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Men and women can get hooked on Miansai

September 2nd, 2014 No Comments

Miansai bracelets

Welcome back from vacation MTM readers!  It’s been a lot of work (on a new venture) and a lot of play in Montauk.  One of the things I brought home with me from the East coast was my first piece from Miansai, a jewelry collection of wrap bracelets, metal bangles, and necklaces for both men and women.

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Two years ago I ran into the line as it was growing up in Saturdays SoHo store.  My bf had read about them in GQ and insisted on picking up a bracelet while in NYC.  As we were choosing one, I thought to myself, “I like this for me.”   The brand has blown up in NYC, opened their own storefront on Crosby in SoHo, and even had a pop up airstream at Navy Beach, which is where I ran into them again.

Miansai Airstream Montauk Navy Beach

My friends and I browsed all of the pieces.  Prices for bracelets start at $55. So many options between the different color bands (leather, python, or rope), dipped metals (gold, rose gold, or silver), and clasps (hook, anchor, loop).  They give you the opportunity to mix in a little color to your everyday wrist wraps.

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I also love the bangles.  Substantial and heavy, they look good solo on your wrist or in your favorite group of bracelets.  Other accessories include a new line of watches (starting at $495) and canvas shoes called Saludos.

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In the end, my friends bought bracelets and I went with a gold anchor pendant on a sterling silver chain.  I haven’t taken it off since!

 Mary Rambin wearing Miansai

What I love about their designs is that they’re simple yet noteworthy.  They draw attention and respect without bling or a high price.

Shop on Miansai.com  and follow them on Instagram @Miansai.

Visit the store at 33 Crosby, NY NY.

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I’m praying for Saint Martha

July 17th, 2014 No Comments

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Martha, the patron saint of cooks and servants, was known to have had the company of Jesus in her home and served him meals on several occasions.  In my mind, her food must have tasted heavenly.  I mean, the man came back for more! As for the modern Saint Martha, her dishes only appear to be divine.  Their flavor unfortunately is lacking.

But, let me explain to you why I think this little nook tucked away in a Koreatown strip mall will draw a righteous foodie crowd.

When you see the pictures and the presentation, you’ll understand that the people who work here take so much pride in creating and serving what they believe to be THE BEST. 

If they hear their critics cry, they will create better food.  It’s only been open a month.  So much time to grow!

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When you walk in, you are greeted by the #CooksAndServants themselves at this open kitchen.  Chef Nick Erven (of The Farmer’s Daughter Hotel and Tart) has gathered a band of heavily-bearded brothers that are too focused to be friendly.  That was not quite as jarring as the BLAZING light behind the counter that would unfortunately flood into the dining room.

Most people don’t care as much about atmosphere if they are going to be served phenomenal food.  I’ll capitulate to that every so often.  But if I don’t like my experience in the restaurant, my focus is disturbed.

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I didn’t get an exact count, but there are probably about 18 tables in the whole place.  I LOVE spots like this.  Instantly I thought about one of my favorite NYC Greenwich Villages cafes: The Little Owl.  You have to wait for at least an hour, that is, if they had availability at all!  Here, the eating area is close quarters and the tables seem small by LA dining standards.  No matter for most foodies though.  If it’s good, we’ll sit wherever.

After about a minute of looking around, I sighed.  As there are no windows, the lighting would stay exactly the same all night.  If that’s the case AND the kitchen light leaks into the dining space, they should really turn down the lights.  That’s an easy fix!

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The wine list is IMPRESSIVE.  Fifty wines from all over the world by the glass that you can order by the Taste, Glass, Piche, or Bottle so you can pair accordingly with the course.  Prices vary as much as the flavor profiles.  My waitress was properly educated and more than happy to discuss our preferences and bring samples.

As for the food….

We were instructed to order in courses and share what came out.  The menu lists the main ingredients of each dish which doesn’t prepare you for what is about to be served.

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Oh my goodness, the presentation was breathtaking.  I would have never guessed raw panacotta and tomatoes could be so beautiful!  Unfortunately my excitement for the dish diminished instantly after one bite….The amuse bouche of melon and flowers with a honey drizzle was so much more fun.  How could that be?!!!  Let me try another bite, this time with squash. The flowers were surprisingly tasty.  But still, overall terribly bland.  Ugh. I dared not ask for salt because I didn’t want to insult the bearded boys who had put so much effort into this.

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The grilled octopus that the waitress raved about “being crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside” was not, although thankfully tender (a feat in itself). And…it tasted like a salt lick.  Even my companion gaged.  As for the rice….Perhaps rice usually isn’t prepared like risotto because the grain gets too sticky instead of smooth.

Third plate’s a charm?

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Nope.  The “Summer Corn” was not the sweet white juicy kernels I as expecting.  This baby corn was covered in flowers, radish, crispy chicken skin, and a seasoning that tasted like Cheetos.  (I’m undecided whether that’s a good or a bad thing.)

At this point, I’ll be honest, we paid the bill and left.  What should have been a farm-to-table roller coaster ride was a more like a float down the sleepy river.  After an hour of nibbling, I was STARVING.

Like I said when I began this story, I’m hopeful for them.  Koreatown is booming and cool kids LOVE hideaways like this.  The whole experience drew my mind to Uchi in Austin, one of the best restaurants in the country.  Saint Martha has the same vision, passion, and soul to be a stand out, desirable farm-to-table like Uchi with Japanese.

Saint Martha 740 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 387-2300

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Westside LA welcomes two new restaurants

April 25th, 2014 No Comments

Living in Santa Monica, I really don’t have a TON of restaurant options west of 26th street and north of Wilshire.  On a regular basis, you’ll find me at:

  • Rustic Canyon (best seasonal f-t-t on the westside)
  • R+D kitchen (I call it my “Cheers bar”)
  • Hillstone
  • Kreation (healthy Persian and juice bar)
  • Milo + Olive (casual pizza)
  • FarmShop (seasonal delicious f-t-t)
  • Mercado (light Mexican)
  • BluePlate Taco (best Tex-Mex)
  • Fig (Best Happy Hour: 50% off from 5-6pm.  In the Fairmont Hotel)
  • Marmalade (Diner meets deli on Montana)
  • Toscana (Italian restaurant with “fun” westside bar scene)
  • Villetta (hand-crafted Italian that is often worth the expense)
  • Via Veneta (small, special occasion, authentic Italian on Main Street)

That covers Santa Monica and Brentwood. Please note Sawtelle and Venice are not included on this list. Thankfully in the last month we’ve had two new restaurants open and I love them both!

Art’s Table

Art's Table Santa Monica

On the corner of Montana and 10th Street, the old Babalou was totally renovated to be a modern, rustic wine bar and gastropub of sorts.  A month or so ago, the doors opened and the “tired of the same old food” neighborhood flocked into Art’s Table named after Art Verge, a Santa Monica local historian and business man, also father to Mark Verge (founder of Westside Rentals).  My gratitude goes to chef Mark Middleman who gives character to a very safe menu of  American classics.  They’re known for the burger, kale salad, and veggie sides.  You won’t recognize many of the wines, which I have found to be a good thing. Dinner is busy and you’ll see a line around the block for brunch.

Sloppy Joe Fries

Sloppy Joe Fries

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

Art's Table Burger

More pics on their instagram @ArtsTableSM.

Adoteca

Adoteca Brentwood

In the coming weeks, my peeps at Villetta and Toscana will discover they have some serious competition for best Italian fare with Adoteca on the block.  Literally all three are in Brentwood a stone’s throw from each other. When I saw this picture on Adoteca’s homepage, there was no question where our group was going for dinner. Adoteca scallops   It was no surprise the Michelin starred chef Antonio Mure and front of house manager Paolo Cesaro from Ado in Venice are the duo behind Adoteca.  Every dish delivered on our expectations.  Unfortunately, as a measure of etiquette, I kept my phone in my purse so I don’t have pictures to post. If you go, we all  insist you order the beet pasta with a quail bolognese.  It was hands down the fan favorite along with the creme brûlée.

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How drunk do you have to be…

January 9th, 2014 No Comments

Burrito Box

 

To eat a burrito that comes out of a vending machine?

I don’t think I could EVER eat a burrito that comes out of a machine.  I barely indulge on the ones that are hand-made.

So, this is the BurritoBox kiosk located in a Mobil station in West Hollywood.  You put in $3 and it gives you a hot burrito in 60 seconds.

You have 6  pre-made options (all of which are apparently made with natural ingredients, animals not treated with hormones, and free range chicken)  a few sauces for an additional fee. It looks something like this:

Burrito Box burrito

 

Um, gross!

To my shock and dismay, Taco Bell still exists.  Is that not fast and cheap enough for taco-lovers?  Club hoppers? People on a budget?

I think I’d just rather eat dirt.

 

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Holiday Survival Guide: Best New Bars of 2013

December 15th, 2013 No Comments

Mary Rambin Drinking a Beer

When I go home over the holidays, I like to try the new hot spots all of my friends have been raving about. Thrillist just posted this list that includes bars from all over the country.  They rarely lead me astray, so if you see your city, give their rec a shot!

Click here to read the full article with descriptions of each place.

Atlanta

Austin

  • CRAFT PRIDE
    What you’re getting: A Jester King seasonal
  • WHISLER’S
    What you’re getting: The Dealer’s Choice

Cambridge, MA

  • BEAT HÔTEL
    What you’re getting: A VFW Old Fashioned

Charleston, NC

THE RAREBIT
What you’re getting: Moscow Mule with homemade Sweatman’s ginger beer

Chicago

  • BILLY SUNDAY
    What you’re getting: Fernet & Cola
  • THREE DOTS AND A DASH
    What you’re getting: Poipu Beach Boogie Board; a Treasure Chest (if you’re a baller and/or shot-caller)
  • PUNCH HOUSE
    What you’re getting: Dusek Punch

Dallas

Houston

Las Vegas

  • VELVETEEN RABBIT
    What you’re getting: The Crucifix in a Deathhand; the Burning Bush

Los Angeles

  • NO VACANCY
    What you’re getting: A delicious gin cocktail
  • HONEYCUT
    What you’re getting: Any drink on their extensive list; the Toucan Sam if they’ve got it

Louisville

  • EL CAMINO
    What you’re getting: Whatever sweet tiki drink Susie Hoyt wants to make you

Miami

  • DROGERIE
    What you’re getting: The Pain Killer

Milwaukee

Minneapolis

Nashville

  • PINEWOOD SOCIAL
    What you’re getting: The Honesty of Constant Human Error

New Orleans

New York

  • TØRST
    What you’re getting: A beer you’ve never heard of before that’s probably been barrel-aged
  • DEAD RABBIT
    What you’re getting: Morning Reviver
  • AMERICAN WHISKEY
    What you’re getting: Remember the Maine

Oakland

Portland

San Diego

San Francisco

  • TRICK DOG
    What you’re getting: Eye of the Tiger
  • MIKKELLER BAR
    What you’re getting: A crazy sour beer you’ve never heard of

Seattle

Washington DC

  • 2 BIRDS 1 STONE
    What you’re getting: The Daily Punch
  • BLUEJACKET
    What you’re getting: James & the Giant; the Stroppy pale ale

 

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Check out your new favorite taco, NYC.

November 7th, 2013 No Comments

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You will find it here:

Ottos Tacos ExteriorOttos Tacos Loca

Specifically at 141 Second Ave between St. Mark’s and 9th.  You know, where tons of great chefs are opening up their casual counterparts.  In this grab-n-go taqueria, you’ll find these guys (Chef on the left, my long time friend Otto on the right):

Otto and Chef Jose

Serving up this seeming simple but blow your mind flavorful menu (click to enlarge):

Ottos Tacos Menu

 

Don’t get dressed up or wear heels cause you’re walking in starving and taking tacos out to devour.  There are a few seats, but I expect once word gets out, they’ll fill up fast.

When you go, tell Otto I sent you and give hime a big hug for me!

Very proud of you my man.

Mary Rambin Otto's Tacos

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Eat, drink, and be Mary in Atlanta: a solid guide to Buckhead

October 4th, 2013 No Comments

leaves turning in autumn - atlanta, ga

 

Before my friend Becky went to Atlanta for work this week, she asked me for recommendations of places to eat, drink, and be…well, Mary, while in Buckhead.  My response: of course I can whip up a list for you!  Find it below pretty much cut and pasted from the email I sent her.

A day later it hit me it’s Autumn in Atlanta right now.  My favorite time of year there.  The heat has subsided; the kids are back in school; and the city is painted in red, orange, and yellow.  The trees above line my old street…Seems like a world away now.

Mostly I miss my girls: Susan, Libby, Renee, Margaret Ellen, Prentiss, Erin, and Missi.  A big hug to y’all.

My favorite places to sit at the bar and eat dinner:

 
– Cibo e Beve: This was my local hangout. Casual and fun Italian.  Tell Justin the bartender I say hello.
Local Three:  Farm to table.  Considered one of the best restaurants in ATL.
– Seven Lamps:  In the Shops Around Lenox.  Same chef as One Midtown Kitchen. Has a late night menu.
Bones: Best steak in ATL, older crowd, great wine by the glass.
– Houston’s on Peachtree or the one near Lenox Mall. always fun people sitting at the bar.
LPC: Upscale Italian and worth the $$.
10 Degrees South: go for the good time, not necessarily the food, sit on the back patio
St. Regis Bar: just drinks, quite a scene
Tin Lizzy’s: on Roswell and Piedmont: great chips and salsa, good mexican, super casual
– Aria:  for a nicer dining experience.
– Canoe: a Buckhead classic when you want to sit outside and just relax by the creek
 

During the day:

 
Cafe Jonah:  casual and healthy, cute cafe in an old house.
Dtox Juice : fresh juices. the kale salad and green smoothie is to die for.  Tell the owner Shannon I sent you!
Cafe at Pharr: quick and easy. get the chicken salad.
Super Jenny: best turkey chili EVER! you might have to wait in a line for it.
– Anis: if you’re looking for wine at lunch :)
Blue Moon Pizza: fresh, quick, and easy. you can order small pies or even by the slice.
– Farm Burger:  best burger in my opinion. they have turkey and veggie as well, soooo good.
Arden’s Garden – juice and salads to go.  kale Salad is amazing.
 

If you’re willing to go downtown:

 
– JCT Kitchen or Bar: a solid choice for great food and people
Bacchanalia: the best restaurant in ATL, hands down, Italian will blow your mind)
One Midtown Kitchen: Another ATL classic. one of the first farm-to-table spots.
Barcelona:  One of my favorite places for a fun dinner. great crowd! awesome food and wine.
– Lureupscale and trendy seafood in a lovely space.
– Ecco: only go and sit at the bar or outside.
Empire State South: farm to table, one of the best of ATL.  Known for it’s cocktails as well.
 

In Decatur:

 
No. 246 (my fave) or Iberian Pig for dinner.
 

Other stuff you need to know:

 
 BLAST900 - Tell Missi you’re a friend of Mary Rambin, she’ll squeal :) Give her a big hug for me and then get ready for the workout OF YOUR LIFE!
– Chastain park, 3 miles around, a beautiful way to end the day
Atlanta Hot Yoga:  If you dare, go to one of Jason or Octavia’s power classes!
– Mani/Pedi: Trina Nails - call ahead for Tracy.  Tell Tracy and Trish I say hi.

 

**Please note I haven’t been in ATL for a while and new places open up monthly.  For a current Top 10 list, go here.

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New pics, new studios, new website for SOULCYCLE

September 16th, 2013 No Comments

SoulCycle Mary Rambin 1

First of all, I want to say thanks to those of you who voted for your favorite SoulCycle profile photo on my facebook page.  This one was the winner by far.

My favorite, along with the staff I surveyed, liked this one.  (The pants are Onzie, my new go-to for crazy pants and sports bras.)

SoulCycle Mary Rambin 2

Julie, one of the founders of SC, chose this one for the site.  I actually think it exemplifies who I am in class the most.  Take what you want from that :)

SoulCycle Mary Rambin 3

This week is exciting for us: today the Beverly Hills studio opens!

SoulCycle Beverly Hills Instructors

Left to right, clockwise: Roarke, Me, Edward, Jason, Nick Pratley, Charlee, Cole, Jenny C.  The boutique and locker rooms are both huge! (Photo via SoulCycle instagram.)

The location is pretty crazy: 9465 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

SoulCycle Beverly Hills

I’m honored to be one of the instructors to teach here.  Right now the schedule is small so if you want to be one of the first to ride, click at noon to reserve a bike!

My upcoming BVHL schedule:

  • Thursday: 6am, 7am
  • Monday: 6am, 7am

More Southern California locations coming soon.  Also, look forward to the launch of the new website.  We did a sneak preview tour of it last week, and I’ll say, it’s pretty sick.  Aside from the info and schedules, you’ll find there is so much more to do on it.  Music, photos, and lifestyle posts will be undated minutely so there will be something new and interesting every time you visit.  You can also connect with the instructors you love.  Booking bikes for the popular classes will be much easier as well.

 

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