Ever since eating at David Chang's Fuku on my first trip to New York City, I've been craving more. When I found myself in Las Vegas for a day, I knew I had to make it for dinner. Momofuku Las Vegas opened in early 2017 and is Chang's first West Coast location. As resident of the Cosmopolitan and neighbor to Christina Tosi's Milk Bar, the pair look right at home amongst the neon lights of the strip. The restaurant has four distinct menus; lunch, social hour, dinner and late night. Drawing inspiration from the US, Japan and Korea the menu features a constantly evolving selection of steamed buns, noodles, and large format dinners.
We started with an order of crab deviled eggs and a dozen raw oysters. The eggs, topped with Dungeness crab, smoked trout roe and crispy bonito, were the perfect bite of richness and saltiness. Paired with the freshness of the oysters, accompanied by a sochu melon ice and a combination of lime juice and black pepper, these appetizers were an ideal way to start our dinner.
Our first table side preparation of the night was 4 ounces of 5A Hokkaido Wagyu beef. The meat was sliced and cooked on a blocks of pink Himalayan sea salt. The propane torch used to sear the meat was outfitted with a special filter used to keep the propane from touching the meat.
Aside the salt blocks, the meat was only seasoned with a little sesame oil and served with fresh grated wasabi. The final result were bite sized morsels of soft, deeply flavorful beef served at the ideal temperature. Enjoyed alone, the product speaks for itself.
Our second table side preparation was Chang's signature 5 spice rotisserie duck. The perfectly cooked duck breast was sliced and served over Jasmine rice with duck leg confit. The meal was served ssäm style, with bibb lettuce, chive pancakes, kimchi, hoisin, ssäm sauce, ginger scallion sauce and fresh herbs. The lettuce and chive pancakes were used to warp the rice, duck and any of the sauces one desired, the ginger scallion sauce was my favorite.
The bones were taken back to the kitchen and deep fried, creating almost a duck chicharrón. It felt so primal to be chewing on bones, looking for the perfect little bites of crispy skin and meat. Totally worth it.
Our sides were just as delicious as our main dishes. We had crispy potatoes loaded with tofu truffle sauce, parmesan and chives. The fry factor was so appealing. We also snacked on shishito peppers dusted with smoked salt and lime, because why not?
Dessert was complimentary, and consisted of Milk Bar's crack pie and signature cereal milk soft serve with a cereal crumble. The texture of the ice cream was unlike anything I've tried and definitely lived up to it's expectations. The whole meal did honestly, and I can't wait to visit more of David Chang's restaurants. Might have to try the fried chicken and caviar dinner next time. Yeah, you read that right.
This is the second month I've reviewed concentrates for Phoenix-based dispensary Swell Farmacy. This month I received three strains, two of which came in both shatter and crumble. Instead of reviewing them from favorite to least favorite like last month, I will be comparing the same strains against each other. Big thank you to the people at Swell for valuing my opinion!
Cherry Tang Shatter
Taste: Very citrusy, clean & smooth.
Effect: Spacey & stoney, but functional with a good head high and light body high.
Who's the winner? Shatter.
It's a tie!
Do you ever wonder why some roses are red, while others are pink or white? Or why potatoes are brown, yellow, purple and red? The answer my friend are phenotypes, a 'composite of an organism's observable characteristics or traits.' Imagine walking into the produce section of your local grocery store, how many different types of tomatoes do you see? At least 4; cherry, heirloom, vine ripe and roma. What are the differences, and which one do you pick? This is a question cannabis cultivators ask themselves regularly.
During the initial breeding process cultivators carefully chose male and female plants with specific characteristics, the plants are then bred using the male pollen and a new strain is born! The seeds from the female are then harvested and then the pheno hunt can begin. Cultivators who don't breed themselves will often get new strains in seed packs, while others might purchase clones. Many believe clones are the only way to obtain a 'real cut' of a sought after strain, but that's another story.
Generally a pack of seeds contains between 3-10 seeds, sometimes even more. Regular seed packs contain both male and female plants while feminized seeds are all female. Feminized seeds can sometimes be less stable and cause problems later on. Males, if not kept separate, can also cause flowering plants to seed unnecessarily. Seedlings are labeled with the strain name followed by a number. In this case we have UK Cheese and Buddah Tahoe OG, which do you think is the best?
Leave your opinion in the comments below!
The wonderful people at Swell Farmacy recently asked me if I would be interested in reviewing some products for them. Of course I said yes! I'm excited to start familiarizing myself with the products in the Arizona market. I was given 5 strains to review, and here they are! In order from favorite to least, on a scale between 1-5, with 5 being the best.
MüV Products: Gromulan [THC: 87% CBD 7%]
Taste: Strong smell and flavor, sweet & dank.
Effect: Very enjoyable. Uplifting with a light body high.
Canamo Concentrates: Guice [THC: 86.32% CBD: 2.14%]
Taste: Lots of good flavor, but a little harsh at the beginning.
Effect: Not too heavy, but relaxing & spacey.
Swell: Nerdy Kush [THC: 77.74% CBD: 2.61]
Taste: Clean, but not very flavorful.
Effect: Strong body & head high.
Swell: Tahoe Lemonade [THC: 84.81 CBD: 2.61]
Taste: Pleasant, but little flavor.
Effect: Light body high, uplifting & energizing.
read more about the 710 Cup on Cannabis Now.
When we first moved to Phoenix, we had nowhere to live. We turned to The Clarendon Hotel because of their pet friendly policy, but apparently this is one of the coolest hotels in Phoenix! The Joint Lifestyle 4th of July party isn't the first cannabis event The Clarendon has hosted, and I hope it won't be the last! The entire was hotel was bought out for the cannabis-centric Independence Day party. Those who chose to the stay the night received a gift box of full of medicated gifts! Our box contained hard candies from Flourish, THC Syrup from Baked Bros, Paw Puddy Hemp CBD oil from Hempful Farms, a gram of Ghost OG from Herbal Wellness Center, a palm stick from Pura Earth, a $50 gift card to Sun Valley and a t-shirt from Sublime Brands. Opening this box in my hotel room was an almost surreal way to start the party. If you would have told me last year that I would be attending a medicated 4th of July pool party at a hotel in Arizona, I would have called you a liar.
Cafe Tranquilo, the hotels restaurant, had a special menu out as well. Medicated salsas and sauces were provided by Flourish to accompany tacos. As well as more medicated treats including s'mores, marinara covered meatballs and raw cannabis juice for the VIP attendees. The tacos were all really good, and the sauce had just the right amount of heat and so much flavor. The Sonora Dog I had, which should have been called a chilli dog, was clunky and hard to eat but was really enjoyable as far as taste goes. I didn't mind making the mess.
Vapen Clear, Tru Med and High Grade came through with plenty of rigs, e-nails and dabs to share with patients. Their booths were all busy from the beginning of the day until the end of the night. The lines moved quickly and lots of dabs were taken. I honestly expected people to have their own rigs but I didn't see any dabbing outside of the booths.
There was no better way to end the night than rolling up poolside. As people retired to their rooms, went home, or tried not to pass out on the patio furniture we sparked up our last joint of the night. This was my first consumption event since living in Arizona, and I have to say it was a blast. Coming from somewhere like San Francisco, pool days were few and far between. I honestly expected to be out of my comfort zone since I never saw myself as the 'pool party type' but it all felt so...normal. I can't wait to see what's in store for my future in this community, but whatever happens I'm sure it will be a blast.
Who doesn't love fried potatoes covered in cheese and bacon and pulled pork? If you don't, you're a liar. Our friends at Big Bad Wolf invited us to try their smothered creations this weekend and all I can say is YUM! The menu was limited due to the heatwave but everything we had was so good! The full menu must be amazing too.
We started with an order of loaded fries and an order of crispy wings with smokey BBQ sauce. The truck was conveniently parked outside BlackRock Brewers so we popped inside to sit down, eat and have a few beers. Jason had the Admiration IPA and I had the Tucson Tickle, I normally don't go for common beers but the name was too cute and it ended up being really good!
These loaded fries were covered in a spicy seasoning blend and covered in cheese, bacon and their signature wolf sauce. After a few joints and a beer, you know this hit the spot. The spice was balanced so well with the cheese and creamy wolf sauce, I couldn't stop eating until they were finished. The chicken wings were next and boy were they crispy! The sauce doused over the wings left enough crispy skin exposed to get those nibbles of perfectly crisped skin while still retaining the flavor of the sauce. 6 wings was not enough.
Round two was loaded pulled pork fries, delicious right? Those loaded fries I loved so much with pulled pork on top, yes! I haven't had pulled pork this tender and juicy in years. With the same smokey BBQ sauce used on the wings drizzled over the top, my mouth was in heaven.
Looks good, hu?
If you follow me on social media, you know that I recently moved from sunny California to even sunnier Arizona! I was scared at first but once I realized they also had beer and weed, I felt better.
I saw a poster for the AmeriCAN Canned Beer festival at the local Cheba Hut, and I knew I had to go. Honestly, a day of drinking in the sun and heat was rather intimidating, but how I could I pass it up?
We knew food was crucial to keep us going all day, and we were overjoyed to see Hopdoddy Burger Bar serving sliders for free! The only option available, cleverly named 'Little Boozie' featured beer as an ingredient. Sleepy Dog IPA to be specific, who was serving beer at the event as well.
I tried to write down everything I tried that day, but I only managed to remember about half the time. With over 250 types of canned beer available, I was overwhelmed with styles and flavors to choose from. I was so happy to see the Smuttynose booth, their blueberry gose was a favorite on my trip to NYC. The new peach version available was easily one of the best beers of the day. Ballast Point (who didn't have very nice servers) and Modern Times (very nice servers) were a few of the many representing San Diego beer. Mango Even Keel session IPA, Fruitlands gose, and a tiny sip of Drop Art tart saison kept me going for a while.
There were only a handful of booths not selling beer. Most of these booths sold clothes, one advertised a DUI lawyer, but Swell Farmacy - a local medical cannabis dispensary - provided beer drinkers with games and coupons for free 8ths for patients. They even raffled off the cornhole boards after the event! It was hard not to have mixed feelings about the presence of medical cannabis at a beer event, but I guess that's one way to spread the good word!
The only thing I really remember drinking after that was Destihl Synchopathic, a dry hopped sour ale part of their 'Wild Sour' series. I tried their Lynnbrook raspberry sour a few years ago while visiting Chicago and was so excited to see them again! Friends enjoyed samples from Sleepy Dog, New Belgium before I refilled with Sun Up Bearded Blonde.
Goose Island had a huge tent with tables and mason jars full of hops for guests to smell while they enjoyed their beers, which I thought was a great interactive way for people to learn about beer, not just drink it! I went with their Four Star Pills, something mellow to end the day.
Keeping the beer and guests at a comfortable temperature was a challenge but from buckets and pool toys to huge mist machines, we all managed to have a good time. Hats off to the organizers, breweries and volunteers for throwing a great event!
I never understood why my dad loved canned fish so much, then I went to Spain and it all made sense. As a Mexican, visiting Spain was a very eye opening experience for me. Northern Mexico, where my family is from, has a significantly smaller indigenous population than Southern Mexico so the Spanish influence can be more prevalent. After spending some time in Spain, I now feel like I can see that part of myself when I look in the mirror.
I was researching for places in Barcelona with great views of the city when I found Marea Alta, a view I unfortunately didn't photograph. The restaurant and bar inhabit the top floors of El Edificio Colon and has a very stylish, almost vintage maritime feel. I felt like I was in a Wes Anderson film. We were overwhelmed by the menu, so we decided to go for their tasting menu. The menu overall pays homage to the wonderful and fresh seafood provided by the Mediterranean Sea, as well as a the traditional canned seafood of the Galicain coast. The tasting menu changes regularly, and we were able to make a few choices as far as dishes went.
We started with some appetizers: anchovies, smoked mussels, sardine filets, caixetes or Noah's Ark shells, and shrimp tartare that played on the classic Spanish tapa Gambas Al Ajillo. The appetizers were served with a fish and herb broth that helped cleanse the palate between bites.
Our next dish was one of the richest plates of food I've ever had. A bed of potatoes mashed with parmesan cheese, topped with a layer of whipped egg yolks and covered in sea urchin. The sea urchin really helped cut the richness of the dish, but once it was gone I couldn't finish the rest.
Next came grilled hake jowell and langoustines. I have never had fish jowell before but I found it to be really enjoyable. It was soft and rich like butter, almost melted in my mouth. The langoustines reminded me of really big shrimp, we ate the bodies and sucked the rich goodness out of the head.
Next was stingray stewed with chickpeas and herbs. The stingray was hard to eat, there were lots of bones that were hard to get around but after a little trying we figured it out. The soft flavor of the fish married really well with the heartiness of the chickpeas and the broth helped it go down smooth.
The showstopper was a whole grilled Turbot. The innards were removed, but the skin and roe remained. It was a lot to eat for just two people but we got through it. The fish was delicious, full of smoky, chargrilled flavor. The skin was crispy which was a nice contrast to the soft fish.
Then came our first dessert course, a mango sorbet with a gin foam and sliced pear and fresh berries. It was supposed to be a play on a gin and tonic, I thought it was yummy either way!
The final dessert was a traditional Spanish pastry filled with cream served with a coffee chocolate sauce. The pastry reminded me of croissant, it was light and flaky and paired well with the sweet cream inside. The coffee and chocolate was too strong for me but my boyfriend loved it! It was a great way to end the meal, and our trip to Barcelona.
Cannabis farmers markets are on the rise across the country, making their debut in the Bay Area this month at Harvest in San Francisco and Magnolia Wellness in Oakland. Intrigued by the idea, I decided to stop by Magnolia and check it out. The event was modest in size, with about 14 booths, some which were shared by multiple vendors. Fresh flowers, tasty edibles and community services all conveniently located in one sunny parking lot. Unfortunately, I didn't visit every booth. Sun Roots Farm and Humboldt Apothecary were too busy and I was too shy. Beezle Extracts and First Class Concentrates were packing up by the time I got there. 420 Fitness was too intimidating for my out of shape self. Operation EVAC was busy educating people on their wonderful services. But these are booths I did visit!
Clarified Confections makes medicated Ghee, a form of clarified butter, and delicious cookies with it. Jars of their organic and grass-fed Ghee were on sale for $50 and contained a whopping 2,000mg of THC. One teaspoon contained about 80mg, making it a potent product that was certainly worth the price. I didn't taste it, but the smell was pungent. I did taste one of the cookies, the Spiced Iced Pumpkin Cookie, which was amazing. I'm not a fan of sweets but I'm one of those people who loves anything pumpkin even if it's not autumn. The cookies came in 80mg doses, perfect to split with a friend or for all day snacking.
We all love vape pens for their convenience, but know that they might not always be the most effective. Whether it be a faulty cartridge or battery, 'watered down' product or bad flavor, there are variables that can make them less enjoyable. humblt makes disposable vape pens with 200 precise doses, guaranteed. I tried the pen for the first time, the 'calm' high CBD variety. After 3 second of inhaling the pen vibrated, signaling me to stop. The flavor was there, smooth and sweet. I didn't even cough! Each pen is formulated with specific ratios of THC, CBD, accessory cannabinoids and various terpenes to achieve different effects. This is an ideal product for novice users looking for a more controlled and precise medicating experience. They also have a pen recycling program which gets you a discount on your next purchase.
Soul Sugar Kitchen, also known as Edibles by Marcus, and winner of 'Best Packaging' in the edibles category at 2016's Happy Place Festival caught my eye with it's bright colors and fun imagery. The big bowls of medicated snack mix samples grabbed my attention too. Garlic Parmesan and Chesapeake Bay seasoned snack mix were the savory options. Handmade chocolate truffles and peanut butter cups with a variety of interesting flavors were the sweet options. The snacks were dosed at 100mg-200mg per bag with about 4 servings per bag, great for sharing and enjoying a few times yourself.
Sonoma County based Absolute Xtracts, Care By Design and Satori Chocolates shared a colorful booth full of vape pen cartridges, medicated sweets and high CBD medicine. I was excited to see the Absolute Xtracts and Jeremy Fish collaboration "Fish Tanks" and there also were some Absolute Xtracts x Emerald Cup collaboration cartridges among the flavors available. I had never heard of Satori chocolates, and as someone who doesn't really like chocolate, I thought they were super tasty. You could tell by the taste and texture of the product that the ingredients are of quality. The strawberries, blueberries and raisins were my favorite. Each piece ranges in dosage from 1mg, 2mg, 3mg, 6mg and 10mg for easy dosing.
I was most intrigued with Care Be Design's line of sublingual sprays, drops and softgels. With a range of CBD:THC ratios between 1:1 to 18:1! This variety allows more or less psychoactivity in the high CBD products.
Award winning cultivators, extract artists and overall badasses behind Empress Extracts were there showing off their flowers, extracts and amazing whole plant Rick Simpson Oil. The first strain pictured escapes me but the second is Gorilla Glue. They both smelled amazing!
Have you ever heard of an Indica-dominant line of cannabis products? What a concept! Leisure Life, the chill edible, has created just that. Medicated popcorn came in cheddar and caramel flavors, a mix was available as well. Each bag contained 200mgs of THC, enough to leave one feeling pretty leisurely. Pre-rolls, cleverly named California Rolls, covered in C02 oil and high grade kief also had a spot on the table. Medicated ice cream was a freebee for those who purchased, a very exciting product to see, since there aren't a lot of frozen medicated treats on the market.
Mendocino county has been known for it's cannabis production for decades. Flow Kana partners with select organic, sustainable farms throughout the Emerald Triangle to help bring them out of the shadows and into metropolitan areas like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Farmers from one of their partners, Rusty Shovel Ranch, was there to meet patients and talk about his products. All the flower smelled and looked great, who says outdoor isn't good?!
I never really thought about the idea of a cannabis wholesaler, until I came upon the River Collective booth. River partners with cultivators, extractors and infusers to help get their products in the hands of more patients. They also help guide their partners in brand management and operational logistics. As their motto says "to nourish the roots and carry the fruits."
I left my first cannabis farmers market feeling happy and high, I could not complain about my afternoon. I look forward to the future, and hope there only become bigger and better. Make sure to stop and smell the flowers on your way out!