true grit: fritzi dog

photo (4)can i interest you in a porker? really, they are quite delicious.

that’s one of the greetings you may receive at neal fraser’s newest noshery – fritzi dog. nestled in the congested heart of the 3rd street farmer’s market, fritzi dog stands 8ft wide, and packs some serious heat…and im not just talking about their custom “spicy sauce”.

photo (2)while you may want to start with a porker (juicy pork with french spices) you might also be interested in his more original options such as the bird dog (turkey and duck dog), a veggie dog (you get it), a deli dog (kosher beef with mustard), a stadium classic, or their namesake entree – a fritzi dog, which combines beef and pork marinated in spicy merguez and chilean merken (whatever that is).

up your hot dog ante even further by adding one of their savory sides: bacon aioli, beef chili (just in case you want to garnish your beef with some more beef), jalapeno relish and sriracha ketchup (spicy sauce). don’t forget to add a some homemade tater tots (with their own set of sides) as well as pick from one of four delectable bun options (one can never have too many buns ya know).

photo (3)lastly, because neal knows americans like to keep it classy, even while eating hot dogs, he offers “tasting dogs” – all that rich flavor packed into 4 little inches of heaven. sharing encouraged (but may be difficult).

and so because nothing is truly more american than eating ground meat encased in circular tubing, i encourage you to go try fritzi dog. it’s delicious and down-right patriotic.

6333 west 3rd street  los angeles, ca 90036

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a new order from yale

working in pr/marketing you get bombarded with a billion things you just HAVE to read/see/hear everyday. granted i do the same on behalf of the fashion brand i work for, but my e-mails are totally less annoying…probably not.

i digress…

while the majority of what i receive can be categorized as varying degrees of rubbish, every once in a while something actually interesting floats by and grabs my a.d.d-laden attention span.

case and point: out of order magazine founded and run by the students of yale university.

cast away any and all preconceived notions of what you think a college magazine might look like. OOO is not your average student-run publication, then again, yale is not your average university.

executed with the same pomp and circumstance that is attributed to it’s alma mater, the magazine and website are clean, aesthetically-striking and almost elitist in style (but in that this-just-may-be-too-cool-for-you way).

pretension aside, the content seems to keep up with the tome’s shiny exterior: fashion interviews with ellen von unworth, reviews on the newest warhol exhibit at the met, op-eds on the convergence of rap and fashion, film reviews, street style galleries, and an androgynous lifestyle section housing everything else (food, where to party in nyc, basement nightlife…the usual).

then of course there is the to-be-expected section…student interviews. but hold the phone, instead of spotlighting that kid from your 8th grade homeroom who just won his 4th consecutive science fair (tool), these students are making albums, showing at galleries and producing noteworthy films. not bad for college seniors.

so while i go wash off the stench of being less accomplished than a twenty-year old, you should go enjoy out of order. it’s refreshing, engaging, and the perfect amalgam of cultural fodder to keep you procrastinating all week long.

the view: private island wanton

blue bay ibiza

all this talk of yachting got me thinking.  yachting is really not much fun unless you have a private island to go with it.

i’ve already waxed poetic about necker island. it is my happy place, even though i’ve never been there or invited (cough, cough mr. branson), it speaks to me in the way a young wolf yearns to speak to the moon.  but since my invitation from mr. branson has clearly been lost in an unfortunate mail incident i find myself searching for other suitable private-island options:

laucala island resort

laucala island – owned by red bull kajillionaire, dietrich mateschitz, the island is catered to sporty indulgence. championship golf course (though i don’t golf, it’s nice to know it is an option), 5,000 sq. meter swimming pool (one avoids congestion this way), and a flotilla stocked with jet skis and other completely necessary water accouterment. and if sports aren’t your bag, just take up residence in its 5-star spa or in your private pool. skinny dipping encouraged.

ariara island

ariara  – dreams do come true. and it starts at ariara. located in the phillipines, this island is truly private.when you rent it, it’s yours to have and to hold (along your 17 other guests) and to call your very own. the villas are spaced throughout the 125-acre island, each with tangible luxury in the form of local linens, marble and woodwork.  when your not enveloped in the island’s surrounding greenery, it is suggested you take a tour of the underwater world with your personal dive master florian mueller. he’ll give you more than a few things to look at…

blue bay

blue bay – a private residence located hillside in ibiza, blue bay is so opulent a home, fitzgerald might have very well dreamt up in one of his luxury-laden tales. besides the stunning architecture, 500-thread count linens, and property waterfalls, this spanish oasis comes with a full time staff (chauffer with matching chapeau included), concierge, butler, and a jeep wrangler should guests want to get in touch with their “wild side.” and lest we forget the 22’ mastercraft or private go-karting track.

though none of the above have a necker nymph, which is entirely regrettable, i suppose i could make do. let’s just hope these island/resort owners have the correct address for my forthcoming invitation. that’s natacha with a “c.” thanks.

everyone needs a starter yacht

i often daydream about absolutely ridiculous things. things likes yachts.

several years ago i had the opportunity to go on a yacht. and it was not just any yacht…it was larry ellison’s. helipad, dual jet spas (because one really isn’t enough), private screening room, accompanying jet skis, and a marble bathroom that had nothing on the sistine chapel. really it might as well have been james bond’s.

you know when you find yourself somewhere, and know you just belong? yeah, that was me on this yacht. it just made sense.

so really it’s only natural that ever since, i’ve taken a peripheral interest in the yachting world. mainly in that i would like to own one. a big one. like larry’s.

enter hinckley.

for those of you that are not yacht enthusiasts like myself (we all can’t be), hinckley is the heritage brand of the boating world. one synonymous with piles of old money and people with first names such as chip, bunny and biff.

interest piqued? it get’s better.

this past october all-american brand, tory burch announced they are collaborating with hinckley on the design of their T34 (that’s a new model p.s.). it’s a match made in wasp heaven, nautical stripes and all.

the T34 is your standard run-of-the-mill picnic boat. that goes up to 32 knots. and has $4,000 wood panelling. tory’s touches include textiles, colors and hosting accoutrement (wicker tray, tumblers, etc.)

as the site says, “you’ll need the rods for early morning angling, the tube for an afternoon of thrilling the kids. at sunset, the 34 will entertain you and your friends for a harbor cruise.” i mean this boat practically pays for itself. and the pretension? well that comes entirely free of charge (although sadly, the ascot is NOT included).

so it’s not quite like lar bear’s, but you have to walk before you run, or perhaps better said…boat before you yacht.

hinckley hear i come.

watching grown ups

this year marks the first thanksgiving i will NOT be spending at home.

not because i am finally doing the relationship thing and spending it at my boyfriend’s family, or because i can’t stand my relatives, or because i am in some exotic locale, i am not spending it there because i no longer have a “home.” (mom, please stop crying.)

this past fall my parents made the big step of moving out of the childhood home into a big city apartment. so long five bedrooms and suburbia, hello condo and neighbors you share a wall with.

post diaper changes, post back-to-school nights, post meeting the rocker boyfriend for the first time…post kids, they embark on a new journey. set free for the first time in over 18 years.

watching them go through this transition, is like being a proud parent, watching them grow up…kind of the reverse of what they watched me go through.

the first steps of getting their own place, curiously opening drawers and questioning the size and space of their new apartment three times as small as what they are used to; the temper tantrums of realization that no closet will ever be as big as the one they had in their suburban palace; the sheer excitement of discovering a  world where life is not confined to the gossip of gated communities and PTA meetings. the teenage giddiness they share when they realize that restaurants are open past 9pm…on a weeknight. the brewing anticipation of a new friendship with the neighbor down the hall who also loves all things formula 1.

i sit on the sidelines, rooting them on, in charge of bringing bite-sized words of encouragement. listening through angst-filled moments – the underground whole foods parking lot is really not that bad and yes, parking enforcement is really a bitch…and enforced.

it’s funny, endearing and awesome to see your parents not just as your parents, but as people, equally beguiled by the world around them and the circumstances they meet.

as i vicariously share in this new life with them, i look forward to hearing about more discoveries, such as being able to WALK to starbucks, hearing their neighbors have sex for the 4th time that night and actually learning about the city’s hottest new restaurant…before it has time to close.

i only hope they don’t forget wrapped christmas presents are always appreciated and i still need a place to do my laundry.

happy thanksgiving.

true grit: the hart and the hunter

welcome the hart and the hunter. no, it’s not a revival play of aesop’s fable (because i am SURE that’s what you were thinking), but rather the clever moniker of brian dunsmoor and kris tominaga’s first permanent eatery.

gaining true acclaim with their venice pop-up sensation wolf in sheep’s clothing (clearly these guys have a real knack for titles), the two decided to take the show off the road and hang up their aprons within the swanky hipsterness of the palihotel.

with a clear southern flair, the space is bright, very turquoise, very tiled, and boasts a 1950’s-style countertop perfect for a slice of pie and some fresh brewed handsome coffee. the equally southern hipster staff mills about in casual conversation, which intended or not, only adds to the space’s incredibly “down-home” aesthetic.

that cozy sensation is equally matched in the food. especially the biscuits.

mmmm, the biscuits.

melted butter, pastry dough and pure magic (yup, magic) come together in fluffy, this-is-my-one-island-food-of-choice awesomeness. while the accompaniments are nice (persimmon jam, honey butter, etc.), the biscuit alone has you at hello (and by hello, i mean scent…that i would like to bottle). the fact that there were only 4 to a serving was perhaps the biggest issue… so we had to order another helping…and then another. gluttony is clearly lost on us.

reading the menu, one quickly comes to imagine the dishes are inspired by a taste-fueled civil war. true southern fare is deliciously muddled with experimental yankee panache – fried green tomatoes with chow chow, collared green marmalade, and fried chicken livers with apple/onion jam and hazelnut.  ya know, just like what the soldiers munched on in 1862.

with our forked bayonets at the ready, my party and i attacked the menu with valor and determination: venison carpaccio with horseradish crème fraiche, chopped steak with bone marrow, melted raclette with butterball potatoes and cornichon, hanger steak with snail and herb butter, cheddar and chive grits, and roasted brussel sprouts to seal the deal. dessert was slightly more humble (for us) in the form of chocolate and peanut crunch cake, apple dumpling with hooks cheddar and a polenta pound cake of sorts.

the fact that we were able to walk out without waddling came as a surprise to not only us, but the watchful staff.

delicious, scrumptious and truly comforting, the hart and the hunter was a perfect treat, and the best news of all? their weekend brunch is coming soon.

(photos by palihotel)

here.we.go.

nyc refresh participants

“i am too much of a new yorker to be motivated,” i implored my friend.

i’ve never been one for motivational speeches, speakers, etc. i prefer my motivation to come in the quiet forms of etsy text art and quoted memes. more palatable and less yelling i find.

however, against my begrudging judgment i attended an event called “refresh” this past monday. what i expected to be trust circles with we-have-so-much-to-be-thankful-for chants was anything but. in fact i might even say it was…refreshing.

under the dewy lights of the roosevelt’s tropicana bar, surrounded by mostly strangers and firelight, we met jared matthew weiss, chief inspiration officer of spring and arrow, “life-coach” wunderkind (although he hates the title), and refresh incubator.

the concept is simple: once a week he gathers friends, friends of friends, and more friends, to refocus, reenergize and regroup. what started with 8 people in new york, has since grown to 60+ people, and landed in la this week.

completely free of charge, jared kicks of the evening by walking the group through his life story (think of a real-life hitch), and his coined mantra: Here.We.Go. he breaks those three small words down into three teachable moments, ultimately concluding that when people are doing what they love, they’re better for the world.

fairly simple in theory, but also easier said than done. jared clearly recognizes the heaviness attached to his motto, so he asks each person to make one small commitment for the week. something that will ultimately…make you happy.

you do. (to FINALLY finish the book i started oh like 4 months ago.). you e-mail it to him (so he can gently check in to see if you’ve actually followed through) and then a musician performs – the expected kumbaya moment, but cultured and relevant– and it’s over.

it ended, i smiled, something about it made me feel happy, even excited (shock). partially because as someone in the throws of her quarter-life crisis i am the perfect audience, but also because the evening happily lacked the motivational hyperbole/laden guilt so often associated with such events. plus you find some pretty neat “parallels” (another jared term) between other attendees.

if you have the chance to attend, go. if nothing else it’s a great way to spend a week night, meet new folks who might be going through the same third-round quarter life crisis as you (ahem), and a little motivated self-love never hurt anyone.

more info: refresh – spring and arrow 

(photo: spring and arrow)

the view: the klementinum

it’s magic. you can tell just by looking at it.

the ceilings seem alive, whispering of times past and present  the ebb and flow of dark wood bearing the literary world’s greatest achievements; the cavernous space echoing ancient mysteries and whimsical theories.

it’s not hogwarts, or an elaborate scene out of macaulay culkin’s (wildly underappreciated) pagemaster. it’s the klementinum library in prague.

and i want to go.

first to indulge, second to read, third to take decorating notes.

the grandeur is completely scalable to an 850sqft apartment and everyone loves a good 16th century globe. especially this girl.

the skinny on the skimm

to wrap up this positively pundit-filled week i wanted to share my newest obsession: the skimm.

let’s face it, the older we get the more we actually care about politics, and ya know the world. but sometimes it can be dense. sometimes it can be boring (yeah, i said it). and sometimes it’s hard to decipher just what is worth knowing.

enter the skimm.

a fellow political-cum-fashion junkie (we do exist) turned me on to the daily newsletter, and now i just don’t want to ever turn it off.

short, sweet and delightfully sassy the skimm compresses all the day’s news into the perfect compact-size e-mail filled with dollops of useful information such as what to say on date (insert sports news i would never otherwise read and/or care about), or what to posit in a business meeting (stock market stats and other economical issues) i.e. you’ll sound super smart, and well i hear ceos love that.

read. join. skimm.

a vote for beijing

while 4 weeks ago i may have written about a frat party, 14 hours ago i was at a friend’s house celebrating the election process.

a group of 20-somethings huddled around a big-screen flipping back and forth between nbc, john stewart and fox (for a good laugh). we all came together, first through the pregnant silence of what might happen, then to the could-it-be-true gasps and finally cheering in welcome relief. it felt incredibly adult, not only because the hostess cooked killer homemade mac n’ cheese, but because we debated on key points – the partisan nature of government, the statues at hand, the future of government – not just from a place of impassioned youth, but one of informed caring.

i left full on democracy, camaraderie and cheesy goodness.

cut to this morning, my drive to work, flipping to npr for some post-election coverage. the u.s. embassy in beijing held a mock election. ex-pats as well as a handful of chinese nationals were invited to get their first taste of democracy.

the girls the reporter interviewed were giddy – partially because of obama’s “cuteness” as one girl professed, but also by the act of voting…something they don’t normally have the luxury of doing.

i am far from what some might call a patriot, but in that moment, hearing those girls – ecstatic by simply MOCK voting, it stirred something. as the reporter continued, most of the chinese republic has little idea who runs their district, let alone their country as a whole.

my first thought? holy shit, i am lucky. while i know it is a communist nation, i guess the weight of the public’s involvement, or lack thereof, never really entered my consciousness.

again, i think how lucky i am. cheesy as it may be – our right to vote – it’s what makes america america (duh, i know, give me a minute). regardless of partisanship, taxes, health care, etc. – we have the right to disagree and question and celebrate our political process.  it makes me think of all the “get out there & vote” campaign slogans that have been streaming through the media. i get it now. not only can you make a difference, but more importantly, to NOT vote is to demean those girls in china and everyone else whose voice is restricted.

realizing this painfully obvious thought for the first time has made me more of patriot, more impassioned about this country, than i think i have ever been.

as obama said last night, “more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.” beyond an epic opener, it’s the underlying goal beneath the political rhetoric of bipartisanship. it’s what we as a country need to remember. because we have the right to vote, we have the ability to determine our own destiny.

and well, i think that’s pretty neat.