Wallflower in Venice by Kim Mahair

Took a little trip to Venice to check out the fairly new Indonesian restaurant, Wallflower. The warm and tasteful interior is matched by an exceptional menu of dishes and cocktails inspired by the cuisine of Indonesia and South East Asia. The most important element of a restaurant to me (other than the food of course) is how I feel while I'm there. Once the sun went down, candles were lit and the vibes were golden. I could have stayed there all night in a shadowy corner sipping on the perfectly crafted cocktails. 

Indonesian Chicken Sate

Indonesian Chicken Sate

Jamu

Jamu

Rib Wings

Rib Wings

Red Envelope

Red Envelope


Order the Huo just to watch it get made. This ended up being my favorite cocktail!

Manhattan Beach Whole Foods Reigns Supreme by Kim Mahair

 I always have to make a pit stop at the best Whole Foods in Los Angeles (Right off Sepulveda on the way to Manhattan Beach). 

Must Haves:

  • Vegan Pizza
  • BONE BROTH...not sure why all the Whole Foods don't offer this magical treat. It's perfect when it's a little nippy on the beach and it's a great meal replacement. 
  • Their hot deli offers up different deals depending which day it is...but they never disappoint. 
  • Chicken Noodle Soup (You can find it at almost any Whole Foods, but it's so good that it had to be listed.)

Growing up is not really my thing. by Kim Mahair

As far as vices go, it could be worse. Thank God because I have no intention of ever giving up candy. I found a brand of suckers that are all natural and delicious: YumEarth

It's like I always say, "Aim high on quality, low on quantity." Another catch phrase I have is "Whatever, just give me the damn bag." 

Cava You Heard that Jane Birkin is still desirable? by Kim Mahair

Armed with delicious food from Cava Grill, gingham prints, and our affinity for Ms. Birkin, Sabrina London and I packed up and headed to Holmby Park yesterday for "work".

Cava Grill is like a Mediterranean Chipotle with many options customized to your liking. I'm madly in love with their pita chips and dips. Especially the Harissa. Holy heat. 

If you're not familiar, Sabrina is my style sage and baroness of babetown . She has an online vintage store called Alameda Vintage that you need to check out right now. 

No midday gathering would be complete without vodka. We grabbed our Tito's and mixed it with some of the refreshing tea from Cava. They are always putting out seasonal flavors. This time we went with the Vanilla Bean Lemonade. Nailed it.

Caprese Bruschetta by Kim Mahair

It doesn't really get any better than caprese salad on fresh bread. This was the start to our dinner last night.  


Caprese Bruschetta

2 small tomatoes sliced

Fresh Mozzarella

Small handful of chopped basil leaves

2 Tbsp Balsamic

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

A pinch of Hepp's 7-Fire Smoked Salt

Combine everything in a small bowl except salt. Toss with oil and balsamic. Arrange on your choice of toasted bread. Garnish with Hepp's Salt.

 

Efficiency: A Tale of Basil Grapefruit Margarita Shots by Kim Mahair

Once upon a time it was miserably hot. My friend Tessa and I wanted to feel a buzz but also wanted to eat as many tacos as possible. Wanting to conserve space in our stomachs gave birth to a beautiful idea...Basil Grapefruit Margarita Shots. Below is the recipe and as you probably guessed, we lived happily ever after.

Muddle some basil and leave it in your Tequila (Don Julio) or Mezcal (Pierde Almas) overnight if possible. If not, just mince and add when you pour the alcohol. In a carafe pour one shot less than you want to have at the end of this concocting journey. For each shot you pour into the carafe, squeeze 1 lemon, 1/2 Grapefruit, and 1 Tbsp of my Honey Ginger simple syrup (Find in Recipes). Salt the rim of your little shot glass, pour and garnish.

 

FIN

Smorgasburg LA by Kim Mahair

Finally made it downtown for Smorgasburg! If you haven't heard, Smorgasburg is a downtown market happening every Sunday 10am-6pm. There is plenty of street parking on Bay St., as well as two free hours in the parking garage.  I perused, I ate, I sweated (dress cool and wear a hat...limited shade) and I left. Below are some of the stands and dishes I found most tempting. 

Donut Friend

Donut Friend

Lobster Nachos from Lobsterdamus 

Lobster Nachos from Lobsterdamus 

Whole Lobster from Lobsterdamus

Whole Lobster from Lobsterdamus

Good Gravy Bakes

Good Gravy Bakes

The Potion Shoppe  

The Potion Shoppe

 

It was a tough choice but went with the King Crab Sandwich from Summer Crab. I chose wisely.

It was a tough choice but went with the King Crab Sandwich from Summer Crab. I chose wisely.

Cento Bar is hiding out in Mignon. by Kim Mahair

When I went in to shoot for the fairly new pasta bar, Cento, I didn't realize it was actually located in one of my favorite wine bars downtown. I used to frequent Mignon when I first came to LA. They have occasional $20 wine nights where you can try unlimited wines (dangerous) and delicious hors d'oeuvres (also dangerous).  I could have made a meal out of just the toasts! Below are a couple of my favorite dishes.

I'm a monster.

I'm a monster.

Sage Brown Buttered Raviolo  

Sage Brown Buttered Raviolo  

Beet Spaghetti

Beet Spaghetti

Toast with fresh cream and truffle

Toast with fresh cream and truffle

Style Eyes by Kim Mahair

This opening shot looks like I'm bored out of my mind, but I had a great time styling food with the guys from The Elite Daily Show. Check check check it out.

I Do Declare... by Kim Mahair

One of my favorite parts of shooting a bar or restaurant is capturing the ambience alongside the dishes and cocktails. When I shot at Sassafras the other day, a bar modeled after a Savannah Townhouse with an old west theme, I had so many interesting nooks and crannies to work with I could have stayed there all night. It has the feel of a Disney ride without the screaming kids...plus booze! What could be better?!

Under Attack by Kim Mahair

Woke up too early this morning after about an hour of sleep covered in welts. Apparently there ARE mosquitos in LA. I've been here for five years and don't recall them ever being an issue. Is it just me or are we in the midst of a plague? Will the swelling on my left eye ever go down? How old was Soon Yi when Woody Allen began sleeping with her?

Full of questions, I packed a quick bag, hopped in my jet lagged friend's car and off we headed to Malibu in search of answers and snacks. 


I think it's safe to say the there's nothing that can't be fixed with a huge ass breakfast burrito, Guacamole Salsa from Pacific Coast Greens and an ocean view. 

IMG_8396.jpg

Whenever I go to the 'Bu, Pacific Coast Greens is a must. Their smoothies are reasonably priced and they offer a variety of healthy sides and sandwiches for your beach picnic.

Highly recommend the Green Lava smoothie with rice milk instead of grapefruit. Get your daily shot of E3 Live that way.

It's not the fourth.. by Kim Mahair

...Until you make an American Flag Fruit Pizza. This is the summer treat I looked forward to mom making every year. This, plus items I could light on fire and watch explode made me wish every day was the Fourth of July. 

2 Rolls Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough

16 Oz Cream Cheese

1 Tbsp Vanilla

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

Strawberries and Blueberries

Fill Cookie sheet with sugar cookie dough. Bake for 15-20 or until golden brown at 350. Take out and allow cooling time. Blend cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. Spread evenly on pizza and arrange strawberries and blueberries. Happy Fourth! 

 

 

Struck gold with this happy hour by Kim Mahair

Happy Hour at Cucina Alessa in Newport Beach exceeded my expectations when we ordered several dishes on the $5 menu. At the top of my list is the butternut squash ravioli with sage. I' Not to mention any of their pizzas (if it doesn't come with smoked mozzarella, you best ask them to change that) and the calamari.