Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blogger Prom 2010


I had heard of Yamashiro before, but I had no idea that it was hidden away on a hill just past The Magic Castle.  I've been to The Magic Castle and didn't even realize the restaurant was right above it. Yamashiro was such a beautiful venue, I just don't know how the Blogger Prom Committee's going to top that next year.  Can you believe the view from the entrance?  20100922_BloggerProm_Yamashiro_pano_1

The landscape was just gorgeous:  perfectly full moon, no fog, dazzling lights.  This was a rare moment in my life as a Los Angelean where I actually thought my city was beautiful.  I was captivated by the view every time I stepped outside or glanced out one of Yamashiro's broad windows. 

As I filed into check-in area with other glamorously dressed bloggers, I felt like I was taken out of Hollywood and dropped into an ancient Japanese palace.


I still can't believe a place like this has been resting above Hollywood this entire time.  I must go back and check out the Farmer's Market before it ends in October. 


I was surprised that we all only used one of the three drink tickets (the line got a bit long, but that's understandable since there was only one bar compared to having two at last year's Blogger Prom), but I definitely didn't feel like I needed the other two tickets thanks to The Dalmore, The Beer Chicks, and the after party at Test Kitchen.

  • Hukilau Poke Ahi, teardrop tomato, macadamia nuts, soy-sesame marinade on a wonton crisp
  • Charred Albacore with serrano chilis, blackened shallots, cilantro, tomatill-ponzu salsa on a tortilla chip - our favorite.  My companions had several 
  • Hoisin-Braised Kurobuta Pork with scallion risotto and honey-mustard sauce - I enjoyed the pork but not the risotto, my +1 doesn't really eat pork but liked the risotto.  This just couldn't win with us
  • Asian Baby Back Ribs with house-made BBQ sauce - I was surprised that this was served as finger food.  Seemed a bit messy, but Jennio and her date enjoyed them   

  • Miso-Sake Black Cod taco - wish we had gotten in line for the tacos right away because the table got popular real quick
  • Kleweno Farm's Smoked Sausage with Maple-Black Pepper Aioli taco
  • Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches - we absolutely loved their ice cream sandwiches.  I had the green tea ice cream between two chocolate cookies.  Their table looked great, like an old-fashioned candy store 
  • ChocolateBox Cafe Chocolates
  • Crumbs Cupcakes - I can't resist eating something that looks like a mini Hostess Cupcake   

I noticed the live band was missing.  Turned out Dirty Martinis Jazz unreliably canceled a week before Blogger Prom.  Seems pretty unprofessional to bail so last minute and missed out on a lot of free publicity with all the tweeting going on all night.  Luckily, DJ Steve kept the party going with a variety of jazz music. 

Goody Bags

There's so much good stuff in there.  My goal is to try to make a day of it and use as many coupons and gift certificates as possible. 
Photo by COFG
I'm excited about:
  • Disney Tote - I <3 Disney!  The tote's the perfect size for carrying a book and a lunch to the park
  • Free Admission to The GRAMMY Museum - which I've always wanted to check out
  • Free Pass to The American Cinematheque
  • $5 Gift Card from Pinkberry
  • $10 Dining Certificate for Border Grill Truck - they serve awesome churros! 
  • Drink Coupon with Purchase of Meal at Hugo's - free drink with food that I already enjoy? YES!
  • Free Cupcake from Sprinkles - must redeem ASAP since it's expiring very soon
  • CostPlus World Market Chocolate Bar - mmmmmm, chocolate!

Congrats to the Blogger Prom King and Queen, Food Marathon and JozJozJoz (photographed on left)!

Photo by Heather Kincaid

And thanks to 1933 Group for the drink token winnings!  I have my eye on some drinks at Thirsty Crow.

Tom, Jennio, Winn

Heather Kincaid's (great idea to have a photo booth and photographer there.  Hope Blogger Prom has her again next year) Blog and Photo Gallery
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Naked City

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Juliana Theory @ The El Rey

Since HC was my show companion, he didn't allow me to make just one stop throughout the night. 

It was my first time eating a falafel and it was delicious.
Photo from The Happy Hour Tour
I couldn't believe how meaty (in a heavy kind of way) it felt even thought it was all vegetables...all tasty vegetables. 

The pita strips were so light and crispy, like a healthier version of chips.
Photo from The Happy Hour Tour

Then we had my favorite menu item, the Street Cart Fries, which was a bit too heavy on the dressing at the Eagle Rock location compared to the Little Tokyo location.   
Photo from The Happy Hour Tour
We tried a half order of fries and a half order of sweet potato fries.  HC put it best when he said the sweet potato fries weren't bad, but they didn't really add much to the side order either.  I had to agree that the regular fries went so much better with the toppings.  I always find that there's always a risk when it comes to ordering sweet potato fries:  they can be great or disappointing.

Colorado Wine Company
Fortunately, it was Sangria Saturday.  Yay!  They serve one of the best sangrias I've ever had. 

Luna Park
We still had some time before the start of The Juliana Theory show, so we stopped here for a drink.  Little did I know, HC meant a Scorpion Bowl.

The Juliana Theory
Photo from The Juliana Theory FB Page
We attended the fourth stop on their six-show anniversary tour for one of their best albums ever, Emotion is Dead.  We arrived around 9pm.  HC had an inkling that they were already them on stage, but I was in disbelief that they didn't have an opening act (and I admit, I didn't recognize the singer w/ his long hair).  Luckily, we didn't miss too much before we were on our way to the front.  I finally realized it was them when they started playing Don't Push Love Away.

Not many people seem to know what I'm talking about when I bring up The Juliana Theory, but you wouldn't have been able to tell if you had been at The El Rey; the place was packed.  When they started playing We're at the Top of the World, everyone went crazy and started singing along; a mosh pit started forming.  Poor HC had just gotten a massage earlier that day and he was rubbing his punched shoulders after the show.  I was surprised they even had a mosh pit going for such mellow music, but everyone just got excited.

Standout tracks for me were:
We're at the Top of the World (To the Simple Two)
Is Patience Still Waiting?
Something Isn't Right Here
You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight (which was absolutely mesmerizing)
Closest Thing (from Understand this is a Dream album.  They played songs from other albums mixed in with Emotion is Dead)

I'm really glad I got to see them since I missed their shows during the height of their popularity in the late 90s / early 2000s.  I have to say they are still amazing.  Brett Detar's (vocalist) voice still sounds as good as it does on the albums. 

Emotion is Dead Track List
  1. "Into the Dark" – 4:03
  2. "Don't Push Love Away" – 3:17
  3. "To the Tune of 5,000 Screaming Children" – 3:52
  4. "We're at the Top of the World (To the Simple Two)" – 3:17
  5. "Is Patience Still Waiting?" – 3:51
  6. "Emotion is Dead Pt. I" – 2:04
  7. "If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?" – 3:52
  8. "We're Nothing Without You" – 4:14
  9. "Something Isn't Right Here" – 2:07
  10. "Understand the Dream Is Over" – 2:56
  11. "This Is Your Life" – 3:35
  12. "You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight" – 9:30
  13. "Emotion is Dead Pt. II" – 4:45

Luna Park
Yes, back again, this time for dessert (Make Your Own S'mores - the graham crackers broke too easily because they were so thin) and Mini Bar.  

Because the yakitori place a Colorado Wine Co patron mentioned looked pretty empty and suspect, we tried to go to Honda Ya, but got there right as the kitchen closed.  Ended up here because HC was starving.  I just wanted Spam onigiri, but HC added Hiyashi Rice, which was pretty tasty, kind of like a beef stew-type gravy over rice.  Very simple, but way too heavy for me to have as a late night snack.

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