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Black Label El Presidente Cigar Lighter

March 1, 2012 Living, Puffing No Comments

My new cigar lighter!

Of course, the way one lights his or her cigar is a personal choice. And for a while, I primarily used matchbooks, where I would ignite and use the entire matchbook in one go. That was cool and all, but I figured that if I’m going to semi-regularly indulge in a smoke with my libations, I should probably invest in a good lighter. So, like everything else that interests me, I researched the hell out of cigar lighters – looking at features offered across the price spectrum, from cheap and minimally functional to luxurious and over the top.

Now, if money were no object, I would not flinch about getting a classic St Dupont Gatsby. It’s masculine and exudes luxury. Maybe one day!

Well, after doing more realistic research, I came across this Black Label El Presidente lighter that distinguishes itself from other butane lighters with its Flat Flame technology – the engineers found a way to diffuse the flame from a typical, single rod to a thin, flat flame. It’s a pretty ingenious idea, if you ask me. By simply altering the flame shape, smokers, when lighting the cigar, can employ a painting motion at the foot to cover more surface area. Naturally, this provides greater control for toasting and touching up the cigar. Cool, right?

So, narrowing my search down to this lighter model, I was briefly torn between getting the black one or the copper one. Both looked really cool, but in the end, I was more drawn to the metallic, satin finish of the copper. Finally, bargain hunting, I found the best price off of Amazon ($79 vs $100 MSRP).

And here we are. As the close up indicates, it is a solidly built lighter. About the size of a 5-pack of chewing gum, it is all metal and feels substantial in the hand, and works as advertised. I am very pleased with this lighter! That’s my review =)

….. for a much better review (and one that actually convinced me to get this lighter), click >>here<<.

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Schott Motorcycle Jacket 689H

February 25, 2012 Fashion No Comments

When it comes to leather jackets, I am always in the market for a good one. This particular version is an updated take on the classic racer motorcycle jacket, very similar to what police motorcycle riders wear. It’s slim fitting, features a spread collar, made of horse leather, and looks pretty bad ass. I may very well pull the trigger on this one.

Link: Schott NYC

me

February 25, 2012 Living 1 Comment

my friend took this cool picture of me while we were out on the town.

Drago Centro – Tasting Menu 02/21/2012

February 23, 2012 Dinner, Living 1 Comment

Friends were in town from Korea. Thought we’d catch up over a nice meal at one of my favorite restaurants, Drago Centro!

le cozze. mountain of steamed mussels flavored with garlic and chile flakes, served with toasted crostini. I really enjoyed soaking up every last drop of mussel juice with the bread. yum!

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The Glenlivet Nàdurra aged 16 years

February 18, 2012 Drink No Comments

First, a sad story. The first bottle of The Glenlivet Nàdurra I purchased, I never got a chance to really try. Being a bit careless and clumsy during its transport, I actually dropped the box containing the scotch whisky on the front porch of my home. At first, I didn’t hear any glass shatter and breathed a small sigh of relief. However, almost immediately after I picked up the box from the ground, liquid started seeping through! My eyes widened with horror, and I may have whimpered a little. In any case, after the initial shock passed, I got to thinking how I could salvage the situation. At first, I thought about licking the liquid-soaked box, or being a bit more civil and finding a container nearby to collect the escaping whisky. But, having thought about the risk of getting cut by tiny glass shards, I reluctantly let the situation be and watched the rest of the drink drain out. Yea, sucked. The upside is that for the rest of that afternoon, the front porch had a wonderful smell of vanilla, pecan-pralines, and freshly cut pear and green apples. =)

So, what I have pictured here is my second purchased bottle of The Glenlivet Nàdurra, and the cork top of the first bottle that I kept as a memento.

As can be read from the label, this scotch whisky was aged for 16 years in old bourbon barrels (where it gets its vanilla notes), bottled in November 2011 at natural cask strength (54.2% abv for batch 1111Q), has no artificial coloring, and is non-chill filtered. That is, it has qualities that I can appreciate. Taste wise, it is pretty refreshing with its floral and fruitiness. And with its high alcohol content, rather than add water, I like to continually enjoy this scotch neat but over an extended amount of time, savoring a sip every 5 minutes or so. Not only does this prolong the experience, allowing the whisky to breathe lets a whole plethora of flavor notes emerge – spicy, citrus, bitter, new band aids, vanilla, oak, fruity, aniseed.

I really like this. Cheers!

Link: The Glenlivet

Lucha VaVOOM – Lucha is for Lovers

February 16, 2012 Events No Comments

PR girl and I caught Lucha VaVOOM‘s 2012 Valentine’s Day Special Show, Lucha is for Lovers, at the Mayan Theatre in Downtown LA. For 3 hours or so, we were entertained with Lucha Libre wrestling, some talented burlesque dancers, comedic hosts, and even a wedding ceremony. Over the top at times, it was still some pretty good, clean fun!

That’s one of the crowd favorite Luchadores, Dirty Sanchez, above, walking around during intermission. Very cool.

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Tim Hamilton REDUX Fall/Winter 2012-13

February 14, 2012 Fashion No Comments

From Tim Hamilton’s diffusion line, REDUX. I’m into the whole urban ninja look.

I really like that tee underneath the biker jacket. New York Fuckin City.

Link: Tim Hamilton

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

February 12, 2012 Drink No Comments

What makes this Laphroaig expression unique from the standard 10 is that it is matured in two different-sized casks, with the smaller one giving the spirit more oak wood contact. In addition, it’s bottled at a higher 48% ABV and is non-chill filtered. It’s an attempt by the distillery to create a spirit that tastes like it did 200 years ago. Did they succeed? Hell if I know! I wasn’t around 200 years ago.

What I can say for certain, though, is that this is another great drink from Laphroaig. It’s got tons of peat smoke on the nose and palate. In fact, I like it much better than the standard 10. Finally, its higher alcohol volume gives the cask strength a run for its money!

Link: Laphroaig

Short Order – Burgers and Pappy Van Winkle at the Grove

February 12, 2012 Dinner No Comments

Craving burgers and having heard quite a bit of chatter about Short Order’s version in the past months, I really needed to try it. So, I grabbed a food blogger friend, who surprisingly hadn’t had it either, and went on a quiet Tuesday night; there’s no way am I going to contend with the weekend Grove crowd.

When we arrived, there was ample seating upstairs, but we decided to settle at the bar, and the one thing that immediately caught my eye was their whisk(e)y selection. Whoever stocked the place has great taste! I usually have beer with burgers but when I spotted a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle on the top shelf….yea, there was no way I was going to pass on this opportunity. For those not familiar, Pappy Van Winkle is among the critically-acclaimed wheat bourbons on the market and it’s also one of the scarcest, normally selling for twice its MSRP. Having been unsuccessful in acquiring a bottle of my own, I happily paid a reasonable amount for a dram of the 15 year old (you can see it pictured next to the ketchup below), which is not only bottled at a higher proof, it’s in my opinion, better than the older and pricier 20- and 23- year old. After savoring the first sips, I turned my attention to the food….

Between the two of us, we tried three burgers – The signature Short Order (pictured left), of course, Nancy’s Backyard Burger (foreground), and Amy’s Turkey Burger (in the back).

Between the bun, the Short Order burger comprised of a grass-fed beef patty, slice of semi-soft Morbier cheese, griddled mushrooms, some Bibb lettuce, and mustardy mayo, which made this standout from other burgers I’ve had. It was a good start.

In lieu of fries, we had the Short Order Spuds, which were asymmetrically torn chunks of fried potatoes, with their dipping sauce (sour cream? with bacon bits on top). Sinfully yum.

Next, I became acquainted with Amy’s Turkey Burger, which was good for a turkey burger. The organic turkey patty was accompanied by sage cheddar cheese, celery, leeks, and more mustardy mayo… they really like their mustardy mayo here.

Finally, saving the best for last, I savored every bite of Nancy’s Backyard Burger, which had a special blended patty and came with thick slabs of artisan bacon, slice of comté cheese, avocado mash, grilled onions, a slice of tomato, iceberg lettuce, and spicy mayo. My friend and I both agreed this was the best burger of the three we had that night. It was simple and had the standard condiments, albeit a bit fanciful…. It was familiar with some added class.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Short Order. I’ll definitely come back on another weeknight.

Cheers!

Link: Short Order

SMWS 35.47 – Jelly Tots and Iced Gems

February 5, 2012 Drink No Comments

While not watching the Superbowl, I’m sipping a very sweet malt from Speyside distillery, Glen Moray. This particular scotch whisky was aged for 15 years in ex-bourbon casks, and bottled at a respectable 58% abv. I like it.

Society Notes:

Summery, with Jelly Tots, boiled sweets and fresh fruits followed by Cream Tea with Iced Gem biscuits. Water introduces lemon meringue and rhubarb and custard chews. A smooth texture, sweet taste and scented aftertaste.

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