26 February 2007

Bloom Cafe, A Review

I met my friend Jason at Bloom Cafe--this "lovely" new spot he insisted on taking me. He had taken me to Luna Park and Lou Wine Bar--and both were big hits, so I knew it would be a good one.

We met for brunch on Wednesday, and as it was cold outside, I had a cup of coffee. I wanted to have the Mint Lemonade they were offering, but I couldn't bear the ice in my throat.

He had lunch; a vegetarian sandwich that came with shoestring frites that melt on your tongue. When I ask for mayo for my fries they one up'ed me and brought aioli! My heart is aflutter.

I had a hard time picking between the lemon ricotta pancakes (I have still never had them!!) and the chorizo omelets. I got the omelets--bummer. It was fine. No, that's not true. It was bland. I don't like cooked bell peppers. I don't like rubber for eggs. I mean, what does it take to get good eggs in this town?

That aside, the salad, potatoes and toast were all quite nice. The coffee was nice too--and it is hard to get a good cup of coffee in LA LA.

Though it is true, I'm trash talking the eggs--I must say that the menu and the service and the owners were all quite impressive. What was even more impressive was the offer for me to be the featured chef for the night. I'm excited to talk with them about it. So look for me there. And go by and enjoy the bloom.


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As I mentioned in an article below, design for design's sake is not my cup-of-tea. I like design to solve a problem.

STACKme is a stacking place setting that allows for each plate and bowl to stack UP not OUT. Think NYC when suddenly there was no more land to build on--"let's go up!" the mayor might have proclaimed.

Table sprawl shall be a thing of the past; soup with a view probably even tastes better.


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23 February 2007

High-Low Pricing Works For Us.

I've just started a unit on retail pricing in my merchandising strategies class. It's interesting, actually, looking at how variable the pricing is depending on what kind of retailer you're running. For instance, Neiman Marcus is an above-price retailer--they actually charge more than the suggested retail value for items. But they can do it, because they sometimes have the items in stock before anyone else, and their wealthy customers don't mind paying more to be the first one on Rodeo Drive sporting the new Dior. However, these stores end up losing more than others during sales, because they're losing huge chucks of that originally planned profit. Another method is "high-low pricing"--charging slightly above the ideal price considering their target shoppers, but then reeling them in with massive sales that end up making tons of money. One champion of this strategy is Macy's, and I spent a fruitless hour this morning (after 5 hours of sleep) scouring the internet for articles about their policies. Now I know some more keywords after talking to my professor, but jeez, my usual mad boolean search skillz were getting me nowhere.

Easier than researching Macy's high-low pricing, thankfully, is taking advantage of it. TOMORROW. (Or, if it's already Saturday by the time you've lazily read this, TODAY.)

My teacher (my current fave lady over 30; she's a research psychologist and also used to be a buyer for Nordstrom. She never sleeps and has amazing clothes and gives us actual challenging work.) says that if there's one day to see high-low pricing in action, Saturday's the day: the One Day Sale is the mother of them all. And, she says, if you drop $500 you didn't plan on, it's not her fault. Ditto for me: I'm just the messenger. But since you asked, here are a few choice items you might bag during your investigation: Maidenform's "One Fab Fit Endless Options" bra, which, despite questionable advertising (ENDLESS? really? methinks not.) looks to be quite the versatile little number, for a mere 20 bucks. Also, KitchenAid's fab little immersion blender, which would be PERFECT for my morning yogurt-berry smoothie. On sale for $50--and comes in lotsa colors. And please don't overlook the lovely Doc Marten boots ("with classic yellow Z-stitch accents") for only 85 dollars. Fellows, let me tell you: in 1997, I could think of nothing more appealing than a lanky guy in a Kurt Cobain shirt wearing a pair of these bad boys. I even considered--I can't believe I'm admitting this--buying myself a pair in silver (the $120 price tag kept me from it. Thank god.). Anyway, Macy's will let you relive the magic. So go forth, research and learn. And while you're at it, I seriously want that immersion blender.

> r r <

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20 February 2007

Booze Clues

I have this teacher. She teaches my Apparel Production Process Lab, which means that she's the lord and mistress of my time every Monday from 8:30 a.m. (ouch squared) until 2:45 p.m. She's very thorough and good at giving us excrutiatingly detailed instructions for how to draft the pattern for, say, a long sleeve, a short sleeve with a folded cuff, a puffed sleeve, or even a sleeve with shoulder pads (perish the thought). She's also a total nutjob who has worked doing costuming for Ren Faire, doing computer nerd stuff during the Silicon Valley boom, and now being an Imagineer. Yes, she costumes characters for rides at Disneyland. She's like a wonderous mystical character who gets more and more miraculous with each new facet I glimpse of her life. For instance, the other day, along with her usual handmade super-high-waist pants, she was wearing a Barenaked Ladies tee shirt. At first I thought there were dirt marks on the back, and then I realized they were SIGNATURES. From ALL THE BARENAKED LADIES. Oh wow. Oh gosh. This woman is a mind-boggling creature. Also, she has curled bangs. That like stick out from her forehead. I think she's single.

ANYWAY, the most recent gem from this teacher that I thought I'd share with you kids is a secret of costumers worldwide (apparently). "The best way to get out perspiration odor," she announce recently, "is, we've discovered, a mixture of half water and half vodka." I can't imagine this chick doing anything with a bottle of vodka, but I guess if I had to, furiously removing stains would be it.

You may think this priceless tip is enough revelation for one post, but I'm here to tell you YET ANOTHER. Way back in the day, I went to prom. It was senior prom, so it was a big effing deal even for those of us who thought we were too cool for prom. I had a silk dress by Laundry by Shelli Segal, which made it the first sorta-designer item I'd ever bought, and I thought it made me The Bomb(shell). I got my hair done like Marylin Monroe and I was ready to take on the world, or at least my whole senior class at Polly Esther's (the 80s club where prom was that year). But first my crew and I had the requisite swanky dinner at some new fusion-type restaurant, and--of course--a piece of sauce-covered something-or-other fell straight from my chopsticks onto the front of my dress. Oh, motherfuck, I thought. This ain't never coming out, and it's PROM and my dress is so FABulous and it's got sauce right in FRONT now and everyone will SEE IT and think RUDE THOUGHTS instead of being AWESTRUCK. So I got up, went to the bar for some club soda, and dabbed in vain at my bust in the bathroom. At which point a magical fairy godmother--i.e. a nice lady coming out of a stall--gave me this, the second priceless tip: gin gets out oily stains. She said she'd done the same thing at her wedding on her wedding dress, and gin did the trick. The bartender gave me some on a napkin (at this point, still the closest I'd ever been to gin in my life) and lo and behold--the orange grossness on my front was gone. My delusions of grandeur returned, and I've never forgotten the gin trick since--another reason that gin is the best alcohol in the world.

Moral: always listen to Imagineers and ladies in bathrooms. And always keep your liquor cabinet full. Just in case.

> r r <

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14 February 2007

Happy Venereal Disease Day!

...or is that not what he meant when he said, "Happy VD"?

I hate Valentines Day, but I love, Love. So for Valentines Day I'm having my single friends to dinner--well not all of them, because I can't cook for that many people.

Here is the menu:

Curried Cauliflower, Potato and Sprout Salad

Miso Cured White Fish in Carrot and Ginger Broth

Asparagus Risotto

Cucumber Sorbet with Strawberries and Balsamic Sauce

Vegan Truffle
From this book:
From this bookstore

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13 February 2007

Sweet Nothings: Obligatory V-Day Post

Valentine's Day may be a load of rubbish pressed upon us by greeting-card companies exploiting the legend of what was really just a crotchety old saint, but here it still is, almost upon us. Personally, I'm just looking forward to the day after (when all the heart-shaped chocolates go on major sale)--but I've assembled a little fantasy-land timeline of how Valentine's Day should be best exploited, in turn, by us:

Noon: Awake. Open your long-lashed doe eyes to the sight of breakfast in bed. He doesn't even need to know no cookin' skillz if he grabs TJ's new frozen french toast. Believe me: yum.

1:00: Open valentines (I sent Curious George ones to my nearest & dearest. Elementary school ruled.). Also open gift of new skivvies (simply the best. No contest.).

1:10 - 7:00: Lounge around in said skivvies, read pink books (e.g. Valley of the Dolls), play on the internet, listen to new records by The Blow (makeout break!) and The Pity Party (dance break!).

7:00: Even hardcore loungers need to eat. Make yourselves some heart-shaped brownie sandwiches--chocolate for you, spinach and cheese for him (seriously--my aunt's going to send me her recipe). Play games involving whipped cream (or spray cheese to go with his). No, don't, actually. That's just gross.

9:00: Spritz yourself with Demeter's Sugar Cookie eau de toilette for dessert (unless you're like me and would thus risk eating your arm because it smells so amazing. Try the Gin and Tonic scent instead.). Venture out of doors and go find yourselves some free fruity drinks.

> r r <

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10 February 2007

Cut Costs with Couture

Whoever said that Sundays were lazy? Calvin and Hobbes, actually, so I won't contradict them...but I will say that this Sunday I WON'T be lazy. I'll be doing major research. A.K.A. major drooling. Drooling in Beverly Hills. Jesus, you can't take me anywhere.

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08 February 2007

A Barn Raising

From Hungry Cat:
Please join us for FREEZE RELIEF, a benefit to help our small localfarmers whose crops suffered or were lost during the recent freeze. We will donate 100% of our profits from the event and we also pledge toincorporate as much surviving produce into our menus as possible tocontinue to support them.Sunday, February 11th, 200712:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Performances by:Rainwater Bluegrass Band 1:30 PM 4:30 PM The Bang Bang Shoot 'em Ups
6 PM 8 PMCocktail tasting with Schaner Farm's citrus
A la carte menu:
oysters on the 1/2 shell
little neck clams on the 1/2 shell
peel 'n eat shrimp
whole Maine lobster
fresh sea urchin
dungeness crab
fruits of the sea platters
sturgeon & paddlefish crab salad w/ beets, blood orange and chicories
market lettuce salad w/ pink lady apples and walnuts
lobster chowder
crabby benedict
brandade gratin w/ a fried egg
cornmeal crusted friedoysters w/ celery root slaw
Zachary's "poke ribs" w/ mean greens andpotato salad
bbq'd shrimp 'n grits
lobster b l a t
the pug burger
crab cake w/ cornbread and remoulade
cheese plate
apple cobbler
If you have further questions or would like to make a reservation,please call The Hungry Cat at 323.462.2155 or email cinderella@thehungrycat.com.
*A barn raising is an event where a community gets together to helpthose in need.--the hungry cat1535 n. vine st.hollywood, ca 90028t 323.462.2155f 323.462.2723 www.thehungrycat.com

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I'm eternally fascinated by design. I started out as a design student before I became a chef, indeed. And though I love designers/design, I often don't agree with how they come about their designs. This particular design I will share with you falls into the "WTF?" category. I wish that he knew the subject before he designed for the subject.

It's not beautiful. It doesn't solve any "problems"--it is design for design's sake--use the brainpower to stop starvation or global warming. But then again, those are real problems--getting soup on your cookbook is much easier mountain to conquer.

via: Cool Hunting


coo.boo Digital Cookbook
Tim Yu, 7 February 2007

You might have heard, but soon there will no longer be a need to risk your laptop in precarious situations in the kitchen. Modeled after a spatula, coo.boo is a digital cookbook that fits into the kitchen environment better than any laptop or printed cookbook. Recipes stored on the user’s computer are automatically synchronized through a wireless docking station and displayed on the face of the device. Digital function allows the cook to choose the degree of support wanted, from simply displaying recipes to full audiovisual cooking lessons. Not fragile like other high-tech digital devices, coo.boo is washable and can be placed on the counter top or hung up next to other kitchen utensils. Designed by
Philipp Gilgen, a student at the University of Applied Sciences in Northwestern Switzerland, it recently won the IF Concept Award 2007. Still in prototype stage, there is no word yet on release or price. Contact Philipp Gilgen for more info.

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07 February 2007

Delilah's Bakery

New Bakery Alert!

I was minding my own business the other day, when someone suggested I take lunch at a new bakery down the street from my friend Nina’s shop. I took a walk with Jasmine and we were delighted to find Delilah’s Bakery. It is a gem in hipster haven, Echo Park. The food is yummy, the desserts fabulous and the atmosphere is swell! I recommend the ham sandwich and the red velvet cake (I’m going to ask them to make hummingbird cake—the father to my friend Brian’s favorite cake—and now mine too). I sent a txt to my friend Scott (as he loves to eat and it is down the street from his house) and he said that he had popped in for a bran muffin one morning that was fantastic.

Chango is not a bakery. It is barely a coffee shop btw. Walk 20 more yards and find gustatory satisfaction.


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Top 10 best keyword searches that led to finding 5%Celery:

10) Tehra Thorp
9) Birdie Bell
8) Tinsley Mortimer
7) Padma SCORPIO
8) Contaiminated Celery
6) Study celery makes you more attractive
5) Top Chef
4) Chocolate and Zucchini
3) Sexy wives
2) Vietnames Soy Cafe Hyperion
1) "Birdie Bell" ass

FABULOUS. Keep on searchin--we'll find you.



Left Overs-Buttermilk

Chocolate and Zucchini gave me a great idea today. What to do with leftover so and so's from a recipe. For example, there is ALWAYS leftover buttermilk after making buttermilk pancakes. There are children starving in China, so it seems a shame to let food go to waste. (maybe you could hand deliver some extra pancakes perhaps?)

I have decided to create a column of clever ideas on what to do with the leftovers.

Today happens to be buttermilk.

I happen to have some leftover.

First, it must be said that you really don't have to buy buttermilk. You use a buttermilk

Next it should be acknowleged that there must be some sort of buttermilk conspiracy--what is with the size options? Is it really so that one can only buy 8 oz or 32 oz? Especially when most recipes call for 10 oz! This leads me to believe that the Bush's or the Lay's own buttermilk stock...

Next in doing my research I found that buttermilk is the new--well, the new milk!

Buttermilk Blog
Buttermilk Records
Buttermilk Bar
I learned to ski on Buttermilk Mountain

And maybe you want to know what buttermilk is precisely.

Okay, now to the good stuff. What to do with the leftovers. My favorite thus far is
Cleopatra's Milk Bath.

The instructions are easy and you can use both lait or a mixture of lait and lait au beurre. First draw a bath. Next pour two to four cups of the milk(s) in the bath. Soak. Drain. Sleep.

Sleep well in fact, knowing that you have circumvented a war--keep the competition out of buttermilk and live in a free, peaceful society. Buy 32oz and sleep in peace.


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Daily Dose of Dolls

eBay: Zac Posen BARBIE & KEN Giftset

I remember going to a yard sale (at which I scored a fabulous vintage bathing suit, btw) that had tables stacked with boxes upon boxes of Barbie dolls. Not the cool old ones, but the random new ones that crop up at Toys-R-Us. I remember thinking to myself, "What kind of wacko would find modern-day Barbies appealing enough to buy, never mind keep?"
As a little girl, I had a few Barbies, but I didn't play with them. No, instead I just sat dressing them up. And down. And up. And down. I only had a few dolls (California Style Barbie, Ballerina Barbie, Doctor Barbie), but probably 100 outfits. And shoes--oh, the shoes, the teeny stilettos--man oh man. Anyway, it makes sense that I now find myself strangely empathizing with the abovementioned Barbie-appreciating wackos. Zac Posen has endorsed a Ken doll of himself, wearing a pair of Earnest Sewn jeans and a self-designed silk shantung blazer (uhh, yeah). He's put himself next to a Barbie of his sister (his "muse," apparently) and in the middle of a tres bohemian workroom. I think my fave part is the little bitty dressmaker's mannequin. Awwww.

In other doll news, this is fantastic:

see: www.enchanteddoll.com

> r r <

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06 February 2007

Cop Out Number 5001

02 February 2007

The Good and the Bad/Ugly

I always like to save the best for last, so let's start with the bad:

TORY BURCH SHOES. These go in the ankle-bootie category of "what crack, exactly, are mainstream trend-namers smoking that causes them to adore these so much?"
I've seen them hyped in myriad magazines, I've read the Vogue profile on Tory and her enormous success, and Tinsley Mortimer is even copying Tory's very marvelously inventive initials-as-logo concept in her new handbag line. Apparently, there is really no greater height to reach than sporting the giant double-T logo on your shoe.
However...today was the first chance I had to get face time with The Tory Flat: 2 girls in my merchandising class were wearing them, and even from across the room the glare off the gold bling was unmistakable. "Ooh!" I thought. "Now I can see what's really so great about these very expensive glorified ballet flats."

Answer: nothing. Nothing at all. The gold logo is so gigantic that it looks like a giant souvenier coin from a theme park that Tory glue-gunned to the shoe. It's hideous. Really, severely hideous--and, worst of all, simply unflattering to the foot. They're like jester shoes with pom-poms. Barf.

In better news, however, this weekend is the Vintage Fashion Expo!!!!!!!!!!!!omgomg!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!1

> r r <

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