Category Archives: Play

Things to do in PV.

It’s been just over two months since we moved away from LA and settled into the hillside of Palos Verdes. We’ve definitely prepared more of our own meals as going out no longer means walking down the street into Downtown Culver City. Still we’ve managed to find a few local things to entertain ourselves.

This is the Trump driving range. No denim is allowed on the driving range, which I think is ridiculous for being in Southern California. Still it’s a great driving range, where you can hit off of grass. It costs $30 for all day driving. While that’s a bit steep, you can start in the morning, take a lunch break in the clubhouse, and finish up in the afternoon.

There isn’t much that stays open on PV past 9:30 PM, so bars are out of the question, except at Terranea. Nelson’s is situated right along the coast, and it offers fantastic sunset views. I hate the food here having tried it on multiple occasions, but they have some decent craft brews on tap. I’m always happy to settle for a couple pints and some scenery.

Palos Verdes has a very active community that is committed to preserving the land on the hill in its natural state. That means there is a large canyon behind our house with trails for hiking. Michelle and I decided that we needed to do this, and so we hiked up, up, and up. I believe we made it up the whole Palos Verdes hillside, and that is when we decided we don’t like hiking.

In short, we’ve only got a couple more things to do on the PV checklist before we run out. So please come visit us. Thanks.

Firestone Parabola

It’s been a long time since Raaj and Shivani have been over to our place. That’s because we moved from around the corner from them, and now we’re separated with a drive on the 405.

They stopped in to visit us and share a meal at our new home. While the meal was excellent, it wasn’t as awesome as the beer we shared. My friends were kind enough to bring a very special bottle of Firestone Parabola.

It comes in its own box. It must be good!

Raaj is the one who got me into home brewing. I’m grateful. Michelle, however, still wants the shoe closet back.

It’s so beautiful. Chocolate, expresso, and bourbon flavors come through in this beer. I’m not sure vanilla is what I’d call the creaminess I taste in this beer. It is delicious though.

Here we are enjoying our tasting of this very special beer.

Hoppy Beerthday to Me!

I got to celebrate my 31st birthday this weekend with my buddy Harrison, who shares a birthday week with me, in awesome fashion, sharing beer and food with some friends.

We cracked open some brews and even some special bottles I picked up. I got to share my love of beer with my friends.

For food, we tossed some bacon wrapped pork loins into the bottom of the smoker.

On top, one more pork loin and baby back ribs. I had to roll the ribs and tie them because there wasn’t enough room to lay them out. They actually didn’t fit this way either. I had to tilt them so they didn’t press up against the lid.

Brautwursts, boiled in our home brew red ale before heading to the grill.

Toss some veggies onto the grill, and the party was on its way.

It was also a gorgeous day to be outside. Thank you, sun, for coming out for my birthday.

It was good getting to spend time with friends just hanging out.

My friend even brought his dog, and she loved our sheep skin rug.

Michelle even made some awesome treats for the group. She made Sriracha Deviled Eggs and Mini Spinach Cups. Here she is, pulling her shrimp toast from the oven.

The meat came out great, with a nice smoke ring.

There was so much meat left over, which is almost never a bad thing.

The aftermath. Good times!

Inside the Wolvesden.

If you haven’t heard of Wolvesmouth yet, get ready to be educated. I had heard about Wolvesmouth through my various food-loving Twitter friends, but I never took much notice of it. For whatever reason, Michelle decided recently that she wanted to go. She signed up for the mailing list and we wished and hoped we could get a chance to experience the meal. Lo and behold, we were two of the twelve lucky people that got to partake in a unique dining experience, courtesy of The Wolf, Craig.

The table that would serve as our battlefield for ten courses of awesome.

Before I get into the delicious dishes that were served, let me point out one thing. The entire meal is prepared in a home kitchen.

The use of the limited space is quite impressive.

The planning, preparation, and precise execution of the timing is incredible. Each course is lined up and brought out with military-like precision.

Why, yes that is a half pig’s head.

Don’t forget the trotters.

Course 1: Potato, Scallop, Chive, & Flower Creme Fraiche. I could probably drink a pitcher of this. It’s creamy but light. The scallop in this dish is incredible too, perfectly seared.

Course 2: Ocean Trout, Braised Leek, and Red Currant. Nice little hint of sour to accompany the fresh sweetness of the fish and leek.

Course 3: King Crab, Pimento Cheese, Sourdough. I found out I was allergic to crab when I was in my early teenage years. I figured it wasn’t life or death, so I ate it. That was a decision I do not regret. The dish was fantastic, and I still haven’t broken out in a rash! Double win!

Course 4: Haricot Verts, Apricot Peach Yogurt, Horseradish Meringue, Smoked Almond Granola.

Course 5: Rabbit, Glazed Carrot, Radish, Celery,  Pie Dough, Raw Peas, Sage. This got everyone talking about single portion, microwavable pot pies for nights alone. For someone like me, who is married I don’t have those nights anymore. It’s pot pie for two!

Course 6: Verjus, Lemon Verbena. This was a refreshing break before we went into the heaviest dish of the night.

Craig, working away at the head.

Lord of the Flies!

Course 7: Pork, Green Onion, Bok Choy, Pork Sauce. Steamed Bun on the side. The sauce was very rich, and there was so much texture from the skin of the trotter to the meat from the face.

Course 8: Squab, Pickled Cherry. Mushrooms. This makes me want to cook squab. It’d be fun to feel like a giant with the tiny little birds.

Course 9: Blueberry Sherbet, Black Sesame, Kabosu Curd, Green Tea Cake. I’ll be honest. When I saw this dish I saw broccoli and Velveeta.

Course 10: Strawberry, Pound Cake Ice Cream, Wild Strawberry, Strawberry Pop Rocks. It’s still incredible how amusing Pop Rocks are at my age. Excellent choice.

While I believe the dishes speak for themselves, what makes the dinner so unique is that while you sit down to dinner with a bunch of strangers, part of the experience is getting to talk to them instead of minding your own business and keeping your head down.

Not only do you get to mingle with the other guests, getting up and stretching is encouraged. I highly recommend doing this as the meal is a long process. I hit a wall after the pork. You can even walk over to the kitchen and talk to Craig as he works his magic. Just don’t distract him so much that he burns your meal.

While Wolvesmouth is about food, it’s more about the experience. Getting to share a meal with other people who enjoy food is incredible. It’s relaxing and fun. When was the last time you had a meal set to the soundtrack of Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood” followed by Geto Boys’ “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta?”

Good food, while serious, can be a lot of fun too.

Star Wars Nerds Unite!

I mentioned that I got to go to the Hollywood Bowl to see Star Wars in Concert with Michelle. It was absolutely amazing.

Finally, I can wear my hoodie without fear of judgement.

OMG! It’s starting. Luke and Leia are sitting in front of us too!

Darth Vader! Michelle looked at her hoodie and said, “That’s me!”

Mr. Anthony Daniels, C3P0 himself narrated the show.

They had some really cool animations and sketches they showed during the show.

The firing of the Death Star’s primary weapon, a superlaser created by the hypermatter reactor.

How dare you fall asleep during this awesome display of awesomeness!

Special effects and screen display aside, the orchestra was fantastic. I would find myself bobbing my head to the music of my favorite sci-fi franchise and then realize the music was being played live. Incredible performance.

Those are all light sabers, being swayed back and forth along to the music. These are my people.

This was such a great experience. Many thanks to Michelle’s dad and mom, who not only tolerate my love for geeky things like this, but also encourage it by getting us the tickets. Michelle is on her way to joining the Dark Side, which is the best side because “evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb.”

Guess where I’ll be tonight!

Star Wars in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl!

Alive and Moving

My website has gone to the dumps recently, even more so now that I’ve been moving. I am simultaneously moving Michelle and myself out of our apartment while moving our office and warehouse for work. I’m very tired.

You can’t see how deep the warehouse is, but we have a long way to go. Drilling and bolting all these shelves down to the concrete is going to be insane.

The nice thing about 10-hour days of physical labor is that I can pretty much eat whatever I want. I had five slices of pizza for lunch one day. After moving some stuff home this weekend I stopped at the local burger joint and decided to go nuts.

Me: Can I get a bacon cheeseburger with pastrami on top if it?
Cashier: Oh, what you want is the Colossal Burger and add bacon to it.
Me: There’s already a name for this burger?!
Cop behind me: Get it. It’s awesome.

I did, and it was.

After my colossal lunch, Michelle’s family came over to look at the new place. They put out some eggs for the Easter egg hunt.

Counting their treasure.

To summarize it all, things are pretty rough right now, and I’m pretty tired. I will be back to my normal fun-loving self soon enough I hope.

Going to Miss this City…Tavern

City Brew has opened up in Culver City! Huzzah! Too bad I’ll be moving out in a few weeks. *sad trombone*

There are taps at the tables! And computers!

A computer that tells you what you had to drink! I wonder what OS it runs.

Pouring your own beer has never been so much fun!

The Brew Burger.

Grilled Cheese.

Pork Belly.

Cheesy Poofs. Cartman would love these.

NY Strip Steak.

Cooked medium rare.

Mushrooms. Taste the butter.

Chocolate Tart.

The food here is decent, but I don’t think it’s a place that I would come back just to have the food. It’s definitely catering to the trend in LA spots that you’re not quite sure whether they are more bar or more restaurant.

Unfortunately for us, it became more restaurant pretty quickly. I guess they were still working out some kinks in their tap software. All the taps at the tables broke for about an hour, while they were debugging the software.

Fortunately there was plenty of beer to order at the bar.

It runs openSUSE! I’ll have to jump on this thing and LICQ bomb people.

If you can understand this, you haven’t had enough to drink.

Aww, we drank all our beer.

City Tavern is a nice joint that’s got a good thing going for it. LA is so enamored with the craft beer thing, and City Tavern is going to capitalize on that. Craft beer is something I enjoy, but the question always remains. What do I play beer pong and flip cup with then?

Girl Talk

Last night (and actually into the wee hours of this morning) we got a chance to check out Girl Talk at the Palladium with our friends. If you don’t know who Girl Talk is, I suggest you check the website here. The album is free. I will wait. Do it now.

Ready? Let’s do this blog post! We thought we would be smart and skip some of the opening acts by showing up an hour late, but it didn’t work out so well. Junk Culture was still playing, and they were terrible. You hear men, Junk Culture from Oxford, Mississippi? You suck!

We were hoping Max Tundra would not be the same. Oh my god, this guy did not disappoint. Check out this video of another performance I found online. It’s pretty much the same thing. I so want to book this guy for Michelle’s 30th birthday, or maybe I will just sneak him into my friend’s condo and surprise him.

Then came the main event…

GIRL TALK! GIRL TALK! GIRL TALK! Wasn’t that a board game in the 80’s?

Rocking out to the music in a sea of dancing fools.

It’s so beautiful I want to cry.

I apologize for the sound on this. The S95, while it takes great photos does not handle lots of bass well at all. I tried to turn the bass way down and the treble way up before I compressed it, but it still sounds quite muddled. This is Lean Back mashed up with Guns N’ Roses’ Paradise City.

Those are some huge balls.

Happy New Year!

Near the end of the concert, we got hot and tired so we went upstairs. We were in that crowd. What are we…young?

When it comes down to it, Girl Talk is a guy (yes a guy) that has a great ear for mashing up music. While he looks like a guy in his pajamas on stage that presses a play button, that music still translates very well into sheer energy in concert. It was so great to be in that kind of environment again. It’s been a long time since the days of regular concert going. It makes me feel young again. The old man in me wonders how much of my hearing I lost last night.

To summarize my weekend…beer.

This weekend was filled with a lot of beer.

Home brew setup. Not mine.

A lot of tasting, both commercial beers and home brews.

The Bruery in Orange County.

More tasting.

Of course there was food too, so I didn’t get drunk.

Yes, I realize this wasn’t much of a post, but it’s hopefully the start of getting myself back on track with regular posts. Stay tuned…