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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yelp Elite vs. CitySearch Dictators

On Wednesday, after over a pound of shrimp at Boiling Crab, the Minty took me as her +1 to the Yelp Elite party at Taix. My feelings towards Yelp have been mixed. Prior to having a blog, I loved Yelp, as soon as I took a bite into something delicious I phrased sentences in my head for a review. It was always this tight world of Elites, cliques, and the message board regulars.  After we started Uncouth Gourmands, we became fascinated with  the Yelp demographic; it was a group  I wanted to infiltrate and better understand. I finally got my Yelp Elite badge sometime in 2009. I went to the parties and from what I understand this was when Yelp LA was at its height. The sponsors were better, the parties were classy, and Yelp LA was now the largest Yelp market. I loved Dawson (SauceLA), the new friends I was making, and it was a great mix of people. After Dawson and Yelp LA parted ways my enthusiasm dwindled. My reviews have halted and, well, I do not have an Elite 2010 badge. I want to write more reviews and reach my old stature but with all of the UG stuff I’ve been writing it has been difficult. The party at Taix was French themed, I didn’t have a beret but I was glad that my sweater matched Minty’s beret. I ran into some of my favorite bloggers/yelpers Weird TV, Jenny B, Sino Soul, and more.

I was full from my dinner at my favorite restaurant so I just stuck to some red wine and a bit of baked brie. It was a fun night but Yelp is definitely as cliquey as ever. I have dated a few Yelpers in my day and one of these gentleman has also dated a few Yelpers. It is is so high school but I was glared at all night and the guy that I am still friendly with got text messages while he was talking to me that said, “Yay, I love being ignored.” Sometimes I miss high school, so its okay. With or without my Elite Badge it is still a tight group that is hard to infiltrate.

The following day was the first ever CitySearch LA Dictator party. Minty was the one that told me about this program and there is something I really liked about it. You get weekly assignments to write either lists or reviews and you can win prizes like restaurant gift cards or even hotel stays. On Thursday,  I dropped off my new CFO near USC and then raced into West Hollywood before the party started at the Surly Goat. I called my WeHo guy to see if he wanted to be my date. He agreed, but he is not exactly a party animal. He had to be back at 8P to do inventory and other work. He also could barely finish a pint of beer, but I am not complaining. He did, however, make a funny joke about dictators that involved putting a body part that I don’t have in to a bowl of  taters (potatoes). I walked in only knowing one of the Citysearch LA editors, Charlie, and the Minty.

I ended up seeing Diana Takes A Bite, meeting Food For Fel (If you ever wondered what her blog name meant, her name is Felicia and she goes by Fel), and another one of my favorite yelpers Gastronomnom. I got a stamp, drinks were on CitySearch, and a good time was had by all. The Surly Goat was a very mellow beer bar and not what I would ever expect in the center of WeHo. They carried our local favorite neighborhood brew from the Eagle Rock Brewery guys and I had a very banana scented Hef. I will have to take my beer loving other half, Josie, there at a later time to get the full report but I was impressed. Too bad my date was such a bad drinker. The night was mellow and it was kind of like seeing Yelpers in exile. We met all of the awesome editors including one woman who went to school in New Orleans and we talked about how it is so cheap to drink in that city and I reminisced on my trip there at this time last year. It was a nice night and towards the end of the evening two ladies that brought everyone the LA Street Food Fest, Sauce LA and Unique LA, made a cameo. I had to take my date on the tight schedule home but I came back to keep the night going and The Minty and I went for sushi afterward. I heard some Yelpers say that they are still searching for their CitySearch voice, and I completely understand. I am most comfortable writing here on UG, but I am trying to branch out to keep me current and I like going to parties. I will work on writing more Yelp reviews and today I wrote my first citysearch list entitled, Hotels with the Biggest Personality in LA. In other words, I don’t want to choose, I want it all! In a city as big and spread out as LA I love any group or association where I can see old friends, make new ones, and hear about great new places in LA to eat and drink.

Don’t Say “No” to Mozza2Go

I have been told by more than one person and on more than one occasion that I am not enough of a giver. I get it. It’s true. It is hard when you’ve read every book ever written on feminism to go out of your way and do nice things for men. Anyway, I was seeing a guy that I have been dating for a while that I haven’t seen in a few weeks and I knew that he was overwhelmed with work and more. I had the brief and rare thought to do something nice for him. Someone recently passed me along an email that explains the difference between men and women in terms of wants. The wants demanded by women was a list of 54 items including: #51 “Give her lots of attention, but expect little yourself” and #48 “Be very rich.” The demands list of men was kept short and sweet with only 2 items: “Show up naked” and “Bring Alcohol.” Of course, I know men aren’t that simple and that there is something huge missing from the list. What is this thing? Well, let me say the best question I was ever asked was by a married man that I was in love with that said, “If your life was a video game, what would restore your power bar?” My answer was always a three parter: sunshine, compliments, and fruit. However, in my long history of dating men I have found that the answer of the human male is, 9 times out of 10, Pizza. Men love pizza. I had a lightbulb moment and decided to bring this guy pizza. I am a UG, so there is no way I could show up with Pizza Hut. I had to do better than that and then I remembered the Blackboard Eats coupon for Mozza2Go. It is the take-out version of the Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton baby, Pizzeria Mozza. I don’t want to admit to any illegal activity but I may have used someone’s code due to my lateness in response to retrieving the code. BBE is the greatest deal, it is either 30% off or some other special and you have one day to retrieve your code and then 1 month to use it. I am good at the using it part but tend to forget to retrieve codes in time. Let’s just say a fellow Twit came to my rescue.

This guy lives in WeHo so I called in ahead of time and picked it up to surprise him with. The BBE coupon was for 30% off the bill. I ordered the Mozza Caprese, which has the burrata that Josie just wrote about. It was awesome and I even liked the process of getting to assemble it myself. I also ordered the farro, cucumber, tomato and feta salad. It was also quite yummy. I told the guy about the farro/pharroh mix up that I had with my yelper and Twitter friends when we were at Lazy Ox but I don’t think he got it. My world makes no sense to him. Whenever I mention any new friends, he says, “Let me guess they are an FFB (Famous Food Blogger)?” He can mock all he wants, I know what I am…a Food Baller!

Now let’s get to the main reason I ordered from Mozza, the pizza. This guy is a nice Jewish guy that tries to not eat pork. Wow, that is a problem. I don’t know when the last time you examined pizza toppings but any of the ones worth getting have pork products. I browsed the menu unsure on what to do. I would have happily gotten the squash blossom, tomato, and burrata but I thought he might mock me for getting a flower as a pizza topping. I decided to get the margherita. Then my thoughtfulness was tossed out the window, I love sausage and decided to also get the fennel sausage pizza.

He was so impressed when I showed up at his house with two bags of food. The total for the two starters, two pizzas, and a dessert was just over $40. Hell yeah, Blackboard Eats rules! I know what you are all wondering, did he eat the sausage? Yes, he did. Did I get dessert? Yes, we ordered the Butterscotch Budino. If you were thinking of another question, about me getting a good porking, I choose to not answer.

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!

Don’t Forget: Eat My Blog

Friday was one of the oddest days in terms of juxtaposition. We spent the morning hours in a great Jump Start brainstorming session with a group of very talented angel investors that are geared to help emerging entrepreneurs called, Maverick Angels. We sat in a boardroom with a group of 11 very talented and seasoned business people and strategized for 3 hours. It was exhilarating, thought-provoking and we are humbled by all of the people willing to help. After spending a very long time in traffic we knew that it was time to switch gears and put on our baking hats in preparation for the Eat My Blog bake sale on Saturday. Our intern, Wendy, helped us immensely by doing some of the grocery shopping and then it was up to Josie and I get to get to work. We were both exhausted and brain-dead and in no baking mood. Plus, we had foolishly come up with the concept to make:

A Bacon-Chocolate Covered Fleur de Sel Blitzen (reindeer) Pretzel

At the time it seemed like a great Uncouth Gourmand creation and seemed simple enough to be a kindergarten cooking project. That was not the case. It was many steps and took us hours of melting, setting, decorating, and wrapping but we managed to finish and have them all perfectly packaged for your sweet & salty pleasure. What did you do on your Friday night? Oh really, well we stayed at home and baked for you.

Not to be a nagging Jewish mother but please come to the Eat My Blog bake sale today! It is for a great cause and we worked really hard to make something adorable for you. Josie and I will be working the morning shift from 10-12 so come say hello and buy a blitzen. Also, we are very excited that our favorite food blogger, Pat of EatingLA, will be making her famous bacon apple pie!

Here are all of the details and we can’t wait to see you there:

When: Saturday, December 5th from 10 AM to 4 PM

Where: Zeke’s Smokehouse in West Hollywood

What: 1st annual “Eat My Blog” bake sale. There will be more than 800 baked goods and all reasonably priced between $1-$3!

Why: All proceeds from this delicious event will be donated to the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank.