A simple guacamole recipe from culinary enthusiast Maren Ellingboe
April 29, 2013 by Maren Ellingboe
Photography By Maren Ellingboe
Guacamole is one of those perfect dishes. Simple, fast, and it makes everything better. This recipe is a culmination of perfecting my avocado-mashing technique over many years, and experimenting with different spices — sometimes I add a few chopped tomatoes, sometimes mix in some pre-made salsa, maybe even throw in a little roasted corn if you are feeling crazy. In my opinion, however, the best guacamole only has a few ingredients and is a balanced mixture of acidity, salt, kick and really lets the flavor of the avocado shine.
This is a perfect dish to serve at parties, and people are always impressed when they find out it’s homemade — but little do they know, making a great guacamole takes the less time than a trip to the store, and tastes so much better. I like adding pickled jalapeños for an unexpected kick, but you could easily substitute fresh jalapeños or serranos. You can add this guacamole to sandwiches or tacos, but my favorite is on its own with tortilla chips.
April 29, 2013 BY Maren Ellingboe
A conversation with a career hustler, and The Layover's most beloved chef
April 18, 2013 by Max Gibson
It was half past midnight when I first met Uncle Dougie. After about an hour-long turn-up session inside the doors of Downtown Oakland’s The Layover, I stumbled outside only to be greeted by the regular dosage of controlled chaos that usually transpires outside a poppin bar on a Friday night. Situated next to the door was Uncle Dougie. A small crowd had formed around him. As I looked to see what all the attention was about, I noticed a neon, handwritten menu: Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches for $5. As I made my way over to the serving table, I was greeted by Dougie: “What do you want?” he asked, with an I do this all the time type of attitude. I ordered a chicken parm. In a few minutes it was ready, topped with a tomato sauce, and served warm. “Take a bite,” Dougie urged, “If you don’t like it, I’ll give you your money back.” I took a bite and was hooked.
My first encounter with Uncle Dougie’s mobile sandwich shop came almost three months ago now. Offering a simple menu of chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, meatballs, sausage and roasted peppers on Italian bread or, alternatively, baked macaroni, Dougie’s shop has become a staple of the Layover experience. A unique partnership with the ever-popular Oakland nightlife destination, Uncle Dougie’s food stand offers a welcome break from the bar’s crowded dance floor. Inspired by my own love for sandwiches and most things entrepreneurial, I asked to sit down with Dougie, to learn more about his budding business, his thoughts on Oakland, and what makes those chicken parm sandwiches so damn good.
April 18, 2013 BY Max Gibson
Social media site brings adventurous diners to into chefs home for an intimate meal
April 1, 2013 by Max Gibson
I like food. You like food. We all like food. Good food’s even better, and good food with friends, well let’s just say that’s hard to beat. While most of my self made meals usually hinge on simplicity and convenience, dinner parties are more or less rarities in my life, something so tight in theory, but hardly ever executed upon. Until Feastly.
It was actually my friend Chinzalee who invited me. “Come through tomorrow, I’m having a Feastly dinner,” she said. I immediately obliged. The brainchild of Noah Karesh, Feastly was launched in 2011 with the goal of bringing together adventurous eaters and passionate chefs. A social network of sorts, centered around facilitating exceptional dining experiences, Feastly allows anyone from professional chefs to budding cooks to create meals and accompanying menus that are then posted to the site to be attended by adventurous diners. Chefs post their menu, the number of available seats, a price, and a date. Feastly makes money by assessing a small, percentage-based fee from the chef’s total earnings on each meal. Prospective diners can peruse the menu, ask the chef questions, and purchase a seat. With the potential to bring together familiar faces and strangers within an intimate setting, Feastly’s long-term mission hinges on revitalizing the magic and comfort of a home-cooked meal. Still in its beta stages, the site has focused on New York, San Francisco and D.C. to start, with intentions to facilitate dinners throughout other major cities in the months to come.
April 1, 2013 BY Max Gibson
Serendipity through a cup of tea
October 3, 2012 by Daniel Edmund
About a month or so ago I had Lapsang Souchong tea for the first time. A usual Earl Grey drinker myself, I was caught off guard at first sip. After trippin’ out for a few moments I tried to make sense out of what I had just tasted. One thing I knew for sure was that this was a cup of tea, so it only added to the perplexity when I turned to my friend Beth who had brewed it and told her, “Yo..this tastes like a barbecue.” I think what made the experience even stranger was that it was really pleasant. After a few sips all you wanted to do was curl up in a corner with a huge duvet and kick it, preferably with a box-set of choice.
The Lapsang Souchong tea leaf originates from the Wuyi mountains in the Fujian province of China. The leaves obtain their smoky flavor from being hung on wooden racks over smoking pine fires to dry. When finished, the products are thick, glossy, black strips that produce a dark red colored tea. If you’re looking for something different or maybe need a little help to unwind, give the Lapsang the green light, it’s definitely worth a go.
October 3, 2012 BY Daniel Edmund
A conversation with Guma Fassil on Ethiopian dining and the nature of the restaurant industry
August 1, 2012 by Max Gibson
Sitting down for a meal with Guma was an experience. All too familiar with the art of wining and dining, he offered a variety of dishes native to Ethiopia. Establishing one of the preeminent Ethiopian restaurants in the Bay Area nearly twenty years ago, today Ethiopia Restaurant continues to offer an authentic taste of Ethiopia to customers from all walks of life. Chatting with Guma about the history of the restaurant and his experiences with the food, we took a moment to appreciate the intricacies of Ethiopian cuisine.
August 1, 2012 BY Max Gibson
A variety of gourment pizzas aim to please at Downtown LA's most underrated pizza bar
June 23, 2012 by Max Gibson
Generally, happy hours aren’t really my thing. Mediocre beers and two for one sliders usually come to mind when I think about happy hour, although I’m never one to turn down a solid discount. It’s this prejudice towards happy hours that has kept me out of most evening eateries in the past, although I’ve recently had a change of heart. Open for a little over a year, Urbano Pizza Bar is Downtown LA’s most underrated gem. Amidst the already saturated niche of DTLA Pizza Shops, Urbano manages to carve out their own lane with the help of their remarkable happy hour.
June 23, 2012 BY Max Gibson
September 28, 2011 by Max Gibson
Photos By Max Gibson
It’s hard to miss the neon green installations as you pass by The Groundfloor Cafe on Spring Street. Eye catching to say the least, the spacious eatery unifies art and food in a stimulating environment. Opened as a gallery seven months ago the Groundfloor Cafe functions as a simple cafe that doubles as a creative space.
September 28, 2011 BY Max Gibson
July 28, 2011 by Max Gibson
Photography By David Yu & Max Gibson
It’s not always easy knowing where to eat in L.A. With millions of eateries throughout the city, it seems as though Yelp and friends are often times the best bet to discover cool places to eat. While we fell in love with places like Cafe Brasil and the Golden State Cafe before we decided to feature them on Wine & Bowties, Thai Patio was an exception to the rule. Passing by it numerous times throughout my years in L.A, seeing a restaurant full of people around 2am is usually a good indicator of the quality inside. Alongside David and Cole, we checked out Thai Patio today to see what all the fuss was about.
July 28, 2011 BY Max Gibson
July 9, 2011 by Max Gibson
Photography By David Yu
Stepping inside the doors of Gram & Papa’s earlier this week, I must admit it wasn’t the food that caught my attention first. “Why is everyone in here good looking and fashionable?” I thought to myself. Although G&P’s may resemble a lunch scene out of Entourage, this pleasantly hip eatery manages to deliver when it comes to offering fresh sandwiches. Sponsored by sneaker staple Undftd, with artwork from L.A. native Estevan Oriol and Mister Cartoon lining the walls, Gram & Papa’s serves as an artistic haven as well as a sandwich spot.
July 9, 2011 BY Max Gibson