Ladies Who Wine :: The Social List

Ladies Who Wine :: The Social List

It’s been a while since we’ve had one of our Ladies Who Wine outings, so there was a big turnout for our visit to The Social List on Long Beach’s Retro Row, those attending ready to be social, and to make lists (of all the food and drink they planned to suck down).

The Social List easily gets your attention if you’re driving by. It begs you to stop in with its pale yellow façade, its bold lettering letting you know you’ve arrived; its patio seating and windowed doors summoning Long Beach inside while the aroma of their perky food, their hearty brews floats out onto 4th Street. Settled on a corner near the Arts Theater and The Center LB, The Social List holds its own with other culinary favorites in the area, like Lola’s and Number Nine.

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This outing’s beverage lesson, provided by Nora, educated the table on beers. Sour beers, which until last night I’d never heard of. They’re made tart from a careful balance of bacteria added during brewing, a risky trick though an oft-practice one in Belgium. The art of developing a pleasingly soured brew has spread to the US in recent years, Nora informing us that sour beers are what all the cool kids are drinking. We followed up our lesson with a practical application, ordering a couple bottles of Silly Sour to share. I adopted one of the bottles as my own once the table had a try at it, the taste reminding me of a cool summer shandy, though not as sweet.

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In addition to beers, we munched on small plates and a couple of entrees. I quite enjoyed my chicken apple cinnamon (!) sausage, a different choice than my usual type of go-to fare. I’d get it again, along with the patatas bravas and the butternut squash and onion jam toast.

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We had a special guest in the form of Kristina’s cousin from Paris, so in addition to sour beer, I got a quick schooling in European geography. And with French, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese speakers around the table, I was able to practice many a foreign language – and to give my not so pleasant British accent another try. They say it tends to drift toward Jamaican. Despite my likely offense of certain groups, it was another fabulous time indeed with the Ladies, our lesson, and our love of food. The Social List is certainly a place we’ll have to check twice and then some.

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The Social List
2105 E. 4th Street on Long Beach’s Retro Row

Ladies Who Dine :: Komo’s Cocina

Ladies Who Dine :: Komo’s Cocina

It’s been a while since the Ladies have gotten together for an outing. We’ve had babies, promotions, band concerts, PTA meetings, work trips, and fall vacations that have kept our nights and weekends full, so it’s been challenging to assemble a critical mass. But Christmas Eve eve proved to be a splendid night for a fair number of the Ladies to sip cocktails and indulge our bellies while chilling in Naples.

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You see, the LWD restaurant club launched with seven co-workers, all of us wanting to experience food beyond our Chili’s/Mimi’s Café/CPK lunch rut. Since its start in 2011, we’ve taken on other career opportunities, added new Ladies, and created LWD spinoffs (such as Ladies Who Wine and the Boozy Book Club) that included yet additional peeps. Since many of us no longer work together, the catching up part of our outings has become just as important as the food. So at Komo’s Cocina, we were so happy to see each other, so consumed with chatting that we forgot to eat. We drank (margaritas and wine). We appetized (guacamoles, grilled corn, queso fundido, carnitas chilaquiles). But none of us ended up ordering an entrée with the exception of Mario, who’d quickly requested the mussels with chorizo from the waitress upon his late arrival, thinking the rest of us had already ordered.

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Perhaps the margaritas did it, so potent that three of us lagged leaving with the others in need of some sobering up time, offering us an excuse to get dessert – the churros, all cinnamony and sweet, perfectly crunchy yet gooey and soft on the inside, stood out as my favorite bite of the evening, especially when double dipped in the warm chocolate and butter sauces served alongside of them.

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Komo’s is indeed a bright new spot among the expanding collection of boutique restaurants that LB locals are thrilled to have nearby. Also billed as a tequila bar, Komo’s offers tequila flights and a long list of inspired cocktails. The attentive and welcoming staff only help seal the deal in making Komo’s a hot spot for elegant, simple Mexican cuisine. My big regret is that I didn’t get a taste of their enchiladas. Luckily, Komo’s is but a hop and a skip from my daughter’s volleyball practice gym, so if ever I decide to ditch my run (how I prefer to spend part of the two-hour block of her bump/set/spike/block sessions), I may just mosey over to Naples for more of their zesty, hearty food. I’ll just be sure to skip the margarita so my kid won’t have to wait for me to sober up before getting her.

Komo’s Cocina
5730 E. 2nd Street in the Naples neighborhood of the LBC

Ladies Who Wine :: Plan Check

Ladies Who Wine :: Plan Check

It’s been quite some time since the Liquor Ladies got together for a little drink, a little grub. But what better occasion than Mexican Mother’s Day/my half-birthday (as an only child, this is something I celebrated as a kid – still do now just to be annoying)? The idea involved some synergistic planning where four of us were able to sneak away from our Long Beach lives and head away to LA for a few Plan Check burgers and cocktails.

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Ladies in waiting… for me to stop taking pictures

Plan Check has two locations, the newest one settled along Fairfax just north of Beverly. It’s among a couple of blocks teeming with eateries, both long established and fledgling. Boutique and quaint.

An obvious objective of our trip was for me to add another sandwich to my Burger Quest. Additionally, we heard of their daily happy hour that ends at 7:00. After an already packed day of volleyball tournaments and dance rehearsals, I joined my Ladies for a much needed trip.

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We caught the place when it was open. Open, yes as far as hours. But open, its windowed facade lifted garage like, giving the sense the entire restaurant sat on one wide patio. It definitely delivered on ambiance. They also showered us with hip-hop from up above – semi-old school and truly old school, both appreciated by me.

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To drink, I ordered the Tropic Thunder but only because it was on their Happy Hour menu. Their website right now touts $6 Pisco Sours – my favorite cocktail – but that ended up being not the case. I guess I could have ordered one at the regular price, but I wanted to save my cash for other choices. And at least one other drink – this Lady’s on a two drink max budget.

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An Old Fashioned and a citrusy Tropic Thunder

We started with starters – the dollar fifty chicken wing and a round of crab dip. I’ve never been a hot wing kind of gal, but this buck-fifty one at Plan Check was pretty awesome, a perfected buffalo sauce smothering crispy fried chicken. And that dip – that DIP. I had to hold back (as only only child, I don’t share very well), tempering my enjoyment by eating just one dip-slathered toast, and then waiting until the crowd was satisfied with the crab dip and had moved on to their wings before I went back in for the kill, piling the remaining couple toasts with the creamy, briny dip, made interesting by the slivered seaweed sprinkled on top.

The $1.50 chicken wing
The $1.50 chicken wing
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Baked Crab Dip

Next came our sandwiches. I’ll chat about mine on a Burger Quest post later this week, but I also split with fellow winer Kristina the place’s Southern Fry, a chicken sandwich with pimento cheese, duck breast ham (which I slid off and gave to one of the other Ladies), and pickles (okay, I took the pickles off too!).

Southern fry
Southern fry
Chefs favorite burger
Chefs favorite burger
Blueprint Burger
Blueprint Burger
That's a mouthful
That’s a mouthful
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Can’t decide? Get both

The sandwich was wonderful with it’s meaty chicken breast and yummy crunch bun, but my favorite part of our meal (burger excepted – again, we’ll talk about this later) was our dessert – a warm, sugar-sprinkled cruller donut served over the whippiest of creams (only subtly sweet) [and bananas – I did not eat them; call me crazy if you like, but I have a complete and total dislike of bananas].This treat made my Mexican Mother’s/Half Birth Day.

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The fabulous Cruller Donut
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Dining with my work son

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
351 N. Fairfax in LA
Another in West LA, and one on the way in Downtown

Ladies Who Wine :: Public School 612

Ladies Who Wine :: Public School 612

It’s been quite a while since we’ve stumbled out, but the Ladies Who Wine managed to get out of the LBC this summer for an intoxicating evening in downtown LA. We didn’t assign an instructor for this outing as our destination was Public School 612, serving up lessons in classic pub eats and bevs – a fitting spot for the Ladies since we like to get our eat, drink, and chill on.

Ready to Get Schooled
Ready to Get Schooled

Lucky for our bellies and our wallets, Public School celebrates Happy Hour (aka Recess) all day on Sundays. Sharing a space with Daily Grill, PS 612 was as easy as ABC to locate (though finding parking proved as challenging as trigonometry). We arrived bright-eyed and ready to be schooled.

Cucumber Mule :: Violet Berries :: The Shrub
Cucumber Mule :: Violet Berries :: The Shrub

Favs of the evening included the Cucumber Mule, an effervescent cocktail that managed to pack quite a punch, and the Brown Bag Fries – specifically the Mustard BBQ sauce that accompanied them.

Tres Adobo Tacos
Tres Adobo Tacos
The Cutting Board
The Cutting Board
Chicken Meatballs
Chicken Meatballs
Crispy Naked Wings
Crispy Naked Wings
Parmesan Truffle Fries
Parmesan Truffle Fries
Thai Noodle Salad with Tofu
Thai Noodle Salad with Tofu
Southside Nachos
Southside Nachos
Brown Bag Fries with Sriracha Ketchup & Mustard BBQ Sauce
Brown Bag Fries with Sriracha Ketchup & Mustard BBQ Sauce
1903 Fish & Chips
1903 Fish & Chips
All American Sidekicks
All American Sidekicks
Fiery Calamari
Fiery Calamari
Margarita Lavash Pizza
Margarita Lavash Pizza

We also welcomed LWW Newbie Will.I.Am, who was not shy with his food order. Needless to say, he fit right in.

Ladies in Line
Ladies in Line

So it was another successful food and spirits venture for the Ladies at a place whose tagline is “An Education in the Art of Food and Beer.” That’s not dissimilar to what our mission statement would be if we had one. Unlike actual public school, this isn’t an education we’re in any hurry to complete. If it means more Sundays like this one at, I’d be happy to fail over and over again.

Waiting for another Lady to Pop Out
Waiting for another Lady to Pop Out

Public School 612
612 S. Flower Street, Los AngelesLocations also in Westlake Village (PS 805) and Culver City (310)

The Ladies
The Ladies

And a PS PS…

Since we were downtown, we couldn’t pass up cupcakes!

Oh no - Sprinkles!
Oh no – Sprinkles!
Eyes Bigger than Bellies - Not
Eyes Bigger than Bellies – Not

Sprinkles Cupcakes
735 S. Figueroa and other locations

Ladies Who Wine :: Slapfish

Ladies Who Wine :: Slapfish

It was a double date in May with the Ladies being chauffeured down to the OC for a post-outing outing. These Ladies love their wine and their food, and wouldn’t let their full bellies or tipsy heads get in the way of second meal, taking a short ride to Huntington Beach for a little taste of Slapfish. It was a bittersweet time, the Ladies already achingly full but wanting to savor the new spread they’d ordered. They did manage to share one last potation called  a Shandy – a fizzy beer-lemonade mixture that put the Ladies’ bellies over their limits (yes, we did share one beer). Needless to say, most of the food went home as leftovers – mine were thoroughly enjoyed in bed on a Saturday evening while I caught up with Scandal on Hulu – a fantastic combination.

Slapfish
Slapfish
Jumbo fish taco, grilled
Jumbo fish taco, grilled
Jumbo fish taco, fried
Jumbo fish taco, fried
Baja style mahi sandwich
Baja style mahi sandwich
Chowder fries - these were dope!
Chowder fries – these were dope!
SPF
SPF
Lobster toasts
Lobster toasts
Clueless
Clueless

Slapfish
19696 Beach Blvd.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Ladies Who Wine :: Alegria Cocina Latina

Ladies Who Wine :: Alegria Cocina Latina

I hate getting sentimental on a LWW post but I’ve got a confession. You see, it was right here in the LBC where I fell in love again; where I found my real true love in the form of a tamale. Not a traditional tamale, but the Humitas Chilenas is a homemade sweet corn tamale soufflé topped with sautéed shrimp and a cayenne cream sauce. Unfortunately, this was a short-termed affair, as I had to leave when my ride was ready to go. Perhaps it was a romance influenced by alcohol, as I’d enjoyed more than my fair share of our two orders of sangria. Still, I think about it every day – my tasty tamale soufflé. But I will return again some day. I will definitely return.

But enough about me. This month’s outing was all about sangria, that fruited wine that’s so refreshing on a warm summer day. Sandy was our teacher, giving us the history of sangria with its roots in Spain, Argentina, and her homeland of Portugal. Alegria happens to have a rich, sweet red wine sangria, and for just $25 for a carafe. The Ladies went through two and weren’t disappointed.

Ropita vieja
Ropita vieja
Empanadas de Picadillo
Empanadas de Picadillo
Calamares al fuego
Calamares al fuego
My love - Humitas Chilenas
My love – Humitas Chilenas
Tiraditos
Tiraditos
Pa Amb Tomate al Horno
Pa Amb Tomate al Horno
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Teacher of all things sangria
Salud con sangría
Salud con sangría

Alegria Cocina Latina
115 Pine Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802

LWW: Ladies Who Wine Launch || Hudson House, Redondo Beach

LWW: Ladies Who Wine Launch || Hudson House, Redondo Beach

February marked the launch of our LWD restaurant club spinoff: Ladies Who Wine. Unlike LWD, there is no membership. There is no president. We don’t take attendance and anyone who wants to join us can. What we do care about with LWW is booze! Not just drinking it, but appreciating it. Savoring it and studying it. And if course, we’ll be sure to designate a driver (and feed HEr well).

Each outing, someone will present (very informally) on a topic of her choice related to wine, beer, and liquor. SHe can be broad or dive into the minutiae of her chosen subject. For February, wanting to visit the place of one of our favorites from this season’s Top Chef, we headed to Hudson House in Redondo Beach. Julio was our instructor. SHe (because everyone who attends LWW is a she for the night) discussed beer – the differences between lagers and ales.

The one flaw in our wonderful new group is that, after all the sipping, it might prove difficult to remember all the new information learned during the presentation. Therefore, the only thing I recall from Julio’s lesson is: ale=dark, lager=light. Or something like that. Doesn’t matter – what’s most important is that I do remember enjoying myself and my company.

Can’t wait to learn (and forget) more next month with the Ladies!

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Hudson House
514 N. Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA