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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!