Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble Tov at Billy's Deli & Cafe

Gobble Tov! Happy Thanksgivukkah or Hanukkagiving! Whatever you want to call it, today's the rare convergence of Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah, and an awesome excuse/opportunity to really load up at the dinner table.

I last posted on Billy's Deli & Cafe in August, 2010. Although I've returned since then, today seemed like a great time to do a follow-up entry. Here you see Billy's traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with my bonus side of potato pancakes. Yes, that would be potato pancakes, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes for the full-on starch trifecta! Note that there was also green salad, chicken noodle soup and pumpkin pie bookending this spread. Wow, good thing I took a stroll around Griffith Park beforehand, because it was food coma and Twilight Zone afterward.

How did you celebrate either or both holiday?!

Click here to go to Billy's 2010 post.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

I'm not a huge fan of ballet, or dance in general, as a way to tell a story, but mention Matthew Bourne and I'm there! Matthew very creatively reinterprets classic dance pieces, and he's worked wonders with Sleeping Beauty, at the Ahmanson Theater now through December 2. Spoiler alert: this version includes vampires!

Sleeping Beauty completes the Tchaikovsky ballet trifecta, joining Swan Lake and The Nutcracker in the fun. I've seen all three plus his adaptations of Cinderella, The Car Man (based on the opera Carmen), and Edward Scissorhands. All were terrific! Sleeping Beauty added a new production feature to the mix - a puppet. And this puppet had the audience cracking up and cheering.

This version has enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes. However, in the end, love saves the day. Isn't that a great takeaway for all of us?

Click here to go to Sleeping Beauty's ticketing site.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mohawk Bend

Does this look like recovery food to you?! Call it what you will, but I just completed a 5K, and I need to get my healing on. See, this length is a challenge for me, as I'm more of a distance and interval kind of runner.

Anyway, I'm here at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park with a chum, and, whatever excuse it takes, we're sharing the Elvis French Toast - words don't exist to properly describe the warm peanut butter syrup - and the Huevos Divoricados chilaquiles with fried eggs, black beans, avocado and queso fresco over the tortilla chips. Delish, and a perfect balance of sweet and savory!

Mohawk Bend is situated in a 100-year-old renovated vaudeville theater, and the crowd was quite animated. While waiting to be seated, a bouncer-type asked "are you here for the beer?" while extending a wristband. Silly guy, I guess he assumed I was legal. Several tables had the little beer taster glasses, and folks were enjoying their brews.

Mohawk Bend could become a new fave. Who's with me?!

Click here to go to Mohawk Bend's Web site.

Friday, November 8, 2013

La Monarca Bakery

I'm running errands, and I need to refuel before dealing with Trader Joe's and my other stops. La Monarca Bakery by the Mission Goldline station is the perfect solution! Here you see my chicken mole cazuela, with smashed pinto bean spread and Cotija cheese, on the crusty roll baked in-house. And the drink? Mango hibiscus tea. Delish!

La Monarca also has self-serve cases of pan dulce with concha rolls and other breads, plus trays of cookies and sweets at the counter. I tried the pumpkin empanada. Yum! While I was waiting in line, one of the crew members brought out warm-from-the-oven croissants and shared samples with everyone. Apparently, this is a regular activity, as one of the other patrons gave a "thanks, but no thanks, I had a slice earlier" reply to the kind offer.

South Pas is the fourth location, with other spots in Huntington Park, Commerce and Santa Monica. I can't yet speak for the other shops, but this one is comfortable and welcoming, with colorful Day of the Dead and calaca-style artwork on the walls. It's a great addition to our little 'hood!

Click here for La Monarca's Web site.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day of the Dead, 2013

Day of the Dead, 2013. I haven't celebrated since 2010.  (Click here for that post.) Self Help Graphics has now relocated the festivities to Boyle Heights, with easy access from the Pico/Aliso Goldline station. It was great to be back!

This year, instead of just gawking at the other attendees, I got my calaca on and had my face painted. I love the sparkles and the seemingly braces-inspired markings! Also, note my DOD ringer t-shirt. The designer took pictures, as she said she hasn't seen this t-shirt version in years!

I also checked out the altars and artwork, chowed on pupusas and pan de muerto, and heard some great music. I loved it! Who's with me next year?!

Click here for Self Help Graphic's Web site.