Thai Bird’s Eye Chili Oil

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

6-7-15 (14)

6-7-15 (25)


vromans back

6-7-15 (10)

6-7-15 (26)

This is very easy & makes a spicy oil you can cook Asian & other spicy foods in – or just leave it on the counter looking pretty.

Thai Bird’s Eye Chili Oil


A large quantity of Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies (enough to tightly pack whatever jar you use)

Olive oil

6-7-15 (6)

6-7-15 (11)

6-7-15 (22)


Pick over the chilies & throw away any that are spotted or spoiled in any way.  Throw away twigs & leaves.  Shove them into a jar & fill with oil.  I then poked a knife into the center to split the ones I could not see & allow some heat to leak out.  Close the jar & let it sit for several days.

UPDATE – After about a week or two – I drained the oil into a clean bottle & threw the chilies away.  The oil is infused & spicy – but those peppers were fading.

6-9-15 (76)

6-7-15 (7)

6-7-15 (29)

Part 1 – Sixty or More Los Angeles Restaurants for Your Consideration

Leave a comment


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)


All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.







10-9-13 (5)

Hi everybody!  That is me just above.  And this is the first entry in a several part recap of restaurants I have visited around Los Angeles.  This is not a complete list & some places here reflect images from multiple visits.  I am not going to get into reviewing them but I will post a link if I have blogged about specific places here in the past – and that link will likely have lots of info & more pictures (except for my earliest posts which were pretty simple).   They will be listed pretty much in alphabetical order & if there is a website for the place – I will try to supply it by making the name of the place a link to their site.   The images above are from Millie’s in Silverlake.   The beer below was at La Poubelle – a spot that is too dark to photograph with much success.  There isn’t a spot in this list that I do not recommend highly.  They span the city from East L.A. to Inglewood and all over Hollywood.  I included two spots in Santa Barbara.   It is just too fucking hot to cook this week – so I am using this heat as an opportunity to reflect.  I hope you enjoy this photo retrospective and maybe try out a few new places yourselves!


My blog about MILLIE’S is HERE.

My blog about LA POUBELLE is HERE.



OK – here we go!


3 DOG CANTINA – Hollywood

3 DOG CANTINA – in my blog HERE.

1-2-14 (53)

1-2-14 (60)

3-12-14 (318)

3-12-14 (320)

3-12-14 (322)

3-12-14 (327)

9-9-13 (60)

9-9-13 (68)

9-9-13 (72)

9-9-13 (83)




33 TAPS  – Hollywood


3-12-14 (241) 3-12-14 (246) 11-7-13 (28)




54TWENTY – Hollywood

54Twenty in my blog HERE.

10-9-13 (127)

10-9-13 (133)






101 COFFEE SHOP – Hollywood

My blog about the 101 Coffee Shop.

7-16-14 (87)

7-16-14 (93)

7-16-14 (94)

7-16-14 (97)

7-16-14 (100)






My blog about Benny’s Tacos.









BIRDS CAFE – Hollywood

My blog about Birds.

1-7-14 (4)

3-12-14 (175)

3-12-14 (178)

3-12-14 (199)

3-12-14 (235)

7-7-13 thru 7-20-13 (413)

7-7-13 thru 7-20-13 (418)

7-7-13 thru 7-20-13 (419)

7-7-13 thru 7-20-13 (421)

7-16-14 (133)

7-19-14 (22)

9-9-13 (90)

9-9-13 (98)

9-9-13 (105)

9-9-13 (106)

9-9-13 (107)

10-9-13 (113)

11-11-13 (46)

11-11-13 (51)

12-11-13 (192)

12-25-13 (32)







3-12-14 (374)

3-12-14 (378)

7-16-14 (163)

7-16-14 (172)

11-11a-13 (9)

11-11a-13 (16)

11-11a-13 (30)



CHEEBO – Hollywood

7-16-14 (111)

7-16-14 (114)













My blog about Davey Wayne’s.




7-16-14 (180)

7-16-14 (181)

7-16-14 (184)

7-16-14 (188)



OK!  There are the first ten.  I hope you try some of them out!!! And don’t forget about my book!


The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.


vromans back







Avocado Caesar Salad Dressing with Jalapeno & Cilantro


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

This week my pal Frank Dana turned 86.   The fixed income gang from my early morning donut shop throw a group party for all the Sagittarians among them this time every year at Birds.  The party was yesterday.  Here I am sharing a glass of wine with Frank.  Frank is every bit the PLAYAH he looks to be here.  He is 5’2″ – probably 75 pounds & he is a firecracker!


This crew is a flamboyant & hilarious bunch & Frank is famous for sharing stories about sleeping with hookers while on shore leave during WWII.  Frank was impressed last night when he discovered I had landed a 35-year-old boyfriend.  “No shit?” Frank replied in his heavy New York accent & nodded his approval.  I love Frank.  “You drinking wine normally now?” Frank asked.   I asked what he meant.  “You know.  You aren’t still drinking a bottle a day – are you?”  “Yes, Frank.  Yes I am.  A bottle a day is normal for me.”   Frank laughed & took a ginger sip of his cabernet.  Frank is limited (by his doctor) to two glasses of wine a day.  Frank informed me that he prefers it served as one large glass.

“See that guy over there?”  he asked and pointed out one of the party attendees.  He told me the man’s name was Mike.  “Mike’s a wine guy.  You wanna buy a case of wine for $2 a bottle – he can hook you up,”  Frank said in a distinctly conspiratorial tone.  Indeed?  “Yeah – he sells wine from the trunk of his car.  $2 a bottle.   You can’t go wrong.”  This sounded very shady but I was intrigued.  Black market wine and a dealer circulating amongst my Social Security set.  But Frank knew him & I know Frank is protective of me so – I thought this wine hustler had to be harmless.  Pretty soon I found myself sitting next to Mike the Wine Guy.  “So, Mike.  I hear you are the guy to go to for wine.”  He confirmed that.  “So – how does it work?”

“Come on out to my van.  I can set you right up.”

The van?

“Your van?”

“Yeah – I bought the stock out of a bankrupt liquor store.  I can sell you bottles, cases, bubbly – whatever.  Right outta my van.”

So – I followed him to the van and, sure enough, it was filled with several dozen cases of wine.

“I can sell you this case for $2 a bottle and this over here – these are $3 a bottle.”

Sensing I might be onto something special here I asked, “What do you have on the high end?”

Ah.  He had a live one.

He closed the back doors to the van & walked me around to the side & slid the door open.

“These bottles go for $40 in the store but I can let you have them for $15.  And this case – by the guys that produce Lynch-Bages – these are $10 each.  Probably go for $25 in the store.”

Hmmmm.  Now – with my $717 month grocery habit – I can’t start drinking $15 bottles of wine – and I certainly can’t be buying by the case.

“Can I buy one one of each & taste them before I commit to a larger order?”

Yes, yes I could.  So – I slipped him $25 cash, he handed me two bottles of wine and I walked to my car feeling kinda bad-ass and street smart – like I had just been involved in a very shady but successful drug deal.  Here is the wine:


Some research revealed that the Arcane – which was alleged to be a $40 bottle is more like a $25 (or less) bottle of wine – available HERE for $24.99 – but $15 still seems a fair price.  The other – the Luna Benegas – for which I gave the man $10 – appears to be — WAIT FOR IT — a $10 bottle of wine – as seen HERE.  So – I got $35 wine for $25.  Still not too bad – especially if I LIKE the wine.  That remains to be seen.

Anyway – home again – it was time for dinner & I had romaine lettuce to use.  So – I made the dressing – a twist on the traditional Caesar with avocado, jalapeno & cilantro added.

I was going to make this completely from scratch – including making the mayonnaise – but I decided against it for fear of using raw eggs.  I wanted to make a dressing with a longer shelf life than a few hours and raw eggs are like 90% likely to have salmonella.  I don’t need nor do I recommend salmonella poisoning – despite its benefit of rapid weight loss.

This dressing couldn’t be any easier to make.  Feel free to up the garlic and/or jalapeno ratio if those flavors appeal to you.



Avocado Caesar Salad Dressing with Jalapeno & Cilantro


2/3 cup mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves – chopped or pressed through a garlic press

juice of half a lemon

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 large jalapeno (or more) seeded & chopped

1 ripe avocado

handful fresh cilantro

S&P to taste



Blend everything in a food processor.  Add more olive oil or WATER if you feel it is too thick.




Beer Drinking Woman! And Seafood Three Ways – Birds, Franklin and Co & Dillon’s – All in Hollywood

1 Comment


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

Maybe you should listen to Memphis Slim’s version of BEER DRINKING WOMAN while you read this blog!!!

I like beer.  I like seafood.  I like beer with seafood.  The photograph above is of a tall glass of Stella Artois at La Poubelle.  I didn’t get any seafood that visit – so just look at the pretty beer & lovely atmosphere they serve up in there.


Just down the street is Birds.  I always thought the “birds” thing was that they are pretty heavy on the chicken options in the menu.  They serve rotisserie chicken several ways with about a dozen options.  I don’t eat chicken – or burgers – so I don’t really go into Birds as often as I might – despite living within a mile or two of it for twenty years now.  My boyfriend is a huge Hitchcock fan & has also written a feature film called All the Birds Have Flown South – which he refers to as Birds.  I dragged him into Birds this past July – completely oblivious to the potential connections.  We walked in & sat at the bar & Miles looked around.  “Oh!  Now I see why you brought me here,” he said, smiling.  I returned his smile with a dull stare.  “You do?”  “Yeah!  This is a Hitchcock bar!”  “It is?…”  I looked around & noticed, for the first time, wall to wall portraits of Hitchcock & images from The Birds.  “Oh my God!” I said, realizing.  “Oh!  You love Hitchcock!!  OH!!  Wow.  OH!  And your new movie is called Birds!”  It was my turn to smile at him & for him to look back confused.  How could I POSSIBLY have not noticed or realized – or whatever – EVER??  Thank God he loves me.  Even at my most obtuse.  See here?  He seems to be thinking, “Yeah.  I love you.  Even though you are stupid.”


Yeah, but HOW stupid are you – you might ask.  Well – notice the Hitchcock profile tattooed inside Miles’ forearm.  I’m THAT stupid.

At any rate – Birds has a full bar & beer on tap.  And – you can sit outside!




I ordered a Stella & Miles got a Bud Lite.  He ordered chicken & I got the seared tuna burger.


Miles declared his chicken was among the best he’d ever had – and backed that up by ordering it every time we returned there in the future.  The tuna burger came on a bun about the size & pliability of a VW Bug & was just that easy to fit in my maw.  So – I removed the bun & the tuna was delightful.  The fries here are good & I like that they have about a dozen dipping sauces – from buffalo to bbq to mayo based things – so you can maximize the caloric impact of the meal.

Speaking of buffalo sauce – just next door is the Franklin & Company Tavern.   I love buffalo sauce but since I do not eat chicken – so I only ever really get to eat it by dipping fries in it or by making buffalo shrimp at home.  But – Franklin & Co has buffalo shrimp on the menu!!!


Of all the joynts there on Franklin Avenue – the interior of this one is my favorite.  It is a VAST improvement from the Italian place – Prizzi’s – that once resided there.


I like the menu a lot, too.  Lots of veggie faux meat things – like a gyro!



Or you can go the raw ahi taco direction!  I recommend all very highly.  One complaint – I find their tap beers just a tad warm, so I usually order a bottled beer.  A friend of mine used to work for Magic Hat – so I usually get this as a silent shout out to him.


They do beer flights & brunch specials & all kind of fun things.  I like this place a lot.

Our last stop in today’s pub crawl is Dillon’s Irish Pub – down at the corner of Hollywood & Vine.  If you like college girls in teensy weensy kilts & all manner of footwear – from goth platforms to sneakers – this is the place for you!  $3 valet outside is genius as everyone else in the area charges $10.  And – for three dollars – any pint of beer on tap!!! $5 for a large one.  This is kind of a big deal because they have (as my friend says) “one point seventy thousand million” beers there.  See?


I got some Hawaiian thing – not sure what it was called.  It was good!  And – better still – Dillon’s has $2 oysters!


I love oysters even though they look like the phlegm of a bronchitis patient.  I order them here all the time – almost exclusively.  Me & my buddy Curtis Armstrong (seen below from our time working on Route 30, Too – available for sale NOW!)


would often drop into Dillon’s for two cocktails & two dozen oysters.  Despite looking like biohazard – they are delicious!  And none of this vinegar & shallots bullshit!  Cocktail sauce, horseradish, Tabasco & lemon!


Most recently, as I popped the first oyster in my mouth – I though I heard something small hit the floor.  No, not Miles.  It was my earring.  As I reached up with both hands to check each ear – I heard another clink of a tiny item falling – even before I’d touched my ears.  And yes – sure enough – BOTH of my ears were bare.  I looked on the floor & there were both of my earrings on the floor – under my stool.  What the fuck?  Those oysters were so good – they popped both of my earrings out of my head with nearly the synchronized precision of those Olympic water dancers.  Plink/plink!  Out & on the floor.  That was a first for me.  I was so relieved to have Miles as a witness.  The fact is – we dropped into Dillon’s directly from the Museum of Death – so maybe the stuff they were peddling there had caused me to shiver my earrings nearly out of their nesting places but still.  The experience I had at Dillon’s was – eat an oyster & watch both of your earrings fly out of your head.

By the way – if oysters are your thing – and you also enjoy paying a lot of money for things – the oysters at the Public Kitchen at the gorgeous Roosevelt Hotel are pretty spectacular.

Anyway – I am tempted to go on & cover the classic Frolic Room – just down the street from Dillon’s but the Frolic Room deserves its own blog all to itself.  It is that awesome!

So – until then – CHEERS!