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The Fatties Go to Animal.

The foodie club that I put together went on a field trip to Animal recently. I had heard a lot about this restaurant because it contained a lot of quirky items on the menu that may be repulsive to some. Brains, liver, bones, rabbit legs, and booze. A wonderful, odd combo that birthed a glorious party in my mouth. Less words, more pictures.

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Animal Restaurant
435 N. Fairfax Ave, LA 90036

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amazed.

It’s pretty easy to amaze me. I have an infatuation with clouds that resonates with the glee one would feel over life-changing food. The choirs of angels blast into my ears whenever I listen to a beautiful male voice with an equally beautiful musical arrangement. I am moved to tears when I view the sunrise or when someone I love holds me while murmuring that everything will be okay. I am at my weakest when it comes to emotions, and I love it.

I watched this video last week and couldn’t help but feel like I had found my soul kin. The display of the most purest of joys on this girl’s face as she experiences something for the first time… it’s something no one will ever be able to take away. Even if there was ever an occurrence where her mother pulls her aside years down the line and tells her everything that’s wrong about rain, it won’t matter. The beauty of that moment captured will never be stolen from her.

I’ve been learning a lot of new things lately. Even at work, learning new skills has infused a new type of life into my gait and I’m excited. I met new people who will definitely become my friends, and I’m looking forward to seeing them more. I picked up a new hobby and it’s opening my eyes to different perspectives. My hunger to consume as much as I can and to really live and relish new experiences is making me bolder and happier. And yes, there are times when I look like an idiot and stumble about, but isn’t that the human part of becoming excellent?

A few days ago, I went bonkers over the rolling clouds that appeared after heavy rainfall. “Oooohhhhhhhmyyyyygooooodddddd,” I wailed as I squinted up at the expansive ocean of a sky, stretching out my fingers towards the white, fluffy masses. My friend shook his head and simply responded, “Weirdo.”

I’m okay with that. Being weird, being so tickled by life’s surprises… all of it keeps life amazing and worthy of child-like awe.

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The Breakfast Burger That Changed Me.

The Breakfast Burger That Changed Me.

I just have no words. This little unmarked, unnoticeable restaurant in Venice completely changed my impression of breakfast burgers. No longer will I ever think about Sausage McMuffins or the words “Jimmy Dean’s” again. *Sidenote: I know, these are horrible comparisons, but what I ate at Oscar’s won’t ever be beaten by anyone. Ever. Or until further notice.

The Chorizo Breakfast Burger with Mexican coffee. Heaven.

Oscar’s Cerveteca
523 Rose Ave, Venice 90291

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Black Hogg.

Black Hogg.

Dine LA, February 2014.

I eat out a lot, and I love food to death. I decided this year that I wanted to start a Fatty Foodie Club (please join if you want!) to gather all those – whether friend or stranger – who loved to eat to come together and dine. We had our inaugural dinner at Black Hogg during Dine LA and it was wonderful. The food was fantastic, but that combined with the company of wonderful people made my tummy and heart full. I’m grateful.

Black Hogg
2852 Sunset Bl, LA 90026

 

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the waiting game.

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When I first drove across the country by myself, I was literally quivering from excitement. To be on the open road, to smell the fresh air, to be a renegade running off into the horizon and leaving my past behind… it all seemed like a huge gift of freedom to me.

After the first hour of blasting trance music and singing horribly to 90’s pop, the car was filled with dead silence and I realized with dread that I had not escaped my past at all. In fact, I was drowning in it as I sat in that dark, depressing Honda Prelude. The term ‘baggage’ was underwhelming, to say the least.

I stopped by a rest stop in the middle of Wyoming and remember gazing at the rolling clouds, completely taken aback by the majesty of their size. Why didn’t they ever seem that big in California? Why couldn’t I get beyond myself and care about anything outside of me?

I’m hoping to share in a near-future post about what I’ve gone through since I left everything I was used to for years to finally move to a brand new city where I had to reset my life. I feel like the past 7 months went by in a blur, just like the fields, the buildings, and the people I zipped by on my 2300-mile trek. There would be moments where I would celebrate my newfound freedom, then others where I would be curled up in a ball as I sobbed my eyes out from mourning my losses.

The baggage hurts, no matter where I go and how far it is.

I stood under those clouds for a couple hours, unable to peel myself away. I’m afraid to lower my gaze, to behold the loads of crap I brought along with me, and I don’t want to lose that feeling of being in the presence of effortless glory.

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Five Courses of Sriracha.

A questionnaire once asked me what had changed my life and I put down “SRIRACHA” without even thinking for a moment. Ever since I was first introduced to it in college, I put it in everything. Chicken bowls, ramen, pizza, two-minute microwaveable rice, soups, cheese and beef jerky (yes, in that combo). So when the news started going around that the production of this delightful sauce was ordered to cease, I panicked. I immediately called my mother and demanded that she buy a few emergency Sriracha bottles from Costco. I nearly cried when I received a whole large bottle of it for Christmas. This is me, and I ain’t ashamed.

Then BLD in LA announced that they would have an exclusive five course Sriracha menu for one night only. I immediately booked a table for four, asked Facebook if anyone wanted to join me, and the party was set. I had my worries, but what other time will there be that a restaurant feels the need to create a Sriracha menu because of this catastrophe that we were facing? I had to be a part of this!

I apologize for the quality of these photos (they wanted a romantic mood for all the couples on dates, but this just makes single Instagrammers like me cranky) but this was the best I can do to share what I consumed that night:

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First course: Lobster Roll in brioche bun and sriracha aioli. This was a good starter, although I would have preferred the bread to be warm or crispier. I love lobster to death and swim a thousand leagues to eat all the lobster I can encounter. I just like my lobster rolls to be gooey and hot in my mouth. But if this was a sandwich instead of a roll… that would have been fab. But that’s just the glutton in me talking. Oh and that shot glass contained sriracha-infused beer and it was pretty damn tasty.

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Second course: Sriracha Tagliatelle. Prawns, broccolini, and tomato confit. Sauce was pretty yummy, and the pasta was just that right texture between soft and tough that I really like. I don’t know if it was the Asian in me, but I popped those bad boy prawns in my mouth like it was candy. I had to convince a couple of my friends to eat the whole thing, but I can’t believe some people throw away the shells of prawns! THEY’RE LIKE THE CRACKERS OF THE SEA!

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Third course: Crispy Pork Belly, with sriracha soy glaze, vegetables, bean sprouts, scallions, and a bed of jasmine rice cake. I am sorry to pigs everywhere because they’re beloved pets to some people and they portray adorable and smart creatures with spiders for best friends. However. When it’s on my plate, all my compassion goes out the door and I will eat the crap out of that. This was the type of pork belly that melts in your mouth, and there was a good layer of fat. I LOVE FAT. The sriracha content was a little low, and the soy sauce was slightly heavy. And I hate bean sprouts so I just focused on the chunk of meat.

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Fourth course: Ribeye Poutine, with jalapeños, cheese curds, and sriracha gravy. Oh God. Sriracha GRAVY? These are two words that define my existence. That’s dramatic. No but really, I loved this combo. This plate reminded me of The Hat and their horrifyingly delicious gravy fries, so there wasn’t anything particularly unique about this. But I still enjoyed the gravy and it was thick and wonderful.

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Fifth course: S’More in a graham cracker with chocolate and topped with a sriracha marshmallow. Just put the damn marshmallow in my mouth because it was so delicious. That top burnt part was the best part, but I loved the taste of sriracha in a chocolate s’more?! Amazing. I just wish it wasn’t so damn small. I had to keep a leash on my mouth and make sure not to pop in the whole thing. Gotta keep it classy in some way.

It was $45 for this whole meal, but with a drink and tip, it came out to close to 70 bucks. Was it worth it? No. Was the company worth it? Absolutely. I just wish with all the hype that went into “Sriracha-pocalypse,” they would have paid more attention to the menu and tried more bold, new things. And OF COURSE they would announce that the Sriracha production was resuming after I already made my reservation at BLD. Anyway, loved the new experience but they could have done better for the people who are obsessed with sriracha and may have gone to Costco to buy a few tubs of it when they announced the factory shut-down. THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE THAT OUT THERE, OKAY?

BLD
7450 Beverly Bl, LA 90036

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Croque Madame.

Croque Madame.

When I went to Paris, all I wanted to do was sit in a cafe and smoke elegantly thin cigarettes. However, the whole time I was there, it was raining and the French were horribly mean. I was grumpy, and the romance of everything I had envisioned was completely shot.

After seeing the Moulin Rouge and miserably stuffing my face with baguettes that were damp from the moist air, I passed by a nondescript cafe and backtracked when I smelled the most amazing scent of cheese. That was the first time I ever tried a Croque Madame, and my perspective on grilled cheese had changed forever.

The Croque Madame from Huckleberry in Santa Monica was the first Madame I tried here in the US. The eggs were beautifully cooked, the bread was enough to slice into but still produced a satisfying crunch, and the ham and Gruyère blended together like one soft pillow of heavenly quality. Good start to my 100 New Things! :)

Huckleberry
1014 Wilshire Bl, LA 90401