Wednesday, July 18, 2012

7/17/12 - Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy

The direction of my day started with a misheard song lyric. I was listening to KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic while doing some errands. I love it when Jason Bentley is on vacation. Gary Calamar was filling in, and just killin' it with the playlist. So Fiona Apple's new song came on, and it took me a minute to decide if I like it or not. I decided I do. It's called "Hot Knife," and it starts, "If I'm butter/If I'm butter/ If I'm butter than he's a hot knife. He makes my a heart a ____________/something something bird of paradise." Now that blank sounded a whole lot like "cinnamon scone" to me. Maybe it's the connection with butter. Anyway, there I was, in my car driving through the construction on Rowena, and I started fantasizing about dense buttery scones dusted with cinnamon and sugar. So Fatty McGee here just had to make this manifest.

I settled on this recipe from Pioneer Woman Cooks She calls for 3 cups of flour, which I had to substitute. I used 1 cup almond meal, 1 cup brown rice flour, and 1/2 cup each potato and tapioca starches. The joys of gluten-free baking. It gets colorful.

Wet and Dry

You want to roll your dough out into a disk. This is a big recipe. That's a big disk!

Your supposed to cut it into pie slices, but it was so huge, I had to get creative. I like my little pattern. It looks like something you'd see on a quilt.

See you in 20 minutes!

Scone + Earl Grey = BLISS

I was also inspired to listen to more Fiona Apple, and thanks to Spotify, I listened to her entire discography, including "Extraordinary Machine," which I had never bothered with before. Check out "Hot Knife" though. For real.

By the way, according to, the lyric is not "cinnamon scone," but "cinemaSCOPE." Whatever.

After cleaning up my scone mess, I made an attempt to do a little yoga, but I wasn't at 100% energy yet, so I abandoned the effort halfway through. I played my bass a little bit and did some goofy sounding vocal exercises. It feels funny, but it works!

I took the Metro Downtown to go to a talk at the Central Library. I love Downtown. It feels like a real city! And the Central Library is so beautiful. The event was a panel of chefs with restaurants Downtown, moderated by Evan Kleiman (who I love!). I showed up and swaggered on over to the door, only to have one of the staff ask if I had a reservation. I looked at the website ( by the way) loads of times, and I never saw anything about reservations! And I was looking for that! She put me on the standby list at number 26. I figured it was a bust, but I hung around anyway, just in case. While I waited, I looked at the little exhibit in the lobby. They had all these cool old maps of LA. This one was my favorite.

I know it's a terrible photo, but it's so fun and colorful. There were all different kinds of maps from different times; from the 1870s through the 50s. It's interesting to see what's still around, and what's gone (RIP Ambassador Hotel).

As luck would have it, I did get into the talk, which made me very happy. Evan asks great questions. The chefs were all very different in their background, but seemed to share an enthusiasm for local seasonal food. John Rivera Sedlar was saying that his restaurant has just installed an aeroponic garden on their roof. How cool is that? Ricardo Zarate was very funny and cute. His story about working at a Benihana in London, speaking almost no English was great. I've been wanting to try his restaurant Mo-chica for a while. I guess I'm going to have to make that happen. In fact, his was definitely the cuisine I felt most interested in. Ilan Hall, chef/owner of The Gorbals, was interesting and funny as well. I've always thought the hype around his restaurant was a bit gimmicky. Bacon-wrapped matzo balls - good one, Ilan. I get it, you're turning the culinary world on its head with your diverse influences. I have to say though, after hearing him talk, I have altered my opinion. I'm not into the whole nose to tail meat thing, but I respect it, and I respect that he's doing something kind of adventurous and new. Not to mention, he was an early adopter as far as opening a high end restaurant in Downtown.

My favorite part of the talk was actually a question from an audience member: "What was the most memorable meal you've ever had?" The answers were so emotional and unexpected. Ilan Hall's was in the Phillipines, a numerous course tasting menu prepared for him and one other chef by a man who owns a chain of fast food restaurants. Judy Han's was at a small restaurant in the Horse Ear mountains in Korea with her family with trillions of fresh vegetable banchan. Patricia Zarate remembered getting a bowl of hot chocolate from a mercado in Oaxaca when she was backpacking as a young woman. Ricardo Zarate (no relation, by the way) told another great story of getting Soroche or altitude sickness hiking in the mountains in Peru when he was 16. A little kid took him to his mother, who fed him this transcendent soup that he can still taste in his mind, but has never been able to recreate. Evan Kleiman said it was the seafood from a little shack in Ensenada that she had on a recent trip with friends. This is why I love food. It's so much more than sustenance. It's love, it's memories, it's discovery, it's comfort. It was wonderful to hear what these well-known well-heeled chefs found most memorable. John Rivera Sedlar was not specific, but he said Tijuana for him is THE gastronomic destination. He later said Spain is the new Tijuana. Ironic? He's a funny guy.

Following the panel, they had an opportunity to taste something from each of the panelists' restaurants. Mendocino Farms was a sandwich, so I skipped that. So was Homegirl, skipped that. Mo-chica offered a little montadito with I think quail egg and some kind of salsa verde. It was delish!

Rivera had a little bite of shrimp on a potato chip with some kind of spicy salsa/relish which was also really tasty.

I skipped The Gorbals offering - well for one thing it wasn't ready, but - mostly because Ilan had mentioned it involved bone marrow. I'm not down with that. Here's Ilan and his empty plates.

Feeding frenzy!

Above the fray

I love the city at night

After that, I walked down the the Library Bar, where I met up with April, and a gentleman who's name I don't recall who very generously shared his chorizo sliders and edamame with us. He was perhaps excessively flirtatious, but we let him buy us a glass of wine, and then we boogied out of there to get to the show. Yes, there's more. I'm a busy woman.

We rode the Metro up to Hollywood and Western. I'm glad the train is handicap accessible and all, but did the guy in the wheelchair really need to carry one of those catheter jugs of his own urine around unconcealed? Ah, public transit.

Turns out Harvard and Stone is awesome. What a great place to hang out on a Tuesday night. Yes it's full of hipsters, but those are my people, and I'm not ashamed of that. And the band was wicked good. Do yourself a favor and check out Herbert Bail Orchestra. It's like Arcade Fire meets Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes meets Devotchka. Yes!

1 comment:

  1. Rose, this blog makes me smile and laugh. It is so entertaining as well as full of great stuff. Please do not stop blogging. This is such a treat.