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

Random Thoughts for a Thursday

Sometimes when I’m out at a pub or bar, I’m amazed how much beer I can drink. I’m not some hefty beer guzzling dude or Japanese competitive drinker, a Kobayashi of quaffing. But somehow, against the laws of physics and reason, I can make beer disappear like the most talented illusionist.

Hot dog eating champion Kobayashi

Recently, we went out to Duke’s in Malibu for Taco Tuesday, and I ordered a pint of pale ale. It was gone in about 48 seconds, so I ordered another. That one lasted a little longer, but was still empty well before the food even arrived. So for my third I went the inexpensive route and got the can-of-Modelo beer special. Or two. More