Tag Archives: first date

Foodie Fridays: Mind-blowing Munchies

12 Mar

Thanks to my blog host, WordPress, I’m able to track which of my posts are viewed the most, what countries my readers are from (shout-out to all you awesome foreign country readers), and what search terms are put into Google to find Live & Love in L.A. My favorite findings are the search terms; everything from your typical “why didn’t he call after our first date?” to “what to wear on a blind date” and “why guys are such assholes”—Yes, someone actually found my blog typing that in. However, the most views come from people searching “ideas for Los Angeles date night.”

So, I thought it was the perfect time for a Foodie Friday feature on the most mouth-watering bites I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in Los Angeles. I know it’s not Friday but give me a break! I’m in nursing school, bartend part-time, co-own a bar catering company, and blog my little heart out. I’m constantly a hot mess—but I try my best to post once a week. 🙂

Here are 3 must-try date night spots with mind-blowing munchies in Los Angeles:

1. Animal

435 N. Fairfax Ave.

Los Angeles, CA. 90048

323.782.9225

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Animal Restaurant is insane—in the best way possible. It’s a true nightmare for vegans but Heaven on Earth for us carnivores. The entire menu is dedicated to outrageously bizarre bites made from parts of animals most food amateurs would cringe at. My palate, on the other hand, is adventurous, to say the least. Whenever I visit the Philippines, my cousins constantly dare me to eat weird things like balut (fertilized duck embryo) and fried baby chick fetus on a stick… from shady streets carts… and I do it– happily. Animal is much more refined than a Filipino street cart but their cuisine style isn’t far off. You won’t be the same after sinking your teeth into their rich chicken liver toast or scraping out the marrow right off the bone and spreading it onto a perfectly crunchy buttered toast. After dining here you won’t even correlate bacon with pork anymore—instead, crunchy pig ears! Basically, you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten at Animal. My basic rule for good eating: try everything once.

2. Picca

9575 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA. 90035

310.277.0133

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This trendy Peruvian gem brings Los Angeles the best:

Antichuco -amazingly tender meat skewers

Causa -basically Peruvian sushi—picture delicate piles of spicy albacore on a bed of yellow mashed potato in perfectly bite-sized squares

Ceviche -everyone knows what ceviche is but Picca’s is with the high-quality halibut or seabass with sweet potatoes for that Peruvian twist

Choritos– last but certainly not least, the most incredible mussels dish I’ve ever had. Ever. Swimming in Amarillo butter.

I love that you can snack on comfort food with an upscale twist in a high-volume, sexy atmosphere. Everything from the eye-catching entrance to the wildly talented mixologists whipping up Pisco Sours behind the bar, Picca is sure to put the WOW factor into your dining experience. *If you’re really feeling brave, ask for the Avocado Project cocktail.*

3. CaCao Mexicatessen

1576 Colorado Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA. 90041

323.478.2791

I don’t want to be criticized for being “too bougie” and only suggesting fancier, pricey places. So if you’re on a budget but still want to impress a date with a restaurant selection, go straight to CaCao in Eagle Rock. It’s 1,000 times better than your typical Mexican cuisine and has “unique” written all over it! Under their “favorites” menu lays their famous duck confit and fried duck skin tacos which both are a must. Although, my #1 pick and what I will continue to come back for is the Elote de la Calle—corn on the cob covered in cotija cheese, drizzled with a light cream and finished with powdered chile. Thank you, food gods. Oh, and their drinks hold their own, too! Delicious Corona Micheladas rimmed with spicy chili salt and for a liquid dessert, Abuelita’s hot chocolate. YUM.

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The Blind Date Blues

8 Dec

I was at the airport in Eugene, Oregon coming back to Los Angeles from visiting my ex-boyfriend at the University of Oregon where he went to school. We weren’t a couple during my visit but he was that one ex that I always found my way back to whenever I was single. This ex was my high school sweetheart and our on-again-off-again romance lasted many years—but we’ll save more about him and our tumultuous relationship for a later post. Anyways, while waiting to board my plane, an insanely handsome man caught my eye.

photo credit: ~Oryctes~ via photopin cc

photo credit: ~Oryctes~ via photopin cc

This guy looked as though he literally walked right out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog, except he was fully clothed—6-foot-something, blonde, built and bright blue eyes. I caught myself staring and immediately looked away but I felt him staring back. Every time I’d look up from pretending to read my book he’d be looking right at me and smiling. As you can imagine, the second I saw in my peripheral vision that he got up and was walking towards me, I was silently freaking out. The next thing I heard was, “Excuse me, Miss?”

photo credit: André-Batista via photopin cc

photo credit: André-Batista via photopin cc

It felt like a hazy dream as the next thing to come out of his mouth was, “I apologize for interrupting your reading but I just had to tell you how beautiful you are.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! DOES THIS SHIT HAPPEN OUTSIDE OF ROMANTIC COMEDIES?? I stuttered to say thank you and babbled some nonsense and then the hazy dream snapped back to reality. He then tells me, “I have this friend back home in L.A. who would absolutely love to meet you.”

Ummmmm…. Come again!? Let me get this straight… Hot guy who caught me drooling over him came over to tell me I’m beautiful and DOESN’T want to take me out? Awesome. Not.

He sells me on this friend who is a restaurateur, young, available and looking for love. I figured super hot guys hang out with other super hot guys, right? So I gave him my number and permission to have his friend call me. His friend called and we talked and texted for a week before actually meeting up. I was so skeptical of blind dates that I tried to put it off as long as possible but the day finally came.

texting

My blind date, Christian, asked me to meet him at the restaurant he owns at 8pm. I arrived a little early so I went straight to the bar to liquor myself up and mentally prepare myself for this mystery man. The bartender asked if I was Joyce—apparently Christian prepped the staff for my arrival. He escorted me over to our table and made small talk to keep me company. The bartender’s first question was, “So, you’ve never seen Christian?” I thought that was odd. Should I be worried?

Too late to turn back now. Christian arrives and he is…. the… exact… opposite… of super sexy airport guy. Again, does this shit actually happen outside of chick flicks? Yes, it does– to me anyways. I was a good sport about it and enjoyed a two-hour six-course meal with him and listened to his descriptions of the bitter tannins in our Cabernet Sauvignon and the intricate preparation of the tender foie gras. It felt like I was in a bad porno that starts with the food connoisseur sexually describing the pleasure of his taste buds—except our date ended in a hug… not a tug.

photo credit: ulterior epicure via photopin cc

photo credit: ulterior epicure via photopin cc

TIPS TO AVOID A BAD BLIND DATE:
— Be careful about who is setting you up. If someone isn’t a good friend of yours, they probably don’t know the type of guys you’re interested in.
— Don’t let it be a “blind” date. With today’s social media it seems like everyone has at least one picture that is easily accessible by a touch of an iPhone. Ask whoever is setting you up or even your date to send you a photo first. Let’s face it, as much as you don’t want to admit you are shallow, NOBODY wants to go out with someone they aren’t physically attracted to.
— Don’t let them pick you up! Always meet a blind date wherever you guys are having dinner or drinks. The last thing you want is to be at the mercy of a guy you don’t like in order to get back home—or just bring cash for a cab!

photo credit: Sylvain_Latouche via photopin cc

photo credit: Sylvain_Latouche via photopin cc

My one blind date experience didn’t go exactly as planned but I don’t regret it! I’m glad to be able to say I’ve tried it once and it’s not for me. Although, I believe there is something to be said about taking a chance on the unknown. As much of a control freak as I am about knowing what’s coming next, I enjoy the thrill of the dating world’s uncertainty. Not everyone has to be Mr. Right or nothing at all. Going on dates is a good way to make new friends and have more connections. As most Los Angeles natives know, networking is key to success in this city. My blind date, Christian, and I are still acquaintances two years later. He sends me e-mails every now and then to see how I’m doing and if I have any new yummy cocktail recipes to send him. I text him whenever I plan to eat at any trendy L.A. spots since he’s a great person to name-drop if you want the 8:00pm reservation at those impossible-to-get-a-decent-time restaurants.

Blind date or not, if you’re single and looking, keep putting yourself out there and be open to meeting new people! You never know where a blind date will lead.

5 Signs Of a Bad First Date

25 Nov

One thing many women struggle with while on a first date is being able to tell if the date is going well. We obviously can’t read our date’s mind (although that would be awesome) so we are forced to draw our own conclusions based on some subtle hints. It’s especially important to pick up on the not-so-subtle giveaways that the date is heading downhill. These five red flags are indicators that your date is either an a**hole, he doesn’t believe in chivalry or he’s not really into you—regardless, don’t plan for a second date.

1. Shallow Hal

If your date only shows interest in bragging about himself— HIS job, HIS car, HIS hobbies, HIS penis (just kidding) then he’s a jerk. If your date does not show any interest in getting to know you—he’s a jerk. Need I say more? Yes? Okay. So if a guy really digs you, he wants to size you up. Guys love getting to know more about women for the same reason we want to know more about them—they want to make sure you’re fun enough, interesting enough, smart enough, and nice enough to visualize being in a relationship with you. So if your date is totally disinterested in your life and what you do, it’s most likely because he isn’t feeling a connection to you or only wants to sleep with you so he could care less about your favorite Saturday morning yoga class.

2.  The Case of the Ex

Talking about past relationships is inevitable during a first date. Both parties want to know when your last relationship was, how long it lasted, and why it ended. Standard first date material. However, some unusual behavior and definitely a red flag is if a guy continuously brings up his ex-girlfriend… especially if you didn’t ask. Example: “You should get a Grey Goose Cosmopolitan. My ex, Ashley, drank those all the time.” This could be a sign that he’s not over the relationship or he has word vomit—either way, it’s weird.

photo credit: Enterprise Hotel via photopin cc

3. No Future Plans

If your date doesn’t mention any plans to see you again or ask when your second date will be, it’s not a good sign. This isn’t the end-all of the relationship but if a guy likes you, he’ll usually casually mention some fun activity or great new restaurant you guys should try the next time you see each other.

photo credit: pnoeric via photopin cc

4. Cheap Skate

Ladies, I don’t know how many times I’ll have to say this: YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PAYING ON YOUR FIRST DATE. I do not care what anyone says to defend the opposite, they’re wrong. A guy that lets you pay on a first date is a loser. Whether he can’t afford it or if he’s just socially incompetent, there’s just no excuse. I know I’ll get some heat for saying this but I stand by the fact that men should properly court a woman by paying for her with no hesitation on a FIRST DATE. It’s not for me to say who should pay on a regular basis after that, although girls who always pay for guys on dates are a phenomenon I’ll never understand, but men treating women on their first outing together is a principle of basic chivalry. If a guy does not pay the bill or has you “go dutch” with him and pay your half, he’s not only not into you but he’s a jerk! Now this doesn’t mean a girl should pick BOA Steakhouse and order a $75 Filet Mignon; be reasonable, girls! But if you’re reading this and thinking how shallow, you are in denial. Every girl, and I mean every single girl, wants to be treated to a nice first date. The girls who have paid for you before were settling and probably turned around and told their girlfriends how lame the date ended.

5. Shortcut

If your date is trying to cut the night short by rushing dinner or declining your offer to come in for a drink (which I don’t recommend doing), this COULD BE a sign he’s not feelin’ it. Yes, he could have work at 7am tomorrow but what guy do you know would turn down an opportunity to get a little cozy with you after dinner? My boyfriend wondered why I was rushing off after our first dinner and asked if I wanted to come to his house to “chit-chat” over a drink or two. Are you kidding me?! Everything about that sentence screamed SEX! Guys want sex. They love sex. They don’t care about a 3-date rule… heck, they don’t believe in a 3-hour rule! So, if your date wants nothing to do with a cocktail-filled you, let’s just say it’s not good.