Archive | September, 2012

Toro: The Best Meal I’ve Had in Boston, So Far

30 Sep

crudo

Atun Crudo

Toro is the closest I’ve come to reaching food nirvana in this great city. Bold and creative tapas by two of the most buzzworthy chefs in town: Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette.  I had been cooking quite healthy all week, so I chose to go all out with my selections. Vegetarians, might want to skip past some of the next pictures.

bone-marrow

Asado de Huesos

Bone marrow doesn’t get much better looking than that. The roasted bone marrow was generous with radish citrus salad and oxtail marmalade on bread.

foie-gras

Foie Gras con Duraznos

Why stop at just marrow when foie gras is on the menu? I don’t go crazy for foie like a lot of my friends, so it wasn’t a predictable choice for me. However, something about the new foie ban in my hometown of LA made it a bit more enticing. The perils of bad public policy, I suppose. I’m glad I gave foie yet another try – a nice sear and a delicious peach jam really did the dish justice.

mussels

Mejillones

Toro’s Barcelona style really came into focus with a bowl of mussels with chorizo and basque cider. If you tend to find mussels a little too subtle in flavor, you’ll love the addition of chorizo here.

uni

Uni Bocadillo

The bread in the open-faced sandwich recalled a canvas, with the orange sheen of the fresh uni recalling the surreal characters by Os Gêmeos. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time at museums lately. The miso butter and pickled mustard seeds were nice touches.

tuna-belly

Tuna Conserva

I feigned at ordering a lighter dish, but that’s not just ordinary tuna . Mmm… Spanish tuna belly, with tomato tapenade, and celery leaves.

shrubb

Perro Picante & Stratocruiser

Toro backs up its excellent food with a good cocktail and wine program. My best drink of the afternoon was the Perro Picante. Deaths Door Gin (delicious) got the grapefruit treatment, with the spicy pepper rim adding considerable depth. Highly recommended.

I also tried the Stratocruiser because although I order any shrub on any cocktail list, I’ve never seen a blueberry shrub. The vinegar with New Hampshire blueberries are combined with gin, maraschino, and lemon. Don’t be fooled: it’s not as sweet as it looks. In fact, the overpowering vinegar flavor may have needed a bit more balancing.

cocktail-toro

Sanguinello Highball

The Sanguinello Highball was refreshing and a perfect choice for day drinking. Aperol and blood orange satisfied my quench for something bitter, but instead of using my favorite nightcap spirit whiskey, it featured my day drinking spirit of choice: gin.

dessert

Manchego con Membrillo and Churros con Chocolate

For dessert, I found the churro average but its accompanying very salty chocolate sauce delicious. The better choice was the traditional Spanish dish, aged manchego with a quince paste.

toro-bar

Toro Wine Bar

Not only do I want to come back to Toro to finish off the rest of the menu (starting with their famous corn), I want to try Oringer’s other joints Coppa, Clio, Uni, La Verdad, and Earth. New Yorkers are in for quite the treat with a Toro on their way.

Toro
1704 Washington St
Boston, MA

Brazilian Street Artists Os Gêmeos Invite You to Enter their Surrealist World

30 Sep

back-in-the-days

Back in the Days, 2008

Portuguese twin artists Os Gêmeos first captured my imagination at the Aug. 2011 Art in the Streets exhibit at LA’s MOCA. Their vivid and surreal depictions of urban and rural characters were intoxicating. And the colors – not enough can be said about  their trademark palette. I was tickled when I noticed the above work at the current solo exhibition at the ICA Boston, because it is actually owned by MOCA’s embattled director Jeffrey Deitch, currently the most hated man in the LA art world. Below is my article that appeared in the Sep. 25. 2012 issue of The Citizen newspaper.

A street art exhibit featuring Portuguese twins who alternate between playful depictions of rural traditions and critiques of social inequity – the Institute of Contemporary Art’s Os Gêmeos seems custom-made for Kennedy School students. Need further proof? It’s free for Harvard students.

upside-down

Amanheceu De Cabeca Prabaxo (Upside Down Sunrise), 2012. Mixed media on panel

The first US solo museum exhibition of the São Paulo twin brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo runs through Nov. 25 and is well worth the T ride to Boston’s waterfront. As with all great graffiti success stories, the twins’ tale begins during the explosion of hip-hop in mid-1980s New York City.

Inspired but lacking affordable spray paint and concrete knowledge of how the New Yorkers did it, Os Gêmeos were forced to pave their own path. Armed with paint rollers and latex paint pigment, the twins developed a signature style featuring yellow-tinged characters and surrealist scenes. While they are known for their large-scale murals celebrated around the world, their paintings that incorporate household objects and wood sculptures are among the most moving in this exhibition.

stars-fish-out-of-water

The Stars Are Fish Out of Water

On the 3rd Sat. of each month, local musicians will bring the sonic sculpture Os Musicos to life. A Brazilian or hip-hop soundtrack would be a welcome addition the rest of the time, but I suppose it may interfere with the enjoyment of the free audio guide.

last-station-of-spring

The Last Station of Spring, 2010

After you exit the small one-room show and relish the breathtaking views of the expansive waterfront on your four-story descent, your surrealist street art journey is far from over. Armed with newly acquired insight and perspective, it’s time to find the twins’ murals around town. Start at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, where you’ll find a controversial but awe-inspiring 70-ft mural on a Big Dig ventilation building. Then make your way to Stuart St.’s Revere Hotel before completing your journey at Webster St. in Somerville’s Union Square. The cross-town journey will be rewarded with the chance to experience the artists’ talents the way it was originally appreciated: on the streets and on a massive-scale.

os musicos

Os Musicos

Os Gemeos runs now through Nov. 25, 2012
Institute of Contemporary Art
, Boston

 

Bols Genever Gets the Barrel Aged Treatment at Hawthorne

21 Sep

bob

Bob McCoy Pours The Nook  at The Hawthorne

Bols Genever has been one of the most exciting spirit brands to follow the past couple of years. It seems like every respectable cocktail bar in my hometown of Los Angeles started featuring a cocktail using the newly rediscovered Bols Genever within the past year. As a juniper head always on the look out for a new gin to try, I’ve eagerly welcomed this development; but while Bols Genever shares the similar juniper profile of gin, it belongs in a distinct spirits category. The defining characteristic of Bols Genever is the use of malt wine.  The presence of wheat, corn, and rye triple-distilled in copper pot stills give genever a taste all its own.

Founded in 1575 by Lucas Bols, Bols has been crafting Dutch genever since 1664. Despite genever’s long tradition and distinction as a bestseller in the 19th century, it wasn’t really available in post-Prohibition America until Bols reintroduced it in 2008. In fact, many of your favorite classic gin cocktails were originally crafted with genever. I knew I was in for a treat when Boston’s new cocktail hotspot The Hawthorne hosted a Barrel Aged Bols Genever tasting.

Katie Emmerson Tops Off My Wit Haven

The perfect drink to start off the evening was the Wit Haven, billed as a “Mariner’s Sly Apertif.” Bols Genever, white port, agave, lemon, bitters and prosecco to make it sparkle. Prima Perla prosecco dances on my tongue, while the citrus bite brings a crisping finish. With this refreshing yet flavorful apertif cocktail, my night was off to a great start thanks to Katie Emmerson. Katie has spent some time at NYC’ hotspots The Raines Law Room and Death & Co., and is now behind the bar at The Hawthorne, named one of America’s best new cocktail havens.

bob-dutch-oven

Bob McCoy Pours a Dutch Oven (Bols Genever, soda water, 2 types of bitters, grapefruit)

When you need that classic cocktail to end a  long day and cold night, the Dutch Oven is there to comfort you. Fortunately, you can recreate this Old Fashioned Bols Genever variation at home with the recipe they shared with Serious Eats.

Several of my drinks this evening were courtesy of Bob McCoy, officially Beverage Programs Laison for Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, and The Hawthorne. Hired by Hawthorne Owner and Bar Director Jackson Cannon in 2007, his fingerprints are all over the cocktail menus of many of Boston’s best cocktail establishments.

reason

Bols Genever: Jackson Cannon, Barrel Aged, and standard

The main event of the evening was tasting the standard Bols Genever, the Barrel Aged Genever aged for at least 18 months in Limousin oak, and the exceptional and rare Jackson Cannon Limited Edition Single barrel Bols Genever, hand-selected by the Hawthorne’s owner. We were fortunate to have Lucas Bols USA Managing Director Tal Nadari on hand to lead the tasting. Son of an Israeli restaurateur and acclaimed bartender in Holland, his passion was infectious. Always ready with an answer no matter how difficult the questions, I’m hoping one day to soak up some more knowledge from him over a Kopstootje (“little head butt,” because you must bend over to sip from a tulip glass filled to the rim with genever, paired with a beer).

starlight

Josh Childs, Owner of Starlite Lounge & Silvertone Bar & Grill (L), Hawthorne’s Bob McCoy (R)

I could happily sip on any versions of Bols Genever straight for an evening, but do yourself a favor and check out the Cannon four year barrel aged, avaible exclusively at The Hawthorne. Jackson Cannon spent several days in Holland with Bols Master Distiller Piet van Leijenhorst learning about the history of the spirit before deciding on a barrel.

trio

(L-R) Andrea Novak, Manager Sara Kate Ragsdale, and Katie Emmerson

“What a killer playlist. Who’s spinning over there?”
“I dunno, let’s go find out.”

Oh… its none other than Brother Cleve. A staple of the Boston cocktail scene, Boston Cocktail Summit goers can drink from his wealth of knowledge and experience  on topics ranging from Pisco to the Manhattan.

klee

Brother Cleve Provides the Tunes

Back to more cocktails. Another noteworthy creation was the creamy and spicy Nook (Bols, agave, lime, tabasco, worcestershire). The creaminess was thanks to shaking the generous serving of agave, and the drink only got spicier as you savored it. After the event was over, I sipped some Fernet and started contemplating my first non-Bols cocktail.

I was tipped off to the “Call Me Maybe,” but ordered it only after server Andrea Novak, who isn’t a stranger to being behind a bar herself, promised to sing me a verse. Featuring tropical housemade vermouth, plantation rum, and cardamaro, it’s delicious but there is one serious problem with ordering the Call Me Maybe: that damn song will get stuck in your head for at least another 24 hours.

cocktails-hawthorne

“Call Me Maybe” (L), Dutch Oven (R)

Thanks to an informative tasting and inspired drinks by The Hawthorne’s bar staff, it was my best cocktail experience to date in my new city. I’m looking forward to returning to see what other gems are on their cocktail list.

night-of-drinking

Making New Friends over Bols (L-R): Dr. Ned Sahin, The Hawthorne’s Katie Emmerson, Ben Miller, The Hawthorne’s Andrea Novak, and a happy me

The Hawthorne
500 A Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 532-9150

More pics here
Note: A portion of the cocktails were hosted

Throwing Down at Blue State Coffee

20 Sep

finalists

The Final 3: Glad I’m Not Judging

It’s the third Thursday of the month, which can only mean one thing: time to THROWDOWN! If you’ve never been to a coffee throwdown, it’s pretty simple: baristas from around the city compete in a latte art competition for some cash and bragging rights. While baristas compete in head-to-head matches until the final round, the rest of us drink beer and munch on party food like pizza and pastries.

Ryan in the Championship Round

Pressure’s On: Ryan Soeder (Counter Culture) during the Final Round

Anticipation: Who will win?

Can Cut the Anticipation With a Knife: Who Will Be Crowned this Month’s Champion?

This month’s throwdown will be held at Thinking Cup Coffee Shop. Who will be deciding which barista deserves the glory and kitty of cash? The judge will be last month’s champ, Ryan Soeder of Counter Culture.

The Finals

The Finals: Another Look

On my very first day in Cambridge, I wandered into Barismo’s flagship coffee shop Dwelltime. Six hours later, I found myself at a latte art throwdown at Blue State coffee in Allston.

Ryan's Prize

Ryan Soeder’s Prize: Two Kinds of Paper

The competition was fierce, resulting in three competitors making it to the final round. After much anticipation, Soeder took home not only the cash, but also some coffee filters.

Jake's Runner-up Prize

Jake Robinson Enjoys His Runner-Up Prize

Taking the consolation prize was his Counter Culture coworker Jake Robinson.

macchiato

Excellent Macchiato at Blue State Coffee

I had such a great experience at Blue State for the throwdown, I recently came by to see how it was on a more typical day.  The first thing you’ll notice is that it is a BU hangout and study spot. You’ll mostly see people slowly drinking giant lattes and iced teas in between furious highlighting.

cortado

8 oz Cortado at Blue State Coffee

If you are dense like me, it will take you awhile to realize that the store’s called “Blue State” because it has a liberal social justice bent. Political quotes are scrawled on blackboards around the shop, and every customer gets to vote for which local charity should receive a donation by the shop. Perfect for a college town.

Thomas Jefferson

It’s Not Called Blue State for Nothing

I found the young and casual energy of the place perfect for my morning reading. There was something fitting about reading gender bias theory while listening to full albums by Lauryn Hill and Fiona Apple while sipping on espresso by three female baristas and deciding if I should cast my charity vote for gender reproductive rights or science clubs for girls. Fortunately, the money is distributed to all four charities proportional to the number of votes they receive, so every vote counts and every charity wins.

Charity Votes

Dont’ Forget to Cast Your Votes for Charity

In addition to enjoying the atmosphere, I was impressed by my beverages. I found the cortado just average, and a bit unexpected at a hulking 8 oz instead of the typical 4. What won me over was a truly excellent macchiato – same house espresso blend in both drinks, but this barista just nailed it. Between manager Ryan Ludwig’s leadership and the inviting atmosphere of the staff, I’m looking forward to making Blue State a regular stop on my “studying at coffee shop” rotation.

Tonight’s Throwdown:
Thinking Cup
165 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111
info@thinkingcup.com
(617) 482-5555

Last Month’s Throwdown:
Blue State Coffee
957 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
https://twitter.com/bluestatecoffee
(617) 254-0929

Counter Culture Coffee Training Center: A Look Inside the New Somerville Digs

16 Sep

stained-ground

It’s not a party unless something gets spilled

After nearly a year and a half of planning, Counter Culture’s Coffee Training Center in Somerville opened their doors this past Saturday for an open house. Nothing like spending a bunch of time and money making a place look lovely just to let a bunch of us trash the place on the first day.

The large space is not only beautiful (in a minimalist Third Wave sort of way), but highly functional. The front room (above) is reminiscent of a typical high-end coffee bar, with a “DIY Espresso” station tucked in the back.

cupping

Beautiful cupping space

Most of the real estate is devoted to a separate room containing two long tables (above), perfect for cuppings and fooling around with the many coffee toys hidden around the training center.

Katie Carguilo

DIY Espresso Bar: USBC Champion Katie Carguilo giving some tamping advice

It’s a great space, but don’t try to order a macchiato next time you’re in the Somerville neighborhood. The training center is primarily for training Counter Culture baristas and public coffee education classes. Classes are $150 for a full day, and $75 for a half day,  which is actually a pretty good deal for the quality of classes. Topics include milk chemistry, brewing science, coffee origins, comparative cupping, and many more.

Sam Lewontin & Ryan Soeder

Sam Lewontin of Everyman Espresso (Soho, NY), & Ryan Soeder of Counter Culture

In addition to local Counter Culture superstars like Ryan Soeder and Jake Robinson, quite a few baristas made the trip for the Boston Training Center opening. Sam Lewontin of Everyman Espresso in Soho was pulling endless shots of a special Ethiopian espresso, which was prepared more like a Kenyan roast with a dry fermentation to open it up and amp up the savoriness.

Counter Culture Pour-Over

Comparing two Guatemalan pour-over coffees by Counter Culture

Also on hand was 2012 US Barista Champion Katie Carguillo (Brooklyn, NY), who is sticking around Beantown through the weekend to kick off the first stop of the “Fruit Bombs & Fermentation Tour.” Taking place Monday night at 7 pm at the Boston Training Center, green coffee buyer Tim Hill will join Carguillo in discussing experiments in the fermentation process with Ethiopian coffees – the very topic that won her the championship. Details available here.

Tommy Gallagher

Tommy Gallagher of Counter Culture (Brooklyn, NYC) taking a much needed coffee break after serving a packed house

My favorite coffee of the day was courtesy of Ryan Soeder, who has spent the past 8 months preparing for the training center’s opening. The chocolaty Rustico Organic espresso is just as perfect for a morning cortado as an after-dinner macchiato.

coffee-counter

The goods on display

As a Cambridge resident, I’m excited to have the “cool kids next door” actually next door to me in Somerville. It might not help me get an excellent espresso on a daily basis, but I’m excited to see how they use the beautiful and versatile space to up the ante in this coffee-rich town.

Counter Culture Training Center
374 Somerville Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143 

Red Bull Cliff Diving Boston 2012: Jumping 95 Feet Off a Boston Museum

11 Sep

diver0

Making the Daring Leap 95 Feet over Boston Harbor

Boston had the distinct honor of being the only US stop for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. On Aug. 25, the best high platform divers from across the world continued their battle to be named the best (and in my opinion, craziest) in the world. The location couldn’t have been more perfect: divers made the leap from a custom built 95-foot platform on the roof of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) into the harbor.

diver8

47,000 spectators and hundreds of boats came out for the competition, but luckily I stumbled upon a great viewing spot while on my search for beer. Speaking of beer, the $6 draught options were Harpoon IPA, Harpoon Summer, Coors Light, and Blue Moon. Harpoon was obviously the way to go.

$9 Red Bull cocktails were also being served, but I couldn’t bring myself to violate my deeply seated beliefs that energy drinks and liquor should never be combined, even for “research” sake.

Orlando Duque

Orlando Duque

Another nice surprise was the appearance of Greg Louganis as a judge, one of the most decorated divers in history. I love his Twitter bio: “If your looking for the guy who hit his head on the diving springboard in the 1988 Olympics, you found him. Namaste, Greg.” I only wish they had let him do the commentary instead of “Motorsports Marketing Manager” Dustin Webster who was obviously jacked up on way too many Red Bulls.

The Divers

The Competitors

diver11

My mere words cannot match the intensity of the jaw-dropping athleticism and bravery of these competitors. With divers reaching 90kph, splashing head first is not an option. If you over or under rotate just a few degrees at such heights, you can get seriously hurt.

diver10

One highlight of the event was the premier of a new dive by Blake Aldridge (UK):  a back armstand 2.5 somersaults with 4 twists free.

diver7

Another highlight was seeing the 46 year old Ukranian diver Slava Polyeshchuk reach the finals in his last professional appearance.

“Honestly, I feel so happy to be here among my friends, everything else just isn’t very important to me,” explained Polyeshchuk. “I know that my dive worked out pretty well today, but still, at some point you have to stop being ridiculous. I think this moment is about to arrive.”

diver5

diver4

Two other takeaways from my hours of watching diving while drinking beer: the sheer intensity on the divers’ faces is inspiring, and damn, I need to spend more time at the gym.

diver3

diver2

dive1

diver12

Red Bull Air Force

Red Bull Air Force Member Miles Daisher Opens the Show

Opening the festivities was a crowd-pleasing appearance by the Red Bull Air Force. After watching the “soldier” descend 9,000 ft, I was tempted to write a policy memo recommending that the US Air Force draft these daredevils – North Korea wouldn’t know what hit them.

Red Bull Air Force

Red Bull Gives Miles Daisher Wings

Boston Results:

1) Gary Hunt (UK)

2) Orlando Duque (Colombia)

3) David Colturi (USA)

4) Arlem Silchenko (Russia)

5) Steven LoBue (USA)

6) Jonathan Paredes (Mexico)

8) Slava Polyeshchuk (Ukraine)

Here’s a nice little video recap put together by Red Bull:

Lenny Kravitz

While I was looking forward to the event, I must admit that I was still surprised at how much I enjoyed it. We stayed until the bitter end – but the day still had another surprise in store. As we left the event, a stranger informed us that there was a free Lenny Kravitz concert only a few blocks away. I’m not sure how far out of my way I would go to see Lenny Kravitz, but I can tell you that it’s at least three blocks. He did not disappoint, especially his mesh see-through shirt straight out of his 90’s heyday. I can only assume he has a closet full of them, ranging from fine mesh to slutty see-through.

I’ve only lived in Cambridge a few weeks now, but every time I’ve made the journey into Boston, I’ve been surprised and amazed by the unique things I’ve stumbled across. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Welcome to TreasureMA!

10 Sep

Welcome to my Boston food and entertainment blog TreasureMA!

Let me start with the obvious: I love food and drinks. Fine dining, street food, beer, cocktails – I can’t get enough of it (as long as it’s done well). I spend way too much of my day thinking about what has turned into an admittedly unhealthy obsession. But it’s about more than what is on the plate or in the glass for me. It’s about knowing the whole story – how it got there and the personalities involved.

IMG_3571

Veronica Rathbourn of Dog & a Duck Marketing (@Vxronica), Me, and Drago Centro Bar Manager and 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Jaymee Mandeville (@JaymeeLA), on the day I announced I was moving to Cambridge

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been able to just simply enjoy what is in front of me. If I like something, I need to know everything I can about it. For example, music has always been an integral part of my life. When I started to become a fan of many small bands struggling to make it into the industry, I started learning everything I could about the economics of the music industry. I delved into the history of copyright law, studied spreadsheets on financing tours, and couldn’t stop thinking about the ethics and business side of piracy. One day I woke up and realized I had all of this information that is relatively useless to me (I have no musical ability and will never be able to fake my way into a band), but it might be helpful to others. Another thing you should know about me is that I love to share knowledge. Being a college professor was a dream of mine for a long time. UCLA gave me the opportunity to teach a 10 week course to 22 student-musicians about various business models the music industry might adopt. (Sidenote: I’m so proud that a band consisting of one of my favorite students, Este Haim, is currently blowing up!)

My love for music and desire to help advance the careers of musicians I respect made a career in music tempting. Only problem is that I was born 20 years too late. You don’t need me to tell you that the music industry is a total mess. The frustrations of an ailing industry, the long hours, and the realization that another round of layoffs are always around the corner made me realize that it wasn’t the place for me. Instead, I’ll continue to be a music fan and do whatever I can to promote the bands that I believe in.

My senior year at UCLA, a briefly dated a girl who was serious about food. Gone were my dates at Olive Garden or Chili’s (the favorite restaurants of my two preceding girlfriends). Instead, dates involved tracking down the Kogi BBQ truck to be among the first to experience what would launch the food truck craze or scarfing down oxtail poutine at Animal.

roychoi-me

Full Circle: Hanging with Kogi BBQ & Food & Wine Best New Chef Roy Choi. His tacos made a big impact on me, but his passion, ethic, and plans for the future have made an even bigger impact. You ain’t seen nothin yet

The relationship didn’t last, but my obsession with food was only beginning. I began reading every food blog, emailing LA food guru Jonathan “Pulitzer Prize” Gold for Indian food recommendations, and driving far and wide to find the best Szechuan restaurant or pupusa. As with all of my obsessions, I wanted to learn everything. History of LA cuisine, chef personalities and inspirations, what drove bloggers to blog, the role of PR, everything.

I started the blog TreasureLA for two reasons: to share what I discovered, and because you come off as a lot less creepy asking chefs and bartenders a million questions when you are carrying press credentials. My all-consuming passion has tempted me into a career in food, but as of now, it must remain only a hobby. Just like the music industry, the food industry is a lot of hard work and not particularly glamorous for all but a few. By remaining a passionate observer, I hope to do some small part to support and bring attention to the people who are doing wonderful things in my community, without getting jaded and burnt out which is so easy inside this tough industry.

At the same time I started TreasureLA, I became a writer for LAist, Los Angeles’s biggest blog covering news, food, and entertainment. Both sites served as wonderful outlets for my thoughts and criticisms of culinary arts, music, theatre, museums, etc…

Me and Chef Mike Garbs of Mohawk Bend

Me and Chef Mike Garbs of Mohawk Bend (@garbs). TreasureTIp: Don’t mess with me when he’s expediting.

Leaving LA is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. Although it took a few years to warm up to, I think Los Angeles is one of the most unique, rewarding, and truly special cities. When I received a scholarship to study at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard to pursue my naive desire to change the world, it was with a heavy heart that I accepted. Thanks to TreasureLA & LAist, I’ve met so many fellow writers, bartenders, managers, chefs, and PR folks that I now consider among my dearest friends. Being 3,000 miles away from loving and supportive friends, whether they’ve been friends for years or just 6 months, weighs heavy on my heart.

My stomach, on the other hand, is equal parts sad and excited. The sadness comes from leaving a city where no matter what craving I am having, I know where to get it satisfied. And god, I’ll miss tacos. I’ve been at the gym every day this week trying to lose my taco weight I gained from eating tacos for lunch and dinner almost every day before I made the cross-country road trip.

fernie-steve

There’s nothing quite like “California Love.” Pour Vous Bar Manager Dave Fernie (@customercervix) & Director of Operations at La Descarga Hollywood Steve Levigni at the amazing Art Beyond the Glass cocktail event

I’ll miss my friends calling me every day asking for a date spot or where to get the best mole in LA. I’m moving to a city where I don’t even know where to get a good cup of coffee. But this is an exciting challenge and opportunity. I hope you’ll join me for the ride as I try to uncover the best in food, drinks, arts, fun, and anything else I find worth sharing. Cheers!