Monthly Archives: February 2010

Druckin Molé & More at Loteria Grill

La Loteria Grill es mui delicioso. Claro que si.

Not even sure what that golden toasty looking thing is in this picture, and yet — I want to go to there. Went to Loteria Grill in the Original Farmers Market in the Grove (Third/Fairfax) last night with awesome pal Jim, who introduced me to a nuevo form of genius, the Probaditas — Sampler:

Want. To lick. The picture.

It’s all 12 of their Tacos served on mini hand-made tortillas. We split this, and I managed to spill a good portion of mine down my left boob and onto my jeans. So I now have a date with the drycleaner. WORTH IT. And next time I go, I’m getting a whole Probaditas platter to myself, so I can wear (I mean eat!) them all!

I read this awesome post wherein the writer said giving her husband a chocolate box filled with sausage balls was the culinary equivalent of taking her top off. If/when I have/get a man, you can expect MY chocolate box to be filled with mini-tacos. AND HOW DRUCKIN LUCKY ARE YOU?!

Dinner is dinner, but the Farmers Market is a TREAT!

I liked the chicken molé (mm, chocolatey!), but my favorite was the carne deshebrada —  shredded beef  with guacamole, salsa chipotle, and onion and cilantro. (For Loteria, I will make an exception to my general rule that raw onion is the work of the devil.) The pollo en pipian rojo — chicken in spicy pumpkin-seed and peanut sauce — was a close second, and I like to think Rick Bayless likes that one, too. I just would. Shut up.

Have a great weekend, mamis y papis!

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Druckin It Old School at The Rainbow Bar & Grill

Where's Hendrix? 'Scuse me while I kiss this guy... (kissthisguy.com)

How much do I LOVE the Rainbow Bar & Grill? Let me count the ways.

1. The building is ancient, with confusing carpet and random staircases that seem to lead nowhere. It’s like Hogwarts, with adult beverages. But instead of an owl or a ferret popping out to give you a message, it might just be the ghost of Jim Morrison or John Bonham. Which brings me to reason #2.

2. Given it’s longstanding (1972) relationship with legendary Sunset Strip music venues — it’s next door to the Roxy and screeching guitar distance from the Doors favorite, the Whiskey a Go Go — this place ROCKS. Literally. The walls are covered with signed albums and pictures of Slash and Sam Kinison and Rodney Druckin Dangerfield. (!!!)

Rodney, Slash and Axl on the left. Spiderman looking drunk and AWESOME on the right.

3. The crowd. Everyone from young pierced people with Rainbow Bright hair to a Donatella Versace look-alike to whom I must GIVE IT UP. She looks like she’s slept with every Rolling Stone and partied like a ROCK STAR. Peace OUT, sister.

4. A uniquely Los Angeles lack of pretension. When LA does this — at places like Bird’s, Cafe 101, etc. — it does it supremely well. The Rainbow Bar & Grill serves yummy-but-greasy pizza, watery looking pasta and HORRIBLE coffee. They told my pal that they don’t make mojitos, even though they clearly have the ingredients. LOVE.

Please go and keep this tribute to kicking it old-school alive! And if a dead drummer pops out at you as you wind your way up and down kaleidoscope-carpeted stairs to the bathroom, don’t say your mother didn’t warn you.

John Bonham. Looking like Charles Manson.

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Not so Druckin Haute in WeHo

Went to a ‘networking’ event last night at Haute on Robertson in WeHo, and I haute this place. (And I haute myself for making that joke. But there it is.) Just down the street from some of LA’s chic-est boutiques on tony Robertson Blvd, Haute is a loud, nightclubby nightmare. But let me tell you how I really feel. Did I mention that even their website is annoying?

Lord, it's the Devil. Will you look at him?

To be fair, it’s not Haute’s fault that the event planner chose a noisy nightclub for a networking event, something akin to holding Grandma’s birthday party at a Sex Pistols concert. But after I circled the place for half an hour looking for parking ($10 to valet), and paid $12 for a sad little vodka/grapefruit, not even the funky furnishings nor flattering light could sway me from believing that this place is Haute because it’s the fifth circle of Hell. (Last pun. Maybe.)

Luckily, all was gay as usual over at one of my fave LA places, The Abbey, directly across the street.

The equal opportunity Abbey. Saints and sinners are both welcome.

Such a friendly crowd, cute-as-a-button bartenders, a cozy indoor/outdoor space with a courtyard and a fab fireplace — LOVE. A little craziness when they asked me to go to the bakery to get coffee ($2.95), then to the bar for a shot of Bailey’s ($9). But maybe worth it for a glimpse of that gorgeous red velvet cake with peaks of whipped white chocolate frosting, yes please.

Awesome pal Ari snacked on sliders in the cutest little pretzel buns ever (cute buns everywhere you look) and a holy handful of SKINNY fries. So if you find yourself in this WeHo ‘hood, skip the hellacious Haute and bask in the Abbey’s heavenly light. And if you’re a mediabistro event planner, have you heard of the Culver Hotel? (Midget orgies not included, but definitely encouraged.)

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You’re So Druckin Golden

Can you see a face? (Lettuce eye, bacon tongue.) Do I need therapy?

Whatever else this Golden State burger might be, it’s druckin delicious. LOOK how it glistens. I love Jonathan Gold’s LA Weekly review so much that I won’t even attempt to improve it. Be sure you have a napkin nearby to catch the drool:

“The burger, made with aged Harris Ranch beef, blanketed with cheese from the Central Valley’s Fiscalini, often considered the best cheddar in America, garnished with bacon and cooked to a dripping, bloody rare if that’s the way you like it, is among the best in Los Angeles.”

Okay. Clearly, A++ for the burger. However, my sweet potato wedges came with a teensy weensy little ramekin of rather unappetizing aioli (was that a skin on top?) and I’ve decided that when it comes to fries, many skinnies trumps fewer wedgies.  Delightfully crispy vs. unpleasantly mealy. Winner: SKINNY.

And awesome new pal Jim was served a batch of cold (tepid would be too much credit) fries. EW. (Not that this prevented me from helping him finish them, because I’m a giver).

We did not try the beer float — yep, you read that correctly — but I’m intrigued by it, in spite of the fact that beer to me is but a frat-house stopover on one’s way to the palatial estate that is vodka:

Is ice cream in beer an idea worth floating?

Beer float, the menu says. One scoop + Old Rasputin beer on draft. Um… gross, I think? Feel free to weigh in. As for me (and I think I can safely speak for pal Dave, as well), I’ll stick with Old A&W. Or Virgil’s, if I’m feeling fancy.

Golden State Cafe is in Los Angeles/Hollywood, across the street from Canter’s on Fairfax, a few doors down from Mr. Pizza and the Dime. Everything is CA sourced (hence the name) and they offer luscious looking gelato — including an interesting brown bread flavor — for dessert and floating purposes.

So go! The burgers alone are worth the trip. But if someone offers you a wedgie, in the Golden State or anywhere else, just say NO.

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The Avalon Hotel Bar is Druckin Sweet

The Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills has a swanky bar, popular with industry swells (thanks in part to the nearby William Morris Agency) and other folks who can afford to spend $14/drink.  But this boutique hotel doesn’t define luxury in a pretentious, self-consciously spendy way. (I love you anyway, Four Seasons Beverly Hills).

It’s more of a sunny, unhurried, we-live-this-way-because-we-can kind of way. You know. The LA way.

Your cabana or mine?

I love the reflection in the pool, and the way that the humanoid looking creature standing at the far right has only the merest suggestion of a head. Paging David Hockney. This pool is ready for its close-up.

Sadly, when I was there last week, it was raining. (No poolside drinks for this Mother Drucker.) As I made my way from Bar Oliverio (indoors) to the weird afterthought of a ladies’ room (outdoor/indoor), I could see rain dancing on the surface of the pool, dampening the enthusiasm of the meticulously hair-gelled crew of young lads gathered in one of the cabanas.

MY enthusiasm for this Elixir martini, however, is rock-solid:

Tiny picture, big flavor.

Made with cucumber-dill vodka, lime and white cranberry, this yummy cure-all (see the healthy cucumbers? it’s like a spa in a glass!) goes down so smoothly that before you know it, you’ve had three. (Or seven. But who’s counting?)

And since you’ve now spent $110 on drinks alone (incl tax/tip), you have no money left, and no way to get your drunk-ass home. Luckily, Bar Oliverio has thoughtfully provided luxurious white leather banquettes upon which to sober up/take a nap. A colorful, all-ages crowd of people worth watching, friendly servers and an inviting, Italian-influenced menu complete the picture.

Got a case of the Mondays? (Who doesn’t, sheesh.) Here’s your prescription: go to the Avalon Hotel, take two Elixirs and comment in the morning.

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A Random Druckin List

Thanks to my amazing pal, jolie amie Christelle, plying me with drinks and good advice at Viceroy last night, I know that blog readers (like YOU!) enjoy lists. Here, a few things I’d like to share with you.

First, the British sketch show, Little Britain. I vastly prefer the UK version to the U.S. Vastly. I’m sure you’re already familiar, but just in case:

Second, Trader Joe’s Arancini dipped in Rustic Marinara:

I've got big balls.

My pal Virginia introduced me to these and they are molto, molto bene. Golden, crunchy breadcrumbs give way to rich, creamy rice and a melty, cheesy center. Bite-sized portion makes them perfect on a party platter, or on a plate whilst watching The Bachelor.

Third, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane:

Photograph by Joe Schmelzer; Stewie Illustration by Julius Preite.

Working for (or at least NEAR) Seth would make all my little druckin’ dreams come true. He works in my building, so it’s possible he’s near me right now. Maybe I should bake him a pie. There’s also this:

Tiger Woods Announces Return to Sex

Bless The Onion for keepin’ it real. Quote, “Not being able to get out there and have sex has really been tough on me,” Woods said. “I’ve missed it. I love drucking with all my heart.”

And finally, this:

Teenage Waistband.

I was at Wasteland in Santa Monica the other day and saw an almost new Herve Leger bandage dress (last season) for around $350, which is the top end, as well as cute jackets, Ts and skirts from LA-based designers starting around $19.

These are a few of my favorite things. Now I’ve showed you mine. You know what to do.

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A Druckin Grape Day to be an American

Let’s get one thing straight: Bottle Rocket was a funny, quirky Wes Anderson movie starring Owen & Luke Wilson. (Quote, “Here are just a few of the key ingredients: dynamite, pole vaulting, laughing gas, choppers – can you see how incredible this is going to be?”)

BOTTLEROCK, however, is a nifty little wine bar in Culver City on Main Street (U.S.A.):

Wonder where these beauties fall on the stinky scale.

Went last night with awesome pal Arianna who writes a juicy yet authoritative wine blog, grapesmart.net. If you’re into that. I established long ago that when it comes to wine, I’m indifferent. I draw the line at the stuff in a box. But only just. (Oh, vodka. How I love thee.)

But the nice people at Bottlerock made a big FUSS over us which clearly means that Arianna is a SOMEBODY in the vino-culture and you should pay ATTENTION to the clever things she writes. SHOUTY. SORRY.

I had a nice Sauv Blanc from New Zealand, crisp and refreshing, and we also tried a Muscado (?) from NZ which tasted like a yummy piece of candy AND a hangover, respectively. (Oh, sugar. how I love thee.)

On a completely unrelated topic, I remember a LONG time ago (yep, I’m this old) when Arsenio Hall had a talk show. And really long fingers. (He probably still does. Have the fingers, I mean.) He was interviewing figure skater, cutie pie and medal winner Kristi Yamaguchi, and he said, “You make me proud.” That’s how I felt today when I saw this:

Women's downhill silver medalist Julia Mancuso, left, and gold medalist Lindsey Vonn celebrate on Wednesday at Whistler. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

And coming from someone who could give a crap less about the Olympics in general, that’s saying something. YOU GO GIRLS!!! You make me proud. (Oh, girl power. How I love thee.)

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