Best Take Out Meals I’ve Eaten So Far

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Best Take Out Meals I’ve Eaten So Far 

“It’s easier to be faithful to a restaurant than it is to a woman.” Federico Fellini

Cooking and takeout during the pandemic became both sustenance and escapism and still involves a lot of conversation. Being at risk, I’m not comfortable in restaurants  with masked and gloved waiters, unmasked patrons and tables closer than six feet apart.  It’s hard to order a lot of my favorite foods as takeout- because things become soggy, mushy or dry out quickly.  Restaurants are struggling to survive so I am trying to support them. Here are some of my favorite takeout foods in no particular order that travel well.

Spicy Tuna#2   Yumi Sushi

The first time I ate here, I asked for recommendations from Midori, my now favorite waitress. She said to try the Spicy Tuna Roll number two. One day the chef was eating wasabi chips and wondered about incorporating them into a sushi roll and the result is a salty, delicious, addicting roll. Everyone I introduce it to becomes addicted as well. All the food is good,  Whenever I am in Beverly HIlis, I want spicy tuna #2. It makes it home easily to Venice. I usually have a few.  https://www.yumisushibh.com

 Margarita Pizza   Pizzana

The margarita pizza at Pizzana got rave reviews from the late Jonathan Gold. I couldn’t eat gluten for a while and I have to say that their gluten free, vegan cheese pizza was satisfying. But now I feel better so I cheat once in a while and have the regular margarita pizza. You can order  it half cooked and heat it up at home . Getting a reservation in Brentwood was rough in the beginning, Now they have two locations and plenty of takeout, so it is much easier to enjoy their food. https://pizzana.com 

Achiote Chicken Taco   Valle

I’m obsessed with the Achiote chicken taco with salted cabbage at Valle. Valle took over the former MTN space on Abbot Kinney in Venice.  It is Oaxacan Mexican food. They make tortillas from scratch. I order extra and have them for breakfast. I do this on Uber Eats and the food comes fast and it is not soggy. Their guacamole is delicious and fresh and their chips are also homemade and perfectly salted. The other dishes are good as well. But right now for me, it all about the chicken taco. https://vallevenice.com

 Chinese Chicken Salad Chin Chin 

Chin Chin Chinese Chicken has been in my life since I moved to LA. My children grew up eating it and I brought it to every school event. This combination of shredded iceberg lettuce, chicken breast, scallions, carrots, toasted almonds, and brown and white crunchies mixed in a red ginger dressing always hits the spot. It travels well and you can even leave it unmixed in the refrigerator for a day if you have to. It’s a perfect takeout food. https://chinchin.com

 Gluten Free Zucchini Bread With PB and J And Kreation Juice  Kreation

I’ve had a hard time with gluten free bread. It is usually expensive and bad tasting or so sweet  and white that it feels unhealthy. As a treat I love to have the gluten free zucchini bread at Kreation with Peanut Butter and Jelly. PB and J is my favorite food. It is an American classic. It is said that the average American will have eaten at least 2000 PB and J sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school.  I mix their yellow Serenity and  green Margan juice together to go with It. It always feels like a special morning when I get to start my day off with this.  https://www.kreationjuice.com 

 Cold Soba Noodles   Yabu  

Yabu serves really delicious Soba noodles. I recently discovered  this in my quest for good takeout so I have not eaten in the restaurant yet. I also love the light fried tofu. Soba is a Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour  and is particularly difficult to make by hand. There is a Japanese tradition to eat  soba noodles on New Year’s Eve to wish for health and long life and I am going to incorporate that into my life now that I have found a good place to eat it.  Till then we will enjoy the takeout. http://www.yaburestaurant.com 

Sushi Bento Box Shunji

Michelin star, Omakase restaurant Shunji  started making sushi bento boxes when they were allowed to open for takeout. We found that the 48 dollar sushi box is more than satisfying though sometimes we add some uni for a treat. If you eat it as soon as it gets home, it holds up pretty well. The sushi still feels super fresh. We are regulars now. http://shunji-ns.com

Pastrami Sandwich  Daughter’s Deli

I am also addicted to the Pastrami Sandwich at Daugher’s Deli. Daughter is the daughter of Langer’s Deli, a restaurant in DTLA that has been there forever. It serves the most famous pastrami in Los Angeles. The sandwiches are lean, delicious and a normal size so you don’t feel like it is a super splurge to eat it. I don’t live near there so i have not had it as much as usual during the pandemic but when I am in West Hollywood  – I am there. The sandwich holds up for takeout and the bread doesn’t get greasy.  I  get the Noi – just pastrami and mustard on gluten free rye bread and I am happy. (I was hungry)  https://www.daughtersdeli.com

Pretzels and Brownies Spero Bakery

Food photography has taken on a whole new dimension on Instagram. The Pandemic has forced people to find creative, safe solutions for take out food.  More chefs and bakers are selling food on Instagram by posting on the app and taking orders. Spero has expanded to other desserts but right now for me its the brownies and pretzels. Its so easy and they deliver on Wednesdays and Saturdays all over LA. @sperobakery

Stay safe,
JAZ

Drive Through Art In The Time Of Corona

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 Drive Through Art  In The Time Of Corona

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” Elizabeth Edwards

Drive through attractions are an innovative solution to the social distancing challenges presented by  Covid 19. Drive In movie theaters are making a comeback.

The Van Gogh Exhibit in Toronto, Gogh By Car, is an immersive drive through experience of art, light, sound, movement and imagination. It sounds like fun.

We had our first drive through art experience this past weekend. The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, Hyundai, and the Hollywood Palladium got together and developed a plan for something special. Driven: A Latinx Artist Celebration was free with online tickets.  

Now that the pandemic has closed public restrooms (not that I even want to use them),  going anywhere involves liquid intake planning. It did not help that it was 110 degrees in Hollywood and I could have used some water.

Our tickets were for 12:00 pm on the first day of the exhibit. I believe it was the first time slot. Lesson one about a drive though art exhibition would be don’t go on the first day so they can iron out the kinks.

It took us fifty minutes to get there after a large morning coffee. We then had to wait forty five minutes. Even though they said you cannot leave the car, I got out to try and walk my dog. At least one of us could pee.

When we finally got in there, it was really cool.

I’m a fan of Hispanic Art so the paintings were interesting to me.

The artwork was by Judth Hernandez, Denise Lopez, Steffano Alvarez, Carlos Almaraz, Diana Gomez, Patssi Valdez, Chiachio and Giannone, Norbert Rodriguez and Delmer Mejia.

There is a playlist that you can access on your radio while driving through the exhibit.

It was such an inspiration to see the way that the artists and curators have demonstrated resilience and creativity by pivoting to a drive-through experience during this challenging time.

. Drive ins are the perfectly distanced social events. I hope there will be more of these.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Why Didn’t The Police Stop The Looting?

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Why Didn’t The Police Stop The Looting?

“Until you guys own your own souls, you don’t own mine. Until you guys can be trusted every time and always, in all times and conditions, to seek the truth out and find it and let the chips fall where they may—until that time comes, I have the right to listen to my conscience, and protect my client the best way I can.” Raymond Chandler, The High Window

In April 1775  Major John Pitcairn upon reaching Lexington and finding the colonials, in what he perceived to be an “unlawful armed assembly,” ordered the colonials assembled  to “Lay down your arms, you rebels, and disperse!” He was “reading them the riot act.”

In England before the American Revolution, almost all felonies were punishable by death. That is  no longer the case. Crimes such as theft, burglary and robbery no longer carry the death penalty, and are generally punished by imprisonment or by some form of probation. 

The death of George Floyd, a black man suspected of passing a suspicious $20 bill at a grocery store in Minneapolis by a police officer was inhumane and also illegal. It set off protests, looting and riots across the country. 

Experts say that looting is a side effect of the condition causing the protest. But this time in Los Angeles, it looked different. Splinter groups broke off from the peaceful protests and began rioting and looting.

There was a lot of twitter chatter about going to Beverly Hills to loot. The footage was disturbing, It looked like criminals with hammers and kids of all races who had been in the house too long and were laughing at the smashed  windows, taking photos and grabbing stuff. It was like a release valve had opened up. No police and no parents. “Where are the jewelry stores?” was heard throughout the video. 

I can’t speak for the whole country because this time I watched Los Angeles News. In the Fairfax Melrose area, certain stores were targeted and then it became a mob mentality, free for all of looting and fires.

The looting of Downtown, Santa Monica and Long Beach was even more disturbing. It went on for a long time and there was definitely the realization that no one was going to stop them. It was organized with cars circling the areas and people running in and out of the stores and cars. 

We received an email that a protest in Venice on a main shopping street was being organized by looters and the one on the beach was organized by protestors. 

Small businesses shouldn’t have to pay for the anger caused by the police. We all support the protest. The business owners quietly cleaned up the glass and opened their doors with sparse merchandise  to empty streets. Their businesses were already pummeled by the corona virus. We don’t know how many of them (us) will recover from all of this. Please support small businesses in your neighborhood. They need your help now.

It looked like the police did not want to put themselves in harm’s way or to hurt someone else over loss of property. The police backed off and let the looters have at it. After all, it was only someone else’s property or livelihood that was destroyed or stolen.

Stay safe,

JAZ

Living In the USA-Deaths, Pandemic, Riots, Protest

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Living In the USA-Deaths Pandemic Riots Protest

“Race doesn’t really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don’t have that choice.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

I really believed the world was getting better with prejudice and racism. It looks better than the world of my childhood. Change is slow.

 But I’m wrong. It is not only these isolated, violent incidents that has made me sit up and take notice. Traveling, having friends and now family with different skin color has forced me to re-examine my beliefs. My hope is that our life experiences are universal now, but they are not.

 I believed that having a black President had changed things. I wished my mother who volunteered for Dr King could have seen this. But the hate it unleashed, which continued to be fanned by the  president we have now, is frightening. 

Those of us who ”don’t see color” (because we don’t have to) are forced to when we see a photo of a white cop killing a black man for no reason. George Floyd joins an ever-growing list of Black names who died unnecessarily while police performed their ostensible mission of protecting their community.  It’s a list of names too long to fit on this page. Each of whom was a person, with loved ones, dreams, and lives to be lived.

The photos of the people wearing masks while they are rioting or protesting, in the middle of a dangerous pandemic, makes me believe we have hit rock bottom. We seem to have a president who doesn’t care about our health or our safety.  Maybe we have all had enough. Maybe we can finally start to see what is really wrong in the world and can begin to change it. The path toward justice is always long and hard. We continue to fight for what is right no matter how bleak it seems, because that is what good people do.

Stay safe,

JAZ

PS. A family member’s business was broken into and badly looted tonight. Another family member was locked in their store watching burning police cars and the looting of neighboring small businesses.The videos were disturbing. Young  people – black, white, Hispanic and Asian were breaking windows, laughing, taking selfies and looking for the expensive stores. They were carrying shopping bags not protest signs. Looters are not protestors. Looters take advantage of a situation for personal gain.They are not looking for justice. They are looking for free stuff.

 

 

 

To Mask Or Not To Mask – That Is The Political Question

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To Mask Or Not To Mask – That Is The Political Question

“Nothing is more real than the masks we make to show each other who we are.” Christopher Barzak

i was unprepared for the quarantine. I was still packing the weekend before for a trip to Arizona. Yes, we were in the empty market and getting help from more prepared friends and family.

But what I did have were masks. I am allergic to smoke and pollution. I have always been told that masks won’t save me around a fire because the particles of smoke are too small and get through the masks.

The only thing paper masks are protection for, the doctors would tell me, are germs. That is why doctors wear them. I still have them because they are a line of defense against smokers and pollution. I have different kinds, including N95, in the hopes that someone invents something besides a gas mask that will work for me. It looks like, I have been preparing my whole life for this virus.

If  you have a cold or allergies in Japan, you wear a mask so you don’t pass it on to other people. I was there during the bird flu scare and everyone wore masks. There were no laws or fines, you just put on a mask out of of respect for yourself and others

. I didn’t get the bird flu nor did a lot of people because everyone was taking precautions. (They did kill a lot of birds.) I’ve seen first hand that masks work.

Trump doesn’t wear a mask. He gets tested every day for the virus and it is a test where he gets the results quickly. We had to wait several days for results when we needed testing. I’m sure there is a ventilator and a doctor on call at the White House should something happen. He does not have to worry, as most people do, if there is room in a hospital for him should he need that.

Now he is taking hydroquinine preventively. My chemical and smoke sensitivities are autoimmune related. My doctor recommended hydroquinine.  He said it had a 10 or 20 per cent chance of working on what I have and I had to be on it for a year to see if it worked. I got some more medical opinions. I decided the odds were too low and the side effects too many to be on it for a year. Hydroquinine is also a malaria drug. The fact that the president would take a strong immune illness drug with side effects, that might work in case he gets the virus, instead of suggesting masks is crazy to me.

The beach near where I live opened last week. Three quarters of the people who come here are not wearing masks. It feels unsafe to me now on the weekends so I don’t go out.

It is frustrating because most of the people don’t live here and may behave differently in their own neighborhoods. I’m sure they put on masks if they visit their parents.  They are biking and jogging, not wearing shirts and sweating. The bikers are not social distancing.

On the beach they run in and out of the water unaware of people walking by. It certainly does not appear to be as mandatory here as other parts of LA..

The mask is being seen as a symbol of blindly submitting to government authority or taking a political stance to some, and a sign of safety and compassion to others. It seems to be about people’s age and individual tolerance of risk. Since we don’t know if we are carrying the virus and we don’t know what immune deficiencies other people have, why is it so difficult for Americans in this unprecedented time, to behave with politeness and kindness towards others and wear a mask?  We all want this to be over.

Stay safe,
JAZ

Covid 19 – The Best Thing That Has Happened To My Dog

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Covid 19 – The Best Thing That Has Happened To My Dog

My dog  has waited his whole life for this moment in time. His dream come true is that we now have the same life and spend every moment together. 

We sleep in.

We have breakfast together.

We go for a walk every morning. 

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We do Yoga.

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 We get a new Corona hair style.

We meditate/nap.

We do sports

We  cook at home and have delicious table scraps every night. 

We get into bed and watch TV.

We go to sleep.

We start over again tomorrow.

Stay safe,

JAZ

 

 

Stay safe,

JAZ

Ten Beauty Treatments You Can Make At Home

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Ten Beauty Treatments You Can Make At Home

“Believe me, if I looked good, it’s not an accident.”Nora Ephron

I don’t cook and cooking during the quarantine is a challenge. In the beginning before we were Covid organized, we were cooking with all the random stuff that we had in the pantry – like we were in a war or on a cooking competition TV show.

We are also doing our own hair. I am using this time to try and repair all the damage from styling, blow drying and coloring. I actually have time to sit and let the products work. My natural curls are slowly coming back. I am also doing the same thing for my skin.  Here is my attempt at cooking up some beauty products with random stuff we had in the pantry.

Hair Conditioner With Egg.
Ingredients – Two or three eggs (It’s a pandemic so I used one), 1 and half teaspoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. I just mixed it all together with a fork. I left it on for 15 minutes. This is my favorite one that i have tried so far. It isn’t too messy and my hair was much more curly than frizzy.

Hair Conditioner With Banana
Ingredients – One banana, three tablespoons of honey, three tablespoons of milk (I did not have milk so I used half and half) three tablespoons of olive oil and an egg. Mix all of these ingredients well and make a paste. Apply the paste on hair and leave it for 30 minutes and then wash it off. I had extra so I put it on my face and neck as well. It’s messy. My hair was shiny and my skin was very smooth. It did involve finding little shreds of banana around all day. I’m not running to do this one again -unless I use a blender next time.

Hair Conditioner With Coconut Oil.
Ingredients – One tablespoon of coconut oil, one tablespoon honey, one tablespoon lemon juice, two tablespoons of curd (I had no idea what this was so I looked it up and it sounded like yogurt so I used that) and one teaspoon of rose water. (I left that out but I’m sure it is something that is still on the shelf in the market since it doesn’t kill anything.) I kept it on for thirty minutes since I have time.This one did not work as well for me because I had to wash my hair too much to get it out but I might try it again.

Hair Conditioner With Vinegar
Ingredients -Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of honey and two cups of water. After you shampoo, pour this on your hair and avoid your scalp. Leave it in. I’m a big fan of this one. My hair is  curly  and  not frizzy and I dont smell from vinegar.

Face Mask With Turmeric
Ingredients – One teaspoon of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of yogurt . Be careful because the turmeric stains and yes your face will be bright yellow. You can pretend to be in the Holi festival in India- where Hindu people smear each other with colors to welcome the spring. I left it on till it dried which was about twenty minutes. This is a great mask. You will immediately notice a difference in your skin. Even the BF liked it.

Egg Yolk Facial I had only heard of an egg white facial but apparently the yolk is better for dry skin. I left it on for about a half hour. Easy to make, no mess and your face feels really soft after.

Mayonnaise Facial
Yes you smell like a tuna sandwich. It has oil and eggs which is great for your skin. I also put it on my body since I had time and had taken too much mayonnaise out the jar. It burned my face so i took it off quickly. I left it on my body for about a half hour. it was a very nice body treatment.

Face Mask With Orange Juice
Ingredients -Three tablespoons orange juice and one quarter-cup honey. Mix together and leave on for fifteen minutes. It is sticky and delicious and you have glowing skin when you are finished. I ate the rest of the orange after and it was really good.

Face Mask With Oatmeal
Ingredients – One tablespoon honey, one tablespoon olive oil, one egg yolk and half a cup of oatmeal. (I used less because I eat it for breakfast every morning and don’t want to run out) Stir well and apply to your face for 15-20 minutes. This is good but messier than the banana one. Watch out that the oatmeal doesn’t clog up the drain!

Mud Mask from Dead Sea I brought a tub of mud back with me from the Dead Sea. It’s great for the face and body.  Using it on the beach in Ein Borek and washing it off in the Dead Sea and then the outdoor shower is a lot less messy then in your bathroom. it is hard to get it all off.  Since I had plenty of time to clean up the mess,  I did it. The mud still works. My skin was smooth and soft. See what you have lying around.

Stay safe,

JAZ

Where Am I Going Next Really?

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Where I Am Going Next Really?

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” Joni Mitchell

Before the corona virus became a thing, I had written a blog about where I am going next. I hadn’t posted it yet. It doesn’t seem very postable at this moment.   I will probably be going to the place I should have been now. Traveling seems very far away.  So instead I started to think about what I would really want to be doing next. 

I want to eat in a restaurant with a comfortable ambiance, delicious food and great service. I want to be having an interesting conversation that doesn’t involve who is doing the dishes and what protein do I want to eat tomorrow. 

I miss museums, art galleries and street art. The white walls filled with art are as calming to me now as they were in my childhood. I miss seeing the city as an open canvas for urban street artists. 

As much as I love being able to go through all of Netflix, I want to go to the movies. There is nothing I like better than sitting in a dark theatre with subtitles. It combines some of my favorite things –  reading, movies and foreign countries.  The best thing is to be sharing a large tub of movie popcorn. I believe it has less calories if you are not the one who has actually bought it. I bring my own water because buying water at the movie theater is a rip off.  

I want to hang out with my girlfriends.The hour long phone conversations and daily texts are not enough. Most of my emotional and mental strength comes from deep bonds with the strong females in my life. I treasure the long conversations we have over lunches and dinners.

I miss shopping. I miss wandering into stores, picking up and putting down items I can’t possibly afford, talking to salespeople, and eventually settling on the item I had to have at that moment. I want to focus on a new lipstick or a beautiful dress to wear somewhere fabulous. 

I love theater. My mother is to blame for this. I normally prefer plays but with all this real life drama I miss going to see a musical. The very premise of  musical theatre defies all reality.  It attempts to imitate life (as theatre tends to do) and then suddenly, a character bursts out in song and everyone on the street knows the words.  Secretly, I  have always clung to the hope that I will someday be able to break into song at the market, department store, a parent-teacher conference,  a restaurant or during a mammogram and everyone will know the words.

Basically, I miss my boring life – the one I am always leaving to go somewhere different.

Stay safe,

JAZ

Living Together – The First Year

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Living Together – The First Year

“The best relationships usually begin unexpectedly.” Unknown

May First marks our first year of living together. Was it just a year ago that I was worrying about sharing closet space, how to split costs and who’s art would go where? I had deeper concerns also. Would we grow to hate each other? Would resentment fester over my messiness or his need for a lot of alone time?  Would moving in together end up moving us apart?

I also moved into an apartment after living in a house for many years. The walk up stairs are no joke when you have the dog and packages. The landlady lives underneath us – a fact that seasoned apartment dwellers would have taken into consideration. Parking is a nightmare.

Somehow we figured out how to exist together in a way that’s both scary and comforting, hilarious and serious, calming and nerve racking, and utterly unique in every way. 

Then Covid 19 arrived in Los Angeles. The virus that had felt abstract and in faraway places like China, Iran, and Italy was spreading across our city.  The fear of Covid 19 and what it would do to our relationship as we navigated the crisis during this first year of living together was real. Suddenly we were spending every single minute in the house together for weeks. We had two beautiful trips planned during this time that were both abruptly cancelled. Our conversations quickly went from where we should eat in Paris to how much toilet paper do we have left.

 At the start  of living together, I was worried that the mundanity of everyday life would kill all the romance and excitement between us. COVID-19, it turns out, has made our life even smaller and more mundane than I could have ever imagined. We barely leave the apartment except for special occasions like a morning or afternoon walk on the beach. We play word games when there is a lull in the conversation. I am usually in sweat pants or jeans and no makeup. We watch a lot of TV and have settled into an equilibrium over cooking and cleaning because there are no schedules to coordinate. 

In an unexpected twist of circumstance, COVID-19 will come to define this rather momentous step in our relationship. The crisis has also hit me with some much-needed perspective and gratitude. I feel lucky to navigate all of this with someone I love. At a time when public safety demands social distance, I feel grateful to have so little space separating us.

Self quarantined in our apartment, inundated with news and confusion about COVID-19, we are doing fine. Perhaps the real test of our relationship will come when the fears of COVID-19 subside and we once again have to decide if we will stay or move. Whatever we decide, I think we will make it through.

Stay safe,

JAZ

 

 

Best Meals The BF Cooked For Me So Far

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  Best Meals The BF Cooked For Me So Far

”Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” Federico Fellini

There is something special about having a boyfriend who loves to cook and is good at it. Living alone my dinners included cold pizza, eating peanut butter out of the jar, scrambled eggs, smoothies, tuna and take out. He is totally happy to be the one preparing the meals. Gender stereotypes mean nothing to him. He is going to make a great wife someday.  It’s kind of magical to come home and find  him cooking a dish that turns out to be inexplicably perfect. Here are some of our meals.

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Fly safe,

JAZ