Tasty Awards: Simply Scrumptious

We know the Taste TV people from their fantastic Chocolate Salon events in Pasadena. So when we heard that there was going to be the first annual Tasty Awards honoring the best in food and fashion on television, in film, and online we knew we had to be a part of it. We were fortunate enough to be part of the select Tastemaker Awards Panel and will be attending the ceremony on January 14th in San Francisco. Have no fear, uncouthies:  you, too, can vote and attend. Click on their website and vote in the People’s Choice categories section from now until January 5th and you can purchase VIP tickets to the historic award show here. We, the Uncouth Gourmand Girls, are so looking forward to the event. Here is a list of attendees thus far:

Hosted by food and travel television star Zane Lamprey of “Three Sheets” fame (FLN), the show features a star-studded lineup of food and fashion TV celebrities, including Tyler Florence (Food Network), Joanne Weir (PBS), G. Garvin (TV One), Tanya Holland (Food Network), Leslie Sbrocco (PBS), Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library TV), Marcy Smothers (Radio), Novella Carpenter (Author), Anita Chu (Author), Dominique Crenn (Food Network – Next Iron Chef), Brian Solis (New Media Guru), Marissa Churchill (Bravo, Top Chef), and more.


Special Achievement Awards have been announced for Anthony Bourdain, Martin Yan, Paul Prudhomme, YouTube, Alton Brown, Jacque Pepin, Meryl Streep, Giada De Laurentiis, and Tim Gunn, among others.

Forget the Academy Awards, we would so much rather be at an award show where Anthony Bourdain, Top Chef, Project Runway, Cake Boss and Guy Fieri lead the awards finalists. Plus, I am sure the gourmet wine, food, and chocolate after party will be tastier than any other award show!

Top 5 Female TV Characters that the UGs Admire

This list came to me for several different reasons. First, I just read the Top 10 Food Movies: Eat, Drink, Watch article from the LA Weekly. Second, we have almost had our blog up for 1 year and the very first post I wrote was entitled Famous Fictional Foodies. Third, I read this very interesting article regarding the type casting for the so-called Skinny Glutton. Lastly, as we have become Uncouth Gourmands and coined the term we must pay homage to the women on TV that have taught us so very much!

1. Grace Adler

I’ll admit it. I, Carina Ost, am obsessed with Grace Adler. She is all that I want to be in the world. I got the neurotic Jewish girl that is obsessed with food part down, now I just need the gay best friend. The reason why Grace tops the list can be found in nearly episode. She, like me, loves raisins in everything, knows that one should always be equal distance from a Krispy Kreme and a gym, and knows that the relationship between Jews and chicken is real and it’s deep.

Will: Where’s all the Chinese food?
Grace: Oh, I opened it up and started to eat it and then I noticed a
hair in it. So I called the restaurant to complain and they were
like “Well, how do you know its not your hair?” and I said “Well, I
know what my hair tastes like.” Anyway, I got so disgusted, I threw
it all out.
Will: You ate all of it, didnt you?
Grace: Yes, I did.

2. Liz Lemon

Sure Liz Lemon has used a wedding dress as a napkin, wants 5 pounds of lobster meat, and pooped a little in her pants at a Country Steaks all-you-can-eat buffet but didn’t leave until she finished her second plate of shrimp. Continue reading

How Could You be So Tartless?

cafe wa s uncouth gourmands social domain drink eat play

As time passes it has become more and more apparent that there are many of you that are truly invested in our lives. So as time elapses, I feel less hesitation in divulging more and more about our personal lives, especially after being the recipient of so much kindness from so many of you.  As I look back on the fun-filled weekend that Carina and I had, a strange thought occurred to me –What if Carina and I had never met? It was a sad ponder…We have a co-dependent relationship which (on a daily basis) keeps us considerably amused, educated, and entertained. Below are last weekend’s UG misadventures.

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Gale’s: Thursday was a “rough” day for the UG gals, and by “rough” I mean ridiculously relaxing. Carina had been busily working at school and I had been needing the time off, so some TLC was exactly what the UG girls were in need of. At any rate, we kicked off the afternoon by visiting a previously missed lunchtime spot, Gale’s, from there we perused around Old Town Pasadena, tried two new (sadly very dry) Dot’s cupcakes flavors and a 21-Choices frozen yogurt. A mouth full? Not for these girls. When does your metabolism start slowing down again? Gale’s is a local favorite and the UG girls couldn’t agree more. What other people might have found “defective” at Gale’s, we found to be most charming. Sure when it’s busy your drinks and bread take 20 minutes to come, but we were in no hurry and we figured that given that large of a lunch crowd, there had to be something interesting going on with the food. We were right, indeed! I had the French Dip and Carina the Caprese sandwich. Bottom-line: A great place to take an adventurous grandmother because despite the gaudy decor (see pics below), the food was really good, but by no means cutting edge. The locals are friendly and inclined enough to reach out to their table neighbors and offer good conversation. Good stuff is going on at Gale’s.

caprese sandwich

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***Above and below are mural pics of the Ladies Room at Gale’s. It just so happens that my grandmother loves dogs and roses, too 😉

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From there Carina headed to school and I had dinner with a friend on the westside. It was my first time at Ford’s Filling Station and I seriously could not have been happier. Of course, we ordered too much food and I most definitely enjoyed every last crumb. I would recommend the mac and cheese, the cured meat plate, and the rapini. The dishes are artfully-crafted California-Mediterranean works. The food is simple and well executed. FFS earns two thumbs up from this gourmand, but don’t worry eager readers, you will get a full review soon after I take the wife. Speaking of the wife, Carina and I met up later that night and visited Carmine’s in South Pasadena to try their draught beer. A friend from the Apple Store works there and recommended we try the place. The UG girls had a round of drinks and despite being stuffed like sausages, we also tried the battered onion rings from the bar happy hour menu. The place was filled with happy El Sereno locals, all of whom were very nice and welcoming to us despite their biker exteriors.

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I think Friday will always be a Jonathan Club-Chuck kind of day. Chuck, our mentor and newly named business partner, took the UG ladies and our lawyer, Ranjit, to the JC downtown to discuss our LLC and a new business venture. Upon arrival we were greeted with Chuck’s always welcoming bottles of booze. We should know better than to drink mid-day, but Chuck always brings the good stuff and being the poor UGs that we are, we always welcome the opportunity to try new fancy wine. If it wasn’t for Chuck who would feed us on Fridays? Thanks, Chuck! This visit to the JC brought us a new friend, Khrysta. Khrysta, a vivacious restaurant PR consultant and a good friend of Chuck, joined us for lunch. From lunch we headed off with Ranjit and Khrysta to Provecho, a new Mexican restaurant/bar/lounge in downtown. There is hardly any signage but upon entering the decor is very impressive. There is a full ceviche bar, chandeliers, and a fully equipped bar with a ton of rare tequilas. We didn’t try the food but the cocktails were awesome! Carina had the watermelon mojito and I had the house margarita. We will definitely be back to try the food soon.

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Provecho

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Provecho

After meeting the head chef, the manager, and a freakishly tall Amazon woman who looks more like a supermodel than a pastry chef we all toured the lavish facilities. We ended up spending a few hours at Provecho getting far too drunk to drive home and decided that from there we’d go for round three and hit up Little Toyko for a hearty bowl of sukiyaki. Ranjit, who is a brilliant investment banker, lawyer, and writer got far too tipsy to…well, walk…proved to be the funniest character of the hour. He requested his sukiyaki with a raw egg and when it came he completely forgot and cracked it thinking it was hard boiled. It is nice to know that the UG lawyer is as uncouth as his clients.

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After a long day of our lawyer kissing Carina on the cheek, drinking midday and wandering through downtown, we figured it best to go home and rest for a bit. Suddenly, after months of pining for a particular love interest, I got a call from him inviting me over for a fig tart. Was this really happening? Was the bad Josie love luck changing? I jumped at the opportunity thinking I knew that fig tart had to be a euphemism for something. Despite being in yoga clothes I headed to see “him,” who for the purpose of anonymity we will call “Mr. Fig,” in downtown. I called Carina when I was en route to the mystery boy’s house to tell her the “good” news and that expectations were high. She told me that a male classmate just asked her to come over and take a shower. What, a man was nude in her house?!?! I was one upped. No man wanted to be naked in my house. Unbelievable!

Sadly, my visit to “Mr. Fig’s” house was just that, a fig tart and a very PG make-out session. I’ve tried to analyze my own cravings for him but when he’s around my heart seems everywhere at once and my own desire for him blinds me. When it comes to my “Mr. Fig,” I seem to have shit for brains. Sometimes I really feel like Carrie Bradshaw, who despite being having a fully functioning brain, seems to be totally blinded by Mr. Big. Carina and I both know that my “Mr. Fig” and Carrie’s “Mr.Big” have too many tragic things in common. “Mr. Fig” seems completely uninterested and I need to give up. I don’t know why but everything has to be a f-in challenge for me and “Mr. Fig” is a prime example of my f-ing condition. That’s the last time that ever happens! In fact, I’m erasing his number from my phone as we speak.

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We, Carina and I, both ended up at Barrett’s at 1A, which is normally the time they begin the eating process of Shabbat dinner. Barrett’s girlfriend is great and always gives a theme or a twist to her dinners. They have ranged from kosher kabobs to kosher Chinese and on this particular night it was kosher Indian food. My disappointment at “Mr.Big’s” was settled by kosher sangria, two plates of curry over rice, and a very nice guy named Nathan who gave me a sympathy kiss on the cheek. As soon as Carina arrived at our chosen (get it, chosen people? That’s all I hear about anymore and frankly I want someone to choose me) Friday destination loft she said, “Raise your hand if you ever had a boyfriend named Nate/Nathan” both of our hands went in the air and Barrett also raised his hand as to be part of the cool crowd. That particular Nate/Nathan heartbreak is something only the UG girls can share. To “my” Nathan, if by the off shot you’re reading this, I’m sorry and I miss you. If you are “Carina’s” Nate we miss our drinking buddy and the man that always let us finish his plates of food.

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However, the UG girls are better than fine and are on to new things. Saturday we had a great girls night out. I was thrilled when Carina told me that she got us in to the Thrillist New Castle party. Free beer, free cupcakes, and free valet…oh yeah! As we were taking our sweet time getting ready we checked our new best friend, Twitter, and saw that Caroline on Crack said that the lines were bad. We opted for a pre-party drink at one of our local favorite spots, The York in Highland Park. I was hungry despite a long day of working/eating at a catering company and grabbed some tacos at the next door taco place. It was delish but when we finally arrived at the Hollywood and Vine party destination I realized that we had two big problems. First, the party was being closed down by a fire marshal and they were over capacity. Secondly, my wallet was completely lost. After everyone was kicked out we ran into our good friend Dan, the founder of Drink:Eat:Play and John (or as Carina incorrectly refers to him, David) of SocialDomainLA. We met John/David at a dinner with FoodGPS but we never knew that he was good friends with the Dan. The guys accused me of faking the lost wallet…I may be broke but I am not that smart. Carina and I used the bathroom at Eva Langoria’s place Beso, it was a very stylish decor but their bathroom was pretty much a sauna. The bathroom attendant told us she has been losing a ton of weight in the climate.

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After our stint at Beso we went to Ivan Kane’s Cafe Wa S with Dan, John, and Kara of SlifePR. I don’t know how the UGs got among this who’s who in Los Angeles food and drink events, but we were damn happy to be there. We had great cocktails. I was almost banned after stealing countless olives and oranges from the bartender’s stash but have no fear I told them my name was “Carina Ost”. After we got our car from the free valet, I discovered that my wallet was nowhere. It was after 1:30 in the morning and the only possible place of my wallet’s whereabouts was the little taco joint, El Chapin Restaurant. I knew they closed at 2A and Carina got me there at 1:56A. Thank our lucky UG stars my wallet was there and found by a very sweet little boy. It was untouched and they refused any kind of reward I offered. It made me so grateful! They make awesome tacos, breakfast, and they are more honest than any other place I know.

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The next morning was Sunday and we had a very special brunch date with a VIP TV Executive. I really tried to be on time but, unfortunately, 2 closed lanes of the 101 and a standstill 110 freeway made these UGs a half an hour late. We did the walk of shame to the best table in our brunch spot Taste. Carina and I both did the very reasonable prix fix brunch menu for $14. She had the tortilla soup and the mint chicken salad with fries. The fries were interesting because the were like potato shavings, I should know, I stole most of hers. I had the mixed greens and after asking to be surprised with the entree I got huevos rancheros. The food was good, the mimosas were never ending, and the manager even came to our table. It was a good food experience and a well-priced brunch in West Hollywood.

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huevos rancheros

A couple of bottomless mimosas in for the UG girls, our friend/VIP TV executive told us that he was really into pies and cookies. Look at that, he knows we are heavy into food and chose that as a topic of conversation. When will the UGs get so thoughtful? Anyway, Carina jumps in and says, “I have the best cookie you have ever had….”. I look at her and she tries to correct the sentence saying that it is in Pasadena….too bad she lives there…and isn’t helping anything. Upon hearing this I laugh uncontrollably and somehow manage to spit creme anglaise all over this nice man. Uncouth!

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John/David from the other night called (surprise suprise) Carina and invited us to a house warming party after brunch. It wasn’t his house and we knew no one there besides the man with two first names but obviously we went anyway. We walked into this place and were greeted by countless claps and warm welcomes. I got a cup that said Creepy Guy and felt right at home. We also found two girls that just met one another but looked completely related.

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After mimosas and wine what else would a UG want? A $5 vodka tonic. I was supposed to see the new Chanel movie with a male friend and wanted more time with Carina so I invited her to dinner with us. Unlike me, she doesn’t like being the third wheel, so she invited her date from the previous day. My friend and I left early to catch the movie but that didn’t stop me from eating ridiculous quantities. We got the cheap cocktail and a full table of KBBQ at Shin in Hollywood.  I left for the movie and somehow Carina was asked out on a third date…three days in a row. I call the injustice card, wasn’t September supposed to be my month?

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After the movie, my friend drove me to Carina’s where my car was parked. We chatted a bit and she let me borrow the first season of Californication, as she was watching the 3rd season premiere. I must say, the show is pretty f-ing good. I was considerably amused (and tortured) by the amount of direct and indirect sexual scenes. It’s hard to see people, even if on TV, having sex. Oh Californication, I’ve never experienced such agony! Your scenes stab and brutalize my loveless life.

Awkward turtle silence – P.S. That’s the sound of my phone not ringing right now. *Sigh!*

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Week of Oddities

New Coke bottles. odd. wisdom teeth

If this last week had any theme to it, I could only categorize it as very odd. One of the highlights was when Frenchy came back from his tour of NorCal and Vegas for one more night in LA before catching his plane. This was a Monday so Josie was at work and school that night. I had this whole week off from school and decided to take Frenchy out. I picked him up from Union Station as he was returning from his previous San Diego destination. It was midday and despite the traffic I was certain would arise later I decide to have us make a stop at my good friend Tony’s house in Boyle Heights for a quick beer. He and his band The Mo-Odds (speaking of odd) just got back from a multi-city national tour that lasted more than two weeks. Tony who is a Pole with no Jewish background was wearing a shirt that read, “Everyone loves a Jewish Boy”.

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When Frenchy was in LA earlier there was only one thing he wanted to do and that was to head to Venice Beach. However, the traffic getting him there and the nearly 2hr bus ride kept him away, but this time I was determined to take him. We walked the beach and I ended up getting a text message from the Brit from Barbarella. He lives in Santa Monica and so I asked if he wanted to meet up that night. He suggested Cabo Cantina on 3rd Street Promenade. Frenchy wanted a party so I took him there. There was one problem I was now at a table with a Brit and Frenchy and almost everything was lost in translation. I tweeted that I was surrounded by foreigners and that I wanted someone else to show up. Paul who was our volunteer coordinator contact for when we worked Taste of the Nation LA arrived. I was now alone with three men. Not a bad place to be. Frenchy said he wanted to eat the best burger before he left. I am not all that knowledgeable on the west-side food scene but I knew that the Comme Ca burger couldn’t be as “perfect” as the New York Times said. Furthermore, I felt ashamed to say that I had never tried a Father’s Office burger. I heard they were good and iconic but I had never tastes one. Paul, a Santa Monica resident, vouched that it was pretty good and worth trying. The boys, excuse me, men, piled in my car and off we went. I was shocked by what a small space it was; it is also a gastropub as opposed to a burger joint. I always represent Pasadena and order a Craftsmen. Frenchy and I each had a burger.  The Brit who is a personal trainer stuck to a coke and Paul who said he already had a burger for lunch ordered some olives and mushrooms for the table.

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My take on the burger: the meat was very good. Frenchy asked for rare and got rare.  I was not that impressed with the bun but I am a bread snob. I loved the sweet onion relish and arugula. While I am not kosher by any means I am not that crazy about cheeseburgers; I normally stick to hamburgers. I tend to like meat and cheese separately, with that said the mixture of blue cheese and Gruyere was quite nice. It was a good burger but not the best. Almost all sandwiches and burgers for me have a lot to do with bread first, meat second, and condiments third.

Over the course of this meal I learned that Paul competed in this year’s Grilled Cheese Invitational and, out of the hundreds of sandwiches there, I tried his asparagus and pear pairing…how bizarre. He gained many foodie points from me. I felt bad for Frenchy that I couldn’t find him any cute American girls for his last night before he heads back to Paris. Paul decided to walk home and I took my Brit and Frenchy to one of the few Venice bars I know, The Otherroom. Once again, we were surrounded by men. Why don’t Josie and I ever have this good of luck? Finally two cute young girls came up to the bar we were sitting at and I told them that this is my friend’s last night in America. One of the girl’s said, “Oh how cool, I used to know how to say, ‘I can’t speak French’ in French but I forgot”. It was too funny. I took the Brit home and Frenchy to his hotel by the airport and he will definitely be missed. As much as I love Josie it was fun to have a day/night of boy time.

The next day wasn’t quite as nice. My tooth, wisdom tooth, was killing me. When I complained about it months ago and questioned my dentist about whether it should be removed, he responded, “I don’t see why, you have a big enough mouth.” A loud Jewish girl with a blog that has a big mouth-shocking! Something in my mouth had changed and this pain was unbearable. My wisdom tooth was coming in slightly crooked and upsetting the rest of my mouth and hitting the bone. I made an emergency appointment with my dentist and he recommended that I get it removed on Thursday and prescribed me some pain killers. Josie was having a toothache of a day as well as she got in a slight accident while leaving her work causing her whiplash and strong back pain. She called me sad and heading to get her favorite chicken in Little Tokyo. I was also sad and in pain and suggested that we should be together. We have made it a habit to ask all food bloggers what their favorite restaurant is and since Josh of Food GPS said his favorite was Elena’s Greek Armenian we had been dying to go. He gave us some pearls of wisdom: At Elena’s, it’s soup, never salad. Order falafel with hummus, veggie grape leaves, lamb and lule kebab. We followed his first three pieces of advice but deviated on the main courses.

IMG_2895The soup was good but didn’t blow us away as we hoped it would. We still had to order our standard side of lemon slices to add to it. The pickled cabbage that comes to every table was something we had to ask for more of. The falafel and hummus plate was also good but not great. The main thing that blew our mind was the vegetarian grape leaves. It was stuffed with rice that carried a delicious risotto consistency and was our favorite part of the meal. When it came to the main course I had the quail and Josie had the chicken kebab. Neither was bad but perhaps if we didn’t stray from Josh’s choices we would be more in love. Also we are used to dining with a happier outlook and we, Uncouth Gourmands, know that mood plays a big part in the dining experience. The pain in Josie’s neck and back and mine in my tooth whenever taking a bite wasn’t adding any points.

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For the UGs are Mediterranean/Middle East food heart still belongs to Cafe Bravo in Glendale but Elena’s had a good fight and we will give her another chance when the UGs are in better mental and physical spirits. Also, foodies/bloggers/readers we want to know all of your favorite restaurants in case we forget/forgot to ask. Please post them in comments and let us know if you will accompany us.

The next day we had something on our calendars that we were looking forward to for a long time, the Top Chef Premiere party at My Last Bite’s house.Tony, who I mentioned was back in town, and I have an ongoing plan to do tennis, wine, and movies on Wednesdays. However, due to both our schedules it rarely works out or happens as we plan. I was on pain killers and wasn’t feeling up to playing but I knew we had to bring a dish and beverage to this party.  Tony, who is an expert gardener and bread maker, I knew would be able to help me out on the cooking front as I was as loopy as can be. We headed off to the UGs new favorite grocery store, which he was the first person to introduce me to, Super King Market in Altadena.

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At one point he suggested we either poison all of the bloggers in attendance or we stick out with a show stopper dish. I opted for the latter and it became similar to the 12 Days of Christmas song as I talked him out of first 30 quail and then 1 duck to finally agreeing on 2 chickens. We decided to stuff the birds with brown rice, raspberries, grapes, walnuts, and onions. We also proceeded to find aphrodisiac tea which we placed in the rice water to infuse the rice with love potion. If anyone got lucky that night you have us to thank. The dish became very similar to a medieval dish and Tony decided to name it, “Charles Martel Chicken” in case anyone asked. Tony taught me that cooking grapes was one of the yummiest ways to eat them. I was somehow under the impression that freezing them and/or having the peeled for you by Samoan men wrapped in a diaper like thing while fanning you down with palm leaves was the way to go. Since Tony did so much of the leg work we decided to invite Tony and his lovely girlfriend, Zena, to the party. We figured we were bringing two chickens to a party, we should be able to let two friends tag along.

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When we got to the party one of the first things we heard someone say was, “Who brings chicken to a party?” The Uncouth Gourmand Girls responded the only way we knew how, by saying, “We actually brought two chickens.” The hilarity ensued. We saw many of our foodie friends: The Delicious Life, Food GPS, and Freshman in the Kitchen. We were most excited about meeting the famous My Last Bite, Jo, who is a Twitter celebrity and a chef groupie, I apologize I have no better word. Those are two titles we covet and she does it the best and effortlessly as there are pictures of her with Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, and Eric Ripert under her “Chef Photo” section. She is just so cool and a rockstar in her own right, after all, she performed one night only at The Whiskey. She and her husband have a sound proof music room, a tent in the backyard equipped with couches and a full bar, and multiple TVs in every room. They are just so cool and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they are just as charming and sweet as you can imagine. My friend Tony was a little drunk and suggested karaoke, Jo, the awesome host found him the Wii game with a microphone and proceeded to sing Tom Jones with him as she hooked it all up. Also when Tony was leaving he attempted to grab a bottle of wine, I gave him the eye of shame and he put it back and grabbed a couple of bottles of beer from the fridge as has he grabbed our remaining chicken. I figured that was okay as he went on and on about how there was a beer at the party that had a very old recipe, like from the Egyptians, and that he read about it in National Geographic Magazine. When Jo and her hubby, Peter, saw this man carrying chicken and unopened bottles of beer they applauded him. Jo even offered him more and stuck bottles in his pockets and in his handmade leather purse. His girlfriend, Zena, was mortified at his uncouthness. Josie and I loved that the hosts approved of such uncouth behavior. We met a ton of people there that we only follow on Twitter but don’t personally know like EstarLA, Daily Wine, and Kevin Eats. One of our favorites of the night was Limer35 who knows what UG girls like and got us beer and some of HeySmell‘s chocolate chip cookies whenever we asked. Those cookies were so OMG with french butter and fleur de sel. However, they retail for $4 at Artisan Cheese Gallery so we definitely ate at least $16 dollars worth of cookies for free and were delivered to us at this party, it was heaven. Also, I apologize to Mozza2Go, the maker of the truffle mac and cheese, and Eli of Freshman in the Kitchen, and Josie’s dress maker because over the course of the night I heard Josie take credit for making the pizza, the mac n’ cheese, the flour-less chocolate cake one bites, and her own dress (respectively). It was a great night and I am glad I Tivo’d Top Chef because I missed a lot of the show by talking and laughing with you fine folks.

Josie spent the night at my house that night and took me to my dentist appointment the following morning. I took a heavy duty pill called Triazolam an hour before we left and my dentist was correct it produced an amnesia like effect. I have zero tolerance for pain and asked to be sedated. I know drugs make me very emotional and warned Josie of this ahead of time because I remember once being hysterical with my mom that there was no steamed cauliflower after a dental procedure. Perhaps Josie should be typing on this episode but I am afraid of what she may say I said/did. I have no memory of coming home but I know Josie was here most of the time and then left to pick up my prescription and  to go to a doctor’s appointment of her own. When woke up I was alone and in pain. I called my mom who is on vacation in Hawaii and was crying because I couldn’t find a hair tie. By the time Josie came back I was making us papaya sorbet, not that complicated I have a VitaMix it takes 3 minutes, and she gave me the hair tie off her wrist. She then proceeded to do everything I wanted to do and was the best Uncouthy Bestie I could ask for. We watched discs of Will & Grace and, although it hurt, she made me laugh by logging on to Match.com and showing me her profile picture which was the two of us but the thumbnail that Match chose was just on my face. I laughed asking her if that is why she was getting so many virtual winks. She whimpered because it was sadly true. Josie is iPhone and regular Coca-Cola and I am Blackberry and a Diet Coke head but we compliment each other so nicely. The PR girl, Kat, from Formula Pubic Relations that we met at Blogger Prom sent us the new Coca-Cola bottles to try out and we loved them. Josie was into the modern yet retro design and liked that the inside was also aluminum. I, on the other hand,  was high on drugs and emotional and said something of the effect of, “How did she know that I was Diet Coke and you were regular Coke? I can’t believe she sent us both she must really know us and loves us.”

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Friday, was perhaps the oddest of all these days. I finally understood why Josie was calling me Chipmunk, as I consciously looked into a mirror. We were still not at top form but as we mentioned a few weeks ago we wrote a treatment for a reality show basically our blog come to life. We have been getting a little Hollywood and have had meetings with people we couldn’t have imagined. A couple of weeks ago at a meeting with a TV executive we ended up spotting Harvey Levin at the table next to us at BOA. We have people interested in being our managers and we are learning a lot about showbiz. We also have learned the importance of connections as a friend of a friend passed our treatment on to a real Beverly Hills agent and we had a meeting on Friday afternoon. We were eating yogurt and bananas in my car on my way there. The valet laughed at the sight of banana peels in the cup holders. The woman we were meeting with was fantastic. Halfway through the meeting I looked at her and said, “Josie and I kind of share a brain and I just want you to know that I can say with all certainty and without talking to Josie alone that we both adore you.” She loved our stories of Frenchy and the Brit and it was a perfect match. Once again, why isn’t this happening in our love lives? Anyway, long story short we now have an agent. Who would have thunk it? We are represented by the lovely and best Claire Best of Marsh Best & Associates! We left the meeting stunned and thrilled and we learned from the valet guy that Brad Pitt’s office occupies he same building. When Josie called her aunt to tell her the good news, it was the latter half of the information that she was excited about. Again, it was a lovely but strange week of surprises. Claire, who is neighbors with Zack Braff, invited us to a party at her house that night in the Hollywood Hills with an interesting mix of fabulous women. The table was filled with lawyers, directors, models, and more from Australia, The UK, and Minnesota. Josie and I brought lettuce wraps with a ton of fresh veggies and fruit in a papaya seed dressing. It was a magical night and I really had to pull Josie aside and say, “Did you ever imagine that today we would be at a party in the Hollywood Hills with our new agent?” The answer was, of course, no. This will always be known as the week I lost my wisdom…tooth and we gained an agent!

Drinks on the Bus go Down and Down

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This has been a long fun-filled weekend that started out far more productive than most. Josie and I are used to doing a lot of messing around (for the millionth time, we are NOT lesbians). A couple of months ago, I pulled out the beautiful notebook she made me and she said, “All we do is dick around.” One of our friends commented, “You call this dicking around? There’s a calendar in the back of this notebook.” It’s true, sometimes we are very good and hard workers. Friday was one of these days, we met with our video guy at SBUX and I brought in chicken tarna from Zankou next door to eat. When Josie arrived she looked at me and said, “You are stinking up the joint”. I responded, “Is that your way of asking for some?” Of course, it was. We then spent the next 6 hours creating our empire on paper and writing a treatment (industry term) for the TV show we want to have. Think “No Reservations” meets the female version of “Entourage”. We had a meeting at Bodega with someone and may be one step closer to our goal. Afterward  we headed to Spaceland for a PBR and to celebrate our hardwork with a beautiful soundtrack. Playing that night was Circus Minor and Black Hard Procession.

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It’s nice that there is two of us because we constantly introduce each other to new music, movies, books, and restaurants. I was unaware of these two bands and Josie introduced them to me and I fell in love. I have a thing for drummers and both of the bands had some fine stick men.

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The next day we both knew that we would be boarding a party bus, the ATS Party Bus aka “Hippodrome”. This event was put together by our downtown friends, Arun and Veronica, who are notorious for Pub Crawls but this was like a million times better because we got to roll to locations. I tried to pad my belly as I knew it would be filled with a bunch of booze later in the night and discovered the BEST new Korean place by my house called Cham. It was amazing, did the job, and we began our journey at Yxta where we arrived the same time as the bus. We shocked Arun as he was sure we’d be the last two to arrive. We got there at 5:30 and the bus left at 6, giving us just enough time to get a pre-bus margarita by our favorite bartender, Dennis of Yxta.

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Our bus was booze filled as everyone brought several bottles and snacks. There was no exact route and we began by touring Boyle Heights. John, the white guy in the first picture was afraid he would be killed. He kept saying, if I saw this bus coming through my hood, I’d shoot at it. Arun got on the microphone and said, “This is Boyle Heights a mixture of Jewish and Latino culture. This is for Carina, half of the Uncouth Gourmands and a Jewtina.” I got some applauds and the racial awkward turtles continued when we toured Chinatown and Arun said, “This is for Kane”, the young Chinese lad in the first photo. John then asked Josie to show her green card and attempted to throw her out the window. John is the man that came up with the “Josie and the Awkward Turtles” line and for that alone he can do no wrong. I’ll allow him throw my partner (business not life) out the window. There was a potty stop at someone’s Silverlake home, a Ryan Gosling spotting, and for those few minutes of stationery bus time I polished off the Framboise we bought and another beer. The conversations got deeper, blushing-worthy as Josie and I disclosed secrets about one another to boys, and the music mix got better and better. We all started dancing as we worked our way up the hill to the Griffith Observatory. I was getting in trouble for being demanding; asking for a sour apple lollipop, more drinks,  and someone to throw my trash and pass me chips. I think, in return for my bad behavior, I got made a very strong drink. Let’s just say vodka straight. When we got to the Observatory we all had to pee and I grabbed Josie’s hand to search for a bathroom. There were plenty of foreigners there and two were speaking in a different language looked at the two UG girls hand in hand and said “Lesbians.” Oh great, it’s not bad enough that most of our blog readers think we are lesbians now the rest of the world agrees. It didn’t help when we took a picture at the top that looks like Josie was copping a feel. This morning she saw the picture and said, “Oh great, I am a lumberjack and you are my wife.”

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I don’t know what happened or where we went but when we re-entered the bus the party really began. The lights went down the mix was off-the-hook and we were all shaking our chonies scandalously. Some guy on the bus came up to me that night and said, “Josie is my God”. I looked at him confused and questioned what she might have done. He added, “She made us this awesome Party Bus music mix”. I laughed as clearly she did no such thing. Leave to Josie to take credit for other people’s work. The most amazing part of the night was driving by all the Hollywood clubs and seeing a line of 50 losers waiting outside as we had good-looking people, a ton of free booze, and hot jams right there on the bus as we cruised by them.

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We did a final potty stop at the Arclight, where Josie and I began our infamous girl talk in the bathroom. She did her hair and when I said I’d meet her outside, she did her sad puppy yelp and I had to do the “good friend” thing. I was pretty sure the UGs would end up holding up the bus, I am just surprised it took til the end of the night. We saw Tracy as we were walking to the bus and I said, “Good, we aren’t the last ones on.” Of course, Tracy responded, “Um, I actually here to find you girls”. Uncouth! After the bus returned to Yxta, I headed home and Josie head to the Circus -Cirque Berzerk. Before I left I told her to remember that we were having brunch with The Delicious at 1:00 the next day. I then got yelled at from a bus-mate who said, “Brunch ends at noon, what do you ladies know about food?” Clearly Bottega Louie and I believe that brunch should go on until 3pm especially after Party Bus nights.

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We had a business meeting of sorts with The Delicious who is one of our blogging idols as she runs two blogs (the other is the best food porn site Tastespotting) for a living. We were all Bottega Louie virgins and that means Josie and I ordered most things one the menu. We both said we wanted to order two things and when I still wanted to try the ricotta lemon pancakes we ordered them for The Delicious. Our dear friend Dawson, the head of Yelp LA, was kind enough to call head and make sure the so-called insanely hot manager, Eric, was working. Sadly, we found that was not the case. I am not that big on breakfast food but I was starving. Josie ordered the ham frittata and the egg sandwich. I had the farmer’s market breakfast and the potato pancakes. It was all quite good but I’d like to go for a meal I prefer like lunch and/or dinner. Also we must see this Eric guy at some point. Dawson said her boyfriends said, “I’m straight, but I’d do him”. Clearly this is someone we must meet!

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Look at the corner of the egg sandwich pic for a piece of the Delicious. Or I suppose you can just look at the post below. Anyway, we had a great brunch and really like this girl. She knows business, boys, bloggers, booze and more. I think she feels mutually as she wrote this on her twitter:

TheDelicious -ordering 2 dishes per person? Eating pancakes with fingers? Two glasses of sparkling wine? Brunch w @uncouthgourmand is what im talkin bout

Afterward Josie and I began running errands. First picking up pillows, then SBUX, then I recommend she look at two places but both were closed. We somehow ended up at Macys in Pasadena and Josie met my favorite make-up girl, Angel, who got me ready for Blogger Prom. She did Josie’s make-up and then we ended up at one of my favorite restaurants, Golden Deli. It was Josie’s first time and I think she fell in love. The pho was as pho-nomenal as always and the eggrolls are greasy pieces of delicious gold.

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The UGs made two big new rules this weekend:

1. For any future business meetings the Uncouth Gourmands can not be trusted to wear white. We each had to say no to several outfits at Macys today because of that reason.

2. At this point in our lives/business we should attempt to date only: TV execs, accountants, lawyers, software programmers, and/or other successful men. We are desperately trying to stop our cycle of homeless drummers and starving artists. Wish us luck and feel free to apply!

Cheesy Weekend

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Our weekend began on Friday over cheap Chinese lunch specials at Go China. I showed Josie the business plan for Uncouth Gourmands which has occupied all of my time this past week, as it was due on Thursday. We discussed our plans for the evening and were thrilled that we stayed under $10 each for lunch. We spend more than that at Panda Express.

That evening the wife, Josie, picked me up and we headed to Bodega Wine Bar. We shared a bottle of Poppy pinot noir, a pepperoni and cheese plate, bruschetta and olive tapenade, and had a impromptu meeting with a potential party host. It was exactly our kind of meeting.

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Friday marked the start of Morgan-Palooza’s birthday weekend. It is all I have heard about over the last month and I barely know the girl. We initially thought that we were going to the Standard Downtown to celebrate but last minute the location changed to J Lounge. Josie was not happy about the change of venue and was a Debbie Downer until she got another another drinky in her. We liked the space but it was almost too big and we were unimpressed by the management and crowd.

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The party then moved to Bar 107, it was my first time there and I can’t wait to return. Josie was a little too sleepy and drunky to join the group but we somehow managed to have fun anyway. There was new wave dancing and strong drinks that made for an excellent evening. Seriously, I really want to go back.

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Josie crawled into my bed at some point on Saturday morning after falling asleep on my couch. We both woke up a little more than hungover and were in desperate need of a big breakfast. We headed to Dish in La Canada. It is strange because in our every day life blondes are a rarity but that is just not the case in La Canada/Flintridge. We walked in to a world that looked straight out of Pleasantville. Everyone was showered, blow dried, and polished and we definitely looked like we had a big night out the night before. Josie headed to the bathroom and the waiter looked over at her and while giving her directions said, “You are a rockstar, right?” She laughed because clearly the only way someone would be in this establishment looking hungover and unbathed is if they were a rockstar. I had a sausage and onion omelet with hashbrowns, Josie had the chorizo scramble ,and we split the apple oat pancakes. The sausage in the omelet was phenomenal and it was the kind of breakfast that taste exactly how it looks. I am one of those people that have a very small breakfast window, come 11:20 I am always asking if I can order off the lunch menu. The food was quite good and Josie was kind enough to give me the apple chunks from the oatcakes. I mentioned that she is like my bird mother picking out my food for me.

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The only problem with this enormous breakfast was that I forgot that I had to go the Grilled Cheese Invitational in less than an hour. Josie, despite being friends with the organizer Tim Walker, couldn’t attend because of work. That meant that I had to tackle the bread, butter, and cheese on my own. Our new friend, Arun, from trivia night mentioned that he was going so I texted him right before my arrival. He had been waiting in line for an hour and had an excellent place in line among the 5,000 people. I was able to wait with him and we began to strategize. We each got 2 tickets to judge grilled cheeses and there were four rounds. The first round was Missionary, second and third was Kama Sutra I and Kama Sutra II, and the final round was the Honey Pot. My idea was to get a grilled cheese in each round and split it so we could taste/judge everything. For the first round Arun stepped up to the plate used his ticket to get the grilled cheese fries. They were awesome; cut thin and breaded with Parmesan. We love that the cooks stole all the ketchup from McDonald’s.

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We then headed to the beer garden, which was smart because they ran out of brew pretty early on. For the second round we made a mistake and doubled up on Kama Sutra I thinking it was the same as Kama Sutra II but we learned that Kama Sutra I was all vegetarian. It worked out because Arun is a non-meat eater. Hey, come on, he is my friend and atleast he’s not a vegan. Plus his love of cheese makes up for his non-love of eating animals. Arun got an eggplant grilled cheese with smoked gouda and the one I picked up had asparagus and I believe asian pear. We all know what I think of fruit included in all dishes. It was delish.

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While we sat out the meat grilled cheese round we enjoyed the endless free kraft single grilled cheeses and the Izzy Sodas (I am all about the grapefruit). We also saw “Spencer loves Heidi” written in the sky as Speidi got married in my town of Pasadena. We heard numerous grilled cheese poems and songs. It was very pleasant and my face was being kissed red by the sun. The only bad note of the day was when it was announced that Bea Arthur had passed. The emcee was kind enough to dedicate this day the Bea Arthur Memorial Grilled Cheese Invitational. When it was time for the Honey Pot round (the dessert grilled cheese round) I was in desperate need of something sweet to brighten my mood. I was waiting forever for this grilled cheesecake that looked phenomenal but gave up and gave in to the “Druken Pear” dessert. It was so delicious and definitely had a great amount of alcohol in it; it was totally worth my last ticket.

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I missed the announcement of winners because my body was in need of a nap and some veggies to counter all the butter, cheese, and bread. However, Arun and I did turn in all of our judging sheets. I headed home unsure of what to do for the rest of the night. Josie and Krissy were heading to the Opera and then were going to pick up afterwards so we could head to Hollywood. I wasn’t really feeling that and was more interested in attending the Pub Crawl that Arun and his best friend/neighbor were planning in Downtown. This event was official with a Facebook Event page, constant Tweets, and exact times and locations. This wasn’t an amateur crawl. The girls were done with Opera and agreed that staying downtown was best. I changed my clothes but some lotion on my sunburned face and headed to their second stop The Association. It was a cool space but I had no time to order a drink there, so can’t comment on that. The next place was The Crocker Club. Josie and I talked to the owner and were beyond impressed by the original moldings and look of the place. There were all of these separate vault areas and delicious cocktails. When the pub crawl began to crawl to their next stop Casey’s Bar & Grille, Krissy and I weren’t really in to moving forward. I like Casey’s, it was my former boyfriend’s favorite bar, but I haven’t wanted to go back since they kicked us out early once to exterminate the place. Krissy and I stayed behind as we had prime seats at the bar and were loving the strawberry and cucumber cocktails that the bartenders were serving up. Josie walked on. Krissy and I ended up at the Edison at the end of the night and were there until closing. It was a fun time and I apologize about the lack of pictures but I will blame my forgetfulness on the sun, grilled cheese, and Alcohol. Here is a picture I stole from Arun’s Twitpic.

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Oscar Weekend

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Thursday

Josie kicked off the festivities at the 6th Annual Global Green Pre-Oscar Party in Hollywood on Thursday. The event was co-hosted by Penelope Cruz, Leonardo Dicaprio, Salma Hayek, and Edward Norton with preformances by Gavin Rossdale and Sheryl Crow.

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The funny thing about that was on Sunday I happened to stumble on the Tour of California -famous for being the race where Lance Armstrong rides again. I am not really fans of either but I do thank Lance for bringing broccoli bundle bracelets to mainstream and much more seriously on how much he has done for cancer research and prevention. I am not a bike rider and after my walk in the Rose Bowl lead me to giant yellow balloons, vendor tents, police cars, followed by cars with extra bikes on the roofs, followed by swarms of bikes going god knows how fast; you better believed I screamed as I shot a picture.

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Later that Saturday, the boyfriend was up to compete in a race of his own. He, like Lance Armstrong, was contending to hold his title. It seems last year he won the Edward Fortyhands Contest in celebration of Dr. Dre Day. Edward Fortyhands is when you get taped up with a 40 in each hand and have to out drink your opponent. He had been in training mode for the week prior (well really for his whole life) and after another hungover breakfast with Josie at Novel Cafe aka Awkward Turtle Cafe and a couple of morning beers and food to stretch the stomach he was in good shape. Especially after our walk in the Rose Bowl and staring at people in spandex. However, this year and at this point in his life he is with a foodie (me) and plans change. Josie was kind enough to gives us enormous amount of beef bourguignon, chilean seabass, and awesome bread pudding. The plan was for him was to stop eating early so he would have room for 80 ounces of hooch. However, with the delicious aroma of Josie’s food and my Jewish mother pushing food skills and guilt, he caved and ate. He, like Lance Armstrong, lost his title. Lance came in 7th. My boyfriend didn’t even compete, he simply bowed out and said, “I have a pound of bread pudding in my stomach, there is no way”. The person he beat last year is now the winner. Although I believe that he is the winner because now he is with me! I was actually at Dr. Dre Day last year but didn’t know him, see him, and left before the big contest. I left early this year too, this time in tears and overwhelmed with finals week, homework and papers to write, and getting ready for the biggest roadtrip of my life thus far. I did stay to see the contest and the new winner be named.

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After Josie and I had our big lunch at Drago Centro we hit up Lucky Baldwins for the Belgian Beer Fest. I don’t remember what our favorite bartender hooked us up with but I have come to love the chicken and vegetable curry pasties. We then got a sneak peak at Jesse Gomez, a friend of a friend’s, almost opened new restaurant Yxta. We loved the decor, liked what we saw of the menu (didn’t try any food), and loved their cucumber mojito that kept coming all night. My only two complaints are that they 86-ed someone close to me and that the mirror in the ladies room was way too high – I may be 5’3 but I shouldn’t have to jump to see myself. Anyway, a very cool space and we can’t wait to go back when it opens and try the food. It looks like Wednesday is the big opening day!

Sunday

After waking up and meeting a classmate in the wee AM hours to study for my Accounting Final (today, ahhhh!) I came home, napped, and called Josie. I told her that we should do something for the Academy Awards and party plan. I then said I was in Uggs and wasn’t planning on changing and maybe we could do an uncouth Oscar viewing party somewhere.

Carina: I don’t know what you are wearing but I like the idea of everyone in ball gowns and tuxes and us all disgusting somewhere watching them.

Josie: Are you kidding? I am wearing a flannel and a beanie.

Carina: Perfect!

When Josie came by we had the difficult task of finding a place that would show the Academy Awards, let us eat and drink, and have wifi so we could do some work. Those were our only requirements and like a slot machine it was a challenge to get all three. We called a couple of places that said, “This is a sports bar sweetie, there is no way” and “We can turn it on, but no sound”. We then hit the jackpot, Fred’s Mexican Cafe, who kindly said, “We can accommodate you”. When we arrived was during a Lakers game so they put us in a great booth with our own TV. When I realized that there was no outlet nearby and that my computer was dead, the bartender allowed me to charge my computer by the bar. Later our waitress hooked us up with a new table that had a great wifi connection, a bigger private TV that we could make louder, and a free Oscar tequila shot. We were well taken care of, I had a couple of Diva margaritas and a shrimp caesar salad and Josie had some PBR, tortilla soup, and a carne asada quesadilla. It was perfect!

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After the waitress took our picture:

Josie: How do we look?

Carina: Homeless

Josie: Perfect!

We are thinking of a spring UG party on the first day of Spring, March. 20th. Save the date and we will give you more details soon.