Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hmong New Year!!

I almost forgot about it! That's how crazy distracted I am, mostly by work in my new #officelyfe #meetinglyfe
That's right, this weekend at Cal Expo (and Friday), just when you don't want to be eating a bunch, there's an event with the best festival food around. Make sure to go! It is awesome. Better even than a meeting that ends early. Hell, better than when a meeting you are dreading gets CANCELLED.

Friday, November 20, 2015

so mad

One month later, and only anger has brought me out of blogging retirement. Anger against....Thai Basil. Seriously, fuck that place!!! The only reason I was going to eat Thai in my neighborhood was because I was going to see A Doll's House at CapStage with my mom and didn't have much time. So, my thoughts turned to Coconut. Which is our local spot, which has a funny pseudo-focus on craft beer and had bottles of Blind Pig at one point. It's really popular. It was mysteriously closed, which turned out to be due to a rodent infestation. Sooooo....right across the street is Thai Basil. The menu is weird and not appealing. I knew pad thai was a no no because odds were it would be cloyingly sweet. The only place I like pad thai is Asian CafĂ©. We got a shrimp and chicken spicy noodle salad, fried egg rolls (like I said, not a lot on the menu sounded good), a curry with eggplant, and a green curry of some boring kind with tofu.  The food took quite a while. It was loud in there, because the place is so inexplicably popular.
Our noodle salad was just...ugly. Soupy sauce, had TWO SHRIMP in it (served to a table of three). A few sad herbs tossed in, including a big chunk of cilantro with long stem. The green curry was basically soup. Tasteless soup with not much in it. The rice was even dry and not tasty. The whole thing was just bullshit. And the kicker? Subtracting the beer - our meal was like 60 bucks before tip! It wasn't even particularly filling. I have not had a meal make me that angry since the Head and I went to the Dime, and that was like, two years ago or more.
A Doll's House was good - it's very long. The woman playing Nora was fucking great. I need to read the play. I'm confused by how weak the supporting characters were, and can't tell if it was because of the adaptation. Of course they had to fuck with the era, and set it in the late 1940s instead of the 1870s, which I think weakened the radical punch of it. At least they didn't make it post-apocalyptic like they did Macbeth!!! Still CapStage is on a roll with their first two plays of the season. I guess the article about Mr. Burns is going to be on the cover of American Theater, which is a really big deal in the theater community.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Wow, what a week! KJ is out!! YESSSSSS!!! I have been waiting for this day for so long. I can barely remember what it was like before him but I can't wait to find out what it's like when he's gone. Get lost, creep!
I had a brief trip to New York last week. I pretty much forgot to take pictures, probably because my battery was often low. I packed a lot into a couple of days. I should remember that short trips to New York are ok. You can take that Jet Blue nonstop and it's not that far, and you can do so much in 2-3 days. I walked the High Line with Gballs, brunched with Chapstick, went to the sprawling, overstuffed Jim Shaw show at the New Museum (great review here), went to Grand Central Oyster Bar which is pretty much on my top ten of best places. Had a cannoli at Fortunato Bros, a bastion of Italian-American, unhipsterfied Williamsburg.
At Grand Central I had the New York-to-the-max server guy pick me out some raw ones, and my favorite (which I ordered two more of) was the Belon, which is large and flat. Then I had a cherrystone clam pan roast. I didn't know exactly what pan roast is, but it's a delectable soup/stew, cream-based, with chile and paprika, some big, chewy clams, and a piece of toast in the middle. I asked how it was so delicious and he said the recipe was from 1913. That's the kind of answer I like! I had it with an ice-cold martini made from Green Hook Ginsmith's American Dry Gin. I need to get a bottle. It was served in a teeny martini glass with a little carafe of "extra" on the side. I was in absolute heaven.
On Saturday night !!! were having an album release party on Avenue A and I stayed up all night there, well I slept from 4-5 am at my airbnb, and then headed to the airport. That's how you maximize two days in New York!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Shirkin' not workin'

I'm shirking work today because it's Friday and I have three meetings to look forward to. I just turned in a piece I wrote for a safety newsletter and it referenced a gripping document called "Why didn't the custodian pick up my trash?". See, I am still a "creative". HATE that term. Too many "creatives" not enough people with real skills. I myself have no real skills so I shouldn't talk.

I had a beer at Empress last night that I knew nothing about and it was fucking great. It is brewed by Grimm Artisanal Ales (?) and it's called Rainbow Dome. It's a hazy apricot sour aged in oak barrels and dry hopped. Hopped sours are hard but when it's done right they're my fave. Cuvee de champions from Cantillon is in my top 5 favorite beers. And it's only 5% ABV which makes me even more confused about how I got so drunk last night. Had a Bike Dog Mosaic and a Thornbridge Jaipur at Pangaea last night (the Jaipur is 10% but it was a tulip) and then the Rainbow Dome. At that point I started to gush about Smiller because I miss him because he's in SoCal for work (getting hella instagram props and hashtags from beer bros). Then I went up to Thiemann and drank a swig out of his glass of Wild Turkey without asking. Nice move, rudenik! Split the burger at Pangaea and it is indeed the bomb and comes with McDonald's-esque fries (which is a good thing). Had a bite of the fried chicken and greens and I will be getting that sometime. Then scarfed up a pumpkin bon bon and nutty cone from Gunther's and off to Empress. Oh yeah, and I ate a Parker House roll. Those smell incredible. I love Empress so much.

The two flavors of the month at Gunther's are pumpkin (meh) and licorice, which is insane. It is dark green and tastes like eating a frond on an anise plant (is that what those are called?) or Fernet or something. I didn't want more than a sample because it's so strong but now I can't stop thinking about it.

Friday, October 02, 2015

KJ's shitbaggery, explained

You have to go 20 minutes into this Deadspin podcast (titled "Kevin Johnson's shitbaggery, explained) for them to start talking about KJ (although I ended up listening to the first 20 minutes which was a pretty funny dissection of a recent choking incident in baseball), but it's worth checking out. For some reason they did not bring in McKenna, the Deadspin reporter who is an expert on KJ, and it's obvious they don't have much more than a passing acquaintance with the scandal. It's painful to realize that as a concerned citizen I am forced to be an expert in KJ's Machiavellian dealings and general sleaziness. They get the outlines pretty much right and throw in a shoutout to the SNR in the end and a funny dismissal of KJ's "heroic" saving of the Kings. They marvel at how KJ has not been brought down by his many, many scandals and conclude that if he was mayor of New York or another, more prominent politician he'd be long gone. It's true, all Weiner did was send a dick pic!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hawker Fare

I am eating at Hawker Fare in Oakland tonight! Very excited. My last meal there was the bomb. I can only have one drink due to driving but hopefully they will have some Faction on like last time.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hot Sac Nights

I had such a fun Sac weekend. I saw the Mr. Burns play at Cap Stage on Friday - I recommend it. There is maybe a week left in the run. It's about a post-apocalyptic society (stay with me here), in which the Simpsons becomes social currency (stay with me her) and the entire third act is musical (you still with me?) I found it to be surprisingly poignant. The play is critically acclaimed but has been very divisive for audiences. I fell on the "love" side instead of the "hate" side.

Saturday I went to Empress and ended up there for over 4 hours, till well past close. I spent too much and drank to much but it was SO FUN and the food was all the bomb. Nuts. I split the prime rib, which was juicy and had a piquant horseradish sauce. Am I using piquant right? I don't know, it's just a blog, lighten up. I have to go back soon for the insane beef cheek stroganoff. And the beer list - off the chain. Prairie, Logsdon, all the best. And gin and tonics made with tonic from Zeal?! It's too much.

Then I closed down the Distillery with a karaoke krew Despite it being Monday I will hold onto that fun to cheer me up. That's right, with my current position I really do hate Mondays.