Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Making a name for yourself, a wedding like coconut cake, and chillin with Juliano

all up on the Dean's list at school. FUCK YEEEAH!

This week has been beyond bombay. Starbucks screwed me in hours "sorry April, you're only working 20 hours this week, and have 3 days off" 

oh NO, whatever will I do?!! I can't survive outside of Starbucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
not.. assholes

so anyways, I've had a bunch of time to do the things that I like to do in my spare time, i.e. making food, taking random trips, spending money on knick knacks, etc etc.
Last weekend I made a coconut cake that turned out like... a wedding cake?
Very confusing, but very very good.

See, when I was frosting it with dehydrated coconut flakes it just looked so... sad and plain.. so I gave it a facelift with some lavender and baby's breathe. AHH, so much better. Purple and white always compliment each other so nicely.

I wish I hadn't been so fucking lazy and bothered to take a picture of a slice so you could see the inside of it. Not that it was really anything incredibly special, just two layers with a coconut cream separating them, but you know... yeah

The last of the cake is being burned alive by the stomach acids of my mom and dad as I type this. Poor cake, oh well... C'EST LA VIE!

I think next week i'm going to make a strawberry shortcake... only because strawberries are ass-diculously cheap right now, and I try to go with seasonal things, instead of going out of my way to pay more for something that isn't even at the peak of it's season.

I've also been trying to do juice days. And by trying, I mean having juice for breakfast, and then eating nachos (raw, of course) for lunch, completely forgetting about the juicing until after the meal is being mauled inside my stomach. EHH, shit happens.

So, onto business more exciting then food digesting inside of me and my family, I had a consultation with a small business advisor today. He's a friend of my mom's who's originally from Trinidad, moved to washington and opened two nightclubs, then moved over here with his now wife. Very nice man. I think I shall make him some cookies.
Before any financing was discussed, he was telling me about how he grew up on mangoes and coconuts fresh off of the trees from his backyard. LUUUCKY. I love coconuts now, but I can't even begin to fathom how much MORE i'd love them fresh. Same goes for the mangoes.

At the end of our meeting, we've decided that before we do any outlines, I'm going to show him where I'm at right now with presentation, copyrights, labeling, packaging, etc etc. Also, cost of the product itself. That actually has been bothering me the most. I despise using cashews, and try to avoid eating them as much as possible. Same goes for peanuts and sprouted grains, since grains are too hard for me to digest. I'd actually rather just eat steamed quinoa with some olive oil and rosemary, with some flax crackers and lemon on the side... that was actually my dinner last saturday.

Onto Harvest Health.

I hate to say this about any place, but if you're EVER in the Palm Desert area and you're looking for good raw food, you're shit
out of luck if you intend on eating from their food counter. You'd be better off just getting some overpriced raw
snacks from the store portion of the building.
I was talking with the cashier behind the food counter about their raw selections, and he assured me, "oh, our chef
is very talented with raw foods, especially the new pizza we have on the menu."


I ordered the raw pizza and the raw nori rolls.

pizza- looked like somebody got lazy 20 seconds after starting it, so they decided to spread 1/2 T. of marinara
onto the dry, crusty ass buckwheat pizza crust, replace the cheese with two olives and a teaspoon of avocado,
and then pulled together enough energy to wipe it with their ass (hence the bland 'pesto')

nori rolls- actually pretty good... not very creative, but simple and tasty.
but please tell me why the pate reminded me of menudo? AWKWARD

I wish I had taken my camera with me so you could see the madness I speak of here, but we were going to
sneak into the hotel to go swimming, and I didn't want any water to wreck it.

Let me just say, I love Julianos. I love the obscene flamboyance of the food, and the picture of him and his sister
in bikinis at the beach next to the cash register.
That being said, my friend and I went there for lunch today... and here's what happened

(warning, it's pretty magical, so brace yourself)

(like, UNICORN magical)

(okay, maybe not THAT magical, but you know, still pretty rad)

Juliano's innards.
             The Spring Rolls
  The pizza that looked like somebody took a shit on my plate?
                             The savory puff and pasta samples he brought me because, you know, 
I'm awesome.
                                                                 The seaweed sample...

                                                                  The coffee cheesecake

Raspberry and Ginger juice sample?

Key Lime Pie sample

And lastly, his goji berry smoothie

The first time I ate at Juliano's Raw, I was only one month into raw. The second time was about 3 months into raw. And finally, today was the third obviously much longer time on raw. Everything tastes MUCH saltier then it did when I first ate there, along with the second time. I asked him about it, and he said that he intentionally makes his food saltier since the majority of his restaurant's cliental are NOT raw, and would complain of the food tasting blander then the shit, salty SAD they're accustomed to. That being said...

Here's my review of his food.
It's going to be a little biased, since he kept feeding me free samples of all his new stuff... and you know, anytime Juliano comes up to you with free food, you're going to eat that shit regardless of how full you already might be.

For an appetizer, we started off with the Spring Rolls shown above.
VERY sour and salty... the wrap itself anyways. The thai sauce was pretty good, but after the second spring roll, the tartness of the flax wrap started to bother me. I have a good hunch that there was a shit load of ACV in there..

Next, I had the Pesto Pizza. 
Really disappointing. The pizza I had at Cru owns this one. 
It was too salty (again) for me to eat. The veggies were doused in nama shoyu, and the crust was too hard. The cheese was meshed in with the marinara and melody of diced tomatoes and olives. I had about two bites, and then set it aside for the waitress to take away. To make matters worse, the slice was nearly $13, and literally the size the my palm. And FYI, I do not have man palms.

That's when Juliano came over and started talking to me and then showered me with awesome samples of his newer stuff.

While waiting for the coffee cheesecake, he brought out the pasta sample and 'savory cream puff' (as he called it). The pasta was REALLY fucking good. He affirmed my guess that it was mostly composed of carrageenan, parsley and garlic. The savory puff tasted like clam chowder, minus the clams, and erm.. chunks of
chowder. Very rich, but good as well. I'm glad he left it as a dipping sauce instead of a soup, since eating too much
of that could possible get really sickening.

After I finished off those two, he brought out his seaweed soup, which was a simple lemon miso based broth with
kombu, wakame, dulse and avocado (along with a chunk of heirloom tomato) soaking in it. I believe there were scallions
in there as well..

THEN the coffee cheesecake came out. After the first bite, I was having visions of being at work. Strong as shit
espresso taste. So strong that I felt like I was drinking coffee (it was literally that creamy in texture) rather then eating
something coffee flavored.

To cleanse my palate, he brought me out a ginger and raspberry juice. So good, and I'm not really that big a fan of

Finally, he brought out a key lime pie slice and goji smoothie. The key lime was really good, but could've used more of
a concentrated KEY lime taste, and maybe some honey to compliment the tartness. Other then those two things, it was

The smoothie was delicious, but gave me the shits 20 minutes after drinking it... or maybe it was
all the poor food combining I was doing. :(

All in all, it was a very good day, even though still to this moment, I can't breathe from eating too much.

To touch back on the business/restaurant front, my advisor (his name is Val) said minus the time for confidentiality and
copyrighting, I'll have things out in main steam markets across southern california in as little as two months. But that's only
if we decide to do marketing before investing in a location for a restaurant.

I'm so excited about the prospect of having my own place!
I figure, if I go bankrupt in the process, at least I would've tried right?

I can always do some hooking on the side too... you know, to raise funds for dehydrators and such.

vajayjay for a few excaliburs? Seems like a fair trade to me!


I also seem to attract old man attention (charles, if you're reading this, this does not pertain to you. By old man, I mean
exceeded the age of 45)

way creepy.

I can dig it though.


Disa said...

I just spent an hour trying to leave a smart comment and not make it too super long- then it wiped out. Anyways- you better start sucking at something or you are going to make the rest of us look bad. JK- I am really happy to see everything going well for you, esp the Dean's List. And not to mention I am jealous of the Juliano love- even if it was salty. Last time we went he was more about talking to the hostesses about parties than us right there at the bar. Oh well, guess he doesn't like toddlers who eat his raw nachos in two second flat.

April Nicole said...

AHA..I haven't had his nachos yet..
they pretty good?

I'm pretty pissed that everything tasted overly salty to me, since I love that place.

He was ignoring pretty everyone in the restaurant after we were talking... he just sort of retreated into the back of the restaurant with his sister. (who looks like a model?) hah

and don't be jealous! you have ito's love! I STILL have yet to be there :[

Ashley Contompasis said...

hey april! i love the pictures you took of the food, i had no idea you were doing that over there! like your friend said, you definently need to try to nachos, they are amazing, so is the tortilla soup...there are actually a lot of things you need to try, i can tell you about them the next time you come in! thank for leaving the comment on my blog, we food writers need to stick together! great blog, love your brutally honest style!

April Nicole said...

seriously! next time i'm over there (which shouldn't be too far off, since that's one of my favorite raw places aside from 118) you'll need to let me know which ones I need to try out. :]

and no problemo!

David said...

wow beautiful blog makes me hungry for more sun dried figs i collected off the ground

wow. ass-diculously. i E-like you a lot.