Showing posts with label miscellany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label miscellany. Show all posts

Eat Drink Style Idiots Found at 99 Ranch Market in Monterey Park, CA.

Red Cod = Idiots

Saw this a few weeks back. Idiots are now on sale, for only $4.99/lb. Looks like 99 Ranch market is trying to get rid of these idiots, so you better hurry.

Eat Drink Style Canned Horror - Whole Chicken & Cheeseburger In A Can!

The Canning industry. A remarkable advancement in food preservation technology developed back in the 1800s. Its help feed impoverished families and starving soldiers.

But where do you draw the line?

Read more about this atrocity here – the photos are. First a chicken is de-feathered, gutted, beheaded and then dunked into a can and placed on the shelves of Vons for god knows how long. Being a chicken is tough.

And yes, you CAN HAZ A CHEEZEBURGER. If you really want.

Eat Drink Style The Gift of Gluttony

Before you start salivating over the chicken drumsticks and braised pork belly, know that this is unfortunately, inedible. Give the gift that says "You're a computer dork and you're a pig" at the same time. I'd pick the pork belly one because of the current Swine Flu. Until it's safe to eat pork again, I'll enjoy the taste of plastic. You can find these strange products here.

Eat Drink Style Rolyier Tarragon Soda - The Armenian Thirstquencher?

Rolyier Armenian Soda Pop

I was at my favorite Middle Eastern market, Super King near Eagle Rock, on Saturday buying groceries for our Easter lunch and came across this lovely bottle of pop. Anyone know how this tastes?! Tarragon sounds safe compared to the many other ethnic variations of flavored-soda that could show up on the shelves. How about Durian soda? Carbonated fish sauce punch? Chapulines Juice?

Eat Drink Style Introducing Mona Greasa... Arby's New Non-Greasy Work of Art

A great advertising spot done by Arby's, advertising their new 'Roast Burgers'.  I still wouldn't try it.  Remember that great line from an episode of The Simpsons? 

"I'm so hungry I could eat at Arby's." - Sherry or Terry

Check out

Eat Drink Style Flight of the Fish Tacos - Bret & Jemaine Do Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, Los Feliz

A while back I had done a comparison posting on a few of LA's fish taco joints and awarded Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada as my favorite. See what Bret & Jemaine think about the fish tacos and hear them freestyle on fish tacos as well.

Eat Drink Style The Official Soundtrack of Valentine's Day

C&S Full

One more day until Valentine's Day and for a lot of people, this silly day means a lot. But with the recession, many people are choosing to stay in and fiddle with the stove and devirginize those Calphalon pots and pans. Tonight is a big night, and things may go well for you and your date. You've ironed your whole Old Navy outfit. You've trimmed your nose hair finally. Chicken is cooked perfectly in the oven. Wine is being uncorked. Ikea candles are lit. You've got way too much cologne but that's okay. But something is awfully dry and weird, and it's not the chicken breast.

Where is the ambiance?! Where is the sound of love?

This is where I enter with wings, bow/arrow and adult diapers. To really improve the chances of you sealing the deal tonight, I've compiled this erotically disturbing collection of songs/hymns/moanings/wailings that have somehow been interpreted as 'music'. This is all yours for the price of $free.99. Look at what you get!


Wow that's awful! If you can listen to this whole thing without hurting yourself or anyone, then you are the ultimate Cassanova. Good luck and enjoy!

Free Download ---> Cheesy & Sleazy Volume 1 (Zshare)
Free Download ---> Cheesy & Sleazy Volume 1 (Badongo)

Eat Drink Style Introducing "This Is Why You're Fat" Photo Blog

A great site has surfaced "This Is Why You're Fat." Has anyone eaten anything as atrocious as this? Enjoy, fat people. Also, take a look at this if you haven't already. America's most unhealthy food comes out of the AUS-some kitchens of Outback Steakhouse. This is 2009 and lowering your cholesterol is so 90s.

Eat Drink Style Diana, Lisel & Martha - The Jewels of New York

Diana & Lisel of The Jewels of New York on Martha Stewart

I'd like to congratulate Diana & Lisel on landing a segment on Martha Stewarts show. You can check out the video on Martha's site. Long story short, Diana & Lisel were making cookies for a bake sale and the producers of Martha happened to be there too. They tasted their cookies and next thing they know, they are teaching Martha how to make cookies. Congrats on this awesome opportunity. Cookies are available here at The Jewels of New York. Thanks for reading.

Valentine's Heart Cookies by The Jewels of New York

Eat Drink Style HObama and The Campaign for Free Food

The satirical publication, The Onion, was quite accurate in describing Obama's victory as President of the United States...

"Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job."

Without a doubt. Obama gets to tackle the recession due to the national debt, Iraq, Israeli's & Palestinians, the environment, Guantanamo Bay, Mexico's drug war and health care, just to name a few. Quite a load for anyone to take. But Obama has been vocal about change and hope throughout his campaign for the Democratic seat and we believe that it will happen. This is a hard time for him and us as the American people. With the recession going on, we have to cut back on everything. We can't go out as much, we have to conserve resources and sadly, we have to cut back on the amount we eat outside. Harsh. Especially for those who love to eat. That means you, otherwise you wouldn't be on this site. But you know what,

(Read the following paragraph with MLK's intense, prolific oration style.)

... I, HObama (my last name is Ho), of ED&BM, will march side by side with Obama as proud Americans in our own campaign. A campaign that will still provide us with sustenance. A campaign that will allow us to enjoy the thing we like to do most, which is to eat, and not dent the bank account while doing it. Obama has an economic plan, and I, have a gastronomic plan.

This is a campaign for... FREE FOOD!

(Applause and tears of joy!)

Yes, my fellow Americans and foreign people that stumble upon my site by accident and immediately hit the BACK button, I've provided a list of the best ways for you to get free food during this recession without lowering your social status. It will not be easy, but you will be rewarded. Shall we enjoy the beauty of $free.99?

1. Costco Frozen Food
Costco, the freak of nature store that directly reflects the way Americans over-consume. Things here are sold in obnoxious proportions and a lot of times people are stuck deciding if it will benefit them or cause more problems. Does everyone really need the 25 gallon "Family Pak" of extra virgin olive oil? Not unless you're Rachael Ray. If you can endure the parking lot drama, SUV-sized shopping carts, saying 'excuse me' about 100 x's, then get ready to part the bushes and discover the frozen-food goldmine. On weekends, and sometimes weekdays when business is slow, you'll see the Microwave Maidens luring customers with wafts of freshly baked food and sounds of microwave timers going off. *Beep* Beep* Low and behold, le coleccion de calorie. Have a 1/2 portion of a pepperoni bagel bite, enjoy a soggy Tyson chicken tender, try the spinach quiche or if you're lucky enough, TGIF Jose Cuervo Tequila/Lime wings. Gross, but all for free! After you are done, pretend to go looking for something down the aisle and make a quick turn around the fridges back to the Microwave Maiden of your choice and say something like:

"That last piece I got was still frozen in the middle."
"May I have one for my (insert relative) to try?"
"I just want to try one more and make sure I really do like it. And then I'll buy it. I'm a man of my word."

But beware, those ladies will remember you and give you an evil eye. So don't be too greedy. I've actually seen this man get called out for free-loading. "Sir, the packages are RIGHT BEHIND me in the freezer for the low cost of $13.73." I love how Costco prices their items before tax. And the best part of Costco, there's more than one Microwave Maiden at work. I knew these guys once in college that would go once a month at around 11 am and find their lunch. By 12 pm, they've eaten a bit of everything and are fully content. How did I know about these poor bastards? I was one of them.

2. Wine Shops with Olive Oil Tastings
This one is a kill-two-stones-with-one-bird situation. You go in and pretend you are looking for a bottle for tonight's date, which is a complete lie – because if you're following the HOBama Plan you're way too poor to go on a date. Slowly edge over to the olive oil section. More than likely, there will be cubed french bread ready at your disposal. Take a piece of bread and dip it into your olive oil of choice. Something to note, the greener it is, the less pressed it is – and expect some major grassiness and bitterness. If an employee is nearby, nod your head and moan your approval for it and even ask a nonsense question like, "At what temperature are olives best pressed in the regions of Italy?" And then kindly ask if there is any wine for you to taste, to wash down all that edible lotion. Unfortunately, these finely pressed olive oils aren't cheap. You're looking upwards of $20 for an average bottle. I figure if you eat about 50 pieces of cubed bread, you've pretty much eaten a 6" sandwich with olive oil as your filling. But this part of the HObama plan can make you quite ill, and you may want to find the nearest trash can. Moderation, my people!

3. Tortilla Chips in Mexican Restaurants
There's this 'mexican' restaurant in WeHo that I forget the name of. People, please help HObama. Here, the waiters bark out their orders in some sort of harmony and serve up strong margaritas. But the goldmine lies right in the middle of the restaurant – a giant bucket of tortilla chips. If you can somehow blend in with a bunch of drunks during their company happy hour, you will be rewarded. Eat as many as you can, until your jaw falls off or until you go home with the wasted just-fresh-out-of-college receptionist.

4. Office Meetings
Sometimes you're just not important enough to be in that bigwig meeting in your company. The kind with people so high up in the company their heads are in the clouds. The kind that has a whole cart full of refreshments and smorgasbord of caloric delight. Bagels with 4 types of cream cheese, seedless fruit, well-endowed sandwiches, non-olive garden pasta and expensive desserts. This is all very painful to deal with especially when you're slurping your $.99 Kimchi Ramen Bowl that is so loaded with MSG, causing your throat to close up. *Gasp* But am i not The HObama, the one who will help you through this recession. Yes we can. Grab your Blackberry, a pen, yellow notepad and tuck your shirt into them khakis. If you don't have a blackberry, go find one of those bubblegum cellphone cases at the market. Find the meeting with the best food and walk in. If you're already late, walk in with head focused on the Blackberry. Careful not to make eye contact because you can blow your cover. Tell them you're sorry you're late and pretend you're surprised by the food on the table. "Ooh. My favorite." Grab a big plate and find the seat in the back of the room. Then, go to the ringtone menu in your phone about 15 mins into the meeting, and make that shit ring LOUD as though you got a call. You pick it up right away and excuse yourself from the meeting and give yourself a high-5 because you just scored some goodies. Works every time.

5. Trader Joe's
Head straight for the back and look for the happy, Hawaiian-shirted employee behind the sneeze guard. Why yes, I would like to try some of that Fat-free Green Tea Hibiscus Peach Tea you're serving. Along with the macrobiotic sun dried tomato garlic hummus with free-range rosemary-raisin pita bread. You can always count on TJ's to offer the world's strangest pairings. I give them a FAIL for the pairings but I give them a thumbs up for helping me live another day w/ their organic, macrobiotic, free-range, fat-free products.

6. Marathons
Find those old, 1986 velcro Pro Wings and get ready to work for your free food. This will take some work but you'll feel good about it. You'll need a ID number so grab an 8.5 x 11 paper and sharpie and make up some arbitrary number like '916' which spells 'pig' in the Motorola Pager code. Because that's what you are – a pig. Ok, race is beginning. Line up in the back unless you want to get run over by the Kenyans. Because you're not here to top them, you are a man on your own mission. On your mark, get set, GOOOOOOOOOOOO to the nearest lady handing out any of those trail snack/energy bar booths. Not only will those energy bars fill you up, you'll have the hardest time chewing it b/c it's made of rubber and bark. You'll be running down the streets looking like a chipmunk, but it's sooooo good for you. You'll need some Gatorade which will be everywhere. Don't worry about coming in last or being spanked by the dog with 2 front legs and wheelbarrow as hind legs (saw this in China, for real). You're a winner today regardless because you got free energy snacks. If the next marathon is for the opposite sex only, plan accordingly with props and duct tape.

7. Farmer's Markets
This is easy. It's like Souplantation, but like, delicious. I love the Hollywood farmer's market the most – probably the largest I've seen. There's the oyster man, pistachio man, heirloom tomato lady – anything you want. just ask the magic question... "how do these taste?" Grab a sample of everything you'd like to try, but don't eat it, just thank the nice vendors and toss it in your bag. Then head over to the sidewalk and compile your super salad. You are frugal and smart because you brought your own bowl w/ some olive oil and vinegar in your backpack. Voila, a free salad.

8. Halloween
Why hello there? What are YOU dressed up as for Halloween? Hungry. Don't even bother putting on an outfit. It's obvious why you're there because you are two decades too late for this fat-enhancing custom. People most likely will give you whatever you want and immediately shut the door because in their book, you are insane. You're a 45-year old kid that still lives with his mom that does your laundry and microwaves your Dinty Moore for you, while you find your soul mate in Warcraft chat rooms. (JK, John. not) You'll get the super sized candies – good stuff like 100 Grand, Caramello and Whoppers. Refuse those yellow butterscotch candies no one ever eats. Why does Brach's even make those any more? And like the marathon, you don't need to dress up, because you're clearly a winner – two pails filled to the brim with candy, and none for mom.

9. Business Card Fishbowls
2 out of 10 restaurants you eat at will probably have one of these next to those $.25 candy dispensers. It screams, "Drop your business card for a chance to win a free lunch!" Hey doesn't hurt. THEN, the miracle happens. You're at work sending out YouTube links and all of a sudden, the phone rings. "Congratulations, (insert your name). We've selected you for the free lunch sweepstakes. How does it feel? When would you like to come in for your free lunch?" Well as the saying goes, "there's no such thing as a free lunch." Rightfully so, because when you show up to eat, you're not eating alone. You're eating w/ some slimeball-sales-person with claws and hooves, dressed in shirt & clip-on tie. Think of him as a used-car salesman on his lunch break. He may sell you financial services, timeshare in a place like San Bernardino or something life-changing like mailbox insurance. But if you have adapted the art of pretending like you're listening and timing your head nods perfectly, you can phase out Sam the Slimeball and actually enjoy your lunch. And maybe even pawn off some of that $.25 candy, you slimeball.

10. Asian Markets like 99 Ranch
Like Costco but with really bad driving/parking, they have weekend giveaways too. You will usually find the freebies in the very back by the meat department since the aisles are the widest there. I actually look forward to their goods because some of it is quite delicious. You'll most likely see some sort of noodle served in tiny styrofoam cups with a light soy sauce broth. They give you these tiny tiny forks to use but I would actually like to see some miniature chopsticks – could be fun and messy! Then you move on to the dumpling lady serving boiled goodness . How about the lady serving up halved fish or meatballs? They give you a toothpick to take ONE, but I like to make my own Asian shishkabob by stabbing through 5-6 of those – tasty. Now it's time for dessert, make your way to the fruit wafers that come in those tin containers – childhood treat. Wash it all down with 5-6 types of high-fructose corn syrup yogurt drinks... mmm tasty. I like the peach one. Now repeat 4-5 times. Don't forget your facial sun visor/welding mask as it adds to the experience and hides the shame.

11. The Gold Room of Echo Park
Have you ever time traveled? I have. Sometimes unknowingly after having a little too much to drink. But if you want to time travel to Mexico come here. On the outside, it looks like a bar you would pass by normally, but once you walk in, bam, you are in Mexico. Awesome. The beauty of The Gold Room is the symbiosis between ultra-cool skinny-boy hipsters and the rancheros. They switch between latino and non-latino music, which is cool. Sorry, Creed and Akon not allowed. If you don't feel like dancing, take a seat up at the bar and do what you do best. But then something strange happens. One of the many large-bosomed bartenders will approach you slowly. You can't tell what she is holding in her hand b/c of the blacklights that are on. But it appears to be.... tacos. It's like she came over to pat you on the back for the excellent drinking you've been doing. How many times have you been rewarded for drinking? Wow, free beef tacos and peanuts. I have not had these myself, but my friends have. While they are nothing to write home about, a little power snack with your $1 tequila makes the belly and wallet happy.

12. The Coastline
On the show Lost, I am actually surprised everyone is alive on that show and how they are always looking good. Because you know what, I really don't know what they can survive on besides coconuts, insects and the occasional mammal on the loose. Most people would perish, except for the Asians who will just about eat anything. I remember seeing one episode in the early seasons, where the Korean guy, Jin, is off by the rocks finding lunch. I started laughing because I knew he had his ban chan ready to go with the sea urchin, mussels and oysters he was foraging. While Jack and Sawyer are busy restructuring each other's facial structures over Kate, he's over by the rocks rolling his eyes back and moaning with gastronomic satisfaction. Getting stuck on an island is anything but a nightmare considering it is a seafood buffet. And it's not called Todai. For this part of the HObama plan, one must work for to find the fruits of the sea. Go to your local beach or pier and bring a spear, pliers and shuckers. To make it even more interesting, wear a loin cloth to get that prehistoric, caveman feel. You're going to look crazy anyway, so might as well go 110%. Before you jump in the water, yell at people with incomprehensible gibberish. The first caveman to find an oyster, man, how hungry must he have been. Archaeologists have even discovered oyster shell piles as high as 3 stories! Now that's a party. Unlike Costco and Halloween options, this one is actually good for you albeit difficult. And you could care less about the rescue plane circling your island.

This is a democracy, and I would like to add more to the HObama plan. How else can we maximize eating during this recession? Thanks for reading, and God bless the hungry American people.

Eat Drink Style The Bottle-of-Wine Glass by

Valentine's Day is coming up. When you're having that candlelit dinner, bring this out – the Bottle-of-Wine Glass. It'll tell your loved one a lot about yourself:

A. You're a complete alcoholic.
B. You're a selfish bastard.
C. You have other interests besides eating.
D. All of the above.

This is also the perfect glass for a party – but you hate everyone there! Find this here.

Eat Drink Style Happy Hollandaise!

Hey sorry for the bad Christmas/food pun but I've had one too many bottles of Sapporo and Sake. Just came back from a stellar sushi dinner at Sushi Zo and I'm about to pass out. Anyway, I wanted to thank all the fellow LA foodbloggers and loyal readers for supporting my low-budget site. I've had a blast this year. I'm leaving for Hong Kong and Taiwan this week and have a plethora of food to eat and write about. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. Let's give it up for food!!! As always, thank you for reading. Regards, ED&BM.

Eat Drink Style Happy Halloween, I mean, Happy Thanksgiving

Right after writing about the bacon narcotic, I got a lot of emails/links regarding bacon. Just too many to post. But this one just had to be posted. It is terrifying to look at, yet I know someone is drooling over his keyboard right now, searching for the recipe on Google.

What the HELL is this thing? We've all seen the turducken, but this is simply ridiculous. This looks like a freshly skinned zebra in the Safari. I'm going to have nightmares for as long as I live.

Anyway, drink lots of gravy and enjoy the gift of cholesterol! Thanks to Jwong for the pic.

Eat Drink Style Bacon. The Culinary World's Most Lethal Narcotic.

If you think about it, if there's one ingredient/food that really widens your eyes upon hearing the word, it has to be bacon (unless you're a vegetarian). You're at a restaurant and the waiter is going through his specials for the evening.

"Macaroni & cheese. Creamed corn soup. Baked potato skins."

Zzzzz. Boring. But what if you added the B-word to these all.

"Macaroni & cheese with bacon. Creamed corn soup with bacon. Baked potato skins with bacon."

Now things are interesting. I've come to the conclusion that bacon is a drug, you just don't know it. It'll be raising the eyebrows of every DEA agent very soon. Look at how this narcotic has spread through the nation, onto our plates.

Google's Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger (photo from
We all know that Google spends a ton of money on fattening up their employees with starch, carbs and fat so they'll forget how much they are actually getting paid. They've taken the cheeseburger to another level by sandwiching in between Krispy Kreme donuts and adding the Special B in. It pains me to even look at this image – my cholesterol just jumped up 200 pts without even trying it. A minor league team in Sauget, Illinois has also made a pact to entertain their fans with action, entertainment and a free ambulance ride to the hospital with their 1,000+ calorie burger which is sold at $4.50. Is $4.50 worth a $45,000 bypass surgery?

Nickel Diner in Los Angeles's Maple-Bacon Doughnuts
*Clenching chest. This pastry is highly reviewed by the Yelp army and it actually sounds good – if you're stoned. Try it here.

Voodoo Doughnut's Version of the Bacon Doughnut
Maybe my fellow foodblogger in Portland, Guilty Carnivore, can shed some light on what this does to the arteries. Check out Voodoo Doughnut's site.

David Lebovitz's Bacon Ice Cream
Ok now, I would actually try this. This would taste so good on nicely toasted brioche. Send me a gallon David! Visit David's site for the recipe.

Respect the Bacon Suit
How do I look? J actually thinks I'm wearing the standard tuxedo and bowtie for our wedding whenever that happens. She will have the surprise of her lifetime.

Bacon Lip Balm
The good people over at J&D's (Justin & Dave's) know how to kill two birds with one stone: why not remind yourself of the aroma of bacon while moisturizing your lips. Geniusly gross???

Archie McPhee's Novelty Store
And finally, some wacky gag gifts and novelties can be found here.

Feel free to post some links to any other insane bacon-related food or product. Thanks for reading.

Eat Drink Style My Doppelgänger?

I received an email the other day with an interesting attachment. It's a photo of me in a snake shop in Taiwan and someone who looks like me. Crazy. Dress shirt, jeans, watch, camera strap. He even got the mosaic pixelation down in Photoshop too... level 8! Thanks to CL for this. BTW, it's not a miracle to be wearing the same thing as me. I only own one pair of jeans, shirt and uh, boxers.

Eat Drink Style Sriracha FAIL

On Sunday, I was down in Little Saigon for a monthly trip with J and her mom. While J was experiencing food coma in the car, her mom and I went to the market to buy a few goods. And I saw this...

a Sriracha bottle with not only a blue cap, but the icon of a horse/unicorn. Wait a minute! There's NO SUCH THING as unicorns in Vietnam, come on now. Where'd the rooster go? I took a closer look at the company, and it wasn't the original Huy Fong Foods based in Rosemead. This company Vi Hao Food Company took a stab at fooling customers with their version of Sriracha. For some reason, that baby blue cap doesn't look appealing to me – really reminds me of a baby bottle. Anyone try this sauce out? Can you imagine asking the waiter at your favorite pho restaurant:

"Excuse me, do you guys have the unicorn sauce? I can't eat my pho without it."

It doesn't sound right. But you know what, you never really see products out there with unicorns on it. I'm buying one.

Here's a message taken directly off the Huy Fong website:

"September 14, 2004

To our valued customers,

We would like to make you aware that we have discovered that there has been counterfeit Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Chili Sauce being sold. These counterfeits come in both 17oz. and 28oz. sizes. Since these products not only infringes upon our trademark registration, but also is produced for the main purpose of deceiving others into believing they are our products, we therefore want to warn you against purchasing this or any other counterfeits due to potential legal liabilities.

The counterfeit products are identical to our products in all regards, including the logo and wording on the label, except for the following distinguishable characteristics.

1. That taste is not identical to our product.

2. Below the green cap of our bottles, there is a protruding plastic ring, which is the same diameter of the green cap. The counterfeit product's ring is much smaller.

3. Our product's batch code consists of two lines printed with a laser etcher, which produces a clear, colorless imprint. The first line states the product/batch code (must start with an H) and the second line states the expiration date. The counterfeit does not have a product/batch code but has an expiration date that may be either be printed in black ink or or hot-stamped resulting in a colorless, blurry imprint.

4. Finally, our bottle has 'Huy Fong USA' embossed on the bottom of our bottle. The counterfeit does not.

The counterfeit products may not have been produced following quality guidelines, therefore consumption of these products may pose a health risk. In order to protect our consumers, we are respectfully requesting any information you may have regarding this counterfeit company. We thank you for your past and continued loyalty and your kind cooperation in this matter.

Respectfully yours,

Huy Fong Foods, Inc."

Somethings you can't stray away from – real Maggi, real 3-crabs fish sauce and real 3-lady rice paper haha. Definitely not the original rooster gangster.

For more FAILures, check out one of my favorite sites, Failblog.

Eat Drink Style Stroke of Ingenuity - Introducing the Food Pyramid Lunchbox

Found this on and I was immediately hit with the 'why didn't i think of that?' hammer. Check out one of Li Jian Ye's many fun and unique inventions/concepts/ideations. Unfortunately, one can misuse the food pyramid lunch box by adding chili, cheese and fries in the respective tiers. Or simply, gravy soup.

Eat Drink Style The Village Pet Store & Charcoal Grill - Banksy's The New Chef in New York City


One of my favorite artists has to be the political/controversial, underground street artist known as Banksy. Most consider his art vandalism, but I think it's pure genius. With over 500 counts of vandalism in less than a decade, it's obvious Banksy has something he really wants to tell you. A few years back, I went to his show in Los Angeles in the downtown warehouse district. I waited in a line with over 700 people along with Immaeatchu underneath the beating sun. But man, was it worth it. His biggest exhibit was a real elephant set within a living room environment. The elephant was painted with a brick pattern to match the actual warehouse brick walls. Banksy was addressing the issue of homelessness, saying that literally, "homelessness is something big that we choose to ignore."

This time, Banksy has hit something that you and I would be most interested in... food, or the lack of 'real food' or treatment of 'food'. Banksy rented out the space in a real pet store in Greenwich Village called "The Village Pet Store" and tacked on the 'charcoal grill' part for irony, as you will see in a few moments. He even hired people to work as store clerks to play the 'parts'. I haven't seen anything more genius. Enjoy. "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" is on display till Halloween.

I must admit that seeing the chicken mcnuggets really hit me but for processed meat like spam, I'm not sure I can veer away from that!

Eat Drink Style Lipton Pure Leaf Presents...

a lot of free tea for anyone that happened to be at the Celebrity Food Show at the Anaheim Hilton this past weekend. We were asked by a PR firm to represent the Lipton Pure Leaf booth and pass out some samples. The week before, we were blessed with three 18-bottle boxes of various teas from Lipton. Why tea you ask? Believe it or not, there is a whole trend in tea pairings with food. I only knew of iced tea to be a sort of chaser for hard alcohol, but who knew you could pair iced tea with things like sushi. Anyway, we arrived on the final day of the convention and you could see that everyone was exhausted after two full-house days. I was dying for some food, only to find stuff like salsas, chocolate and more salsa and chocolate. Oh yeah, and about 50 types of olive oils. Not a great combo all together, but who doesn't like a free sample.

You may recognize this man from Hell's Kitchen – Aaron. He will be back on Season 4 of the show and ready to take more of Ramsey's orders. Chef Aaron closed the show with a cooking demo that included various foods from Ramsey's LA-project, London. He made lobster spaghetti, macadamia-encrusted scallops and a mojito made with, you guessed it, Lipton iced tea. If you missed this, look forward to the Western Food Expo this weekend at the LA Convention Center. Thanks for reading.

Eat Drink Style The Love for Food and Jeni: How Food Brought Us Together

It's 6:30 pm on a Friday in June. Jeni stands in front of me with a bewildered look. And I just stare at her. Rewind 2 years back.

When I first started my blog nearly three years ago, my intentions were simple. I was bored and the idea of writing a blog interested me. The one thing I did know a lot about and could contribute to others was a knowledge of food. My parents had raised me on the staples of Chinese food, which was basically your on-sale vegetables, noodles and soups made with bones that would normally be fated in a trash can. But what they passed on to me, was more than a simple appreciation for food and the sustenance it provided – no matter what shape or form it took. I wanted to express my appreciation for their love and care by writing about my experiences with food. And measure how much of a pig I actually am.

Three years of writing about food. Obsession. Too much time on my hands. Sure. Both if you would. As you can probably tell, I love food and I have the pounds to prove it. Just look at my profile photo. Ugh! In four years, my weight jumped nearly 15 lbs. and you know what, please give me some more because I am nowhere near done exploring the food of all cultures. I won't be done until the day I have to be forklifted out of my bed just to go to the bathroom. *beep* *beep* *beep* Dylan coming through.

During the three years of writing, I have learned a lot about food, cultural differences, myself, friends, family and mostly, respect. I have learned to never say the terms "the best in the world". I have learned that you cannot please every one in this world – no matter how good of cook you are. I have learned that denying a culture's food because of ignorance and unfamiliarity is the most insulting thing ever. I have learned that what you may not understand may be the key to another culture's survival. I have learned that food sets the stage for everything involving social interaction. And as you'll read in a few paragraphs, I've learned that food can even change the course of two people's lives. One thing remains important, food revolves around everything we do or feel – home life, work, birthdays, dating, weddings, funerals, reunions, etc.

When I first started writing, there were no more than 10-12 Los Angeles food blogs that I was interested in reading. And maybe 3-4 outside of the area. It was much easier to keep up with everyone's eating. Even within that group, the best ones were more than reviews about food; it was those that offered storytelling which made it compelling. Writers that simply said "this was good" or "this was bad" really didn't generate solid readership. Food had been such a big part of my upbringing and I was interested in seeing what/why food was important to someone. After the first year, I developed 'friendships' with many of these bloggers. Though I had never seen their photo (anonymity is a big thing) or met them in person, I could tell a lot about someone by the way they ate.

Especially with a girl named Jeni, who ran a blog called Oishii Eats.

For a few months, I read her postings. I was attracted not only by her looks, but by the food she ate. She ate everything. Low end... high end. Hole in the wall... paintings on the wall. On the street... on sticky-elbow tables. She was in a sense like me. But what I liked most about her was her open-mindedness and respect for a culture's food. We were both from the same college and had mutual friends, but we never crossed paths once.

Less than a year later, I decided to set up a long-overdue meetup between the stomachs and minds of the LA blogosphere at Musha in Torrance – and everyone was stoked. Jeni and I had already been talking to each other over IM and in a sense, we were friends that had never met. It was an exciting day for everyone that attended because not everyone had met in person. I had met Jonah of LA Foodblogging, Pam of Daily Gluttony and Kristy of Best of LA previously (my friend's fianceé). That night, I was late due to traffic on the good ol' 405. I found my group, all 16 of us, waiting outside. I said Hi to everyone, and saved the best for last... Jeni. I was interested in her and I think we could both tell that it was a long overdue meet up. I smiled at her and she waved back. She handed me Japanese books that I needed for my trip to Japan the following week. We had decided previously that we would sit next to one another because we already 'knew' each other. Everyone had a great time. The food was good and the drinks went around. But what I wanted mostly was to talk to Jeni, but I was so busy trying to play host. At the end of the night, I said bye to everyone and hugged Jeni and told her we'd talk when we get back. We ended up talking on the phone till about 4 am that night. It was just wonderful putting a face over a voice finally.

It wasn't long after when we had our first date. I knew it was a date because I could feel it. Instead of the usual nice dinner, we decided to go to a club and get stoopid. And for dinner, we ate tacos from a taco truck in Echo Park. We sat on red crates, eating tacos and drinking Jarritos. For the first time in a while, I was comfortable on a date. I didn't worry about eating properly or keeping my volume down. I didn't worry about impressing her. I was myself – dropping cilantro and onions on the ground, using like 80 napkins for 5 tacos and even broke the Jarritos bottle. We took photos of each other stuffing our faces and it just felt very natural. It was truly good times. Very Wonder Years-like. In a sense it was somewhat of a secondary coming-of-age. Jeni let me be who I wanted to be. And I hoped that she had felt the same way.

Fast forward two years to the present. It's 6:30 pm on a Friday in June. Jeni stands in front of me with a bewildered look. And I just stare at her. With a smile.

D: "Are you ready for your birthday surprise?"
J: "Ok!"
D: "Go to your closet and look under the blanket."

She runs over and lifts up some blankets.

J: "It's my brother's traveling backpack."
D: "No, it's mine. And it's packed."
J: "..."
D: "You've got 2 hours to pack. We're going somewhere."
J: "What do I bring???"
D: "The more questions you ask, the less time you'll have. I'm going to get us some food."

I watched her run back and forth like she was on some stupid gameshow with a $200 grandprize. It was hilarious – I wish I had a camera to videotape it. I left her place and headed over to Yuca's to grab a cheeseburger and cochinita pibil for dinner. She only had two hours to pack and would probably forget to eat! I came back half an hour later and found her still running back and forth. This was great. She tried to ask me questions to narrow down the possible destinations. But I shrugged every time. She didn't know that we would be flying anywhere.

It was now 8:30 pm and time to go. I had texted her brother to meet us in the carport and surprise her. We packed the stuff in the car and Jeni naturally headed for the driver side door – only to be freaked out by her brother, who was driving us both to LAX. Jeni screamed!

The next annoying question any one can ask besides 'are we there yet' is 'where are we going?" I heard this a good 30 times by the time we arrived at LAX. She kept naming off places in the U.S. and got cold shrugs from me. I told her brother to drop us off at Terminal 6 which is where Virgin America is. She screamed, thinking we're going to New York. We said bye to her brother and walked out. I stared at her and watched her puzzled looks.

J: "Are we going to New York?!"
D: "No."
J: "Where are we going then? There's only a flight to New York at this time!"
D: "We may need these."

I reached into my pocket and pulled out our passports. She shrieked in joy. At this time, I took out my camera and started recording her on video.

J: "Where can we be going?"
D: "Look at my shirt and you may get a hint."

I watched her eyes go down to my red 'Carne Asada' shirt and her eyes grew. I then pulled out some pesos and handed it to her.

J: "We're going to Mexico City!"

Jeni & I went to Mexico City (D.F.) in December and fell in love. For months on end, we dreamed about the delicious pastor tacos sliced thinly like pork belly – not the chopped up version we get here in LA. I knew there was nothing more she wanted than to be in Mexico City again. A birthday trip out here would simply be perfect. We stayed in an area called Condesa which many people compare to the East Village/Soho area of New York City. Tree-lined streets, cafes with young couples and delicious taco vendors made this a very special place for us. D.F. was only 3.5 hours away, yet worlds apart.

We had missed so much on our previous trip. We were on a tight schedule and coming back from an exhausting and emotional stay in Tulum, Mexico. We got our lovely Nikon D70 stolen on a bus when we fell asleep. We were angry and frustrated upon arriving in D.F. – we didn't want to do anything. But nothing cheered us up more than the vibrancy of the city, warmth of the locals and of course all the delicious antojitos (small meals; snacks). This is why Mexico City is so special to us; it was a turning point in our trip. And this trip was a makeup for everything we didn't get to do – such as eating at the popular restaurant, Contramar. Contramar is regarded as the hip place for young people to eat. I could care less how hip it is, I just want the food. Our friend Tokyo Astro Girl had eaten here twice and spoke highly of it – her word was reason enough to eat here!

Contramar Mexico City




Pickled onions and peppers. I have never had such a fresh version of these. All the ones I've eaten at taco trucks or at restaurants seemed to be reserved from last year's quinceañara . It was to our advantage to come here right when they opened to ensure freshness. I could've made a meal out of all these elements – tortillas por favor! And some water to abate the spiciness.

Contramar Tostadas de Atun

Tostadas de Atún y Cangrejo
¿Que recomiendes? Tuna and crab tostadas! You can't go wrong with a server's suggestion especially if you're in another country. When we travel, we usually try things we've never tried or can't get in the U.S. Screw the safe food. The tuna tostadas are the big seller here and I know why. 1/8" slices of tuna are marinated in soy sauce and orange juice and placed on top of freshly-fried tostadas with a spicy mayo, avocado and crispy-fried whites of scallions. A simple dash of lime and PacMan-sized mouth and you're good. Mmmmm. So fresh! The crab I loved as well, but this was the wife-stealer. For all the labor involved in removing the meat from crab, this isn't a bad deal at all. $14 for 4 tostadas.

Contramar Ceviche

Ceviche de Contramar
Next we had Contramar's ceviche special. This was not what we thought it would be. I prefer ceviche in smaller chunks and less sour. All I could taste was lime juice and mushy fish.

Contramar Pastor Fish Tacos

Pastor Fish Tacos
I like fish tacos. I like pastor. Can I have both? Si señor! From afar, this really looks like al pastor meat and even smells like it! The fish was moist, flavorful and delicious. The addition of the smoked pineapple adds the much needed sweetness to this spice-ful dish. I should have eaten more of these but at this point, I was STILL thinking about those tuna tostadas.

Contramar Caldo de Camaron

Caldo de Camaron (Shrimp Soup)
I fell in love with Mexican-style shrimp soup back in Tulum at this drive-by restaurant called La Bamba Jarocha. Because some f*ckface took our camera, our only evidence of that delicious soup can be found here. Our soup arrived in a small coffee cup with 2-3 pieces of shrimp. But what I was most stoked about was the use of Maggi seasoning in the broth. Oh how I love Maggi seasoning sauce. The soup was beautiful. I saw the rays of the sun breach through the clouds above and cupids hovered above with trumpets and harps. Absolute harmony.

Full as hell, we decided to eat even more because that's what vacation is all about. While Jeni was getting her Mexican-style ice cream (helado) at Neveria Roxy, I checked out this red truck across the street. There were about 5-6 people hovering around it like vultures. Could only mean one thing: food. I remembered this truck being mentioned in the Lonely Planet: Mexico book.

Taco Truck Guy2

We all love taco trucks, except for Gloria Molina, L.A. Count Board of Supervisors... but have you seen a taco truck, literally? This guy had his truck parked up on a sidewalk with a blue tarp connected from this truck to the nearby fence creating a portable 'roof'.

Taco Truck Guy4

Here you can see that an Asian vulture has arrived at the crime scene awaiting the grisly fate of its target.

Taco Truck Guy

A cleaver, broken piece of wood, plastic plates w/ waxpaper, meat and a truck. Simple yet beautiful.

Taco Truck Guy3

And to add some extra flavor, a juice-drenched hand tattered with spices.

Taco Truck Carnitas

Some of the moistest carnitas I've had.

El Califa Mexico City

But the party doesn't stop. After we took a nap, we were out and about again in search of our favorite pastor tacos within D.F.

El Califa Pastor Taco

Tacos al pastor is a dish that originates in Puebla, Mexico, by way of Lebanese immigrants. Which is why the use of the spit seems familiar – shawerma!

El Califa Pastor Taco2

On top of all the spits sit large pineapples like a star on a x'mas tree. The rising heat from the flames and roasting of the spit meat help cook the pineapple. After the cook slices off the meat, he does a quick flick of the wrist near the pineapple and lobs it on to your taco. Awesome. The spiciness of the pork and sweetness of the pineapple make for Mexican yin yang.

El Califa Costilla Taco

I have a favorite new cut of meat and it's not your typical ranchera steak; it's called costilla and is the rib section of the cow. Thin slices of rib meat are thrown onto an extremely hot griddle and cooks within 35 seconds. I topped these tacos off w/ some fresh onions, salsa verde and a few dashes of my favorite sauce, Maggi.

In a course of 6 hours, we had eaten at one restaurant and 2-3 taco stands. Full right? No. It was time for Jeni's birthday dinner at one of D.F.'s most popular restaurants, Pujol.

Pujol Mexico City DF

We rolled up to the restaurant in a cab and the first thing Jeni said was, "beautiful". I had done my research on this place and considered places like Aguila y Sol (closed) and Izote de Patricia Quintana. But I was interested in Pujol mostly because it was headed by a chef from the Culinary Institute of America in New York – Chef Enrique Olvera. Sold.

Contrary to reviews I had read about Pujol's service, we were given excellent service. From the beginning, we didn't have to raise our hands very often. The waiters came by quite frequently and checked upon us. The Chef de Cuisine even came out a few times for some tableside service – which was awesome. You would think that because we are foreigners that we might get neglected, but this wasn't the case. It also helps if you know a little Spanish and understand that there are no such things as burritos in Mexico City.

Pujol Aguacate Ravioli

Ravioles de Aguacate (Avocado Ravioli)
I expected to see a ravioli and was actually craving one, but I forgot that at any haute cuisine, familiar names for dishes are used quite loosely. This 'ravioli' consisted of shaved shrimp that's been lightly sautéed with spicy mayonnaise and sandwiched between two thinly sliced pieces of avocado (aguacate). Wow, so delicate and delectable. J wouldn't stop talking about this dish.

Pujol Nopales

Ensalada de Nopal Curado En Sal (Salt-cured Cactus Salad)
I tried cactus for the first time in the previous trip to Mexico – in Oaxaca specifically. If you haven't had cactus, it has a sliminess that is inherent in japanese mountain yams (yamaimo) and okra. This was served with a lemon sorbet, thinly shaved cactus, tomatoes and grated Mexican cheese. This dish was nice, and if it weren't for the ice cream, you'd be left with a slimy texture on your tongue.

Pujol Chapulines

Chapulines al Sartén
This is another delicacy I tried in Oaxaca – clay-toasted grasshoppers known as chapulines. This was Chef Olveras deconstruction of a grasshopper taco. The foam on top was made from tortillas, there's guacamole, radish and the protein. This wasn't our favorite.

Pujol Lengua

Lengua de Res (Beef Tongue)
But this was my favorite. I love beef tongue. Braised beef tongue over olive tapanade and fried onion ring. J gave me hers and I couldn't be more happy.

Pujol Fish & Mushroom Broth

Trucha (Fish in Mushroom Broth)
This was J's favorite... sous vide fish swimming in a pool of rich, earthy mushroom broth. The fish was unbelievably moist and went very well w/ the consomme.

Pujol Dessert

Pie Cremoso de Limón Verde (Fresh Yogurt & Green Lime Sorbet)
This was good as well. I've never had Mexican style yogurt.

After this 3.5 hour meal, J and I sat there looking at each other with comatosed expressions. I really needed to be forklifted back to my place – this was just too much food for us, on top of 5 different wines. The servers were very nice and hailed a cab for us as we paid for the bill, and because it was raining. I thanked the servers and told them I'd be back again, for this was truly a meal worth the money and dining experience. What I liked most about Chef Olvera's dishes was that he remained true to Mexican ingredients. It's easy for any chef to take the common items found in haute cuisine like pork belly, foie gras, diver scallops, etc. and add your own twist to it. But none of that was found on the menu.

As we sat in the cab, Jeni sat back with a tired gaze and she was about to get her last birthday surprise. And she didn't know it. We got back to our place and greeted the owner of the guesthouse and said good night. We walked up the stairs to our place. But before we could head towards the room, I took off my sweater and turned to Jeni.

D: "Are you ready for your last birthday surprise?"
J: "What?! There's more? No more, D! I'm tired."
D: "It's nothing big, come on."

I handed her my sweater and did my best terrorist-style blindfolding job. It looked like she had a black turban, which actually went well with her dress. I told her to stay there as I ran into the room. I opened the door, and what I saw, took me aback. I went back to the hallway to grab my lovely hostage and led her with one hand. We walked in slowly, hearing the creaking of the hardwood floor, and I shut the door. I took one more look at Jeni and the room we were in and asked her one more time.

D: "Are you ready for your birthday surprise?"
J: "...Yes."
D: "... Take off your blindfold, Jeni."

As she unraveled her sweater-blindfold, everything turned into slo-motion. I thought back to the time we met over 2 years ago and how we grew from two single people into a couple who could never be separated. I thought about the first time we ate on crates in front of a taco truck. And how we laughed and talked into the night. I never told her that she had a piece of cilantro stuck in her teeth the whole time, but it was okay because I didn't want to kill the moment. I thought about the sporadic weekend getaways to Santa Barbara we would take. I thought about the first time I met her parents and her brother. I thought about all the fights we had had. I thought about the time we rode on a scooter DRUNK in mainland China. I thought about how she never denied any type of adventurous food I ate. I thought about everything that happened in the 2 years that we've been dating and that it all came down to this particular time of the day in a guesthouse in Mexico City.

Jeni took off the blindfold and her eyes immediatly lit up to a room lit solely with candles, ridden with flowers on the floor and a man kneeling on one knee with something shiny in both of his hands. It took her almost 2 seconds to realize that I was on my knee and before I could speak a word, she started to cry. This was more than a birthday surprise for her, it was our engagement. And the best way to tell her that I love her.

And she said, "yes".

Read Jeni's story.

Thanks for reading.


Taco Ring

Jumex Coleccion Sign