My friend Candice invited me to "Feast With Friends" collaboration dinner last Monday with Chef DJ Tangalin (JRDN) & Chef Phil Esteban (Cork & Craft) and Fallbrook Winery at JRDN at the Tower23 Hotel in Pacific Beach. It is a joy eating with her. She goes to interesting events, knows a lot about the food and beer industry, and has a great sense of humor which makes her a fantastic dining companion for 3 hour meals. We met through our friend Kirk, super world traveler foodie extraordinaire.
Since the chefs are Filipino American, I was curious if any dishes would be Filipino inspired.
I was in Manila last year and had a Filipino inspired degustation dinner at Vask Modern Tapas and Gastronomic Cuisine and it was exciting seeing Filipino dishes prepared and presented as innovative high cuisine.
Seeing the pretty and intricate dishes reaffirmed the saying that cooking is an art and after seeing the "horseradish styrofoam" also a science.
I always associated Fallbrook with avocado groves and never knew that there were vineyards. After tasting the wines from the Fallbrook Winery, I want to visit.
I love looking at old travel photos. These are 2 of my favorites...my parents Amy and Macky Lopez, boarding a Philippine Airlines flight for their honeymoon in 1969. My grandparents gave them a 6 month trip and they departed from Manila and journeyed to Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Their first stop was San Francisco. I love that they dressed up to travel and that their shoes, with the Mod 60's buckles, were matching. They were young, talented with bright futures ahead. Of course life has it's twists, turns and dramas (they had their challenges) but at that moment when they were about to fly off and start their life together, what I see in the photos is the titillation and optimism of a new couple embarking on a great adventure and the jittery excitement of ineffable wanderlust.
Every time I see these photos, I want to hug my Dad, who passed away 8 years ago and book a flight to a place that I have never been to. On my travel bucket list...Berlin.
This is one of my favorite travel photos. My cousin Frannie and me (Peter was also with us) visited Halong Bay in 2015. The bay was stunning but our boat ride was pretty horrible. We spent days walking around Saigon and Hanoi and were looking forward to a relaxing Halong Bay "cruise". I envisioned having cocktails at sunset and dining on fresh Vietnamese seafood dishes in an elegant junk boat with majestic sails. We paid for a "deluxe" cruise and were told that there would be 10 passengers. There were more than double the people on board, our room and bathroom were dilapidated and dirty and the blankets and towels had stains. The food was extraordinary terrible....moldy bread, instant ramen noodles and a puny fish divided by 6 people that was so small that by the time it got to Frannie and Peter all that was left was the head. Entertainment was beer pong with muddy looking beer served from a pail. It was an overnight "cruise" and early the next day, a man banged on our door and window, woke us up and commanded that we stay on deck till the end of the trip.
We were hungry, tired and felt duped.
Thankful for travel partners who, when all is horrible, can just take a selfie, laugh, and enjoy the ride.
Our attempt at a romantic photo remake 😳
Happy Valentine's Day 🌹
Last week, on January 25, was a night of creative feasting and joie de vivre at Common Theory's "Theory No 1" featuring AleSmith Brewing Co collaboration dinner. Nine chefs from top restaurants served creative and elegant (not your typical pub fare) dishes using meat, poultry, fish and even blood paired with AleSmith Brewing Company beers. I attended with four friends and we had a blast.
Tasting menus and degustation dinners can be serious and formal but this was gregarious, communal and fun. I felt like I was at a party.