The Vibrators and Circle One Live at The Airliner Tonight!

For the vintage UK ’77 punk rock lovers out there, The Vibrators are playing tonight at The Airliner in Highland Park!
And for the not so vintage punk rock lovers but California Hardcore lovers of punk, Circle One will be there opening up!

That’s right, the creators of “Baby, Baby, Baby”, the punk rock love anthem basically, are gonna be performing it live tonight. A pretty random match up, right? Sweet nonetheless.

The best part? The Vibrators are breaking the recent trend of punk bands playing at mainstream venues through Ticketmaster, meaning, it is only $10 to get in tonight! Cheers to keeping it punk!

I will be “working” tonight and covering the show for LA Weekly so see you guys there!

Here are a couple of singles from them both.

Cheers!

MAN VS. BEER Tonight At Far Bar. 20 Japanese Craft Beers for $25. 7 PM. Augustfest!

This just in via the Chuy-Wire…Puro Pinche Pari!

Far Bar in Little Tokyo is hosting the last night of MAN VS. BEER. In celebration of their exclusive “Augustfest” celebration they will offer the chance to taste 20 different, unique Japanese craft beers for $25. Here is the the scoop directly from the website.


As part of the Augustfest celebration, every Thursday come to FAR BAR Lounge and get the opportunity to taste 20 differently unique Japanese craft style beers for only $25. There will be music, Japanese horror and Samurai Movies and free popcorn! Challenge yourself and if you can finish, get your photo on the “WALL OF FAME”. Come early as the fun begins from 7pm-midnight. Only at the FAR BAR Lounge!

Girls-drinking-Beer

Pues, hay que aprovechar! Not sure if this is true or not but I heard that the portions will be allotted to five oz. of each beer. Let’s see x20, that is, hmm, hold on, carry over the one….100 pinche oz. of thick, high Alcohol luxurious Japanese craft beer!

This probably isn’t a good idea, I am the spitting image of a latino-fangled Gumby at 6’3 feet tall and like 135 lbs. But fuuuuuuuuuuck it, one last hurrah before I go back to 13 units of hardcore schoolage next week.

In the words of my beloved East L.A homies, “You’re not doooooown! Ahhh, gonna be a little biiiiiitch or what?”

Haha. I’ll see you guys there at 7 PM sharp, and wish me luck.

Cheers and more beers!

Good Morning Merida! A Typical Breakfast at a Local Mercado in Merida, Yucatan

The early bird gets the worm, but in Merida, the early [loud and tropical!] bird gets things like Panucho’s, Salbutes, Papadzules, Polcanes, Mondongo and much, much more…

It’s a little known fact amongst seasoned travelers and thrifty backpackers alike that to truly experience a destination, you must bypass the boundaries of the popular tourist zones. The food at La Chaya the night before was absolutely fine but I knew that if really wanted to eat like the locals, I had to visit the local mercado de comidas.

mercado hustle

The local mercado is where the workers who work those tourist destinations eat at, there will never be any air conditioning or glossy menus here and you will eat off a plastic bag-lined, weathered plastic plate. But if you are like me, you will consider the almost unbearable tropical heat and humidity just another terrific ambiance factor for the Mercado actually.

Not to mention the food will also be about ½ the price. The portions may not be as large but you can rest assured knowing that the flavors of the food not be either dumbed down or jacked up. See, the food at a mercado is made specifically to satiate the town’s working-class residents, people who most likely have lived in that town for generations and know what a dish should taste and look like. Hence, the food at a Mercado is almost always… bomb!

Our hotel Residencial was fortunately located about eight blocks away from the town’s zocalo, adjacent to the towns local Mercado.

A mercado will always have more than a handful of stands and most of them will be slanging the same thing. It can become a bit of a daunting experience to choose one with each one of the vendors trying there hardest to get you to eat with them over the rest. I usually settle with the one with most people, as the food will be more often rotated, ie. fresher. But whatever you choose, chances are it’s going to be pretty good.

La Lupita Signage

My family and I sat La Lupita’s, one of the cocina’s located inside the mercado as opposed to the ones you initially walk by on the outside. I am pretty infatuated with my roots and culture but even then, I need a break from the almighty tortilla once in while. Fortunately in Merida, they also have some quite exceptionally crusty French baguettes that are used for tortas instead of the more fluffier telera or bolillo rolls.

Merida Mercado offerings

The display case with the morning’s offerings was pretty exciting, boasting a colorful array of things to sample. Being a full time advocate for the beyond-thanksgiving consumption of turkey, I was ecstatic to realize that Pavo in Yucatan was just as common a filling as Al Pastor or Asada is in the rest of Mexico.

torta de relleno negro

I jumped at the opportunity to have the meaty fowl as a breakfast option, especially when bathed in that wondrous, jet-black Yucatan Relleno Negro mole like sauce and propped atop some toasted baguette. Exercise a bit more caution with the salsas on the table though, they will tentatively have some sort of habanero effect in them.

The delicate petite sandwich didn’t quite satisfy my voraciously curious tummy so I ventured into the neighboring stand to see what else I’d find.

Score! They had yet another exclusive turkey rendition! This time, the roasted whole bird was drenched pickled in a vinegary, onion-heavy marinade called escabeche.

Yucatan offers many more cool-sounding, carby vehicles to enjoy these fillings with, its not just tortillas or bread anymore in the land of the South. No, there are things like Panuchos, Sambutes and Polcanes. I didn’t know what the hell any of these really were so I decided on the craziest sounding one to try naturally, “un sambute de pavo en escabeche por favor, con todo!”

Salbute de Escabeche de Pavo
It turned out to be quite the lovely surprise. A thick, handmade pocket of yellow corn dough that is fried medium hard and then topped with the filling of your choice. It reminded me a lot like a Mexican version of the Indian street food classic, Pani Puri.

Another plus of eating at a mercado is the high probability of a roaming vendor stopping at your table to offer you some of his home cooked bounty. Like this dulces tipicos hawker that stopped at ours. I forgot what each of their names were but I got one of each of course. My particular favorites were the meringues, the crisp meringue clouds that exuded sweet syrup and were still creamy on the inside, this piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar) taffy with bits of chewy young coconut baked within it and the chili pepper-shaped pumpkin seed candy that had a similar texture to Italian Marzipan even.

dulces tipicos de yucatan

Ahh…pansa llena y corazon contento!

La Chaya: Yucatan Food in Merida and Finally Eating It (Merida, Yucatan)

We arrived to Merida a little before sunset. I couldn’t believe it; I was finally in the south of Mexico! After years of being fascinated by the unique cuisine of the motherland’s south I was finally going to get to eat it. Until now, my knowledge of the cuisine was strictly limited to L.A’s “Chichen-Itza” restaurant.

Keeping it strictly adventurous, we didn’t reserve any hotel so that was first on the list. We settled for “La Residencial” eight blocks away from the central zocalo. We walked and walked around the town, I couldn’t believe the chirping clamor of the tropical birds were not coming out of a speaker or something.

La Chaya

After buying our fair share of trinkets, it was time to eat. I asked around and was led to “Chaya”, one of the cities more popular restaurants apparently. I was a little turned off at the half-hour wait and strictly-tourist customers, but whatever, my dad was getting cranky.

tortillera
totopos con salsas mayas

It looked a little gimmicky with the handmade tortillas being assigned to two stations inside the restaurants but the chips and salsa proved to be an interesting surprise. Just like every other Yucatan food that has a cool-ass name, the chips are called “Totopos” here. They were served with a toasty, green-pepita paste, a black bean puree, a thin salsa and a habanero relish. Not a bad start.

Agua de Chaya
Agua de Chaya at La Chaya

When in Yucatan, drink Agua de Chaya! especially if you are eating at a restaurant that is called after it. The spinach-y green doesn’t really taste like anything different from any other meaty green, especially when combined with lots of lime and sugar but its good and its “green”, so its cool.

La chaya Menuage

I kinda wanted to order everything on the menu, everything sounded so cool! We started off with an order of “Vaporcitos”. Which I quickly found out were really just banana-leaf wrapped tamales with a stuffing of turkey. They weren’t the softest or most flavorful but the fried tomato salsa smothering made up for it.

I ended up ordering for my dad and little sister since they didn’t really know what the hell any of the food was.

I recommended the Tixin-Xic to my dad.

Mariscos Tikin-Xic
Tixin-Xic

This dish is a common Yucatan dish, an Achiote-marinated fish baked in banana leaf. Here, it was a mish-mash of a bunch of different seafood and was served “sizzling” style. It wasn’t bad.

And for my sister? Los Tres Mosqueteros Yucatecos
Los Tres Mosqueteros Yucatecos at La Chaya

Without a doubt, this was the winning dish of the evening. It consisted of three thin, yellow corn crepes enveloping braised turkey meat, each one showered with a different Yucatan sauce, then glued together with this sweet plantain mash. The most interesting was probably the Relleno Negro sauce, Yucatan’s emulsified, thinned-down, ink-like answer to a black Mole. The second one was their Pipian, the usually-thick pumpkin seed sauce got the velvety treatment as well. Last was the Papadzule sauce, another pumpkin seed centered sauce but more toasty. T’was bomb indeed.

The first dish that drew me to L.A’s Chichen Itza restaurant was Pan de Cazon so I decided to try it straight from the source here.

pan de cazon
Pan de Cazon at La Chaya

It was just as I expected, a hell of a lot better! The dish consists of lightly-fried stacked tortillas layered with black beans and seasoned Thresher Shark meat, then of course, showered with more of that signature Yucatecano, marinara-like red salsa. In other words, they are what enchiladas would look like if a contemporary architect had his way with them, an enchilada skycraper if you will. Note to self, lightly fried handmade tortillas is way better than spaghetti to sop up tomato sauce with.

The meal came out to about 350 pesos, aka “tourist prices” in the words of my cranky papa. Sure, I could had probably eaten the better versions of the same dishes we got for 1/3 the price at the local mercado but at least one splurge was imminent for me in Merida.

Now, it was time to make up for it and find some tasty street food dessert outside…

La Chaya Restaurante
Calle 62 X 57 local 2 |
Centro Historico,
Mérida, México

East L.A Meets Napa This Friday! Carnitas and Cabernet!

Damn, this year went by pretty fast, huh?

Well, its that time of year again for everyone’s favorite food and wine event! The 6th annual East L.A Meets Napa celebration is happening this Friday evening at Union Station! From 6-9 PM, get drunk and full as f*** for a good cause!

its not always 40 oz.
It’s Not Always 40 oz!

And I’m not just using “everyone’s favorite” as a generic term foo. For some reason, everyone–Eastsiders and Westsiders alike–tend to dub this event as their “favorite” every time they they meet me. Compared to the rest of these traditionally stuffy, snobby food and wine events I guess? It must be out latin passion eyy! haha.

No but seriously, this event is pretty fun. It wrangles together most of the cities current top Mexican restaurants and some pretty top-notch latino-owned wineries. Also, its pretty funny to see all the powerful brown politicos dancing salsa and grown up hoochie-mama’s taqueando and getting all barras! Support the cause ese!

un taco de cevichazo y nopalitos
Ceviche and Nopales From Last Years Offerings

cacaos taquiza assortment
A Taquiza Plate from Cacao Mexicatessen (taken last year)

I’ve been covering this pachanga for the past three years and trust me, this shit cracks!
Check out my past coverage.

East L.A Meets Napa (2009)

East L.A Meets Napa (2010)

Here is the info, I know the ticket is a little pricey but its worth it! I promise. C’mon its for a good cause!

(taken from the email they sent to me)


Carnitas and Cabernet Converge as East LA Meets Napa Celebrates

the Cuisine of Michoacán

What: AltaMed’s Sixth Annual East LA Meets Napa celebration returns to Union Station to pay tribute to the regional cuisine of Michoacán – considered by some to be Mexico’s soul food. The event will feature the diversity of Los Angeles’ Latin cuisine and fine wine from Latino-owned or -operated Napa Valley wineries. A total of 60 wine and food pairing stations will feature the best wine and food Southern and Northern California has to offer.

East LA Meets Napa showcases the contributions of Latinos to California’s multi-billion dollar food and wine industry. The event provides culinary enthusiasts with the opportunity to support AltaMed’s mission – increasing access to quality and culturally relevant health and human services to underserved communities in Southern California. AltaMed provides quality care without exception.

When: Friday, July 8, 2011

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Where: Union Station

800 N. Alameda St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Who: Cástulo De La Rocha, President and CEO of AltaMed

Wine Industry Representatives from Napa Valley and

Latino Winery and Restaurant Owners

Music by Jose Rizo’s Mongorama

Visuals: 1,400 guests enjoying fine wine, fantastic Latin food, and dancing to live music amidst the backdrop of historic Union Station.



BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

Finally Amongst My Own Kind! My First Group Scooter Ride and an Ode to My Bajaj (San Gabriel Valley Vintage: Pasadena)

Ok, so this post isn’t either food, alcohol or music related but its just as cooool!

So as many of you know, I chose the two-wheeled way of life instead of the conventional safety cage when I graduated High School. Just like pretty much every other aspect of my life, I decided to go counter-culture in my way of transportation too! Haha. Yup, no used, 90’s Honda for me! Instead, my heart fell in love with the scooter way of life. I bought my baby back in 08′, a pitch-black 06 Bajaj Chetak, off a craigslist and that was it, scooters and motorcycles it would be for the rest of my life!

l

Maybe it was my endless fascination with motocross growing up or maybe it was the U.K mod influence listening to British Punk Rock, whatever it was…I’ve just always wanted a motor bike of any kind. So, when push came to throttle and it was time for my dad to HELP me pay for a vehicle (I worked hard for it and paid most of it myself man!) I went for the Bajaj baby!

my baby back from the shop
my baby
my baby's behind

Bajaj isn’t technically a “Vespa” but it looks a lot like a P-Series one and much of the same parts are used and its still vintage-scooter-clutch style, so, it still gets some respect from the sometimes-snooty vintage scooter crowd. Bajaj is an Indian, 4-stroke scooter (no pre-mixing gas and oil for me thank you very much!) and its built like a freaking tank! Not to mention it requires very little maintenance, which is highly ideal for one, extremely busy and lazy me!

Of course my parents warmed me about the consequences of riding beforehand: “Y que cuando llueve?” (How about when it rains?) Or even the motorcyclist essential…”te vas a matar menso!” (you are going to kill yourself!) But if you are of the two-wheeled way of life, people and parents can try to stop you all they want but it won’t mean anything after you go on your first ride…

Anyways, this last weekend I partook in my first “group ride” through the San Gabriel Valley Vintage Scooter Club . The ride was themed “Here comes the summer!” and it was one of the best experiences in my life. They get together and ride on the first Sunday of every other month – meet at 11, ride at noon. My hardcore hangover didn’t stand a chance against the combined positive energy formed by a bunch of loud, two-stroke beautiful scooters. We met at Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena and rode to the Rose Bowl, down Colorado…all thirty of us!

backside
hang a left
fill her up
looking back
the last resort shirt wearing guy
I like your red vespa
scooters invade suburbia
posted on his lambaretta
photo opp!

By the end of the day, I realized I rode over 100 miles as I also use my scooter as my car, not just for leisure! My skin was left extra crispy by the sun and my left wrist hurt after holding the clutch all day. But I finally felt amongst my own kind. People that decide to ride a scooter in their life are unique individuals, in a geeky way but also a passionate way. Not really accepted by the majority of riders out there (Harley’s and Pocket Rockets) so to be amongst so many other like-minded people felt goooood.

There is a new awesome scooter exhibition and ride going on next weekend at the Petersen Auto Museum called “Scooters: Size Doesn’t Always Matter” on Wilshire and Fairfax. So check that out if you guys want to find out more about this powerful two-wheel phenomena.

Even if my bike wasn’t technically “vintage” or a Vespa, I didn’t really care. Like my very good friend from East LA Carlos “Pee-Wee” Escamilla–the only other guy amongst my group of friends who decided to buy a motorbike too (a sweet 250 Ninja) said, “It doesn’t really matter what you ride man….as long as you ride”

l-1
Me on My Bike the Very First Day I Bought It

Passion Makes Perfect: A Recipe For Jashmine Corpuz’s Seasonal Olallieberry Pie

J.C Pies
Passion Makes Perfect:
It Only Seems Hard

There is something to be said when someone chooses to follow their passion no matter what…for better or for worse. Maybe it will never ‘make sense’, maybe it will never be the most ‘rational’ nor is it ever going to be anywhere near the most ‘secure’ choice neither. But…material wealth and security are mere frailties in life when you do not spend it doing and perfecting what you truly love. And that intangible feeling of pure unexplicable happiness and ever-understanding mental satisfaction–is priceless.

That being said, I will now share a seasonal Summer pie recipe courtesy of Jashmine Corpuz, the bon vivant pastry chef of Drago Centro. I was lucky enough to try it but don’t think I realized just how great it really was until now.

High quality berries can be found at the Murray Family Farms stand during the Wednesday morning Santa Monica Farmers Market. Her unique addition of Tapioca starch retains this pies moistness quite nicely so it won’t look like a bloody murder scene upon slicing, it also adds a more stable body to the cooked berries. Also, a respectable amount of both fresh lemon zest and juice keeps the berries intense fruity-tart flavor train going. This recipe was made with pure fresh Olallie’s but you can make from whatever berries that are lucky enough to bless you, boysen’s, blue’s, raspb’s a mixture even with Rhubarb even, its all up to you…

Pie'd And Confused
Dessert Devotchka

Jashmine Corpuz’s Seasonal Olallieberry Pie

*preheat oven to 500

Pie Dough

2 ½ C AP flour
1tsp Salt
2TB Sugar
½ C Shortening
1 ½ sticks Butter (unsalted)
7TB Ice water

Measure shortening and butter first. Cut fat into small pieces. Place in freezer for about 20 min. This will keep your dough cold.

Measure other dry ingredients and place in a food processor.

Scatter frozen butter in processor and pulse until the fat are the size of peas.

Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl.

Add the ice water, and with a pastry scraper gently fold and cut into the dough. Do not knead it! This will only make your crust tough.

Once it forms a ball, shape it into a disk and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Olallieberry Filling

3pints Olallieberries
3pints Blueberries
1C+1TB Sugar
1tsp Lemon Zest
2tsp Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
4TB Tapioca Starch
2TB Butter (unsalted)

1. Place berries in a medium bowl.

2. Zest lemon and juice. Place all other dry ingredients over berries and gently fold.

3. Let this sit and marinate for a bit.

To Assemble:

1. Lightly flour dough and roll out to 1/4 “ in thickness. Use flour when necessary to avoid sticking.
2. Gently use the rolling pin to pick up the sheet of dough and roll over a 9” pie pan.
3. Lightly press the inside of the pan. With kitchen shears cut around the pie tin leaving 1 ½ “ off of the edge.
4. Save the dough scraps and roll out again. Cut into 1” strips. You should have at least 8 of them
5. Fill the pie with the berry mixture. Add the 2 TB of butter to the top of this.
6. Take 4 strips and lay them across the pie horizontally. Fold back every other strip.
7. Lay down a strip vertically. Unfold the horizontal strips. Next fold back the other horizontal strips and repeat the process.
8. Cut any excess hanging strips.
9. Fold the crust over the strips to seal the lattice. Pinch the edges all around the crust.
10. Lower the oven temperature to 450. Place pie in the oven. After 30 min lower the temp to 400 and turn the pie. Bake for another 30 min.
11. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 1 hour.

berries all ready to go

jashmines opence pie

Step By Step Lattice Visual Guide:

lattice step 1

lattice step 2

lattice step 3

All Pie'd Up And Ready To Go

She served it to me with a dollop of freshly whipped Lavender cream and it was a slice I will never forget…

unforgettable pie slice