Friday, March 21, 2008

Reminders of your past

Once in awhile you're reminded of your past and it feels so foreign to you, like another life.

It happened to me tonight. Got home, went and used the guest bathroom and while washing my hands, I looked up and noticed the painting in there, that I had painted years ago. The setting and inspiration for the painting was my backyard. Years ago U. and I rented a beautiful 4 bedroom home (one bedroom we used as an entertainment room, the other smaller room as a "chill" room, and the 3rd as an office...yeah definitely pre-kid) in LA, with a canyon view, and huge backyard with 20 fruit trees.

We absolutely loved that house and when we first moved in I was moved by the scene of two white, plastic chairs sitting together in the garden. So I painted it. (U. even took photos of me on my knees painting this picturesque scene.) Recently U. told me that initially when he saw my painting, he didn't really think of the house, but now when he sees it, it really reminds him of our old home.

Now the painting sits on the back of the toilet tank in our guest bathroom in our current home. (I guess there could be a joke in there...)

My point here is that the image of two chairs is no longer the image I have of myself. That's no longer my world. I look at that painting now and think of my life as it used to be years ago and I can barely imagine that was me and I lived that life.

As my life is today, I look at that painting and see the missing third little chair there next to the larger two chairs.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2008!

If you want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day locally with some live bagpipe music and get your corned beef and cabbage fix - visit Colombo's in Eagle Rock, on Colorado Blvd. Yeah sure they're Italian, but tonight's special is a corned beef and cabbage dinner with carrots and potatoes, and soup for $10.95.

My 3 year old daughter was fascinated by the bagpipes and kept asking about the guy's hat, boots, etc. He was dressed in full regalia.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Food Fight

An abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict.

The pretzel and bratwurst were pretty obvious, but I have to admit I didn't get the cracker "matzah" until I looked it up. Duh! The beef stroganoff working with the kimchee, springrolls, and Cuban sandwich was classic.

For the official cheat sheet (breakdown of the foodstuffs & actual battles portrayed in the film) visit:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Palace (new Chinese restaurant in Los Feliz)

The Palace
Neighborhood: Los Feliz
2112 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 667-1595

The Palace is a new Chinese restaurant located in the old Chi Dynasty location on Hillhurst in Los Feliz.

U. and I stumbled onto it after the wait at Little Dom's (up the street) was too long.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated in reds and blacks. The wait staff are dressed in tuxes and formal attire. You can see in the photo above that they have a traditional Chinese dress framed on the wall. It feels like a sophisticated, upscale restaurant, but children are welcome. (And unlike the kid friendly Chinese restaurant in Atwater Village - this place is CLEAN and has much better service!)

If you do bring your kid(s), make sure you get the coveted table next to the large fish tank. My kid loved it. It even has a number of Nemo aka Clown fish in it.

The Palace bills themselves as "Authentic Chinese Cuisine," meaning not a Panda Express wannabe. The food takes awhile (U. commented in surprise that they really must be cooking it back there - rather than cheap Chinese food that sits in warm pots ready to serve right away) but the dishes were nicely prepared and yummy so it was worth the wait. Get the soup as an appetizer so you're not twiddling your thumbs waiting for your entree. And for dessert get the plum or green tea ice cream, which is served with candied walnuts and a cherry on top. Yum!

Dishes I've tried
Wonton soup - thumbs up
Velvet shrimp - very tasty and this is the healthy version that's not deep fried
Mooshu Vegetable - the 1st time I ordered this dish it was delicious and even U. who is not a big Chinese food fan, loved it; but when I ordered it on my 2nd visit it tasted like all the veggies had been burnt. They give you a finger bowl filled with warm water and lemon to rinse your fingers after eating this entree.
BBQ sliced pork - tasty but too much sweet sauce for my taste - got this for the baby.
Dumplings - they take about 15-20 minutes and are served with ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, and chili oil. They have 2 versions: veggie only and pork. The veggie ones I had were bland so next time I'll try the pork instead.

Note: They are still waiting for their liquor license. So enjoy your hot jasmine tea for now.

It's a great option for dinner being conveniently located in Los Feliz. I love the decor and ambiance of this local place, and give them props for the effort they put in to be "upscale". When U. is away on business it's always nice to have an option for dinner with my daughter where we both enjoy the food and kids are welcome so we both feel comfortable as well. (They created a "kid safe" cup for my daughter out of a plastic food container, filling it with water and cutting a hole in the top to put the straw through - without me even asking.) The first time I was there the food was excellent, but when I went back a second time the food was just so-so. I'm hoping they were just having an off night, because I'd like to return.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

All is good on the homefront

Yes, I'm still alive and kickin'. Just busy with my new job and getting used to the new routine with preschool added in for good measure. My husband has been a saint cooking dinner for the family. After my first day on the job I came home to a whole roasted chicken (yes, he rocks my world), and we are now eating together as a family every evening (with the few hours we have together before our daughter has to go to get in enough zzz's for preschool the next morning). We're a busy but happy family. =)