May 232010

The Shakers just came back from a surprise birthday for a friend of ours, Simon (aka the Simonster) In honor of him notching another year on his belt, Shaker One created a lovely custom ‘tini for our friend.

The Simonstertini is a delicious concoction of grapefruit juice, lemongrass syrup, St. Germain and a few other ingredients that blended into a delightful drink. As a nod to Simon’s insane metabolism, we added in some “tape worms” made of long strands of grapefruit zest. Anyone who knows Simon knows his slender frame hides a rather freakish ability to down vast quantities of calorically dense food without normal human repercussions. In other words, we secretly hate him. 😉

The party was a fun affair and loaded with a number of Simon’s favorite take-out items, including Taco Bell, Popeye’s fried chicken, KyoChon, and pizza. Simon brought some amazing carnitas nachos he had made (he thought he was coming to dinner with a couple friends.) The decor was ocean themed in honor of Simon and Jenni’s impending trip to the Bahamas. There were shots of Crown Royal downed and a truly entertaining game of Celebrity played – the three round version for even more silliness, natch.

Special thanks to Jenni for planning the get-together, George for hosting, Kara for the Celebrity suggestion and the rest of the group for a fun evening.

Happy birthday, Simon!!!

Jul 312009

In the heart of the dog days of summer, a heat wave hits Los Angeles. Now, granted, we know this is not as hot as other places in the country, but we reserve the right to whine as most of us don’t have AC… and this IS Los Angeles. By law it was supposed to be sunny and 72 at all times. Anything else either requires extra electrolytes or Ugg boots (ok.. not really – those things are butt-ass ugly.) [please note: Ugg Boots, Crocs, Birkenstocks, and any other footwear deemed ugly by the management is strictly prohibited in the Balcony Bar]

To cater to the heat, we opted for a lovely summery flair to the menu and the martini options.
The lovely, sassy Shaker One.

We also had another Shaker night guest – this one from New York. John joined into the fun via Skype and was a true delight. He is not only funny as all get out, he is frighteningly smart (at least I hear… 😉 ) We are trusting he will join in again in the future. Check out his blog here.

Our evening began with a Provinçal martini.

A beautiful combination of vodka, an infusion of culinary lavender, lemon juice and honey. Nothing overpowered the other and the result is something refreshing and almost melodic. Do I wax rhapsodic? Yes, actually, I do.

This one ranks up there with the Parisian – I am thinking the French have even more to teach us about flavors then we might first realize. [Shaker One here- C’est vrai!]

Our first course was paired with a lovely tray of cheeses and fruits. Shaker Two highly recommends the Truffle Tremble and the Le Chatelain Camembert.
Offering John a grape.

Second on our list was a vanilla and lavender combination, aptly titled the Lavender Martini.

With a somewhat sweet overload from the flavored syrups, it ended up turning into another salvage martini. The addition of some slightly acidic fruit juices helped counteract the sweet. The salvage was not bad, but this one did not rank overly high. [Stacia again- I think the recipe was the problem. The syrups are lovely, you just need to use them sparingly to achieve a balanced ‘tini and avoid over-sweetness]

Shaker One came up with a fabulous chilled corn soup. I have to say, she does have a way with the soups. The flavors were mild and refreshing. The corn flavor was not lost among the other ingredients and it was garnished with green onions and thick-cut bacon.

She followed this with a lovely salad of chicken tenders (thanks to Sonic Drive-Ins!) mixed with mushrooms, bacon and roasted mini yukon gold potatoes. A lovely orange vinaigrette to go with it.
John joining us for salad.

Lastly we have the Orange Creamsicle Martini.

Being a tad gunshy from the sweetness of the lavender, but we decided that we would work with this one as is – after all it is a creamsicle. Creamsicles are sweet. This one was nice. It is a sweet finish to the selection and has a rather lovely mandarin flavor from the Monin syrup. [Shaker One – can’t wait to pick up some of Monin’s other unique flavors and get creative with the tinis!]
As a finish to the evening, we have a gorgeous champagne sorbet from Surfas. [Swoon]

A special thanks to Beverly for our fabulous napkins! We love that she is following the blog.

[as the napkin says, it is indeed 5 O’clock somewhere!]

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