Monday, January 28, 2013

The Morrison

I was practicing my pipes today in Griffith Park (I think that's reason #11 I love GP!), and my stomach was rumbling as much as my drones. I remembered that The Morrison (on Los Feliz across from my fave running store A Runner's Circle) had opened, and I took the high road directly there.

The Morrison is all about Scottish food. Well, traditional fare, plus cocktails and 40 craft beers. But, I was definitely there for the chow!

Here you see my Soft Scotch Egg on kale, and Cock-A-Leekie Soup with garlic dumplings. Both were phenomenal! If you've never had a Soft Scotch Egg, it is a soft-boiled egg wrapped in sausage - venison in The Morrison's dish - then breaded and deep fried. DELISH! Other versions have a harder-boiled egg, but the soft-boiled is definitely my way to go. Cock-a-leekie soup - chicken and leeks - is fun to say. And, quite tasty to boot.

The Morrison is a class act, too. Did you notice the white roses and thistle in the vase? Nice touch!

Everything on the menu sounded wonderful, from the salmon trio appies, to the haggis sliders and the bread pudding. I look forward to eating my way through them all! Who wants to take the trip to Scotland with me?!

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

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Danny's Venice Beach

I haven't been back to Venice since my March 2010 post. I'm here today to take a walking adventure with Vintage Venice Tours. Wow, did I ever learn about the little town I called home for six years.

I didn't know that there were 16 miles of canals in 1905. They were built by Abbot Kinney both to drain the marshland and to recreate the vibe of Venice, Italy. There were roller coasters and other amusements, swimming pools, dance halls and theaters. It was a wild time!

Most of the canals only lasted through 1929, when the City of Los Angeles decided Venice needed paved roads, and the canals were filled in. The remaining few south of Venice Boulevard still survive if you want to get a taste of what once was. All the other Kinney attractions were closed in 1946 when LA decided the beach needed widening. HUH?!

I also paid little attention to the abundance of murals throughout Venice, most of them painted by Rip Cronk. If you've seen the Jim Morrison mural, that's Cronk's work. I'll never look at Venice the same way!

All this history comes together nicely at Danny's Venice Beach on Windward Avenue (the heart of Kinney's Venice) and Speedway. When you walk in, look up to see the last original gondola dating back to 1904. Then check out all the cool artwork and vintage flyers, posters, photos, postcards and brochures scattered about. As expected, there's a Cronk mural in the back corner, so you get to eat surrounded by Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin and a host of other stars. How many can you identify?!

And, then there's the food. Continuing with the historic theme, I went with the Famous Venice Plunge Sandwich, named after the world's largest indoor saltwater pool and originally located by Danny's spot. French dip with Danny's own potato chips. Delish!!

Check out Vintage Venice's tours and Danny's, as it makes for quite the tag team afternoon.

Click here to go to Danny's Web site.

Click here to go to Vintage Venice Tours' Web site.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Elephant Hut

I busted out for lunch with some coworkers to Elephant Hut on Ventura Boulevard. We were looking for some tasty Thai food, and Elephant Hut lived up to expectations.

This is one of their lunch specials, Hot Basil Leaves, with hot basil, bell pepper, onion, garlic, Thai chili and chicken. Plus rice, and veggie soup and salad to start. All for $10, before tax and tip. I'll make the trek back to the Hut again, soon I hope!

Click hear for Elephant Hut's Web site.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Two weeks ago, I was observing the Mayan Apocalypse at a private event. (While there, I learned that I need to get a cat, and rescue-kitty adoption is in process. You know you'll hear more about this as it evolves!) Since we made it through the Mayans, tonight I'm moving on to zombies. How to Survive A Zombie Apocalypse is quite the learning experience, too!

The crew at Theater Asylum tells us how to survive in a seminar format offered by the School of Survival. School head Dr. Bobert Dougash and his crack team - a military-style survivalist, a scientist, and a regular guy - taught us in a totally fun way. Using the name tags we - the audience/seminar takers - all put on when we walked in, if you got an answer wrong, you ripped the name tag off because you would not have survived! Right off the bat, left-handers and vegetarians/vegans are doomed. (Most tools are made for right-handers, and the vegs require too many supplements already.) If you had a choice between a gorilla and a giraffe for your defense, unless you chose the giraffe you ripped your tag off. (The giraffe can run 50 miles an hour, and you can use his neck to climb up and escape the zombies.) I went with the gorilla, so I did not survive. And, if a vampire could be on your fighting squad, you are home free! (The vampire is already dead, plus the zombies are depleting his food supply, so he's ticked off!) The team also took questions from the audience and improvised to answer the scenarios. These were quite creative and hysterical!

How to Survive A Zombie Apocalypse is extended to February 24. Note that my performance was filled with tweens and teens, and it was totally family-friendly. Don't expect any blood or brains. Get your schooling on while you can!

Click here to go to Theater Asylum's Web site.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blaze Pizza

I went to the Vroman's (see August 2011 post) on Colorado for 2013 calendars and a cruise through the aisles for some good reading. I scored on "Guitar Zero: The Science of Becoming Musical at Any Age" by Gary Marcus, and learned my new buzz phrase: deliberate practice. Imagine if you practice mostly on your weaknesses, instead of just the fun stuff! Although it is geared to learning and playing music, that approach could really apply to anything.

My next score was Blaze Pizza, at Vroman's El Molino corner. Their distinction is super thin crust that is "fast fire'd" with your choice of toppings. This is the Veg Out with zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella, crumbled gorgonzola and red sauce dollops. The drink in the back is blood orange lemonade. Delish!! Blaze Pizza's tag line is "there's no wrong way to play." I mostly subscribe to that idea, although with my deliberate practice, my play is only going to get better and better!

Click here to go to Blaze Pizza's Web site.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Rose Parade 2013

It's New Year's Day, 2013. Not quite sure how it happened, but here we are. As I've posted before (January 2010 floats post, and December 2011 South Pasadena float sneak-peek), the Rose Parade floats line-up an easy walk from my apartment. This year's theme was especially fun: "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" Thanks, Dr. Seuss, for refocusing my CruiseDirectorLA goals for the year. Oh, the places we will go in 2013! Let me know if you want to join in the fun.

Click here for the Rose Parade's Web site.