Wednesday, December 31, 2008

WeezerMonkey's Faves of 2008

Do you hate "best of" lists? Too bad! Here are my 2008 faves.

Fave Breakfast/Brunch
5. Home
4. Alcove
3. Nickel Diner
2. Creperie by Jack 'n' Jill's of Beverly Hills
1. BLD

Fave $ Meals
5. Azeen's Afghani Restaurant
4. Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana
3. Daikokuya
2. Daisy Mint
1. Wood Spoon

Fave $$ Meals
5. Izayoi
4. The Hungry Cat
3. AOC
2. Animal
1. Babita

Fave $$$ Meals
5. Bouchon (Las Vegas)
4. Grace
3. Aureole (Las Vegas)
2. Gordon Ramsay at The London
1. Ortolan

Fave Concerts
5. The Donnas at The Viper Room
4. Coldplay at The Forum
3. Two Nights of The Cure (Hollywood Bowl and The Shrine)
2. The Fratellis at Key Club
1. Vampire Weekend at The Wiltern

Fave Photos
5. A Zootiful Day
4. Karaokefest 2008
3. Pier One
2. Chile and Argentina Posts
1. Prop 8 Protest Pictorial

Fave Musings
5. Life With Mr. Monkey
4. My Band Has Turned and Left Me Here
3. Din and Ice
2. Reasons to Vote No on Prop 8
1. Monkey Meets Her Match

Whilst looking through old posts, I had a good laugh at my initial attempts with my camera. I've had it for a year now, and what a difference a year has made!

Maybe I just have to go back to all the yummy places where I took crap photos.

Disagree with my picks? Have other faves on my blog? Let me know!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

O, Toy Soldiers!

If you're ever in my 'hood and want to grab a meal, just call or e-mail me. Don't worry if it's on short notice -- a day before, an hour before, whatever. More often than not, I'll be free, and we will go somewhere with tasty treats!

Case in point -- Claire was in the area for family holiday togetherness yesterday, and our evening schedules just happened to mesh perfectly. We tried the little restaurant at O Hotel, a fairly new addition to downtown.

Why the sign says "Orchid," I'm not sure. While the boutique hotel is sort of wishy-washy about its identity, it is decidedly dark and contemporary inside.
o 036
o 033
The O Bar & Kitchen dining area is simply a long line of booths against the wall to the right of the lobby. Pick a table, have a seat, and wait for your server. The menu includes a decent array of fun martinis and mixed drinks ($12), a good mix of cheap tapas ($3 to $5), and a full dinner menu.
o 032
I had a Pearadice (Grey Goose Le Poire with pear nectar juice). Claire started with a blackberry mojito (Cruzan rum with fresh mint, lime, and blackberries). Both were damn good.
o 019o 020
We decided to sample a bunch of tapas and a starter and a flatbread from the dinner menu.

New York steak skewers with horseradish aioli ($4). Pretty flavorful, although they could've been a tad more tender.
o 026
Risotto balls with jalapeƱo remoulade ($3). Reminiscent of fried mac 'n' cheese, but not quite as amazing. The remoulade was rather something, though. A swift kick to your tastebuds.
o 029
Petite meatballs with spicy tomato sauce and grilled bread ($4). The least interesting of our picks. Juicy and familiar, but I probably won't get them again.
o 028
Truffle parmesan tots with horseradish sauce ($4). So simple. So good. I guess there are some things we will always love. I'm only sad that my stupid picture features paper and not tots.
o 030
Wagyu sliders, pickled shallots, bacon, provolone, horseradish aioli, and tomato confit ($12). Very good. Mr. Monkey loved the one that I brought home.
o 027
Tuscan flatbread with eggplant, goat cheese, and pine nuts ($8). Thin! Crispy! Dee-lish! I liked this a lot.
o 031
There is something really nice about having a one-on-one meal. I learned a lot about Claire that I didn't know before, and it made me like her even more. Isn't it great when that happens?

We couldn't resist the obvious photo ops with the holiday soldiers in front.
o 034
o 035
After dinner, we took a short stroll to L.A. Live to take a look at all the new developments.
o 037
It wasn't that exciting, but it was a far cry from the downtown that Claire remembered from years ago. I also liked sauntering a bit after eating. It made me feel like I worked off one tater tot.

Bonus outfit pic:
o 018
Burberry quilted jacket, Blue Cult jeans, Stuart Weitzman suede flats with bow accents (yes, I love bows on shoes), Paul Frank bag. Not pictured is a boring brown Banana Republic banded tunic underneath.

Bonus story:

That morning, a woman in the CIA cafeteria exclaimed, "What an adorable bag! Your children must love it!"

My retort: "I don't have children. I love it."

As if anyone with children could possibly fit all her shit in my tiny round bag.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good Will Huntington

I love tea. I love my friends. I love tea with my friends. Bax, Giggles, and Glam are all members of The Huntington Library, so Slim and I were lucky enough to tag along for free as their guests.
huntington 001
The Cafe and Rose Garden Tea Room is a lot more casual than one might imagine.
huntington 018
huntington 017
The service is warm and friendly, although a bit forgetful, but it's a nice place to go with noisier friends like yours truly. We were not shushed!

Warm scones arrive at your table almost as soon as you sit down. These were chocolate chip and cinnamon apple.
huntington 005
Fresh Devonshire cream arrives later if you have a forgetful server, and then you are so excited about the Devonshire when it finally comes that you slather the Devonshire all over your scones and fail to take a picture of it because the forgetfulness is apparently contagious.

Tea at the Huntington is essentially all-you-can-eat. While the scones are brought to your table, the remainder of your repast sits in the center of the room at your disposal.

All-you-can-eat, folks! For $25! With no threats of penalties like at Korean BBQ!

My two fave sammies of the day: (1) smoked salmon with chive and cucumber and (2) tarragon chicken salad with walnuts.
huntington 006
Prosciutto di Parma with Maytag bleu cheese and Bartlett pears. Good ol' cucumber.
huntington 010
Watercress and cream cheese. Carrot and ginger.
huntington 011
Cheese. The green one was as nasty as it looks.
huntington 013
Lemon bar. Pecan bar.
huntington 015
And what is tea without...actual tea?
huntington 008
There were many other pastries and tartlets not pictured here. And you can get as many as you want. Like a lot, if you really really want.

Not that I did this or anything. I am a model of constraint, yo.

After tea, we walked a small portion of the grounds very briefly, as the Library was closing.
huntington 023
huntington 025
huntington 026
huntington 028
huntington 029
huntington 030
huntington 019
huntington 020
huntington 022
I love when strangers actually know how to use my camera. I also love that Giggles consistently lives up to her name.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

All You Can Eat...With Penalties

Christmas just isn't a big deal in our family. We rarely exchange gifts, and often our parents are out of town. This year, Mr. Monkey's dad was in Vegas, and my Mama Monkey will be cruising around the Mediterranean until 2009.

Papa Monkey was back from France, though. After having lunch and watching the Laker game with him way out in the sticks (he was on call and delivered a Christmas baby that morning), we met Little Monkey Niece and her parents at Tahoe Galbi (3986 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 365-9000) for dinner.
tahoe galbi 007
tahoe galbi 036
Fire! Fire!
tahoe galbi 032
Beware! Eat what you order, or else you will pay extra! Don't even think about taking any food to go! It is "net" allowed!
tahoe galbi 011
Brother Monkey got a Hite beer.
tahoe galbi 033
Panchan included bean sprouts, potato salad, seaweed, broccoli, kimchi, and japchae (cellophane noodles in sesame oil). The japchae was really good.
tahoe galbi 010
Sauces. Tangy and sweet on the left. Sea salt and sesame oil on the right.
tahoe galbi 014
tahoe galbi 013
LMN loved these thin square rice noodles so much. BroMo and I are big fans of these, too. I think they are the perfect cool, soft wrappers to hold charred meat. Nice balance.
tahoe galbi 018
Chadolbaegi (beef). So good drenched with sesame oil and sea salt.
tahoe galbi 016
Heumitgul (tongue). Better than you think. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.
tahoe galbi 024
Bulgogi (thinly sliced marinated beef). This was both LMN's and my fave of the night. The bulgogi is to the left. The other stuff is more heumitgul.
tahoe galbi 017
Tahoe steak galbi. This is usually my favorite cut of meat, but Tahoe's version wasn't marinated enough to my liking. Still tasty nevertheless.
tahoe galbi 030
tahoe galbi 020
Samkyupsal (pork). Make your own bacon! Yes, that is a pat of butter on top.
tahoe galbi 025
tahoe galbi 028
LMN loved her meal for once. She usually hates to eat, but she ate bulgogi, rice wrappers, and bean sprouts all night long. She was very proud of her picture of BroMo. If you look closely, you can see her blue crayon masterpiece.
tahoe galbi 034tahoe galbi 035
BroMo asked, "Why is my mouth a vertical line?" LMN explained, "You're tired! You're yawning!" Pretty good reasoning for a just-turned-three-year-old.
tahoe galbi 039
It's nice when both sides of the family get together.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...