Archive for the 'Photo Album' Category

@UCLA_Alumni Celebrating #UCLAAlumniDay with Bruin-tini!

March 11, 2012

UCLA Alumni Day is coming soon – May 5, 2012.

Live Better, Work Better, Get Inspired! There will be Power Panel speakers (yay Evan Kleiman ’76, M.B.A. ’80), performance by L’Enfant Terrible (double yay!), info fair, campus tours, planetarium shows, and opening session with Chancellor Gene Block and leading global business mind, Marshall Goldsmith Ph.D. ’77.

If you’ve never seen L’Enfant Terrible, you are in for a treat! “Critically acclaimed theater troupe L’Enfant Terrible turns Shakespeare’s gory drama into rip-roaring fare for children of all ages and those young at heart with Titus the Clownicus.” Really silly and family-friendly Shakespeare.
One of my favorite fellow alums, actor and marketing professional, Madeleine Drake, recently shared a mixture for raising a unique UCLA toast – the Bruin-tini. Cheers!


Simple Syrup*
1 cup ultrafine pure cane sugar
1 cup water
Combine in a saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved, cool.

2 ounces vodka (store vodka in freezer, serve chilled)
1 teaspoon simple syrup*
3/4 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Ice cubes
Superfine blue sugar for dipping rim of martini glass
Twisted peel of lemon
Yellow gummy bears

Prepare simple sugar and juice lemons. Shake vodka, simple syrup and ice in martini shaker. Moisten rim of glass with lemon juice and coat by dipping into a saucer of blue sugar. Add ice cube(s) to taste, pour drink into glass.

Slice gummy bear from bottom to belly carefully and place straddling rim of glass. Go Bruins!



@SierraNevada Here’s to Hops!

October 24, 2011

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company will soon be launching its Pale Ale in a can – an innovation for a craft beer pioneer. With the goal of “making quality beer with the finest ingredients available,” Sierra Nevada has become a leading innovator in the brewing industry thanks to founder Ken Grossman’s passion and vision. The tradition of using wholecone hops and age-old brewing techniques was revived during the company’s start in 1978, followed by the renaissance/resurgence of craft beer with this tiny brewery’s beer sales in 1981. Hops give beer its signature flavor and aroma.
In October, we had a rare opportunity to visit Chico, CA and tour the Sierra Nevada (SN) Plant. It was a terrific, educational, and taste-enlightening experience, especially for someone like me who likes beer but doesn’t have the enthusiasm of a home brewer (or home brew wannabe).
If you love beer, you absolutely must go for an in-depth tour and see how SN preserves and teaches about the ancient and noble art of beer brewing. Contact 530/893-3520 for more information. They cannot accommodate any parties with children under the age of 12. Guests must be 21 or older to enjoy the tasting room.

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A commitment to sustainability is a leading distinction of the way in which the company is operated. Being sustainable impacts everything from recycling, composting, conservation, CO2 recovery to water treatments, ingredients, energy sources and human labor needs.
Rare is the employer that offers day care and health care on site. But SN does. Green practices also include constructing a rail spur which connects directly to the Union Pacific Railway main line, which SN uses to transport grains to the plant and later ship out fresh beer by rail. They can do this while keeping costs down and dramatically reducing the need for trucking and fossil fuels.
Although Chico does not enjoy sunshine all year round, SN boasts the largest privately owned solar arrays (panels) which cover the majority of buildings on campus and generate enough energy to meet clean energy goals, ultimately providing 25% of energy needs. More green practices are detailed on the website
As a result of their commitment, SN has been recognized with awards for sustainable business practices from the State of California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the CA Resource Recovery Association, among others.
We ended our tour with a beer sampling: Old Chico Crystal Wheat, Kellerweis, Northern Hemisphere Harvest, Pale Ale (the signature SN beer), Ovila Abbey Saison, Porter, Tumbler, and Torpedo. Because of the strong influence of hops on taste, we tasted beers from low to stronger hop content. It wasn’t the full Beer Camp (offered as a think-tank for beer brewers), but we enjoyed and sampled.
At this point, I fell in love in the newly completed tasting room! There I met a glass of special release, Ovila Abbey Ale, Saison. In collaboration with Sierra Nevada, the monks at the Abbey of New Clairveaux have helped bring Cistercian style brews to America. Thank William Randolph Hearst who in 1931 who shipped the 12th century Spanish medieval Santa de Maria chapter house stone by stone to northern California, then turned his attentions elsewhere. In 1984, the monks at the Abbey of New Clairveaux began rebuilding. Proceeds from sales of Ovila ales benefit the reconstruction efforts. See
“This Saison farmhouse ale is in honor of the noble labor in which the monks engage. Hazy blonde in color, these rustic ales are designed to be complex and contemplative but also refreshing and drinkable after a day in the fields. With earthy and spicy aromas this Saison has notes of green grass, and a faint citrus tang. The body is light and layered with fruit and spice accents and a dry, peppery, and refreshing finish.” Absolute champagne of ale!
But I digress. I started the post with a claim that we would soon be able to enjoy Pale Ale in a can. Yes, this development is happening. With the move into canning, SN beer must be can-conditioned; previously SN brews were only bottle- or keg-conditioned. To guard against a loss of taste, there is some work and beta-testing at hand to ensure quality standards.
Although we in the tour had missed the official Oktoberfest celebration, our tour guide proudly shared that there would be cause for celebration when new line of canned Sierra Nevada was projected for distribution in Spring 2012. The introduction of canning marks an exciting development in distribution and availability of Sierra Nevada products. According to Bill Manley, “There are so many places where you can’t or won’t bring glass…up here in the foothills it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to bring a bunch of bottles with you in your backpack! Cans will only be a small part of our output, but we’re excited to see how they’re received.”
Here’s to Sierra Nevada for great taste from product to practices to vision and innovation. Cheers!

@Komida_LA Where Flavors and Cultures Mix

October 9, 2011

where flavors and cultures mix. Kinda like L.A.
Only, you know, in a taco.”

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The next time you are in Hollywood on Thursday evening or lunch on Saturday, stop by Komida on 1738 N. Orange Dr. (just off of Hollywood Blvd., behind Grauman’s Chinese) and be ready for the ultimate Los Angeles food. Forget everything you know about tacos. They are the perfect food on many counts. Yet newly opened Komida offers THE ultimate taco experience with the Asian-inspired tacos that a more mainstream Southwest meal just lacks. Trust me, I conducted a personal taco tasting day as an informal experiment. Komida reminded me how satisfying life in L.A. can be when every detail is aligned by a skilled designer, such as Chef Brock. @ChefBrock

Chef Brock Kleweno who contributes to Yamashiro’s success on staff as a chef (@Yamashiro_LA), is gracious and personable as the visionary behind Komida. At the recent opening, he mentioned that Alice Waters was his inspiration, the founder of Chez Panisse who pioneered a new appreciation for locally-grown, seasonal food known as California cuisine – “Good food depends almost entirely on good ingredients.” At Komida, tacos are the perfect meal – good food from good ingredients, fusing the tastes, textures and colors of several cultures. As the eco-friendly poster child of cuisine, tacos require no cutlery, no frying, no elaborate preparation, serve 1 without promoting overeating, and leave very little carbon footprint to serve.

At Komida, be ready to meet corn tortilla tacos filled with miso sake black cod, chicken satay, spiced hoisin duck confit, soy and red wine braised short rib, or tangy veggies accompanied by salsas and tastes like a wasabi guacamole, ginger pico de gallo, and tequila salsa verde. No wheat, no cheese, no wrong choice. Bring a friend and try them all. Komida is open for dinner on Thursdays 5:00 to 9:00 P.M. and for lunch on Saturdays 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Cash only through October, so don’t let your sudden embrace of a cashless society allow you to miss out. Go! What are you waiting for?

And I didn’t win the free tacos for a year at the opening 😦 but if I don’t go back soon for more tacos, I’m a bigger loser for missing out on the limited availability!

Check out review (Oct 25, 2011)

Pink’s through new eyes

August 18, 2011

When Los Angeles was experiencing a bit of a heat wave in January this year, we stopped for a dinner at Pink’s. Yes, that hot dog stand or according to their website, “Pink’s is probably the most famous hot dog stand in the country… certainly in Los Angeles! ”

“Paul Pink started his hot dog stand in 1939. It was only a large-wheeled pushcart in those days. The depression was on and money was scarce. Pink’s chili dogs, complete with a large warm bun, oversized hot dog, mustard, onions and thick chili sold for 10 cents each.” That’s historical for Los Angeles, land of drive-by architecture and disposable culture.

Since 1998 when I moved to Hollywood while at ACCD, I have never seen Pink’s hot dog stand open without a long line. Not once. No exaggeration. Day or night, especially night, people hover in long lines on the sidewalks in front of Pink’s for a chance to chow down on gourmet-like yet food truck-like hot dogs.

A friend of mine had never been, Southern California resident though he was. After a satisfying crawl through the stacks at Amoeba, we headed for Pink’s.


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