the village idiot, LA.

had drinks and dinner with friends at the village idiot. their drink list features standard cocktails, each with a twist that makes it their own. i had several negronis, made with aperol instead of campari.

as far as food, standouts for me where the lamb and beef meatballs with tzatziki, and the sweet+spicy nuts. the pickled veggies, however, fell flat and were pretty bland. the fish and chips were crispy with a nice size fillet, and are a hit item.

great spot to go for a full meal, drinks, or snacks, and there’s plenty of room for a larger group.



BLD restaurant, LA.

went to BLD during dine LA, and tried their prix fixe menu. since there were four of us, four appetizers and mains, and two desserts, we got to try everything. overall the meal was solid, with good drinks. the first course was definitely the highlight of the meal, featuring bacon wrapped scallops, roasted carrot soup, grapefruit salad, and house smoked lamb.

the second course was more problematic, our fish was bland, steak was chewy, and overall was less on point. the gnocchi was good but very rich, and the short ribs were solid. dessert was also good, although i accidentally ate banana ice cream, and banana is my only absolutely hated, can’t-eat food.

i’d be interested to check out their food when they’re not doing a prix fixe promotion.

vintage enoteca, LA.

started our weekend in LA with some post-drive, happy hour wine and snacks at vintage enoteca on sunset boulevard. the spot is really cute, with a dog-friendly little patio in the front. happy hour doesn’t include wine, but all food is half price. had a delicious bottle of white, deviled eggs with bacon and caviar, and a warm shaved brussels salad with pomegrante, rosemary and garlic. i’m a huge fan of deviled eggs and there were definitely some of the best i’ve had!

science of the cocktail.

20120128-091101.jpglast week a bartender friend, christina cabrera, asked me to barback for her at the third annual science of the cocktail. the event attracts a smattering of the bay areas best bartenders, booze reps, and exploratorium supporters. hosted by the cocktail lab and catered by mccalls it is an incredible food and drink event, and happens to be the exploratorium’s annual fundraiser.

each guest bartender was paired with a sponsor whose liquor they had to feature in their cocktails. cabrera created two cocktails featuring four roses bourbon, both of which were delicious and sold out an hour before the events end. i even got to rub elbows with the four roses crew and master distiller, in town from  kentucky.20120128-091129.jpgrose’s foxtrot: four roses bourbon, calvados apply brandy, gran classico, benedictine, homemade coffee tincture, angostura — stirred and served up
pear of roses: four roses bourbon, gran classico, lemon juice, homemade cardamom-pear syrup, angostura — shaken and served on the rocks, finished with homemade star anise foam and fried sage

i didn’t sample all the drinks but did really enjoy the fernet cocktail, i’m not entirely sure what else was in it was well balanced and the fernet flavor was prominent without being overpowering. i’m not a big fan of root beer or absinthe, but the “root of all evil,” from the bartenders working with st. george spirits, a combo of the two, had a flavor profile that was powerful and intriguing enough to keep me sipping. also featuring st. george spirits was a punch featuring botaniver gin, honey, lemon, chi white tea, balsamic vinegar, blood orange, cava, and peated barley smoked directly into the punch bowl.20120128-091151.jpg


wine, a limo, and a feast.

spent saturday afternoon riding around healdsburg in a limo with friends, drinking wine. had an amazing time again at medlock ames where we had some salami and cowgirl creamery triple cream with our tasting. our second stop was styker, which i’d never visited before. the tasting room and outdoor patio look out over the vineyards, the wine was good, and they let us set up a picnic next to the fireplace. last stop was soda rock which overall didn’t impress me much, the highlight was easily the stuffed boar by the entrance and giant barrel outside.

a day of tasting was finished up with dinner at a friend’s place where “uncle” had spent the day cooking us up a feast (per usual.) the first thing i do everytime i go to their house is go check out whats on the stove. the spread included ahi sashimi and poke, pork shoulder, beef skewers, chili, stir fry noodles, and an incredible creamy cole slaw with egg.