How Could You be So Tartless?

cafe wa s uncouth gourmands social domain drink eat play

As time passes it has become more and more apparent that there are many of you that are truly invested in our lives. So as time elapses, I feel less hesitation in divulging more and more about our personal lives, especially after being the recipient of so much kindness from so many of you.  As I look back on the fun-filled weekend that Carina and I had, a strange thought occurred to me –What if Carina and I had never met? It was a sad ponder…We have a co-dependent relationship which (on a daily basis) keeps us considerably amused, educated, and entertained. Below are last weekend’s UG misadventures.

bread olive oil & vinegar

wine goblet

Gale’s: Thursday was a “rough” day for the UG gals, and by “rough” I mean ridiculously relaxing. Carina had been busily working at school and I had been needing the time off, so some TLC was exactly what the UG girls were in need of. At any rate, we kicked off the afternoon by visiting a previously missed lunchtime spot, Gale’s, from there we perused around Old Town Pasadena, tried two new (sadly very dry) Dot’s cupcakes flavors and a 21-Choices frozen yogurt. A mouth full? Not for these girls. When does your metabolism start slowing down again? Gale’s is a local favorite and the UG girls couldn’t agree more. What other people might have found “defective” at Gale’s, we found to be most charming. Sure when it’s busy your drinks and bread take 20 minutes to come, but we were in no hurry and we figured that given that large of a lunch crowd, there had to be something interesting going on with the food. We were right, indeed! I had the French Dip and Carina the Caprese sandwich. Bottom-line: A great place to take an adventurous grandmother because despite the gaudy decor (see pics below), the food was really good, but by no means cutting edge. The locals are friendly and inclined enough to reach out to their table neighbors and offer good conversation. Good stuff is going on at Gale’s.

caprese sandwich

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***Above and below are mural pics of the Ladies Room at Gale’s. It just so happens that my grandmother loves dogs and roses, too 😉

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From there Carina headed to school and I had dinner with a friend on the westside. It was my first time at Ford’s Filling Station and I seriously could not have been happier. Of course, we ordered too much food and I most definitely enjoyed every last crumb. I would recommend the mac and cheese, the cured meat plate, and the rapini. The dishes are artfully-crafted California-Mediterranean works. The food is simple and well executed. FFS earns two thumbs up from this gourmand, but don’t worry eager readers, you will get a full review soon after I take the wife. Speaking of the wife, Carina and I met up later that night and visited Carmine’s in South Pasadena to try their draught beer. A friend from the Apple Store works there and recommended we try the place. The UG girls had a round of drinks and despite being stuffed like sausages, we also tried the battered onion rings from the bar happy hour menu. The place was filled with happy El Sereno locals, all of whom were very nice and welcoming to us despite their biker exteriors.

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I think Friday will always be a Jonathan Club-Chuck kind of day. Chuck, our mentor and newly named business partner, took the UG ladies and our lawyer, Ranjit, to the JC downtown to discuss our LLC and a new business venture. Upon arrival we were greeted with Chuck’s always welcoming bottles of booze. We should know better than to drink mid-day, but Chuck always brings the good stuff and being the poor UGs that we are, we always welcome the opportunity to try new fancy wine. If it wasn’t for Chuck who would feed us on Fridays? Thanks, Chuck! This visit to the JC brought us a new friend, Khrysta. Khrysta, a vivacious restaurant PR consultant and a good friend of Chuck, joined us for lunch. From lunch we headed off with Ranjit and Khrysta to Provecho, a new Mexican restaurant/bar/lounge in downtown. There is hardly any signage but upon entering the decor is very impressive. There is a full ceviche bar, chandeliers, and a fully equipped bar with a ton of rare tequilas. We didn’t try the food but the cocktails were awesome! Carina had the watermelon mojito and I had the house margarita. We will definitely be back to try the food soon.

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Provecho

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Provecho

After meeting the head chef, the manager, and a freakishly tall Amazon woman who looks more like a supermodel than a pastry chef we all toured the lavish facilities. We ended up spending a few hours at Provecho getting far too drunk to drive home and decided that from there we’d go for round three and hit up Little Toyko for a hearty bowl of sukiyaki. Ranjit, who is a brilliant investment banker, lawyer, and writer got far too tipsy to…well, walk…proved to be the funniest character of the hour. He requested his sukiyaki with a raw egg and when it came he completely forgot and cracked it thinking it was hard boiled. It is nice to know that the UG lawyer is as uncouth as his clients.

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After a long day of our lawyer kissing Carina on the cheek, drinking midday and wandering through downtown, we figured it best to go home and rest for a bit. Suddenly, after months of pining for a particular love interest, I got a call from him inviting me over for a fig tart. Was this really happening? Was the bad Josie love luck changing? I jumped at the opportunity thinking I knew that fig tart had to be a euphemism for something. Despite being in yoga clothes I headed to see “him,” who for the purpose of anonymity we will call “Mr. Fig,” in downtown. I called Carina when I was en route to the mystery boy’s house to tell her the “good” news and that expectations were high. She told me that a male classmate just asked her to come over and take a shower. What, a man was nude in her house?!?! I was one upped. No man wanted to be naked in my house. Unbelievable!

Sadly, my visit to “Mr. Fig’s” house was just that, a fig tart and a very PG make-out session. I’ve tried to analyze my own cravings for him but when he’s around my heart seems everywhere at once and my own desire for him blinds me. When it comes to my “Mr. Fig,” I seem to have shit for brains. Sometimes I really feel like Carrie Bradshaw, who despite being having a fully functioning brain, seems to be totally blinded by Mr. Big. Carina and I both know that my “Mr. Fig” and Carrie’s “Mr.Big” have too many tragic things in common. “Mr. Fig” seems completely uninterested and I need to give up. I don’t know why but everything has to be a f-in challenge for me and “Mr. Fig” is a prime example of my f-ing condition. That’s the last time that ever happens! In fact, I’m erasing his number from my phone as we speak.

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We, Carina and I, both ended up at Barrett’s at 1A, which is normally the time they begin the eating process of Shabbat dinner. Barrett’s girlfriend is great and always gives a theme or a twist to her dinners. They have ranged from kosher kabobs to kosher Chinese and on this particular night it was kosher Indian food. My disappointment at “Mr.Big’s” was settled by kosher sangria, two plates of curry over rice, and a very nice guy named Nathan who gave me a sympathy kiss on the cheek. As soon as Carina arrived at our chosen (get it, chosen people? That’s all I hear about anymore and frankly I want someone to choose me) Friday destination loft she said, “Raise your hand if you ever had a boyfriend named Nate/Nathan” both of our hands went in the air and Barrett also raised his hand as to be part of the cool crowd. That particular Nate/Nathan heartbreak is something only the UG girls can share. To “my” Nathan, if by the off shot you’re reading this, I’m sorry and I miss you. If you are “Carina’s” Nate we miss our drinking buddy and the man that always let us finish his plates of food.

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However, the UG girls are better than fine and are on to new things. Saturday we had a great girls night out. I was thrilled when Carina told me that she got us in to the Thrillist New Castle party. Free beer, free cupcakes, and free valet…oh yeah! As we were taking our sweet time getting ready we checked our new best friend, Twitter, and saw that Caroline on Crack said that the lines were bad. We opted for a pre-party drink at one of our local favorite spots, The York in Highland Park. I was hungry despite a long day of working/eating at a catering company and grabbed some tacos at the next door taco place. It was delish but when we finally arrived at the Hollywood and Vine party destination I realized that we had two big problems. First, the party was being closed down by a fire marshal and they were over capacity. Secondly, my wallet was completely lost. After everyone was kicked out we ran into our good friend Dan, the founder of Drink:Eat:Play and John (or as Carina incorrectly refers to him, David) of SocialDomainLA. We met John/David at a dinner with FoodGPS but we never knew that he was good friends with the Dan. The guys accused me of faking the lost wallet…I may be broke but I am not that smart. Carina and I used the bathroom at Eva Langoria’s place Beso, it was a very stylish decor but their bathroom was pretty much a sauna. The bathroom attendant told us she has been losing a ton of weight in the climate.

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After our stint at Beso we went to Ivan Kane’s Cafe Wa S with Dan, John, and Kara of SlifePR. I don’t know how the UGs got among this who’s who in Los Angeles food and drink events, but we were damn happy to be there. We had great cocktails. I was almost banned after stealing countless olives and oranges from the bartender’s stash but have no fear I told them my name was “Carina Ost”. After we got our car from the free valet, I discovered that my wallet was nowhere. It was after 1:30 in the morning and the only possible place of my wallet’s whereabouts was the little taco joint, El Chapin Restaurant. I knew they closed at 2A and Carina got me there at 1:56A. Thank our lucky UG stars my wallet was there and found by a very sweet little boy. It was untouched and they refused any kind of reward I offered. It made me so grateful! They make awesome tacos, breakfast, and they are more honest than any other place I know.

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The next morning was Sunday and we had a very special brunch date with a VIP TV Executive. I really tried to be on time but, unfortunately, 2 closed lanes of the 101 and a standstill 110 freeway made these UGs a half an hour late. We did the walk of shame to the best table in our brunch spot Taste. Carina and I both did the very reasonable prix fix brunch menu for $14. She had the tortilla soup and the mint chicken salad with fries. The fries were interesting because the were like potato shavings, I should know, I stole most of hers. I had the mixed greens and after asking to be surprised with the entree I got huevos rancheros. The food was good, the mimosas were never ending, and the manager even came to our table. It was a good food experience and a well-priced brunch in West Hollywood.

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huevos rancheros

A couple of bottomless mimosas in for the UG girls, our friend/VIP TV executive told us that he was really into pies and cookies. Look at that, he knows we are heavy into food and chose that as a topic of conversation. When will the UGs get so thoughtful? Anyway, Carina jumps in and says, “I have the best cookie you have ever had….”. I look at her and she tries to correct the sentence saying that it is in Pasadena….too bad she lives there…and isn’t helping anything. Upon hearing this I laugh uncontrollably and somehow manage to spit creme anglaise all over this nice man. Uncouth!

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John/David from the other night called (surprise suprise) Carina and invited us to a house warming party after brunch. It wasn’t his house and we knew no one there besides the man with two first names but obviously we went anyway. We walked into this place and were greeted by countless claps and warm welcomes. I got a cup that said Creepy Guy and felt right at home. We also found two girls that just met one another but looked completely related.

creepy guy

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After mimosas and wine what else would a UG want? A $5 vodka tonic. I was supposed to see the new Chanel movie with a male friend and wanted more time with Carina so I invited her to dinner with us. Unlike me, she doesn’t like being the third wheel, so she invited her date from the previous day. My friend and I left early to catch the movie but that didn’t stop me from eating ridiculous quantities. We got the cheap cocktail and a full table of KBBQ at Shin in Hollywood.  I left for the movie and somehow Carina was asked out on a third date…three days in a row. I call the injustice card, wasn’t September supposed to be my month?

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After the movie, my friend drove me to Carina’s where my car was parked. We chatted a bit and she let me borrow the first season of Californication, as she was watching the 3rd season premiere. I must say, the show is pretty f-ing good. I was considerably amused (and tortured) by the amount of direct and indirect sexual scenes. It’s hard to see people, even if on TV, having sex. Oh Californication, I’ve never experienced such agony! Your scenes stab and brutalize my loveless life.

Awkward turtle silence – P.S. That’s the sound of my phone not ringing right now. *Sigh!*

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Always a Caterer, Never a Bride

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Move over J. Lo, the UGs have somehow become the new wedding planners. Josie agreed a few months ago to help a friend of her dad’s plan a wedding. She was a little overwhelmed and I agreed to help a fellow UG out. Was I getting paid? No, but I new it would make for a good blog post…too bad I was too busy running around to snap any photos. However, before the wedding madness I received an invitation to check out Henry’s Hat for Halftime Hilarity. Do I like sports? Um, refer to the previous post where I called Scrabble a sport and where I mistook Cal Ripken Jr. for Tom Coliccho. However, I am an enormous fan of free food, gastropubs, comedians, and interesting cocktails. The invite came from Wagstaff PR and I was extremely excited to check out Henry’s Hat after I learned it was from the Luna Park people and that one of my Facebook friends told me about the great Sunday Brunch he had on his birthday. Josie was in class so I took a date with me. Here’s some advice ladies, as if the UGs have any qualifications to give dating advice, take boys on dates where you have the hookups and then they will owe you something. This particular date I took is the one writing the UG comic book called, The Insatiables. One of the blogger perks for this first night of Halftime Hilarity was 2 cocktails, popcorn, and pizza. I was thinking of getting both of the cocktails for myself but I instead was a good girl and shared with my date. I had the strawberry basil drink and he had one that had a chili pepper in it, what a show-off.

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chili pepper cocktail

We went with the margherita pizza and the spiced popcorn. Clearly I made good ordering decisions as e*starLA and SquashBlossom, who were seated at a nearby table, got the exact same thing. This food wasn’t quite enough for my date and I so we added on some fries, chili, and a peach cobbler. I am pretty sure I frightened my date when after I ran out of fries to dip in my chili I switched to throwing popcorn in my chili bowl. What’s so weird about that? I always add corn to my chili, why not corn in the popped form?

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So here’s the verdict: the comedians during halftime hilarity were hit or miss, the food and drinks were decent and well priced, and our waitress was great. Would I come to watch the game? Probably not, but I am not watching any games. Would I come here to have a cocktail, brunch, or lunch? Most definitely. I’ll bring my other UG half here shortly.

Henry's Hat

halftime hilarity

The wedding preparations began on Friday bright and early. At 6AM we hit the LA Flower Mart. It was my first time but Josie is a clearly a regular as everyone in the place knew her and was saving her the best of the floral best. We grabbed all kinds of cool flowers and foliage for our 8 table arrangements we had to create. I was amazed to see orchids for so cheap and of such amazing quality.

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I am used to waking up at this ungodly hour but I normally stay in bed, check email, grab an apple, and stay horizontal. Since I was out and about I decided to use the new Yelp app for BlackBerry and typed in chilaquiles.  The place that Yelp recommended was called El Huarachito in Lincoln Heights. We ordered the plato campesino, which came with carne and chilaquiles and an order of flautas. It was good. The UGs are very familiar with Highland Park and both realized that Lincoln Heights is an area that we must explore more. The little restaurant, with only one server, was packed and there was even some unwelcome critters. Did a cockroach on the wall cause the UGs to flee? Of course not. Josie said, “Good thing there is nothing beneath us and we are uncouth” and I simply put my shoes back on and sat on my feet.

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The breakfast was filling, traditional, and yummy; we will definitely come back. We needed this big meal for all the work that was to be done for not only the wedding preparations but also for the rehearsal dinner that night. Josie was not loving my flower arranging skills so I got put on Dora the Explorer duty, which was searching through a lush backyard for some extra foliage. I was also there for comic relief. Josie proceed to tell me the next two days, “Carina, I seriously believe you were a mule in your past life”. Clearly, my working skills in this life are pretty sub-par. Thankfully, Josie also recruited another friend who was a champion and a worker that I can simply admire but never duplicate. This girl juggled many balls and had the flower arranging and kitchen skills that Josie possesses.

flower arrangements

The entire wedding was themed around an alcoholic beverage, clearly these were our kind of people! The drink of inspiration was a mojito and the menu was Cuban themed. For the rehearsal dinner we made a wilted spinach salad and the Kitchen for Exploring Foods provided a homemade sausage penne dish and a shrimp alfredo pasta dish.

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It was a lot of work and this was only day 1. We got out of there at around 8pm. Josie and I were planning a date out when I received a text from my friend Barrett saying that there was one extra seat at the Rabbi’s Rosh Hashanah dinner downtown. I had Josie over and after realizing that I would be unable to sneak her in I quickly heated her up a $12 piece of lasagna in my fridge from Porta Via and changed into more kosher clothing. Josie’s lasagna was still cold and I left my other UG half at my place so she could sit and relax for awhile. I headed to Rabbi Moshe’s, from Chabad of Downtown Los Angeles, home and was, of course, the last one to arrive. I was starving and sat down to eat completely forgetting the hand-washing ritual…uncouth! Why is this not on camera? Oh well, the Rabbi’s hot younger brother took me in the kitchen for hand washing. The meal was lovely and I learned the secret to a good brisket was equal parts brown sugar, ketchup, and beer. It was a beautiful way to bring in the New Year. Happy 5770 to all! Time with Barrett and his friends almost always means a lot of drinks and laughs, this time I was prepared. I drove and parked somewhere where I knew that I would be forced to leave by 2am. I did just that and got into my car at 1:58A and saw the boys from Tony’s bar last weekend. I am like practically a Downtowner, when will I make the move?

Wedding Day

The wedding day was as chaotic as can be. We picked up more food from Josie’s employer of 8 years, The Kitchen, and began work on just about everything. We had to heat up the appetizers and all of the food, set up the 8 tables, make a cupcake tower, serve, and pretend like everything was under control. The menu was as followed:

Appetizers
Cheese Twists and Toasts

Jerk Chicken in a banana tostone with Pineapple Salsa and Chipotle

Plaintain Turnovers with Queso Fresco
Chipotle Salsa
Tomatillo Salsa

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Coconut Shrimp with Mojo and Pineapple Salsa

Dinner

12-hr Pork with Tomatillo Sauce

Chicken in Ti Leaf with Pom Curry Sauce

Chipotle Mash

Green Salad, Passion Fruit Vin, Papaya, Jicama, and Toasted Pinenuts

The food was delicious and I was the charming server. Josie was the mad women in the kitchen who had every pot boiling, every cupboard open, and every oven on. She did a miraculous job and at one point in the night the two of us snuck off and sat by the trashcans in order to steer clear of a drunk Artie Lange lookalike and to avoid the mess we made out of the kitchen for just 5 more minutes. The funniest line of the evening came from me when I went back to the kitchen to replenish my appetizer tray. This was how the dialogue went:

Carina: What are these appetizers?
Josie: Bacon wrapped dates
Carina: Oh, that’s exactly how I like my dates to come!

A couple of months ago we said happy hour is the new dinner and now we have a new tagline: Un-kosher is the new Uncouth! The wedding was a success and we are so grateful that the happy couple let us be a part of their special day. On Monday, I was Josie’s +1 to The Kitchen for Exploring Foods annual company party. It was in the home of the catering and entertaining goddess Peggy Dark, founder of The Kitchen. The night had an open bar, sushi, espresso machines, and was catered by Gourmet Grill Masters LA (amazing chicken) and Get Shaved (shaved ice over vanilla ice cream with some condensed milk on top). We now have a new found appreciation for caterers and the entertaining goddesses of the land. While I may not be a bride any time soon, I will be a Birthday Girl soon and perhaps we can put our party throwing expertise to work. I was planning on spending my birthday in the air on the way to Singapore but since that may now be put on hold, anyone have any awesome party ideas?

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shaved ice truck

The UGs have been Busy Bees

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The UGs have gone from a mellow holiday weekend in Santa Cruz, aka Santa Snooze, to returning to Los Angeles and being as busy as ever. Wednesday was one of the busiest days and we were oh so Toluca Lake as we went straight from a meeting at ABC to Mo’s Burgers for a late lunch. We’re still not “Hollywood” but we are working on it. After our late lunch I rushed to class and then as soon as it let out I headed to Downtown to celebrate one of the many Birthdays this month. What’s with all of you September babies? Your parents had to keep warm and close in the winter months and now you are  overbooking the UGs calendar with birthday celebrations. This day belonged to the lovely Veronica who we had the pleasure of shopping with last week in search of her birthday dress. Thanks to the suggestion of Sino Soul she decided to hold her 09-09-09 birthday bash at O Bar, a very cool downtown space, that is underutilized. It was great seeing Veronica, aka Legs, in the white dress I picked for her the day that Josie tried on that infamous wedding dress. Sadly, it’s looking like that will remain the only day that Josie’s body will ever sport such a costume. After all, the Quija board said that she wouldn’t marry until 35 and in chef Ludo’s words, “Josie, please! No more dating. It’s really not your thing.” Truer words have never been echoed. Sorry Josie, only 10 more years to go…However, she (and I) are in no hurry to wed. After all, we have an empire to build. Are you with us, uncouthies?

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However, there was one person who was very missed;  it was Veronica neighbor/uncouthie and the UG proclaimed “Mayor of Downtown”, Arun. All ended well because this caused us to talk to more people. In fact, one lady who we’ve met at several events and are Facebook friends but with whom we never talk to (or maybe we were just to drunk to remember), Margaret. Margaret was the lady of the hour and we suddenly learned that she was a dating icon. She told us about her Match.com rejection email templates and how she scares men with her stripper pole. Josie and I listened intently like disciples listening to “the prophet.” We named her our Dating Sensei and she will now be the first person we talk to at any party. Love that girl!

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Our next action packed full day was on Friday where I got reacquainted with an old favorite sport, throwing down tiles-of the Scrabble variety-with a group of friends at the homey Cafe Zephyr. Later Josie and I headed to Beverly Hills to meet our agent. We jokingly asked for Emmy tickets but they know us too well there and offered us something even better, fruit tarts and cupcakes. Upon a recommendation from a Jdater via text we decided to check out Tom Coliccho’s Craftbar. We had been wanting to go for a while and figured we were on the Westside and it was around Happy Hour time. I have one funny story about Tom, about a year ago I was in a Borders browsing and I saw a book called, Get in the Game, I thought it was strange that Tom Coliccho would have a book with that title. Upon careful examination I noticed that the man on the cover of the book was Cal Ripken Jr. and not Tom. Always a foodie never a sports enthusiast-after all, I just referred to Scrabble as a sport.

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If it seems like I am ignoring the food it is because I am. Don’t worry I am getting there. Josie was a little cranky all day but upon entering Craftbar she was not. I immediately noticed a signature fragrance when walking in that I appreciated. Josie, the flower girl, immediately noticed the crooked orchids and couldn’t stop questioning or staring. She kept repeating, “Why the hell are their flowers crooked?” The restaurant, the bar, and the cabana area were virtually all empty and we, Eastsiders, were complaining how cold the Westside was. Josie was starving and I was not. She ordered a $5 beer, a braised pork sandwich and we split a flatbread with salami. I had a $7 cocktail and the calamari salad. I wasn’t hungry and found the dish to be fine, nothing great. The tomatoes in my salad were amazing and if I never had them before I would’ve been blown away but this is the way Bazaar makes them. They are blanched, peeled, and impregnated with a strong balsamic. If I love only one thing, I love vinegar. But again as much as I love these fruits of the man-made variety, they didn’t have the knock my socks off effect.

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Josie, on the other hand, was not a happy camper. She hated her sandwich, yes, I am saying hated. It didn’t satiate her (keep in mind we are having a comic book written about us called, The Insatiatbles) and she just found it to suck. She thought the flatbread was okay and found the waitstaff to be flat and almost robotic. We always say context plays a big role and this was just not working for her. She wasn’t impressed by the decor, service, or the food and let me use a sports analogy, “Three strikes and they are out!” The bill came to $45 dollars and we got out of there as quickly as possible. In the car, Josie was questioning me on my thoughts. The truth is I thought it was okay but I couldn’t really justify anything and I definitely didn’t love the place. Nothing was incredible. I liked that the Happy Hour menu lasted for many hours, that  it was reasonably priced in this economy, and that it gives every Top Chef enthusiast a chance to try Tom’s food. I could justify dropping a little money there but Josie could not. Fair enough. I suppose she’s blown her chance at being a judge on Top Chef!

We went our separate ways a little while after that. Josie ate at her house, I got frozen yogurt and later she picked me up to begin our Friday night out. We stopped off at a going away party for our friend Lauren at Barney’s in Pasadena and then made it out to Blue Goose to see Enthusiast20/Ricky on his birthday day.

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We first met Rick at a Yelp Elite event and have since seen him at a few of Sino Soul‘s events. He always makes us smile when he calls Josie Eva Mendez. As clearly, she looks like no such thing. This time though he cracked us up when we were dancing with him and he said, “They’re mine” when his friends tried to dance with us. We’ll take it, for sure. We had no idea that Rick was such a party animal, but apparently after Blue Goose he was driving straight to Vegas.

We somehow managed to make it Library Bar just in time for last call and met up with Barrett‘s brother. We then did an after party at Barrett’s house. This has been the location of many of Shabbat dinners but this time they didn’t do dinner at their house but they certainly did a lot of l’chaims. We left because our host and his girlfriend were occupying the bathroom and after so many l’chaims, I had to pee. Everyone seemed to have luck that night except me. It’s okay, I have had a great deal of luck recently and I was glad my other UG 1/2 had her turn. The next day I tried for the second week in a row to go to services at Chabad of Downtown Los Angeles. This time I wasn’t quite as lucky in punctuality. I missed services but arrived just in time for lunch and l’chaims (it is such a classier way to say drinks/shots). I said hello to all of the new friends I have made, was poured many l’chaims and grabbed the bowl of pickles and put them right in front of me. Uncouth. Jews are famous for their long goodbyes and time always flies. I had a Jdate at 7 that night at Liquid Kitty, which just sounded vulgar. It wasn’t open yet so the date moved to Don Antonio’s for margaritas. Keep in mind I had been drinking since around noon and the only thing in my tummy was a lot of kosher pickles and some TBG (tomato basil garlic) pizza. I have been a much more put together date in the past. I don’t think I was my charming self. Oh well. I called my new British friend that I met at Barbarella to see if he wanted to hang out since I knew he lived in Santa Monica but he was heading Downtown to the Edison. Well actually he thought he was going to Silverlake; it was like the first time I met him and he thought he was in Hollywood and I had to break it to him that he was in Silverlake. I was getting tired of the Westside even though I really wanted to go to Diana Takes a Bite‘s birthday party and decided it would be best to go home and have Josie pick me up so we could go back to our favorite place-Downtown. The line at the Edison was insane but I did say hello or ello to the Brit. I was actually feeling exhausted and slightly queasy and Josie was hungry so we went to one of our favorite establishments downtown for food and/or premium cocktails, Church & State.

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Church & State was packed and we took our seats at the bar. I needed food and for once I let Josie completely order. We got the mac and cheese and the salad. We both have interesting memories here. For me, it was when I was rude and stupid to a famed food blogger. For Josie, it was when she went on a date with the former bartender. Regardless it felt good to be back. We got to see our favorite and the best dressed sommelier in Los Angeles. We also were reacquainted with the charming bar back and we got to meet the new tall and handsome bartender from Amsterdam. We also had a famous guest sitting at the bar next to us, it was Elvis’ widow, Priscilla Presley. When you have incredible food at affordable prices, great service, and a nice atmosphere there is no point in going to somewhere like Craftbar. They now even carry Bitburger on draught, but on this night I was chugging water.

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Josie and the staff all wanted to go to Tony’s Bar. I agreed but wasn’t really feeling it, it was my day to be a little cranky. Regardless of my not so good-drank too much early in the day- mood, I was still quite impressed by a great restaurant and a good bar. Tony’s bar is not really my style although Josie, the C&S staff, and Los Angeles Magazine disagree and all love it there. However, Saturday night was the most packed I had seen it, there was an awesome DJ, and even my exhaustion and crankiness couldn’t put a damper on the night. Give the UGs a restaurant where the waitstaff will party with them after hours and I will show you two bustling and buzzing little bees.

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Meet the Parents-Laborless Trip Spent in a Recumbent Position

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Do the unemployed get to celebrate Labor Day? The UGs hope so! I, Josie, have a hard time relaxing, which is probably why I am a chronic sufferer of so many ailments. However, this post is not for your reading pity (for those kinds of stories, please refer to the many posts below) but rather to fill you in on the progress of my recovery. Even though you may not see it throughout the blog, the UGs are rather resilient workers.  In fact, our most brilliant ideas come to us in bouts of insomnia. Speaking from the tongue of an entrepreneur, the UG journey is a mapless one. A journey in which the boundaries of our success lie only in our overflowing imagination. Given those grandiose macro-ideas, you can understand how we also find it exceedingly depressing when we don’t find time to relax. So when Carina invited me for a short and relaxing trip to her hometown, Santa Cruz, I quickly obliged. I was nervous because for the first time I was going to finally meet the parents. I was excited to meet the people and the city that shaped my partner’s past, especially given that our friendship has played a determining factor in our fate.

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7AM was the call time and Carina drove the first half of the five hour trip. I slept for a while as I was exhausted from the 4AM end time of My Last Bite’s party the night before. As we drove into Santa Cruz, I was reminded of Ojai. My ex-boyfriend of eight years, who I’m super bummed won’t speak to me anymore, is from Ojai. We knew the family had a lot in store for the UGs. We had a Labor Day BBQ at Carina’s Godmother, Lisa’s, house and several mini trips of things to see. How on earth were we to do so much in so little time?

We walked into Carina’s house and were immediately bombarded by Carina’s little brother, Cody. He jumped out of a blind corner and scared the s$@! out of me. Later that night Cody, who loves wrestling, told me he could fiercely lift me. I didn’t let him, of course. I’m frail. From there we went to Lisa’s house and started BBQ’ing. I made the hamburger patties and for dessert we had chocolate fondue. Linda, who’s a shy friend of the of the family, started helping with the chocolate fondue. Linda who is  a self-proclaimed fire marshal was nervous about the fondue flame and ended up snuffing the fire. Carina, who is impatient about her dessert-especially when fruit is involved, looks at her and says, “Linda, you ruin everything.” Linda runs out of the room, grabs all her belongings, and storms out of the house in hurry blaming her leave on her daughter’s sickness. Uncouth! There was no harm and we went back to Carina’s house and got in the hot tub and sauna. It is totally the NorCal way and something I can get use to ending every night with; the UGs had no trouble relaxing.

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The next day we had a Thai lunch with Carina’s 90-year old grandfather, Arthur. As soon as he saw the “new member of the family” (me), he asked me my name. I said, “Josie,” and he said, “That’s my mother’s name.” I laughed and told him I give all the cute guys I meet the same line. It’s a good one, too. When lunch was over we all walked Arthur, who’s in a walker, to the car. Carina’s mom, Janis, was busily talking and pushing Arthur at the same time. Janis shouldn’t have been allowed to do both because as we were all talking, Arthur started yelling and making a scene in the parking lot. We all looked down at him and asked him what was wrong. He just pointed down at his feet. Apparently in all the talking and pushing, Janis had run over his feet and his whole body weight was now resting on his left foot. Poor Arthur! He gave me many laughs and it made me remember how much I miss my own grandfather who passed about 7 years ago.

As we were leaving Carina gave me a tour of the infamous beach babe dudes and where they all change out of their wet suits. Man, there are so many cute guys in Santa Cruz. I’m thinking of renaming the place altogether to “the island of men so beautiful they make you weep.” In other words, after the tour I needed some cold water to pour on myself. Enough said.

My first visit to Santa Cruz was utterly relaxing. We didn’t get to all the things we had planned on, but it was ok. Between the afternoon naps, hot tub, sauna, and the verbal abuse of shy people, I’ve never slept better. Thanks, in-laws! It was wonderful to have finally met you.

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I wished we could have stayed a bit longer, but the UGs had a prior engagement – a free meal! The UGs have been so broke nowadays that when offered the UGs are never ones to turn down free food. Hell, it’s the only reason we go on dates at all. Ha! Christina of the boutique PR company, InkFoundry, invited us to the Flemings downtown to sample their newest prime burger bar and Happy Hour menu, or as Fleming’s calls it “The 5 for 6 til 7.” The UGs have coined that Happy Hour is the new dinner so we were eager to try it out and report back to the rest of the UG nation, even if we had to drive five hours to sample it. Look what we’re doing for you world?

We got there early so we popped into Starbucks and “freshened up.” Still early, we decided to go in and drink. Our first visit to Fleming’s was a few months ago at their Woodland Hills location when Carina won us a steak and wine dinner for two on Twitter. Despite not being corporate restaurant girls, we had the best time in the world. The first time we were in a private room at a communal table with 20 strangers. Food was good, but service was impeccable. Our second visit to Fleming’s downtown was no different. We felt a bit out of place because everyone looked like they’d just come out of the opera and given that Carina had just finished changing in the car and I was wearing torn jeans and her dirty shirt, we sat at the bar. Our bartender, David, gave us the royal treatment. David had the manager come out, the chef, and even had the pastry chef make an impromptu dessert of berries and chantilly cream for Miss. Carina. Further proof that experience makes the meal that much better.

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I’m a huge fan of beef carpaccio and since it was on the new HH menu, I figured I had to try it. I’m glad we did, as it was spectacular. Christina suggested we try the portobello fries, which sounded interesting but were merely alright. The UG way is to try at least everything once, so that’s what we did. For the sake of research, the UGs tried every single burger on the menu! Forget 2 Girls 1 Cup we were 3 Girls 5 burgers. Here’s the breakdown:

Ahi Burger: I am allergic so had to refrain but Carina and Christina went on and on about how this was their favorite of the night. Fresh fish and well seasoned ginger soy sauce made this a very interesting burger. It was definitely both of their highlights.

Fleming’s Prime Bacon Cheeseburger: One could understand why this is the least expensive of the five, as nothing about it stands out. Not bad, but not interesting. The lack of complexity of this one should be reserved for a the unadventurous man or woman that we all know, however as a foodie, this one is far from inventive.

Filet Mignon Burger: Hands down my favorite of the five. We ordered this one med-rare and given that Fleming’s IS a steakhouse, for me, this one is the way to go. Thumbs up!

Portobella Burger: Although never a fan of vegetarian options, sometimes the UGs crave light veggies. Today was one of those days for me, Josie. I liked the caliber of the goat cheese and a meaty lightness of a grilled portabella. I’d order it again.

Crab Cake Burger: Carina said this burger was  too salty. I am sure I, a salt whore, would have loved it but again it could have killed me. The Bartender, David, did say that the crab cakes were one of the most popular appetizers and that one cake is amazing but two may be too much.

Onion Rings: Come with every burger and since onion rings have been my new obsession, I’d have to say I really enjoyed these perfectly battered and fried ringlets.

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The UG girls had a great time. We laughed all night. The festivities ended with a box of beautiful truffles. We loved sharing dating, food, and PR stories with Christina and seeing pictures of the bartender’s daughter. We felt right at home, which was a lovely addition to my week with the family. Yup, they may not know it yet but I am an honorary member of the family: The Ost family, Carina’s godmother’s family, the Fleming’s Steakhouse family, the Ink Foundry family, and anywhere else that will feed me well, allow me to relax, and treat me oh so kindly!

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It’s a Nice Week for a White Wedding Day

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This has been a long and ultra busy week that has been complete with the randomness that only a UG girl could have. Josie had a date last Sunday, which was great because her dating front has been a little more than grim (see post below). For some reason on this particular day I, too, had a date and many at that. When we got home on Saturday night it was the scariest of the Station Fire nights, as I saw flames creeping into Altadena. While I was no real danger my house greatly smelled like smoke. My mom and I had been arguing that day and I took it upon myself to make her nervous and call her at midnight to say, “Not to alarm you but there is a big fire and my apartment smells like smoke.” I have lived on my own for 5 years occupying a totally different side of California and sometimes you have to make the parents a little nervous so they will value you more. Her response was general concern and then she said something quite strange, “Don’t you have anyone you could sleep with? You can’t be there!” There was a boy that was texting me all night to come over and watch Mad Men with him (euphemism?). After six texts, I was finally in the position to come over, only to find out that he fell asleep on me. Am I inheriting Josie’s bum luck? Let’s hope not. Her dates are dropping faster than her bank balance. Anyway, he felt guilty when he heard my messages and told me I must come over right away even though it was now 5A. I needed a great deal of convincing and had my first early morning date, which lasted from 7-11A. Next on the agenda for the day was lunch with food bloggers. It was the newly married Sino Soul, his lovely new wife, and Food is My Nish and her posse. The location of the place changed several times, but after a series of texts we all ended up at Dou Jan Station in Arcadia. I wasn’t expecting much from this Taiwanese place, but there was an early morning oyster and chitlin soup that was perfection and really good dumplings. FYI: I love dumplings so much I carry one on my keychain.

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After this lunch on a hot and smokey day I went home and rested and then one of my old friends who just got back from a month in Iran let me know that he had presents of the best variety, aka edible, for me. I decided that we must then hang out immediately so I could get my gifts and we agreed on a movie to beat the heat. I live right by the Laemmle Theater in Pasadena and I am good friends with one of the workers and upon walking in to see 500 Days of Summer we all discussed doing something afterwards. After the movie I had texts from Josie asking me if I was jealous she went on a date with a nice Jewish boy. She is jew-curious and has moved in on my tribe, I would normally be jealous but I had too many things to do that night to really care. My friend Tony of The Mo-Odds and his girlfriend Zena were also calling me looking to do something. Zena is a foodie in her heart and just had pizza in Arcadia that she was anxious for us to all try. The five of us headed to Zelo’s Pizza for some ‘za. We were old by Zena that it was best to order a couple of pieces by the slice instead of a whole pie. I got the special potato pancetta pizza and a slice of the corn pizza. All of the slices had a thick and hard cornmeal crust, it was pretty delicious even though I am normally someone that leaves crust on my plate. The beet salad for the table was also quite good. I was thinking that I found a new great secret until I learned from News Me Baby’s handy links to Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99(105) List that it was already quite popular and noteworthy.

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Tony always has the hook up to strange happenings and told us that one of his friends in Chinatown was screening movies on his projector on the newly built wood screen. He described the film as a documentary about slutty girls in the 90s that was all I needed-I was totally sold. That was part of the movie but it was actually focusing on Wildwood, New Jersey and was pretty unbelievable. It was a great juxtaposition with the gorgeous downtown Los Angeles backdrop, bad 90s fashion on the screen in front of us, and flames behind us.

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Later in the week, Josie and I had a date of our own and decided to stop being posers and actually go out and see Julie & Julia. As bloggers, Pasadena girls, and foodies this was a movie tailor made for us. Julie Child, a Pasadena native, we found to be delightful, humorous and even perfectly vulgar. We loved her and decided to rename the movie “Julie < Julia” as we were really only interested in her story. There were some things about Julia’s story we found quite amusing: the book deal and her warped sense of reality -we will admit to it, we sometimes say that our readers will die if we don’t post every week. However, perhaps we had some bias after reading that the real Julie said that she is a writer not a blogger when interviewed by the incredible Josh Lurie. Our favorite scene was when Julia called the cannelloni a hard *explicit word*…who knew she was so uncouth?!? We were both drooling over the boeuf bourguignon and Josie said she was going to make it that night, I was bummed because I had to race to school after the movie. In class I was licking my fingers and then rubbing it on the zipper region of my jeans. The guy sitting next to me in my Organizational Behavior was stunned and oddly intrigued. I responded to his stares by saying, “What? You try eating a hot dog in a dark movie theater and not getting mustard stains everywhere”. After class I called Josie who made me super jealous by telling me that she just made a big pot for dinner. I demanded to come over for a bowl and she obliged. It was delicious and provided me the first food picture with steam included.

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Josie, always the good wife, also brought me out a bag of Sour Patch Kids and told me she saved me all of the yellow and green ones. I didn’t end up eating until 1A and by that time we already downed quite a bit of cheap red wine. I decided to spend the night and the two of us tweeted in bed, giggled, and called boys. No one really responded making us feel like two 7th grade losers. I woke up around 8A and as soon as I began my morning ritual of checking my Blackberry, Josie popped out of bed full of energy and asking if she could make me pancakes. How could I say no? She also made eggs, smoothies, ham, and bagels.

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On Friday, we agreed to help our friend Veronica look for a birthday dress. We headed to Melrose and the Beverly Center in search of the perfect dress. Josie also found the perfect dress. Too bad she has no reason to wear it any time soon. FYI: She totally grabbed the flowers from the vase at the store to complete her outfit.

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We then headed for the food blogger party in celebration of Tony and Hayon recent exchanging of the vows. Some people actually have really weddings. We were supposed to meet at Varnish and when we arrived we saw Tony outside. We weren’t sure if it was a surprise party and were nervous that we may be the uncouth girls to ruin the surprise. Tony knew about it but wasn’t a part of the planning committee and suggested we move to a bigger venue, The Association. Tony had containers of delicious barbecue from Compton with him. First we were told that we couldn’t eat inside the lounge so we brought the meat outside. If you are familiar with Downtown then you know that Association is very near skid row and seeing food bloggers outside on the street devouring ribs and brisket was a little unsettling. Although the meat was anything but unsettling it was damn good and the UGs have been looking for good barbecue forever. This place was so awesome that slices of Wonder Bread were included in the order. Eating inside was much more fitting even though we smelled up the place.

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However, one of the greatest things we ate that night was the olive oil and rosemary ice cream that Tony made. Any guy that brings food to his own party is okay in our book. I snuck off around 10 that night to enjoy a kosher Chinese Shabbat dinner at our friend Barrett’s house after we saw him at the Music Union event he hosted at Broadway Bar the night before. His girlfriend made a beautiful meal and like other holy nights we have spent with him they are equipped with late eating, lots of alcohol and a ton of good people.

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Barrett had convinced me into attending services with him the next day. He attends the Chabad of Downtown Los Angeles and it was like no orthodox temple I have ever been to. It was in a converted loft and men and women were separated by trees. They had a brand new Torah, a ton of singing and dancing, and more fun then I have ever seen religious Jews have. Barrett informed me that, “I should stick to kosher meat”…vulgar. After services there was plenty of food and alcohol. I had more scotch and whiskey before 2pm than I have had all week combined. I had a great talk with the rabbi about why I should marry a Jew. It was a magical day and it was not over just yet. My Last Bite was having a BBQ Party that night in her perfect party house/backyard. I met Josie there and started mingling with the people next to what else – the buffet. At the buffet we met a cheese maker and a model. They were so sweet and helpful; they introduced us to the others at the party and even pawned off our potluck dish to the others at the table. Earlier that day, Josie and I made a grape (green/purple), kalamata olive, mozzarella cheese salad. It was delicious! Other dishes included a beautifully cooked tri-tip, bacon ice-cream, and Ludo’s own, savory bacon cake.  If these are our professional peers, let there be many more events like these! We love each and every one of them equally. We partied down with: @simplyheavens@mylifeasafoodie @TheBaubShow @CharlesGT @chefludo @kevin_Eats @LAOCfoodie @tallnoe @olivejina @liquoredonlife– Just to name a few. When we got there, Jo (My Last Bite) was in the kitchen cooking with militant vigor trying to get everything out for her guests to enjoy. She is always the best host and we, UGs, can commiserate because we too share in her untrammeled passion for food.

Josie sported a new (old) shirt for the soiree. She was tired and threw on a pair of yoga pants and thermal, only to find out that the yellow top she had on had incurred a large stain on the left breast. Not wanting to take it off, she thought, “How can I detract from this big stain? Oh, I’ll write on it!” Without taking the shirt off, she grabbed a sharpie and wrote on her shirt, “Broke i$ the new black.” Everyone at the party liked it, in particular,  the cutest girl at the party told her she had a “great rack.” Leave it to Josie to be looking for a man and attract the cutest girl in the room. She must have really done something terrible to Cupid in a past life! Maybe September won’t be her month after all. This is just further proof that you can’t have it all.

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I was feeling a bit partied out, after all, I had started pretty early-like 10A. Josie stayed and I left. The next day, I checked twitter only to see that Josie had tweeted all the night’s uncouth moments of the night. Here is a couple: @laocfoodie “‘Ed Hardy wine? Douche bag juice!” also “where’d the Gale to your Oprah go?'” Brilliant!” I woke her up early in the morning to recap and to wake her up for our Santa Cruz mini-trip. She told me she had such a wonderful of a time that she sung karaoke, got in the pool, and played percussion (i.e. the tambourine) in the impromptu band that Jo and her husband led. She got home at 4A and now has a hip load of purple, blue, and green bruises all over her left hip, but says the night was worth every once of pain she incurred. Thanks again, Jo!

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Will Cupid Pay Up in September? Stay Tuned.

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The UGs visited an an unlikely trio of places this weekend: a country-club, a low-budget (but definitely entertaining) stand-up night at a comic book store, and an end of summer FOX charity event held by our friend John.

The week started quite busy for my counterpart Carina. Miss Carina has had the fortuitous luck of having quite the boy fan club these days. Unfortunately, my luck has “come up” impotent in comparison. It’s like God picked her name out of a hat this month or something! I’m normally prone to bouts of gloominess and last month, I’d been feeling a little under the weather. It was a dismal month for the UG ladies, and while our days of growling at attractive men look far from over, there’s luckily a new month ahead and hey, the new month looks optimistic for the UGs. Although we can’t specify any details, the UGs are going thorough some changes at the moment – mainly, puberty. 🙂

Friday started off less than seismic. The wildfires had just begun their trek east (little did we know that by nightfall they’d be so close to home) and Carina and I went to our usual Friday business lunch at an unusual place, The Annandale Golf Club, with our mentor Chuck. The club is far from cutting edge in terms of food, but the class is heir apparent at this sprawled compound.

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We were healthy UGs and both ordered salads (okay, it was just 112 degrees outside and hot food would’ve been a death sentence). I had the chicken caeser and Carina had the shrimp tempura salad. Maybe it’s because I’m latin but I am obsessed with lemon wedges. This habit has been passed along to Carina and we both require lemon wedges with nearly every dish we order. Our lemons were wrapped in yellow tinted cheese cloth and wrapped with a cute green bow to sift the seeds off the food….how classy! Carina always tells me that golf makes her cry and that her business sport of choice is tennis. As customary with good ‘ol Chuck, he brought far too much wine and the UGs never know how to say no. We’re always in dire need of a nap after our Friday outings with Chuck.

We ended the meal with a tour of the newly remolded kitchen and bakery. The Chef was so kind. He reminded me of a little rosy-cheeked cherub. All chefs should be so angelic. Chuck walked all of us out and Carina and I headed to my car, which we self parked. We opened the door, paused, and then looked each other and screamed. We were in the wrong car! Just when you thought the girls were growing up and getting some class…uncouth! Can any other blog in the world atest to that kind of stupidity? Sometimes I think we’re living in the “Dumb and Dumber” movie…I wonder who’s Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels. Not a flaw between us…

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After a three hour lunch at Annandale, we decided to part ways and take a nap before heading to Meltdown Comics in Hollywood for a stand-up comedy show at the work establishment of Carina’s newest admirer. I’m so glad that she’s dating. After all, she is supplying me with a plethora entertaining stories. When we got there we chatted up “The Admirer” at the front door and I was pleasantly surprised by his comic book good looks and succinct one-liners. After about a minute, I got thirsty and told him I needed to “buy my baby a drink,” to which he (whom will remain nameless) responded, “Um…the drinks in there are free!” Shocked with delight, we entered, grabbed a brew, and made ourselves at home in the front row. Paul Rust and Charlyne Yi were playing and the set started off slow. By the end of the set, I was stunned. It was by far the liveliest set I’ve ever seen anywhere.

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Afterwards the comedians came on. They were all funny in their own right and Howard Kremer (the lad in the second picture) was nice enough to tell us to “have a summer” 15,000 times. I could’ve killed him! It must have been by virtue of front row that we all of a sudden became the night’s hecklers and in fact, the comedians seemed to relish it because they couldn’t stop talking to us. We even got in trouble once by an annoyed lady in the audience, however, Aziz Ansari came to our defense. Aziz proclaimed us the gigglers of the night and tested out some new material. But it was our contribution to his set that  he was most taken with, at least that’s what he told the annoyed lady in the audience. Sadly, some women will just never like the UGs.

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From there, we moved to what else? Dinner. I was a little saddened by the rude audience member, but luckily my mood was quickly changed by the good company and free flowing beer.

Even though it was Carina who was on the date, sadly, it is was her and I that had the romantic moment of the evening. We sat down and I poured us an ice cold Asahi. It was then that Carina reached in to her purse and pulled out a…wait for it…a key to her house. I was touched by her gesture and attached the key to my keys. It was then that our romantic moment was then ruined by her boy toy billowing down next to us.

Side note: Carina probably regretted giving me her key the next day because she arrived home only to find me in her bed in my bra and underwear asleep in front of the fan like a wet dog. Uncouth!

We ordered the ginger chicken and Pad Thai, which both did the trick. The best part of the night was our new company, the boy. He was so funny and I very much enjoyed his company. He even gave me a few pointers on how to land the boy I’ve been chasing. He told me to to kiss him right on the lips – something I would never normally do. After all, I’m a lady and a lady never makes the first move, right? Anyone?

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The conversation was delicious and “the boy” even walked us to the car. It was then Carina walked by her car door and immediately all the doors opened. I took the hint and said, “that’s my cue.” I got in the car and quickly updated my Facebook status to “I sooo LOVE Carina’s new boyfriend!” Much to my surprise, “the boy” got in the car and we gave him a ride home; he was in horror the whole ride home by Carina’s driving. It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving because he would’ve been mortified by my maneuvers. I even told him about the time a pedestrian jumped in front of my car and yelled “Ahhh!” We all laughed, but sadly I could’ve killed the man. Oops! At one point he said, “You guys should absolutely have a TV show. The second season can be called ‘The UGs: Traffic School Edition.'” We dropped him off a few miles away and even though I REALLY liked him for Carina, I will not allow a relationship to ensue. We have an empire to build! Eat your hearts out boys!

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Carina is from Santa Cruz and whenever I hear her mom talk to her on the phone she is worried that we, The UGs, aren’t doing enough to help the community. My mom, on the other hand, sees us as regular women of charity. We try, but mostly we try to look the part as we get our nails done early Saturday morning. Our friend John has an amazing loft, which I always say should play home to a yoga studio. John is doing the work of a Triathlon Man in order to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease. Some people train for years, not our John, who has only had 5 weeks of training. He was hosting the event as a fundraiser and as an end of the summer get together, which I had to invite myself to. Carina, once again, had the upper hand as she got a Facebook invite and I did not. The party was equipped with cute boys, none as cute as John, and plenty of sushi.

Upon entering the loft, I was excited about trying out my bold new move but the plot was foiled when I saw the boy in the elevator and he gave Carina a hug first and I was just given a hug and a peck on the cheek. His lips were never in my direct vicinity and I wimped out. He was impressed by the homemade macaroons we made for the party; unfortunately, they melted in the 112 degree heat in my car…uncouth! Eat your heart out, Martha! The fridge saved our macaroons and the party was off to a great start.

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Sometime in the night I saw Carina in a séance on the floor. Sadly, someone came by before me doing Duck-Duck-Goose! The night was fun and I know Carina was very intrigued by a Jewish woman at the party and the ability to get her husband to refresh their drinks and bring them back cheese plates. When I sat by them they were discussing J-date. This woman said that all the men have to do a circumcision test before they are allowed to register on J-date. This gave me the biggest laugh of the night.

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I know this is going to shock everyone but the uncouth moment of the night didn’t come from the UGs but rather from another party guest as they spilled a glass of red wine on a very expensive rug. I, a newly converted Curb your Enthusiasm enthusiast, yelled, “Club soda and salt”. John was on it along with a bottle of white wine.

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John ended the night in bed with a ton of girls. Who does he think he is, Carina? Luckily, this month is over. September will be my month *fingers crossed*