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Los Angeles Times The Taste 2013

5 Sep Los Angeles Times The Taste

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to attend LA Times The Taste held at the Paramount Backlot. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I was doing anything over Labor Day and at the time I wasn’t so he offered me his two free tickets he had been given, but couldn’t attend. I got to pick any of the events that wasn’t already sold out, so I checked out the website and when I saw the word “cocktail” it was a no brainer, Cocktail Confidential on Sunday night it was! I called up my friend Laura and asked her and hubby Darren to join me and they were in. Darren was even willing to drive so Laura and I could get our drink on.

Los Angeles Times The Taste

Welcome to Los Angeles Times The Taste

This was my first time and I have decided that I definitely want to come back! It lasts the entire weekend, starting Friday night with a kick-off event (that sold out very fast), and events during the day and night on Saturday and Sunday (all events are 21+ except for the Labor Day Block Party). Local chefs and food critics gave demonstrations throughout the weekend (although we soon forgot about those once we started tasting all the food and alcohol, lol) and there were booths from all sorts of restaurants, wineries and spirit companies, with small tables scattered throughout so you could sit down and enjoy yourself or take a break if needed. People crowded the Streets of New York backlot but not so much that you couldn’t move around. They had also set up booths in their water tank/parking lot so there was plenty to see. I was glad we chose an evening event, otherwise it would have been too hot and miserable to do anything with the 100 degree weather Los Angeles has been experiencing right now.

The Taste Los Angeles Times

Waiting to get in!

The Taste Los Angeles Times at Paramount Backlot

The Taste Los Angeles Times at Paramount Backlot

We circled around the Streets of New York first, grabbing an Orange Julius with vodka, beef burger slider with truffle and Parmesan fries first (pictured below). The lines were all fairly short which was a huge plus. I think the longest we waited was 10 minutes for any booth. There was so much food! When I was recounting it all to a friend the next day I was surprised at how much we ate and I’m pretty sure I forgot things. There was Korean BBQ, lemon poppy-seed cake from Rosebud Cakes (see the cake photo!), eel bruschetta, tuna tartare, tri-tip (that I went back for seconds!), a turkey burger slider with brie and green apple from The Counter (a local burger chain), kosher tortas (yes, there is a Kosher Mexican restaurant in LA), gelato with 22 year aged sherry, and chocolate cupcakes with Bailey’s. We also ate carne asada with cactus tacos and tortillas made right there from Juan’s Restaurante! Check out this short little video! There was also a fried mac-and-cheese with prime rib ball from Fred 62 that Darren ran straight to. (Definitely NOT kosher, lol.) And that’s just the food I can remember! Drinks included a mojito from Don Julio, wine from various wineries including Blackstone and Wente, vodka tastings, Stella Artois (their new cider is delicious!!), a prosecco cocktail from Mionetto that was very yummy (picture below!), and so many more I honestly can’t remember which ones I tried. You can find a full list of participants here.

Rosebud Cakes

Rosebud Cakes creation

Beef Burger Slider with Truffle and Parmesan Fries and an Orange Julius Vodka

Beef Burger Slider with Truffle and Parmesan Fries and an Orange Julius Vodka

Il Ugo Sparkling Cocktail

Il Ugo Sparkling Cocktail

One of the things that was pretty cool was the red carpet they had set up. It was a “do-it-yourself”, but had this great chalkboard set up that they put their logo on and then had buckets of chalk for anyone to add whatever they liked. We made sure to make a stop and take our pictures and add our own signatures to the board.

Los Angeles Times The Taste

Me and Laura Bousman rocking the red carpet

Los Angeles Times The Taste

We proclaimed our love on the red carpet chalkboard

And no event is complete without some free swag, which came courtesy of Flor de Cana and Stella Artois. We got free sunglasses (pictured below) and a Stella Artois glass (yes, the glass they use in all their commercials they were passing them out with a full pour included!). I’m not sure which I like better, although I’ve already been using the sunglasses everyday, lol. But I love my Stella glass and will feel fancy the next time I have a drink at home.

Flor de Cana, Sarah Allyn Bauer, Laura Bousman

Best friends rocking our sunglasses from Flor de Cana

I wanted to take more pictures, I really did, but two things were in my way: my iPhone is still a 3GS so the camera isn’t the best, especially at night, and more importantly it was really hard to take a photo with a drink in one hand and food in the other and very few places to sit, lol. I promise to plan better next year 🙂 And I hope you’ll join me!

Los Angeles Times The Taste

Los Angeles Times The Taste

Gindi Thai And Lesly Kahn

22 Oct

As much as I love cooking, I equally love going to a good restaurant. Because eating is such a communal activity, it’s the most common thing we do when a friend says, “I haven’t seen you in awhile, want to get together next week?” Plus, we all have to eat. Moe Friday (yes, that’s his real name), a friend from acting class, emailed me recently to congratulate me on my blog and we said it had been too long so let’s get together for dinner after work. I picked a restaurant I had eaten at once for lunch and been looking for an excuse to go back to, Gindi Thai. It’s yummy deliciousness in the Burbank/Toluca Lake area. We split an appetizer of Crispy Spring Rolls (no picture as we devoured them very quickly, lol), as we started to play catch up. For dinner I had their Gra Pow from the Wok and Moe had the Mango Avocado Shrimp Salad. We chowed down and caught up on the last few months. I have to say, food is the best way to play catch up.

My dinner was chicken with Thai basil leaves, fresh garlic, chili, bell peppers and white wine. Gindi Thai

Mango Avocado Shrimp Salad: Shrimps, mango, onion tossed in tangy spicy dressing on halved avocado and spring mix. Gindi Thai

Like the title of this post indicates, it’s not just the food I care to share with you today. Moe and I met in acting class at Lesly Kahn & Company. I was referred to LK & Co by my friends Angel & Eric (remember them from a previous post) and I LOVE it there! In my first class there I met Moe and 10 other amazing actors and we bonded by the end of the two week intensive in a way I had never done in an acting class before. The environment that Lesly Kahn creates at her studio is welcoming, creative, and thriving among other loving adjectives that are escaping my tongue right now. It’s not about Meisner or Stanislavsky, it’s about the basic principle of acting: listening and reacting. She has about half a dozen teachers and classes happening 6 days of the week for all levels. In addition to classes there are also workshops that range from learning about pilots and writing your own material, to Q&A’s with successful actors and picking the right wardrobe. When you enter the studio you feel like you’re entering a home (complete with a full kitchen in the back) and seeing your extended family. I always see someone I know when I step through the door which makes the atmosphere all the more welcoming and comfortable. If you’re looking for a theatrical acting class, sign up for her “Triage Class” where you will meet with Lesly and she’ll place you in a class. It’s a pretty penny for her comedy intensive, but in my opinion, it was worth every one of those pennies.

Acting classes are like dating, you have to find the one that works for you. You have to connect with your teacher, the other students and the studio in general. What might work for one person, may not work for you. I’ve been in classes where it seemed good at the beginning, but as time went on I realized it wasn’t as great as I had originally thought/hoped. When looking for an acting class you should first decide what kind of class you need: theatrical, commercial, on-camera, improv, etc. I like getting recommendations from friends and doing general research then I always audit the class or attend a free workshop to learn more about the studio and meet the teacher(s). Just remember, one person’s wonder class isn’t necessarily your wonder class. If you’re not comfortable there, leave. It’s your money and your career. If you’re an actor, where do you take your classes?

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