June 27, 2013

The Taco Party

The best food for a rager is Mexican.  Fact.  Specifically, a taco bar.  I'll admit to giving it a bad rap with a 'been there, done that' attitude.  Not to mention the difficulty of competing with the amazing authentic tacos LA has to offer, like from Guisados in Boyle Heights.  All that aside, when good cocktails are flowing, (and they were, in the form of spicy margaritas and smoky mescal pineapple coolers) a juicy taco is the perfect snack.  While I'm a lover of fish tacos, the stars of the night were the "Mama's Tacos".  After all, who isn't instantly taken back to childhood with a bite of seasoned ground beef, sharp cheddar, shredded lettuce and tomato (the pickle is a new, and delicious! touch).  The bright colors of a Mexican banner are also instantly fun and Amy made the whole night more festive with pinatas galore, hanging flags, touches of turquoise, and yellow flowers.  And just in case they weren't ready for the night to end, guests went home with favors filled with Greg's serrano chili margarita mix, beautifully packaged by Amy with recipe labels.  I've learned my lesson: a taco party isn't boring.  It's a classic.

The Menu


serrano margarita
silver tequila, chili, lime

pineapple cooler
mescal, pineapple, cilantro, lime

margarita classico
silver tequila, cointreau, lime, agave

pacifico & negra modelo

cucumber aqua fresca


salsa bar & chips
roasted yellow tomato, grilled peach, spicy purple cherokee, & pico de gallo


albacore ceviche 

mini chorizo & peach tortas with mexican crema

taco bar

wild mushroom, corn, cotija cheese, salsa verde & radish

tempura battered mahi-mahi with cilantro cabbage slaw & lime crema

chicken mole, avocado & crema

pulled pork, queso fresco & pickled red onion

"mama's taco" ground beef, sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato & pickle


grilled corn, queso fresco, cilantro, chili & lime

drunken black & pinto beans

jicama, cucumber, arugula & citrus with pepitas & lime cilantro dressing


cinnamon, dark chocolate & margarita mini sprinkles cupcakes

June 14, 2013


After an amazing vacation in Morocco (which definately inspired another Moroccan themed party!), I arrived back to LA greeted by gorgeous, sweet tomatoes at the farmers markets.  They are the best they've been in years, which means it is BLT season!  We've been back in the throws of massive parties, so this simple dinner for twelve was a real pleasure.  The hostess is from Mississippi and wanted touches of the South to inspire the menu.  With the help of my friends Ahna and Julianna, who know a thing or two about Southern cooking, I came up with pecan crusted halibut, creamy grits & greens.  Greg really nailed the fried pickled request with his tempura battered version, better than anything I've eaten at a State Fair (no offense State Fair, I love you deeply and can't wait!!).  Our hostess picked flowers from her garden (lucky lady!) and served dinner on her collection of mix and match vintage china, which only enhanced the whimsical, easy breezy Southern feel.  I'm so happy it's summer, my favorite time of year, and look forward to lots of corn, bbq, refreshing cocktails and the second best food in the world: the BLT (sorry BLT, the french fry is my one true love).

The Menu


smoky watermelon margaritas


tempura battered dill pickles with comeback sauce

pimento cheese toasts

salt & pepper shrimp

to start

heirloom tomatoes, lettuces, bacon & creamy chive buttermilk dressing


pecan crusted halibut with caper remoulade

creamy cheddar polenta & braised kale and collard greens


chocolate pots de creme with bourbon whipped cream