Ladies Who Dine :: Nick’s on 2nd

Ladies Who Dine :: Nick’s on 2nd

The Ladies Who Dine were at it again. Veronica selected this month’s spot, Nick’s on 2nd at home in Long Beach. For once, parking in Belmont Shore was a cinch, so the ladies gathered for yet another restaurant adventure.

First, cocktails.

White Sand Mojito
Pimm’s Cup

Emily tells us that Pimm’s Cup is a jolly good British drink (she didn’t really say “jolly good”). I sampled the drink and must say that I fancied it quite nicely (can you hear my accent?). It’s made with gin, lemon, cucumber, mint, and ginger ale. I also tasted a bit of whoopass, a definite uumph that I didn’t expect. Those crazy Brits. Of course, I went for my ol’ standy – the mojito, which I sipped very slowly as it was light, refreshing, and subtle with its mintiness (is that a word? Spellcheck says no). (Including this one, that’s already four parentheticals for me. I’m in a sidebar kind of mood, I suppose. I will try to refrain myself.)

Next, appetizers.

Asparagus Fries
Fire Roasted Artichoke
Fried Deviled Eggs

So we have the deviled eggs, the asparagus, and the artichoke – three things I don’t really eat. But this is LWD – the point of our group is to explore new foods, to challenge our palates. I liked the fried part of my asparagus, but not the asparagus part of the asparagus (which is surprising, as I’m from Stockton, home of the Asparagus Festival – I should love asparagus). The other ladies seemed to find it fabulous, however, saying they would order it again. While they also agreed that the artichoke and the deviled eggs were tasty indeed, the eggs arrived topped with bacon (not mentioned on the menu) and the waitress admitted that the secret to their scrumptious artichokes was that they were marinated in chicken stock – news to our resident vegetarian. Might be nice to put that info on the menu. Still, the non-veggies and the non-Dianes found all three appetizers quite delectable.

On to dinner!

Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Thai Peanut Coleslaw
Mac + Cheese and Thai Peanut Coleslaw
Classic Cheeseburger with Roasted Vegetables
Blackened Halibut Sandwich and Thai Peanut Coleslaw

Mine was the halibut sandwich. The brioche bun was firm and chewy, the tartar sauce spread thick and creamy, and it was topped with french fried onion rings (and I’ll eat almost anything topped with french fried onion rings). Perhaps the slaw was a tad too tangy, too sugary, not deserving to have the word “peanut” in its title, but I still ate all of it – half at the table, half when I got home.

And I can’t forget about the Ladies…

The Wedge sucks down her artichoke
Jen is glowing
The other side of the table
Veronica’s here – let the eating commence

The Ladies all looked fabulous as usual. So fabulous and so full of kinetic energy that we garnered the attention of the staff, the server saying she might start a restaurant club with her girlfriends. Our waitress got so friendly, she felt up (yes, I’m slightly exaggerating… but not really) Jen’s belly without even asking (Read: awkward table moment). Of course, Jen is as chill as they come so she didn’t get upset. Good thing it wasn’t Ivonne who was pregnant – we call her Lady Wilkutabitch for a reason.

Oh, one last thing: Dessert.

Warm Butter Cake

A moist buttery cake with a sugary, almost caramelized crust served a la mode. Did we enjoy it?

What once was a Warm Butter Cake

‘Nuff said. See you next month, LWD.

Nick’s on 2nd
4901 E. 2nd Street
Long Beach, CA

*9 parentheticals (with this one – could have been worse)

Write On :: 1,000 Words a Day

Write On :: 1,000 Words a Day

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Almost 10 years ago, a friend of mine gave me the book Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See for my 30th birthday. It is a book full of advice, inspiration, and hard realities that perhaps, at the time, I wasn’t ready to hear. While I’d thumbed through it before, picking up the bits I found intriguing (e.g. Chapter 16. That First Trip to New York) and skimming over the more salient parts (like Chapter 15. Rewriting), I didn’t really read the text. So I found it just like new this weekend on my bookshelf, it’s spine dusty. Again I skimmed, but this time I didn’t want to get wrapped up in the writing life fantasy. I wanted to be kicked in the ass and slapped around a bit. I wanted to be motivated the way cattle sometimes are – to be poked and prodded.

Much of the advice Ms. See offers to the reader is nothing new. In fact, some of it is outdated as over the last decade, processes for queries and submissions have changed (like, I probably won’t need to go to New York at all – bummer). But, she is right about something as plain and simple as breathing: 1,000 words a day. Period. Not earth-shattering, not groundbreaking, but a simple truth; a truth I’ve heard and ignored, laughed at, and called impossible.

Not anymore. I’m taking a no excuses approach to this thing called writing. It’s 1,000 words a day until I’m done. Hopefully, that means November because I don’t want to write another Anna Karenina. But 1,000 words a day. Period.

Weekdays. And Saturdays when I don’t have a hair appointment.

No, everyday. Most of them. Starting today. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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Whole Wheat Pancakes?

Whole Wheat Pancakes?

Yes. Better than non-whole wheat pancakes? Yes. Best at Jongewaard’s Bake ‘N Broil? Yes.

Oh, she’s stacked!!

Do I need to say anything more? Yes. So they have a wonderfully tasty red velvet cake as well? Yes. A pretty good German Chocolate too? Yes. Should I go soon? Yes.
Jongewaard’s Bake ‘N Broil
3697 Atlantic Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90807

Words I Had to Look Up :: Crepuscular

Words I Had to Look Up :: Crepuscular

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Adj: of, pertaining to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct

From Jeffrey Euginides’ The Marriage Plot “A storm was moving in, the light crepuscular over the dingy shop fronts and overpasses.”

Tasty Places :: Margarita Pizza Bar

Tasty Places :: Margarita Pizza Bar

We were in between volleyball games at the Galen Center.

Kourt loves the cardinal and gold

(The Trojans got us, by the way. It was a win-win/lose-lose for me, as a USD Mom/USC Alum).  We walked Kourtney over to CPK on campus because she LOVES to eat CPK on campus. But my husband wanted something he couldn’t get at the Lakewood Mall, and I was hoping to sit-down to sip a mommy beverage. Strolling down Figueroa with an hour to spare, we passed Freebirds World Burrito…

Nachos made with queso
My husband’s chicken burrito

(This, we had the day before on the first day of the tournament. My husband wanted to try it. It was my second time there. There will not be a third.)

…and found a booth at Margarita Pizza Bar, just in time for the ‘SC football game. It was cool – I was in the mood for pizza (despite not wanting CPK). But even better, it was brunch! So you know what that means. 🙂

Sangria

I had two, in fact. And they were good and fruity. A little watery, but enough alcohol in it that I didn’t mind. So I only had room for a couple slices of pizza.

Margherita pizza at Margarita Pizza Grill

It was sooooo good. The cheese was smoky and ooey-gooey, the crust crisp and slightly overbaked, just the way I like it. Knowing the Galen security was going to check my bag when I went back inside, I asked for my leftovers to be wrapped in foil, excited that I’d have a bit of a snack after the second set.

It worked – I got the pizza inside. I got my free t-shirt for being one of the first 5,000 fans (Sidebar – really, SC? I mean, I love women’s volleyball more than anyone, and I know the headlining game was SC-Notre Dame… but did you really think you’d get 5,000 people? Not that I care because our household of three brought home 6 shirts).

The interior

But my cold pizza was just not the same. My crispy crust had slept its way to a damp, doughy mess. The cheese was sparse and chewy. Usually I love cold pizza, but this pie is definitely meant to be eaten fresh. And I can’t hate on that. Just means I’ll have to get up there again, this time with an empty stomach and nowhere else to go for the day. Overall, however, a success!

Margarita Pizza Grill
3335 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Freebirds World Burrito
3335 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90007
http://freebirds.com

Ummmmmami

Ummmmmami

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Say hello to the Spicy Bird from Umami Burger’s secret menu. One of these really turns me on. Is it possible to make love to a food? If so, then I guess I’ve been unfaithful to my man. It won’t be the last time. Let me know if you care to join me anytime. Just know that I don’t share – nah, nah my brotha… You gotta get your own.

La Palma

La Palma

Yes, I was dubious when my high school BFFs pointed out La Palma on Stockton’s inaptly named Miracle Mile for our Sunday lunch (I back home visiting my parents). I’m from LA, okay? More accurately, the LBC – even closer to Mexico. Can’t no one match my most beloved Mexican restaurant, Los Compadres. So yes, I have an attitude when I find myself someplace other than good ol’ LC. Or Loteria or Border Grill or the taqueria on 4th.

A True Miracle on the Miracle Mile

Then I tried the chips and salsa at La Palma – in the heart of the Central Valley – and was happy happy. Crisp, not too greasy, a goldeny burst of corn, pronounced by the tangy zesty salsa. And it kept getting better, with their version of a skinny margarita (I had two), and my green shrimp enchilada plate, and the fact that my green shrimp enchilada plate was only $10, and one of my BFFs sharing her explicit text messages, and… oh, well I guess that’s it for the food.

Post-Palma

But I must say I truly enjoyed myself. I was in a margarita haze – my favorite kind of haze to be in – and I wish it could have lasted longer. With yummy food, dear friends, and the great service at La Palma, I’ll surely return the next time I’m in Stockton.

La Palma Mexican Cuisine
2301 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95204
http://www.lapalmaonthemile.com