Malibu—> Opera—> Yelp Party

And Malibu traps me yet again! As soon as I walked in the door, I was greeted with a shriek by a girl whom I had never met before. Apparently, it was the K from FinerthingsLA and she yelled, “You’re going to think I am such a nerd, but you’re Josie from Uncouth Gourmands! I recognize your hair!” In total disbelief that my hair was more popular than I was, I replied with a ‘yes’ and we poured ourselves a drink. We talked about blogs, boys, and friends. K is co-author to Finer Things LA, which she and her bestie have been operating for about three months now. Their motto is: A Classy Guide on Getting Drunk and Fat in Los Angeles. I dig this girl’s uncouth ways, and surely, we’re bound to collaborate soon.

The night wore on and we got, what else? Hungry. Next to the Minty, our newest and freshest UG face has been Ms. Veronica in LA. The girl knows far more about what’s hip in LA than I do, and she’s been my tour guide for the past few weeks. As you can see, I showed her my appreciation up above. Anyone that knows me, can vouche that I’m a total carnivore. In fact, I kind of hate vegetarians. I’ve been debating doing a 30-day expose into the life of a vegetarian and documenting it on the blog. However, I’m not sure if I have the discipline for that. Below you can see my last meal – A medium rare piece of pork loin of tenderness – Oops! I mean tenderloin. I think the vegetarian expose will have to wait… I’m not promising anything, either.

See above: It is perhaps the most uncouth moment of the night. Liking her fingers wet after a rare piece of meat, Miss. Veronica is now an official UG.

Speaking of UG staples, Miss Minty, invited me to the opera on Sunday and being the dilettante that I am, I jumped all over the invite on Facebook. I rushed from Malibu to downtown and headed over to see the matinee showing. It was a weird show, but we liked it anyway. From there, we headed to Eagle Rock.

Minty has over 2,000 quality reviews on Yelp, so she had a special invite to the Yelp Elite party in Eagle Rock (and a plus one). Since the show ran late, we missed the first party and met up with everyone at the Black Boar in Eagle Rock. Before we could hit up drinks, we had to tend to more important orders and since food always goes before liquor for this UG, we headed the Vietnamese place on Colorado, Lemongrass. Minty was on camera duty there, so I’ll write about that one soon.

We met up with the rest of the Yelp bunch and partied like rock stars for the rest of the night. We met up with Javier from WeirdTV and I talked him up about beer, OK Cupid, and his new favorite restaurant, Mac and Cheeza in downtown on 8th. M & C comes from the guys that brought you Larkin’s. Apparently, they mix in whatever ingredients to want into your mac and cheese. Anywhere from tomatoes to wild mushrooms. I must check this place out soon. Anyone want to join me?

I got to finally meet Carina’s gay boyfriend, Paul, and I think she may have some competition. Move over, Carina! Josie’s the new gay girlfriend in town. We stayed for a long time, actually and I got to know some of the fabulous people that make up the Yelp Elite mix. I joked at the party that I married into Yelp and when asked who my husband was — I pointed to Minty. See you at the next Yelp party… Or maybe CitySearch…


Gastrological Astrology: For The Week Beginning April 15th

Photo Credit Rae Threat

By: Your High Priestess, Nadia Noir aka DoubleDEntendre

As a Gemini, I am decidedly indecisive. Do I want a raucous, Motley Crue-esque Monday that started all because of an innocent Umami Burger Happy Hour and a few too many Allagash Whites? Or do I want to hermit away in my “Hatch” with some froyo while watching every season of Lost back-to-back, hallucinating that my cat is the black Smoke Monster? Sometimes I just need someone else to make the damned decision for me. So I look to a song, or a story, or a shaman i.e. a couple of pre-game shots. And sometimes even, I look to the stars, both of the silicone-enhanced and the hydrogen/helium-enhanced variety. I mean, what were the complex mythos of the ancient Greeks and Romans created for if not to tell some ravenous, mercurial, and slightly delusional girl from the future what to eat, drink, and be?

Aries (March 21-April 19)

The “fire of life” exists in the belly of an Aries. As an Aries, you are perhaps the most virile, aggressive and outrageously lascivious of the Zodiac; Aries people are said to be aromatic and musky much like a mesquite wood infused barbeque pit. This might sound disgusting but I know many foodies (UGs, perhaps) who might lick your armpit for smelling like that. This week for Aries is about embracing their ‘musk’; cultivating balance in their relationships, specifically influences of “modern man.” So take a step back and re-examine your relationship with food and others. Enjoying food is an instinctual, primal practice. One that comes naturally to every Aries. Put down your Yelp App, close the tabs with your Google Reader food blogs, leave your camera at home and just EAT. Like a starving baby suckling a great big milky breast. EAT.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Most people are horrible at baking. And I mean REALLY horrible. Sure, we eat their baked goods and say stuff like, “Oh, I normally hate sweets, but this is GOOD.” We are lying, but we don’t have the patience or heart to explain to them why their cookies suck. The irony is that their cookies probably sucked because they didn’t have patience or heart when they were baking. The point of all this is that: Taureans have heart and Taureans don’t lack patience. They are usually great bakers. Usually. Except this week when it is imperative to bake the biggest, moistest cake ever. This is the week to follow all recipe directions exactly and to remain in the present. Do not get sidelined by some other delicious, pre-prepared morsel. No. Patiently mix all your ingredients together and watch as your cake rises centimeter by centimeter. If anyone can do it, you can.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

At a fancy happy hour last night, I was telling my friend two things about myself: 1) that my current dream is to get a motorcycle and ride aimlessly while breaking hearts and learning dangerous skills and 2) that my go-to drunk food is Cheetos. Seemingly, These things don’t have anything in common-but they do. Both of these things point to the typical and perpetual adolescence of the Gemini. Unfortunately, this week we have to sit at the grown-up table. This might entail putting down the caramel Frappucinos and Del Taco burritos of our youth and eating…salads. With dressing on the side. And drinking water. And taking vitamins. All while working at our desks through our lunch hour.  Just think of it as acting. Play the role of an “adult” now and in the future you will get a whole swimming pool of Cheetos to swim through, a hot tub full of Cherry Coke, and a motorcycle made out of candy corn. A girl can dream.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

I’ve never met a crab I didn’t like. Especially one drenched in butter. You, dear Cancer, have been sitting around in a delicious little puddle of butter for a long time with no one willing to suck out your succulent little legs. You’ve been fine with this because, as a Cancer, you are willing to work hard and wait around for the right opportunity to give you a nibble (see: opposite of Gemini). The fact that Cancer rules the stomach should come as no surprise; you’ve been feeding others with your resources for a long time, but it’s been a longer time since somebody fed you. Or licentiously licked up the juices of your hard work from a plate. Pretty soon, someone is going to lick up those juices, so don’t give up. Keep marinating. They are right around the corner with claw cracker in hand.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

Oh, hi, Leo. Nice to briefly see you considering someone has lit the proverbial fire in your gas oven, turned you up to “extra hot-in fact-let’s just burn the whole effin’ kitchen down”, and run away without calling for reinforcements. For other zodiac signs this would be overwhelming. Not for you, Leo. This is what you LIVE for. Every pot is cooking; every item in your pantry is near charred; and everyone can feel the heat and the energy you are emanating. True, you are in your element. However, it is also true that you may need to step away from the heat for a second, pull out a nice cold piece of icebox humble pie and taste it. Contemplate it, enjoy it, taste it again. Because even though you are going more places and doing more things than everyone else, the fact that you are getting into these newly-opened restaurants or getting to taste some Michelin Star winning chef’s fancy dinners before everyone else does not mean you should brag about it.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie/That’s amore/When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine/That’s amore.” This week I dedicate this song to you, Virgo. Lately, you’ve felt like a big blob of blobbity blob nothing but really you are pizza dough being laid out to rest, bathing in the light of the moon, getting drunk on love and life and world experiences. As a Virgo, you’ve probably had a hard time recognizing all the magical things happening around you. You’ve been more focused on the ratio of pepperoni to cheese and the pi measurement of your pie. But lemme tell ya, sweetie pie; some big strong hands are coming your way. They are going to yank you around a little bit, spin you in the air, and for once you are going to enjoy it. You’ll realize that sitting around resting doesn’t mean you are a blob of nothing. This whole time you’ve been a magical pizza of love.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

A Libra knows what is like to be arm candy; often the fairest creatures of the zodiac, Librans give off a sincerely insincere sweetness that is also likely to cause teeth rot. Well, Libra, you are tired of being someone else’s little sticky candy cane. Not only are you tired of being tasted up and down, you are tired of the unhealthy consequences you are having on people. In reality, how you have been affecting other people lately is their fault not yours. They are just Augustus Gloop-ing your sweet nature. This week it is important that you go on a literal and metaphorical cleanse. Figure out how you want to taste to other people and who you want getting the Tootsie in your Tootsie Pop. Do this now while everyone in the illogical astrological world is still a chubby child in love in a candy store and high off of your sugar. You still have time to grab pieces of you from their grimy little hands.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don’t. This week you are going to feel like a nut. Or the nutcracker. I don’t know. Life has been great for you, Scorpio. You’ve been foraging for nuts and nesting with a mate (or two). Your dining engagements have been the way you like it: intimate, controlled, and exclusive. You have all your good energy and luck lately to thank for this. But this week, someone is going to mess with your pile of well-placed nuts. It may feel like they are ruining your whole plan of feasting throughout the summer. But guess what; they aren’t. Sometimes you need to get your nuts touched in order to realize how lucky you are to have said nuts. So watch your nuts, but don’t watch too hard, or you just might crack.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Hello, and welcome to ‘Backwards Week’. Some other signs of the zodiac always live in ‘Backwards Week’ (in fact, I am pretty sure they don’t really know what the concept of direction really is), but you Sag, shot your arrow in one direction a long time ago, and are following the righteous and honorable path. On this path, you like to be with the same people, do the same things, and eat the same things. Well. Screw that. Do it all backwards this week. Eat something different. Totally different. Weird, even.  Right now you are stuck in a rut and while you say you are perfectly content in that rut, following that same old arrow, you aren’t really.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

I personally don’t know very many Capricorns so if you are a Cap introduce yourself to me in the comments below. My theory is that most Capricorns are smart enough to hide themselves from troublemakers like me. But this week, Cap, you are going to be the troublemaker. Your life this week is going to be like one giant, potato-salad-slippery-floor, tapioca-pudding-up-the-nostril food fight. It’s going to be what we in Hippie-land call an “epiphany” and what we in non-Capricornville call “fun”. So dirty and so slimy and so stinky and so delicious that for once you are going to have the opportunity to forget all about those important things that Capricorns like to think about. People are still using you as that iconic figure of dinner party etiquette; they might judge you, too. But just throw some coleslaw at them at scream, “I don’t give a ****!”

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

Every other horoscope for you this week is telling you to avoid “dumb distractions” and “indulgences”. I’m here to tell you, SIN AWAY. Aquarians are never ones for moral/ethical lines and there is good reason for that. The reason is: it doesn’t suit you. Lately, you’ve been eating all the right things, watching your weight, exercising, not spending all your pennies on happy hour beers. Well, stop it. Now. Unless, of course you want to keep doing that. This week you are going to have to make a decision about whom you really are. If you are hungry and horny little billy goat, be a goat. If you are a smoothie slurping pilates fiend, be a fiend. But stop thinking that your previous life of hedonistic indulgence is a garbage way to be. Some creatures, like goats, like to eat garbage. And it makes them the happiest little things in the world.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Lean in and let me tell you a little secret…you might get laid this week. I know, right?!? As a Pisces, you are a slippery little creature full of ideas but you never know which way to go. A Pisces will take a bite of something and never know whether they really like it or not, whether to spit or swallow, whether they are meant to find pleasure in it or purge it. Well, this week is all about seafood. Ahem. No, not just in a sexual way. In a metaphorical way as well. Fish can change sex in order to procreate and ensure their lineage passes on. You are equally full of both eggs and balls lately- and this sexual androgyny makes you a catch to almost everyone. It also lends you an energy of transformation. Lately, you’ve felt like you were stuck in a net, flailing around, being abused by every one-eyed fisherman that has come along. Now you have a chance to eat all his bait, poke that fisherman in his good eye with his own hook, and serve him a taste of his own poisoned puffed up worm medicine. It’s only right. And also, it’s just funny.

Yelp Party at J Lounge: Yelp vs. Citysearch continues…

As you’ve read, our lovely Miss. Minty is far cooler than the UG girls, so when she asked me to be her “plus one” for the party at J Lounge in downtown, I willingly agreed. I met her there a bit shy of 7P and the line was surprisingly not worrisome. It was a cold night and I don’t know why but I decided to wear my most scandalous looking ensemble. Our friend, Arun, always takes one look at me and says “JoMo, where’s the rest of your outfit?!” He’s certainly right most of the time and I really should start gauging the efficacy of my outfits in relation to the weather.

I was far ahead of Minty in line but Minty, despite being a Yelp Elite, exerted much willpower and didn’t cut in line with me. You really got to admire that girl. At exactly 7P, the doors opened and the line moved rather briskly. In no time at all, I was inside and headed upstairs with some of Minty’s peers and grabbed a specialty cocktail. I scoped up the place and saw a rather disproportionate amount of sweet to savory vendors. There were five sweet vendors inside and a few others outside. Not a usual sweet aficionado, I admit that the adorable little suckers below by Dollhouse Bake Shoppe were adorable. They were not for sample, but I don’t even think I could even bring myself to eat such beautiful and petite goodies.

I was told there would be over 1K people there, but I must admit that I was a little shocked at the low turnout. But hey, I thought the night was still young  and we continued outside and waited for more patrons to arrive. To our surprise there was a runway show with women dressed as flight attendants passing out food on a catwalk. I was confused. I later found out that they were from Kitchen 12000. The company is in Glendale and I heard about it over a year ago and have been meaning to try it. It seems like an interesting group of founders and, well, I am glad I got to see the live show in action. The experience was memorable but I think it fell short of the point. As we looked around, people were just confused. Why were girls on catwalks and stages?!! And most importantly, why were they showing you how to put on a life vest and safety belts?! It seemed out of place and a gratuitous display of scantily clad women. It just seemed strange and unfitting for the occasion. And trust me, I come from a design background where form usually overrides function, but I (and everyone else) could not see the sense in it – especially, with this devoted crowd where food always takes precedent over anything. However, I have seen their food pics online and I am eager to try it (minus the flight attendants).

After 26 years, I have recently picked up coffee as a preferred beverage and perhaps the funniest moment came from the stoner-looking guy on the patio who was pushing his coffee and coffee flavored desserts. He was handing out medical bottles with coffee beans in it and a sticker that said “legalize it”. I don’t know if he was an actor but he was acting stoned and said to me, “take this coffee, man, it’s dangerous. It’ll keep you up all night.” I laughed and took a bottle and some deserts. On one hand, Kitchen 12000 failed in connecting it’s experience to its product, Coffee Nugs created a memorable touch-point that was novel and funny. I can appreciate that.

VeronicaInLA and I have become buddies over the past few weeks and she joined us for the ending festivities. We spent a bit more time at the Yelp party and headed to the new Big Wangs in downtown to meet up with a few new friends. I will report back soon.

I have to say, Yelp’s most charming facet is its members, and in LA, its members are fabulous. And hell, any company that can bring all those cool ass people together and throw a party to celebrate, is f-in ok in my book. However, I will say this – I have yet to attend a CitySearch party and from what Carina says, there’s a new player in town and she’s slowly usurping the hearts of many of Yelp’s Elite and early adopters. I’d watch my back, Yelp. Just sayin’…

Citysearch LA Dictators take on Las Perlas y Tequila

Photo courtesy of Citysearch Los Angeles on Facebook

I attended the first Citysearch LA Dictator party last month, it was a night that took me to a new venue and reconnected me with old friends. This past Tuesday night was not that different. It was the second party and it took me to one of Ced’s newest creations called Las Perlas. It’s a tequila bar and Citysearch hooked us up with a preview of the new line of ultra premium tequilas called La Firma and some taquitos from Plancha Tacos. I ran into my new fav PR guy Edward and was joined by Minty, AK, and Linden. The chicken tacos made me so thirsty and I had no choice but to wash it down with shots of tequila. Thankfully, there was a tequila sommelier at the event that allowed me to do this with a little extra knowledge and couthness. I now know that when tequila is aged longer it gets darker from the wood barrels and that there is now something called extra anejo that exists as a tequila option. I learned more but I was getting drunk in the process. The sommelier also made us all look foolish by having us sniff from the left and from the right, apparently the right side can pick up more fruity nodes.

It was getting hard to just stick to straight tequila so I hit the Las Perlas bar after I saw numerous guests sipping blueberry drinks with boba straws. The menu was written on a cardboard sign, which made the UGs feel right at home. This blueberry concoction was called 400 Rabbits. The drink was an upgraded margarita that went down super easy, which was good because I had two to drink at the same time. My only complaint was the size of the ice, it got sucked up by my giant straw. I think it either needs to be larger cubes or slushier. Minty had the Poblano Escobar, which is a fantastic drink name for a fantastic drink with mescal, poblano chile, pineapple juice, and a blood orange.

After all of the tequila for the night, the Citysearch folks passed out a gift of tequila shot chocolates by Diana Kron but I thought nothing of it. The rest of the night took me to Cole’s and then Association and when I got home I had a bonbon and I died. These babies were insane and strong as hell. I had one and then decided to bring the rest in to the office for the ladies the following morning. One of the interns practically had a foodgasm and my CFO asked if I was sure she could eat this at work. Yup, this chocolate is not to be missed.

So to sum up the night: high quality drinks, a new venue, and seeing some of my favorite friends in the food/drink/PR worlds and the night ended with a tequila filled chocolate ball. I am no trying to purposely compare Citysearch parties to Yelp parties (as I have done in the past) but I will say that  Josie will be reporting on Wednesday’s Yelp party tomorrow, so stay tuned…

Takin it to the (Rush) Street and Pole

The Minty, our friend Megan from Drago Centro, and us UG girls had been planning a GNO for a few weeks. We had chosen to do Wednesday night because Minty would just be getting back from Seattle. While we were ironing out the details for our night out, Josie and I received an invite to a Ladies Pole Dancing Media Dinner at Rush Street in Culver City for that special Wednesday. We thought that combining our girls night out with their more sophisticated ladies night was the way to go. Our ladies agreed and on Wednesday we all piled in to Megan’s car and headed to the event. Josie and I have only ever danced on  poles at the Menage or other times when we are a little intoxicado. We never know what to do or how to do it. When we arrived at the event they eased us into something that we are experts at, eating and drinking. There were yummy appetizers spread on the large L-shaped table filled with some of our favorite female bloggers. Caroline on Crack was there, along with my new Citysearch friend Kelly.

Our favorites of the appetizers were these portobello fries with a great balsamic dip. We were thrilled and full from the appetizers and drinks and then the waitress came by and asked if we knew what we wanted for our entree. Why aren’t all media dinners this fantastic? Josie ordered the dish that everyone was talking about the mac n’ cheese and the sausage pizza. They may not have been calorie friendly but they were beautiful and her dishes were getting eyed all night as the women at the table opted to eat something more sensible. After all, none of us knew what was awaiting us upstairs at the pole. Minty ordered the pork chops and I had the shrimp salad knowing that a full stomach would not be able to spin on the pole as freely as I would have liked.

After we were done with our dinner we drank some more liquid courage and headed to the second floor of Rush Street. I had been there once before with Josie and Minty but the place was so packed that time that we just danced somewhat near in the pole on the crowded dance floor. As we got upstairs the scene was very different it was just the girls from the table and we all looked at the pole with a bit of hesitation and nervousness. The founder and creator of Polistic, Katie Marie, was there and sat down to explain a few things to us women. She explained that she used to be a financial planner and that we must forget whatever it is we think about pole dancing because it will be totally different. I was intrigued. She has a studio in Studio City that teaches both sexy pilates and pole dancing and she spilled the beans that we would all be receiving a gift certificate to a free class. I was excited and I figured that if I was going to go to the class I better start practicing my moves now.

The instructors showed us some moves and then they began asking for volunteers. The girls were all a little bit nervous but I loved the Polistic rule that you had to cheer for everyone.

Josie was one of the first to try her hands and legs at the pole.

She did a great job for her first time and, of course, as soon as she finished she yelled “Carina” for me to go next. I quickly pointed to Kelly and started cheers to be changed from my name to hers. Kelly is the Editor of Citysearch LA and a lot of fun so I was pleased that she happily took the next spot on the pole.

After I saw Megan and Caroline on Crack go, I finally decided to hit the pole.

The instructors tell you where to place your hands and legs and as soon as you stick out your hips (i.e. booty out) they give you a little push and you go swinging. It was really so much fun, like a ride or something. I was smiling and when I was on to my second trick the owner told me that she could tell that I was a natural. Of course, later in the night Josie told me that another instructor said that she was the best. They probably say it to everyone but the UGs love to brag and after a quick lesson we are both convinced we are experts.

So there you go, we learned some pole dancing moves and we feel like we are better people for it. It was a fun night just with the girls and now Josie and I are checking our calendars to see when we can go to the Polistic studio for further instruction. From the good cocktails, to the delicious grub, to the pole dancing upstairs Rush Street in Culver City is the place to be on a Wednesday night! Thankfully, for all of you ladies every Wednesday night at Rush is Ladies Night with drink specials, pole dancing lessons, great music, and yummy bites.

We owe a big thank you to  JS2 Communications, Rush Street and Polistic for putting on this fantastic event! You made our Girls Night Out so much better than we ever could have planned. While we were in the car looking through our gift bags, Minty screamed because of the X-Rated fusion liqueur, Josie went nuts for the mirror and lip gloss, and I was thrilled about my Polistic intro class gift certificate and another gift certificate for Focus Self-Defense and Fitness. Awesome, as much as the UG Girls love eating and drinking, it is good to counter balance it with some physical activity.

Neighborhood: Culver City
9546 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 837-9546

Dolled Up for Oscar Sunday: The JW Marriott at LA Live

Have you been to the new JW Marriott at LA Live? If you haven’t, fear not because we did the legwork for you. We just love you that much.

On Oscar Sunday we picked up our newest downtown friend and decided to try out the new swanky hotel. Being broke, I sought out an old vintage find from Le Closet Josie and busted out the lipstick. Carina decided to wear her old prom dress. Truth be told, she’s only 23 and, well, it really wasn’t that long ago. Furthermore, the swishy man she took as her prom date thought it was beautiful. So get one thing straight: he wasn’t. Uh huh, Gina! On that note, at the end of the night I asked Chris if he had a good time. His response, “Carina had me in heels all night,” I said, “Oh, like on your toes?!” His response, “Yes, genius.”

*** Note: We’re on the market for a gay boyfriend. One that likes to cuddle, doesn’t like to make-out, and can’t break our hearts. Any takers? Email us or come to Gays & Dolls next Friday. 🙂

The Oscars is one of many of Carina’s annual highlights. Watching Carina watch them is an emotional roller-coaster. It’s like the UG husband equivalent of the Super Bowl and she warns me every year not to ruin it for her. FYI – Not ruining a popular event like this translates to me staying as happily quiet as possible and feeding her goodies during commercial breaks. I really don’t mind. And let the gay rumors continue…

Uber impressed by the ostentatious hotel landscape, we entered the Ritz-Carlton’s sister hotel and had a seat at one of the hotel’s four bars, The Mixing Room. I, Josie, have a place in my heart for designer furniture and I was both shocked and impressed by some of the tawdry furniture. Some of those pieces were worth more than my car. We sat down and after a bit of waiting the waitress came up to us. I asked why the place was empty on a busy day like this and her response was “I don’t know but I sure don’t want to be here.” My first impression: “Wow, if you don’t want to be here then why would we?” It wasn’t a good first impression but we tried to overlook it and order some cocktails and food. Everything on the bar menu was priced at $9 and cocktails were anywhere from $10-$12.

We ordered the rueben fingers with dijon, a ham and cheese grilled sandwich (also served with dijon), the meatball sliders, the edamame, the beef satays, and the handmade andouille sausage.  I was most partial to the sausage and the rueben fingers, Carina liked the meatball sliders the most, and Chris liked the satays. Despite the premium price on the food and drink, I could justify the price given the environment.

It was their first attempt at pleasing us and for the most part, the JW Marriott at LA Live was good. Cocktails were good but the service and food were just mediocre. However, we always give second chances and the space was beautiful so we’ll surely be back. The Ritz-Carlton portion of the hotel is opening up next week so we’ll definitely be back.

L.A. Live, 900 W. Olympic Blvd. (at Figueroa), Los Angeles, 213 765-8600,

UGs Hit The Town Together and Go Green!

Like a marriage, the UG relationship has to every once in a while be rekindled. Our schedules have been insane and we have only recently seen each other for events. The two of us have not sat down for a meal in a very long time. Fortunately, things are changing as tomorrow Josie will return to the UG Global Headquarters on a regular basis but this last Friday we had a romantic dinner together with a few more couples. In this last year we have had a fantastic relationship with Fleming’s Steakhouse it started with a contest we won via Twitter and then a burger mania night. We were invited by the restaurant’s PR company, Ink Foundry, to go to their special Go Green Dinner. The concept of the dinner was “Irish hospitality with a magnificent menu in the spirit of the Emerald Isle and a treasure trove of “green” earth-friendly wines.”

Irish cheeses featuring Sage Derby &
Cahill’s Farm Cheddar and fresh fruit
LOOSEN BROS., Riesling Mosel Dr. L Germany, 2008
Organic & Sustainable
Citrus-cured Celtic Salmon on potato boxty
with chive sour cream
PARDUCCI, Sustainable White Mendocino County, 2008
Organic, Biodynamic & Sustainable
Irish-style Filet Mignon served on a deconstructed sauce
with bacon, carrots, new potatoes and thyme
CHELSEA GOLDSCHMIDT, Merlot Dry Creek Valley, 2006 Organic & Sustainable
Guinness Stout Chocolate Cake with chantilly cream
Coffee and Tea

We arrived in two cars and I had my CFO with me, I mentioned that this was going to be my first dinner just with Josie in a while and I asked her to text Josie something sweet while I was driving. When I got there we were escorted to the outdoor area of the restaurant in LA Live and were treated to cheese, Irish Soda Bread, and the most delicious Riesling.

We were laughing, tweeting, eating, and having a lovely time. Suddenly several other couples joined us outside and I realized that this was going to be a joint dinner. Perhaps it wasn’t the intimate night we were hoping for but these joint dinners are SO much fun. After cheese and wine we were escorted in to the backroom and we were seated with two other couples.

The potato boxty was delicious and for once I was jealous of Josie’s seafood allergy as she got Fleming’s delicious beef carpaccio appetizer.

We began talking to the couples at our table and they were all friends as the married couple met at the party of the engaged couple. They were the kindest people and we loved that they were Angelenos who love the Eastside/Downtown and beer. We all got lost talking tacos, Highland and Echo Park, bars, floors, and puppies. Josie and I were talking later at how much we love these dinners. They seem awkward at first and you sit with strangers but over the course of the night you have new friends. We cheered to their upcoming wedding and they cheered to our upcoming reunion in our office and our business venture.

I don’t know if my life has been sheltered but I never noticed Lent until this year. All of our interns are Catholic and I am learning so much about the sacrifice that they make, including no meat on Fridays. Our table mates that were married were the ones excited about the dinner since they were at Fleming’s for Valentine’s day. They knew the menu for the night but it wasn’t until their gorgeous medium rare Filet Mignons arrived that they realized they couldn’t eat it because it was Friday. I felt bad eating my steak in front of them but they were good sports and they got it to go declaring it would be their breakfast in the morning. I like steak a lot, but I am just not a steak ordering kind of gal. It is always a nice treat because it’s not normally something I would make or order for myself.

I also like my desserts like I like my men, fruity. However, the chocolate Guinness cake was delicious. Josie, who for years has been using cool whip and claiming it is chantilly cream, made sure the waiters brought us some of the real deal when it wasn’t on the plate. It was at this moment when I remembered how much I missed Josie and was grateful for her being the chantilly cream on the cake.

Flemings is everything and more of what a good steakhouse should be. The food was delicious and so was the wine with a zero carbon footprint. I loved the Riesling and Josie loved the Merlot.  Josie and I are both not that crazy about “green” or “organic” but when you can say that it just tastes better, we can’t argue. It was a great night of meeting new friends and reconnecting with your best friend. If you want to have this same delicious dinner head to the Woodland Hills Fleming’s this Tuesday for this same “Green” dinner, I can’t guarantee a reservation but I can guarantee great food and conversation.

Here are some more upcoming Fleming’s events:

Filet and Lobster for Two, $99 – Our New Memorable Meal
Exclusively for Friends of Fleming’s: Savor a 3-course dinner for two, featuring Filet Mignon and Australian Lobster Tail for each guest, plus appetizer, side dish and dessert. $99 for two, and also available at $49.50 for one guest. This Memorable Meal is exclusively available for Friends of Fleming’s and is not offered on our regular menu. Available through March 31st.
View menu and reserve

Easter Brunch with the Family, Sunday, April 4th
We’re opening early at 11:30 am on Easter Sunday to welcome you and your family for an exceptional meal in celebration of the holiday. It’s the perfect time to enjoy all your classic brunch favorites, including Filet Benedict, Stuffed French Toast and Smoked Ham Chop. $29.95 per guest, including appetizer and dessert. View menu

$39.95 Winter Prix Fixe Menu – Final Weeks!
Savor the bold and satisfying flavors of a 3-course dinner with three exceptional entrées to choose from: Braised Boneless Short Rib of Beef, Seared Scallops Peperonata or Roasted Half Duckling. This exclusive Fleming’s Prix Fixe menu ends March 29. View menu and reserve

Authentic Irish Cocktails for St. Patrick’s Day
One night only — March 17th — we’ll be serving up a pair of cocktails that are truly worthy of an Irish toast. Our Bushmills Irish Coffee and Jameson Whiskey Sour are the latest cocktail creations by our Director of Wine, Marian Jansen op de Haar. We’ll be serving them up on St. Patrick’s Day for just $6 each. And if you take a fancy to them, you can make them at home any night with Marian’s Irish cocktail recipes.