Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Quickies #70: Endless Summer, Please?

UC Davis Quad
Hot days of summer at the UC Davis quad from my summer NorCal mini-vacay/roadtrip

As my friend noted, "summer's ending? when did it START?!" Can't say I disagree, but this has been one of the best summers ever for me, however short it may feel. Despite taking only two actual vacays days off work during this season, with all the entertaining going-ons around town it just felt like one long continuous break (but I refuse to lend anymore credence to the word "staycation.") But all good things come to end some time, so soak up as much summer fun while it still lasts.

This weekend, there's a duo of celebratory meals for Julia Child's birthday (probably made a lot more prominent by the recent release of Julie & Julia) - Comme Ca will be doing a $65/person "Ode to Julia" five-course dinner today and tomorrow highlighting some classic dishes including lobster thermidor, beef wellington and crepes with berries & chantilly cream. Meanwhile, tomorrow Cezanne at Le Merigot will take be preparing 3 dishes from her "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" that includes scallops and mushrooms in wine sauce, red wine-braised beef with vegetables and tart tatin w creme fraiche. Merci beaucoup!

Tomorrow also marks LA Sake Festival from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, where for $50/person guests can sample over 100 brands of sake, learn about its production process, taste some sake-based cocktails and even karaoke the night away! Kanpai to that!

Down at Monarch Beach, Michael Mina's Stonehill Tavern is introducing $39/person "Classic Tavern Suppers" every single night (save for Mon & Tues when they're closed) - the three-course prix-fixe affairs are largely upscaled re-imaginations of homestyle classics, from Thursdays' steak frites night w American Kobe and peppercorn jus to Fridays' cedar-plank salmon supper w a bacon vinaigrette and Sundays' seafood stew in a saffron-tomato broth. The starters and sweets are equally delightful, which include the likes of potato-corn chowder w smoky bacon and squash blossoms, frisee salad with pork belly and poached egg, root beer float with sassafras ice cream & chocolate chip cookies and butterscotch pudding w honeycomb. And to sweeten that pot, come between 5:30p to 7:30p, or all-day Thursdays, for their "social hour" with handcrafted cocktails at only $9.

Lastly, my fun foodie reads this week:

- cocktails in the morning? sure! has a nice piece featuring some daytime drinks asides from the ubiquitous mimosas, bellinis and bloody marys; and I'd personaly like to add Monk Buck to that list

- speaking of drinks, DineLA has a nice list of bars and eateries offering great noshes to go with your libations instead of the usual something-deep-fried

- local-seasonal is not only hot in restaurants but bars as well, as Gourmet highlights a farm-to-glass movement that's a-stirring witht mixologists and bartenders

- looking for some grub after a night on the town? Eat-LA has a nice list of opening-past-midnight eateries where you can get your nightly noshing on

- LA Times' food editor Russ Parsons offered a nugget of insight into Julie & Julia based on his conversations with the latter

P.S. despite what my blog title suggests, my surfing skills are dismal -- I really should take that up again though; would probably help my snowboarding skills too.



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