I'm not normally a fan of this Japanese-style hot pot business, but after Thursday night, I've changed my mind. Thanks to the wonderful Charles, our whole family was treated to a delicious preview meal at Ka Shabu, which Charles' family is opening up on Main Street in Huntington Beach. In fact, it opens tomorrow at 5 p.m., so if you're in the area and in the mood for a nourishing, healthy meal, go!
The entire experience is hands-on, starting with the sesame seeds that you mash up yourself, as demonstrated by my sister, Olivia. (My dad is intensely studying her method.):
Appetizers included sweet potato fries & garlic sauce, which are my weakness in every sense of the word:
The man of the hour, Charles, managing his proud new restaurant:
The salmon entree my sister and I ordered, with heaps of vegetables (plus some amazing sesame and ponzu dipping sauces):
Thank you, Charles, for an amazing meal! In my most biased opinion, all of the food was fresh and flavorful, and the service was impeccable :)
No but really, it was. I suspect this place will have very long lines soon.
I love when fall kicks in and people in the neighborhood start bringing out their wreaths, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and enormous fake black spiders that cling from the highest windows. It marks the beginning of a brand new year. (I still think of years in terms of school years, so forget January--September is where it's at for a fresh start.) From here on out, it's Thanksgiving decor, Christmas decor, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's day, and Easter. Our family usually only decorates for Christmas, but I'm determined to hit up all the holidays this year. My neighbors also know how to get really creative and it's wonderful to see people enjoying the seasons and enjoying their homes, too.
I daydream about having a cozy little house to decorate one day, but for now, I'm making do with my parents' house. And so is Adam. We brought out some of the decor we scooped up last year at a store in LA after Halloween was over and everything was half off. Then we took a couple of trips to Target, Big Lots, and the Dollar Tree. I think we spent a good two whole days looking atdangling goblins, glow-in-the-dark witches, orange lights, and motion-sensor zombies that say the creepiest/cheesiest things to you.
We showed a little restraint though and didn't buy too much. Here's how the inventory turned out at both our houses...
Bordello Bar and all of its dark & dreamy Victorian decor
This weekend was quite a doozy.
Saturday night, I accompanied Adam, Jon, Chris & Tobin to our first ever burlesque show, put on by Courtney Cruz and Devil's Playground at Bordello Bar in Downtown LA.
But it wasn't just any burlesque show...it was SCREAM QUEENS burlesque! An evening of seductive dance, theatrics, and parody in the spirit of classic Halloween horror movies. Yes, there was plenty of strawberry jam blood, lady vampires, big plastic knives, and a hard metal band (which I'm sure has permanently damaged my poor ears).
I'll keep it PG-13, but here are a few snapshots from the evening. Can you guess the movies?
(...and that was King Kong, Psycho, Vampira and Carrie. Ok fine, so only Psycho and Carrie were obvious.)
The show was terrific and very well done, and it was just one of those wonderful evenings that reminded me of all the shades of artistic expression out there. The best part is also having friends who can enjoy this at the same time they enjoy opera (wink wink, Jon).
Sunday afternoon, I went to downtown Long Beach to meet up with Leslie, Tim & Lisa for a mini Columbia reunion. We lunched outside by the water and boats and...melted. 91 degrees in October! Beautiful day though and nothing to complain about when I get to see some of my favorite people. I can't wait until Christmas--fingers crossed--to see them again. Leslie, I plan to have MANY holiday adventures with you! (p.s. I also had the most delicious chopped salad at Yard House...hold the bacon and it's the best vegan lunch.)
The evening ended with some Halloween shopping at Target and the Goodwill store with Adam. Halloween is normally my least favorite time of the year (a few terrible childhood costumes can do that to you), but I'm feeling so festive this year. We have pumpkin candles burning in the house and my sister and I have already lined up plenty of pumpkin pie and corn bread recipes. Plus, Adam and I are on the hunt for our costume pieces. I won't tell you what we're going as, but let's just say it involves a hat, suspenders, a chimney sweeper, a red bow-tie, and a VERY big bag.