On Recent Events
I apologize for the delay between posts. I’ve been busy shuffling between work, social obligations, and – most recently – a family visit. My mother flew to LA for the weekend. I entertained her for a few days, ate my weight in delicious foods, and even helped one of her friends who lives out here set up a new Smart TV. Aren’t I just the nicest son ever? Aren’t I?
Somebody…please…validate my existence!
I’ll start at the beginning, I suppose. Last Saturday I spent the day in San Diego. Even though it was overcast and raining on-and-off, I chose to brave the Interstate in the name of craft beer. My partner in crime and I made a couple stops along the way. First we hit Bottle Logic’s tasting room. Jam The Radar was yummy on tap, their ginger saison was not. Next came Toolbox, where we loaded up on wild ales. Unite Expression or Wanderlust won favorite taster(s). The wine-barrel aged beer with Italian plums was a little too puckering for my taste. Our last brewery stop was AleSmith (specifically the Anvil & Stave room) where I got to enjoy Boxcar Speedway and Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Speedway before picking up some bottles of Rye Barrel-Aged Speedway and Old Rumskull.
Once we reached the city, we stopped off for a pint at Tornado, played some video games at the bar/arcade a few doors down the street, and eventually scooted from North Park to the Gaslamp for dinner at Barleymash. The return drive to LA saw steady rain all the way up the Interstate, but with an entertaining podcast and Spotify to keep me focused, I managed not to run the car off the road into the Pacific Ocean.
Hmm…what else did I do in between Dinner Club and my mother coming to town? Oh, I spent a night listening to some insanely rare records (the kind that range from “Just a $5,000 record” to “It’s the only known copy in existence”) while drinking fancy bourbon (Black Maple Hill 23-Year Rye anyone?) and port (Fonseca 1990). That was a good time. I hit up Hermosillo to try out some of Highland Park Brewery’s newest beers as well as their new elote quesadilla ([a-okay emoji]).
Did you know I’ve lived in Los Angeles for ten years? My first night here after I found an apartment in 2007 was May 5th (Cinco de Mayo was celebrated at El Compadre in Echo Park with Fawn, Brian, Lauren and Charles). Since then, my mother has come to visit maybe once or twice a year. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t think of anything new and fun to do with her other than eat, so we eat a lot when she comes to town. She’s been to every museum. We’ve gone on hikes. We’ve done various driving tours. We’ve hit all the important shopping centers. Hell, one time I think she just came over and did my laundry and cleaned my apartment. That was a fun afternoon.
So…yeah. This trip revolved mostly around food. On Friday night we went to Felix, chef Evan Funke’s new trattoria on Abbot Kinney in Venice. I had to get a reservation a month ahead of time it’s such a popular spot right now. And for good reason. We shared an outstanding meal, filled with pork meatballs, calabrese pizza, tonnarelli cacio e pepe, and another pasta with duck ragu. The meatballs were probably the worst dish we shared, and they were still above average. The cacio e pepe was the best I’ve ever had. I washed it all down with a glass of De Forville Barbera d’Alba (2015) which was fine but I could have chosen better. Oh well.
Note the view from mom’s hotel room above. Say what you will about her ability to raise a child, the lady knows how to travel in style.
On Saturday we met a friend of hers for brunch in Marina del Rey. After that we drove said friend to her new house, where I set up the aforementioned Smart TV. It wasn’t all bad. I made friends with an adorable puppy in the process. When it was time to bid the friend adieu we drove over to Playa del Rey for dinner at The Tripel. The last time mom came to town we ate just down the street at one of Top Chef Brooke Williamson’s other restaurants, Playa Provisions. The Tripel is cozier, with more straightforward gastropub fare. They boast their craft beer offerings, but I was kind of nonplussed by the selection. I feel like I could kill it as Chef Brooke’s beverage director. HINT HINT, IF YOU’RE READING THIS CHEF PLEASE CONTACT ME. Anyway, we shared the potted red curry biscuit (outstanding), the grilled asparagus carbonara (great), the turkey pastrami melt (nope!) and the burger topped with duck confit, truffle pecorino and apricot jam (yup!). We both left very full and very happy. I went home after that and pounded more beers on my couch because why not?
Sunday I skipped going for a run and instead mom and I spent the first part of Mother’s Day looking for a potential new patio furniture set for me, and then buying a new pair of sneakers…for me. Mom mentioned she’d never seen Manhattan Beach on any of her previous trips, so we drove down and spent the afternoon there. We sat at a little bar on the Avenue, her drinking sangria and me drinking a beer. She got hammered off her one drink, so we had to “walk it off” along the pier, making three or four stops along the way so she could sit down and get her bearings. It made for an entertaining spectacle. Dinner was consumed at her favorite little sushi spot. We shared two little pieces of Japanese A-5 wagyu, kanpachi sashimi with jalapeño, her favorite albacore roll, a toro and asparagus roll topped with spicy tuna and jalapeño, and a bunch of pieces of sushi. Then it was back to her hotel for dessert in the concierge lounge. After watching some TV it was time to depart. She flew back East this morning, and I’ll see her again…you know, either on her next trip or my own. Whatever.
Now I’ve got to catch up on laundry, and cleaning, and my Twin Peaks re-watch. I’ve got about six days to watch the entirety of season 2. If I recall…there are about 15 episodes I can skip in the middle of the season, right? I just have to get through the reveal of the killer, then I can fast forward to the last three or four episodes? Right? Anyone else re-watching Twin Peaks this week? Let’s discuss.
Blueneck – Other Gods [MP3]
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