..::Phone Home::..


Eagle Rock gets its own Brewery!
January 2, 2010, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Beer, Booze | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Just opened in, well, Eagle Rock, ERB‘s a microbrewery devoted to helping people learn about the nuances of beer, started by a dude who used to work as a movie music editor and his father, both of whom moved to LA from Upstate NY, which is somewhere past even, like, Harlem or something. Their first batch is composed of three different brews, each made specifically to highlight one of the touchstone ingredients of beer-making: the hop-py Revolution IPA’s a punchy, citrusy golden brew; the malt-heavy Solidarity is a jet-black but light-flavored coffee/caramel tinged creation, and the yeasty, straw-colored Belgian-style Manifesto is made with a touch of rose petal and only 1/2 the amount of coriander and citrus for a beer of that genre

via Eagle Rock Brewery | Thrillist.

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Color Me Lavender

Between school and work(s), things have been pretty hectic lately. Since my last update, I’ve picked up jobs at Bouchon, Del Dotto, and the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies. I’ve also completed 2 more classes, but more on all that later. First, Fall is here and it’s time for giving thanks. So, I give you all a recipe for the holidays thanks to Chef Briwa at Greystone during our lil’ field trip to Bellwether Farms. I must say, these turned out pretty kick-ass.

Butter 1 #
Sugar 7.5 oz
Lavender, ground fine 2 t
Salt 1.5 t
Orange zest 2 ea.
Cake flour 1 #, 1 oz
Rice flour 2 oz

First, soften the cold butter by pounding with a rolling pin. The butter should be used cold as you want to keep it relatively firm.

Next, knead in the sugar and flavorings until homogeneous. Add the two flours and mix until smooth. Shape dough into logs and chill to firm.

Preheat the oven to 325掳 F. Cut the logs into 录” slices and place slices onto a greased sheet pan. Bake at 325掳 until lightly golden and crisp — about 20 minutes. Cool before serving.

And there you have it! They go great with some ice cream or coffee/tea and lavender can easily be subbed out with other herbs 馃檪 Happy Thanksgiving!



The Chronicles of Jerry Potter: Ap茅ritif

CIA Greystone

It has officially been 2 weeks now since I’ve begun my journey to chefdom here at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone in St. Helena. Being back in school again certainly takes a little getting used to, but it’s nice to not be bent over in front of The Man 10 hours a day. Residing in Napa Valley is also quite a change of pace from the hustle of Los Angeles. There is nothing out here besides the school, vineyards, restaurants, and more vineyards.

Greystone looks like Hogwarts School of Wizardry minus the super serial uniforms and wand rubbing. Class is at 7am. I live in Napa which equates to a 25 minute/17 mile commute each way and waking up at the ass crack of dawn. Prior to moving here, getting up at such an unholy hour was only excusable for fishing. Tuition ain’t cheap but thankfully it includes my chef’s kit (knives, tongs, peeler, etc.), 5 sets of chef’s coats and pants, knife roll, and books. Having gone through undergrad at two different universities (Boston University and UC Santa Barbara) I can say that this is not standard practice. Most undergrad programs will charge you for breathing on campus.

Standards are very high here and they adhere to policy like molasses on fly paper. The first day of class I got sent out of the room to go shave. If you don’t know, most Asians are pretty much naturally hairless. The cheeks on my face contend with those on the business end of a newborn baby. That said, I was shocked and rather put off by the ordeal. To sweeten the deal, I also left my name tag in my car (yes, we’re required to wear name tags the first 3 weeks) and was sent out a second time to retrieve it. Off to a roaring start and we haven’t even picked up a knife yet.

The first three weeks consist of ZERO kitchen time and 2 classes: Culinary Mathematics and Introduction to Gastronomy. The latter obviously being the more interesting of the two. After next week we begin our Meat Fabrication and Identification course, which I am very excited for. This is going to be butchering, cleaning, and identifying different cuts of meat from various animals. This also means that we finally get some QT with our knife sets in the kitchen. The Chefs here are very well seasoned – pun intended – most having worked in the industry for many years and/or owned a restaurant at some point in time. As I finish this first segment, I look forward to getting in the kitchen and learning as much as possible. Stay tuned for another update once the more interesting stuff kicks in…



Wok the Ph贸?
October 8, 2009, 1:59 am
Filed under: Beer, Grub | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

pho

Food *****
Beer Selection ****
Service ***
Atmosphere ****
Eye Candy the way you’re slurping?

***** WOW | **** Damn Good | *** nice | ** average | * WACK

What is better than a big, steamy bowl of goodness? Nothing according to Anthony Bourdain. Neat, simple, and brightly lit, Ph贸 Cafe dishes out just that: big bowls of action packed ph贸, including vegetarian friendly options!

First, the place has no sign which makes it terribly hard to find. However, the glowing interior shines through the glass storefront to help catch the eye. Upon walking in the first thing I noticed was that they carry a great (and my favorite) Asian light lager, Taiwan Beer. For some reason or another this is not a common beer to find in restaurants. Needless to say, this delighted me greatly and was enough to rank them high on the beer selection 馃槢

I went with a bowl of the whole shabang, rare beef, meat balls, tendon, and tripe…then added tofu. Of course, it came with the requisite sides of basil, bean sprouts, jalape帽o, and limes (all fresh, juicy, and aromatic). The broth is nice. Not too salty nor lacking in flavor. All the while maintaining its clarity, as you can see from the pic above. All the usual condiments reside on the table (Hoisin, Sambal, Siracha), but the broth is good enough that you don’t have to add any sauces except to make it spicy. I can say now that the addition of tofu was a bit ambitious and I left with an uncomfortably full belly. Don’t get me wrong, at around $8 a bowl I’m not at all complaining.

I would easily return to Ph贸 Cafe as this has been the best ph贸 experience I’ve had in LA. Cheap, clean, simple, and delicious, it has all the right ingredients. The place is pretty popular so expect a short wait and don’t plan on bringing the whole entourage.

  • CASH ONLY!!
  • 4 people is a good sized party
  • Plan on waiting if during peak dining hours
  • Date friendly
  • Same plaza as Rambutan Thai


It’s still hot
September 16, 2009, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Boozetail, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , ,


Still battling the heat? Being an Ambassador, I share this ‘crunk you up in the afternoon’ bevy out of love and duty. Stay cool my friends 馃槑

1 1/4 parts Maker’s Mark
3/4 part peach schnapps
Unsweetened iced tea

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add Maker’s Mark and peach schnapps. Top off with unsweetened iced tea. Garnish with a peach slice or lemon wedge. Throw in a mint leaf or two for some extra refreshment.



Tavern

Tavern

Food ****
Beer Selection ***
Service ***
Atmosphere *****
Eye Candy ****

***** WOW | **** Damn Good | *** nice | ** average | * WACK

From the dynamic duo of Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne comes the newest addition to their restaurant empire, Tavern. Located in not-so-parking-friendly Brentwood, Tavern is far from a quaint neighborhood watering hole. The place is big yet cozy, crowded but comfortable, a bit of a scene and a bit rustic all at the same time.

Despite walking into a stiflingly small reception that barely fits more than 3 people, Tavern is a big and complicated joint. To the left is the Larder/Blue Room which serves as their own bakery and takeout deli. On the right is the bar and beyond that is the glorious Atrium. A big, glass structure with potted olive trees and velvet armchairs around the tables, the Atrium is where you want to be. It’s the biggest room in the restaurant but still quieter than the bar. Prices are not outrageous for the quality; dinner entrees range from $20-$30. Besides, with nine (9!) different menus, you’re sure to find something to appease your wallet and stomach.

Tavern is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also has a brunch menu, a pastry menu, a kids menu, a desserts menu, a bar menu, and a cocktail menu (!). I started with the bar menu that consists of small plates and burgers. While I hear the Pork Manchego Burger is good, I know the fried oyster & bacon brochette with tabasco a茂oli is great. Salty, rich, fried and high in bacon content, this thing is dynamite. After a tasty Old Fashioned or two I moved on to the dinner menu. I was far from disappointed. Everything was perfectly cooked and well executed but I did find a couple items a bit heavily seasoned.

In a nutshell, Tavern has great atmosphere, good booze, and very good food at a reasonable price for its kind. Definitely a place worth going back to a couple of times and reservations are highly recommended. This place gets packed but has a good spatial arrangement and high ceilings to alleviate the congestion. With several menus to choose from and service all day, you’re sure to find something to like at Tavern. Hats off to the Goin & Styne tag team.

  • Make reservations!
  • Sit in the Atrium for dinner; Bar and Blue Room are good for small plates/lunch
  • Appetizers are the best
  • Good place to bring a date
  • Rotating Menu


Business in the front, party Backstage
July 28, 2009, 5:06 am
Filed under: American, Booze, Full Bar, Grub | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Weeks have passed as I traveled across the pond to Greece, split the Black Sea to Ukraine, and motored through the Bosphorous to Istanbul, but I won’t bore you with tales of my journey 8)

Backstage

Maximum 3====D
Food 3=D
Beer 3==D
Service N/A
Atmosphere 3==D
Eye Candy 3===D

My return to LA also meant my return to homeostasis – bar hopping. Upon arrival I found myself rooted at Backstage Bar in Culver City for some drinks and pub fare. Sort of a “Welcome Back to America” night if you will. What I didn’t know was that it was also Karaoke Night at Backstage. Upon hearing this I almost immediately bolted. Don’t get me wrong, I think singing and dancing is a vital part of social interaction, but I am completely and irreparably tone deaf. Not to mention that the sound of drunkards belting out off-notes to ancient power ballads requires a certain BAL that I had yet to reach. Nonetheless, curious to see why every table in the joint was reserved, I stayed to have some grub and watch the night unfold.

Standard bar items like quesadillas, onion rings, and fries line the menu. Certainly nothing to call home about, but the food is greasy and does a good job of coating your insides for a night of heavy boozing – which of course goes hand-in-hand with karaoke for us Westerners.

After putting down a few Glenmorangies with my steak quesadilla and onion rings, people began filing in and the place quickly filled. Karaoke started somewhere between 5 and 6…drinks. I think it was somewhere around 9:30pm. To my pleasant surprise, there were some patrons that could actually sing and were even enjoyable. The place wasn’t La Cita packed but since I was comfortably perched on my stool at the bar I can’t be certain how hard it was to get a drink. Atmosphere was casual, fun and aptly putting out a “Let’s Get Drunk and Screw” vibe. Overall it was a good time worthy of going back with a group and consuming copious amounts of alcohol; I would go somewhere else beforehand for food.

After I had my fill of the local American Idol contest, I made my way over to Lost & Found around the corner on National

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