Monthly Archives: October 2009

Happy as Druck at Mangiamo Ristorante

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Does 'mangiamo' mean 'eat me' in Italian?

Isn’t that a happy California picture? In fact, I think they could change Manhattan Beach’s name to Happy, CA. Enjoyed a Grey Goose dirty martini (extra dirty) at Mangiamo’s last night followed by a great meal, a beautiful bottle of red and one of life’s rare treats — a conversation that you wish would never end. When you go (notice I say ‘when’ not ‘if’) be sure to request a table in the wine cellar:

 

 

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It's a brick. House.

I had a lovely plate of fork-tender braised short ribs with perfectly seasoned root vegetables and a tasty tower of mashed potatoes which I tried to avoid, given last weekend’s overindulgence in baked ziti pizza. (Hush, Adra. It was worth it.)

So go forth and mangia! (Mangia me, mangia mo.) Have a wonderful weekend. GO BEARS!

Oh! One last thing! If you happen to be feeling festive this weekend and want to put out some decorative gourds (that sh!t is going to look so seasonal) check out this HYSTERICAL (that’s right, all caps) f-bomb laden essay from McSweeney’s and Colin Nissan. Thanks for the heads up, Amanda! And welcome to autumn, Druckfaces.

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Druckin with the Man in the Mirror

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"What I really want to do is direct."

Thanks to my awesome new friend at Sony (thanks, Michael!), I got to see a screening of the Gloved One’s movie, “This Is It” last night. “It” is not so much a movie as it is a series of rehearsals (dress and otherwise) loosely slung together with a snatch of dialogue here and there.

Having recently (as of this week) become a fan of “So You Think You Can Dance” — Yabba dabba DOOOO! — I have rediscovered my love of dancing as an art form, and perhaps the purest, most visceral expression of joy incarnate. To this end, Jackson in all his frail, surgically-enhanced weirdness, doesn’t disappoint. The man can DANCE. And sing! His voice sounds beautiful.

Something else that surprised me — he’s very, very sweet. At least in the film, whenever he makes a suggestion or critique, he always starts by saying it comes from a place of love, even spelling out “L..O..V..E” and touching his heart. At least, that’s what we see. 80 hours of footage for roughly 90 minutes of movie — who knows what transpired during the other 78.5 hours.

A pal at work just told me that Michael was supposedly revealing a new dance move, the Penguin, which reminds me of “Zoolander”, and the revelation of the much-anticipated “Magnum.”

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"I'm pretty sure there's more to life than being really, really ridiculously good looking."

I myself am working on a new way to show off my cleavage. I’m calling it the Cleave-Ho, and it will premier in January 2010. Watch this space.

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The Turdrucken of Pizzas

 

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Oh yes they did.

 

Sorry I keep posting about food, but I ate a LOT of pizza in NYC and this one took the cake, the pie and the parmigiano. After fruitlessly searching online for a good half hour for ‘pasta on pizza’ and ‘penne on pizza,’ I finally solved the puzzle and met the new love of my life: baked ziti pizza.

Serious carb-on-carb-action. Kind of like the chips with cheese and bread stuffing I’d pick up on my way home from the pub in Dublin. Or a turducken, one would imagine. It’s too much of a good thing — and it’s wonderful. (Thank you, Mae West.) I ate it late-night (the horror! carbs at night!) three nights in a row and I’m already wondering where I’ll get my next fix here in LA.

When I told pal Adra about my pizza-crush, she said, “Oh Debra. No.” I say yes, Adra. YES.

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Good Druckin Popovers at BLT Steak, NYC

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Popover sometime.

I’m back, Druckers! Did you miss me?! My time in the Big Apple was only slightly marred by the Bears pathetic, humiliating loss to the Bengals. But the good news is, I got to try the vaguely football-shaped breadstuffs (how’s that for a transition?) at BLT Steak in NYC, and they were DIVINE.

They come to the table so warm that a puff of steam rises out of them as you break them open, revealing a tender, custardy heart. Butter melts into every airy pocket and runs down your chin with each satisfying crunch. It’s bread. It’s eggs. It’s so much greater than the sum of its parts. (And the Delmonico steak wasn’t bad, either.)

Daily Candy offers up the recipe here (I KNEW there was gruyere in there!) and I have a feeling, given a bad experience with a batch of gougeres, it’s a deceptively simple one. But if you’re feeling brave, give it a whirl. And if you end up with hard, flat hockey pucks or full-on lumps of concrete, please feel free to pelt this man with them:

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"Why am I still here?"

Maybe if we’re lucky, he’ll go away.

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Josie and the DruckyCats

Some birds are better with bacon.

Some birds are better with bacon.

Oh, how I love the name Josie. It’s the name of pal Betsy’s daughter (one of the all-time great babies), and Josie and the Pussycats was one of my fave Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoons, back in the day. (The link is to their ORIGINAL 70s theme song. You’ll be singing it all day. You’re welcome.)

And Josie continues its winning streak with Josie’s Restaurant in Santa Monica. A pal and I dined there last night for the DineLA Restaurant Week prix-fixe menu, where we sampled the tasty quail dish above. What’s the story on quail etiquette? I picked up that Barbie-doll sized drumstick with my fingers and ate that sucker clean. Paging Miss Manners?

Here's Josie. But where are THE PUSSYCATS?

Here's Josie. But where are THE PUSSYCATS?

According to Josie’s website, they serve “progressive American cuisine influenced by France, the Mediterranean, and our local Farmers’ Markets,” and I think that sums up my experience well. The whole ‘farm to table’ thing, which is ubiquitous these days, strikes me as very Californian, very Chez Panisse. And I mean that in a very good way.

I like this place. Unpretentious, unfussy, nice wine list, nice waiter. The amuse bouche, a tease of decadent, buttery quiche with gruyere cheese was as tantalizing as a first kiss, and my pork steak over creamy grits had me licking my plate. This post is getting oddly sexy. It’s a good thing I’m leaving for New York this afternoon.

See you next Tuesday! Ha ha ha. But seriously. I will.

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I Have Drucked the Village Idiot

Guinness is good for you. Vodka is better.

Guinness is good for you. Vodka is better.

Even after living in Ireland for a year, after countless attempts to conquer a pint of Guinness, including polluting it with Ribena blackcurrant syrup, which is how they serve it to CHILDREN, I never learned to like it. The good news is, The Village Idiot in West Hollywood also serves a beautiful mixed drink called “The Desperado,” for the bargain price of $11. Tequila, grapefruit juice (!!), agave syrup (low glycemic index=less guilt=more Desperados) and fresh lime juice.

Full frontal Village Idiot.

Full frontal Village Idiot.

It’s the epitome of the neighborhood bar. Plus, I’m told that it’s owned by an Aussie and a former Chicagoan, and if that’s not a winning combo, I don’t know what is. The big square tables in the window are perfect perches for people watching, giving you the ideal vantage point for checking out the talent both on the street and in the bar. Snag one if you can! (The table. And the talent.)

Met my lovely pal Han for Happy Hour there, and made a new friend — and fellow refugee from the frozen Midwest — Phil. He lives in the WeHo ‘hood and aptly described the V.I. as a Chicago-type bar meets… wait, what did you say Phil? After that last Desperado, everything is kind of a blur.

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“The Hills” are Alive with the Sound of Druckin

Bodiggity.

Bodiggity.

Hello! Meet Bodega, Kate’s favorite place for a casual weeknight wine and snack combo. I like it — fantastic Santa Monica location near Swingers and Bay Cities Deli, right off the 10. There are comfier seats but I often wind up rocking a stool (EW!?) which forces me to think about Pilates and good posture. BIG PROBLEM: NO VODKA. You’ve been warned.

Anyhoodle, the word ‘Bodega’ is apparently Spanish for wine-shop, but has come to mean an NYC corner market/deli, generally manned by brave, industrious Korean immigrants. I, for one, can’t hear it without thinking of the Paul Simon song, “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” You?

While Ashley, Kate and I sipped wine and supped on pizza, the cast and crew of “The Hills” stopped by to film a date between Kristin Cavallari and a young man wearing what looked like capri pants and red-and-white striped kneesocks. (Top half hearthrob, bottom half rodeo clown.)

For your voyeuristic pleasure, here’s Ashley’s surreptitious pic of K.Cav, who is very, very pretty and very, VERY thin:

K. Cav, as stalked by Ashley, Kate and me.

K. Cav, as stalked by Ashley, Kate and me.

For reality TV, it was weird and not remotely realistic. Ashley had a camera behind her, inches from her pretty head. But we had to sign release forms, and we might be on the show, yay! So look for us. (No autographs, please.)

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