How to Celebrate Big at Son of a Gun

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We aren’t the only family that celebrates festive occasions by overindulging in amazing food, right? My husband turned the big 3-1 recently, and he quickly settled on Son of a Gun for our baby-free evening meal. No complaints from me– I think Shook and Dotolo are complete geniuses in the kitchen, and I was just as eager to order as the birthday boy.

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And this is how we roll, gobbling up practically half of the menu between just the two of us. Clockwise from the top left, we devoured:

1. The insanely good lobster roll (don’t worry, they’re incredibly tiny so rather than split one we each got our own). How they get that brioche roll so perfectly soft is beyond me.

2. The fish and chips, with a luxurious and crispy batter and heavily-garlicked fries. I doubt this killer combo can be beat by any other fish and chips plate in town.

3. Uni pasta (the only dish that didn’t wow me, but I didn’t expect it to since I’m not a huge uni fan in the first place) and a white fish that I can’t recall, sort of in a deconstructed taco pile with corn, avocado, cilantro and radishes. Light (aka not fried) and tasty!

4. The requisite (and splittable!) fried chicken sandwich with homemade slaw. Once again the chefs have achieved a perfectly crispy batter, and the slaw and pickles made for this great flavor mash up that makes you sad you actually agreed to share it.

The only dish missing from the photos, sadly, is the smoked mahi fish dip, which I’d describe as an upscale take on tuna salad. Served in a low bowl with shavings of radish and celery, you eat it with the help of old school, cellophane wrapped butter crackers. It was one of my favorite parts of the meal– so good that I apparently ate it before snapping a photo of it.

What are your favorite celebratory dinner spots? And do you eat as much as we do? Please say yes!

Day Trip Daydreaming: Joshua Tree

Ok,  this is not a trip I’ve taken just yet, but one day I will. Despite its proximity to the City of Angels and its popularity, I know little about Joshua Tree other than that it’s too hot a destination for me in the summer months and that it’s named after a not-so-aethetically-pleasing plant.

Here are some beautiful shots of the locale:

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By reallyboring on Creative Commons

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By Jennie & Jacques on Creative Commons

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By Rennett Stowe on Creative Commons

Even though I don’t find the trees to be particulary pretty, there’s something unreal and captivating about them. Like you hopped into a Dr. Suess book for a weekend.

Also, did you know that there are actually interesting shops to frequent? And to think I thought JT was all about roughing it and bouldering! They had me at vintage and antiques.

In my unplanned future trip, I’ll be staying here. 🙂

Brief Thoughts on LA’s Most Underrated Restaurants

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Stella Barra is one of them, according to Eater LA.

In a city as big as ours, there are bound to be restaurants and shops that fly under the radar. I cook Monday through Thursday so we can eat out guilt-free on weekends, and after a lot of marathon-like Saturdays and Sundays around town I know I’ve missed many amazing kitchens. But that’s kinda what I love about city living. You’re checklist is never quite checked. There’s always more to explore or eat.

That being said, I think I’ll make this Eater LA list a guide for the next year or so of eating out: Los Angeles’ 20 Most Underrated Restaurants, Mapped. I’ve been to seven of the 20– Canale, Osteria Mamma, Jar (one of my LA faves), Salt’s Cure, Mercado, Cafe Pinot, and Stella Barra– which means a lucky 13 are left!

Hope my belly can handle it.