October is the month of many good things: my birthday, the completion of my graduate studies, the start of many new UG businesses, Halloween and Dine LA Restaurant Week. This past Friday, the second day of October, had all of the usual suspects. Lunch at the Jonathan Club with our business partner Chuck and later Shabbat dinner at Barrett’s house. One exciting addition to this particular October Friday was our newest member of the UG crew, programmer extraordinaire, Alex from Germany. We wanted our full team of empire builders to meet and, most importantly, eat together. Chuck has connections at all place but especially at his fancy club. The Downtown Jonathan Club is missing something that Beach club is not, the cute ultra talented Chef Benjamin. We met Chef Benjamin on our first trip to the JC Beach in August when his foie gras caused Josie to utter, “If God made butter…” This Friday was no food exception to Chef Benjamin’s talent. Per Chuck’s request he came up with a menu on the fly that blew the UGs mind!
The first course for the table was a calamari looking linguine that at first glance I could have sworn was udon noodles. It was served with something I had never seen before a piece of seared ahi fused together with a fresh scallop. If only the UGs knew this fusing technique, we would never be in need of a Friday night date. The new species of fish was then topped with sea urchin, which was awesome and I haven’t had since my trip to Tokyo last year. This dish showed Benjamin’s creativity and skill. Josie, of course, threw the man another curve ball of the afternoon by declaring that she could not have any shellfish. I think we can all remember when Chuck and I almost killed her with the Shrimp Incident. We would get a higher percentage with her gone, do you blame us? Relax, I kid. I love Josie in the most enormous platonic way a friend can love a friend. Anyway, in order to keep my other UG 1/2 with a pulse, Chef Benjamin created some duck with stone fruit. I imagine it was great as not a bite was offered to the rest of the table.
The second course was risotto, which for the fish eaters was laced with addicting amounts of lump crab and paired with halibut cheeks. By the way, I apologize in advance, if ever I am served halibut I will say, “I am eating it just for the halibut”. I am pretty sure I am the only one that thinks I’m punny (or for that matter, funny). Josie remains moronically oblivious (0k, maybe just unimpressed) by my self-amusing puns and just rolls her eyes; my love of puns remains unrequited. But as the author of my own jokes, “my charming” verbal wit is not in vain because they bear fruit here on the UG blog. Am I the only one laughing right now?
The third course the whole table was able to enjoy. It was beef with pickled cucumber and apple slices. It was all unbelievable and packed a strong wasabi pow, which we all enjoyed. I, a hardcore pickle addict, went nuts and said that I could eat a whole container of those was shocked when upon leaving the JC Chuck provided us with not one but two containers full of those vinegary delights. Total side note, my freshman year in college I was living in the dorms with one of my best friends from Tokyo who would love to make me cucumber salad. Every Sunday, we’d go rollerskating on Chandler Blvd. then roll in to Ralphs to buy 4 cucumbers and 2 bottles of champagne to accompany our weekly Sex & the City nights. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that this might be an odd sight. I was an Uncouth Gourmand, long before Josie and I ever coined the name for it.
I don’t know what has gotten into Josie but my savory girl has grown a sweet tooth. Either that or she realizes that our Fridays with Chuck may be the only substantial four course meal she will have all week. She has now become the girl that will have one of everything when the dessert cart rolls around. She was delighted by the cheesecake. I had the chai creme brulee with a poached pear that blew my mind. Josie and I both devoured Chuck’s cookies n’ creme dessert and I, a produce poacher, stole some bananas from Alex’s chocolate and banana cake. By the way, if you get Josie drunk enough she will disclose a scandalous story about me and my favorite word fruition.
BIG NEWS: Our brilliant technology mastermind, Alex, has agreed to help the UGs in launching something very cool in the near future. We can’t disclose too much now but check this and our Twitter for announcements. We are going to need some testers in the beta stage and want you, uncouthies, to be part of the unveiling. Let’s just put it this way, our ideas and his talent stretch beyond the amazing ocean views at the beach club. Stay Tuned….
We left the Jonathan Club after a record breaking 5 hour lunch. Traffic was horrendous and let’s just say one UG was ready to throw another UG out of her car when all of the sudden we were saved. Did we get a message from the divine? Nope, even better we found the pickled cucumbers in my car and found a hilarious psuedo bumper in the parking lot that Angelenos like to call “The 10” during rush hour. We stunk up my car with the smell of vinegar and got our hands more than sticky in the process but it was well worth it as we were instantly back to our laughing selves. After taking the 110 to then end and arriving in Pasadena we made a stop at Bev Mo for some kosher beer, He’Brew -The Chosen Beer, for Shabbat dinner later that night. One second out of the car and blocking the middle of the road we see Chuck, who left his own club hours earlier to get back to that thing called a “job”. He was more surprised to see us then we were to see him and he said, “Didn’t you girls drink enough at lunch?”
Barrett, our business mentor and my religious guide, played rabbi for the day and we wanted to celebrate with a few l’chaims with the Friday Night Live crew. Barrett often tells me to stick to kosher meat and was thrilled when I brought a Jewish date to dinner. My date was shocked that we were the kind of girls that arrive for dinner at 11p. He doesn’t know us at all. It’s always right between the fish course, which Josie can’t eat, and the meat or dairy course and shotgunning. Josie cut open a Bud(lite) and competed like a champ. She is the only girl I know that doesn’t mind a wet shirt, even when a wet t-shirt contest is not involved.
As we see most Fridays, Barrett’s girlfriend and her cooking talent are always impeccable. She out does her self every shabbat with a different theme. So far we have had kosher kabobs, Chinese, and Indian themed dinners. This October Friday had the Italian theme and with that came two amazing lasagnas. In order to be kosher, they had real cheese but fake meat. I wouldn’t even have known. Josie and I both went nuts over the white lasagna and took more than our fair share.
Saturday, the UGs flew solo as it was my last weekend of my MBA program and I had a billion pages to read. I then spent all of Sunday day at school continuing to work vigorously. Josie on the other hand still partook in the typical UG weekend. Parties Silverlake, Tony’s bar, and getting Dine LA restaurant week off to a great start with a meal at Asia de Cuba. Am I jealous? Maybe a little but have no fear we met up Sunday night at karaoke with our downtown crew. We had been to the Brass Monkey once before but that time was a Friday night and was late. This time it was early on a Sunday, it wan’t quite as bustling but the bartender did refer to us as the “Giggle Puss Corner”. I stayed long enough to find Waldo, aka Kane, and listen to John, from the charity event and party bus, bolt out a Neil Diamond (The Jewish Elvis) song. I even stayed long enough to add some dangerous songs to the pile for suicide karaoke but left before I had to draw from the assortment. Josie told me she pulled, “I Touch Myself” and while I am sorry I missed it, my fingers are crossed that it will end up on Facebook or YouTube.
Josie and I both seemed to have very good luck last night, as we learned today while gossiping as our cars were being washed in Highland Park. FYI, the UGs getting their cars washed is the surest chance that it will rain in the next few days. We have better odds than any weatherman.
I have been wearing pearls in each of my ears since I realized a few years ago that it would make me one step closer to being a First Lady. Josie who wore a pearl necklace (no euphemism) last night has discovered that it is her lucky charm as well. Anyone who reads our posts knows that her dating luck has not been cashing out lately, but maybe October is her month. *fingers crossed* By the way, about halfway through karaoke she lost most of her pearls on the floor but the magic had already happened. We were planning on starting Dine LA Restaurant Week tonight but a cash flow problem made us opt for something slightly more reasonable and Josie took me to her old stomping ground Chicos in Highland Park. It looks a yellow shack from the outside and is just as charming on the inside. Vitamins and digestion pills line the shelves and murals adorn the wall. The owners recognized Josie right away and we were made to feel right at home. We shared some albondigas soup and a chicken torta. I was immediatly impressed by the homemade tortillas and chips and there salsa. It was a perfect size meal and the meal came to under $15 for two. Beat that Dine LA!
Final Thoughts: It is my, Carina’s, birthday on Monday, the 12th, and we need help brainstorming on what to do. I have my last class on Thursday night and then I am a virtually free woman. We need some help with 3 things:
-Anyone have any great weekend plans/ideas? We will share ours when we have some. In other words (or in UG salacious fashion), “we’ll show you ours, if you show us yours.”
-What restaurants on Dine LA Restaurant Week are worth trying? Anyone want to take out the UGs? Next week we are open for all lunch and dinner options. Sorry we are shameless and building an empire is tough on our wallets.
-The UGs still need Halloween costume ideas, have any? Of course, we are a dynamic duo and need costumes that showcase this.