Eating (and drinking) Locali

(Locali photo from Green La Girl)

There are a lot of great food & drink options near Her new house and over the last couple of weeks We’ve been trying out the fare, mostly consisting of delivery after a day of lugging boxes (yes, I am a very good boyfriend and helped with all the labor). Last night We had another dinner of all local stuff, but this time We actually prepared part of it ourselves. (Or rather, She prepared it.)

During the move We frequented Locali often, but now that She is more moved in We decided to grab a few groceries there too, instead of just the usual sandwiches to go. The store is small, which means their inventory is carefully chosen. The products are organic and many are vegan or vegetarian. There are lots of prepared foods, dairy, juices, beers, wine, and cool household products that are environmentally conscious. The store contributed to the wine and dessert portions of the meal.

Locali doesn’t specialize in vegetables, but this is fine; for produce We both go to the Hollywood Farmers Market (until the garden provides vegetables). As She reported, last Sunday We got a “bounty” of fresh produce from the HFM.

Also on the regular post-moving rotation has been Prizzi’s Piazza. They make a fantastic deep dish. For last night’s dinner we ordered a pie, paired it with a Farmers Market salad, and delicious cinnamon cookies. For beverage We drank a biodynamic Cab by Frey from Redwood Valley.

To be quite honest, I really don’t know what “biodynamic” means. I know there are blog-wars about it. [OK, I just took a break from writing and read a little about it. Sounds well and good, but the wine still has to taste good.] I have watched many programs and documentaries about winemakers and so many of the winemakers really, really seem to care about their grapes and their product, so I’m not sure you need to subscribe to a certain farming method. [I'm kinda thinking aloud in blog form right now.]

Anyhow here’s my review of the meal:

Prizzi’s Piazza: Wow, this pizza is delicious. We may need to put some sort of cap on how much we are allowed to eat this. I feel fatter after one slice.

Farmers Market Salad: So fresh and nice. She makes a great salad. And I ate everything on my plate even though I told Her I didn’t want any salad.

Sun Flour Baking Co. Premium Cinnamon Cookies: These are vegan and gluten-free. I am neither vegan, nor adverse to gluten, but these are some of the best cookies I have ever tasted.

2006 Frey Cabernet Sauvignon: My first statement upon smelling the wine was, “it’s corked.” To which She replied, “the cork was not made of cork.” [Sidenote: what is a cork called that is not made from cork?] It smelled really funky. It tasted, ehh. It had texture and mouthfeel, but almost no flavor, no fruit whatsoever. (Though She did say she got a hint of huckleberry and “bramble” in the finish.) The tannins were a little too powerful too. Later, after We switched to G&T’s, I said it was a positively OK wine, but for nearly $20, I expect more. We probably won’t buy this again, nor could We recommend it.

The evening segued into a competitive game of Boggle. I won’t say who won, or who is still undefeated. I won’t even allude to the man who won. Nor will I say His name. Because that would be poor sportsmanship.

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Big Mac’s Mondays: Hail a Cab?


Each Monday (well, nearly everyday, actually) We trek down the hill to our favorite neighborhood liquor store to buy a bottle or two. In our quest to learn about and taste wine that is accessible and inexpensive We’ve found Big Mac’s to be a great place to spend our money. (We’re also regulars at the many local wine shops–and you should be too.)

Here are our weekly tasting notes from a bottle purchased at Big Mac’s. Although We don’t do background checks, some facts about the wine can be useful, so We provide some notes at the end of our review. As usual, We follow a basic tasting method: swirl, smell, slurp…and savor.

Granted, it’s Tuesday. Yesterday We were caught in a tropical downpour here in LA and too busy putting up tarps and moving outdoor furniture to higher ground. Her patio is now what He refers to as “The Shanty Café”. Also, We were really enjoying two days worth of Hot Buttered Rum Toddy Un-exact Whatevs.

Today She sent Him to Big Mac’s for a bottle of wine and some stopgap olive oil. He saw the weird shaped bottle of FFC’s Encyclopedia Cabernet Sauvignon for $9.99 and thought it would be the perfect bottle for a Big Mac’s Mondays. Away We go.

Francis Coppola Encyclopedia, Cabernet Sauvignon (Bordeaux) 2006 ($9.99)

She Said: When He brought home the wine I thought it was a gigantic bottle of balsamic vinegar (to go with the olive oil that was also on the shopping list). Ugh, the packaging is bad, bad. Hideous, actually. And it’s hard to pour because the mouth is so big. But not to judge a wine by it’s looks…here’s the straight review. Color: deep purple, almost opaque but swirling shows it is fairly thin. Nose: burnt wood (American oak?), licorice, prunes, burnt raisins. Nothing bright or fresh about it. First sip: yuck. Just nothing going for it. Tastes stewed or cooked. No obvious fruit flavors. Light tannin in the finish but otherwise light bodied and very little structure. Could it be oxidized? Tastes like the bottle was unscrewed five days ago. Could only manage two slurps. The rest of the bottle is all His.

He Said: Deep purplish in color with anise, tart cherry and old wood on the nose. There is also a weird aroma, like someone getting a perm or dying their hair. Totally uncomplicated in the mouth, a little chalky with a nice level of tannin; hits me right away in the middle of my tongue and the top of my mouth. Kind of a weird hot aftertaste. I don’t love it and wouldn’t buy it again (and really couldn’t recommend it) but I don’t hate it at all. (Her first response when she took a sip was “Ugh!”. Ha! That’s for making me drink hot wet trash last week.)

Facts: From the FFC site: “From how it’s made and where it’s made to why we drink it when we do, wine is not just wine. With this in mind, our winemaking team traveled the world in search of varietals that best represent the culture and traditions of different winegrowing regions. Packaged in a custom shaped bottle with an oversized screw cap, Encyclopedia Wines begins a journey into understanding how geography, history, food and religion, to name a few, all determine how and why wine is made and enjoyed.” She says: whooey.

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