Embrace Sweets

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Closer Than Going to Mexico

I've been planning a wonderful, exotic, Mexican vacation for the past 10 years, well to be honest I've been planning an European, South American and Mediterranean vacation too, I know one of these days I'll actually be booking the tickets.  In the meantime I may have found a temporary solution (or better yet quick fix) for my Mexican vacay blues. Ricky's Tacos.

They are cheaper than a vacation package, arrive faster than the actual flight and can instantly teleport you to the desired little Baja hut and/or Cantina of your wildest dreams.

I stumbled upon Ricky's not by accident, and anyone who has been will tell you why.  They are close to impossible to find if you don't know what you're looking for.  Ricky's is well hidden in the parking lot behind a beauty salon in Silverlake.  Blue tarps and rickety chairs and tables make up this faux-restaurant.  The food speaks for itself and as you're enjoying your meal you find you've completely forgotten that just behind the wrought iron gates is a busy, noisy street and your table setting consist of plastic cups, forks and Styrofoam plate.

Ricky's Taco, are freshly made when you order, large pieces of fresh fish are dipped in secretly seasoned batter (that in my opinion, could put the Colonel to shame) and deep fried in large wok-style pans until a perfect shade of golden reminiscent of the sunsets you're sure to experience along the mexican coastline. You don't need tarter sauce, cocktail sauce or anything else for that matter - the tacos are amazing just as they are.

Until experiencing Ricky's I was a fan of Baja Fresh fish tacos and of course Poquito Mas; I still enjoy these places as well but they have now become my second and third choice when you just can't make it to Ricky's.

Who said you couldn't take a mini beach vacay during your lunchtime? I'm planning one today! :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Will The Real Mr. Smith Stand Up

Will Smith

Me + Forrest
Audrey Hepburn

Good Ole Jack
Me, The Prince of Egypt and a camel
My Girl Uma
Whoopie (Wow!)
No It's Not Midnight Cowboy!
Madame Tussaud herself!

Fun facts from Madame Tussaud:

Beyonce in the making
Beyonce completed


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Perfect Bar for Me

Breadbar Century City Westfield Shopping Plaza
Quite possibly the wonderful conclusion to an awful movie experience.

In short, mum and I went to see The American..........I don't want to talk about it.  :-( Ok, i'll say this and this only.. "George, really? What were you thinking with this one?" I mean it's George Clooney I just expected soooooooo much more out of him and this was no where near my expectation level. Even if you told me to imagine a bad movie staring Gorgeous George, I couldn't fathom this picture.  Ok, I'm done venting. Seriously.  :-)

BUT! the pain au chocolat and vanilla cappuccino that followed was fantastic.  Breadbar, is one of the sweetest little establishments I've been too. The service left a little to be desired but I figure they are just trying to give you a real European experience.  Mum and I visited the one located in the Century city Shopping plaza and we were pleasantly surprised.  To be honest though anything after the torture we endured for 1hr and 45sec would be a relief.

Cute little atmosphere, beautiful day and as always great company. Luv you mum! :-)

Check out that foam! Purrrfect!
Pain au Chocolat

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It Takes a Village....

The Village Bakery & Cafe
It's times like this that I wish we (Embrace Sweets) had our own little bakery/cafe/brownie boutique. The idea has crossed our minds more than once and the impulse is strong to go forward, I suppose the only question is where? Where in ALL of LA do we set up shop? Perhaps you can help me with that question. :-)

Blueberry Muffins
Meanwhile, The Village is the inspiration for this blog. Located in Atwater Village (right after Los Feliz) is this wonderful place. I've passed by many times and for some reason just never had the time or urge to stop in.  Boy was this a mistake, knowing now what I've been missing out on is such a disappointment, I should really know better by now. This lovely bakery/cafe has been around for many years but only recently been taken over by new management and what a success it has been.
Vegan Chocolate Cakes

"Baker and owner Barbara Monderine, who turned Atwater's teensy L.A. Bread bakery into the genial Village Bakery & Café late last year. The space has since expanded--it's now twice its former size, with communal tables and a pet-friendly patio out front." - Tasting Table 

Doughnut Muffin
Mum and I ventured over one early Saturday morning for breakfast, greeted with smiles, and sugary sweet attitudes we ordered at the counter and made ourselves cozy in the corner - close enough to the bakery case to drool and be a voyeur but far enough way for no one else to notice.  For an appetizer we shared their famous doughnut muffin, vanilla cappuccino and hot chocolate; for the main dish I had my favorite, a BLT with eggs, Mom munched down on The Village Pancakes with warm maple syrup.

BLT (w.Eggs)
Enjoying my Vanilla Cap

A very simple, not complicated, easy-going breakfast; something you could make at home but you'd miss all the atmosphere. I have to admit though the doughnut muffin was amazing, its sweet, cakey and light - true and imagine a doughnut hole but the shape of a cupcake completely rolled in cinnamon-sugar. Perfection!
Pancakes + Maple

Barbara running back to the kitchen
Lastly, I also love that running around with the staff was Barbara- you could tell she'd been there most the morning, her hair was a little frazzled, she had flour on her face and her apron was already covered but in between sticking things in their large bread oven, pulling dough from the proofer and setting up with pastry in the display case she smiled and had a look of complete contentment and satisfaction.  That is always the sure sign of happiness and success.  That's what I most look forward to if (and when) we do open up our own place.  Stay tuned.. :-)

The Village Bakery & Café, 3119 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village; 323-662-8600 or thevillagebakeryandcafe.com (map/directions)