That’s a Wrap!

popbar

For the most part, the temperature has significantly cooled. Last weekend, however, was so warm that it warranted indulging in a strawberry sorbet popsicle from Popbar. I am eager for the holidays, which in my mind officially begins on Halloween. From then on it’s a whirlwind of excitement, holiday lights, hot chocolate, and festive activities. Oh, and there’s also this. It’s not a truly fulfilled holiday season unless Bill Murray’s in it. Until then, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

RUN THE SHOW: Hollywood’s top showrunners.

MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING: Is being turned into a TV comedy series.

CAT CORA: And how she overcame sexism in the kitchen.

LOBSTER LOVE: Behind Maine’s mysterious lobster bonanza.

MAKEOVER: Written recipes get a new look.

SELF-PUBLISHING: Why Hollywood keeps turning to it.

SMARTIES: The retro candy is thriving.

POTAYTO, POTAHTO: How to make potatoes.

SUCCESS: How to succeed in Shondaland.

Have an enjoyable weekend!

Image by Lauren Jessen

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Currently Craving: Annie Hall and Lobster

Lounging in this New York apartment | Munching on this Lobster | Laughing at Annie Hall

I saw Annie Hall for the first time in February. I had constantly read articles and books with references to one of Woody Allen’s most famous films, so I figured I needed to just watch it once and for all. Annie Hall is one of those movies that keep you guessing, smiling, and laughing the entire time. Diane Keaton and Woody Allen have an undeniable connection, and it is a true pleasure to see them together on-screen. One of the cutest and funniest scenes in the film is the one when Allen and Keaton (Alfie and Annie) are trying to cook lobster. In fact, this was the first scene filmed for the movie and Allen and Keaton’s laughter is spontaneous and genuine. When I crave New York City and a hilarious intellectual and physical sense of humor, I pop in a Woody Allen film. I crave these two things much too often.

Around Town: Chinois Santa Monica

Santa Monica is incredible for a variety of reasons. Not only does Santa Monica have great beaches and shopping, but it also has great food. I have always been a fan of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants, Spago in particular, so when my friend told me that one of her favorite restaurants was Chinois, a Wolfgang Puck American-Asian fusion restaurant, I made it my top food priority.

Chinois is a small restaurant that blends in with its surroundings, so if you’re distracted by what’s around you, you might miss it! My friends and I sat at the counter to watch the chefs work their magic – I highly recommend it because not only is it entertaining, but you can watch how your food is made. We saw lobsters cracked, salads chopped, fish dunked in boiling water, and ice cream scooped. At one point, one of the chefs started a big fire on the pan which was exciting to see from 7 feet away.

Because the restaurant is fusion, the taste of the main meals were different from anything I have ever tried before. First of all, the crispy spinach melts in your mouth, the lobster is covered in a smooth curry sauce, and rice is piled underneath it all for a seriously mouth-watering bite. The duck tasted like it was covered in a high quality rib sauce and the steamed bao was thick and soft. I can’t even talk about the chocolate lava cake without my mouth watering because it was the perfect combination of warm chocolate with a moist cake texture. Top off the meal with green tea, and call it a (very full, but satisfied) night! Next time I would love to try the grilled lamb chops with cilantro vinaigrette warm potato salad and the seared Maine scallops with Pad Thai noodles and lemon grass. As I looked around me when I was dining, every single plate that came from the kitchen looked absolutely delicious.

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Setting: Small, intimate restaurant with Asian fusion offbeat decorations

Good for: Dinner with family and friends, date night

What to order: Roasted Cantonese duck with fresh plum sauce and steamed bao, Shanghai lobster with curry sauce and crispy spinach, and chocolate lava cake

Downsides: Pricing can be high

Recommend: Sharing dishes – the 3 of us ordered 2 main meals and 1 appetizer and finished everything; Sitting at the counter and watching the chefs make your meal!

{middle photos by a dash of cinema}; Top and bottom image via Chinois Santa Monica