I used to be one of those people who thought 'there are certain things that shouldn't be fucked with' and Mexican food was one of them. I rejected the idea that the flavors of my childhood could find a home in the world of fine dining. My personal perception of food has changed, mostly thanks to Chef Edward Lee. The global perception of what fine dining is has also changed in a really wonderful way, where the access to quality ingredients prepared with skill and refinement is seemingly everywhere.
Native Los Angeleno Chef Ray Garcia and his team create a bold menu of authentic flavors that truly caters to everyone. We got there just after opening, before the dinner rush, so we could appreciate the space. The dining room was very warm with lots of sunlight and neutral colors. It felt like a elevted version of my mother's family home in Mexico. The cement blocks caught the light in such a satisfying way, and the delicate details that lined the walls gave the restaurant a sense of calmness. Mexican culture is normally associated with loud parties and bright colors so it was really nice to see this type of aesthetic, rustic and homey but still refined.
We started our meal with a bowl of Papas. German butterball potatoes deep fried with perfectly crispy exteriors and warm fluffy centers, coated in apple cider vinegar, avocado salsa and cotija cheese. A burst of acidity cuts through the richness of the potatoes, while the heat of the salsa, the saltiness of the cheese and the freshness of the herbs helps balance it all out. I couldn't eat them fast enough.
For my main dish I ordered the lamb shank, conft in lard over a bed carrot puree with onion marmalade, chimichurri, cotija and micro cilantro. There was a lot of sweetness in this dish to counter the big, gamey flavor of the lamb. I love lamb, and was worried the sweetness would take away from the lamb but I was wrong. Plus the chimichurri, cheese and cilantro brought a lot to the party. I ate most of this dish on its own, but did make a few tacos with their house-made blue heirloom corn tortillas.
One of the most interesting desserts I have ever had was the Isla Flotante comprised of a masa harina meringue torched on one side and topped with dill, a rhubarb and mezcal sorbet over fresh strawberries, and avocado crema pearls and creme anglaise. Not overly sweet and insanely complex, it almost didn't feel like dessert. The meringue was out of this world, really reminiscent of the raw tamale masa I snack on when I help my mom make tamales, but sweeter of course. The mezcal balanced out the sweetness in the dish and the pearls added a much needed, and very interesting texture.
The meal not only left me feeling satisfied but it left me feeling hopeful for the future of food. How ingredients and techniques from different eras and different time zones can come together under one roof and create something extraordinary. I am looking forward to another meal here one day. To read more of my food adventures click here.
Michelda's have certainly evolved from their Mexican Revolution era origins, where the people of San Luis Potrosi enjoyed cold beers mixed with hot sauce and lime juice. The classic Mexican cerveza preparada consists of tomato juice, lime juice, something spicy and something tart. As their popularity increases bartenders have taken the dink to the next level, playing with ingredients and adding new ones, showcasing the versatility of the popular Mexican cocktail.
I love michelada's, so obviously I had to put weed in one. I'm using Ficks Bloody Mary Mix instead of regular tomato juice for the added spices and flavors. Mixes like these make michelada making a breeze, but to keep the flavor profile Mexican I have to add my favorite hot sauce - Valentina. Spicy and rich, it adds a needed spice without adding the tartness of vinegar based hot sauces. I get my tartness from the lime juice and Chamoy, a sweet and sour sauce that gives the drink a bright red color.
Manzanita Naturals Kwik Ease is a perfect option for a drink like this, and mixed drinks in general. Bursting with tartness, the 100mg lemon-ginger shot holds up against the big flavors we are working with. Dosing is easy so you don't have to worry about over-medicating.
Micheladas can be made to suit personal preferences, use your favorite ingredients to create your favorite drink! We start with the salted rim. I used Don Chelada's Beer Salt but you can use the classic Tajin, margarita salt or regular salt. Cut some lime wedges and use them to moisten the rim of your glass so the salt will stick.
Next the hot sauce, about 4 or 5 shakes depending on how spicy you like it. Follow this with the chamoy, be careful here - a little goes a long way. Then, the cannabis. I used about 50mg in mine.
Once you have those ingredients in the glass, give a stir. These are thick sauces so make sure you get them nice and blended.
Top it off with the bloody mary mix and give it one last stir. Finish with fresh squeezed lime juice and enjoy with a blunt. Make them even better with the additions of tamarind, mango, pineapple, or anything else that suits your fancy! The one thing I did find myself missing the carbonation from the beer. Adding The Fizz or Hi-Fi Hops wouldn't hurt a thing!
I look for any opportunity to replace alcohol with cannabis so making this came naturally to me. I hope you are inspired by this recipe to make your own personal michelada, and I hope you love it as much as I loved this one. You can see more of my recipes here.
If you’re like me, you like your greens crispy. Preferably, fried. Brussels sprouts are something that wasn’t introduced to me until my adult life and I’m so happy for that. I always heard horror stories about them as a kid, but since my mom didn’t know what they were - I didn’t have to worry. The perks of growing up on pinto beans and Mexican rice, I never complained.
This recipe is super simple and easy to adjust to ones taste. Fill a saucepan with enough oil to cover the amount of brussels sprouts you're using and heat over a high flame. This time I used about two cups of brussels so this particular dressing recipe is good for that amount, you can scale up or down from here. Slice the bottoms off your sprouts and cut them in half. Pull off any nasty leaves and toss along with the bottoms. Set aside the clean brussels while you make the dressing. It starts with one heaping tablespoon of OM Edibles Toasted Sesame Miso.
Then the juice and zest of one lime. Don’t cut your lime in half before you zest it, because the stoner did.
Next, a tablespoon of honey. You can add more or less if you like, but I think this is a prefect balance.
These next few ingredients are optional but I think they add a lot of subtle complexities and some interesting textural elements. Sesame seeds and chili flakes.
You can add as much or as little as you want of these two, depending on your taste. I didn’t add salt or black pepper to this dressing, but you definitely could.
The most important part of the recipe, in my opinion, is the raw garlic. 2-4 clove’s depending on your preference.
Mix it up all up and set aside while you fry the sprouts.
You could always crisp these in the oven if you wanted to, but I prefer to fry them. Brussels contain lots of water, so they will spit a lot when you drop them in the oil. Use a lid if you can protect yourself.
As they start to crisp remove them from the oil with a spider or large fork. Place a lined bowl to absorb excess oil.
Dress the fried goodness with your miso mixture. Be careful not to overdress as you don’t want to ruin the crispness.
The finished product is a rich, tangy, slightly spicy bowl of fried greens that’s easy enough to make any day of the week and will never disappoint.
I like to experiment with different types of spice to add to this recipe. What tweaks would make?
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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.
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.
What's more romantic than freshly prepared French food for a Valentines Day dinner? Thanks to Feastly my boyfriend and I were able to enjoy an amazing evening catered by Chef Tommo. The venue was warm, well lit and our hosts eagerly met us with strawberries and champagne to get the night started. The 6 course menu focused on seafood and featured raw oysters, white fish tartare and poached lobster tail just to name a few.
My boyfriend picked up a bottle of CaliCraft's The Bay double IPA. It was a big beer, full of strong tropical and fruit notes. Some would call it too big to pair with seafood, but we thought it worked really well. The beer was big, but the flavor was clean and crisp, with a pleasing balance of tropical and bitter.
Our meal started with three large raw oysters, dressed with a light champagne vinaigrette. There was a harmony between the natural brininess of the oyster and the sweetness of the champagne vinegar. In my opinion oysters are best when prepared simply, so this was an ideal way to start a dinner in my book.
The white fish tartare was tossed in cucumber, green onion and capers. The fish was light, but the capers and cucumber really helped bring out it's natural sweetness while providing balance. The portion was small but ideal for the dish, just a few small bites and it was on to the next!
The next dish was improvised by our chef, as cooking doesn't always go as planned. I enjoyed the dish and the plating even, regardless of its last minute adjustments. Poached salmon and lobster on a bed of sauteed spinach and a wonderful tarragon sauce. The fish was tender and juicy while bits of lobster mixed in with the salmon added a nice surprise. The sauce really brought everything to life and the spinach added an overall heartiness to the dish, but it wasn't overbearing.
The star of the show was a butter poached lobster tail with a rice pilaf. All I tasted in this dish was butter and lobster but I was not complaining . As I said earlier, seafood is best when prepared simply and lobster is protein that can definitely stand on its own. Sweet and buttery with a hint of the ocean, to me there's nothing better.
The night ended with a cheese plate and dark chocolate mousse. The cheese plate had three types of cheese, I can't remember the exact kinds but one was tart and creamy, one was really sharp and one was more neutral. I ate them all without blinking an eye. When we got to the chocolate part, I was a bit hesitant. I've never been a fan of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, but once I tasted the strawberries at the bottom and the pistachio crumble I felt a lot better about the dish. There was nothing left in the ramekin by the time I was done.
This has only been my second dinner with Feastly, but I think it's an excellent service. Bringing foodies together while giving chefs a night to shine and express themselves passionately. As both a lover of cooking food as well as eating it, these meals have been a great source of inspiration for me. I can't wait to attend more. You can read more about my first Feastly experience here.
stoneyxochi. 28 year old California native. proud pothead, Mexicana and woman.