Dining on the Edge: Dinner with Chef Keven

There’s carnal pleasure and then there’s food pleasure. I’ve never endangered my life for carnal pleasure, but for food pleasure…I do it on a daily basis.

Growing up I was deathly allergic to many things, and over the last few weeks I had gotten mild symptoms of a severe allergy. When I decided to visit my doctor he did a few tests and referred me to an allergist. Later that week, I met with the allergist; he took one look at me said, “Have you been eating shellfish?!” I admitted that my frequent visits to the SGV for Asian food had exposed me to many fish-based sauces. He told me to cut it out for my own good, but I relented. After all, I wasn’t in the hospital. It was just shellfish and I could endure the few moments of discomfort for a few moments of food pleasure. When I got my allergy test back, it said I was severely allergic to a long list of things. The most severe being: most types of seafood, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, and many others. FML. However, I will continue to eat what I want in the sake of food and I will die a king. Not very smart, but a girl has got to have her priorities in order. Such was the case at the swanky Hollywood Hills supper club that Veronica and I attended last week.

Veronica’s a  hip lady (far cooler than I) and she had a plus one to a private 5-course meal in a private home overlooking all of LA. She asked me and I jumped at the opportunity after she told me that the chef cooking was going to be the very talented Chef Keven Alan Lee of East in Hollywood.

As a woman who still, to this day, works in a busy kitchen, I admire Chef Keven’s attention to detail. His staff is disciplined and well-trained at what they set out to do. I saw the look on their faces as we ate what they had prepared for us, and they took pleasure in our pleasure. Kudos.

Below was the night’s menu:

Thai Eggplant Larb
Fried Tofu, Pickled Shallots, and Thai Peanut Sauce

Shitake Crab Poppers
Lump Crab, Garden Fresh Vegetables,
Seared & Roasted Shitake Mushrooms, Shitake Aioli

SUPER JUMBO Turkey Tofu Meatballs
Fire Roasted Tomato & White Bean Ragu

Dragon Style “Big Eye” Tuna
Thai Green Curry Rice
Dragon Torched Live

Cheven’s Signature Bread Pudding
Chololate Toffee and milk Chocolate Ganache

My favorites of the night were the Turkey meatballs, the tofu, and the bread pudding. The meatballs were obscenely fresh and soft but not as to fall apart. The tofu was fried into little adorable packets and garnished with some edible flowers.

And then there were the shitake crab poppers. I knew I’d be the one paying for it later, but its just one one of those things you have to do for yourself. So, I selfishly took a bite. It was perfection. Later that night, the taxation for my small bite was a mild swelling. That crab was worth every bit of pain. However, I think I’ll take it easy for sometime… Maybe.

Chef Keven has been asking me to shadow him and do “A Day in the Life” kind of a piece for the blog. He tells me that his day starts off at the farmer’s market, goes from town to town to find the best ingredients, and that he, a Jew, even speaks fluent Spanish. As a Latin gal, I can vouche for Kitchenese as it is actually very good. I may do the article, but I think that the cooking in the kitchen part should be left to the true professionals. After all, the rule of any good cook is to try all of the food you prepared and for me that is a deadly option.

The cocktails were also great, although maybe just as poisonous. If they’d been any stiffer, I would’ve probably woken up next to someone I didn’t know. Thank God I stopped when I did. The drinks were all mixed by Minx in Glendale. Chef Keven has recently started working with them to perfect the new Minx food menu. I will definitely have to check it out soon. Who’s in? I may even try and kill myself again for the sake of delicious food.

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UG Commercial: iPhone + BlackBerry = Twitter Love

Here’s the story of a lovely Uncouthie
Who had an iPhone, which she used to Tweet.
All of her tweets came from an app known as Echofon,
The newest ones with a dash and a J.

Here’s the story, of a Gourmand named Carina
Who had a BlackBerry to tweet on her own,
All of her tweets came from UberTwitter,
Yet they were all signed with a dash and a C.

Till the one day when the Uncouth met this Gourmand,
And they knew it was much more than a hunch.
That these ladies would somehow form a Twitter account.
That’s the way we became UncouthGourmand.
UncouthGourmand, UncouthGourmand.

That’s the way we became UncouthGourmand
Follow Us, bitches!

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.

Sticking to Kosher Meat: For Love and For Health

Photo Credit to DinnerCraft on Flickr

It has been almost a year since my last relationship ended. It was a sad situation and it came in the form of a break-up email I had to send to my ex-boyfriend who was stuck in Europe. Since then, I made new friends and choices and was told by my business and religious mentor to stick to kosher meat. He meant this in terms of trying to strictly date Jewish men. The theory behind it was that while I am still young, my heart and livelihood would be better off if I only dated people that I would consider marrying. A rabbi later pushed this point by saying that marrying a Jew doesn’t guarantee success but it does help your chances for a successful marriage. Up until that point, I have dated a lot of “interesting” people but none of which I would have ever considered marrying: an out of work actor/scientologist, a homeless man, an anarchist named Pogo, and other winners. They were all beautiful and fascinating people but I decided to get serious about dating for the sake of less broken hearts. The journey with Jewish men has been healthier, rational, but not quite the amount of intensity (i.e. drama, according to Josie) that I was looking for. Through my time on Jdate I have discovered that there are a ton of non-Jewish women on there trying to nail a Jewish man…clearly there is something healthy about this idea of kosher meat.

In fact, if you read today’s New York Times article entitled More People Choosing Kosher for Health there is definitely something to this notion. According to the article there is a huge kosher meat trend not because of religious reasons but because the public views it as healthier and safer. All of the meat has to be processed under strict kosher law and is monitored extremely carefully, from the way it is killed to the way it is butchered. All kosher meat is also heavily salted which helps to keep away certain bacteria, making it a safe choice.

I can make obvious (albeit uncouth) links about the Orthodox Union heavily monitoring the meat to the Jewish mother monitoring her son or about the careful butchering of meat to Jewish men with circumcisions. However, what do you think? Do you view Jewish men and kosher meat as a safer and healthier option? I do, in fact, that is what I intend to say to my future Jewish husband before we eat kosher brisket at the wedding reception.

After Months of Waiting, Josie Finally Got a Date

So let me get this straight: LA is a hook-up culture, right?! Well, perhaps I am too uncool, too busy with my favorite girlfriends, or maybe I’m just too busy eating too many good meals – but why is it that I can’t find a date? Men should be lining up. I’m young, I’m smart and I’m uberhip. Why then, am I so plagued in the dating space? It’s been a slow winter…

Alas, this week was different. I had a date (sort of) with a corporate guy that my Twitter peepette, Veronica in LA, set up for me. It was a basketball game and a Nate and Al’s meal all rolled into one. I took the metro into downtown and met up with (ah, the psuedo name…) “The Suit” (he’s a corporate guy and God knows I never date any of those) at his place. He lives in a beautiful loft that overlooks downtown and I was envious. My next residence will most definitely be in downtown LA. I love it. Anyway, his company gave him four tickets and we walked over to LA Live. I’ve been to several games there, but since I’m usually a commoner, I sit in the nosebleed section but this time was different. We sat with the suits up in the corporate seats. They had their own buffet and bar. I was stoked. I could really get used to this. Nate and Al’s was the caterer and since I was stuffed, I opted for a salad. I’m never usually a salad girl, but I just couldn’t do the heavy Jewish pastrami sandwich on this night. Did you know Larry King goes to the Nate and Al’s in Beverly Hills everyday for breakfast? By the way, that is Carina’s weirdest celebrity crush, she likes that he looks like a frog and she wants to do naughty things with his suspenders. Maybe I shouldn’t disclose that but…oh well. If you like the two pics below, the first was taken using the iPhone app, TiltShiftGen, that our dearest AKesq recommended. I suggest you download it; it’s so cool.

Ok, so here comes the awkward turtle of the night, well, because my life is a series of awkward turtles:

(While waiting in line and deciding what to order)

Josie: (To Suit) I’m thinking Jewish Pastrami sandwich or Chicken Caesar. What do you prefer?

The Suit: Um, I know this may be a deal breaker because you’re a food blogger, but I’m a vegetarian.

Josie: (With a nervous giggle) Ha! Funny. So which one will it be?

The Suit: No, I’m serious.

Josie: (With a devastated stare) Oh, you’re not joking… This is not good. How long have you been meat deprived?

The Suit: For a while.

Josie: Shit. So… it’s not something I can change. (With a pensive pause) Ok, this is never going to work.

Had he not seen the site? After all, “thou shall not dabble in vegetarianism” is one of the 10 Uncouth Gourmandments. Just my luck.

How will he fare? Stay tuned.

Which couple do you like better? The one above or below.

Gays & Dolls: A Magical Bar/Club Crawl through WeHo

A couple of Fridays ago was the Minty’s Gays & Dolls Crawl. It was the event I was most looking forward to all of March. Josie was out of town and I was having a fantastic ceviche filled day with the girls. I bought a large ring, which I heard would help me attract a gay boyfriend. Apparently, the bigger the accessory the higher the rate of attracting the attention of a gay male. It was getting close to the time to head out for the crawl when it suddenly dawned on me: If I have a huge ring that is the attractor, then I need to have my nails in top form. I knew what I needed to do, get my nails done. Like any good gay men, I chose beauty over promptness. I was late for the crawl because my nails were drying.

The Abbey is unquestionable the most famous gay bar in Los Angeles and it was the first stop on the crawl. It takes a lot to get me nervous. No straight man, potential lover, CEO, or celebrity has made me feel as nervous as I was when I began this crawl. I think it is because I have wanted a gay boyfriend for so long. When I was a senior in high school, I began spending my weekends in the Castro and I would come home and tell my mom, “I wish I was a gay man.” My mom would nod and smile and say that she wanted the exact same thing when she was my age. She was waitressing in the city at the time and was in awe of all the beautiful, sophisticated, and worldly gay men around her. Anyway, I arrived fashionable late and the first person I saw was the Minty’s gay boyfriend, Ed, who had been calling me to check in and make sure I was on my way and parking. I grabbed a small drink at the Abbey because I knew the crawlers wanted to progress to their next stop.

After a long talk at the bar with a guy about apple martinis, the only drink he has ever ordered, I headed back to the group. The group of crawlers was smaller than most of the Minty’s crawls and I loved it. There were 3 dolls, 5 gays, and Joe and I found it to be a perfect and intimate mix of people. I drank my drink quickly and continued on.

Mother Lode was the second stop and they made enormous drinks. I requested a small one after I saw how big everyone’s glasses of mixed drinks were. However, even that small one still had a ton of whiskey. We all made jokes that involved “mothers” and “loads” but this was definitely the first time I have been in a dive gay bar. A dive gay bar is a very interesting place. The men were more rugged and there was a group of lesbians playing pool that made me a little nervous. Minty’s gbf (gay boyfriend) kept egging me on to play with them but I was scared. These women could kick my ass and not just at pool. However, it was at this stop when I really started talking to one of the gays. His name was Paul and he lived in Pasadena and he was fantastic. He was a foodie, a yelper, a guy that spent every summer in my hometown of Santa Cruz, and everything a straight girl could hope for. At one point he even said the magic words, “deep fried artichoke hearts.” How come straight men don’t know that the key to my heart is artichoke hearts?!? I was in love but I tried to not let it show. He had my eye and I was smitten. Minty’s gbf was telling everyone that it was Minty’s bday and he made me drop in comments about his boyfriend when other men were getting too close. The night had begun and it was fantastic.

Fiesta Cantina was the third place on the crawl and as soon as we arrived, I knew I was right where I wanted to be. I was walking with Ed who happens to have a beard and a table of men outside began to yell, “Hey Beard, come here and meet your destiny.” I laughed first and then melted later, why can’t straight men talk that? If they did it would just be the cheesiest worst pick-up line ever but this was actually cute, they were cute, and I was jealous. Fiesta is famous for two things: cheap 2 for 1 drinks and a rooftop that is packed with a ton of men. Minty who has an entire gay posse was the person that knew exactly what to order here and it was delicious, vanilla vodka and orange juice. I would say it was a creamsicle in your mouth but that may be too vulgar. The rooftop was claustrophobic, hot, and the fantasy of women and gay men everywhere.

After the booze and staring at all of these hot men, I was a little hot and bothered. I needed to, in the words of Lady Gaga, “Just Dance.” We all decided we were ready for the club portion of the night so we headed to the final destination.

Micky’s was the best kind of dance club. Fun tunes, men that you aren’t worried about touching you, hot bartenders, and go-go dancers that can keep you going all night. I was warned early in the night that Mintys gbf can become very straight when he got drunk. I was very fortunate. We got some dirty dancing on and from there on out I didn’t need another drink besides a Diet Coke. I was having a blast. Here is an idea of the caliber of men I was surrounded by, don’t be too jealous.

The week of the crawl had been a supa stressful week for me and this night was exactly what I needed. I have a (straight) guy in WeHo that I sometimes see and I had texted much earlier in the night and I let one of the guys leave a vulgar message on his voicemail. As soon as I got my car from the valet, he had responded to see if I was gonna come over and my response was: “I just danced with and looked at a ton of gorgeous men. I’m good. I am going to head home now.” I also had at some point in the night wrote on my FB status that I was in search of my very own gay boyfriend. By the time I awoke in the morning, I had a friend request from my Pasadena crush and he commented, “Did I at least make it to the semi-finals?” under my status. I was giddy. Minty consistently throws the most fantastic events and I am so grateful that I am her friend and get to share her gay posse with her. Also if you are impressed by the photo quality, it wasn’t the pictures I took. Thanks Joe, for being our paparazzi for the night and buying me a few drinks. Between this crawl and our Checkers dinner, I think I have some very exciting prospects in the gay boyfriend category!

Checkers Rush Hour Dinner = A New BFF

About a week ago, a newbie friend from the Barry Group in Venice invited us to Checkers to try their new Rush Hour menu. We love their Thursday happy hour, so how the hell could we say no. We met up with Edward on Wednesday and were in love. First we fell in love with Edward and then the food love followed. We met Edward at the bar and he took us into the dining room. We’re commoners and always sit at the bar – these girls can spend $4 on Thursday but anything at the classy Checkers dining room has always been out of the question. But things have changed at Checkers and now their $39 three course menu has made (hottie tottie) Chef Todd’s menu accessible to all. Let me not leave out the other hottie tottie running the beverage service, Tyler. That boy makes my teeth sweat. They really need their own magazine cover. Anyone? Anyone?

However, let’s not detract from Edward, as he was the most entertainment of the night. I thought Carina was going to fall into to a love-induced coma when Edward was speaking because he loved Rosie, Hillary Clinton, worked in politics, and lives in WeHo. She had finally met her Prince Charming. I loved him, too. He was so adorable. In fact, we loved him so much that we even secured the next few dates with him in the coming weeks. Why can’t I book this many dates in advance?

So what is the Checkers Rush Hour Dinner Menu? Here is how it was described to us:

Checkers’ Rush Hour prix fixe menu, priced at $39 per person, is served daily from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Professionals leaving the office can now avoid the worst of Los Angeles’ infamous traffic while enjoying a fine dining experience at unbeatable prices.

Below is a look into some of the dishes we devoured from the Rush Hour menu:

For the first course, Carina ordered the Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna. I was coveting her food even though I could not try it. It looked amazing and she agreed that the flavors were right on. Edward opted for the Grilled Local Calamari and I opted for the Saffron Risotto without the rock shrimp, damn seafood allergy. I loved the risotto because it had large chunks of chorizo and it was heavy in cream (but in that good kind of way, that is). Tyler recommended I cut the heaviness of the risotto with some white wine, but I declined this Wednesday night and Carina and Edward had some instead. They thought the wine was lovely and that it went well with their food selections.

For dinner Carina order the Harissa-Rubbed Alaskan Halibut while Edward and I opted for the Grilled Colorado Lamb Loin. Carina’s halibut looked colorful and absolutely beautiful. She enjoyed it very much and was grateful that it wasn’t overcooked. She was also grateful that Edward laughed when she said, “I’ll have the halibut just for the hell-i-but.” It’s a good thing that Edward loved the puns because, let me just say, Carina throws them out all of the time. I had the lamb, which was beautifully cooked and the bean medley and broth that it lay above was heavenly. Even though the beans were a bit too al dente for my taste, the broth resembled a light and salty godliness. It reminded me of my grandma’s frijoles de la olla. Perfection.

And lastly for dessert Carina ordered the Gourmet Ice Cream and Sorbet, while Edward ordered the Flourless Chocolate Cake and I opted for the Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee. I think you should know that if you order the ice cream, you can only choose sorbet or ice cream. Our uncouthie, Carina, is dairy sensitive and went with the sorbet. When they asked her if she wanted mango or raspberry, she replied, “Both.” She has that way of asking by giving the waitstaff approval and more then often she gets her wish. We were at the classy Checkers dining room and did in fact feel at home. Together with the awkward conversation, Carina ordering two desserts, and me dropping my napkin and fork on the floor… well, let’s just say I could hear the song in my head…. “Pretty woman, walking down the street. Pretty woman.”

Edward ordered coffee with his dessert and it came with the usual cream and sugar. I had to take a picture of the sugars because as Carina once said, “Josie equates detail to love” and well, I do. It shows me that you care. So when I see such attention to detail, I notice, commend, and appreciate it. P.S: I also liked the silverware and the glassware as Checkers. It’s always the first thing I notice at a restaurant and yet I am so rarely impressed. If you want high-end dining attention to detail and good quality food at a reasonable price head to Checkers for the Rush Hour menu. You may not have the same great company, leave it to Carina to meet her soul mate at a media dinner, but we can guarantee you a great meal! Also for some foodie trivia: Thomas Keller was the executive chef at Checkers Hotel in the early 90s and our favorite Pasadena chef, Claud Beltran of Noir Food & Wine was the assistant chef under Thomas. Don’t say we never teach you anything!