Friday, 25 June 2010


Quality. One of those things that makes life better. Like excellence. It doesn’t have to mean spending more, sometimes it’s just going into the local café next to the Starbucks that has a mean cup of coffee, for less money and far better atmosphere.

I’m thinking maybe I could devote a weekly Friday blog to things that make me go yum.

Here are a few new things that turned me out recently.

Theo Chocolate

When my FB friend Laura posted something about Coconut Curry Chocolate, I was enticingly dumbfounded. Through her largesse, I yesterday received a Fed Ex package of Theo Chocolate at the door! She sent both the Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate and a dark Chili Chocolate.

The package was filled with packing peanuts. Then a silver bubble wrap packet. Inside that was a cool gel pack in a Ziploc. Then a brown paper wrapper (yes – food porn requires a brown paper wrapper) and then – voila – 3 bars of chocolate with a bow. They were taking care of this chocolate.

I usually eat chocolate v-e-r-y slowly. A few squares a day. I did not think it was appropriate to try the chocolate for breakfast. I managed to hold myself off til after lunch.

When I opened the bar, there were not little squares marked off. There was more like a big chunk. Hmmmm….what to do. Okay. So I broke off the first chunk. Took one bite, and then immediately another. Then was transported to another dimension. The texture – you can feel the curry and the coconut, and yet it is still smooth and creamy. The taste that layers – first the milky chocolate (totally right choice – dark chocolate would have been too heavy and woodsy and in competition with the curry), then the curry, then the coconut. Not too sweat. Delectable.

Theo’s is a local Seattle chocolatier. They are organic, fair trade, and have vegan options.

I can’t wait to try more!!!

Sweet Rose Creamery

The Brentwood Country Mart can be the butt of jokes. It is extremely bougey. It has suffered since Bristol Farms went away. But it is also a best-kept

Westside secret. A place for writing breaks, diversions, a fun stroll, and the best shoemaker in town.

Now it is home to Sweet Rose Creamery – a new boutique ice cream shop from the folks behind Rustic Canyon and Huckleberr. Not gelato – ice cream - they were quite clear about that. I went in there one afternoon, quite full – too full to justify getting ice cream. But they allowed me to taste.

First try – the Salted Caramel. Wow. I’m not completely on the salted caramel bandwagon, but wow. This was perfection – the flavours hit in the right order – a little salt, then the creamy buttery sweetness.

Next try – Caffe Luxxe Coffee. Did that say “Caffe Luxxe Coffee”? Yes – they are using coffee provided by Caffe Luxxe (who will soon be opening another shop next store) for their ice cream. Back in the day, when Haagen Dazs was a little store in Queens that hand-packed ice cream pints, this is what the Coffee tasted like. Only, I think, possibly, this one is better. It’s a lot of years separating the two tastings, but I’m feeling confident that this is the best Coffee Ice Cream I’ve ever tried.

The Hazelnut-Chocolate was not as earth-shattering as I’d hoped. It didn’t have much on the gelatos I’ve tried. But the other flavours were heavenly.

The shop is very homey - country, but sparse and not cloying.

They have sorbets and a vegan option daily.

Pho Show

Eating late in Los Angeles can mean trips to the 7-11 or crabby service at Canter’s or too bright, too loud, too much Swingers.

So I’m not sure I should even blog about this one, but here goes. Pho Show is a – you got it – Pho place open til 2am. Near Culver on Sepulveda, it is well-located, mod, cool, and has a huge menu in addition to the Pho. Yummy and reasonable and where else can you get a Vietnamese Iced Coffee at 1 in the morning?

Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra @ California Plaza

If you don’t know, Grand Performances runs fantastic, free, outdoor events all summer in downtown Los Angeles.

Last weekend, the return of Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra to its home base was heart-warmingly transcendent. Double G’s vision has grown to sublime fruition in this 70-piece orchestra doing hip hop covers with live MC’s, back-up singers, two drummers (including MadLib), a DJ (Jedi!), and even a guest appearance by Macy Gray.

The place was packed, the energy was high and it was a testament to the will, strength, talents and persistence of the homegrown artists of LA that Dakah not only exists, but thrives, and is supported and adored by its community.

Don’t tell me this town ain’t go no soul.

No comments: