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August 28, 2008

SF Dispatch: Atari Graffiti


IMG_1348, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Yesterday I saw this piece again for the first time in 6 years. It's a huge wall piece of Atari characters. It's also what I remember as being the first graffiti wall that really caught my interest. Growing up in New York, I've seen graffiti all my life. But seeing this on my first (grown-up) trip to San Francisco, it was the first time I really noticed it.

On all my trips out here since then, I haven't managed to see it again, but this time, I made a point of seeking it out. It's more or less the same as the first time, with some patched up points here. It's a longevity that I generally think of as unusual for graffiti, an aft form that is typically transient. I'm glad it's still there.
::c::

August 27, 2008

Food Finds: Flan-es-Cedo


IMG_8044 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

San Juan, Puerto Rico. 2008.

August 20, 2008

Food Finds: Lengua


IMG00284.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Condesa, Mexico City. 2007.

August 19, 2008

Photo of the Day: Over the Edge


IMG_9843 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Summer X Games 2008. Los Angeles, CA. 2008.


I'll be taking a brief hiatus from the blog. Next week this time I'll be in San Francisco, exploring and such. When I return, expect more SF food, Graffiti and all of that.

See you in a bit.
::c::

August 18, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Elemental


IMG_1105, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn, NYC. 2008.

Photo of the Day: To Get to the Other Side


IMG_7661, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles. 2008

August 17, 2008

Photo of the Day: Hanging Lanterns


IMG_5150, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Village Yokocho (Izakaya attached to Angel Share), East Village, NYC. 2007.

August 15, 2008

Photo of the Day: Beer Ticket


IMG_5572, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Happy Hour at Moe's, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2008.

August 14, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Bickle


IMG_3289, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Mexico City. 2007.

Photo of the Day: Tsukiji Scallops


, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan. 2007.

August 13, 2008

Food Finds: Pupo Pulpo


IMG_8035, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Frozen Octopus San Juan, Puerto Rico. 2008.

Graffiti of the Day: Bast Stalin


IMG_8550, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

DuUMBO, Brooklyn. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Round Two


IMG_0797, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Spring Lounge, SoHo, NYC. 2008.

August 12, 2008

LA: Luna Park Fondue


IMG_0346, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

On my last day in LA, sfter we wrapped up with work, we headed downtown for lunch at Luna Park. I've had some great meals at Luna Park in San Francisco and visited the Los Angeles branch a couple years ago.

I wasn't blown away by my sandwich, a Baked Ham and Cheese. I had hoped for something more interesting, but in the end it was just ham and cheese.

But my starter was a different story. A fantastic spin on bread and cheese, the fondue is simple in concept, but complex in flavor. The thick chunks of bread were seared, presumably aftera dip in olive oil, allowing just enough char to add new texture and flavor.

The goat cheese was thick and velvety and clung to the toast. I can't even begin to tell you what it does with the apples. Awesome.


Luna Park
672 S. La Brea (near Wilshire)
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.934.2110

Peaches Update


IMG_6771, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Here's a brief update on Peaches, the new Southern restaurant in the neighborhood.

Saturday, Tammi and I took our niece, nephew and my sister out to dinner at Peaches. It was our first time trying the full table service menu.

I had a great Red Beans and Rice, with Andouille Sausage, topped with a dollop of Pulled Pork. It was smoky and wonderful.

Everyone else loved their meals as well. I'm hoping to head over there on a regular basis, so more updates will come over time.

One thing to note is that they still don't have a license for beer and wine. When asked, our waitress supported the local wine shop, plugging Olivino, a block away.

That's all great, but I think the next time I go, it'll be a six-pack I bring to accompany some of the gigantic Beef Ribs that I spied passing by.

Yum!

Graffiti of the Day: Pley


IMG_3752, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Mexico City. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Brownstone Brooklyn


IMG_7065, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2008.

August 11, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Zeph


IMG_8869, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Seventy One


IMG_6915, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 2008.

August 10, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Trooper


IMG_3482, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Coyoacan, Mexico City. 2007.

Photo of the Day: The Mirrors of Houston Street


Houston Street, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

East Houston, NYC. 2005.

August 9, 2008

LA Signs: Carson Gardens


IMG_7472, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Carson, Los Angeles. 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Orange FF


IMG_0332, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

LES, NYC. 2008.

Artist: Freestyle Family

Photo of the Day: Teardrops


IMG_0330, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Luna Park, Los Angeles. 2008.

(Whoops, didn't realize I already had a POTD today. Consider this a bonus.)

LA Signs: Circus Do-Nuts


IMG_7480, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Carson, Los Angeles. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Smoking in the Rain


IMG_5598, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Moe's, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2008.

The rain was coming down in torrents, lightning was flashing and thunder rumbled... yet these guys had to have a smoke.

Smokes actually. A couple of them went out 5 times to light up while I sat there. It was amazing. One of them spent most of his time between smokes rolling his next one.

August 8, 2008

dba Brooklyn coming to Williamsburg

This just in. . .

dba Brooklyn
@ N. 7the St.
(Between Berry + Wythe)
More Good Stuff

::c::

LA Signs: Bel-Aire Park


IMG_7468, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Carson, Los Angeles. 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Embedded Stikman


IMG_8396, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

LES, NYC. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Kick


IMG_9841 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

X Games 14, Los Angeles. 2008.

LA Signs: Louis Burgers


IMG_7482, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Carson, Los Angeles. 2008.

August 7, 2008

LA Signs: Wilshire


IMG_7931, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. 2008.

LA: Wrap Up


IMG_0143, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I've returned from LA right into a busy busy time at work and home. When things calm down a bit, I have a few more things to post about. In the interim, here's the quick run-down of the meals I haven't had a chance to mention:

-Dinner at Ford's Filling Station in Culver City
-Dinners at Musha branches in Santa Monica and Torrance
-Lunch at Luna Park

And finally, above is an evening at Union Cattle in Hermosa Beach, not typically the sort of place I'd end up going to, but it was entertaining. And no, I didn't end up on the mechanical bull.

So, stay tuned, I'll be back in a couple days with more LA dining and SF planning.

Graffiti of the Day: Deeker


IMG_6559, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

LA Signs: Lavanderia


IMG_7696, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Los Angeles. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Next


IMG_9036 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Summer X Games 2008. Los Angeles. 2008

August 6, 2008

Food Finds: Admiration


IMG_0572 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Chinatown, NYC. 2008.

LA Signs: Los Altos


IMG_8370, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. 2008.

Graffiti of the Day: Interdimensional


IMG00888.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Under the BQE, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Artist: Aakash Nihalani.


LA Signs: Felix Chevrolet


IMG_7707, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Near USC, Los Angeles. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Bike Flip


IMG_8504, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

BMX Street, LA Live, Downtown, Los Angeles. 2008

August 5, 2008

LA Signs: The Hair Shop


IMG_7895 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

LA Signs: Deco Staples


IMG_7899, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Los Angeles. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Empty


IMG_7476, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Carson, Los Angeles. 2008

August 4, 2008

LA Signs: Hallmark Cleaners


IMG_7928, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Los Angeles, CA. 2008.

LA: Santouka


IMG_7535


The US branch of Santouka, the Kyoto Ramen shop where I had that fabulous pork cheek ramen last year, is located in the 'restaurant row' of the Mitsuwa marketplace
in Torrance. This row, which looks suspiciously like a food court has the best looking mall food I've ever seen. Besides Santouka, other eateries serve curry, tonkatsu, and sushi, among other Japanese foods. There's a branch of Mifune as well, which I've been to in San Francisco a few times. There was also a place called Italian Tomato that serves cakes and spaghetti, which I don't really get.

Like most food courts, the restaurants only offer counter service, with most diners eating in the central seating area. This was interesting to me because the original Santouka is a full service 'sit down' restaurant in Kyoto. It was oddly converse to my visit toLoteria Grill. Whereas the original Loteria is based in a barely covered section of an outdoor farmers market with picnic furniture tossed in for quick eating, the Hollywood branch is much fancier, with a full bar and waitstaff.

Regardless of the setting, the food was just as wonderful. I had to have the pork cheek ramen again. It was fantastic.


IMG_7551, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.
While looking through the Mitsuwa website, it seems there is a branch in Edgewater, New Jersey, apparently with a Santouka. I may finally have a reason to cross the Hudson. More to come...

LA Observations: RV Living

IMG_0030 - Version 2

There are tons of Winnebagos and like vehicles in LA. I don't get it.

LA Signs: Galo


IMG_8375 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. 2008

Photo of the Day: Walking into the Sunset


IMG_7920 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. 2008.

Yes, some people do walk out here. Mostly to their cars...

August 3, 2008

LA Signs: Vermont Plaza


IMG_8399 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Koreatown, Downtown, Los Angeles. 2008.

LA: Return to Mozza


IMG_8355, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Last year I raved about Mozza, part of the west coast outpost of the Batali-Bastianich empire. The other day I took the opportunity of a trip downtown to go back for lunch.

There isn't really much more to say, it's fabulous. The pizza above is the unofficial 'Meat Lovers' pizza, topped with pepperoni, sausage and guanciale. It was intense. I can't say enough about the crust. At times chewy and soft or crisp enough to shatter, it stood up to the weight and flavors of the toppings admirably.

I still haven't made it to Osteria Mozza, the higher end, dinner-only space next door. I've still got a couple more nights here, so maybe I'll figure out a way to get back there.

Pizzeria Mozza
641 N. Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.297.0101

LA: Donuts!


IMG_9014, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

An interesting thing I've only just discovered about Los Angeles, is that it appears to have avoided infiltration by the Donut cartel. Everywhere we go there's some small doughnut shop selling their wares. If one recalls, I've ranted before about the chain mediocrity and what a revelation _real_ doughnuts can be.They vary wildly in quality, with many selling morsels as stale and tasteless as the mass market competition. Others transcend.

I was more impressed with the custard filled on my second visit than the glazed on my first. Bob's Donuts in San Francisco is one of the greats I've had. On that scale, Randy's is pretty damn good, but thinking about it makes me want Bob's.

LA Observations: Morning Mist


IMG_9009, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Nearly every morning I've been here in Los Angeles, I've opened my drapes to this cloudy, gray vista. Each time, I'm surprised and begin to worry that the clothes I've packed weren't warm enough.

And each day, a few hours later, it's 80 degrees, the sun bears down and there isn't a cloud in the sky.

LA Signs: Marvelous


IMG_8396 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Koreatown, Los Angeles. 2008.

Summer X Games 2008


IMG_9294, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Another year, another X Games. I've posted many photos in a Summer X Games 2008 set. Keep checking for updates.

Photo of the Day: Thrill


IMG_8998 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Danny Way. Big Air Finals, X Games 14. Los Angeles. 2008.

August 2, 2008

LA Signs: Carson Plaza


IMG_7572 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

One of the more interesting things I've noticed in LA is all the crazy signs everywhere. Obviously, large, noticeable signage is necessary in a place where your customers are rarely going to be just walking by. What's surprising is how old a lot of it is.

Most, like this one hearken back to the 50's and 60's, while others display distinct styles from other periods. I'm going to post some of the most striking ones over the next week or so.

Graffiti of the Day: Expectations


IMG_8366 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Melrose Avenue off North Highlands, Los Angeles. 2008.

I came across this Banksy piece after getting lunch at Mozza the other day. I was really psyched to see it. I haven't really seen a lot of his work as much as heard about it. The sentiment here is one I'm pretty familiar with.

Random Observations: Hotel Meetings


IMG01031.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

There are things you know have to happen somewhere, but never quite expect to run into. . .

Biking LA


IMG_7467, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Amazingly, I've seen more than a few people on bicycles here in Los Angeles. Each time I've pondered how unpleasant an experience that must be. I'm not even comfortable riding around Manhattan.

Riding in place where everything is a half hour drive away, boulevards have 8 lanes and no sidewalks and the temperature is invariably in the 80's seems ridiculously dangerous.

Apparently, that's pretty accurate. This morning I glanced at the Wall Street Journal in the hotel lobby and found a < HREF="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121755531308403265.html">piece discussing the difficulties biking Angelenos face. It gets pretty ugly. The most severe hazard seems to be belligerent drivers, which isn't particularly surprising.

Last month, a pissed off driver slammed his brakes ahead of a couple of riders, sending them to the hospital. It's a toss up whether this story is more disturbing because the driver had been in a similar accident a few months earlier or that he's a physician, who knows exactly the type of damage that sort of behavior could lead to.

Predictably, this incident rallied the biking community, but it seems to have also begun a long-needed conversation about sharing the road.

Hopefully it all works out, but I won't be renting a bicycle out here any time soon.


Photo of the Day: Garbage Train


IMG_6151, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

West 4th Street Station, Greenwich Village, NYC. 2008.

August 1, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Pig-Headed


IMG_9868, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Chelsea, NYC. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Gathered


IMG_2711, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Moto X World Championships, San Diego, California. 2008.