As Mike and I prepare to pack and merge our stuff from two apartments into one, I’ve been skipping all the terrifying planning and organizational steps in my head to jump forward to decorating and wrangling all our stuff.
I’m obsessively reading Apartment Therapy, but I need realistic, less than perfect ideas, blogs, directions, etc.
I need solutions for too much stuff - too many books, too many shoes, too little money and too much enthusiasm (followed up with too little follow through).
So, tips for creatively, cleverly containing things while still making a stylish, warm environment that two people and two bad cats can live in?
Usually, the words ‘gourmet’ and ‘British food’ don’t end up in sentences even remotely near each other, so the idea of a restaurant like Waterloo + City is potentially abhorrent to those who are unable to conceive of it. Andreanna and I joined another couple, also foodies, to give it a taste drive during the opening week of Dine LA, and we were more than pleasantly surprised. We were blown away.
The first thing you should know about Waterloo + City is that, though it’s a fine dining establishment, easily capable of eliciting a triple-digit bill, it doesn’t have to be that way. What I was first drawn to was the neighborhood-y vibe to the whole thing, what with the inviting bar that serves happy hour drinks every night from 5-7PM and all. And the aforementioned happy hours are made even happier with their Pub Days, Sunday and Monday, during which you can get a two course menu for $20 or a three course for $27.
This, however, was Dine LA, so we eschewed the pub menu and headed straight for the restaurant, where we grabbed a couple of drinks from the bar menu and settled in to see what we could see.
On offer for $34 was a truncated three-course deal that offered 3-4 appetizers, mains, and desserts. So, we negotiated and decided to order at least one of everything so that we could taste it all.
Mine was an arugula salad with grilled pears and smoked almonds, which were delicious. The whole thing was adorned with a see-through sliver of Parmesan, which really married all of the tastes together well. I was very, very pleased with my salad, but Andreanna’s appetizer, pictured above, was so good, it made me wish I’d ordered it myself, which is kind of a tall order, considering I don’t usually cotton to chicken liver and all.
Let me back up for a moment and tell you what you’re looking at. It’s a terrine of chicken liver and fois gras, served with fresh crostini, sweet potato jam, a caperberry, pickled onion, and a cornichon, for good measure. Goddamn, was this delicious, and, in a place that’s got a lot of charcuterie on the menu, a fine place for a novice to dip their toes in before getting to some of the harder stuff, like pig’s ear and trotters, both of which were also on the menu.
The third of the apps was a tuna tartare that came with a fried and stuffed piquillo pepper on top. Stuffed with what, you might ask? More tuna. Genius.
Before too long, it was time for the mains. I ordered a pork chop which came with a pie-spiced apple, a slab of deep fried pork belly, a squash puree, and a potato gratin. Now, I don’t make a habit of ordering pork chops out very often, because I can make them pretty well myself, but I can’t tell you how glad I was that I did, because this might have been the best single piece of pork I’ve ever put in my mouth. Seriously, it was amazing. And the pork belly was not only audacious, but added a different piggy flavor to the entire experience.
Andreanna got a chicken and apricot pot pie which was just as blue collar as it was gourmet, and was delicious and fresh, and at least enough for two meals. A bargain!
I should digress to point out for a moment that a lot of restaurants are dismissive of Dine LA patrons, which was a topic of conversation at the table. Waterloo + City were not among them. The service was not only top notch, friendly and knowledgeable, but the portions and the offerings on the budget menu were spectacular. New restaurants, if you want to use opportunities like Dine LA to introduce novices to your place, this is exactly the way to do it. I will eat at W+C again…hopefully many times.
Finally, desserts arrived, and were prodigious. I ordered an orange crepe with a cocoa ice cream that was bursting with fresh citrus flavor and was absolutely delicious…and it was the least well-received among the three dessert choices.
Another plate was filled with caramel-drizzled donuts, hot and fresh, which came with more caramel, orange cream, and homemade vanilla ice cream. There were eight donuts on the plate, more than enough to share and bring home, which we did.
The coup de grace for dessert, though, was the authentically delicious sticky toffee pudding, ending our meal by putting us back, smack dab, on the streets of London. Finished off with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream, it was a real accomplishment, and the sort of thing that will likely make British ex-pats weep with joy.
I can not recommend this restaurant highly enough. We are trying to get out to another during Dine LA, which finishes up next week.
Until next time, happy eating!
I spent a lot of time stressing out about what to get my boyfriend for Christmas this year (in part because my default gift to everyone is always books, and it didn’t seem to be enough on our first Christmas). Also, he’s a genius gift giver, so it’s also a competition (only on my end). So I’m putting together a list of potential gifts for anyone you love that’s a little outside of the normal sweater, perfume and CD (do people, besides me, give CDs anymore?)
1. Music subscriptions. From Daytrotter to Spotify, music services are the way to go. They provide access to bands and sounds that you might never know of otherwise. Spotify’s premium service lets you access your playlists from anywhere, which is great. But Daytrotter, a longtime champion of small Indie acts - and big Indie acts - offers great downloads and streams and are frankly too adorable for words.
2. Art. We walked into a shop in Silverlake the other day called “Pull My Daisy” which has these amazing tiny canvases of pop culture figures. They are amazing (and a little pricey, but one of a kind). Still, if you can’t afford $125 for a six-inch painting of David Bowie as an Android playing Jared, you can find some amazing art on Etsy, Society6.com, or any of the sites that feature unique creations. If your loved one is a pop culture nerd, you’ve got a wealth of options to choose from. I say this as a thrilled recipient of a snowman Dalek t-shirt from my honey.
3. DIY projects:http://laist.com/2011/12/21/last_minute_diy_holiday_gifts.php
4. Tickets. Experiential stuff is always key for us these days. A museum opening, a concert, a wacky class. Time is more precious than stuff these days, and time gifted to someone you love is undeniably important.
5. Donations. Pay something off, frame something, send $50 to an organization that supports animals, kids, the environment, a college, books, writing, math, science, whatever. Take someone and volunteer at the food bank, the soup kitchen. Very few of us need more stuff. But the people who do need? They really need it. So make that better. And make it a gift that goes through-out the year. Being hungry in July sucks as much as being hungry at Christmas.
6. Books. Everyone needs books. Whether virtual e-books or solid in the hand tomes, books are a great gift. Everyone is into something, and there’s a history, a biography, a how-to or a novel about it. Support your favorite writers, locally or globally. Support your favorite book sellers. Give books!
I was reluctantly excited for the US version of Prime Suspect in part because I loved the original so much and I wasn’t sure how the concept would translate nearly 20 years later. I was less worried about the story lines and more worried about the datedness. Of course, I don’t actually think that women facing sexism in a predominantly male environment is a dated concept. But in terms of what we see on television, the concept of a female leader, even in a police drama, is not new ground. Maria LaGuerta is only one example, as fraught as that character can be. And at a time when we are seeing Catherine Willows departing both a leadership role, and CSI itself, to be replaced by the oldest of the 1980s old guard, more women in leadership roles on TV was welcome regardless.
However, I was happily surprised by how engaged I was by the show. I thought Maria Bello was terrific, I felt like it was a welcome, gritty and totally watchable while intriguing take on the procedural, and I really like the character of Jane Timony. I like the whole ensemble in fact. Timony is unapologetic in her actions, her brashness, her relationships, but she feels complex, three dimensional, someone you’d like to know (most of the time). She’s not a caricature, in part I think because Bello is so watchable. Beautiful, but real looking. Hard-edged but not heartless, she’s neither a pushover nor someone willing to back down, but she also has to deal with the real ramifications of actions she took that put her in a bad light: a position she wouldn’t face if she were male.
So I’m disappointed to hear that the show’s been cancelled. I liked her, I liked the stories, and as my other favorite procedurals start to show the wear and tarnish of age, I’m sad to lose a new one that had completely captured my interest.
First off, I know a lot about gin – due to the enthusiastic consumption of it. I know a little bit about whisky (due to similar indulgences and a few tastings). And what I know about bourbon, I know from research for this article: Bourbons for your Budget. But I don’t know diddly squat about tequila. So when a rep from the Thomas Collective saw my article on Cocktails 101 and offered to send me some samples of Espolon tequila, I said sure. I figured that Mike knew a fair amount about it and I also figured that the novelty of receiving tequila in the mail would be enough to entertain me. I hoped the tequila would be tasty, but didn’t expect much. I’m not going to bury the lede here. I was wrong. Boy was the tequila tasty.
I expected airplane sampler sized bottles, so when the other Mike called to say I’d received a package at the house, I said, “Oh, it must be the tequila,” envisioning a Fed-Ex envelope much like the ones my mom would mail me when I’d left random stuff at her house on visits back to Colorado. Again, I was wrong.
Mike, do you have a rejoinder?
Please send links/portfolios to kspiers at kcet dot org if you’re looking for Los Angeles assignments. Thanks!
Isn’t this all of Tumblr? Or is that just my crowd?
(Source: kcetliving, via tumblangeles)
The Airstream Turkey: Fall on the West Coast Means Stew and Pretzels! -
Here in Los Angeles, we trick ourselves into thinking that we have seasons by looking at the calendar and determining what the appropriate response would be if we lived someplace where there was weather. It was this thinking that caused Andreanna and me to whip up a hearty Fall evening…
Introducing The Airstream Turkey blog! We (or rather Mike) kicks it off with our pretzel and stew adventure from a few weeks ago!
No words necessary.