East L.A. Road Tripping

My pal Alex wanted to make a pilgrimage to the fabled Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights, East L.A., home to one of the best tequila and mezcal selections north of the border. Who was I to say no?

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With our gal pal Erin in tow, we set out on a misty June Tuesday morning from our quiet green canyon and onto the freeways of greater Los Angeles. More

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It Was a Good Day

The day started off well enough, an early lunch with my brothers — a couple tall Molsons on tap and a minuscule serving of seared ahi at Outback Steakhouse.

And from there, the sky was the limit.

Mike admires his Chichicapa cerveza

Mike admires his Chichicapa cerveza

Waiting around in the parking lot of my kids’ school for the bell to ring, I got a call. It was my pal Michael:

“Dude, what’re you doing?” More

Tamale Claus

‘Twas the day before Christmas Eve, and all through the house, it was going down.

The kids were bickering and the wife and nanny cleaning, while in the kitchen a veritable assembly line of tamale production was stirring — chickens boiling, corn husks soaking, banana leaves being cut into squares, masa simmering on the stove.

Tamales steaming

Tamales steaming

I enjoy testing my ethnic and regional chops serving our very international community of friends and associates the food of their native country — as I did with our pal Brian’s Japanese girlfriend when I made a winter kaiseki dinner. Our nanny is from El Salvador, which I figured was close enough to Mexico to count her as a voice of authenticity for my Mexican tamale. More

Wild Agave

“We want to have you guys over when we get the place cleaned up a bit,” my pal Gordon had been telling me for five or six years, over the course of two different “places”.

The time had finally come. Gordon and spouse Lori, who had moved into their “new” house a year or so before, were far enough along in their renovations that they now felt comfortable hosting. But nothing ever being simple, we had been trying to schedule this particular dinner party for a matter of months.

The mezcals of Del Maguey

The mezcals of Del Maguey

The theme would loosely be “Mezcal & Mole” — or, at least, that was the subject line of the group texts bouncing around during the protracted planning phase. More

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