Sneakily Expensive Drinks

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It happens to all of us at one point or another; we order a drink without looking at the price and then find ourselves startled when the bill arrives.

That happened to me TWICE last week. The first time I was at Franklin & Company, a cute restaurant near our apartment that serves sandwiches and salads and a smoked chicken dish that comes with smashed potatoes and cauliflower. That dish, which I ordered, has a wine suggestion underneath it–a Pinot Noir–and so I told the waiter I’d do the dish with the pairing. No price was listed. When the bill came, that glass of Pinot Noir was $17. (The dish itself was $18.)

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Green Drinks and Coconut Water

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Little by little, bit by bit, L.A. is chipping away at me. First: I joined a gym. Then I started cooking quinoa. Most recently, I met my friend Isaac (pictured above) in Silverlake for coffee; only Intelligentsia was so packed, we agreed to a change of venue and journeyed down the street to a juice bar. Isaac ordered the green concoction that you see him holding and I bought myself a coconut water.

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How To Make a Sidecar

My planned Christmas gift for Craig this year was a copy of The P.D.T. Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan and Chris Gall, based on the drinks at P.D.T. (Please Don’t Tell) in New York which was just named the best bar in the world by Drinks International. It’s a bar that’s hidden inside a hot dog restaurant; to get there you have to go through a telephone booth. Any time that I ever tried to go there, I was always turned away and told to make a reservation next time. But I’m not bitter over bitters. As things worked out, I was sent a press copy of The P.D.T. book last week and even though I could’ve saved it to give Craig on December 24th (or is it the 25th that you give gifts? This Jew doesn’t understand Christmas) I decided to give it to him now. And Craig, who’s often aspired to building up our bar and making drinks for our dinner parties, couldn’t have been more delighted.

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Last Minute Gougères

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On Saturday night, with 45 minutes left to go before our friend Dara was due to drop by for drinks, I made a drastic decision. I decided to make gougères.

This seemed like a drastic decision because: (a) I didn’t have the right cheese in my refrigerator and (b) I’d have to dirty the kitchen and a bunch of dishes just before the arrival of a guest. Things would be messy, things might burn. This was dangerous drink-hosting and I was living right on the edge. That’s what made it all so exciting.

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The Sazerac

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When in New Orleans, you should drink a Sazerac. I didn’t know this until I went with Pim to dinner at a place called Mandina’s (more on that tomorrow) and she ordered one. Pim’s Sazerac was so good–it’s made with Rye whiskey, absinthe or Herbsaint (an anise-flavor liqueur, like Pernod), and bitters–I made a mental note to order one the next night with Craig so he could experience it too.

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Someone’s In The Kitchen With…Matt Armendariz

My “Someone’s In The Kitchen With” series continues from the rooftops of New Orleans, where I join celebrated photographer and food blogger Matt Armendariz (author of the brand new “On A Stick” and the blogger behind MattBites.com) for a stimulating conversation all about Matt’s career, his book, why he likes food on a stick, food photography (how to make your food photos better) all while sipping trashy drinks purchased on Bourbon Street. Thanks Matt for taking the time to do this! And thanks for the booze.

Previous Episodes: Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Big Girls, Small Kitchen, Emeric Harney & Rachel Wharton.