Social Media: Twitter Is A Hungry Bird

I got turned down for a job for not having enough Twitter followers.

When did invisible social media become the indivisible job deciderer? I thought a resume, experience and references made me an attractive candidate. I had no idea that my popularity in the ethosphere impacted how well I might perform for an employer in the real world.

Happy Birthday: Everyone Old is New Again

It's my birthday.

How old am I? great-grandmother won her husband in a jumping contest. It was about 1870, she was 15, maybe not ready to wed; but the civil war had wiped out most of the eligible men in her Missouri town. So competition was stiff. She however, had to be flexible and literally rise to the occasion. And rise above every other hopeful.

I’m lucky that I knew her; but she didn't talk much. She was exhausted. I mean, come on — she won her husband in a jumping contest.

NYC Mandarin Oriental's Asiate: Sensational Lunch

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper, advised nutritionist Adelle Davis. I ascribe to any theory that supports my illusion of grandeur.

So I had a royal lunch at Asiate in the palatial Mandarin Oriental in New York City with Mary Ann Williamson. She puts the amorous in glamorous.

We rise in the elevator as if in a champagne bottle. We pop out onto the 35th floor and float into the dining room to drink up a bubbly view of sparkling Central Park.

central park, view, New York City, Mandarin Oriental

The show is free; lunch is a steal with two courses for $29.
Mary Ann kicks things off with Roasted Cauliflower, toasted almonds and beer bearnaise. Cauliflower is the new black.

New York City, Mandarin Oriental, salad

This dish is a star. I applaud the performance. Dragging a bite of still-crunchy vegetables through creamy cheese is the most graceful dance I attempt in the daytime. And why I'm in the audience, not on stage.

My first course of Scallop sashimi with fennel over ginger ice reminds me of a skilled hoofer in a Broadway musical.

New York City, Mandarin Oriental, sushi, seafood, fine dining

I love to watch dancers flit across the stage in a flurry of impossible steps. Each bite of this scallop dish a thrilling combination of bounce and zest. Look for Ginger Ice starring in a show soon.

Healthwise, a larger lunch is brilliant. You have all day to burn the calories, then have a smaller dinner. Lunch is less expensive; however, you're fully sated at Asiate. They offer entrees with heft and fortitude.

I have the Venison Tenderloin in black Tuscan kale pistol, black currants.

New York City, Mandarin Oriental, fine dining, exotic meat

I won't taste a better entree for eons. Executive Chef Christian Pratsch encircles the tender, succulent venison with kale ash like bodyguards protecting a celebrity. I greedily grab their house-made bread and soak up every memory of the currant-laced sauce.

As I dine, I note the service is a stellar production. Bustling busboys scurry while leading men waiters present plated wonders like Branzino with coco beans, chorizo, in shellfish bisque. 

New York City, Mandarin Oriental, seafood, branzino, fine dining

Pork belly dust crowns the fish. Let me know when you have a crispier and more tender piece of fish. But I'll only listen to you over lunch in this dining room. Phone ahead, you need reservations. And dress up.

We're not ready for this show to be over. Dessert serves as our denouement: Kabocha Bar.

New York City, Mandarin Oriental, dessert, chocolate, ice cream, fine dining

This hunky leading man is a Bahibe chocolate hazelnut Dacquoise with maple caramel, salted ice cream. I must tell everyone that I've just devoured perfection.

Asiate is a wonderful dining experience. The best shows keep you dancing and singing long after you've left the theater. Full of fabulous food, Mary Ann and I go high-stepping through the streets of Manhattan.  (You might recognize her as the third Rockette from the left.)

All the world's a stage. Hit it, Maestro.

Asiate. 80 Columbus Circle (at 60th Street). New York City, NY 10023. (212) 805-8800. 

I Tell The Tale of New Orleans At Mardi Gras

Hit New Orleans any time and you're greeted with delicious, deeply developed flavors found no where else.

Treat the city like a bowl of spicy gumbo. Tear off a chunk of French bread. Dredge it along the bottom of the bowl. Soak up every bit.

Experience New Orleans at Mardi Gras and you'll feast on the world's wildest street party. Around every corner you'll find a gasp. Some naughty, some nice.

You're likely end up with a tattoo on your soul.

 As they say in the Big Easy -- Let the good times roll.

Gracias Madre: Thank You for Good Vegan Food

I love hearing anyone's personal stories about their connection to food. Although I'm not a vegan, I played with some on TV. I traveled around the world interviewing over 100 of those nuts for a project. After listening to them, I was never in the mood for meat. The rest of the crew and I always ate vegan.

My main beef with most vegan restaurants is the lack of flavor. However; Gracias Madre in West Hollywood is exceptional. Their sunny patio is a free source of Vitamin D. The whole restaurant is a gorgeous carrot dangling in front of you.
Gracias Madre is an offshoot of Cafe Gratitude. I'm not a fan of Cafe Gratitude. I find both the food and the staff generally tasteless and insincere. It takes a real mother/madre to get it right. Gracias Madre's dining room is large and beautiful. It's a graceful hippy dancing freely in a roomy dress.

I enjoyed the Coconut Ceviche Tostados ($18). Marinated chunks of meaty coconut mixed with lettuce, guacamole and cheese made from cashews. Each bite was a texture party. The base of a crunchy tortilla made a great foundation for the creamy, soft toppings. I smile when I meet bouncy coconut and tickling lettuce. I taste tart tomatoes wrapped in tangy cheese. The cilantro rounds out the Mexican profile.

When my plate goes back to the kitchen, I imagine some tough madre slapping the wrist of the cook for serving lemon not lime.    

I left the restaurant feeling energized and full of beans. Because my plate came with a side of good, creamy, spicy black bean puree.  I choose vegan occasionally. It helps me feel good.

As I leave the patio, I light a candle at the entrance's alter. I write a note, Gracias Madre, I want you and me to live forever. I have all these Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons that never expire.

Anyone vehemently defending a vegan diet over a meat diet suffers from a lack of meat aggression. Live your life, eat what you want. Never argue with anyone's lifestyle choice. Be happy. You have a problem with that? Meet me out back. Damnit! That's the meat aggression talking. Oh an my new book is up at

Gracias Gracias Madres. And mas like you, por favor.

Eat at Gracias Madre. 8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (323) 978-2170

Cooking Up Christmas... Ostrich

I ate roadkill one Christmas.

I love going home for the holidays. When I walk in my parent's house, familiar smells from the stove reach out to hug me before my mother can. She rushes over, fluttering her long red fingernails as if piping me aboard. She wears felt Minnie Mouse antlers, candy cane socks and a sweater vest with sequined snowmen. I spy dangling ornament earrings.

#YouTube - My Cooking and Talk Show: Let's Make Eggs!

I open an email from a great friend, David Youse. He needs three million dollars to open a play on Broadway. I wish I had the money -- he's a proven producer.

As I drive along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, I pass Johnny Carson's former compound.  I think, WWJD (What Would Johnny Do)?

He'd have David on his show. The exposure would send the money flowing in, very much like the ocean waves on my left. I drive on, chuckling. If only I had a talk show.