Party Bus: 80s Style

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Party buses have become a regular thing for us UG girls. Okay, so that is a lie, we have been on one and it was a school bus that was decked out with classy graffiti. Our first party bus ride had a makeshift stripper pole and was definitely all the fun in the world. However, we had a feeling that this party bus ride would probably be entirely different as it was the birthday of our dear friend Dan, who throws all of the awesome Drink, Eat, Play events. Dan has a special affinity for the 80s and even brought us to the totally awesome 80s Prom a couple of months back. This birthday was his Super Sweet 16, Part 2. He asked that everyone be dressed in their best 80s attire. However, we were nervous that we were the only ones that got the memo when we arrived at his house prior to the bus departure and saw that most were in regular club attire. Although Dan was in his awesome Maverick suit and had a night planned for us where we head to the Key Club to hear the San Fransisco based 80s cover band called Tainted Love.

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party bus

This bus was super classy and his entire party was full of VIP service. As soon as we arrived at the Key Club we needed double wristbands and had the best seats in the house. The UGs are more “can service” than “bottle service” but for once, it felt great to party with the best. There were bottles of vodka for days and we were most definitely not complaining.

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Josie and Dan

One person we were very excited to meet was Tara of Tara Met Blog. It is actually quite funny because any and every time I go to an event and meet a Tara I always ask, “Oh, Tara Met Blog?” The answer up until this special Friday night has been “No sorry, but I know her.” We finally got a Tara Met UGs moment, and boy did it feel good. We all had more than a bit to drink and she became my favorite person to sing and dance next to. By the way, I think I have found the best solution for girls that don’t want to be touched by strange men. The solution is painful clothes. I bought an 80s rhinestone studded dress at a thrift shop for $4.99 but it is priceless because anyone that touched me that night got poked, pricked, and glittered. It was brilliant. Too bad Josie had to opt for the “can you switch places with me so that guy stops touching me” move.

Uncouth Gourmands with Tara Met Blog

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Key Club

The band was so much fun and by the end of the night neither Josie nor I had a voice from all of the screaming and singing. We want to wish Dan a very happy birthday and a thank you for letting us join in all of the festivities. As a birthday present to him, I suggest we all buy tickets and fill the Speakeasy he is throwing in a couple of weeks. I feel the need…the need for speed in buying tickets to the Speakeasy on November 7th

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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*

Nobu and Largo

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Josie and I had our first date night in quite a while. I have to say that the whole thing was sort of put together by Twitter. I read on one of LAist tweets that Fiona Apple was playing a surprise show as a guest at Largo. I am a huge Fiona Apple fan; the Extraordinary Machine album was one of those life changing CDs for me. Josie is not much of a fan, so I purchased tickets first and told her about it second. She agreed. She was busy doing work on the Westside anyway so I simply met her down there after fighting through the always terrible drizzle traffic. I was having a very Josie-esque afternoon, dropping off my clothes at the cheapest fluff and fold (Spin Cycle in Highland Park-I will be forever indebted to Josie for telling me about this place), and then heading to Fashion 21 (the first Forever 21) to buy a raincoat as I was barely wearing any clothes in the rain. I picked up the tickets around 6:30 and while debating where to get some grub before the show Josie said, “Didn’t you tell me Nobu WeHo has a happy hour?” I did in fact say that because I read it on EatingLA’s tweet a couple of days ago. We both were nearly killed crossing La Cienega but it was totally worth it. I arrived at Nobu first and the bar was completely empty, business picked up greatly around 7:30. I had a couple of lovely $6 glasses of wine, Sophia’s Symphony, and began ordering from the Happy Hour menu. I started with the baby artichoke and leek salad and the ginger crusted scallops. Both were phenomenal, the artichokes were shaved and the scallops were amazing quality and were perfectly cooked/undercooked.

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Josie has a very unfortunate allergy to almost all seafood. She had very limited choices and went with 2 bowls of rice and a hearts of palm salad which left her mouth on fire. It was delicious, but I am a girl that eats hearts of palm straight from the can on a regular basis. I was in food heaven and even commented to Josie that I could sit here all day and just order more and more. She laughed and said, “Wait until the bill comes”. I ordered some whitefish tiradito which I described as “insane good”. I am not that big of a sashimi fan and actually haven’t had it since I was in Tokyo for Christmas but this was out of this world. Super fresh, perfectly seasoned, and I was very glad I didn’t have to share. I think Josie was a bit annoyed. I was raving on and on and she got charged 7 dollars for a Sugarfree Redbull-with no vodka. Insanity. However, I was in food and wine heaven all night. I am still thinking about the food and wondering when I can go back. These kind of celebrity infused restaurants I really want to dislike or throw down words like “overrated” but the quality of fish and the flavor trumps all. I was really impressed.

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I drove us to our next date stop slightly further down La Cienega. Tickets were $20 each and seating was assigned we definitely had princess seating, D22 and D24, in the small intimate theater. The first performer up was the charming and adorable Tom Brosseau, Josie said he reminded her of a cartoon character. The main performers, who have a monthly gig at Largo, was the Watkins Family. Comprised of brother and sister, Sean and Sara Watkins, formerly of Nickel Creek. They were amazing and apparently whoever is in town at the time joins them. Last night they had John C. Reilly (that’s right Dewey Cox himself), former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones on mandolin, and Fiona Apple. It was a great night of music from fiddles to cellos to mandolins.

No wonder Josie and I can’t get a date, we have too much fun together. Find me a man that can top Nobu and Fiona Apple with my bestie.

Shabbat Shalom

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Our new friend and business mentor Barrett and his lovely girlfriend Lillian invited us for Shabbat dinner in their cool downtown loft. Josie had never been to a Jewish festivity and was excited. She has recently been using the phrase “Jew Curious” to describe herself. I also invited my Jewish friend and former dorm neighbor, Nora, to join us. We arrived at around 9:30 and didn’t know what to expect. Nora and I both have Jewish mothers but grew up with a relaxed reform sense of the religion. I know the first half of the most basic prayers and she remembered a lot but wasn’t too familiar with it. We said several times to each other, “Oh, I forgot about this part”. Josie never parted ways with a piece of challah, assembled kosher Morrocan flavored beef kabobs, washed her hands and remained silent (although many people attempted to make her laugh) until Barrett ate his piece of challah first, and was a regular Jewess. Barrett’s brother, Caleb, whom we randomly met at Association weeks ago was late because of the importance of his beer pong so we didn’t start prayers until midnight. As one of the guests commented, “The angels have already been to Hawaii and now they have to come all the way back to visit with us.” The late start was well worth it. The kiddush cup runneth over. The fish course of the baked salmon and lox was delicious. The kabobs were flavorful. Josie was shocked that the artichokes were globe rather than Jerusalam ones, which made me laugh greatly. We seemed to be the only ones eating them and joked how we each had an artichoke to ourselves. It was a great night of kosher wine, funny stories, and a lot of laughter. Also it was nice that Barrett’s brother was the uncouth one of the night, the Uncouth Gourmands need a break (it is the Sabbath, after all) from always being the plebeians in a group.

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The next day Josie recommended we hit up Taix to see her co-workers’, from The Kitchen for Exploring Foods, band play. Josie told me that the lead singer of Rachel in the Weeds is her love doctor as she constantly gives Josie advice, like wait two hours before texting back. It was nice to meet this Relationship Sensai, because with Josie and I it is the blind leading the blind. The place was an interesting mix of people. One of the bartenders was as sweet and complimentary as can be and the other one was a bit confused. When Josie ordered a drink directly off the menu this older gentleman had absolutely no idea what to do with it. He asked that Josie write down all of the ingredients. Josie instead showed him the menu and he responded, “I can’t make that, I have no mint”. She wrote, “You can leave out the mint”. This made the gentleman more confused so Josie got a water instead and returned to her seat. Nearly 10 minutes later the bartender came by with her drink-mint and all. She thanked him and we made awkward turtle gestures to one another. She then wrote me a note which said, “He must have Alzheimer’s”. That was the only reasonable explanation. After listening to the band’s set we headed to Mickey D’s for some french fries and then to a house party in Glassel Park.

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It was as close to a day of rest as the UGs have had in a long time. Of course, we still ended up getting home at 3AM.

Side note: I had the most pho-nomenal beef pho for lunch that day at Golden Deli and no surprise Jonathon Gold was completely right about their spring rolls. He said, “Golden Deli has the best cha gio, fried Vietnamese spring rolls, in the observable universe.” I couldn’t agree more. They are super greasy and delicious. I ate some while driving and was an idiot and didn’t wrap it in lettuce first. I got grease all over my hands and clothes. My car has a touch screen which I didn’t want to grease up so I proceeded to wipe the grease on my legs (I was wearing a skirt) for a nice glow. Uncouth indeed.

Girls Weekend

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Every weekend has become a girls weekend, filled with GNOs (Girls’ Night Outs), as we realize that we are in a dating desert. As Josie so poignantly pointed out, “Wake up and smell the brush off- we’ve been dumped.” Our Friday night began at Barcelona with 7 ladies ready for a night on the town. Josie and I are not big fans of Barcelona, because there is a cover that we can’t flirt our way past and the drinks are so pricey and their dance floor is pretty underutilized. We convinced the other girls to go to The Menage, using our famous, “It’s so bad…it’s good” line. After that, the night picked up, we pushed boys aside, and had a silly time. Note: That picture that looks like Josie is kissing that girl is actually not so. Their lips never touched.

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The next morning, we woke up at my place hungover and Josie and I were, of course, starving. She was supposed to go to Coachella but we decided to get brunch before she left. We headed to Old Town where we got Princess Parking right in front of Barnes & Noble and I noticed hot Chef Curtis Stone on the cover of a new book in the window display. I recommended we go in and ask if he was going to do a book tour and they said he was going to be at Sur La Table, right up the street, in 15 minutes. We held out on our hunger and ran in line. I have long been a fan of Chef Curtis and even used to have a code with my ex boyfriend in case I ran into the Take Home Chef at a Pasadena grocery store. The plan is that I would refer to my bf as Matthew on the phone when I invited him to dinner instead of Matt, which I always called him. Matt would then have to come over and pretend that all of the food that Curtis and I picked out was his favorite and his dream meal (even though it was really mine). Josie had a more realistic experience with him which she always likes to throw in my face. I guess they met at the Standard Downtown and some guy she was on a date with ruined the moment. Anyway, we were very happy to see him. He signed our book, “To the Uncouth Gourmands- Josie and Carina”. We then proceeded to hand him a post-it with “uncouthgourmands.com – Hypertext me” written on it.

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We were then thrilled and headed to fill our tummies. We went to to the new Argentinan restaurant 1810. Josie had the Milanese sandwich with fries and I had the special spinach salad with grilled chicken and mushrooms. It was exactly what I wanted. The sangria-I should have done without. When I gave Josie a sip she said, “This is what murky tastes like”. Also wasn’t loving the stale bread that came out before our meal but I am a bread snob. I’d go back but am not close to blown away…my meal was no Chef Curtis.

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During our meal Josie’s friend, who she was supposed to go to Coachella, called and said she wasn’t really feeling it and asked if I wanted the ticket. I was hesitant as I had a ton of schoolwork to complete but thankfully I obliged. We stopped for Happy Meals and beer and made it to Coachella around 4 but then spent an hour in traffic. Although it was fun to tweet with a fellow LA foodie BakeSpace that we follow on Twitter and compare traffic notes. For Josie and I, it was both of our first times and we were excited despite the heat, the traffic, and the hike to the stages. Looking at the line-up I wish I would have gone Friday as I am a huge Leonard Cohen and Hold Steady fan but Saturday also had a ton of offerings. We saw TV on the Radio, Thievery Corporation, MIA, Band of Horses, Jenny Lewis (our favorite of the day-but we are also both huge Rilo Kiley fans), and the Killers (whose songs were indistinguishable but good, not headliner material but we liked the fireworks). Our favorite moment was Jenny Lewis singing “Silver Lining“. I also liked sporking my ceviche tostada, and Josie liked forking her beef tenderloin caesar salad. The awkward turtle moment was really just the things we overheard. I heard two girls in bikinis go up to security and say that someone bit them. When the guard asked who it was, she responded, “I don’t know. She is the only 7 foot tall girl here.” During the Killers, there was a teenage girl behind me saying “OMG he is so hot. I love Brandon Flowers. I want to have his babies.” She then proceeded to scream, “Impregnate me! Impregnate me!”

We left at 1 and did another Mickey D’s run and got back at 3am. Josie and I had another sleepover. An excellent and exciting Friday and Saturday.
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