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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

me, trendy?

earlier today, a friend pointed out to me that i'd made a list of top 10 yoga trends. me, really?

i clicked on the link to jill miller's gaiam blog post and did a quick scan.

and there i was, under trend #8: Great yoga bloggers keep us informed and connected... Joni Young’s (sic) Accidental Yogist (who covers anything and everything about the massive LA yoga scene — and does it all on her lime green bike)!...

nevermind that the article was published back in december 2009, i was flattered nonetheless -- and wondered why i hadn't seen it before. or if i had, why i couldn't remember having read it! argh... was i having another senior moment?

jill's list was pretty comprehensive, and is definitely worth sharing. here's an excerpt:

Top 10 yoga trends for 2009

1. Yoga activism organizations are proliferating, helping to bring social change to the world and helping out communities in need. Seane Corn’s Off the Mat, Into the World is an organization that helps teachers build communities around activism and social change. Yoga Gives Back provides micro-finance to India. And Make a Difference Worldwide provides hands-on-help in impoverished communities worldwide.

2. Yoga social networking sites like YogaMates, LoveYoga and Facebook continue to be incredible tools to keep us all connected.

3. Local festivals like Ojai Yoga Crib on Ojai, Calif., Wanderlust Festival in Lake Tahoe, Telluride Yoga Festival in Colorado, and EvolveFest in New Jersey help us to continue to grow, learn and build a sense of community.

4. Studios that broadcast online yoga classes — such as Yogaglo, Lulubandhas and YogaVibes — help bring exposure to teachers around the globe.

5. Kirtan is exploding more than ever, with Jai Uttal performing at Chant4Change during Obama’s inauguration and BhaktiFest in Joshua Tree. Bhakti Yoga Shala opened as a yoga studio entirely devoted to Kirtan in Santa Monica, and Lady Gaga even has a Kirtan riff in her hit song “Bad Romance” … Can you hear it?

6. Yoga therapy modalities are growing as teachers seek continuing education and specialization. Explore Gary Kraftsow’s Viniyoga, Leslie Kaminoff’s Breathing Project and my very own Yoga Tune Up®. Check out more info at the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

7. Proliferation of in-depth local yoga media — like LA Yoga and Ayurveda Magazine, Yoga Chicago, Yoga Living Magazine in Philadelphia and New York Yoga Magazine — help find great studios and events.

8. Great yoga bloggers keep us informed and connected. Some of my favorites are Elephant Journal, Dr. Kelly McGonigal and Joni Young’s Accidental Yogist (who covers anything and everything about the massive LA yoga scene — and does it all on her lime green bike)! In NYC, Yoga Dork is witty, cutting-edge and entertaining. And of course, there’s the blog you’re reading now!

9. Green yoga studios raise our eco-consciousness: Home Simply Yoga in Santa Monica, Green Yoga House in Des Moines, Iowa, Yoga Now Chicago in Chicago, and Blue Lotus in Raleigh, N.C.

10. There have been serious groundbreaking studies in yoga research — a trend that I truly hope continues to evolve to inform us for the next several decades. Special thanks to Dr. Lorin Fishman for his studies on yoga and osteoporosis, Richard Miller, Ph.D., and his studies with soldiers and Yoga Nidra, and the pioneering brain research being conducted through Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

a quick desk yoga sequence

earlier this week, ryan from ecollegefinder.org asked me if i could suggest some exercises "... for online college students who spend hours at their desks and computers each day." being computer screen-bound myself most of the day, i told him i'd round up a short routine and get back to him...

the next day, still a bit sore from my 26.2 mile run at the LA marathon last sunday, i decided to restart my yoga practice with a yoga basics class with steven espinosa at the yogaglo studios in santa monica. with the majority of his class made up of beginners, he ran us through a gentle sun salutation sequence, then some standing and seated poses. and as far as i was concerned, it was exactly what i needed.

after class, i posed this question to steven:

if you were seated at a computer all day and wanted to do some quick stretches while remaining seated, what would you do?

he came up with a few that included shoulder, neck, and side stretches that would be ideal for someone who spent long periods of time hunched over a desk. it went something like this:

~ make sure you sit back in your chair, keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground to help protect your lower back.

~ with your arms in front of you, hold your left elbow with your right hand and your right elbow with your left hand (think "i dream of jeannie"). while holding your elbows, raise your arms as far back behind your head as you can. lean your head on your arms and gently push back. look up if you can. you should be feeling this in your shoulders and upper back. relax into the stretch. breathe.

~ still holding your left elbow with your right, release the grip of your left hand. bend your torso to the right. feel the stretch along your left side. hold and breathe. return to vertical, switch arms, and bend to the other side.

~ raise your left arm above your head, bend it behind you like you're about to scratch your back. hold your left elbow with your right hand and gently push your elbow in the direction of your hand. you'll feel the stretch in your left tricep and upper back. hold and breathe. repeat with the other arm.

~ reach over your head with your right hand and hold your left ear. use your right hand to gently bend your head to the right. feel the stretch along the left side of your neck. hold and breathe. repeat on the other side.

~ clasp your hands and place them on top of your head. try to get your elbows to point as far back as you can. while pushing down with your hands, push up with your head. this should give both your neck and your shoulders a nice stretch. hold. release.

i tried it... it's quick, it helps release tension, and i didn't even have to take my eyes of my computer screen as my facebook status updates whizzed past :)

by the way, ecollegefinder.org polled many other yogis and compiled all our suggestions into an article you can read here: Off the Mat and at the Desk: A Comprehensive Yoga Guide for College Students. enjoy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

running from the stadium to the sea

the 2010 edition of the LA marathon will be making its way across town tomorrow morning. unlike previous years, however, it has completely new starting and ending points: it will start at the top of elysian park at dodger stadium and will end clear across town near the ocean in santa monica. on its way to the finish line, the runners will be making their way through the cities of los angeles, west hollywood, beverly hills, and santa monica...

... and i will be one of those 25,000 who will be running, walking, and/or partying along the 26.2 mile course. i say partying because that's exactly what i plan to be doing, especially in those last miles through my neighborhood streets on the westside!

considering that the last marathon i ran was the kiawah island marathon in south carolina back in december 2008, i'm wondering how much running my body still remembers. especially since my "training" for tomorrow's marathon involved more sun salutations and bike riding miles than actual foot-pounding-on-pavement miles. honestly, the longest run i logged prior to this race was a mere 15 miles. but hey, if i can can walk a marathon just four months after ACL repair surgery (the 2005 fargo marathon in north dakota), i'm confident i can do anything. right? :)

anyway, because the route will be completely different from any previous incarnation of this annual road race, i'm giving a heads-up to all of you who think the road closures will be the same as previous years. because they won't.

in fact, the race will go right past the front doors of FOUR yoga studios this year. and because these studios are well aware of accessibility issues their students might have, they've issued these advisories:

MILE 4 - Bikram Yoga Downtown LA: We have CANCELLED our 6:30 and 8:30 AM classes

MILE 7 - Urth Yoga: If you are planning on attending Keric's Sunday morning 9:00am Mixed Levels class, we suggest you arrive at least 15 minutes early to give yourself time to find parking & walk.

MILE 15 - Up Dog Yoga and Cycling: As a result of street closures on both Santa Monica Boulevard and La Cienega we will have a limited schedule that day. Meaghan teaches full blast yoga at 1pm and for you die-hard cyclists, Adam is teaching at 8am -AND- 9am. (note: after running the marathon today, i realized the course didn't run in front of up dog. but it did get pretty close...)

MILE 23 - Maha Yoga: If you are planning to come to Maha Yoga on Sunday morning, March 21, please plan on giving yourself PLENTY of extra time. San Vicente Boulevard will be closed to traffic throughout Brentwood and Santa Monica as part of the LA Marathon course.

in addition, there are a number of studios within close proximity to the course, so you might want to give yourself extra time to get there, especially if you're planning to make it on time to a morning class. these studios are:

~ still yoga and YAS in silverlake
~ karuna yoga and shakti box in los feliz
~ golden bridge yoga in hollywood
~ city yoga in west hollywood
~ yoga works westwood
~ yoga hop, yoga works montana, bhakti yoga shala, yogis anonymous, yogaco, power yoga east and west, aanand saagar, and yoga works main street in santa monica

here's the official course map found on the LA marathon website: course maps

and the planned road closures times as published by LADOT: event routes and traffic plans

finally, here are bus route changes to accommodate the road closures along the course: MTA and big blue bus

hmmm... maybe this would be the perfect time to master your meditative breathing while you're stuck in traffic?

i've just checked the clock; it's time for me to get ready for bed since i have a 3am wake-up call...

wish me luck! and if you see me along the course, come jog with me a while and keep me company :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

studio space needed

when the subject line of an email update from a yoga studio says "Important Karuna Yoga Update ", you know it can't be happy news...

kelly wood from karuna yoga in los feliz sent this note out a couple of days ago. i wanted to get more information before passing it along to you, and earlier tonight, i did. from what i understand, the rent on the space karuna leases has become so prohibitive that kelly has been forced to close the studio at the end of this month. she's still hoping to find a new space nearby, but in the meantime, the days at the location on hillhurst avenue are numbered :(

here's her message:

Dear Karuna Family,

As you know, I have been searching for new (and hopefully improved) studio space for Karuna Yoga. Unfortunately, the new space that I initially found now appears not to be appropriate for our community.

We will continue our regular schedule in our current facilities at least until March 31st, 2010.

I strongly suggest that you come in for class as much as possible this month and make the most of the special space we have created together on Hillhurst. There may be an interval between the availability of our current space and our new space. Or it may be that we transition into a temporary space.

I will keep you informed in the weeks ahead.

I continue to look diligently for our new Karuna Yoga studio location. I am very grateful for your willingness to stand with me at this trying time. We can help each other move into the new phases of yoga, Karuna and life with mindfulness and hopefully an open heart of appreciation for our time together.



just received an update:

subject: Good News from Karuna Yoga

We remain in our current location through the end of April!

Our Karuna community continues to provide support, care and patience during this time of change and I thank you with my whole heart. ~ Kelly

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


oh. my. god.

back in december, i posted my third installment about the booming food truck scene here in LA. in it, i listed a whopping 34 trucks of all shapes, sizes, and food varieties.

and now, barely three months later, the number of food trucks i've been to has practically doubled. and i'm not exaggerating; i just stopped at my 65th truck today!! talk about a food truck explosion... as well as my need to invest in some pepto-bismol!... ok, not really. at least not yet.

these are the food truck guides i've posted so far. note that they all have a pescetarian slant (because, after all, that's what i am, or purport to be):

~ a pescetarian's guide to the LA food truck scene, part 1
~ veg-head LA food truck guide, part 2
~ a pesky eater's guide to LA food trucks, part 3

so here are all 65 of those food trucks i've been able to check out so far. and just so i don't have to repeat myself, i've included the links to the posts that have my comments on the previously-mentioned trucks. and if you want to know what the trucks look like, click here for my food truck frenzy! photo album to check out the photos i've taken of each truck.

please note that if you're pescetarian or ovo-lacto vegetarian, you have a good chance of finding something to eat on these trucks. but if you're vegan and have sworn off all eggs and dairy, the pickings will be slim, though not impossible. with that in mind, bon appetit!

fusion cuisine trucks:

kogi (kogibbq.com @kogibbq) - korean-mexican (part 1)
calbi (calbibbq.com @calbiBBQ) - korean-mexican (part 1)
bool (boolbbq.com @boolBBQ) - korean-mexican (part 1)
bull kogi (kimchibulkogi.com @bullkogi) - korean-mexican (part 1)
don chow tacos (donchowtacos.com @donchowtacos) - chinese-mexican (part 1)
LA fuxion (lafuxion.com @LA_FuXion) - asian-latin (part 1)
lomo arigato (lomoarigato.com @lomoarigato) - japanese-peruvian (part 2)

ikimchi 21 (ikimchi21.com will supposedly be online by april) - korean-mexican; similar to calbi in that it offers tofu and shrimp in their tacos and burritos, but with the added option of having it in a bowl over rice.

seoul bulgogi (no website @seoulbbqtruck) - korean-mexican; the only item without meat on the menu is the plain quesadilla -- just a tortilla with kimchi and "mozallera cheese" :)

komodo (komodofood.com @komodofood) - asian-mexican; the fusion menu was created by a chef trained at a prestigious culinary school, so the food is a blend of french/asian/mexican cuisine. i've had both the blazin' shrimp and fish n' grapes tacos; both were very intriguing to my taste buds. their truffle fries and guac rolls are on my list of things to try the next time i drop by the truck.

kabob express (no website @KabobTruck) - mediterreanean-mexican; i had the hummus with pita bread when i stopped by at the t-lofts haiti fundraiser back in january. since the truck is supposedly parked by the DWP building in downtown LA on weekday evenings, i'll have to remember to show up early and get dinner from it the next time i attend a performance at the disney concert hall.

asian soul kitchen (asiansoulkitchen.com @ItsBentoBaby) - japanese-soul food; the first time i stopped at the truck was when it was parked by FIDM in downtown LA. i had just come from a nearby yoga class that had run late, so by the time i reached them, richard and akiko had just closed their doors and were getting ready to drive off. luckily, they saw me madly pedalling my bike in their direction, so they were nice enough to stop and take my order. "i'll take whatever you have without meat that's easy to make" was basically what i said. so they handed me a steaming container of veggie yakisoba, which i later ate with great relish at the nearby starbucks. since then, i've tried the tonkatsu-drizzled salmon korokke and the lettuce-wrapped shrimp "taco". warning: when they say something's spicy, they mean it!

ethnic street food trucks:

fishlips sushi (fishlips-sushi.com @fishlips_sushi) - japanese sushi (part 1)
india jones chow truck (indiajoneschowtruck.com @indiajonesct) - indian frankies and curries (part 1)
dosa truck (dosatruck.com @dosatruck) - indian dosas (part 1)
nom nom truck (nomnomtruck.com @nomnomtruck) - vietnamese banh mi (part 1)
border grill taco (bordergrill.com/bg_t/bg_twel.htm @BorderGrill) - gourmet mexican (part 1)
flying pig truck (flyingpigtruck.com @FlyingPigTruck) - asian and pacific rim (part 3)

salmon house (no website) - japanese; it's a good thing i'm pescetarian and eat seafood because everything on the menu contains either salmon or eel -- handrolls, rice bowls, tacos, burritos. i ordered a salmon handroll on a day when i was grazing my way through a row of trucks on the miracle mile; i'm still waiting for them to come up with a website and/or a twitter account so i can track them down and try some of the other items they have to offer.

dim sum truck (thedimsumtruck.com @dimsumtruck) - chinese dim sum; i always look forward to the times when i travel out to san gabriel with friends for dim sum, those times when we pick out our favorite dumplings from the neverending array of steamer baskets that are pushed around in carts. unfortunately, san gabriel is almost an hour away from the westside (and definitely over an hour with traffic), so it's nice to know that there'll now be times when the dim sum might actually come to me! the offerings on the truck aren't as varied, but as long as alex keeps supplying me with some tasty shrimp har gow, egg tarts, and sesame balls, i'm happy...

yum yum bowls (yumyumbowls.com @yumyumbowls) - thai curries; the great thing about this truck is that almost anything on the menu can be made vegetarian. you can have tofu spring rolls, tofu satay, fried tofu, tofu tom yum soup, and tofu curry -- red, green, or yellow. tommy's food is just as good as what would get at your favorite thai cafe, and it's all nicely priced.

phamish (eatphamish.com @eatphamish) - vietnamese bahn mi, spring rolls, and pho; the first time i stopped at the truck, i asked for a tofu bahn mi; unfortunately, they didn't have any tofu at the time, so i ended up getting a veggie spring roll. i later found out that "mom" was very particular about the tofu she wanted to use, and until she found what she considered to be the perfect tofu, she wouldn't serve any. thankfully, her search has come to an end; i can now get my fill of tofu bahn mi and tofu spring rolls. and it's clear to me that the wait was definitely worth it.

mandoline grill (mandolinegrill.com @MandolineGrill) - vietnamese banh mi and bun; i've only been to this truck once, and it was to its launch party last month at a bar all the way out in eagle rock. my friend and i split the vegan-friendly tofu banh mi and the tofu spring rolls. i wasn't particularly impressed with the speed of service nor the quality of the food (especially since i'm already a die-hard fan of the other two vietnamese trucks), but then again, i figured they were still working out the kinks. i'm waiting for them to come closer to me this time
so i can give it another shot.

kabob n' roll (kabobnroll.com @KabobNRoll) - mediterreanean kabobs; walking up to this truck is like walking into a middle eastern bazaar! wael and chrissy have all kinds of kabobs served on rice pilaf, including veggie and shrimp. there's even a fruit kabob drizzled with chocolate! they also have falafel wraps, stuffed grape leaves, baba ganoush, hummus, and fried cheese rolls. there's also baklava and a variety of cookies and sweets. it seems like each time i stop by the truck, there's something new on the menu. so if you can't find anything on the truck that interests you, i'm sorry; you definitely have a problem!

the tastymeat (tastymeat.org @tastymeat) - turkish-inspired meats; despite the name, there IS something on the menu that doesn't contain meat: their falafel wrap, complete with special sauce. and true to their name, it WAS pretty tasty! and if you want feta fries to go with your food, max can set you up with that, too.

louks (loukstogo.com @LouksToGo) - greek gyros; they'll be the first to admit that they cater to carnivores. so the veghead options are the veggie gyros (where you sub lettuce, cucumbers, and feta cheese for the meat), the greek salad, the fries, and the louks (or loukomades, mini greek donut balls). i've had the gyros, the feta fries, and the louks. they were all good, but the nutella-topped louks alone will keep me coming back :)

vesuvio (vesuviola.com @VesuvioLA) - italian sandwiches; when i first stopped at this food truck at the haiti fundraiser at the t-lofts complex in west LA, the only thing they served that was somewhat vegetarian was their arancini, or rice balls. while there were slivers of salami in them, i chose to order them anyway just to see how they tasted. and they did taste pretty good. since then, i've had their eggplant parmesan sandwich and their new vegetarian arancini (with sundried tomatoes and pesto replacing the salami)... and i can't wait for my next visit so i can have more of the food inspired by what their mother used to make...

piaggio (piaggioonwheels.com @piaggioonwheels) - argentinian empanadas and sandwiches; as luck would have it, there was a very short line at this OC-based truck when i walked past it at the LA food festival (what a surprise!). since my belly was pretty much full with everything else i'd eaten at the event, i ordered their churros con dulce de leche. oh my. if the rest of their veggie items -- tofu bravo taco/quesadilla, caprese empanada, and alfajores -- are just as good, i might actually find myself driving to the other side of the orange curtain on a regular basis...

reggae chicken (no website @REGGAEJERKCHICK) - jamaican jerk chicken and pork; since the focus is on the jerk chicken and the jerk pork, the only veggie item of interest to me was the side of fried plantains. and i loved their plaintains... as well as the bottle of ting, a jamaican grapefruit soda. thumbs-up to regine and her husband from me!!

good-old american grub trucks:

green truck (greentruckonthego.com @Green_Truck) - organic dishes (part 1)
let's be frank (letsbefrankdogs.com @letsbefrank) - hotdogs (part 1)
south philly experience (southphillyexperience.com @SouthPhillyExp) - philly cheesesteaks (part 1)
barbie's Q (barbiesq.com @BarbiesQ) - BBQ (part 1)
spring street smoke house (labbqguy.com @labbqguy) - BBQ (part 1)
chef on wheels BBQ (chefonwheelscatering.com @chefonwheelsBBQ) - hawaiian-influenced (part 1)
baby's badass burgers (babysbadassburgers.com @babysbbs) - burgers (part 2)
the gastrobus (thegastrobus.com @thegastrobus) - soups and sandwiches (part 2)
the grilled cheese truck (thegrilledcheesetruck.com @grlldcheesetruk) - grilled cheese sandwiches (part 2)
dogtown dogs (dogtowndog.com @dogtowndog) - hotdogs (part 3)
mattie's southern kitchen (mattiessouthernkitchen.blogspot.com @mattieskitchen - southern cooking (part 3)
frysmith (eatfrysmith.com @frysmith) - french fries (part 3)

buttermilk (buttermilktruck.com @ButtermilkTruck) - breakfast; almost everything on this truck is made from a buttermilk batter -- pancakes, waffles, and biscuits. they also serve oatmeal, yogurt, and veggie omelets if you prefer something less carb-heavy. by the way, gigi, who owns the truck, is filipino, so don't be surprised if you find some "exotic" items featured in the daily special :)

grill 'em all (grillemalltruck.com @GrillEmAllTruck) - burgers; matt and ryan, the guys who run this gourmet burger truck, intend to shock you with what they put on their burgers: beer-soaked onions, marinated green chiles, cranberry gastrique, crushed potato chips. luckily for vegheads, they have a veggie burger with guac, salsa, and frizzled onions (it's called the carcass, which is supposedly a heavy metal band with vegetarian musicians. um, yeah). or you can sub a veggie patty on the other hamburger options for a couple of bucks more.

patty wagon burgers (pattywagonburgers.com @pattywagonLA) - burgers; the slider-sized burgers are from grain-fed cows and the veggies -- lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and mushrooms -- are from organic farms. yes, it's healthy, but no, it's not really veghead-friendly. the only non-meat option is a grilled cheese/pepper/onion concoction on a ciabatta roll. but they're new; given some time, matt and stef will probably come up with something more substantial. their fries are hand-cut, fried, then sprinkled with either sea salt or rosemary-garlic. yum.

qzilla BBQ (qzillabbq.com @Qzillabbq) - BBQ; i came across this pasadena-based truck at the LA food festival last month. since it specializes in ribs and brisket, the only options for vegetarians are the potato salad and the mac and cheese. i ordered the potato salad because it was the only thing they had left; i somehow kept thinking that i would've done better if i'd had the mac and cheese instead.

slice truck (slicetruck.com @SliceTruck) - pizza; if you want pizza that's affordable and tasty, too, hunt down this truck. i spent $3 on a large slice of cheese pizza that was sprinkled with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. and i would've had more if i could because it was that good.

willoughby road (willoughbyroad.com @WilloughbyRoad) - southern cooking; again, another of my stops during the t-lofts haiti fundraiser event. i ended up getting the shrimp with grits. it was pretty filling and very satisfying. hmmm... makes me want to hunt them down and try something else on their menu...

uncle lau's island BBQ (unclelausbbq.com @unclelausbbq) - hawaiian-inspired; this is actually chef on wheels' new and improved look. the truck has been re-wrapped and the food has been tweaked to emphasize the hawaiian dishes. but since i can't eat the loco moco nor the 808 burger (beef patty topped with pineapple/teriyaki sauce), i'll have to stick to eating chef stephen's shrimp scampi tacos and bowls instead.

fresser's hot pastrami (fressers.com @Fressers) - pastrami; i know, i don't eat meat, but after finding myself irresistibly-drawn to the aroma of hot pastrami wafting from scott and jessica's truck vents, i broke down and ordered a pastrami sandwich. yes, i broke my dietary rule but at least it was worth it! i got the caprese sandwich the next time i stopped by and fell equally in love with its mozzarella/basil goodness. yay for a good veggie option!

lee's philly (no website @LeesPhilly) - philly cheesesteaks; don't ask me why anyone would order a tuna sandwich from a philly cheesesteak truck, but when that's the only veggie option besides an egg sandwich (or at least i think that was my other option), it's what i ended up getting. i should've had them go easy on the mayo (having it in the tuna salad and again on the bread was a bit much). i'm going to have to track down john's truck once more to find out what that other option was, won't i?

and lastly, my personal favorite, the dessert trucks (which are totally vegetarian!):

get shaved (getshavedice.com @getshaved) - shaved ice (part 1)
coolhaus (eatcoolhaus.com @COOLHAUS) - ice cream sandwiches (part 1)
king kone (kingkone.net @kingkonela) - soft serve cones, sundaes, floats, and shakes (part 1)
sprinkles (sprinkles.com @sprinklesmobile) - cupcakes (part 3)
dainty cakes (daintycakesla.com @daintycakesla) - cupcakes (part 3)
sweets truck (thesweetstruck.com @thesweetstruck) - pastries and coffee (part 3)

del's (DelsLA.com @DelsLA) - frozen lemonade; they serve the famous frozen lemonade from del's out in rhode island. it comes in different flavors: original, peach/mango, cherry, and more. the flavors available on the truck vary from day to day, so be willing to be somewhat adventurous when you stop by!

nana queen's pudding and wings (nanaqueens.com @NanaQueens) - banana pudding, chicken wings; who knew you could do so many things with banana pudding and nilla wafers? janel will top your pudding order with crushed oreos, nutter butters, chessmen, and ginger snaps. or caramel or butterscotch. or... you get the idea. i asked for the fresh strawberry topping because it sounded healthier. i mean, how can it not be? :)

no longer on the road:

marked5 (marked5.com @Marked5) - japanese burgers (part 1)
skewers on wheels (skewersonwheels.com @SKEWERSONWHEELS) - skewered meat (part 1)
panini on wheels (paninionwheels.com @paninionwheels) - italian paninis (part 2)

jobels (no website @30sphillycheese) - philly cheesesteaks; bella, the guy who ran the truck, claimed that he made his cheesesteaks just like they do at tony luke's in philly, which, by the way, beat bobby flay's version at a throwdown on the food network. he and his wife were really sweet; i'd stopped by a few times to try different items. and each time i'd give them my opinion, they'd listen intently and thank me for my suggestions.

derbs gourmet treats (derbsla.com @derbsgourmet) - pacific rim; late last year, they had a launch event outside a bar in culver city. i fell in love with the veggie derb-a-dilla, which was tamale-sized deep-fried masa dough oozing with cheese and veggies. their last tweet dated january 1st said "A truly gourmet truck about to hit the streets of L.A. Follow us – we’ll keep you posted on launch date." unfortunately, i never heard from nor about them again after that.

little spoon desserts (littlespoondesserts.com @weliketospoon) - pastries; i managed to find them by accident at the brig while i was noshing on a harvest melt sandwich from the grilled cheese truck. i ordered one of their decadent chocolate concoctions (when in doubt, you can't go wrong with chocolate!). before i found them again to try something else, melissa tweeted that she was retiring the truck and was going to provide desserts to various food trucks instead. all of that's still in the works, so i'll have to wait to see how that goes.

umami burger (umamiburger.com @umamiburger) - burgers; if you're a burger lover in LA, you've probably already been to their restaurant on either la brea or hollywood (or both) to have your fill of its much-blogged about wondrousness. for some reason, though, i'd never had one, not even the veggie version, so when i found out they had a truck parked outside their soon-to-be location at the fred segal in santa monica, i made a beeline for it. however, on the day i showed up, the veggie wasn't available. oh darn. so that meant i had to try their famous beef version... and yes, it was everything they said it would be :)

believe it or not, there are many more food trucks scheduled to open within the next few months. so in the meantime, i'll keep eating... and keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

because everyone loves a contest!

to celebrate the fact that i now have a new map on my site AND that i'm about to hit 1000 fans* on my facebook page, i've decided to give something away to one lucky follower! and that follower could be YOU!!

* i know, a thousand fans is a piddly number compared to such power houses such as yoga journal with almost 24,000 facebook fans and elephant journal with just over 11,000 fans, but hey, it makes me feel wanted :)

of course, you might have to do a bit of research to win, but here's something that should get your brain in gear... i'm giving away the new eQua hot yoga towel from manduka, with a retail value of $55!!

here's more information about this cool prize -- which should help keep you cool and dry during your hot yoga practice:

For those that prefer their yoga hot, the eQua Hot Yoga Towel is the ultimate solution to sweat management—allowing the user to perfect their poses instead of dealing with a perspiring distraction from their practice.

Developed in response to the common problem of excessive puddling during a sweaty yoga session, the Hot Yoga Towel is created with ultra soft, double knit microfiber—that remains super gentle on the skin but tough against toxins. Outperforming ordinary cotton or polyester towels, when spread over the yoga mat the Hot Yoga Towel forms a plush, sweat-trapping barrier and slip-resistant, hygienic foundation—absorbing the maximum amount of moisture while keeping yogi’s mat clean and dry.

"We know how distracting perspiration can be during a high intensity yoga session," said Manduka CEO, Sky Meltzer. “So to assist the yogis that are heating up their practice, we wanted to offer a high quality product that allows the user to enjoy their practice without the diversion of slipping and sliding on their mat. The eQua Hot Yoga Towel is the perfect solution—not only is it super absorbent, but it also provides a hygienic barrier—keeping bacteria away from the user and off their mat."

Made to fit most yoga mats and user styles, the Manduka eQua Hot Yoga Towel is 72" x 26.5" and is available in Candy (pink), Olive (green) and Scuba (blue). Able to withstand countless washings, the eQua Hot Yoga Towel is both machine washable and dryable — sweat it out, toss it in the wash and start your practice all over again. Whether you glow, perspire, sweat or seep—Manduka’s eQua Hot Yoga towel has your mat and your mind covered.

Like all of the towels in the Manduka eQua Towel collection, the Hot Yoga Towel is created according to fair labor production standards. For more information, please visit: http://www.manduka.com/ or become a facebook fan at: www.facebook.com/manduka.

so here are the contest rules:

1. after taking a close look at my LA yoga studio map (click here to get the larger version), post a comment below, giving me the name of ONE yoga studio that is NOT on the map (and i know there's a bunch of them, so this isn't a trick question) as well as its address, phone number, and website address. oh, and the color of the manduka eQua towel you'd like (pink, green, or blue), if you win!

2. the yoga studio has to be within the LA county limits and must offer group yoga classes on a regularly-scheduled basis.

3. even if a location offers a slew of yoga classes, as long as it requires membership to take a class -- as in a gym, health club, or fitness center -- i'm going to have to exclude it. community centers and function halls are also excluded. for the most part, i'm going to have to exclude private homes, unless they have websites and drop-in yoga class schedules posted on those websites.

4. and here's the kicker: the location has to be a studio that hasn't been mentioned by anyone else (in other words, only the first person to mention it gets entered in the contest).

5. only ONE entry is allowed per person. so if you know of more than one studio, you'll have to get a friend to send in an entry for you... and both of you will have to work out who gets the prize if your friend wins :)

6. lastly, you must be a fan of the accidental yogist on facebook in order to win!

one thing i should point out is that all you'll need to do is TELL me about the place; please DO NOT update the map!

by the way, if you come up with a studio that i've been to but have forgotten to put on the map, you will definitely earn yourself a shout-out :)

i'll give all of you until next friday, march 12th, to come up with a whole bunch of nice places for me to check out and add to the map. i'll randomly draw the winner from the eligible comments that come in, so if you're the only one who responds correctly, guess what -- you automatically win!

good luck!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

testing... 1, 2, 3...

as you've probably read from my previous post, the map i used to have at the top of my blog page ceased to exist once the company that hosted it, platial.com, closed shop. here's a blog post by portland-based silicon florist that talks about the promising beginnings of platial, then how it finally was forced to close down: End of the road: Platial draws its social mapping pursuits to a close

thankfully, the nice people at platial made sure that all of their customers, including myself, had the proper tools at our disposal to export our mapped data into another mapping tool -- in my case, google maps.

the conversion itself was actually pretty painless; the only reason why it took me so long to come up with a replacement was because i needed time to grieve over the loss of something that i'd become attached to. and in a way, had been identified with.

once i was ready to move on, it was time to update my map... and its look. so i changed the place markers to push pins (the jury's still out about whether i'll keep these or switch them out for something else), added missing studios, marked as "closed" all the studios that are no longer in business, and basically just fixed anything that needed fixing.

i also implemented a slightly different color-coding scheme:
~ blue pins are yoga studios that are currently open
~ red pins are studios that have closed (including those that have moved; the red pin marks the old location while a blue pin marks the new)
~ green pins are donation-based yoga studios (and i'm hoping this proves to be useful to those experiencing financial difficulties)

i'll probably keep tweaking the map so make it more user-friendly... like i just realized that there's a big "platial the people's atlas" graphic right in the middle of each description bubble... more grunt work for me to do...

in the meantime, what do you think? comments are most welcome :)