Neveux Artisan Creamery



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I adore ice cream.  And I predict, here and now, that over the next several years, artisan ice cream shops will become all the rage, just like cupcakeries and froyo joints are now.  I also predict that few will be as good as Neveux Artisan Creamery on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, California.

NEVEUX ARTISAN CREAMERY —  (Clockwise from top left) Cherry Molasses, NAC Stout, Rosemary Butterscotch, Caliente Cinnamon Chocolate.
Tucked amid the cafes, tattoo parlors and fashion boutiques on this famous street in WeHo, Neveux is open and welcoming, and is run by a man who clearly loves what he does for a living ... and it shows in the ice cream.  I've blogged about it before, actually, following a day of fun on Melrose Avenue.  

Made in small batches, the quality of this ice cream is quite good.  But it's the flavors that knock me out and continually impress me.  Combinations of flavors that, if not deftly handled, could be disastrous.  But Neveux never misses ... at least, not yet.  And I've had a lot of their ice cream.

My favorites (so far):
  • Maple Fig
  • Strawberry Balsamic
  • Pepper Peach
  • Cherry Molasses
  • Caliente Cinnamon Chocolate
  • Rosemary Butterscotch 
  • Basil Olive Oil
  • NAC Stout
Those in bold are particularly amazing.  And I must recommend, to those who may not be as adventurous as I am, not to be afraid of the savory flavors.  Honestly, those are some of their best.  Go get some!

New Jersey ♥ Italian



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This is what an eggplant parm sub should look like.  Simple, cheesy, good bread, plenty of marinara, and perfectly thin, lightly fried eggplant.  The first bite should melt in your mouth and make it impossible for you not to eat the whole thing.

Eggplant Parmigiana Sub from GENCARELLI ON THE LAKE in Wayne, New Jersey.
By the way, this is a sub.  Not a hero, not a hoagie, not a grinder, and definitely no ordinary sandwich.  This is Jersey Italian.  Show some respect, will ya?

Brunch at (Ben) Ford's



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I've blogged before about Ford's Filling Station, and I've blogged about brunch ... my favorite meal of the day.  Naturally, this post was inevitable: a vignette of the perfect California Sunday morning (which would do nicely on a Saturday too), complete with deviled eggs, brisket hash, and a damn fine Bloody Mary.


Ford's Cure-All Bloody Mary is served with house-made spicy tomato juice, with the option to swap the vodka for jalapeño-infused tequila blanco ... and why wouldn't you want to?  The fresh lime juice and spicy horseradish make this particular Bloody Mary a favorite, and I can't think of a better way to start a morning (or cure a hangover).

Next, eggs.  And not the scrambled kind.  I was with a friend, Erica, new both to LA and to Ford's, so I naturally had to force the deviled eggs upon the girl.  She didn't mind.  In fact, her eyes nearly popped after the first bite.  "How can a little egg be so awesome?"  Because Indiana Jones' son made it.  That's why.


After an app of eggs, we had proper ones.  Sunny-side up, on top of beef brisket hash.  It's just what it sounds like, brilliantly seasoned, and somehow ... light.  That's not what you'd imagine of a hash, pretty much ever.  But the fluffy eggs, runny yolks, tumble of frisée and proper portion size made this dish savory, fresh and the perfect shareable.  Amazing.


Brunch ain't brunch without sugar, and don't think I skipped it just because I'd had two serving of eggs.  My usual favorite, the brioche French toast, had been updated with challah — now, possibly the only bread on the planet more incredible than brioche is challah, so I was totally on board.

Whipped crème fraîche and blueberry compote were less sweet than I remembered, and therefore perfect.  No syrup required.  Again, the dessertesque dish was delightfully shareable as we sat on the patio and watched the boring dolts at Tender Greens trying to enjoy their salads.


Don't get me wrong, I love me a good salad.  And I love Tender Greens.  One of these days, in fact, I'll make it to Culver Boulevard in Culver City and actually go through with my year-long goal of hitting up the Tender Greens on that side of town.  Maybe.

Well, probably not.  When you've got deviled eggs and challah right next door, who wants lettuce?

Batmobiles & Boots



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When I locked myself out of my house several months ago, I had no idea it would turn out to be so serendipitous.  Nor did I realize my choice of clothing that morning would also prove stunningly appropriate  as both actions led me to this photo:


Me, on a Warner Bros. sound stage, standing before five ridiculously famous Batmobiles, posing while a studio executive took my picture.  It was a set, a day, and a dream designed entirely by my remarkable friend Tara Tremaine, whose genius idea it was to film a documentary about the history of the Batmobile as the final film in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy hit production.  She's amazing.

She's also in possession of spare keys to my house, and had I not locked myself out that day, I might not have been invited to the lot to retrieve them.  How was I to know that a sleek black top and killer black boots would look so fitting next to the Tumbler and the Joel Schumacher masterpieces?  Not sure if I'm channeling Catwoman or Batgirl here, but it was badass timing all the way around.

BTW — if you haven't seen the Batmobile documentary special that debuted at Comic-Con last week and aired on the CW last night, you can read about it on MSNBC (and view a clip).  The full doc will be featured on the Blu-ray around the holidays ... and I can hardly wait. 

Be warned: you're going to get chills.  I was there and I've still got them.

Katsuya LA Live



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My favorite Katsu-ya is most definitely the hole-in-the-wall original on Ventura in Studio City (I'm a purist), but I must admit, the Philippe Starck Katsuya collection, specifically the LA Live location, makes for a fabulous night out.  Especially after you've hit an event at the Staples Center or Nokia Theater.

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of accompanying my darling girl Michelle to a live HBO comedy taping at Nokia.  Afterwards, hungry and thirsty, we scanned the many offerings in the LA Live square (like Wolfgang Puck) ... but couldn't get past the sleek white Starck decor, the elegant bar, nor the known quantity that is Katsuya sushi.  


Crispy rice spicy tuna, spicy albacore sashimi with crispy onions, baked crab hand rolls, and creamy rock shrimp tempura are required eating at any Katsuya (or Katsu-ya) locale.  But I must admit, while there may be nuances lost by not dining at one of the originals, the delight in the Katsuya franchise locations is most definitely the booze.  Yeah, I said it.


Burning Mandarin martini with floating Serrano chilies?  Hella yes.  A refreshing Kiwi Envy with Elderflower, gin and muddled kiwis?  SOLD.  And of course, there's nothing like a little molten chocolate lava cake to help the gin go down.  The original is better ... they use better ice cream ... but it's still great melty chocolate.


Bottom line, the convenience and quality of this particular Katsuya spot makes for a fantastic Saturday night.  Oh, and sharing the adventure with a gorgeous friend like Mish doesn't hurt either.  ;)


Nestlé + Girl Scout Cookies = Thin Mints Candy Bars



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I am blessed with friends in high places.  One of my best, in fact, is close with someone in a ridiculously high position — one that comes with connections to Nestlé and the near-legendary Girl Scout Cookie Candy Bars that are sweeping the blogosphere.  Specifically, the Nestlé Crunch Thin Mints Cookie Fun Bars. 

For those who think they are a myth, let me tell you, they are not.  They.  Are.  MAGICAL.


I was lucky enough to receive a pre-market box from friends Joel and Vance (God love you boys!) that nearly changed my life.  I mean, come on — Nestlé Crunch + Thin Mints + wafer cookies + dark chocolate crème = these cannot possibly fail.

And what's more?  They are elusive.  Rare.  I've only seen them for sale in limited quantities at Walgreens (there is actually a locator on the Nestlé Facebook page to help you find them), which only makes them that much more desirable ... and enviably delicious.  What do they taste like?  I offer you my own Facebook post upon realizing I was down to the last cookie in the box:

It's like Jesus rode a flying unicorn through a cloud of mint bliss and made crispy chocolate raindrops fall from the sky ... and I only have one left.

That's what they taste like.  Go to Walgreens or you'll regret it for the rest of your life.

Wage Kitchen Warfare



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I am a shopaholic.  I am a chef.  And I am an amateur sniper.  Naturally, I am in love with this Kitchen Warfare t-shirt by ShirtWoot.  Look closely...


Thank you, darling Matthew, for pointing this out to me.  It is currently sold out, but I am determined to get it in pink.  This may be the best FMF trifecta yet. :)

Heels, Guns & Java



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Just an ordinary Monday. Starbucks, new Steve Madden stilettos, and a little target practice with my super hot Glock 19.  There's nothing quite like an FMF Trifecta to put a girl a good mood. 

Kopparberg Cider ... Sparking Liquid Gold



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I've never been a huge fan of cider here in the states — it can be tasty, but I'll usually order a dirty martini, a good scotch or a glass of red wine before I'd even consider ordering a cider.  Then I went to London.

Cloudberry, served at THE GEORGE INN, a pub frequented by Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.
In the UK, I discovered an outrageous cider ... more like sparkling liquid candy ... called Kopparberg.  It's Swedish, it's crisp, it's served iced cold (probably why it appeals, as I'm American), and it's unique in that its sweetness is refreshing and light, of the fruit  not treacly or cloying, which is my usual complaint with cider.  It's just ridiculous.  

"Damn you, tease!" I can hear you all say.  But no!  I'm not that cruel.  You can get it right here in the states.  While my favorite flavor was most definitely the Cloudberry (oh, sweet Cloudberry...), the Pear was remarkably delicious, and can be ordered easily via Half Time beverage company.  There's also Strawberry lime, which I never tried.  Perhaps one of you can give it a whirl and let me know what you think?

How To Kill Time at Heathrow Airport



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So, Heathrow is unlike most other airports I've frequented, in that they don't release gate information until about 45 minutes before each flight.  However, because Heathrow is an international hub and my flight was back to the states, I'd arrived hours ahead just to be sure I'd have plenty of time.


And I do mean plenty of time.  Stuck in the central concourse.  With nothing to do.  Hum dee dum.  Should you find yourself in this position, ladies and gentlemen, I have a little tip: 

Buy shoes.  

Preferably, pretty blue suede ones.  With an open toe and stiletto heels.  I picked up this lovely pair in the Kurt Geiger shop for less than ₤50 before grabbing some Starbucks and hotfooting it down to my gate.  Trust me, I forgot all about the delay ... and so will you. :)

Milk. Chocolate. Glock.



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Have you seen this thing?  Have you eaten one?  Because I'm about to.  Not only is it a solid 13oz of magical gun-shaped chocoliciousness, it happens to be in the shape of a Glock.  As in, god of the handgun.


Need a hot dozen for your next gun getaway?  Or, you know, a random Tuesday?  Hit up Tactical Shotgun Accessories and order up.  It's a stiff $26 for one of them, but it does come with its own plastic gun case and ... um ... it's a chocolate Glock.  This is no time to be cheap, peeps.  It's an FMF deuce!
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