Dine & Dish no. 4 – Liquid LA on Forty Dollars a Day

dine and dish, be rachael ray, forty dollars a day
There’s something vibrating under my pillow, and by the time I finally figure out that no, right, oh, okay, it’s not that…it’s my phone, the darned thing has stopped buzzing. I want to fall asleep again, but I roll over anyway, eyes still closed because ouch! My eyelashes are laced together, still thick with last night’s double coat of mascara for the dramatic look. After I finally untangle my eyelashes, I take a sleepy peek at my phone. Very clearly, it’s 11:40 because my contact lenses, which I must have forgotten to take out, are now permanently attached to my corneas.

forty dollars left in my jeans
$40 left in my jeans from last night

It’s Saturday morning. That means I went out last night. That means I spent way too much money on way too many drinks. That means I now have a pounding headache and only $40 left in the pocket of my jeans that I am still wearing. *groan* Oh well, at least I kicked my sandals off before collapsing into bed last night. Erm, I mean, this morning. LOL!

The phone is what woke me so I call back. I’m okay. I’m hungover. I’m dehydrated. I’ve got to eat something, sure, but more importantly, what the hell happened last night? Time to do that thing we do every morning after the thing we do the night before. Recap. “Meet me at the ocean end of the market.”

certified organic farmers market, santa monica, saturday morning
hit the market, still hungover
free samples of strawberries at santa monica certified organic farmers market
samples of summer’s produce along the way

There are two farmers’ markets on Saturday morning in Santa Monica. The larger Pico market is further south at the Santa Monica airport, and the smaller certified organic market is on Arizona Avenue between the ocean and 4th. The serious market shoppers, including chefs from local Santa Monica restaurants, are there early to get the best of the crop. Later in the morning, the composition of the crowd transforms into mostly Dockers-clad tourists who have strayed off the Promenade and laggards like me who are still hazy from the night before. I may be slightly hungover, but I still need to shop the market for the following week.

The stroll through the market is always down one side and up the other. The vendors rarely move and produce changes as slowly as the seasons, so one would think that I’d head straight for the stands I need, but still I like to see every thing. Besides, this isn’t just about picking up peaches for my breakfast yogurt next week. It’s about…Did you see what that tramp he was talking to was wearing?!? As we do an about-face on the east end of the market to head back up the other side for berries…Did you give him your number? All the while, tasting the free samples that they’re so generously handing out. Pomegranate juice? Yes, thank you. I’m parched.

view of pacific ocean, santa monica, ca
looks hazy, but that’s not the marine layer

Casa del Mar is one of a few gorgeous hotels that are right on the beach in Santa Monica. Shutters, Le Merigot, the Loews…they’re all within walking distance of the farmers’ market, but why have a convertible in LA if you can’t even drive it? Besides, I can’t traipse through the incredible lobby of the Casa del Mar to the Veranda Bar with three plastic bags full of produce. Leave the fruit in the car, but put it in the trunk, because who knows how many berries the valet might eat ;) I still have my sunglasses on in the Veranda Bar, cringing as my memory of last night comes back in bits and pieces, but chuckling more and more as I get to the bottom of the $12 bloody Mary. I did what?!?!

7 days a week happy hour at lula cocina mexicana, main street santa monica
happy hour seven days a week at lula
7 days a week happy hour at lula cocina mexicana, main street santa monica
liquid lunch is authentic in any cuisine

We may have gone big the night before, but we go even bigger on a Saturday night, which means shopping for something appropriately ridiculous along Main Street in Santa Monica. There are small boutiques with trendy but unique clothing and shoes, handcrafted jewelry, eclectic furniture and house wares, and restaurants. It’s similar to 3rd Street Promenade, but thankfully, sans tourists. At 4:00, the 7 day a week happy hour begins at Lula, one of my favorite Mexican places on the Westside. Lula is not necessarily authentic, and the menu has a few misses, but snap out of it! Didn’t I just type that happy hour is seven days a week?! House margaritas are only $3 each, but only in the bar. I’ll take two. Rocks, no salt. Gracias. They’re quite strong, almost a little too sweet, but salty chips and spicy salsa kill the sugar.

blowfish sushi to die for, west hollywood, ca
after citron, i’m willing to try animal style

It’s Saturday night, dinner light. For serious sushi, you go with a date to Kiriko, talk to the sushi chef, eat, enjoy, then go home and digest. For fun sushi, you go to Blowfish with your friends, eat, drink, get silly, then hop in a cab headed to ee-cha ;) Thank god I don’t like the sissy drinks, so Absolut Citron and soda is only $7. But a girl cannot party on liquid alone, so it’s pure protein in the Animal Style Roll – spicy tuna, crab, onions, and shrimp tempura wrapped in soy paper. The Animal Style Roll goes against everything I believe about sushi, but I’m almost halfway through my cocktail and I don’t care. Eat fast, drink slowly. We have a long night ahead of us. I’ve already spent $39.52, but that was during the day. The counter resets to zero after 10 p.m.. ;)

Free samples at Farmers’ Market and bloody Mary at Casa Del Mar …$12.99
Chips, salsa, and liquid lunch of margaritas at Lula …$6.50
Doing it Animal Style at Blowfish …$20.03
Image of “bikini-clad” Sam licking marmite off the tip of a long wooden spoon priceless

for everything else, there's dine and dish

There are some things in this world that $40 can’t buy.

For everything else, there’s Dine and Dish.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa the Waitress August 29, 2005 at 12:37 pm

hahaha. That sounds like so many of my Saturday morning market excursions! Somehow, though, I always manage to get there :)

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2 Sam August 29, 2005 at 1:59 pm

me too
but when i get back home I find it hard to even unpack the stuff into the fridge before I collapse back in to bed again!

you made it just in time, Sarah.

thank you!

sam

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3 Stephanie August 29, 2005 at 3:44 pm

I have to confess…when I see ‘Blowfish’, I’m not thinking sushi!

Great job, though…

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4 Daily Gluttony August 29, 2005 at 5:50 pm

ha ha, that “priceless” thing is genius!!! (i love the mastercard looking dine and dish logo too!) great post!

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5 sarah August 29, 2005 at 6:37 pm

i was thinking…do i really write this post honestly and reveal how naughty i really am?!?! and now i find out that i’m not the only one! lol! good. *phew* i thought i was in the company of all domestic angels ;)

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6 Joy August 30, 2005 at 12:14 am

Saw your comment, my dear, and no worries at all as I just discovered you, too. I trust you will show me where I can practice my restaurant whoredom when I next visit LA? I’ll do the same if you make it to SF.

And I think this low carb bullshit is absolutely ridiculous, but that sushi roll sounds delicious.

xoxo
Joy

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7 MEalCentric August 30, 2005 at 12:57 am

I love the apple and orange “dine and dish” logo. Very clever!

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8 MEalCentric August 30, 2005 at 12:57 am

I love the apple and orange “dine and dish” logo. Very clever!

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9 BoLA August 30, 2005 at 5:33 am

Yes, fabulous post! Keep ’em coming! I’ll come back for more! :)

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10 sarah August 30, 2005 at 8:56 pm

lacheesemonger: “naughty” meaning mostly liquid diet, lol! i didn’t do so well with the going around and eating for $40/day, but i sure did well on drinks! lol!

joy: i tried low carb. one time for dinner. then i said screw it and ate a piece of bread anyway. LOL!

mealcentric and kn: thank you both and i am waiting to see if you’ll participate in dine and dish number 5 (theme to be announced this week)

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11 Ced August 30, 2005 at 11:00 pm

Sarah,

thanks for the comment! I have never visited your blog before: my bad. It is very cute. Pretty creative master card logo.

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12 sarah August 31, 2005 at 6:23 am

thanks for stopping by, ced! i couldn’t resist on the mastercard, lol! thank goodness i didn’t go with my first idea, which would have involved a bit of tweaking of the FHM “photo” of sam’s biki top – lol!

and when next i make my way back up to the bay area (most likely october *fingers crossed*) i will be making visits back to all the SF-ers posts for this dine and dish!

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13 Eve August 31, 2005 at 7:02 am

what a great way to get over a hangover, lol!

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14 Sam September 1, 2005 at 1:30 am

phew
i had a lucky escape sounds like

you’ll have to come play with us in October!

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