Archive for April, 2010

Mondo Vino Wine Shop & Cafe – Hua Hin, Thailand

Saturday, April 17th, 2010


Mondo Vino
22/65 Naeb Kachat Road
Hua Hin Sub-district
Hua Hin district
Prachuabkirikhan 77110
Tel.: Retail Shop: 032 531 493
Tel.: Office: 032 511 274-5
Fax.: 032 511 274-5#18

Mondo Vino is an attractive wine shop and cafe offering a wide selection of old and new world wines at very competitive prices, where you can buy bottles to take home or sit down and relax in the pleasant surroundings and enjoy a bottle or glass at the cafe. Mondo Vino proclaims: “We will not sell a wine that we would not drink ourselves, and if we can buy it cheaper, then you will too”. They always have a monthly promotion and a selection of wines selling for less than 500 THB.

Mondo Vino, Hua Hin 5

Mondo Vino, Hua Hin 1

Consuming Olive Oil, The Healthy Solution

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Green Olives Green olives on the tree

All olive trees produce both green or black olives, the color depends on when they are picked. Green olives are the unripened fruit that are picked before they ripen, black olives are the fully ripened fruit.

The health and therapeutic benefits of olive oil were first mentioned by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. For centuries, the nutritional, cosmetic and medicinal benefits of olive oil have been recognized by the people of the Mediterranean.
Olive oil was used to maintain skin and muscle suppleness, heal abrasions, and soothe the burning and drying effects of sun and water. Olive oil was administered both internally, and externally – for health and beauty.
Recent research has now provided firm proof that a Mediterranean diet, which includes olive oil, is not only generally healthy, but that consuming olive oil can actually help lower harmful LDL cholesterol. Olive oil contains antioxidants that discourage artery clogging and chronic diseases, including cancer.
There are three kinds of dietary fats: saturated (animal), polyunsaturated (plants, seeds, nuts, vegetable oils), and monounsaturated (olive oil). From a nutritional standpoint, all types of olive oil are approximately the same, with 80% monounsaturated, 14% saturated, 9% polyunsaturated fats on average.
Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E and K and in iron. Olive oil, which is beneficial to the digestive system, does not necessarily keep you thin; it contains just as many calories as other oils (9cal/g).
Olive oil acts as a mild laxative, is a friend to the intestine and an enemy of ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil is a good tonic, with specific benefits for people suffering from heart disease.
Olive oil has been regarded as the “beauty oil”. The body’s cells incorporate the valuable fatty acids from the oil, making arteries more supple and skin more lustrous. The amount of oleic acid in olive oil is about the same as that found in a mother’s milk and is thus the best growth supplement for infants.
Drunk before a meal, olive oil protects the stomach from ulcers. If a spoon or two is taken with lemon or coffee, it prevents constipation without irritating the intestinal tract. It is also effective in treating urinary tract infections and gall bladder problems. It is a perfect remedy for gastritis in children, it accelerates brain development and strengthens the bones. Olive oil dissolves clots in capillaries, has been found to lower the degree of absorption of edible fats, and consequently slows down the aging process.
Only animal-derived foods contain cholesterol. Olive oil is cholesterol-free. Cholesterol is not entirely harmful; it is an essential building block for cell membranes, nerve fiber coverings, vitamin D and sex hormones. The body manufactures all the cholesterol it needs, so any cholesterol in foods we eat is excessive. Excess cholesterol causes a gradual accumulation of fatty deposits and connective tissue, known as plaque, along the walls of blood vessels. Eventually, plaque builds up, narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow, in this way increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and is vital for the structure of cell walls. In order to circulate through the bloodstream, it is “packaged” in fatty-protein wrappings called “lipoproteins”. The low-density lipoproteins (LDL) distribute cholesterol throughout the body, dropping it off where needed. The liver also packages another type of cholesterol called high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which picks-up circulating cholesterol and returns it to the liver for reprocessing, or excretion. The LDLs are the ones that build up the walls of the arteries and so are tagged “bad” cholesterol. HDLs carry cholesterol away. So the more HDLs there are, the easier it is to unblock paths and rid the body of unwanted cholesterol. What the body really needs is a good HDL/LDL ratio. Polyunsaturated oils lower LDL (“bad”) and HDL (“good”) levels. Monounsaturated oils (such as olive oil), lower only LDL cholesterol, leaving HDLs to help clean out arteries.
Animal fats, which contain saturated fatty acids, exponentially increase blood cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fatty acids lower both LDL and HDL levels in the blood, but they do not affect their ratio. Monounsaturated fatty acids on the other hand control LDL levels while raising HDL levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated fatty acids as olive oil, which mainly contains oleic acid. The modest amount of well-balanced polyunsaturated fatty acids in olive oil is well protected by antioxidant substances. It is widely believed that antioxidant substances such as vitamins E, K and polyphenols found in olive oil provide a defense mechanism that delays aging and prevents carcinogenesis, therosclerosis, liver disorders and inflammations.
Since olive oil is not tortured during extraction, these substances are left unspoiled, making the olive oil very stable even when frying. So contrary to common belief, olive oil undergoes a smaller degree of deterioration during frying than other oils.
Due to its chemical structure, olive oil is of unrivaled organoleptic value and thus the oil best suited for human consumption. It is very well tolerated by the stomach. In fact, its protective function has a beneficial effect on gastritis and ulcers. It is a cholagogue, activating the secretion of pancreatic hormones and bile much more naturally than prescribed drugs. Consequently, it lowers the incidence of cholelithiasis (gallstone formation). Its excellent digestibility promotes the overall absorption of nutrients, especially vitamins and mineral salts. It has a positive effect on constipation. Bones need a large amount of oleates and what source could be better than olive oil? Promoting bone mineralisation, it is excellent for infants and the elderly who have bone calcification problems. It also has beneficial effects on brain and nervous system development as well as on overall growth. It shields the body against infection and helps in the healing of tissues, internal and external. Olive oil is a panacea, the perfect oil for all ages.

Ch. Los Boldos Wine Tasting at BarSu, Sheraton Grande (THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED) – Bangkok

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

boldos copy

Songkran Festivities at Funky Dojo Disco – Bangkok

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Funky Dojo Disco

Copa d’Oro Bar, Santa Monica – Los Angeles

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

copa d'oroCopa d’Oro
217 Broadway Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel. 310-576-3030

Opening Hours: Mon – Wed: 5:30pm to midnight; Thurs – Sat 5:30pm to 2am

Head barman Vincenzo Marianella and his team at Copa d’ Oro use, for the most part, fresh organic fruit and vegetables from local farmers to create their drinks and cocktails. A limited food menu is on offer to accompany the drinks. Happy Hour Drinks prices $5.

Food Menu

Lemon Artichoke Dip
Fresh Lemon Juice, Chopped Artichoke, Gorgonzola Served with Toasted Crustini
Insalata Rucola
Apple, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberry, Pine nuts, Lightly Seasoned and Tossed with Italian Olive Oil. Served with Grilled Sourdough Batard
Copa Chop
Ham, Turkey, Diced Salami, Chopped Egg, Shaved Parmiggiano, Arugula, Tossed with Italian Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar
Italian Tuna, Chopped Egg, Kalamata Olives, Chopped Green Beans, Arugala Tossed with Italian Olive Oil and mounted on a thick rustic slice of Grilled Sourdough Batard
Copa Caprese Panini
Fresh Basil, Mozzarella, Roasted Bell Peppers, Toasted on Fresh Baguette
Smoked Salmon Panini
Smoked Salmon, Arugula, Crumbled Goat Cheese, Pressed Sourdough
Prosciutto Panini
Prosciutto, Shaved Parmesan, Arugula tossed with Italian Olive Oil, Toasted on Fresh Baguette
Share Plates
Cheese Board
Goat, Brie, Manchego, Apple Slices, Toasted Baguette
Charcuterie Board
Chorizo, Prosciutto, Salami, Toasted Baguette
Cheese and Charcuterie Board
Goat, Brie, Manchego, Chorizo, Prosciutto, Salami, Toasted Baguette

The Seafood Bar, Billy Marinelli’s New Upmarket and Centrally Located Restaurant – Bangkok

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The Seafood Bar, BangkokThe Seafood Bar Display (image©2010

The Seafood Bar
41 Somerset Lake Place
Sukhumvit Soi 16
Tel. 02-663-8863
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 6-11pm, Sat-Sun noon-3pm, 6-11pm
Dress code: Dressy casual
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Moderate-Expensive

The Seafood Bar is Billy Marinelli’s second restaurant venture in Bangkok, conveniently situated adjacent to the lobby in the Somerset Lake Place on Sukhumvit, Soi 16. His first restaurant The Oyster Bar has an obscure location on Soi 24 off Narathiwa and he is continuing the same theme at the new restaurant, and why not, as it has been very well accepted by the population at large. These days, it seems that Bangkok’s “glitterati” are as willing to down oysters and crustaceans from the Northwest coast of North America, as they were in the past to consume fat-streaked steaks accompanied by high-alcohol red wines from Australia or Italy.

This space, possibly due to its larger size, loses some elements of the original, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as it will in time develop its own rhythm, and this location is more central, the situation more desirable, and grander in most aspects than the previous one. A quick fix may be, more of Billy being around (he has been traveling for business) and a few more bodies crowded around the seafood bar to dress the room, although granted, I have not seen the turnout on the weekend, where that may very well be the case.

Seafood Bar, Bangkokimage©2010

Library Bar at the Roosevelt Hollywood – Los Angeles

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Library Bar, Roosevelt (image credit: Roosevelt)

Roosevelt Hotel
Library Bar
Tel. 323.466.7000
Res. 800.9507667
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Off the lobby of the Roosevelt in Hollywood the Library Bar is a small space to enjoy hand-built cocktails with foams made on the spot and Névé ice is used exclusively. I am glad to see that America has finally caught up in the ice department, a bonus the Japanese have been offering for years, in intricate hand sculpted ice used in drinks and cocktails, taken from the glaciers of Mt. Fuji.

Matt Biancaniello, the resident bartender, makes a mean vanilla or fig Manhattan, Ham on Rye, 17-Step Bloody Mary and other odd concoctions. Drinks are $15.

Mo-Chica Revisited – Los Angeles

Monday, April 5th, 2010

By Sandy Driscoll

Aguadito SoupAGUADITO SOUP   Quinoa, Chicken Broth, Mixed Vegetable.  Tiny brunoise of carrot provided just the right crunch (image ©2010 & Sandy Driscoll)

Last evening’s monthly Tasting Menu at Mo-Chica was even better than the one in February! See prior post on Mo-Chica This tiny unpretentious dining spot inside a mercado south of downtown Los Angeles continues to astound me with their splendid food, excellent and beautifully timed friendly service, and unique preparations which make me wonder where Peruvian food has been all my life?

Each course was bursting with sharp flavors, and had four to five major ingredients, each perfectly enhancing the others.  The chef is careful to weave contrasting textures in each dish.  Here are photos of last night’s offerings.   Included was some live Peruvian music and dancers.   All of this for a mere $35!

CausaCAUSA Yellowtail Tartar, Wasabi, Tobiko Aji Amarillo Aioli  (Perfectly spiced!) (image©2010 & Sandy Driscoll)

Lobster-CervecheLOBSTER CEVICHE  Seared Lobster, Wild Sea Bass, Cucumber, Mango Ceviche Sauce. Those lovely tiny purple flowers are “Bull’s Blood”, from an heirloom beet of the same name (image©2010 & Sandy Driscoll). Link to Bull’s Blood below:’s+blood+(heirloom)+-+1+pkt+(300+seeds).do

Trout-EscabecheTROUT ESCABECHE   Roasted Trout, Potato Leeks Pie, Escabeche Sauce (image ©2010 & Sandy Driscoll)

Tacu-TacuTACU-TACU   Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Chick Peas Tacu-Tacu, Yellow Pear Tomato Sauce. Served in what appears to be a wooden bowl, which is a perfect vessel for heat retention. (image©2010 & Sandy Driscoll)

DessertCRUMBLE PIE  Rhubarb and Quinoa Crumble Cinnamon Pie, Vanilla Ice Cream
Notice the charming lip motif on the napkin . . . their signature using two chili peppers (image©2010 & Sandy Driscoll)

Tavern Tipples . . . Las Perlas Tequila & Mezcal Den and Caña Rum Bar Open Downtown – Los Angeles

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

small logo RDCTavern Tipples . . . two new bars have very recently opened in the vicinity of downtown Los Angeles:
Las Perlas Tequila and Mezcal Den and . . .
Caña Rum Bar

Cedd Moses opened Las Perlas at 107 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, Tel. 213-988-8355,,  in downtown Los Angeles. It is a bar devoted to liquors distilled from the agave plant, Tequila and Mezcal. The main “mixologist” will be Rivera’s Julian Cox and he plans on maintaining the same format, using in-house concocted syrups, bitters, herbs, Mexican sugars, and special salts.  Fruits and vegetables will be purchased from LA’s produce markets. Hard to find, “small batch” tequila and mezcal are available and can be ordered neat, and a large selection of Mexican beer is available on tap or in bottles.

Another Cedd Moses creation has literally “just opened”:  Caña Rum Bar (At the Doheny) 714 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015, Tel. 213-745-7090, opening Hours: 6pm to 2am Monday through Friday, 7pm to 2am Saturdays. They  feature live Caribbean & tropical latin music.  To enter you will pay an annual membership fee of $20.

Jean Michel Aucler, Soul of Thailand Exhibition at Le Beaulieu – Bangkok

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Jean Michel Aucler Exhibition at Le BeaulieuExhibition at Le Beaulieu Restaurant April 1st to May 4th, 2010

About the exhibition « Soul of Thailand »

A photographer for many years, Jean-Michel Aucler now applies himself exclusively to painting.
His incurable passion and primary inspiration is Asia, particularly Thailand, His work displaying a balance between western and oriental traditions.
For his first exhibition in Bangkok, he created a series about Buddhas and the multiple ways to make offerings to the monks.
His canvases, with their large areas of colour, evoke through their powerful expressiveness, a certain primitive style. Whereas his lines on crumpled paper are by contrast, of a vibrant lightness, like a hesitation between the two worlds.

Jean-Michel Aucler is in love with life. His work is the true reflection of a dreamer, who never stops conjuring tricks with painting, colours and shapes. He is a conjurer of the soul.” Marie-Helene Grinfeder, art expert at Paris Drouot Auctions

About Jean-Michel Aucler: Jean-Michel Aucler lives and works in France.
He travels frequently to Asia, especially to Thailand and the island of Bali.

Main exhibitions :

1983. Gallery Lavrov. Paris. France
1984. London Contemporary Art Fair. London. Great Britain
1984. Gallery Wimmer. New York. USA
1986. Gallery Grinfeder. Paris. France
1987. Gallery Cupillard. Saint Tropez. France
1987. Gallery Cupillard. Grenoble. France
1988. Trade Street Gallery. Tryon. USA
1995/97. “des Voluptés” Book for the French Foreign Office. Paris France.
Gallery Down Town. Paris. France
French Consulate. Rio de Janeiro. Brazil
French Embassy. Brasilia. Brazil
French Embassy. Prague. Tchecoslovaquia
2000/07. Gallery Paul Maurin. Paris. France
2000/10. Gallery Sunbebek. Bali Island. Indonesia
2005. Gallery Peter’s Friends. Paris. France
2008. Gallery Dragon. Paris. France
2008/9/10. Gallery Glineur. Ile de Ré. France
2010. Le Beaulieu. Bankok. Thailand
2010. Gallery Wimmer. New York. USA
2010. RVS Gallery. Southampton (Long Island). USA.

Private collections in Europe, USA, Asia, Australia, Morocco, Brazil


On display: April 1st – May 4th 2010 at LE BEAULIEU Restaurant
50 Sukhumvit soi 19 – North Klongtoey – 10110 Bangkok
Tel. 02 204 2004

Press contact :
08 2336 0814

Jean Michel Aucler