Please Move to New Blog

Almost three weeks on the new host. Same address: http://all-things-andy-gavin.com

Again, the subscription list was reset, so if you haven’t subscribed to the new one, go there and enter your email in the subscription box on the right, fill out the captcha, then click the link in the email that feedburner sends you. Or subscribe directly at http://feeds.feedburner.com/allthingsandygavin  I apologize if you’ve already done this. There doesn’t seem a way for me to trim subscribers off the old list. But fear not, this is the last, or close to last pester.

Also, if you read the blog through RSS (Google reader etc) or some other subscription service and are seeing this message — which is only on the old blog — then update your feeds to point at http://all-things-andy-gavin.com/feed or use feedburner. The old blog is at http://blog.mascherato.com but it’s kaput. Move on over. The new one is so much sexier anyway.

Thanks!

Andy

New Mailing List

Dear subscribers,

The blog is now fully up and running on it’s new host — same url http://all-things-andy-gavin.com

Yesterday, I sent each of you a feedburner email to subscribe to the new google powered mailing list. If you have not, please take a second to click on the activate link in that email and resubscribe. You can also subscribe here at: http://feeds.feedburner.com/allthingsandygavin or go to the new blog and reenter your email in the right hand sidebar subscription form (which will resend you an activation email).

Thank you!

Andy

Moved to New Server

I’ve moved the DNS over to the new server. It might take hours to switch over, but if you see this page (with this post) then you’re on the old server and it will change soon enough. Please don’t post comments here anymore.

If you were on the email subscriber list, please subscribe yourself via the new site’s widget on the righthand sidebar. The new site is easily recognizable by it’s different looking theme with the yellowish “spooky art” header bar. I’ve switched over to using feedburner as my subscription management. I’ll import the emails at some point so either way you will receive a confirmation email about signing up for the new service. Please click the confirmation link and you’ll be back in business. This old list will not receive many further updates.

Moving on Up

I’m moving my hosting from WordPress.com to MediaTemple in the next 24 to 48 hours. The site should remain up but I won’t be doing my daily posts until things are settled out with the move.

Expect theme and feature changes and improvements. By hosting it myself there are all sorts of plugins that I can add: like Facebook comments! There may be some (hopefully) brief wonkiness as I add them though, or the occasional broken feature on the site that was supported by some WordPress.com feature that I have to replace.

Thanks for your patience.

Ocean Avenue Seafood

Restaurant: Ocean Avenue Seafood

Location: 1401 Ocean Avenue. Santa Monica, CA 90401. 310-394-5669

Date: November 5, 2011

Cuisine: Seafood

Rating: Good, but overpriced

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I’ve been going to Ocean Avenue Seafood for probably fifteen years, but while it was once a staple in our rotation it’s been a few years. OAS offers classic American seafood right above the bluffs overlooking the Pacific.


The have both an extensive ocean view covered patio and a clubby inside.


The menu.


Fresh baked sour dough bread.


A green salad.


A sampler of six various Pacific oysters with cocktail sauce, horseradish, and mignonette sauce. Each of these six were different, but all were good.


Their clam chowder. It’s not as goopy creamy thick as I ideally love, but it did have a nice bacony flavor.


Grilled salmon with mash potatoes and asparagus. Pinot noir reduction. My wife is a connoisseur of salmon, and she likes this one.


Lobster roll. The fries and slaw were good. And while this roll had lots of lobster it was somehow lacking in flavor.


Expresso so I can stay up through the movie we are going to see.

Overall Ocean Avenue Seafood has a lot of competition. Both the Blue Plate Oysterette and the Hungry Cat have very similar cuisine and are located nearby (the Blue Plate about a block away). Both are a little less expensive than OAS and a little more “modern.” OAS does have more different types of fresh fish if that’s your thing, they have 7-10 grilled fish at all times. Just depends what you want.

For more LA dining reviews click here.

Website Upgrades Coming

Since I’m waiting for both my line edits on Untimed and my proofreading on The Darkening Dream, I’m researching website construction. I have to morph, upgrade, or supplement this blog with a genuine author website and I can’t bring myself to hire someone to do it given that I’ve written far bigger and more complex websites and apps. It’ll just annoy me to no end to not be able to control it all myself. But at the same time, old school coding the whole thing manually (I’d probably use Ruby on Rails for that) is overkill and probably too much work.

So I read this Professional WordPress book yesterday and today to see if it would be reasonable to just extend WordPress. I think it is. A few plugins and some custom theme programming will probably do the trick. The problem is that I host on wordpress.com and they don’t allow you to install extra plugins (they have some installed by default) or add any PHP code. So I’ll have to migrate to a self hosted server. Maybe Media Temple VPS? Rackspace? Research. Research. Research. Anyone have any suggestions/experience with the good hosting platforms?

And I have to teach myself PHP, so I grabbed the bird book. PHP is one of those popular but slightly icky languages like PERL and JAVA that I’ve never been very partial to. It’s like Ruby, but 100x uglier and more primitive. I am a LISP (and Ruby) guy after all. Oh well. This is easy peasy programming, so I’ll just suck it up. Using something like WordPress will make my life much easier maintaining the site as it’s choke full of content management features. If I program it myself I have to go and code everything manually, which really isn’t very efficient.

I even wonder if one of these newer WordPress themes/frameworks like PageLines Platform isn’t a good idea. Anyone use one?

More to come as I get into it.

Trés – Lunch Fantastique

Restaurant: Trés [1, 2]

Location: 465 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048. 310.246.5555

Date: October 31, 2011

Cuisine: Modern Spanish

Rating: Fantastique

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My brother and I were in midtown and decided to check out Trésfor lunch. I’d already hit it for weekend brunch a couple months ago, and figuring as I’ve recently hit everything else Jose Andres (é by José Andrés and Jaleo in Vegas and a recent Saam meal), stopped in.


The room was dead at 11:45am, but the food wasn’t.


The lunch menu.


“Octopus tacos. Hydroponic bib lettuce, maggie’s farm baby greens, smoked heirloom cherry tomatoes.” Very nice octopus treatment. Succulent grilled meat and a zesty limey vinaigrette on the whole thing.


“Hawaiian bigeye tuna ceviche. Coconut ginger soy, plantain chips.” Not your typical cerviche as the lime flavors weren’t that blast you Peruvian type. But that meant you could taste the fish, and it was good. The plantain chips were tasty too.


I’m nuts over Jose’s Gazpacho. I’ve even made it from his recipe a number of times at home.


And with the soup itself. Yum yum!


“Herb roasted ham and cheese. Tomme de savoie cheese, carmelized onions, herbs.” This was like a Spanish Croque Monsieur. I love this kind of grilled ham and cheese.


Some good fries too with a spicy ketchup.


“The SLS Burger. House made brioche bun, lettuce, tomatoes, onions with cheddar.”


“Lemon tart. Raspberry sorbet.” Not your typical version, but really good. Bright bright flavors and some pate de fruits thrown in there too.


“Hazelnut pear clafoutis. Coffee ice cream.” Like a bread pudding. The ice cream was really good too.

And this crazy zesty lemonade, which served nicely as an aperitif.

Overall, this was a very tasty lunch. It was a little expensive — as you’d expect from a hotel restaurant — but it was very good, which I’ve come to expect from the SLS offerings.

A review of Trés for brunch can be found here.

Click here to see more LA dining, or reviews of The Bazaar and Saam (also at the SLS).