Tuesday, May 30, 2006

blonde quote of the day

Having money is rather like being a blond. It is more fun but not vital.

- Mary Quant (b. 1936), British fashion designer. Quoted in Observer (London, Nov. 2, 1986).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ford's Filling Station

I’m never going back to Ford’s Filling Station ever again.

I’d made dinner reservations at Cobras & Matadors in addition to Ford’s Filling Station because I couldn’t make up my mind on where I wanted to go. I decided to let my dining partner, who’d never heard of either, choose. Unfortunately, he chose wrong.

I was running late, and knew we were going to miss our 9:30pm reservations. I called C&M to cancel and got voicemail. Of course I did, it’s a decent restaurant and they were busy on a Friday night. FFS picked up on the first ring. They were more than happy to move our reservation back. After hanging up, I commented upon this and my dining partner said, “Maybe we shouldn’t have called the other restaurant first?” I laughed, sure that it would be fine. I was wrong.

FFS is in downtown Culver City, a formerly shady part of town that in the past several years has undergone a Renaissance of sorts and is now well-lit and mostly clean. When we arrived, I’d expected to see a gastropub of NYC's The Spotted Pig variety, and was surprised to see that it is an unremarkable in-line space between an alley and some sort of take-out joint.

We were seated quickly. The waitress rattled off the specials in the usual fashion, but I didn’t pay much attention because I’ve read Kitchen Confidential and now know better than to pay top-dollar for rotting leftovers. (And she was really pushing the Kansas City steak special, which proved to me that Bourdain is right.) After I told the waitress three times that I couldn’t eat a whole steak, I went with the lamb dish because it sounded complicated. My friend ordered scallops. We ordered a few cheeses to start with, and a bottle of wine off of the severely lacking wine list.

The cheeses were dropped off by another member of the wait staff as he was walking by. I thought it was customary for the waiter to point out which cheese was which. Apparently not. We simply played a guessing game. Not much later, our dinners arrived: my lamb, white beans and escarole and my friend’s….Kansas City steak special.

When we protested they took it away, leaving my dinner to cool as I waited for his. I may know nothing about wine, and only little more than that about food, but I do know customer service – and this place isn’t cutting it. Between the mediocre-to-poor service, lamb that resembled rope and wine that my dining partner described as “barely passable” we were far from impressed.

Total Price: $120 for two, exclusive of tip. This included 1 bottle of blah wine, 3 ounces of cheese, 1 mediocre and 1 barely edible entree. Needless to say, it’s overpriced as well.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Book Review: Kitchen Confidential

A good friend of mine, one whom I frequently quote, once sent me an email about a food writer she’d recently discovered. After she (verbosely) proclaimed her love of his writing style, she concluded her email with the statement, “I don’t know if I want to sleep with him or be him.”

That’s an interesting observation.

Do we as women actively chase after unattractive men, only to later discover that they’re well-spoken, well-traveled and well-versed in Italian wines? Doubtful. Or, and much more likely, do we meet that same man and slowly start to find him attractive as we learn more about the quality of his character? While I’m sure many women would disagree with me, those true to themselves will acknowledge that they have dated a man (or ten) that mentally stimulated them even if he didn’t quite ignite the fires within her loin.

That’s kind of the case here. I just finished (2 weeks ahead of schedule!) Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. And while I am fairly certain that I don’t want to sleep with a married man twenty-five years my senior with a history of promiscuity and drug abuse, Bourdain’s single-minded pursuit of pleasure is deliciously sexy. I am, officially, his food whore.

The book is really an insider’s guide to the restaurant scene, with a horrifying look into NYC kitchen and waitstaff antics. Already, you have my interest. Nasty knife wounds, food mishandling, sex in the pantry – I’m turned on, and I’m not kidding. It’s a cross between conventional one hand reading and the type bookish foodies are more likely to partake of.

His approach is brash, superior. His analysis of Central American line cooks is particularly offensive. He’s well-traveled, speaks French and Spanish and hideously arrogant. It’s unbelievably attractive. Maybe good girls will always like bad boys. Regardless, read this book and you’ll never order “tonight’s special” again.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


And read a good one -- preferably one written by my wickedly funny, brilliant friend, Rob Roberge.

Rob's first novel Drive is back in print. Out on Hollyridge Press:



Find it. Read it. Love it. And when you're done, read his second book, More Than They Could Chew.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

blonde quote of the day

A chaste woman ought not to die her hair yellow.

- Menander (c. 342–291 B.C.), Greek playwright

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

April re-cap ADDENDUM

I woke up this morning and realized that Yes, it really is May. I don’t know where the first third of the year went, since its all been such a whirlwind, but clearly its affecting my mind and I can’t seem to remember all of the fantastic opportunities that have crossed my path. Luckily, I had Lindsay G. to remind me.

I must admit, I’m horrified that I neglected to mention this on my first re-cap. I attended the premiere of Laurie David’s film, “Too Hot Not to Handle” and the subsequent after-party hosted by Elle magazine courtesy of my darling, eco-conscious friend Linds. Held at the Pacific Design center, catered by Wolfgang Puck, DJ’d by Rosanna Arquette and featuring a live performance by John Mayer – it was an awesome night out. In thanksgiving, I replaced the most commonly used light bulbs in my house with compact bulbs. (Just don’t buy them at Rite-Aid, those bastards charge double what Target does!)

And when she’s not stopping global warming, my darling, eco-conscious friend Linds is letting me tag-along with her to Simply Shakespeare, a fundraising event benefiting Shakespeare Festival Los Angeles. Held at UCLA’s Freud Theater, this was no ordinary “Midsummer Night’s Dream” reading. I could regale you with every little detail of the private performance Natalie Cole gave, or Christina Applegate’s crazy dance moves, but instead, I’ll awe you with the amazing cast.

Rita Wilson
Tom Hanks
Natalie Cole
Jack Sheldon
Drew Carey
Tracy Ullman
Zach Braff
Rob Lowe
Sean McGuire
Ray Romano
Christina Applegate

And while I may have gotten a kiss on the cheek from this guy:

Drew Carey touched my arm not once, but twice!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

blonde quote of the day

When confronted with two evils; Choose the Blonde.

- Jacob Bradt

Friday, May 05, 2006

April Re-cap

Restaurant(s): Lilly’s, Lou, Malo

Book: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I know I said I’d read two books this month, but I got busy!

Culturally-Enriching Event(s): Although I bailed on Create:Fixate and slept through the Brewery Artwalk, I did manage to make it to the Brentwood Artwalk and the LA Times Festival of Books. And I’ve got the gnarly sunburn to prove it!

Recipe: A simple act of culinary MacGyver-ism, not once by twice. I made beet-stuffed ravioli with sage brown butter sauce. My newest food obsession? The wondrous wonton wrapper. It’s amazing what they can do. I also really enjoyed this braised cabbage recipe from Orangette. While more time-consuming than I normally have the patience for, it lasted the whole week in the fridge and really rounded out some nutritionally-pathetic dinners.

NEW CATEGORY: My sister informed me that we’re behind the pop culture times and the fact that we haven’t seen a movie in a theater in months is entirely unacceptable. So we’re going to attempt to see a movie a month. We started with a good one, an especially good one if you dislike Katie Holmes and enjoy watching people treate her like a slut: "Thank You for Smoking."

Now accepting any and all suggestions for May…