Posts Tagged ‘daniel’

Four Winds II: Snorkeling Cruise to Molokini

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Tinx iPhoning, me dying

Simon, Tinx, and DJ Deer and I went to Maui a couple weeks ago.  The flight was a gift from Simon for gradumacating and the condo was a free timeshare donated to us by Simon’s auntie.  YESSSS!

Most of our trip was being lazy.  In Tinx’s case, it was wake up, eat breakfast, take a nap, wake up, eat lunch, take a nap, wake up, eat dinner, go to bed early.  The one activity that hypertron DJ Deer and Slothasaur Tinx could agree on was a snorkeling cruise.

We looked through our guidebook and found one that they recommended – the Four Winds II.  There was some stuff about how they stay at Molokini (a crescent-shaped island 2 miles out from Maui) the longest, and how their BBQ was delicious, but our eyes didn’t light up until we read the part about how the Four Winds II “has the longest open bar out of all the Molokini boats.”  Done and done.

Should we have trusted a guidebook?  One that had the actual line “What do sea turtles eat? Dolphins.”  They’re either seriously misinformed or else they have a shitty sense of humor.  Either way.

Anyway, we were told by Simon’s overbearing dad that we should get there an hour early because parking at the marina fills up.  The cruise left at 7, so we woke up at 5:30 and got there super early.  We yelled, “THERE’S ONE!!!” at the first open parking spot and burnt rubber into it.  And then walked a quarter of a mile to the actual ship, past probably 100 open parking spots.  Fail.

The one thing the guidebook didn’t love about the Four Winds II (oh, by the way, it’s $100 a person, not the $80 that the guidebook says) was the incessant sales pitch.  We experienced this firsthand.  The barrage of shilling included waterproof disposable cameras, waterproof digital cameras, photographs of our tour, SNUBA, and, of course, a DVD of our snorkeling extravaganza, marketed exhaustingly to us by Trey the Videoooographer, a blonde surfer dude with a very weird vocal cadence.  ”HEY GUYS! IT’S ME, TREY, THE VIDEOOOOGRAPHER.  COME CHECK OUT THE COOL FOOTAGE I GOT OF YOU GUYSSSS!  WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY FOR A GREAT TIME SNORKELING HUH GUYS?  CHECK IT OUUUUT!  CHECK OUT THE GALLERYYYYY!”

Our captain, who continually referred to himself in the third person as “Cappy,” was a scraggly old dude reminiscent of the lecherous grandpa that everyone tolerates but would never, ever, under any circumstance, give a microphone and control of 180 people to.

Some notable things about Cappy – He pointed out the nude beach and said, “We’ll be heading over there after snorkeling.  Ladies, feel free to get ready now.  Fellas, let’s wait until we get there.”  He had a 2:00 tee time so he wanted us to be SURE we were dying before we called for help in the water.  He referred to Tinx continually as “Red.”  ”Hey Red, better get some sunscreen on that skiiiiin of yoursssss.”  He had fishing lines off the back of the boat so he unnecessarily took us around the rough side of the island so that he had a better chance of catching some tuna.  He had a fetish for tags sticking out of bikini bottoms and would announce over the entire ship’s broadcasting system when he spotted one.  Or, in our case, he said, “Hey!  Red!  Hey Red!  Your friend’s tag is sticking out!  Better fix it!  Yeah, you!  Better fix it!”

Anyway, we finally got to Molokini, which took almost two hours.  That’s 1 mile per hour.  Yeah.  

At that point I was very uncharacteristically seasick.  It could have been the extreme stench of birdshit blowing off the island and into my nostrils.  (The island itself is not open to people, but np – why the fuck would you want to go on that crap mountain?)

I figured when I got in the water it would be better…and indeed the snorkeling was amazing, astonishing, stunning, all of that.  Minus the part where TREY THE VIDEOOOOGRAPHER came around swimming with his underwater still and video cameras and made us pose like idiots.  Damn him.

So, usually seasickness gets better once one is in the ocean, right?  Not for me apparently.  The fish were so gorgeous and cute, though, so I stayed in as long as I could.  I stayed in until I knew in five seconds I was going to feed the fish with my vomit and they would likely eat my face off.  I scampered onto the boat in a hurry, where the crew was BBQing and some guy got a burger flipped into his face, haha.  I asked in a trembling voice for some Dramamine and Cappy said, “We don’t have any.”  WHAT AND CRY!  Why wouldn’t a cruise ship carry DRAMAMINE?!?  Cappy got onto the mic (his favorite) and asked if anyone had any extra, and a nice midwestern lady gave me … one tablet.  Lame.

I climbed up to the second story to live out my misery, passing an Indian family on the way who went snorkeling full-on in their saris, haha.  I spent the rest of the cruise getting sunburnt (no wherewithal to stay on top of the sunscreen sitch) and rolling around feeling awful.

I know, I know.  Wah wah I’m in Maui for free and I’m siiiick wahhh.

Not what we saw.

So there’s this place called Turtle Town that all the cruises go to.  Cappy said, “Screw that Turtle Town!  We’re going to Turtle UNIVERSE!” and took us to a place, cut the engine, and…crickets.  ”Hmmm.  Usually they’re a million around here…”  Everyone was craning their necks (except mine, which was lolled over the edge of the bench in agony), and finally – ONE TURTLE!  We saw maybe five total from pretty far away, causing DJ Deer to use “Turtle Universe” to refer to anything that sucked for the rest of the vacation.

In sum, fish rock but everything else about this cruise, including the fact that I didn’t get to take advantage of the open bar, was only so-so.  Also the fact that Cappy told us that the raffle prize was a sea turtle and a year’s worth of food (a year’s worth of DOLPHINS!??!) but he lied – it was just a T-shirt.  But still, the Four Winds II spends the longest amount of time at Molokini, so it’s probably worth it.

Even if you do have a leering Cappy staring at your ass the whole time…

Four Winds II

808.879.8188

LA Beer Fest 2009

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Did you miss it?  Oh, man.  You should feel really, really sorry.  The first ever LA Beer Festival (I just typoed “Beef” Festival!  That would be super awesome too!), put on by DrinkEatPlay, was this past weekend.  I went with Christopher, Daniel, Vic, and Oregon – some excellent drinkers who can put it away.

It could have been awful.  The first time they’ve done it, you know? It could have been oversold and super fucking crowded with awful music and shitty companies like Budweiser on the hottest fucking day in April ever.

The last two were things true.  Otherwise, the execution was lovely.  It was on the Sony backlot in Culver City (Christopher and I bussed :D ), and the average wait time to get a pour was zero minutes. The band (on Saturday – Petty Cash: A Tom Petty / Johnny Cash tribute band described as “As awesome as it sounds” by a friend; Sunday when we went – Hollywood U2, a U2 cover band) sounded like a U2 CD, and while their music was piped thru speakers throughout the lot alleys, it wasn’t too loud to talk.  Everyone got an adorable 4 oz mug to get their beers, which was the perfect amount of beer – even the hoppiest bitter brew was finishable in that amount.  The length of the festival was good, too.  Even 15 more minutes and I would have been KO’ed on the fake cement cobblestones.

 

The food was decent as well!  Though the wait was awful, we ended up with yummy sausages and mac-and-brie.  The mac could have used a big dose of salt, but my BP is pretty intensely high right now so I’m sure that was better for my health.  Nevermind the 12-15 beers I imbibed and their effects on my blood pressure.

 

I was recovering from the second worst hangover I’ve ever had (even my hair stank like old booze according to Christopher), so forgive me for not remembering any of the breweries.  I know Budweiser was there.  Also, whoever owns Stella Artois and Kirin.  Oh, and Sapporo.  And Sam Adams.  But see, it’s stupid to name the big breweries that were there.  I wish I could remember the lil’ guys.  I know San Miguel was there, because Christopher snuck one of their keychains on my keys (he thinks this is funny).  And some skunky Phuket beer.  Annnnd some beer for sipping that was some insane % alcohol and tasted like Chocobeer.  

OK, so I fail as a blogger.  Maybe Daniel can append some more information when he gets back from taxland.

But I DO remember the breweries that had LOOT!  Anchorsteam, Karl Strauss, Alaskan, Deans Bros, and Coronado Brewing Company.  Let that be a note to you, breweries.  Cheap free shit and you get a mention on MTFB!

Book Petty Cash here, because let’s face it, that’s the most intriguing part of this post, no?

Fulfilled Pastries: Unpronounceable Charm

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

We must be doing good work here at morethanafoodblog, because we were invited to a pre-opening tasting event tonight at Fulfilled Pastries. We are baller.

Totally kidding. I snagged an invite to the event because I’m friends with the owner, Susumu Tsuchihachi. If you think that’s a toughie to pronounce, wait till you hear the name of the wares he’s hocking – a classic Japanese pastry called imagawayaki, or “imas” as they call them at the shop. Don’t let your tongue relax yet, because his store manager is another friend of mine and her name is Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs. I love it.

Anyway, the place is LEGIT. First is the 90210 area code. Then, the interior was designed by Milan Lojdl of Crustacean fame. Further, they have been featured (even before they open!) at a number of celebrity events – the DKNY Beach House and Project Beach House in Malibu, parties hosted by Tori Spelling, Carmen Electra, celebrity jewelry designer Lia Sophia, Rick Fox’s birthday bash, and by Danity Kane at the MTV Video Music Awards. [Ah fuck now I have DO-DO-YOU HAVE A FIRST AID KIT HANDY? stuck in my head.]

Beautiful, no?

I went with Daniel who brought Sean, his profesh camera. His other camera, a compact digital camera that actually has a food setting instead of just the regular macro, is named Christian, because like the Nip/Tuck characters, one is serious and the other is a slut that you want to take everywhere. Also with us was Nina of moviesandmunchies. I thought I’d spread around the food blog love.

Not like Sus needed it! I noticed that EaterLA was all over it from the moment his “Coming Soon!” sign went up. When I talked to him last week, Susumi offered to let me come earlier, on Sunday, to be the first to cover it, and I was shocked. I said, “AN EXCLUSIVE?!?! Don’t you want to give that to EaterLA or something real?!?” He laughed.

K, Janet, enough with the blathering. I can’t believe it’s taken me five paragraphs to get to the food! Imagawayaki are, in essence, dough with yummy shit inside. Usually sweet bean curd, but the fusion iterations that Susumu and co. have come up with are mega mouth-watering:

Sweet

Sweet Geisha – Traditional Japanese Azuki Bean
Harajuku Monkey – Banana and Nutella
Nutty Buddha – Ghirardelli Chocolate, Toffee, Crunchy Peanut Butter
Karaoke Kitty – Strawberry, Cream Cheese, Ghirardelli White Chocolate

(Holy shit are you ready for the) Savory

Honey Yakuza – Goat Cheese, Mission Fig, Honey, Walnut, Cracked Black Pepper
Sumo Italiano – Prosciutto di Parma, Smoked Ham, Aged Parmesan, Fresh Basil
Spicy Samurai – Chicken Apple Sausage, Pepper Jack Cheese, Diced Chili, Fresh Cilantro
Green Ninja – Spinach, Feta Cheese, Sundried Tomato

This is how the whole night went:

Susumu or Hajnal: Would you like to try the-
Me, Nina, & Daniel: YES PLEASE. Nom nom nom nom nom.

I mean, with ingredients like that, and fresh, piping hot soft-yet-crunchy outsides, there’s no way they WOULDN’T be delicious, right? Each ima is $2.75, a freaking steal compared to, like, a disgusty Sprinkles cupcake. And the ultra-authentic Sweet Geisha is a mere $1.75!

My thoughts (and Daniel will no doubt append):

Sweet Geisha [Traditional Japanese Azuki Bean] Ahhh, the taste of my childhood. (I literally said that out loud and both Daniel and Nina politely refrained from rolling their eyes.)

Harajuku Monkey [Banana and Nutella] All I could think of was this video. (BANEEYANA. I’m baking muffins asbestos I can!)

But seriously, it wasn’t chunks of banana with dollops of nutella – the whole thing was mashed into a verrrry yummy gooey concoction inside.

Nutty Buddha [Ghirardelli Chocolate, Toffee, Crunchy Peanut Butter] Probably my favorite of the sweet ones! The crunch of the peanut butter totally makes it.

Karaoke Kitty [Strawberry, Cream Cheese, Ghirardelli White Chocolate] Messy in a super pleasing way. So gloppy as to be totally unsharable, but we did it anyway. Really lovely to have fresh strawberries inside a cooked thingie.

Honey Yakuza [Goat Cheese, Mission Fig, Honey, Walnut, Cracked Black Pepper] If I were to design an ima for foodies, this would be it, down to the “cracked” black pepper. No skimping on figs – delicious! I wanted even more goat cheese to nail down that savory/sweet combination, but still, this was super.

Sumo Italiano [Prosciutto di Parma, Smoked Ham, Aged Parmesan, Fresh Basil] The first one we tried – it went so fast down my gullet, I do not remember a thing.

Green Ninja [Spinach, Feta Cheese, Sundried Tomato] Three simple ingredients, but one of my favorites! Plus it’s vegetarian, so it’s totally healthy, right???

Spicy Samurai [Chicken Apple Sausage, Pepper Jack Cheese, Diced Chili, Fresh Cilantro] My favorite of the savories, as well as Daniel’s. The heat sang through and the sausage gave this a hearty chewiness that none of the other ima flavors had. I would say definitely put this on your list of first-to-trys.

…which you can do THIS SATURDAY at their Grand Opening!


My lil’ cammie takes great pictures, too!

When you go (and you must!), be sure to try their signature drink as well – Lil Misa’s Tea – Iced Azuki Green Tea Honey Latte, which was created by award winning barista, Eton Tsuno. While some small kinks need to be worked out, like bigger straws to be able to suck up the sweet beans, the drink was great with little flecks of shichimi [Japanese spicy seven-spice mixture]. Very chic.

Even more appreciated was the copious amounts of prosecco flowing into my flute. Leave it to Sus to have prosecco instead of regular ol’ champagne. So classy.

SO MUCH GOOD LUCK, SUSUMU! You deserve it. I hope all of you readers go on Saturday with big wads of cash and empty tumtums. I’ll be the one squishing a Spicy Samurai into a Sweet Geisha for the ultimate sweet/salty mess.

Fulfilled Pastries
9405 S. Santa Monica Blvd. (between Beverly and Canon, next to Pinkberry)
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

GRAND OPENING:
Saturday, November 8th
10:30 am – 7:00 pm

Gigantor Champagne Glass

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Merrrrrry X-day everyone! I won this humongous champagne flute at Simon’s company holiday party. Actually, Simon won it but he gave it to me <3.

So it was only fitting that he be the first to use it...

This was at a holiday party that Tinx & I had…notice the early X-day present that Tinx got in the left side of this photo…ellipticalicious.

But more importantly. Martinell’s and spiced rum make for an irresistible holiday drink (use Captain’s or something, not clear rum!). So we set out to make the world’s largest one. First, upend an entire bottle of Martinelli’s (original flavor).

Then a boatload of rum. Stir with a (preferably giant) spoon, and drink up!

Happy Holidays from ConsumerMachine~!

Harry Potter Cuppycakes

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Simon and I were at Ralph’s the other day and I discovered these gems. Harry Potter Cupcakes! But…in what entertaining situation would these cupcakes work? It’s not like you’d score points with your friends by bringing them to the actual movie, since it’s dark and no one would see them and cupcakes are messy anyway and not appreciated during a movie.

I guess you could bring them to some sort of Deathly Hallows book release party, but what would people do? Eat the cupcakes in silence while everyone is sitting there, reading the book? Wouldn’t it be better to have Harry Potter cupcakes when the DVD comes out or something for a viewing party? Anyway, Hermione is hot, but not as hot as Cho Chang. AZNs rule.

Gross Yet Yummy (GYY): A new category of food?

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Simon made this monstrosity above. It is supposed to be an ice cream bomb.

He says:

it is an ice cream bomb
it is not based on a recipe really
other than one we saw on tv
but it is really simple
you take vanilla
and then you mix half of it with some type of flavoring
then you form the outer layer of ice cream
when that is hard you put in the flavored center and freeze
and then you turn it out onto a rack and try to coat it with dark chocolate

Reads like a poem, doesn’t it? My question, though, is, if it’s really simple, why did it come out looking like THAT?

I am giving him a hard time but it was actually quite delicious. He cut up fresh mango and pureed it, and mixed that in with the vanilla. And like lovable asshole Hung from Top Chef says, you might eat first with your eyes, but what matters in the end is how it tastes.