A Taste of Mexico : Los Angeles

I heard about Taste of Mexico with less than twenty four hours to spare. Usually my last-minute plans are the best ones, though, and Friday night was no exception.

In it’s third year running, Taste of Mexico is put on by an organization of authentic Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles. It’s grown from just four founding restaurants (La Casita Mexicana, Frida Mexican Cuisine, Guelaguetza Restaurant, and La Monarca Bakery) with just 850 guests, to twenty-six restaurants and 2000 guests this year!

Walking into the courtyard of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles, we were greeted with sensational smells, energetic mariachi, and throngs of smiling guests underneath the twinkling lights and starry sky. I felt like I died and fell into my culinary dream.

 

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

 

Happy to be there, but feeling the need to take the edge off after battling LA traffic, we headed straight to the mezcal tastings. For those of you who don’t know, mezcal is made from the maguey agave (while tequila is made from the blue agave plant). It’s usual sipped straight-up and has a similar taste to tequila, but is generally a bit more smokey. Hence: it’s freaking delicious.

We tasted samples from Wahaka and Illegal Mezcal, both paired with little chunks of Cacique cheese (like wine tasting!).

It only took a couple of shots on an empty stomach to quickly move on to beer and go in search of some delicious tacos. Victoria and Tecate cervezas in hand, we were reading to get our samplin’ on!

 

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

 

Everywhere you looked there were tacos, ceviche, albondigas, salsas, tiny margaritas, grilled pulpo (octopus), big pink prawns, MORE tacos. I don’t know how we ever settled on where to taste first. The Ceviche Project definitely caught my eye. They were serving up kampachi and erizo ceviche with chives, pineapple, avocado, jalapeno, onion, and escamol salt. Um, can you say DELICIOSO!? I tried but my mouth was too full of epic flavors.

 

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

 

On to the next one, on to the next one! We continued to take down tacos like it was our job. Stand out plates were from Yuca’s for their signature conchinita pibil with pickled red onion (Taco ‘Bout Good!), Guerrilla Tacos for a freakin’ amazing taco of swordfish belly with heirloom tomato and pickled radish, and of course Tacos Punta Cabras for the cauliflower and ceviche tostada with cashew and pineapple salsa.

 

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

 

I can’t name our favorites of the night, though, without mention of La Monarca Bakery. They had a ridiculously amazing caramel latte flan, insane flakey bunelos, and a big ol’ basket of delicious sweet buns. They have four locations, but thank god one of them is in Santa Monica because Mike and I are dying for more!

 

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

 

Full to the brim, we ended the night by nursing a few more cocktails and enjoying the mariachi. We have so many new restaurants to try next time we get a craving for Mexican food (um, basically every night), and had left very inspired, very full, and very happy. Until next year!

 

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

TASTE OF MEXICO, Los Angeles // hourglassandbloom.com #foodblog #lifestyleblog

Bloggers In The Park

I started reading blogs a few years ago. I so admired these darlings of the internet, and religiously followed Emily, James, Ashley, and of course… Rose. Not long after, I started Hourglass & Bloom. H&B became a place to share all of my favorite recipes, reminisce about amazing restaurant experiences, document adventures and more.

So when Rose announced the other day that she wanted to put together a blogger meet up in the heart of LA, I knew I couldn’t miss it.

THE LONDONER BLOGGER MEETUP // via Hourglass&Bloom

THE LONDONER BLOGGER MEETUP // via Hourglass&Bloom

THE LONDONER BLOGGER MEETUP // via Hourglass&Bloom

I am so, so incredibly glad I went. Just being around so many smart, bubbly, lovely women was invigorating. Rose spent a good hour answering endless questions about her blog, herself, and her life. In the midst of it, several ladies talked amongst themselves, sharing stories of their own. I sat next to Kate and Jennie who write the local blog, Landed In LA. They were SO energetic and fun-loving, and when I got home and finally got a look at their blog, I was instantly in love. Molly and I also chatted quite a bit, initially bonding over our mutual distaste for PinkBerry. She and I both have had a recent back-off period from our blogs and are just now coming back to them. You can find her over at This Yuppie Life – which I hope she continues to write!

THE LONDONER BLOGGER MEETUP // via Hourglass&Bloom

THE LONDONER BLOGGER MEETUP // via Hourglass&Bloom

I would have loved to have talked to every single lady there, but hopefully we can all meet in some way or another eventually. I am just so thankful for the experience, for the inspiration, and for Rosie for having organized it. Wyatt is thankful too, for all of the pets and for meeting his new friend, Miu Miu!

THE LONDONER BLOGGER MEETUP // via Hourglass&Bloom

THE LONDONER BLOGGER MEETUP // via Hourglass&Bloom

THE LONDONER BLOGGER MEETUP // via Hourglass&Bloom

 

A Hometown Fair

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

 

Following a solid afternoon of day-drinking and our first Uber ride ever, Mike and I and some friends walked down to the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair. No, MB is not my hometown, Huntington Beach is. But who could resist a fair? And more importantly, who could resist fried food and a beer garden?

Exactly.

 

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

 

Eventually the popped-shirts, bikini-clad, push-and-shove crowd in the Beer Garden became a bit much (oh, and the bar closed), so we hit the food booths and games. Isn’t fair food the best? Mike and I devoured a bowl of pulled-pork fries with slaw like ravenous monkeys. Then he heroically tried to win me a prize at the ring toss. They gave us spiders as pity prizes. Mine’s named Henry.

A booze-fueled manly competition at the cages followed, trying to pitch the fastest ball. I gave it a shot, and proved that they saying “you throw like a girl” may in fact stem from truth. Eh, we all have our strengths. Mine happens to be eating.

 

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

 

 

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

One of my favorite Huntington Beach fairs happens next weekend at our church, St. Bonaventure. There’s live music, amazing food, beer and wine, classic games, and awesome rides (ferris wheel included!).

Does your town or church have a fall festival? Can I come??

 

HOURGLASS AND BLOOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boost Juice

Mike and I were talking about juicing the other day…the culture, the health factors, the possible insanity. My mouth may be incapable of forming the words “Juice Cleanse” or “Fasting”, but I do understand that a juice here and there can give you quite a nice little boost.

Blessed with our shiny new glorious Vitamix, I set out juicing. I knew I wanted to make a mainly green mix; something that could be added to other smoothies to give it a veggie punch, or it could be sipped on it’s own. I do love me some fiber, but for this particular recipe, I strained it out so only the liquid juice remained. Fiber is wonderful for you, but if it’s extracted, then the nutrients from all those delicious fruits and vegetables are more easily passed into your system, not out the other end. Ahem.

 

BOOST JUICE // Hourglass And Bloom #greenjuice #vitamix

 

BOOST JUICE // Hourglass And Bloom #greenjuice #vitamix

 

Working in batches, blend the following:

5 Pears

4 handfuls Kale

2 handfuls Cilantro

3 medium Cucumbers

2 Green Bell Peppers

Two tips: give your veggies a nice rough chop to help out the blender (I also cored the pears and bell peppers), and with each batch add about half cup of water.

 

BOOST JUICE // Hourglass And Bloom #greenjuice #vitamix

 

BOOST JUICE // Hourglass And Bloom #greenjuice #vitamix

 

Nearby, have a large mixing bowl beneath a colander lined with a double layer of cheese cloth. When you’re done blending each batch, pour that goopy green sludge onto the cheese cloth. The juice will begin to drain on it’s own, but you’ll definitely have to help it along. Gather up the ends of the cloth, twist the top, and squeeeeeeeeeze. This is your upper body workout for the day. Squeeze, keep on.

 

BOOST JUICE // Hourglass And Bloom #greenjuice #vitamix

 

Just don’t go thinking you’re the incredible hulk and spurt out green goop all over your counter. Oops.

 

BOOST JUICE // Hourglass And Bloom #greenjuice #vitamix

 

In the end you should have about 48oz of juice. I pack mine up in mason jars to tote with me on the go, or for easy use to splash into another smoothie. They’ll keep in your fridge for up to a week. Now, you just spent about $10 give or take on the veggies that went into it, and got four drinks. If you’re like me, every time I’ve been to Whole Foods or Mother’s for a custom juice, I’ll spend about six bucks each drink. Think of all the money your saving by doing it at home – and they’re right there in your fridge for when you want it!

Just don’t go three-day juice cleansing on me…….more deliciousness coming very soon. Cheers!

 

BOOST JUICE // Hourglass And Bloom #greenjuice #vitamix