What I’m Listening To Tonight

11:11 pm. August 28. Plug­ging away on one of my many sto­ries I have lined up for the Octo­ber food issue for Vegas/Rated. Seri­ous writ­ing calls for seri­ous music. Enter a set from Sur­geon, circa 2003.

Only the truly ded­i­cated techno heads know the epic tal­ent of this UK mas­ter, one of the most revered DJs on the scene– his name draws out even the old timers who chose life and now have (more) respon­si­ble jobs, spouses who weren’t in the scene, kids, mort­gages. His trips to the US to play are few and far between, play­ing only a few gigs a year in select cities. Chicago was for­tu­nate to have him a num­ber of times. I saw him most recently in LA last Feb­ru­ary at the clos­est thing to a rave that I’d been to in years. [Read more…]

Rainy Day Dining

This morn­ing I was awoken by a loud clap of thun­der, imme­di­ately fol­lowed by the sound of rain drops pelt­ing my win­dow. It stormed today. Rain is an unusual occur­rence any­way in the desert — but a whole day of down­pours is unheard of. Yet today Las Vegas was met with flash flood­ing, and dumb peo­ple get­ting stuck in the water because they can’t wait. Wel­come to Vegas.

Between this dreary day, dead­line and not feel­ing so hot, today was def­i­nitely a soup day. My go to soup in town is usu­ally a bowl of pho, but today I had a taste for some Hong Kong fare. After work I dragged myself to Asian BBQ & Noo­dle, a cash only shop that does… Asian bbq and noodles.

Walk­ing into Asian BBQ & Noo­dle on any given day is like you just walked into any bbq and noo­dle spot. Though the ducks are not hang­ing in the front win­dow (the restau­rant win­dow faces West where the harsh Vegas sun bar­rels in dur­ing the after­noons), they’re hang­ing behind the glass at the counter located inside the restau­rant. The menu over the counter is in both Eng­lish (well, Engr­ish) and Chinese.

Dif­fer­ent than what you’d get in say, a Can­tonese Chi­nese Amer­i­can restau­rant, which will often have weak won­tons with big floppy wrap­pers and a few veg­eta­bles, Hong Kong style won­ton noo­dle soup has won­tons which are look like superball-sized brains made of ground shrimp and pork in a nearly translu­cent wrap­per. The noo­dles are thin, yel­low egg noo­dles that are nice and chewy. The broth is hot, shrimp-ish/chicken-ish and fra­grant and soul soothing.

As I ordered my food to go, they pack­aged the won­tons and noo­dles sep­a­rately from the soup. [Read more…]

What I Listened To Today

When­ever I have to con­cen­trate on writ­ing or work­ing or danc­ing or noth­ing at all, I like to lis­ten to music.

Vegas/Rated is on dead­line this week, and as we’re putting our Sep­tem­ber fash­ion issue to bed, it requires a lot of read­ing and re-reading and writ­ing and last minute re-writing. As you can imag­ine, song with words don’t exactly help my cause. So I tune out with a lot of techno or house, my sub­woofer bang­ing away in my head­phones, while I look like a head bob­bing pigeon in the office.

Lately, Pan Pot can do no wrong when­ever I hear any of their sets. Enjoy.

Pan Pot @ Tronix, Cour­tesy of Medellin Style

Check out Medellin Style for more sets.

What to Eat in London (even if you’re not an Olympic athlete)

So now that Michael Phelps is now the half man-half fish with the most num­ber of gold medals in the world, can we go back to mar­veling over the calo­ries he con­sumes while train­ing (pre­sum­ably with­out the munchies)? Turns out, his 12,000 calo­ries he was pur­port­edly eat­ing a day is just a myth! (sadly, not a myth? That Phelps lis­tens to Skill-rex and Afro­jax to get pumped up for meets. No account­ing for a jock’s taste, I guess).

At any rate, if the 12,000 calo­rie day was true, I’d imag­ine in Lon­don it’s not hard to fill those caloric needs. Espe­cially at breakfast.

Dean Street Town­house is a quiet inn that serves the clas­sic full Eng­lish break­fast. It’s a break­fast I’d made a thou­sand times before in NOT Eng­land: a cou­ple of fried or poached eggs, bacon (aka “streaky bacon”), sausages, grilled toma­toes and mush­rooms, beans and toast. It’s my tra­di­tional St. Patrick’s Day pre-drinking meal, as well as a stan­dard rem­edy for the hang­over post-drinking hol­i­day. The din­ing room of Dean Street Town­house is dimly lit,with a dark wooded bar anchor­ing the space. It’s totally com­fort­able to sit and eat alone at the cozy tables, cov­ered with white linen, bot­tles of HP sauce at the ready.

Here’s my very first, legitimately-in-England full Eng­lish breakfast.

Oh! Some­thing that was rel­a­tively new to me was real black pud­ding. I’d encoun­tered it in Irish pubs where the full Eng­lish was a spe­cialty, but I never quite trusted it, and I never both­ered with hunt­ing it down for my own attempts at home. Some things are just bet­ter left eaten in their home­land. Dean Street Townhouse’s black pud­ding was well sea­soned with a creamy/gritty tex­ture, like you’d scooped a bit of ground flaxseed into savory rice pud­ding and made force­meat. And col­ored it black. I kind of enjoyed the coarse texture.The tra­di­tional sausage, or bangers, had a tex­ture unlike any Amer­i­can sausage I’d encoun­tered. It had a finer grind that gave the link an airy and light con­sis­tency. The fla­vor was sub­tle, with lots of black pep­per, but lack­ing the strong cured salti­ness I’m accus­tomed to. [Read more…]