I’m wrapping up my first week on the blog by marking a few things off The List. As you may have noticed, many of the things on my list feature weekly, monthly or multiple items. (Hey, no one ever accused me of being moderate.) My Sunday Evening posts are a way of managing my progress on these items as well as report my Sunday list item.
#21, Try a new restaurant each week, 1/52
Today I visited The Pikey, an English pub in Hollywood. I knew that I would be going to see an English play later in the day, so I stayed true to theme and found an English meal to set the tone. The Pikey opens at 10:30 on Sunday mornings. My friend, Erica, and I arrived a few minutes early so we wandered into Samuel French, a film and theatre bookshop next door. It is an inviting space with interesting displays, provocative book titles, and unique gift items. We were on a tight schedule, so we weren’t able to linger. We decided that we would have to return in the near future. I could have happily wandered in there for an hour or two.
I loved The Pikey the instant we walked beneath its red and white awnings and stepped inside the wood paneled space. There is a small patio in front, but we opted to sit inside. There is an open kitchen and the young, handsome chefs smiled at us as we found our table. Our server, Jenn, was laidback and sweet and managed to be attentive without hovering.
We had a difficult time selecting from all the intriguing items on the menu. We wanted to try all of them. I settled on Egg in the Hole with House Smoked Bacon and Erica ordered Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. We wanted to try the Curry on Toast with Fried Duck Egg or the Full English with Fried Eggs, Sausage, Bacon, Beans, Roasted Tomato, & Mushroom with Grilled Toast, but those will have to wait until next time. Erica order an egg on the side and we ordered some chips “for the table”.
The Pikey has a full bar and I was very tempted to order a Bloody Mary, but I had an hour of driving ahead of me so that’ll have to wait until next time too (and I guess it was 10:30 in the morning… but what is time when there are such moments to be had?).
The Executive Chef at The Pikey is Chef Ralph Johnson, who was born in London. He participated on Jamie Oliver’s show “Jamie’s Kitchen”, which takes 15 disadvantaged youths and teaches them to cook. Ralph was at the top of his class which earned him a job at the prestigious restaurant Fifteen. He went on to train in London’s top kitchens. He also worked at April Bloomfield’s, “The Spotted Pig,” in New York City.
(See more about Chef Ralph Johnson at www.thepikeyla.com)
I’m not a food critic, so I won’t babble on about the food. What I will say, is that if The Pikey was in my neighborhood, I would go there twice a week. It is the perfect space to my taste: they serve fresh, thoughtful, delicious food, a casual atmosphere, and a bar with vintage whiskeys. What more does a person want or need?
The Pikey, 7617 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046 (323) 850-5400
#11 Attend ten museum exhibits, 1/10
Erica and I finished up our brunch at The Pikey and made a beeline for Santa Ana. We were eager to catch a glimpse of Guo Pei’s elaborate gown, named The Great Queen, before the exhibit at The Bower Museum closes. The gown made its first appearance in a 2009 show of haute couture pieces. It became a worldwide sensation when Rihanna wore it to this spring’s Met Gala in New York City. The dress took approximately 50,000 hours over two years for her design team to create, and it weighed 55 pounds when it was finished.
It was wonderful to see the gown up close, and marvel at the craftsmanship.
We peeked into an exhibit of Diego Rivera’s watercolors, we zipped through a Kwanzaa festival that was taking place in the patio, and we poked around in the gift shop where Erica insisted on buying me a beautiful wooden honey spoon and tea strainer. I love them! Thank you. <3
The Kusmi teas above were a gift from my friend, Inel. I am sipping the Strawberry Green tea as I write. It has bright red fruit flavor without the cloying sweetness of other strawberry teas. It would be lovely with Williams-Sonoma Strawberry Lemon jam (a gift from my daughter Tess at Christmas) and crumpets.
#342, See a Play, Jane Eyre at the Irvine Barclay theatre
After the Bower Museum, we made our way to the Irvine Barclay Theatre where they were showing an HD broadcast of Jane Eyre from the National Theatre in London.
This “re-imagining” of Jane Eyre was directed by Sally Cookson. You can see a trailer of the broadcast here. It was a powerful performance we both enjoyed. If you are a fan of Jane Eyre, you will be fascinated by the stronger feminist Jane in this production.
#127, Perform a weekly Random Act of Kindness, 1/52
I had purchased tickets to Jane Eyre for Erica’s daughter and my own, but they were unable to join us. When we got to the theater, I gave my tickets to two ladies in the purchasing line. They looked confused, but I just smiled and said, “Here you go! Enjoy!”
My friend, Warren, saw this item on The List and shared a link to Life Vest Inside whose mission is to empower the world to unite with acts of love and kindness. Check it out.
#167, Buy 10 new cookbooks, 1/10
This past Friday was New Year’s Day so I decided to try to make Hoppin’ John, a southern tradition for starting the new year off with a lucky start. I purchased Sean Brock’s award-winning cookbook, “Heritage,” and got busy soaking cowpeas.
#119, Try a new recipe each week, 1/52
I didn’t have the lead time to order the Carolina gold rice that Brock recommends from Anson Mills, but I ordered the Carolina rice and cowpeas that Amazon could deliver overnight. They came in cloth bags which I carefully opened so that I can later fill them with sand and sew them up. They will be useful for keeping my cookbooks open flat while I’m working. I also made collard greens, because they are supposed to bring financial luck and because they are one of my favorite things.
Here is my Hoppin’ John. I found the recipe on Splendid Table, if you’re interested.
#211, Listen to a weekly podcast 1/52
Here is a podcast of Sean Brock discussing how a bowl of Hoppin’ John changed his life.
#361, Buy a cool phone case
When I made The List, I didn’t know that I would be getting a pretty rose gold iPhone 6s plus for my birthday (last week). So I ordered a phone case yesterday, that would allow me to enjoy the color of the new phone while still protecting my phone. It’s not fancy, just an inexpensive clear case that is perfect for now.
#14, Watch one Annenberg Iris Series Lecture each week, 1/52
I adore the Annenberg Space for Photography in Westwood. They feature free lectures from talented photographers. I have seen Mac Stone and Jess Findlay recently, who were wonderful to see in person. However, the Annenberg also records all the lectures and they are available to watch on their website. I like to watch them in the morning as I’m getting ready. This week I watched Corey Arnold, Fish Work. Corey Arnold was a commercial photographer in Alaska and began documenting his work and discovered he had a gift for telling stories through photography.
#365, Do a weekly photo shoot
This week, my photo shoot was The Rose Bowl parade. I took hundreds of pictures. A few of them were even good. (Not necessarily this one.)
Have you done something new this week? Do you have big plans for the year? Will you prioritize those things that make you happy and hopeful and generous with others?
Tomorrow is the first Monday of the year!
362 days to go.