Posts Tagged ‘vic’

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?

Ti Amo Laguna Beach

Friday, September 26th, 2008

“My Love?”

“Yes?”

“Please choose:  Contemporary American or Italian Mediterranean.”

[Looooong pause.]  ”Italian Mediterranean.”

“My Love?”

“Yes?”

“Please choose:  ocean, fireplace, or garden.”

[Internal monologue: Well, not garden, obv.  Ocean sounds cool, but the ocean at night is scary - just a huge abyss. I guess that leaves fireplace.  Does fireplace mean fire pit?  I think it means fire pit.]

“Fireplace.”

“Reservations made for Italian Mediterranean fireplace, Saturday at 7:30.”

So Vic and I went to Ti Amo in Laguna Beach.  Vic lives in Mission Viejo, which is putting a major damper on his lifelong goal to be the father of my children, but he does his best.  Besides calling me “My Love” and asking every 5 minutes if we can make out, every couple of months he takes me out to a crazy dinner.  The last one involved donning furs and drinking six shots of vodka in the span of about 4 minutes.  That was a crazy night.

 

 

 

Anyway, we got there and were promptly seated…NOT.  We were asked to wait outside, and then were shown to a table immediately adjacent to the hostess’s lecturn thingie (hostess = Asian girl with the saddest eyes ever – someone give that girl a balloon.) where we were encouraged to get drinks and an app.  I needed no convincing!  I ordered a Key Lime Pie martini, complete with graham cracker crust and sidecar.  Our server (a total mom-type character) said, “Now, if I’m not back in time to pour the rest of your martini in your glass, make sure you hold the cap on or else you’ll have a _______.”  The last word was garbled, but I think she said “boo boo.”  Vic thought she said “accident.”  To settle the argument, we devised a scheme to make her re-state her sentence.

Vic: “Here she comes here she comes here she comes.”

Janet: “Hi!  Look!  I poured the rest of my martini in my glass!  I held the top on so I didn’t have a…you know, whaddyacallit?”

Server: “Good job!”

Vic & Janet: “Damnit.”

So that was mystery #1.  Mystery #2 was whether the tree that was next to our table that went up through the ceiling was real or fake.  It looked both.  I contemplated taking a chip of it home to be looked at under a microscope (my friend is a paleoethnobotanist) but then we saw some sap and decided it was real.  Cool.

 

 

 

ANYWAY!  We got the Carpaccio di Manzo – thinly sliced cured beef tenderloin with roasted sweet peppers, shaved parmesan, capers, and fresh lemon. It looked like a royal mess and somehow, inexplicably, had onion rings on top, but it was fabulous, particularly when super hungrious.  Did I taste the carpaccio?  Barely.  But the entire mess tasted salty and tangy and crunchy and oily.  Very satisfying.

 

 

 

We finished every lick of the carpaccio and drained our martinis and finally our table was ready. Fireplace, of course, meant fireplace, not fire pit.  Duh Janet. We were taken to a table upstairs, in a room with, literally, a fireplace.  Very very cozy.

But first – on the stairs on the way up we passed all the employees wishing the manager/owner a Happy Birthday.  The girl with the sad eyes made him close his eyes and placed a ziplock bag full of petals in his hands.  She said, “Open it!” and he did, and she said, “Smell!” and he did, and he said, “What is this?” and she said, “It’s a nice smelling bag!  Happy birthday!” and he was like, “…oh.”

Anyway, our table had a great big drippy candle that was awesome.  The manager came up and said good evening, and I said, “Happy Birthday!” and he said (a little scared) “How did you know?”  Then he said, “You two look very lovely this evening.  Are you celebrating?” and before Vic could say anything, I said, “YES! An ANNIVERSARRRRRYYYYYY!” and the manager said, “How wonderful!  How many years?” and I said, “SIX!”  The manager looked shocked as both Vic and I look very young, like babies, and I’m sure he was like have they been dating since before they were potty trained?

Maybe I should have chosen a shorter length of time.  It was just the first number that came to mind.  Vic and I chatted, when servers were in earshot, about our children “Darien” and “Layla” (NOT spelled Leila, gross!) which I guess meant I was an unwed mom who had kids reallly young?  lol.

 

The manager had gushed about their homemade crackers and bread.  Homemade bread I understand, but crackers???  HOWEVER.  These crackers were SO YUMMY!  I would cleverly combine the word “crack” and “crackers” but “crackers” already has “crack” in the word so it’s unnecessary.  Maybe a hyphenation.  These crackers were so good, they should have been called Crack-ckers.  They came with some sort of artichokey mayo that was the fucking bomb too.

 

 

 

 

For wine, I ordered a half bottle of b Cellars b blend.  I have been turned on to blends ever since having the glorious Red 4 Blend at Napa Valley Grille’s happy hour, and Vic exclusively drinks Napa Valley wines so it was an easy (and exulted-by-server) choice.

For our entrees, I ordered basically one giant plate of shortrib.  I got Tortelloni di Ti Amo, which was jumbo tortelloni filled with slow cooked short ribs in a vegetable short rib stew.  Can’t go wrong, right? And the pasta was fresh and chewy and the short rib inside was so good that you wanted more, and you only had to look 3 millimeters to the right of your tortelloni to find more shortrib in the stew. Shortribsplosion!

Vic got the special – Kobe Beef served over gorgonzola pasta – essentially the world’s most decadent mac-n-cheese.  I thought the beef needed more salt, but Vic insisted that no, it was better this way because you could really taste the cow.  Michael Pollan says in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma that good chicken tastes…more chickeney than chicken.  This was kind of the same thing.  Good beef tastes beefier than beef.

 

 

 

 

I figured that the freebie for the “anniversary couple” would be a dessert.  And it was – a cheesecake. BUT ALSO! A drinkie drink!  Whipped cream on top, alcoholy milky goodness on bottom.  Nice.  Three cheers for having fun getting dressed up which then nets you free shit!

I know what you are all wondering.  ”Did Vic get any?”  Duh!  Don’t you know that the ultimate goal of being a girl is milking a boy for as many fancy dinners as you can WITHOUT putting out?  Sheesh.

 

Ti Amo
31727 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92677
949.499.9390