Rant aside, I was actually not too hideously bummed out. There was tons of other stuff going on that night. I called Alex to let him know what was going on, since he was supposed to meet me at the Annenberg, but he didn't answer...and then I didn't hear from him for an hour and a half, and he didn't actually show up until about 8 pm. By this point, I was hideously bummed out. So much for all the other stuff we could have done.
We ended up, after much chastising, going to Mo-Chica for a rather late dinner. I've been wanting to try that place for a while, especially after hearing the chef, Ricardo Zarate, talk at Evan Kleiman's panel at the library recently. I must say, it was a little hit or miss. The ceviche Carretillero was outstanding with big chunks of tangy seabass and a couple different kinds of corn. The causa de congrejo - a pretty little layered puck of mashed potatoes, avocado, and crab - tasted fine, but was rather uninteresting. Likewise, the papa a la Huancaina was beautifully presented, but ultimately sort of boring.
More about Mo-Chica and other exciting stuff after the jump.
The real standout was the arroz con mariscos, a paella with a more mole-like seasoning. It was rich and delicious! The dessert, sol y sombra - a creme brulee over a compote of purple corn, apples, apricots, and raisins - was excessively sweet and the caramelized sugar on top still felt very granular. I did like their dishware. They use these antique-looking enameled metal things that look like what I imagine people on wagon trains might have used. Zarate himself was in attendance, having dinner with a large party a couple tables down. John Sedlar showed up in his chef's coat. I guess they weren't bullshitting at the panel about the comraderie of the Downtown chefs. Overall, I felt a little underwhelmed by the food, but I'd be willing to give it another chance. What he's doing there is very ambitious and interesting, and the stuff that was good was REALLY good.
Sunday was band camp day for The Picture and the Frame. We had a nice long practice with a nice long snack break in the middle. We worked on some new material, and just generally enjoyed ourselves.
Family dinner was a special birthday edition for David Bowling. There was gluten-free cake! Score! The baby burrito passed out in my arms again. He's so cute!
Monday, I went to yoga, and I don't know if it was because the teacher was a sub, but I've never seen a class that small at The Raven. It was wonderful! I could actually reach my hands out to the side!
Rickett and I got bun (cold vermicelli noodles) at Pho Saigon on 6th Street. Not mind-blowing, but pretty much the perfect meal for this heat. Then we got Pinkberry and all was right with the world, even though they were out of watermelon puree. I recommend the strawberry flavor yogurt. It's excellent. Then I went home and took a nap. It was lovely!
Monday night we had another Picture and the Frame rehearsal, this time at West LA Studios with our producer, Raymond, in attendance. I must say, Atwater Deluxe kicks the ass of West LA Studios. It costs the same, but Atwater is all nice and new and clean. Whatevskis. It was nice to get some input from Raymond. I can't wait to record on Saturday!
When I got home, this fateful thing happened: I decided on a whim to check out "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency." It's so good! I stayed up way too late watching it. This is why I can't be trusted to watch television.
I got up Tuesday, and watched more "Ladies' Detective Agency." It's so charming! Rickett called, and we went on a little excursion to the new Trader Joe's on 3rd and Fairfax. They do wine tastings there! I picked up another case of their amazing peaches.
Rickett and I decided to do dinner later that night. What better thing to do with my peaches than make a cobbler? There's a pie recipe that KCRW sent in their "5 Things to Do" email that I'd been thinking about for a few days: Joy the Baker's Peach and Blueberry Pie. It calls for coriander! I was just feeling way too lazy to make a pie crust, so I went for a cobbler version. I used this recipe for the dough, substituting 1/4 cup almond meal and 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour. It was way too hot to bake, but the inner fat kid would not be dissuaded.
While it baked, I sat in my dining room, finishing my travelogue under the ceiling fan, sweating. The good news is, I finished the book. Well, I finished the construction anyway. It still needs some little notes and such.
Turned out purdy, no? As usual, I used way less sugar than the recipe called for, and I added lemon zest to the fruit. It worked out so well for the blackberry cobbler I made for Granddad's birthday. How much do you love this baking dish? Thanks to my aunt Kathy for that!
Rickett's apartment was hotter than the hinges of hell, but we toughed it out. He made some serious champion burgers with cumin and garlic in the meat, topped with smoked gouda, spinach, pickles, tomato, and organic ketchup. Gluten-free bun, natch.
Look at that burger exploding out of its bun. Served with home fries and watermelon. Oh yeah.
Rickett ready to enjoy the fruits of his labor and a Tweason'ale from Dogfish Head Ale. Spring in a bottle for the gluten-intolerant.
Are we up to the challenge of this enormous meat patty?
Yes. Yes we are.
And then, cobbler. Turned out gooooood.
Once we'd stuffed ourselves to capacity, we retired to the couch with our beers. Just two guys doing what guys do: drinking beer and watching "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency."