeing the highlight here. And, the waitress's face when I asked for pancakes with a face was priceless! I read it to say "Grown woman asking for a face on her pancakes..." Try it yourself and let me know how it goes!

Colonial Kitchen does not have a Web site. Their address is 1110 Huntington Drive, San Marino 91108. Phone is (626) 289-2449.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Charles Phoenix Retro Holiday Slide Show

Charles Phoenix is at it again! He has revamped his hysterical Retro Holiday Slide Show once again, this time offered in a Mammal Hall at the Natural History Museum.

As I've gushed previously, I've been a Charles fan since 2005 when I saw his slide show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. In the intervening years, I've seen Charles' Retro Holiday Slide Show three or four times, including at the Egyptian Theater, Moonlight Rollerway and Petersen Automotive Museum. And, Charles is blog post #2 when he was Master of Ceremonies at the 2009 Doo Dah Parade. In case you don't know what I'm talking about with the slide shows, Charles has tens of thousands of vintage slides that he's collected over the years. Think wacky, awkward, crazy slides of random families shot in blazing Kodachrome colors flashed on the big screen. He focuses on the choice holiday ones for the shows and provides a wonderful running commentary to connect it all together.

Tonight began with some new-fangled slide images of Charles' life. We got an insight into his youth, love of vintage cars and clothes, his first score on slides, the slide shows, then into his current food crafting phase, like the Astro-Weenie tree seen above. (I've made my version on multiple occasions!) We also heard about the genesis of cherpumple cake/pie, requesting "faces" on his pancakes, and his adventures making a Jello tree out of a parking cone. As Charles likes to say, "I know!"

Then came the show, and all the laughs! It is just as much fun the fifth (or so) time as it was the first. If you miss the Christmas season, keep an eye out for other shows. I guarantee it will be a hoot!!

Click here to go to Charles' Web site.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Akasha Restaurant

It is the seventh night of Hanukkah, and I'm invited to have "the best" latkes in Los Angeles! What a treat in store!!

As you probably know, I work at the Skirball Cultural Center, and I enjoy interacting with Jewish staff, volunteers and guests on a daily basis. That's how I heard about Akasha Restaurant in Culver City and their awesome latkes offered as part of a special Hanukkah menu.

I followed the lead of my hostesses and ordered my latkes "extra crispy." Here you see how my potato patties arrived. DELISH! Hot and crunchy, then swirled through the cool sour cream and applesauce, they were fabulous. The bar is now set for any subsequent latkes!

Click here to go to Akasha's Restaurant.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Kentro Greek Kitchen and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

I'm back in Fullerton to see Santa Claus Conquers the Martians at the Maverick Theater (see November's post about Plan 9 from Outer Space, also at the Maverick), and I'm needing some dinner before getting my laughs on again.

On the other side of the tracks–the Maverick Theater sits by the Fullerton Metrolink station–is the delicious Kentro Greek Restaurant. Above you see their Beet Salad (with figs, manouri cheese and walnut vinaigrette), and the Braised Lamb Pita with fries. Wow! The flavors were amazing. I quickly scarfed it all down before heading back to see SCCTM.

If you don't know this flick (hooray for Santy Claus!), it is the arguably the worst Christmas movie ever made about Martians kidnapping Santa to bring joy to the green kiddies. The Maverick crew did another hilarious spin on a bad movie with this live production. Improvisations and audience participation had us all laughing from the get-go. The show has created quite the cult following, and people see it over and over again. The guy seated beside me shared that this is his sixth season of seeing the production, and he was coming back next week to catch it again. Here you see the cast with some audience members posing for Christmas pictures. Who wants to go with me next year?!

Click here to go to Kentro's Web site.

Click here for Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (the movie) to see for yourself!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Plan 9 from Outer Space at Maverick Theater

It was billed as the best play about the worst movie ever made - how could it be bad?!

Maverick Theater's production of Plan 9 from Outer Space was OUT OF THIS WORLD!! Hysterical, creative and wacky, all at the same time.

If you don't know Ed Wood's P9FOS movie, it is a mish-mash of cheezy 1950s Martians reanimating the recently dead to become zombies, with some Bela Lugosi vampire action woven in for some good fun. It was known for its horrible production values, lame effects and awful dialogue.

Maverick Theater takes it to the next level with this adaptation, making the best of the worst of P9FOS. For example, in case the action on the stage wasn't enough to keep you entertained, you could watch stage left for the techs - one with "Special" and one with "Effects" on the t-shirts - create the special effects that were projected on the screen behind the actors. For a visual sampling, think about your kitchen sink drainer reimagined as a radar detector with one of the techs twirling it around. Super creative!

Bela's vampire was crafted as a cape on a rolling coat rack. If you've watched the movie you know the scene where he walks into the couple's bedroom and just stands in the corner, with the ditzy wife screaming her head off. Just imagine this coat rack adaption!

Or, when the same ditzy wife - who was captured by a George "the Animal" Steele-esque zombie - was reintroduced to the audience as a blow-up doll and was launched by a police officer then "beach-balled" over the heads of the audience to keep her away from the Martians. Too awesome!

I could keep going, but I think you need to check them out for yourself! And, I've already bought my ticket for their production of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, which is probably the worst Christmas movie ever made. I'm so ready for another slice of Maverick cheeze!!

Click here to go to Maverick's Web site.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Printmaking Workshop at Craft and Folk Art Museum

One of the awesome things about living in LA is that you can locate a class to learn just about anything. I've found courses on animation, children's book design, storyboarding, stained glass, and black and white photo printing, just to name a few, to satisfy a curiosity about how something works. (And we can't forget my bagpipe sessions, but I won't dally on that here!) Now, I've stuck my toe into the world of printmaking, and first up is linoleum relief printing.

The Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM), across from the Tar Pits on Wilshire, offered a Printmaking Workshop this fall, and it was fantastic! About a dozen or so students, all at different levels of experience and each with his or her own idea of what to accomplish, took part. For $25 per class, we got access to all the supplies and materials to dig right in. With linoleum printing, you use a super-sharp tool like a cuticle cutter to carve out the shape, cutting away what you don't want to print. My three modified Mackintosh roses took four weeks to pull off. I'm looking forward to the spring sessions to further the pursuit of making my own WPA-style prints. Hey, if you can't buy 'em, print 'em!

Click here to go to CAFAM's Web site.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Octopus Japanese Restaurant

I busted out for lunch today with a work pal, and off we went to Octopus Japanese Restaurant in Encino for some sushi.

YUM! Here you see our eel plate, with the tasty Vegas Roll (California Roll with spicy tuna and deep-fried eel outside) in front, and fresh water eel sushi at back. We also chop-sticked our way through asparagus rolls, spicy tuna rolls, tuna and salmon sushi, and the tastebud-tingling seared garlic tuna. In short, lots of fresh, delish chow! There is so much more to sample on their menu. Who wants to join me?!

Click here to go to Octopus' Web site.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The War of the Worlds at KPCC Family Forum

I had lots of Halloween activities available this year, but I had to hear (and see!) The Long Beach Shakespeare Company's performance of The War of the Worlds at KPCC's Family Forum.

If you don't know the War of the Worlds' story, on October 30, 1938, Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast the radio drama that stirred up the listening public into believing that Martians were attacking the U.S. Told in "breaking news" format, with calls in from the field, unidentified "experts," and realistic sound effects, radio listeners panicked at the thought of interplanetary invasion. Although there were multiple mentions that this was a fictional broadcast, the majority of listeners thought it was really happening.

Tonight, it was super cool to watch the actors switching characters, making the sound effects, and attacking the imaginations of the audience. Special shout-out to Rocket Fizz for donating bags of old-school candies for us all to chomp on during said invasion.

(I didn't stick around for the discussion with Jill Tarter, who was the inspiration for Jodie Foster's character in Contact. I'm sure it would have been cool, but it was already a long day.)

Click here for the Mercury Theatre's Web site, including the broadcast of The War of the Worlds.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bob Baker's Halloween Hoop-De-Doo

I first saw Bob Baker's Marionette Theater back in March 2005, when Charles Phoenix offered a slide show there to a group from the Los Angeles Conservancy (see March 2009 post). We also got a taste of Bob's marionette mastery, including meeting Bob, taking a peek in his workshop and having ice cream in the party room.

Since then, I've heard about tough times for Bob and his puppets, including the potential sale of the Theater. I was thrilled to hear about his Halloween Hoop-De-Doo show and knew I had to go while I had a chance. It was fantastic! I sat in the adults-without-kids section (there actually were several of us there) while it was mostly parents or grandparents with toddlers. All ages had a great time, cheering and laughing for the full hour.

Here you see Dracula and Vampira (with their human companions holding the strings) entertaining the audience. We also saw multiple blacklight acts which were totally cool, plus the Purple People Eater and the Invisible Man, courtesy of Bob's troupe. And, yes, we all got ice cream in the party room afterward.

The Theater dates back to 1960, and most locals haven't seen a show since childhood. I'm going back for Bob's Nutcracker show over the holidays, while I still can. I'll hope to see you there!

Click here to go to Bob Baker's Web site.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Patakan Thai

Yum, more soft food! This time, it comes courtesy of Patakan Thai in South Pas. I forget about them with all the crazy Fair Oaks traffic, and it has been awhile since I've dined there. So glad I remembered!

This is their fantastic Pad Kee-Mow, which is flat rice noodles pan-fried with chili sauce, chicken, bean sprouts and basil. Chicken potsticker appies also hit the spot. Both so tasty and easy to chew! I'm taking about half of the noodles home with me, and I'm already looking forward to an easy lunch tomorrow.

Click here to go to Patakan's Web site.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Eddie Izzard at USC

Back in April, I posted about seeing Eddie Izzard with an awesome assemblage of Brits at the wacky What About Dick? at the Orpheum. Tonight, it was all Eddie at his one-man show at USC's Bovard Hall.

One of my chums works at USC, and she nabbed the poster you see here, which now lives on my work bulletin board. Good thing, because this must've been a secret show. I'm on Eddie's mailing list AND a Facebook liker, and I heard nothing about it through those sources. Anyhoo, I'm glad I got the inside scoop because he was hysterical!

For the Eddie fans, he was in total boy mode, with jacket and jeans. But the stream of consciousness-esque ad libbing, conversations voicing both characters–sometimes in different languages!, and sound effects that he is known for were all there in force.

Some highlights included pipe smokers–think Sherlock Holmes' scholarly pipe compared to crack pipe smokers, moles versus voles, the implications of ordering "release the kraken" from the 1981 Clash of the Titans movie, spending hours on Wikipedia  scanning for the blue text and looking for "the finger" to bounce to the next subject, the benefits of being agnostic as opposed to declaring atheism, some Latin, and "carrying the M" when doing math with Roman numerals. I'm still busting up as I type!

Click here to go to Eddie's Web site.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sweet Guy

Let the Halloween games begin! I couldn't resist this adorable chocolate cupcake covered with the fondant ghost "sheet" from Sweet Guy to get me in the spirit of things.

Sweet Guy is a fantastic new cookie shop and bakery on Ventura in Sherman Oaks; they've only been open a month or so. This cupcake was delish, as was the chocolate chip cookie my friend chose.

Sweet Guy's baked goods are all hand-decorated and range from the beautiful to the whimsical. I look forward to trying out the lemon tart when we're between seasons. Who needs an excuse to meet the Sweet Guy?!

Click here to go to Sweet Guy's Web site.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lancers Restaurant

Yesterday, I got my bottom braces installed and the uppers tightened. I'm a hurting puppy this morning, and it is really challenging to chew. My chums suggested an awesome food option: omelettes at Lancers Restaurant in Burbank.

Lancers is an old-school diner, and I'm already looking forward to poking around their menu more when I can chew. Here you see my delish Hobo omelette with bacon, sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes. Easy on the teeth and great on the taste buds!

Click here to go to Lancers' Web site.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches

Further expanding on LA's "create your own" food craze, Coolhaus steps up to the proverbial plate with some fantastic ice cream sandwiches from their food truck. (Note that pre-made treats are available at some local retail spots. Check the Web site for details.) The concept is simple: select a cookie, then ice cream, and devour.

I first encountered Coolhaus at the Zombiethon (see Halloween 2009 post), and today was a pleasant reunion. Each time, the cookie and ice cream flavors vary, depending on the season and/or whim of the culinary team. Today's cookie choices were chocolate chip, s'mores, red velvet with frosting, and potato chip and butterscotch. Ice cream flavors were brown butter and candied bacon, Makers Mark with candied peaches and pecans, dirty mint chip (mint leaves with brown sugar) and blood orange sorbet. Want to guess what I got? I won't leave you hanging: potato chip and butterscotch cookie with bacon ice cream, and it was delish!

Coolhaus regularly makes the food truck rounds, so seek them out for a super cool and tasty treat!

Click here to go to Coolhaus' Web site.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I know, more ravioli! I had an offsite lunch with my team at work, and Pizzicotto in Brentwood came up as a recommendation. Note that I'll be recommending Pizzicotto from here on!

Here you see my Ravioli di Melanzane Special, which was beet fresh pasta filled with baked eggplant and ricotta in a sauce of roasted garlic, chopped tomatoes, basil, artichoke paste, diced purple potatoes and white wine, topped with provolone cheese. I literally sopped up the sauce with some crusty bread; it was just too scrumptious to not finish every last drop.

My colleagues' pizza and pasta dishes all got thumbs-up evaluations; their plates sure looked good. And, as if we didn't have enough taste-bud overload, we shared slices of chocolate mousse cake and apple tarte. Both were delicious!

Click here to go to Pizzicotto's Web site.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Flash Festival at the Page Museum

In the spirit of Wicked Lit (see last October's post), Chalk Repertory Theatre is another company performing "classical and contemporary plays in unconventional spaces." One of their current installments is Flash Festival, with the dioramas at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits as the setting.

If you know the Page, you'll recognize these five locations for the plays: fishbowl laboratory, timeline wall, tar pull and theater, giant mammoth, and dire wolf skull wall. My favorite was an unraveling love story between two dire wolves, now represented by just their skulls. Mind you, one of the skulls was "repaired" with a piece from a third skull, and the bonus personality makes for a hilarious tale.

This run is over, but Chalk Rep has other offerings down the pike. Go see something fun!

Click here to go to Chalk Rep's Web site.

Click here to go to the Page Museum's Web site.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Star Cafe

After all the excitement of watching the awesome Endeavour Shuttle flyover with my two friends (from our terrific vantage point in the Verdugo Canyons, we got to see the retiring shuttle piggybacking on a 747 with two fighter plane escorts circle downtown LA, then head over to Griffith Park, then loop around JPL), we were famished from the woohooing, "it's coming right at us" (Airplane, anyone?), and jumping for joy – never mind the hike in AND out.

We agreed on Montrose and The Star Cafe. Give them a gold star for this delicious dish! Here you see my Asparagus and Spinach Ravioli with the chunky tomato sauce and sprinkling of parmesan. YUM! The ravioli was stuffed with the asparagus, with the sautéed spinach atop. The fresh roll sopped up the remaining tomatoes after I scarfed down the rest. A perfect meal to salute all the shuttle's trips around the stars!

The shuttle's next move is to the California Science Center. Who wants to go see it up close and personal?

Click here to go to Star Cafe's Web site.

Click here to go to California Science Center's Web site.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cirque du Soleil Iris

I haven't seen a Cirque du Soleil show since their tent was set up on the beach in Santa Monica. The latest production Iris is different in many ways, only one being the stage at the Kodak Theater versus the round arena of earlier shows.

Another way is a discernible thread, something I hadn't really picked up on earlier shows. Iris is based on the history of cinema, told in a unique way by acrobats, contortionists, and aerial artists, with a live orchestra and video projections. Also, my irises were darting all over the place trying to take it all in.

I was most impressed by the twin brothers performing the central aerial act. Jaw-gapping open impressed! Their strength and agility was amazing. One suspended brother would hold the other's wrist while spinning and spiraling overhead of the audience. And, without a net. I wonder if they take turns being the holdee and the spinee from show to show. Other scenes had Martian-esque acrobats tumbling and pyramiding on top of each other, plus gangsters trampolining as part of their fight scene. Very cool!!

This show's LA home is Hollywood & Highland, so give Iris a look when you're in the 'hood.

Click here to go to Cirque's Web site.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tom's Farms

A trip to Corona means a Glen Ivy spa visit (see August 2011 post) plus some chow at Tom's Farms. Talk about a one-two punch of goodness!! This time, I'll highlight Tom's.

If you don't know Tom's Farms, it is a collection of shops featuring produce, wine and cheese, furniture and home decor, dried fruit, candy and ice cream, plus burger and Mexican restaurants. Here you see my tasty Cowboy Burger with bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce, an onion ring, lettuce and tomato that powered me up for some other shopping – the chocolate-covered dried fruit is fabulous! – before heading back to LaLa land. Yeehaw!!

Who wants to make a run to Corona with me?!

Click here for Tom's Farms' Web site.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles

Have you heard about Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles? In a revamped warehouse near the Port of San Pedro, Crafted is a hodgepodge of artisans selling their wares in little market stalls. Remember my Handmade post from December? It's like that, only with food options as a bonus.

OK, so here's my take: red velvet cakepop from Cake Bar; macaroons from Soft Peaks - are you ready for these flavors: Apple Pie, Lemon Acai, Chocolate Chocolate, Raspberry Kettle Korn(!), and Salted Caramel; leather necklace and ring (you can't really see it but it's there) from Leather E; paper-ribbon flower pin from California Bungalow; and grapefruit sorbet body lotion from Skin Like Butter. Oooh la la!

Crafted is currently open Friday through Sunday. They have artist demonstrations, food trucks and musical performances throughout the day. I'm definitely going back, because not all of the artists were there today. I gotta see what else they have!

Click here to go to Crafted's Web site.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shakespeare in Griffith Park

Add another attraction to my Griffith Park rave list: free Shakespeare performances (#10 and counting!). Thanks to the Independent Shakespeare Company (ISC) and a number of community organizations, you can get your culture on at no cost through Labor Day!

On the grassy glen near the Old Zoo caves (see December 2009 post), ISC has been performing "The Winter's Tale," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and "The Comedy of Errors" to packed crowds this season. I've seen - and heard them laughing - when I've been hiking in the evenings. I decided to finally see "Dream" on a whim after work, so I grabbed some grub from Whole Foods and found a seat out on the lawn for my picnic and the play. What fun! I'm bummed that I didn't make it out earlier.

Sorry for the late notice, but who wants to see "Errors" with me?!

Click here to go to Independent Shakespeare Company's Web site.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

De Temps Antan at the Skirball

Working at the Skirball Cultural Center, I get to see fabulous world music on a regular basis. These guys - De Temps Antan - are my latest faves I "discovered" at the Skirball. Eric Beaudry, Andre Brunet and Pierre-Luc Dupuis SOUND like they have more musicians in the band because they use their FEET for percussion. How fun to see them singing and jamming on the guitar, fiddle and accordion while the tootsies are clomping, stomping and clogging at a blurring speed! The Quebecers sang in French, but it didn't matter. The crowd was clapping and cheering because the music was so invigorating. Go see them!!

Click here to go to De Temps Antan's Web site. Note it is in French!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

See's Scotchmallow

I'm getting braces in the morning. Apparently, "as we get older" our teeth can shift. Great! And, once they start shifting, they usually keep on moving. Fabulous!

Knowing I'm not supposed to have anything sticky or chewy for the next year or so, it's last call tonight. See's Scotchmallow – with the delicious and off-limits combination of caramel and marshmallow – answered the call.

If you don't know Scotchmallow, it is a layer of buttery caramel topped with soft marshmallow and dipped in dark chocolate. Yummy! Scotchmallow is my favorite from See's; no other chocolate can stack up. And I have four of them to stock up on tonight.

Scotchmallow, I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Click here to go to See's Scotchmallow page.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Orange Country Roadtrip

I know, I usually don't consider a run to the OC as a roadtrip - especially after the gazillion miles of roadtrip I just experienced - but this run covered lots of miles in two days and I experienced a wide variety of fun things.

Why OC, you ask?! A friend from 7th grade was coming to Anaheim from Ohio for a conference, and she had planned some time to just hang. I coordinated with a local friend also from 7th grade - the three of us met in the lunch line the first day of junior high - and we planned a trip. Let the fun begin!

First stop was Pee Wee's Famous Hot Dogs and Hamburgers in Huntington Beach. Who remembers my Cee-dee's Big Adventure, inspired by Pee-wee Herman? Yep, this meal was triggered by their name. However, once I saw the menu and selections, the name outfront was secondary.

Here you see my Chupacabra (what a name!) double bacon wrapped Polish hotdog buried under avocado, crema, queso fresco and pico de gallo, with sweet potato tater tots, and lavender limeade. Do I really need to explain the explosion of flavors?! DELISH!!

Fully powered-up, we head next to the Fullerton Arboretum for some walking in nature while the blood returned to our extremities. In addition to some ducks, a variety of cacti and succulents, and lots of botanicals, this is the coolest tree I've seen in ages: a Banyan (from India and Pakistan) that "forms aerial roots from branches to the ground" per the little placard. Can you say trippy upside-down tree?!

Next we head to Laguna Beach, hoping to score on some last-minute tickets to the Pageant of the Masters. It was sadly sold-out, so we decided to find a place for some beachfront dining. Yes, more food! At the Dana Point Harbor, we chowed on Jolly Roger's appetizer sampler with stuffed potato skins, hot wings, calamari, zucchini, onion rings, cheese quesadilla and garlic bread while further catching up on lots of years and lots of stories. After licking the platter, we head back to the hotel.

After a slumber party with more yacking and laughing way into the wee hours - just like when we were teens - we need some more food. Since Slater's 50/50 is close by (see post from last April), we knew our out-of-towner had to experience the build-your-own-burger trend taking over southern California. This time, I went with their predesigned Peanut Butter and Jellousy burger with bacon, peanut butter and strawberry jelly. (See Mo's Foggybottom Burger post from October, 2010 for some background.) YUM! What really caught my eye was the Bacon Brownie on the dessert menu, which you see pictured above. I'd been craving a REALLY GOOD brownie for several weeks, and this one totally met the challenge. With that, our conference attendee headed back to her hotel, and the LA-ers headed back to the other side of the Orange Curtain. But, the OC left its mark on all of us, and I think we'll be back!

Click here for Pee Wee's Web site.

Click here for the Arboretum's Web site.

Click here for Jolly Roger's Web site.

Click here for Slater's 50/50's Web site.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gus's Barbecue

If you've driven up or down Fair Oaks in South Pasadena at night, you can't miss Gus's Barbecue's neon sign with the chickens and pigs racing around the edge, lighting up as they go, enticing you in. They are a South Pas institution with more than 60 years of serving comfort food under their belts. I've been visiting for most of my 11 years here.

Expanding my belt, I went with the chicken and pig options for dinner tonight. This is the Chicken & Two Meat Combo, with BBQ chicken, smoked sausage and pulled pork. YUM! Notice that I selected the greens - instead of the sweet potato fries I really wanted - in an attempt to be "healthy." There is no pretense about the health benefits of the mac and cheese!

Gus's went from red-checked oilcloth tablecloths and paper napkins to nice booths and real linens in the last couple of years. I am pleased to report that their service has caught up to their new look and feel since my prior visit. I preferred the vibe when it was a dive, but I'm looking forward to going back!

Click here to go to Gus's Barbecue's Web site.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Waffle

I was meeting a friend at the Arclight in Hollywood for a movie, and we needed some chow beforehand. I noticed The Waffle's inviting sign outfront, so off we went. One-stop parking on Sunset Boulevard is always a bonus!

The Waffle's menu is definitely diner-based, with some ramped-up selections. Biscuits and gravy, of course, but how about their red velvet waffle for some variety? If I was really feeling the trailer park side of me, I would have strayed to the Double Wide menu with meatloaf, grilled cheese or fried chicken served on waffles. Wow!

I went with the Waffle Breakfast Sandwich: two sunny-side up eggs, bacon and cheddar cheese between the waffles, with - of course - waffle fries. Next time, I'm going with some fruit to prevent my full-on carb load. But, there will be a next time. Who's in the mood for waffles, regular or premium?!

Click here to go to The Waffle's Web site.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Escape

I wanted to keep My Escape in South Pasadena as my little secret, but I also think you should experience Tina Yee's fantastic facials and treatments for yourself. I always get the "you look so relaxed" comments afterward, no matter how exhausted I really am. Need I say more?!

I heartily recommend her facials and waxing treatments. Her space is so relaxing and technique so gentle that I hardly even feel the stray eyebrow hairs being "tamed." The same goes for the difficult clogged pores, but I won't elaborate. As a matter of fact, I should probably call her now for an appointment - before I see all of you there!

Click here to go to My Escape's Web site.

Monday, July 9, 2012


It was time to finally try out redwhite+bluezz in Old Town Pasadena. When a friend offered to meet in my 'hood for dinner, I jumped at the opportunity to give them a shot.

Wow, I thought they were just music and burgers, but there's so much more! Here is my the first attempt from the cheese and charcuterie flight choices. Think Garanimals with cheese and sausage, mixing and matching all the options. The cheeses are sorted by the milk source: cow, pig, or goat, then the charcuterie offers both meat source of cow or pig, then either Spain or Italy as the location. What you're seeing (from left to right) is sopressata salami (pig from Italy), then pamplona chorizo (cow and pig from Spain) and sage derby cheese (sheep from England). Note that there are more than 20 cheeses to choose from and four charcuterie. There are also pre-planned tasting flights if you are decision challenged. Intermixed is crunchy breads, plus nuts and dried cranberries to further tempt the taste buds.

Now, while all this is going on, there's also live jazz. Plan on having all your senses engaged when you visit.

I'm ready to go back. Who's with me?!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen

One of my besties now living near San Diego was in town for work. She was staying in Century City, so we met up at the Mall for some shopping, gabbing and eating. Our choice was RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen. What a delish decision!

First off, the setting is fabulous! There is a fun patio area with comfy seating around enclosed fire pits. Bamboo and Buddhas fill the space, and there was no problem awaiting the table while getting the chatting started.

The menu was impressive, and we quickly decided to go with the Chef's Tasting Menu with its five courses and 10 flavors for $38 each. We got to select three appetizers, a salad, two main dishes, two sides and two desserts. Wow!

Now, to be clear, we thought "tasting" was more tapas-sized portion, and the appetizers were reasonably sized. After we loaded up there, everything else was full-on servings. Note to self: pace yourself next time around!

Here you see our appetizer choices: Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls, Lacquered BBQ Ribs, and Crunchy Calamari. Next up was Grapefruit Jicama Salad, Princess Chicken (my fave: tempura-dipped chicken breasts with Thai chillies, peanuts and palm sugar glaze) and Malaysian Salmon for our main dishes, then Asparagus with Green Beans and Ginger Fried Rice (with a sunny-side up egg on top!) for sides. Finally, Caramelized Banana Custard Cake and Warm Coconut Doughnuts for dessert. As you can guess, we each took home a full box for lunch the next day.

Have I inspired you to give RockSugar a try?! I'm on my way!

Click here to go to RockSugar's Web site.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Glen Campbell at the Hollywood Bowl

Glen Campbell was my first pretend boyfriend. You regular readers know about my wildly varied PBFs, and you can take note that the musician thingy started with Glen and his Goodtime Hour television show. (Derek Longmuir from the Bay City Rollers kicked off both the Scottish and drummer thingies for those really keeping track!)

When I heard Glen had Alzheimer's Disease and was doing a Goodbye Tour, I had to find a show. Luckily, he was performing at the Hollywood Bowl as the final LA performance.

The first half of the concert was all tribute, with Jackson Browne, Kris Kristofferson and the rest of the bunch performing classic Glen tunes and sharing tales of his impact on Elvis, the Beach Boys and The Monkees. The second half was all Glen, who was still the guitar maestro of his hey-day. It turned into a sing-along, with the packed Bowl audience chiming right in to the hits. My fave is "Try A Little Kindness," and the words come out from the depths of my musical rolodex. It was awesome! Glen had a few slip-ups, but his guitar playing was amazing, and his kids in the band kept him on the mark. So glad I got to see the show, and hear "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," and all his other tunes live. Thank you, Glen, for all the memories!

Click here to go to Glen's Web site.

Click here to learn more about Alzheimer's.

Monday, June 18, 2012


First day back from the roadtrip, and what do I do? Meet up with three friends from Indiana at a place called Home, of course!

And yes, Home works the "there's no place like Home" line. Mind you, I've now invested lots of miles into Kansas, and I ate nothing like this. Here you see my Beets and Pear Salad with chicken, caramelized walnuts, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. YUM! My chums - who hadn't carnivored a huge variety of pig products all across America - enjoyed "home-ier" sloppy joes and turkey rubens. Next time!

Home is located on Hillhurst, near Griffith Park and the Greek Theater. They have a delightful outdoor patio with shady trees and a central fountain with plastic dinosaurs surrounding the bowl. There is no place like Home!

Click here to go to Home's Web site.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Roadtrip 2012: Williams, AZ

My last day on the road after a night in Holbrook, Arizona. I'm bummed that the teepees are sold out, as that would be a fine way to cap off the trip.

As if I hadn't eaten enough pork across America, I was craving a good BLT. This one from Goldie's Route 66 Diner in Williams, Arizona near the Grand Canyon did the trick. The secret was a zingy horseradish sauce, and marble rye always wins me over! Only a few hours left now until I can park Lovey in her regular spot.

Twelve states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana going north and east, and Illinois, Missouri and Kansas heading south and west until reconnecting in Oklahoma) and 4,600+ miles of fun across America are coming to an end. Who's up for the next one?!

Goldie's does not have a Web site. Street address is 425 E. Route 66 in Williams.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Roadtrip 2012: Kansas and Shamrock, TX

Today I decided to take the scenic route through Kansas. For a change, I got to drive behind tractors and Army caravans, cruise through small towns and see farmlands and storm clouds up close. But, no Dorothy or tornadoes!

Kansas led me back to Oklahoma City and Route 40, and I'm getting my Irish on in Shamrock, TX, again, for the night!

This is the U-Drop Inn, inspiration for Ramone's body shop in the animated "Cars" movie and an awesome example of Route 66 classic architecture.

And after all the pig products, Cicero's Green Frog Pizza and their veggie pizza - no frog legs, I am assuming - sure hit the spot.

Cicero's Green Frog Pizza does not have a Web site. Street address is 911 North Main Street, Shamrock.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Roadtrip 2012: Cuba, Missouri

On the road again! After a late start this morning - had to recover from the drive-in, after all - I'm heading to St. Louis and beyond. (Note to self: the last White Castles are in St. Louis for a final fix before heading west!) As dinner time approached, I paid more attention to the wacky billboards alongside the freeway. How could I not pull over for Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q? (He looks like the Superhick from my high school's 1971 state Final Four basketball team, but that's another story.)

Missouri barbecue is different from Memphis barbecue. Missouri is all about the smoking versus the sauce. It was my duty to give it a taste before I could comment here.

This is the Hick sampler: pulled pork, brisket and ribs served sauceless, with seven sauces to choose from, with potato salad and baked beans. YUMMM!! Final evaluation: I like Memphis and Missouri pig versions equally!

Outside Cuba heading back to the freeway, I spotted this Route 66 rockin' icon.

I stopped tonight in St. Robert, Missouri and was lucky to get a room since graduation was happening at the nearby Fort Leonard Wood Army base.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roadtrip 2012: Georgetown Drive-in

After several whirlwind days of Relaying, White Castles and Culver's Butter Burgers, zombie-watching marathon of "The Walking Dead," Jeep fine-tuning courtesy of my brother, playing "It's A Long Way to the Top" on pipes with my nephew on guitar, and rummaging through Mom's attic for some long-neglected treasures, my final Indiana activity was the Georgetown Drive-in. We grew up going to the drive-in both with our Dad while he was working and later with our friends. This is a super-fun activity I've missed over the years, and my rockin' nephew came along for his first drive-in opportunity.

They were playing some good movies as you can see. We went with "Prometheus" and "Snow White and the Huntsman," for the bargain price of $9.

Have you ever been to a drive-in? These old-school speakers provide the sound, or you can also listen over your car radio. I don't know why you would, but you could. I won't spill any beans, but this is a shot from "Prometheus." Go see both these films, at a drive-in if you can find one!

Click here to go to Georgetown Drive-in's Web site.