Peanut Butter and Jam Milkshake

It’s May and I’m itching for summer weather, but we had some gloomy weather last week in Los Angeles – gray skies, temperatures in the low to mid-60s. It’s not exactly what I had in mind when I was still in Boston and picturing a stereotypically sunny L.A. But I’ve heard enough references in the last couple of days to the impending “June gloom” to have realized that sadly, the weather here is not perennially perfect.

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Stecca

I’m late jumping on the Hunger Games bandwagon.  I’d heard of the books but never felt any desire to read them, which is odd considering that given my fixation with food, you’d think a series where food features prominently would appeal to me.  But no.  I stuck to my first beloved series, Harry Potter, eagerly awaiting the releases of the movies long after the final book had been published, and mourning the end of an era when the final film came out last July.  And when Entertainment Weekly featured the Hunger Games movie as its cover story in early March, I tossed aside that particular issue as one that I wasn’t interested in reading.  Oh, how wrong I was.

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Vegas!

I went to Vegas last weekend.  Even though I was there for less than 48 hours, I ate a ton of yummy food and had a lot of fun (except Sunday morning…we’ll get to that later).

Post-arrival midnight snack meal at the Oyster Bar in Palace Station.  Slightly depressing casino, awesome pan roast (seafood in a lobster bisque-style sauce, served with rice).  Hits the spot at 2am.

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Bottega Louie

A few weeks ago, I had dinner with an old friend at Bottega Louie in downtown LA. This was my first time venturing into downtown, having previously been put off by tales of horrendous traffic, but I have to say – I will gladly brave any bad traffic to eat here again.

The first thing you see when you walk in is the pasty area, full of brightly-colored goodies.  Sensory overload.  I arrived before my friend did, so I hung out here for a while and tried not to get stampeded by the ever-jostling crowd surrounding the display cases.

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Peanut Butter Blondies

Guys, I promise that I’ll stop talking about the bar exam soon. But for now, hear me out on one more thing. During my month of bar leave, I spent a lot of time studying at cafes so that I wouldn’t go crazy cooped up in my apartment, and so that I could have a tiny bit of human interaction even if it was just in the form of ordering a latte. With my laptop in front of me and my bright orange Barbri books spread out on the table, I felt a lot less cool than the aspiring screenwriters around me, but at least I got to eavesdrop on their conversations.

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A.O.C.

Friday night.  It’s gray and rainy.  I’ve had two consecutive hellish work weeks, with a possible third looming on the horizon.  I’ve actually even been dreaming about the briefs I’m writing, and I literally cannot think straight anymore.  Solution?  Small plates and good wine at A.O.C to celebrate a friend’s Match Day success.

Cheese plate.  The one in the middle is a triple cream.  Triple creams and I were introduced a couple of years ago and it was love at first bite sight.  Though to be honest, I think I put more into the relationship than the triple cream does.

Speck with apples and arugula.  My friend thought the apples were going to be in the speck.  In her defense, she’d been working for two weeks straight without a day off.  But actually…that would have been awesome.

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Lately

Second day back at work and my desk is already a mess.  This is what brief writing looks like.

Mid-week drinks at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills.

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The Perfect Yellow Cake

It always seems that when I need to focus on something, I can’t. While I was studying for the bar exam, I would check Facebook, People.com, Weather.com, various blogs, and my email a million times an hour. And I’d often find my thoughts drifting off on pressing life questions such as “Why do I always need to wear sunglasses when I’m driving in LA? Is the sun brighter here?” or “How many omelettes could you make with one emu egg?” or “Should I create a Twitter account just so I can follow the food trucks in LA?” (The answer to the last question turned out to be yes. I have become what I hate.) I don’t know if it’s because I have ADD or that pretty much anything in the world is more interesting than the Statute of Frauds but let me tell you – it was a damn struggle sometimes to get through my outlines.

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Egg & Asparagus Gratin

I have to admit, a couple of nights ago I had a mini panic attack. I started listing out everything that I wanted to review in these last few days before the exam, upon which I realized that I would be very pressed for time. It was a sudden change from the feeling of general competence that I’d had for the last week or so, and it caught me off guard. So although it was late and I really wanted some down time before bed, I re-opened the outline I had been reviewing and kept going until I literally couldn’t anymore. Then I laid in bed and tried to take deep breaths to calm down, but the exam and a couple of other issues kept floating around in my mind. Things snowballed from there.

I’m not sure what to do in situations like this other than to tell myself that everything will likely turn out okay. And to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things, the stuff I have to worry about are luxuries compared to what some other people have to worry about. And finally, to try to take comfort in things that make me happy, no matter how simple and small. In that respect, there are definitely certain things in life that are undeniably comforting to me:

1. A soft, deep couch that I can nap on. I ordered such a couch in late November. It has not arrived yet because I picked a color that had to be custom-made. But seriously, Crate & Barrel, you’re a huge national retailer. It really takes you 3 months to make a couch? Wtf.

2. My bed. I make it every morning, partially because my mother drilled such behavior into me, but also partly because the sight of an unmade bed makes me want to jump back in and bury myself under the covers. I know my weaknesses and I take steps to avoid them.

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Bar Food

In 2008, when I was studying for the Massachusetts bar, I hung out at the Starbucks on the first floor of my apartment building all the time.  I drank a lot of coffee.  I also ate a lot of Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups (they’re excellent straight out of the fridge).  Anything to stay awake, right?

This time around, I’ve noticed a similar trend.  I tend to stay caffeinated.  And sugar is almost always involved.

Tea, vanilla cream puff from Beard Papa

Coral Tree Cafe: red velvet cupcake, coffee

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