UG on the News

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The new issue of Los Angeles Magazine names the best new restaurant in LA and the winner is….

Palate

I have only been once and was quite impressed. I even reviewed it on yelp.

Palate Food + Wine

Category: American (New)
Neighborhood: Glendale

5 star rating

9/21/2008

Palate tantalizes my palate!

I have been wanting to dine here since its opening. I was very excited when I had a food based business meeting of sorts here. It started in the wine bar with a lovely bottle of wine from Santa Cruz (my hometown) and delicious cured meats.

For dinner I had the pork belly and it was amazing. The fennel salad and the pickled onions were big pluses as was the whiskey bread pudding. The wine with dinner was also phenomenal, unfortunately, it was brought by my dinner companion not the restaurant. The butter is handmade and worth every calorie.

After our business meeting ended and I was left alone with my friend and we finished the tables wine and asked for more and more bread with butter the night begun. We asked to meet the chef Octavio. He was truly charming. He had a big Japanese knife tattooed on his arm and when I asked him if he would be attending Savor the Season on Sunday he said he would be working at Meals on Wheels. That is the kind of chef he is thoughtful and creative he also told us about his plan for working with local gardens grown by hoodlums (my word not his). When my friend asked,”Why is everyone that works here French?” he brought out people from the kitchen and said, “Jorge are you French? Juan Carlos are you French?” We were proved wrong but the food was all right (note: not alright).

I will definitely go back and the pork belly will remain my main entree in my belly.

Josie was my dining companion that night and it was truly great. She seconds the pickled onions and she should know, she is practically a regular. Anyway, a big congrats to Octavio on the restaurant’s success. Keep on serving up deliciousness and we will continue to eat it and rave about it.

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What else is in the news?

Josie and I were discussing this story over dinner the other night and knew it was perfect for the Uncouth Gourmands. It seems that the homeless in Milan just got seized caviar for Christmas from the local police. We were in Milan last summer and were practically homeless after all of the money we spent on food. Some good free caviar would have come in handy. We actually spent $500 on lunch one day in Monaco at Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV (It is #15 on the Best Restaurants in the World). As true UG’s, we put fine cuisine, midnight doner kabobs, pints and paninis, and Mc Donald’s ketchup (which you have to pay for in EU) over our sleeping arrangements. In a hostel in London, I endured an Aussie masturbating in the bunk below me and Josie had a crazy Italian coked-out chef that slept with a huge knife in his bed in the bunk below her. Is it the same as being homeless? Absolutely not, but I am glad the less fortunate in Milan got to savor great beluga caviar.

Here is a picture of us in Milan with no free beluga caviar, just food that put us in the poor house.

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Food Photo Shoot

All food and photographs styled by Ms. Josie Mora

Hungry Girl and a Thirsty Guy

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Christmas is normally a time for family but this year was a little different. I hate tradition and really am not big on holidays so I decided to take a mini vacation to Vegas. In the past, after big vacations I tend to do something drastic; I have moved and bought cars immediatly after returning from international trips. After being back in the states for not even a week I made a plan with the boyfriend to go to Vegas for Christmas.

We have both been several times but I knew that neither one of us knew each others Vegas. You see, I am a Hungry Girl and he is a Thirsty Guy. No, I am not THE Hungry Girl, but I do love her site and am always interested in lower calorie foods so I can eat more in terms of quantity. Anyway, what I am saying is I know Vegas’ 4-5 star hotels, the best buffets, and shopping. He knows downtown, cheap drinks, and told me about bacon martinis.

For those interested the bacon martini is at Double Down Saloon, I only got down a sip before passing it off and actually asked for ass juice instead (another speciality drink-don’t be vulgar).

I have to tell you I get why foodies love bacon, and I am sure many of my fellow Uncouth Gourmands do too, but I just don’t. It’s not because I am Jew because I do love me some sausage. I am just not crazy about bacon. But I do have good Uncouth Gourmand news for bacon lovers that goes beyond the bacon martini…I found bacon chocolate in Vegas. Yup, there is a company called Vosges Haut-Chocolat in the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops that produces it. When I went in to pick up a catalogue and a business card up for this blog a women walked in and told the sales lady (note: this is Christmas Day) : “Talk about a Christmas miracle, there is a God and he combined my two favorite things.” I smiled because I know the feeling. I feel that way about so many foods. For example, Magners Cider which combine my favorite things: apples, acidity, and alcohol. I am reminded of that because I got it at Molly Malone’s on tap just outside Vegas on my way home today. In Dublin, I discovered it and I fell in love with it. Although, there it is called Bulmers. I remember making Josie try it at The Globe in Dub and she said, “Ewww, it tastes like vinegar” and I replied, “I know that is why I love it, it has been my dream in life to have a vinegar collection.” That is true. I think it is the perfect thing to collect. You can collect it on your travels, it ages well- like wine, it comes in cool bottles, and many different flavors.

Oh yes, I wrote this entry to discuss relationship differences between foodies and their significant others that are not so food enthusiastic. I know Josie understands because I have heard her boyfriend question how we can eat two dinners on a daily basis. My boyfriend gets mad when I call him and am chewing on the phone and he has to tell me every time we dine “chew, chew, swallow, talk.” I have been using the “Baby, I am the co-founder of the Uncouth Gourmands” line but I think it is wearing thin. Once Josie hosted a dinner party and we double dated. When the food was ready, one of our boys said, “Ladies first”. Josie, without skipping a beat, looked at me and then looked at them and said, “Are you sure? If we go first there probably will be no food left.” I laughed because it was true.

Anyway, I was concerned about this dillema on our trip. (Okay to bring it back to Jews and pigs here is joke: What do you call a Jewish dillema? A free ham). It is not a major problem he is just thirsty and I am just hungry. I remember swooning when we were first getting to know each other and he said he loved to have champagne dinners. It turns out he just drinks the bottle for dinner. That is fair, but this girl needs more than liquid to fill her belly and food takes up 85% of my thoughts each day.

So how did we do? We did great! It was better than the Great Compromise. I drank way more than usual and he ate way more than usual. I suppose that is just vacation or just Vegas but still it was wonderful. I had 4+ plates at the buffet (many more if you include bowls- soup and pudding) and he had one maybe two. I would like to think that I beat that ratio when it came to drinking but I doubt it. My first gift when I woke up Christmas morning was nausea but it was worth it. When I told him that I drank to much and had 10 drinks the night before, he said if I am able to count I didn’t do good enough. Funny, because while I can count the number of drinks I can’t count how many plates/bowls I had at the buffet. Anyway, in a non crude way and referring to Vegas, he showed me his and I showed him mine.

Anyway, great trip and I hope everyones holidays were equally wonderful!

Josie is a little bit of my hero because she seems to have the perfect balance between hungry/thirsty…I think at the end of a good night she can count neither the number of plates nor glasses…A Real American Uncouth Gourmand Hero! I will continue to try and keep up and have my thirst equal my hunger. Cheers!

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This was us returning from a month long eating/drinking tour across 8 countries in Europe over the course of one month in June. FYI, Air France is great for thirsty folks. Champagne for take off, cognac before bed, and as much free wine as you want!

UG do WET Christmas Party

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Josie was kind enough to allow me to be her plus one at her company’s Christmas party at Twin Palms last night. It was nice because it was right in my Pasadena backyard. Since coming back from Tokyo my sleep has been off, Josie called me to check in and woke me up from my midday nap since my new bedtime is 5:00 AM. Anyway, I was able to quickly get dressed and forgo a shower in order to show up at the start of the party (aka before the appetizers get cold).

The company WET Design was celebrating not only the holidays but also their 25 years as the premiere water feature company. Yup, they are responsible for the famous fountain at the Bellagio. Speaking of which, I will be in Vegas for Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Oh yes, back to the party, it was a blast! Josie was responsible for the uncouth moment of the night. She placed her oversized bag on the back of a chair and caused the whole thing to tip over producing a large thud and worried looks from all party attendants. When it was time to eat Josie and I were thrilled as we are hungry girls with insatiable appetites. We are also ladies of very little patience. We examined the food stations and chose solely based on the shortest line. That means we skipped appetizers, pastas, and salads and went straight to the carving station. The first thing out was turkey and that is for turkeys so I looked at the carver and remarked “Where’s the beef?” 15 pounds of prime rib were then brought out and Josie’s eyes got enormous and we both salivated. We then worked our way to the other stations utilizing the uncouth gourmands secret of the buffet and went to whatever station had the shortest line. That means the last thing we ate were appetizers.

Josie, as coordinator of Client and Team Services at WET, had to work the door at the end of the night to provide guest with gingerbread men and women as they left the party. I was responsible for grabbing her dessert. I was an idiot and asked her what she wanted, of course, there was only one answer, “one of everything”. I obeyed. It was a great night.

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Tonight we met up again for a quick business dinner at Buca di Beppo. I mentioned that we should have a continous feature on our blog of the uncouth moments of the night. When our food arrived, prosciutti stuffed chicken and a 4 different pasta platter, we dug right in. While talking about god knows what and with a full mouth I looked over at Josie who made an awful face.

I said, “Oh did I spit on you?”

She said, “Oh no, I wouldn’t have cared….I would have been like ‘oh salt’….no, I just burned my tongue”

To which I responded, “Oh no, not those precious taste buds that is our money maker”

Anyway, we are and will remain uncouth for lyfe. Yup we’re gangsta.

By the way, good news, over dinner tonight we *finally* solidified our mission statement for the Uncouth Gourmands

Famous Fictional Foodies

A couple of months ago I posted a thread on Yelp.com asking people to share their favorite fictional foodies. Mine has always been Grace Adler of Will & Grace; she is who I aspire to be.

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Some of my favorite Grace moments involving food were:

Grace: Jews and chicken; it’s real and it’s deep.
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Leo Markus: And my deepest, darkest secret is that I don’t like any food with raisins in but I do like raisins.

Grace Adler: See we already have a problem. I love raisins in everything. I even went to see “A Raisin In The Sun” because I thought there would be raisins in it!
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Grace: Oh, my God. This was so delicious. I’ve been living with a gay guy for so long, I forgot what the skin of a chicken tastes like.
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Some people mentioned the Crane brothers of Frasier but I think I have always been to uncouth/immature to enjoy them. Another person mentioned Tina Fey’s character on 30 Rock. Prior to reading that comment I had never watched the show but it is in fact brilliant and Liz Lemon is a great foodie icon.

Some of Liz Lemon’s greatest food moments can be found here or here:

“Once in college, I pooped my pants a little bit at a Country Steaks all-you-can-eat buffet and I didn’t leave until I finished my second plate of shrimp.

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The time she used a wedding dress as a napkin.

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“Ok fine, but I want a lobster. I want two lobsters! Totaling five pounds of lobster meat!”

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I thought of this last night when I got back from Tokyo and I may have used the word lover with my boyfriend after my 9 hour flight. I then laughed and said, “On 30 Rock Liz (Tina Fey) tells Jack (Alec Baldwin), ‘I don’t like to hear the word “lover” unless it’s in between the words “meat” and “pizza.”’

That got me thinking, what other fictional foodies must I still learn about? Please tell me your suggestion in the comments section.

-I love Remy from Ratatouille but he is not an Uncouth Gourmand. Hell, he is a rat that walks upright so he can keep his hands clean for his food. A real UG eats with their feet if they have to.

-I also love that Jewish guy that plays Toni Collette’s husband in In Her Shoes. I said it once and I will say it again…

“Any man that claims to be an expert orderer makes my panties wet.” Carina Ost

Okay I am off to a pizza party potluck and Josie (co-founder) is off to drinks at the Edison. We met at Panda Express for lunch today and have decided to blog until we get the business totally up and rolling.

Anyway, this is the first of many posts. Continue Reading…that’s an order!