New west coast food and wine blogs for a new year

Breaking news: For all you wedding watchers out there, Tracie B has just posted on our wedding cake! Yes, WEDDING CAKE!


Above: While in Los Angeles in early December, I had lunch at Mozza with my friends Howard Rodman and Lou Amdur. Owner of my favorite natural wine bar, Lou has a wonderful food and wine blog (not so new), where he writes about his wine selection and whatever else makes him culinarily curious. Comrade Howard is my number 1 candidate for “someone who outta have a food and wine blog.”

The oughts are noughts and 2010 has arrived and at least a couple of friends of mine took time during the December wind-down to launch new food and wine blogs.


Above: For desert, Howard, Lou, and I shared olive oil ice cream. Penelope and Javier sat at the table next to us. I had no idea who they were (as I was hoping to run into Mel and Carl, who purportedly dine there and are a much more sexy couple!).

This month saw the launch of a food and wine (and music) blog by my friend Anthony Wilson (click on “blog” in the left-hand nav bar). You see, Anthony’s primary mission in life is not to be one of the greatest jazz guitar players of our time. His true calling is “to seek out — every day — fresh, delicious, typical food, prepared with love by like-minded obsessives, along with real, authentic, natural wine, served whenever possible in non-aristocratic, sometimes downright quirky, environments where it’s possible to roll up one’s sleeves and really get down to the business of eating and drinking.”


Above: While in LA, I also dined at Palate (in Glendale), which, despite the swagger, is my favorite restaurant in the U.S. right now. I really dig their vintage decanters (we decanted a bottle of Domaine de Montille 2006 Pommard Les Rugiens, thank you very much).

I’m also excited about a new blog, Gourmale, authored by my bandmate and air guitar superstar, Dan Crane (aka Jean-Luc Retard, aka Björn Türoque). Dan’s well-earned nickname on the road is “Snackboy Jr.” or “Snack,” and the Nous Non Plus tour bus has often been forced to stop abruptly for “snack attacks.” Enough said… (now, if we could just get Dan to add a blogroll!).


Above: At Palate, chef Octavio Becerra treated us to an amazing roast side of goat.

I’ve also been recently hipped to two very cool wine blogs by Los Angeles-based wine professionals, My Daily Wine by Amy Atwood, now at the top of my Google reader feed for news from the world of natural wine, and Brunellos Have More Fun, by Whitney Adams, whose mostly Italocentric blog I would read if only for the title! And lastly, but by no means least, my new guide to Bay Area restaurants is called Wine Book Girl, by my colleague UC Press publicist Amy Cleary.

In other news…


Above: A collaborative NYE meal, dill and chive roast potatoes (by Tracie B) and pan-roasted, boneless rib-eyes (by me). Langhe Nebbiolo 2008 by Produttori del Barbaresco and Beatles Anthology on DVD. Is this what heaven is like? ;-)

At the last minute, Tracie B and I decided to spend our New Year’s eve at home, alone, just the two of us. :-) We’ll have a lifetime of NYE celebrations ahead of us and so we thought we’d spend this last one, before we get married later this month, by ourselves.

Our bubbly beverage? A champagne of Champagnes (ha!): a bottle of Pierre Gimmonet Cuis 1er Cru Sans Année. We opened it at the beginning of the evening for an apertif and re-corked it. By the end of the night, it had opened up into a wonderful toastiness complemented by fresh white fruit and bright acidity. The perfect wine to pair with my true love’s sweet first kiss of the new year…

Happy 2010, everyone! So far, so good!