My Time at the 1st 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational

Last year, I attended the 1st 7th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational and I had an absolute blast. There was no doubt that I would attend this year’s festivities. The last time around was also the first time our friend Arun and I really got to hang out and know each other. Arun is the so-called Mayor of Downtown and is a vegetarian that gets such joy from bread, butter, and cheese. He had secured himself as my date months ago and despite a new woman in his life, I was still kept as his official date. I arrived 15 minutes before the event started and the line was already quite long. We walked into the Los Angeles Studios and it was immediately reminiscent of the actual 1st annual LA Street Food Fest at the same location.

Once again, these nondescript streets were filled with people, food trucks, vendors, and a ton of high energy. The sea of people wasn’t quite as large and the judging area with all of the really interesting sandwiches was off to the side. I had entered as a judge several weeks ago and I was glad that my group and I were all approved as judges. The most exciting part of the GCI is the competition. You get to see some truly unusual concoctions. The first round is called the missionary and is supposed to be just standard bread and cheese. This may sound like boresville but the possibilities are endless.

There was some slight variation in this round, even though I am not quite positive that it was actually allowed. My favorite of this round was one on Russian Rye with tomatoes, relish, and onions added in the sandwich. I don’t know what it was about this dish but it just totally worked for me. It was like a meatless strange version of a reuben that made this a grilled cheese favorite for me.

After the first round we took a break and went to the common area for non-judges. There was all you can eat free Tillamook grilled cheeses, potato chips, tomato soup, and Izze sparkling juices. There was also numerous trucks including 2 Grilled Cheese Trucks, World Fare, Cool Haus, Border Grill and specialty sandwiches from some of LA’s finest chefs. I wasn’t quite ready to stand in line so I went up above to buy a beer.

If I had to make one complaint it would be that there were no drinks being sold or given out in the judging area. I got so desperate for a Diet Coke (remember I am a Diet Coke head) that I walked to the front of the Grilled Cheese truck and grabbed one and laid cash on the table. There was a ton of people in cheese costumes and other silly outfits and the atmosphere was fun the entire time. There was cheese calling contests, grilled cheese poetry, cheesy costume contests and speeches from the official Mayor of Cheese. When we returned back to the judging area it was the Kama Sutra round, which means the sandwiches got a little crazier.

The judging this year was much smoother than last year. The lines were shorter but you still got the distinct idea that you had to beg for your piece of the grilled cheese. One sandwich that I was camped out to get was being made at the end of the table with such care. It was the Duck, Duck, Goosed grilled cheese. It had duck confit, foie gras, a fruit jam for sweetness, and a cave-aged gruyere. It sounded incredible and it tasted even better! In line, I heard a girl that sounded disgusted ask, “Eww, duck feet?!?!” Apparently she only heard half of the “confit’ word. The guys that made the sandwich weren’t exactly amateurs, they were from The Oaks Gourmet Market in Hollywood. It was the last sandwich I tried and it was definitely the best! I was in love at first bite…

Josie didn’t attend last year or this year due to her Saturday catering job but she was at the first couple GCI events that took place in a loft in Downtown. Despite only seeing the last two years the upgrade in this event is remarkable. More people, more sponsors, more vendors, and way more enthusiasm. The tagline of the GCI is “Bread-Butter-Cheese-Victory” and I can, without hesitation, say that they nailed them all. The event was a complete success. I, on the other hand, disappointed myself by only making it 3.5 hours, but it IS a 6 hour food event. You were a true UG hero if you made it through all of the rounds. Anyway, that was my experience and my favorites, what do you got? I want all the cheesy details.

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Brewery Art WALK, Vizzi TRUCK, & WorldFare BUStaurant

Saturday was the day that I should have been at school taking graduation pictures and picking up my cap and gown for my grad school graduation. However, that was not what I was doing. Instead I was looking forward to another school on Saturday. I was going to be attending an Italian Wine Class at Cube Marketplace. Minty and I knew we’d be attending this and set off to the Brewery Art Walk before the class. It was perfect weekend weather and it was magical to wander into and out of lofts to look at people’s collections in this art colony area.

Everything was lovely and then I stumbled into a place that I have been wanting to visit for years. I found the second Hipcooks location in the Brewery Arts District. I fell in love with their large communal tables, wood stump cutting boards, and cute aprons. I have a list of their upcoming classes and will definitely return for a class. By the way, I am so in love with their colander light fixtures.

After walking in to this cute kitchen my hunger started to grow and I was in the market for some food. Thankfully, just outside the art walk was the Vizzi truck. Minty told me that she read on Twitter that the World Fare was gonna come, however, they were nowhere in sight. Vizzi was not a second choice by any means and we ordered food. They only launched a few weeks ago and we were blown away by the fancy TV screens on the truck. I ordered the Balsamic BBQ Braised Wagyu Sliders and Minty had the Black Skillet Jidori Chicken Sliders. Both sandwiches were served atop Pimento-Spiced and Yakima salted Popcorn. Popcorn is one of my favorite food and I loved this fun side dish. I think I love that popcorn is such an uncouth thing to eat, it always feels as though it is being shoveled into your mouth and I feel like I can it unbelievable quantities. Minty and I subscribe to the school of “Sharing is Caring” so I gave her one of my beef sliders in exchange for one of her chicken ones. I liked hers better and she could sense it, so she asked me if I wanted to switch one more chicken for beef. I apologetically nodded and was happy as can be. These were good sliders  and the popcorn was a wonderful surprise. If I had one complaint it would be the buns. I am a bit of a bread snob and this tasted similar to King’s Hawaiian rolls, so I am guessing that is what they use. Not bad, but not up to par with the rest of the slider.

It seemed almost immediately after we ordered, the famed World Fare Bus arrived. They were welcomed by a line and a camera crew for promotional purposes. It took a while for them to park and set up and so we waited, plus we had to digest.  This BusTaurant is famous for Bunny Chows, “Originally a South African street worker food; a hollowed out loaf of bread with filled with chicken curry, Chef Andi has taken the concept to a new level as a portable easy-to-eat medium for serving different flavors from around the world.” It is a very cool concept and we liked the second story, even if the steps were rather scary. We were already a bit full and ordered the Bunny Chow combo to share with Chicken Curry and Short Ribs and added in the Truffle Mac n Cheese Balls. We were first given the wrong order (photographed below) but we can’t complain because it was delivered to us after we were told to take a seat upstairs. The upstairs was beautiful but unfortunately there were no seats, so we stood.

We had the order corrected and we both dug in to sample. I liked this brioche bun much better and the chicken curry was good with my favorite golden raisins, athough, the short rib was pretty watery and it soaked right through the bread. Our meal came with a perfect cookie. However, for me, the item that was the clear winner was the truffle mac n cheese balls. They were perfection and reached a level that the ones at Fred 62 just can’t match. After these two lunches at mobile eateries, I was stuffed and prepared for wine class. They are both trucks I would try again, but that mac n cheese ball is something I would drive miles and wait in line for. Anyway walk, truck, and bus on and I will tell you about the wine class in the very near future.

Eat My Blog: From the Frontlines

There was a big sigh of relief and pleasure that came Saturday because the Eat My Blog charity event went off without a hitch. After weeks of planning, dozens of Los Angeles food bloggers put their baking skills to the test and rallied around a good, no great, cause – to help support the LA Food Bank by baking their dessert specialties and selling them at Zeke’s in West Hollywood. Below you can see the orchestrator of the event, Cathy, from Gastronomyblog.com in action holding a fresh batch of Christmas cookies. You gotta love the girl. She, like so many of us, not only has a full-time job, but also moonlights as a food blogger by night. We take our hats off to this tiny lady for getting all the marbles in order for this event which at the end of the day raised $3K!

We know, we know, we’ve been talking about this event for months, but I don’t think it was until the day before that it really sunk in. We were tired after a 4 hour meeting with investors in the valley, and we had a long week planning our Holiday party the night before. Needless to say, we were absolutely exhausted. Luckily, the wonderful, Wendy, obliged to help us with the shopping for the items. She’s great and we love her. Thank you, my love!

We decided to make our contribution, the famous Bacon-Chocolate Covered Fleur de Sal Reindeer Blitzens, that night after an exhausting but productive day with investors. We thought it’d be a piece of cake. And besides, the challenge was actually scrounging up the energy to motivate ourselves to make 50 reindeers.

Some our favorites came from the bloggers who decided to use bacon as their secret ingredient. Pat, from EatingLA made a bacon apple pie that sold in a record 10 minutes. Jo from MyLastBite.com made her famous bacon-wrapped pretzels, which she claims are best on salads, but the UGs are here to tell you, they’re just as good a sidewalk on Santa Monica Blvd accentuated by nothing else. Believe us – we bought several and scarfed them down in a New York minute. The Domestic Divas captivated our bellies with their bacon brownies, which had yummy strips of bacon on top. I felt like Homer Simpson. Marge Simpson (aka – the wife) was full ‘o bacon and sugar and she wanted a real meal. If I don’t feed her when she requests it, I never hear the end of it. We went inside Zeke’s for a full meal of open face turkey and pulled pork sandwiches.

A much special thanks to all the food bloggers that participated, Zeke’s for hosting, Coffee Bean for providing coffee, Challenge Butter for donating the butter, and, most of all, Gastronomy Blog. The event was such a success that there may be a part deux in the very near future. If any one has any more charities that they need help with during these holiday times, please reach out to us. After all, we are so thankful for everything in our lives that we’d love to help in any way we can.

Much love and Happy Holidays from the Uncouth Gourmand Girls!

Not on Top: Learning to Lose

Chuck always says to us, “Ladies, you have to lose in order to really appreciate the good.” This was one of those losing times for the UG girls. Here’s a recap of lunch at The Jonathan Club Beach and our entry for this year’s Tabletop Shootout.

It is without fail that every time we visit the JC Beach, Chef Benjamin always prepares a memorable meal for the UG girls. To throw a little surprise twist to the story, I met Chuck there on time. Anyone that knows me knows that on time for Josie usually means 15 minutes late, but this time I was early. Chuck summoned me in to the facilities and I got a private tour of the kitchen, which Chef Ben uses to experiment on us with new flavor combinations that never fail.

 

As always the meal started off with the JC’s famous zucchini muffins, bread, madeleines and, of course, fresh butter. From there we moved on to the first course which consisted of baby beets on top of heirloom tomatoes and two neat formation packets of coagulated yogurt and cranberry goat cheese served with a beet vinaigrette. The first course was light and airy. If any heaviness, whatsoever, could be identified it came from inherent qualities of the goat cheese and yogurt which delicately teetered on masterful. For the second course heaviness exploded, but only in that good way that can only be fully appreciated when you only have a few bites to savour and the fullness doesn’t leave you over satiated but rather, longing for more. We had a small piece of  veal osso bucco over polenta which was paired with a single wagyu beef ravioli over braised carrots. Beyond that, I, Josie did not get to try any of the desserts because this is where the plot was foiled. Apparently, our competition at our next stop, The Girari Tabletop Shootout, was not what we expected and our partner there said we would need more time than we anticipated. We were nervous! I left lunch early to assure our victory (maybe not so much victory). I heard that the girls at lunch: Dawson aka Miss SauceLA and Carina helped themselves to chai creme brulee and an assorted berry Bavarian cream florentine. The Jonathan Club Beach and Chef Benjamin delivered just like they have on our previous visits.

The Verdict:

Food: Thumbs-up

Service: Thumbs-up

Character: Thumbs-up

Ambiance: Thumbs-up

Uncertain of how to pull all of it together, I arrived panicked only to find out our team mate had already left because she was too embarrassed and didn’t want us to embarrass ourselves. We thought defeat without trying was more embarrassing, so we forged on. We decided to go ad hoc decorating and put together what you above. Constructed with less than $40, we used paper, paint, Taco Bell sporks, and recycled paper cups to build our display.  We aptly positioned it as an Andy Warhol inspiration and which we topped with what else, Campbell’s Soup and the new coke bottles. Much like Warol changed the way people saw art, we wanted to change the way people perceived the dining table experience. We wanted the people sitting at the table to be challenged and stimulated. We also find it necessary to mix high brow and low brow food and bring it to the masses.

The evening was great. We got to munch on snacks, drink fancy lattes, and mingle with some very talented party planners. Were the other designs better? The other designs were more traditional and showy and it was definitely apparent that we were by far the most “avant garde” competitor, but we were proud of our design because it fully encapsulated us as a young, modern, and uncouth brand. To some people the other pieces might’ve been better, but we were by no means, embarrased with anything we produced. If anything, we would’ve been embarrassed to produce something that didn’t fully represent us. This was us!

So I suppose it was one of those losing nights for these girls. We left the Luxe Hotel with a mix of emotions. We were happy, sad, disappointed, and proud all at once. Our lawyer once told us that we were the most persistent and relentless girls he’d ever met. With that said, the UG journey continues. That is, one meal at a time.

The Men SPEAK Classy and The Girls Are EASY

Drink Eat Play, Uncouth Gourmand Girls, Social Domain LA

Saturday night was the night of the Drink-Eat-Play Speakeasy event at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel. I had to work on Saturday, so I was running a little late. Surprise, I’m Latin and I’m late ALL the time! Since we were already late, we didn’t have enough time to check out the opening party for, Agura, which our friendly blogging neighbor, SinoSoul, kindly invited us to. We’ll have to check it out soon and report back. The main reason I was late was because I was having a hard time choosing a 20’s era themed outfit. On the contrary, Ms. Carina did not and actually tweeted this, “We are going to the @drinkeatplay Speakeasy tonight but I am afraid that my pearls may bring my dress down. Them pearls are heavy.” If you don’t understand that tweet, look at the above outfit – Scandalous!

edison

Ice test

It seems our unfortunate delay got us to the Speakeasy just in time. The whiskey to laughter ratio was 1:1. I was driving so I did a lot of sipping and pouring. Carina, on the other hand, was the uncouth one of the night and didn’t “cheerlead” any of her drinks. “Cheerlead” is our new term for when someone doesn’t finish their drink. If she didn’t like one whiskey, she simply added it to the one she did. How that makes logical sense to any sober person, I’m unsure. Needless to say, I lost her in the crowd only to find her about an hour later with a new friend, Sandra, talking to some good looking men and giggling. Sandra is a good friend of, John, who runs Social Domain LA. Here’s a tidbit of the conversation I walked into:

Sandra: (to the good-looking guy) What’s your name?

Guy: Matt

Sandra: Mac? As in Big Mac?

Carina: No, Matt, as in a doormat. We’re going to walk all over you.

Dios mio! I should’ve known better than to leave her alone in a ballroom full of whiskey. The other uncouth moment of the night came from after running into this one vendor over and over again. Here’s the last encounter:

Carina: Running into you again?! What are following us? You can on Twitter.

Man: Yeah, I’m like a bad song – You can’t get rid of me!

Carina: More like a VD.

speakeasy

uncouth gourmands at Speakeasy

Ms. Sandra (above) was the girl of the hour (she was also the girl Carina ditched me for). I hope I’m not getting traded in for a wittier, perkier model… The best cocktail of the night was a tie between The Edison’s liquor concoction, which was topped with Edison Beer and Varnish’s “Lemon Cayenne Pepper” drink. Refreshing and yet so bad – A common theme in an Uncouth Gourmand life. In fact, Cedd Moses, the owner of the 213 Downtown Group, gave me a personal tour if his favorite booth(s). The 213 Downtown Group is responsible for bringing you such bars as Seventh and Grand, Varnish, The Doheny, and my personal favorite, Tony’s. Arun, a good friend who lives in downtown said, “Cedd Moses is responsible for giving me all the good places to hang out in downtown.” The UG Girls surely agree.

flapper girls dancing

11PM came around and we were sad to say goodbye to the Speakeasy. We laughed and had so much fun! Dan, the owner of Drink, Eat, Play, really outdid himself this time. Of all his events are great, (no joke) but this one was the best. Drinks were great, there were boys in ties (you don’t see that much in LA), and the participation from the vendors to the attendees was excellent. From there we headed to Viceroy in Santa Monica where our friend was having her birthday party. We got there at around midnight and the line was around the corner. The UG Girls, of course, walked right up to the front and without having to say a word, were escorted right in. I have a feeling it was Carina’s dress and pearls and not our blogger status. 😉

Uncouth Gourmand Girls

viceroy

UGs at the Viceroy

But just as our luck is good, it always turns ugly. The birthday party was over and we had to mingle with some creepy guys whose pick-up line was, “Hey, I’m a doctor and he’s a dentist. Would you like a drink?” Smarmy. Our friend, Kane, came back and had two more drinks with us. Liked the place, but didn’t like the Friday night crowd. We’ll surely be back soon to try the new Happy Hour menu, though. We hear it’s pretty stellar. Beer, beach, and boys – What more could we ask for? We ended up leaving at 2A and drove Kane home. Carina and I had some deep conversation and decided to detour into downtown and hit up The Original Pantry Cafe. Carina had never been and, well, it’s my favorite breakfast joint in town. She was thoroughly impressed by the one line cook who cooks for the entire restaurant without tickets and with one swift spatula. I am always impressed that even with only one cook, you get your meal in less than 5 minutes.

the pantry

breakfast at the pantry

We gabbed about what it means to have male friends and, even if, that was possible. Any commentary on that? Male friends, has that become an oxymoron? I, Josie, have never had male friends and am really starting to get disappointed by some of my male relationships. Carina, who has far more male friends than female friends, tells me that men are better friend and less maintenance but they are unreliable and you just must deal with that. She also explained that it was weird with male friends when you are both single and it is weird if one of you is in a relationship. The whole thing sounds weird to me, but I want to know more. What are your experiences? Do you care to tell me over fried eggs or when I have a fox around my neck?

It was a long night. We hit up Hollywood, Santa Monica, and downtown. But hey, we live in LA. The people that have the most fun, are the ones that are not afraid to drive in search of it.

Good Times at Great Chefs of LA

UGs at Great Chefs of LA

Josie and I have attended a great deal of food events this year. Sometimes we are on the list, sometimes we are not, and sometimes we volunteer just to attend. This was our first year at the Great Chefs of LA and we were more involved in this event than any other. We had the honor to be guest judges on the 944 Webfire Challenge webisode and got to give away two tickets in our contest. We somehow ended up with enough tickets, through being on the media list and after our investor already purchased us two tickets, that we got to bring dates. Shocking, I know. It has become clear that most of readers just assume we are lesbians. We are still photographed dateless, so let the rumors continue.

great chefs of LA ice sculpture

One of the first people I saw on the way in was Andee of LA Easy Meals. It was the first time we met her but she was our contest winner and one of the people we wanted to meet most. She was so sweet and looks identical to one of our good friends who is also a marathon runner and foodie. Our friend Lauren, Andee’s lookalike, can be seen in third picture on this post. Maybe it was her similar appearance or her food and business knowledge but we are sure that she is a new UG friend! Plus, she described better than anyone what it means to be a UG.

Carina’s Favorites:

We mention it all the time but Josie has an unfortunate allergy to seafood. It is not a problem for me, Carina, because it means I can always order it when I want her to not steal my food. Or I can have dates take me to my favorite restaurant, Boiling Crab, because I never get to go with my UG other half. I have to say that despite my attempts to kill Josie, read the Shrimp Incident, I am really saddened for her because she has to miss out on the best dishes like the scallop on the 1/2 shell from East. It was served with lemongrass sambal, wasabi crème fraîche, shiso dust, and cilantro and was one of the best things I ate all day. Totally fresh and perfectly seasoned. I even got to bare witness to when My Last Bite had her first bite of it and proclaimed it her favorite. Well, I more than watched this, I instigated the entire process demanding she try it immediately.

scallops on the half shell

The other dish I loved was the mushroom soup. Maybe it was their display of fungi but my heart belonged to this creamy soup. This soup was from Giacomino Drago at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills. Now if only I can find a man that would wear a “I’m a Fungi and people lichen me”  shirt.

mushroom soup

Josie’s Favorites:

One of Josie’s favorite’s also had the mushroom theme. It was the delicious wild mushroom risotto from Cecconi. It was the richest dish of the day and it was so beautiful that every plate got shaved parmesan and black truffles only seconds before serving.

wild mushroom risotto with truffles

Josie’s other favorite of the day was the blood orange and brie panini from Bottega Louie. We have only been to the restaurant once for brunch but we will definitely be returning for dinner in the near future, if anyone wants to join us.

bottega louie

josie bottega

Yes, the main cause and focus of this event was that it raised money for the Southern California Kidney Foundation, an incredible organization, but it also turned the spotlight on the great chefs of LA. The chefs of other cities are sadly more celebrated than our own. It is rather unfortunate and Josie and I want to take a second and recognize our favorite chefs of the city. First off, the amazing Drago Brothers: Celestino, Calogero, Giacomino, and Tanino. These men bring Italian food in LA to a completely different and delicious level. They were all in attendance at the event and they all impressed us to no end.

drago

Our second hats off is to Jorge Chicas from the Bazaar. The clientele may not be our favorite but the food is always so imaginative and a great addition to any event. Plus, I was thrilled to see that hot pastry chef Michael again. I am sure Josie was very happy to see Marcel once again. In case you don’t remember, let’s just say that our first time at the Bazaar brought out a great deal of carnal hunger from the UG girls.

bazaar

Strawberrylicious girls and uncouth gourmands

We know that the very talented and funny George Lopez was the host of this event as this is a cause close to his heart/kidney but there were four lovely ladies that may have stolen the show. They were the Strawberrylicious cupcake girls from Leyna’s Kitchen. They were almost as adorable as their cupcakes were yummy!

george lopez kidney foundation

After the event, my date and I needed a nap (insert wink emoticon) but I told Josie to hit up Laurel Tavern, my favorite bar in the area. It was a good choice as it turned out to be the unofficial after-party for the event. She loved the place as much as I do and raved about the chorizo fondue. Only Josie could want sausage and cheese after a day of eating.

Laurel Tavern

chorizo fondue

Josie Mora and Carina Ost

The event was wonderful and we are so thrilled that we got to be so involved. We owe a big thanks to Slife PR and 944 for putting on this event. Another thanks to Girari for their furniture contributions and making us smile all day.

Here our some great recaps from:

My Last Bite

Weezer Monkey

Food Marathon

Food, She Thought

Shop Eat Sleep

Getting Our Naan On

Uncouth Gourmands Cabo Cantina

What up, uncouthies? I bet you didn’t think you would see another post up so quickly but the UG girls have been blogging feigns. Like low self-esteemed abused women we are addicted to hits. I kid, I’ve actually read every book on feminism ever written but that doesn’t stop me from wanting attention from internet stalkers like yourself. Now that my Tivo is set to record the Rihanna interview on 20/20 I can move forward with the post.

We began Monday with ribs and southern food. The amazing Dan of Drink, Eat, Play was kind enough to spend his birthday eve with us at Baby Blues BBQ. Dan is similar to me in the fact that his birthday is a month long celebration. He already had the 80s Party Bus and he is lasting until his Speakeasy event this Saturday. Our dining experience wasn’t off to a great start as they refused to sit us girls because Dan had yet to arrive. The place had a ton of empty seats and this made them lose some UG points right off the bat. Who wants to stand when you can sit?

Baby Blues BBQ

brisket, sweet potato mash, mac n cheese

ribs

Dan was the only one that was good and ordered chicken breasts, rice, and beans. I, Carina, went with brisket, mashed sweet potatoes, and mac n cheese. Josie went all out with 1/2 beef ribs and 1/2 pork ribs with mac n cheese and collard greens.  The food won us over but I must say that the sides were the stars of the plate. The mac n cheese was among the best we have had. The meat was decent but we all know that Los Angeles isn’t famous for BBQ.

Viper Room

The next day was Tuesday and it was the day when Peter, aka Mr. My Last Bite, was playing with his band, Rubylith, at the Viper Room. Josie was exhausted from the beating she took in getting us the highest number of website hits so she wasn’t up for the trek to Hollywood and her wallet couldn’t endure a $7 Corona. I went solo, which felt sort of odd as Josie and I are one person in the FFB (famous food bloggers) arena. It was funny because one of the first people I saw was Krissy Lefebvre, who is always with her French chef husband, Ludo. Her twitter name is even FrenchChefWife, atleast she has her own Twitter mine is shared with Josie. It was good getting the behind the scenes scoop about LudoBites reopening in December. It’s all very exciting! Peter’s band was just as exciting and my favorite part of the night was listening him dedicate Tom Petty’s “American Girl” to his lovely wife, My Last Bite, when she first came to America. It was beyond touching! It was also a thrill to see The Delicious, the girl who while still being too young to be a cougar still offers me tricks of the trade. It was funny because when her photographer friend asked if we wanted another shot we both immediately thought Patron instead of his intention, which was another photograph.

LA food bloggers: Uncouth Gourmand, The Delicious, My Last Bite

The next day was Wednesday and that sweet British boy that I met at Barbarella Bar and later with Frenchy asked me for drinks in Santa Monica. Josie and I had another tiresome day of working to get eyes to our site and had an Indian feast to celebrate. It was my first time at India’s Flavor but Josie had talked so much about it that I was sure I was going to be in for a real treat. The restaurant is located very near our Uncouth Gourmands global headquarters in Montrose so it was an easy sell for me. We ordered very basic Indian staples and all was great but the real winner was the garlic naan….Let’s just say we got our naan on! It is a tiny establishment where you get to see the husband and wife owners interact and you get a private kitchen tour on the way to the bathroom. It was absolutely charming and being so close to your table neighbors made for a great interaction. As I was perusing the menu something peaked my interest and I said rather quietly, “I wish I would have ordered that” and all of the sudden two people were at our table asking if we wanted to change the order and reassuring us that it wasn’t too late. That kind of intimacy and attention is something only a small place can provide.

India's flavor

After our feast I was ready to head for drinks and Josie had the genius idea to come along as a translator. Those British accents are hard to understand. In fact, the whole time we were in London we would ask people, “Can you please speak English? We can’t understand you.” They would always respond, “I am speaking English, shall I speak the Queen’s English?” It was pretty ridiculous. The guy that was the best man at the wedding that we catered also joined us for drinks at Cabo Cantina. When ordering drinks we were good, I asked for a watermelon margarita and Josie asked for a Corona. The waitress asked if I wanted a small or a large, and said if I was going to get a small than I would probably want two and it made more sense to get a large. I figured that made logical sense. She told Josie that they only had very big Coronas, although apparently you could get an average size Corona Light. I understand upsells and was fine with that but I was shocked when we got our drinks. It seemed like something that was made for a giant. Somehow our dates had normal size drinks, go figure!

enormous drinks

At the end of the night I realized that my manly margarita contained 3.5 shots of Patron. I have always been a fan of the old adage: one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor! Thankfully, I was just at 3 1/2. Josie dropped me off and I fell fast asleep until she called me only 30 minutes later to tell me that we, once again, had a record high day of hits here at UncouthGourmands.com. I was thrilled but confused. She said I sounded like I had been sleeping for 7 years and I was wondering why my mouth tasted like corn and then I remembered that we grabbed tortilla chips at the gas station only 40 minutes earlier. Oh well, what do you expect on a week were you get your naan on in the first half?