Barrel and Ashes in Studio City

Tonight was my 5th visit to the newly opened Barrel and Ashes in Studio City, California.  In the former Sparks location this restaurant features Texas style BBQ but totally gourmet!!!!! To start, you can have a magnificent cocktail custom blended, but if you are even more choosy, the list of top notch bourbons (the ideal pick for BBQ) is a dream! Tonight’s choice was Balcone”s Baby Blue neat of course.

First up was my love, Hush Puppies!  Then on the menu tonight was rib tips. But, unlike the rip tips that I’ve had before, these were moist and saucy. All the other places I’ve been to in Los Angele that have these have been dry. These are served with a sweet mustard sauce and some pickled veggies.  Next was the main event!!

SMOKED BEETS  This little side deserves a paragraph by itself! I was so busy having an orgasmic event that I didn’t even notice much else of what it was made with other than the pistachios, but the sauce was so good that the hoe cake that came afterward, I dipped into it.

We had coleslaw which is made with a great tang and PORK SHORT RIBS..Now, who makes those??? Give me a break! Talk about delicious taste.. I am not sure there is a more succulent taste of meat than these.  I was popping out of my jeans.. but WAIT there’s MORE…

They made HOT TAMALE ICE CREAM… had to have some.. and then I wanted MORE..


We were there opening week and almost every week since they opened, and now they are open for Brunch and that was amazing when we were there!!








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Cassel’s has returned!!!

And Iconic Los Angeles Landmark restaurant has returned and it is sensational!  In the Normandie Hotel at Normandie and 6th in Los Angeles, CA it is worth the trip for anyone within 100 miles!!

The New Owners, Christian and Leah have brought back the original equipment and even the had written 70 year old recipes.  I always thought I made the best potato salad in the world, but this is even better than mine!  I do not eat pasta salad, but I scarfed this down and had to have more, and the cole slaw is amazing.  Plus they bring all this on a tray that even includes potato chips!!!

Now, the main event, the burger is PRIME BEEF!! Not choice, but I did say PRIME!  I was overwhelmed.  The special Saturday was a Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup, but I had to have a cheeseburger.. no question.

Then, the PIES.. Leah makes them herself,  and each one is a work of art.  We had the Meyer Lemon and my eyes were rolling and we shared it.  We had lunch at 11:30 am and we set for the day! I made a light snack for dinner about 10 because we were so sated.

Even the signs are original, and they have valet parking which if you validate is only $3.00. I can’t wait to return for another potato salad and burger!!!WP_20150207_014 WP_20150207_013 WP_20150207_012 WP_20150207_011 WP_20150207_010 WP_20150207_009 WP_20150207_008 WP_20150207_007 WP_20150207_006 WP_20150207_005 WP_20150207_004 WP_20150207_003 WP_20150207_002 WP_20150207_001

Rob Sinclair’s Dance with the Enemy

41uKwr+tVcL._SS300_DANCE WITH THE ENEMY is one of those thrillers that hit you in the gut about 20 pages in when you realize that you have something in your hands that you can’t bear to part with!!

Carl Logan seems to be just another washed out, drunk, used up international agent at the dregs of his career with a boss who knows that there’s still a drop of life left in him left to wring out.  And, wring out he does.  Like a rabid dog who won’t let go, Logan who is hated by every one else  in supervision, continues through  twists and turns that even the best thriller reader could never begin to imagine as he is tasked to find the Kidnapped American Attorney General.

We are not talking a few twists, but almost what seems like a major twist per chapter! And, even then, I could not catch my breath and I am really, REALLY GOOD at these things!

I am so excited that Mr. Sinclair has got another book coming out soon.  Please keep your eyes open for RISE OF THE ENEMY, because he is a GENIUS!!

Restaurant Review: Shanghai Rose in Studio City

Had dinner at the new Shanghai Rose Studio City. I had to SLOW the dishes down. Most were GREAT!!!