Fall Merch Arrives @ Louis Vuitton


Still blazing hot in most parts of the country but it’s Fall already at LV’s stores.

This post features new shoe styles for fall / winter.  First up, the Himalaya Richelieu in rich waxed leather is new for Fall.  Exquisitely crafted with hand crafted burnishing / patina, this shoe is simply amazing!  The pictures don’t do it justice.  They look great in person.

LV has also introduced the Himalaya Ankle Boot in waxed leather.

Also on display … Inside Out Richelieu In Suede Leather.  Seen at Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2011 men’s show, which was inspired by the surreal ambiance of David Lynch movies, this avant-garde richelieu features an inside-out construction: usually invisible elements, including the stiffeners and identification number, are transformed into distinctive details.  Beautiful shoe!

Finally, the Summit Ankle Boot (pictured below on the left) … Ideal for fall, this on-trend ankle boot in glazed calf leather is sturdy, stylish and features an innovative treaded outsole in leather with rubber inserts.

Help Me Decide My Harley Purchase!


I have Harley fever and yes I admit it!  I’m signed up to take the Rider Safety Course on September 9 – 11.  With an anticipated license in hand and the desire to ride, I can hardly wait to get my hands on some Milwaukee Iron!  I visited my local dealer today to check out the two models that I have zeroed in on.

First one is the Nightster from the Sportster line.  This is an aggressive and nimble looking beast.  In a Black Denim finish with 1200cc engine, this bike has plenty of power.  The other key attribute that I need … it is low to the ground. Just 25.7 inches high it would provide confidence for a newbie rider.  This bike weighs 562 pounds.

Bike # 2 on my radar is the Fat Boy Lo from the Softail line.  A very different bike from the Nightster, the Fat Boy is the essence of a Harley cruiser that epitomizes the aggressive low cruiser appearance with a bad ass motor … a counter-balanced Twin Cam 103B V-Twin engine.  Harley says that to give the Fat Boy Lo model its distinctive road-hugging stance, they’ve dropped the front and rear suspension 1.15 inches. That makes it the lowest seat height of any stock Harley-Davidson model at a down and dirty 24.25 inches. Perfect for smaller riders or those who just like to feel down in the bike.  That makes is a great choice for me.  On the minus side it weighs a whopping 731 pounds.

So, should I go with the aggressive, nimble Nightster?

Or spring for the ultimate Boulevard Cruiser … The Fat Boy Lo?

Chapter One: The Modern Local in Santa Ana


What makes Chapter One: the modern local different from all the other cool gastropubs?  For starters – all patrons in the bar the day Osama Bin Laden was declared dead were poured free shots to celebrate!  Score one for the cool new joint!  Open since March of 2011, this restaurant is located in Artists Village in downtown Santa Ana and features modern pub grub and some serious micro brews.

The restaurant has a dark, rustic yet modern feel.  The tables, booths and communal tables all offer a comfortable dining space.  Hanging out the bar if you have to wait for a table isn’t half bad either.  With big screen tv’s and plenty of libation at hand, one can while away the time.

On to the food.  Appetizers included the Scotch Egg featuring a hard-boiled egg covered in ground turkey, panko crust, w/ Asian mustard mango sauce.  This was a cold dish and I didn’t much care for the flavor.  A bit on the boring side.  Skip this and opt for the Mac and Cheese instead – with white cheddar, fontina cheese, pearl onions, smokey bacon, fried onions, toasted panko.  This one is killer comfort food!

At our server’s suggestion I tried the Banana Bread beer.  Yes it does smell like it and tastes great.  Quite refreshing and food friendly.

My entree was the Beef Culotte – bacon-wrapped, coffee & chocolate crusted, dijon smashed potatoes.  The meat was cooked perfectly (medium rare) with rich coffee flavor and soft potatoes.  Well executed chef!

Connie ordered the Moroccan Chicken Sandwich with Indian spices and yogurt, cranberry aioli, chipotle cumin kersa flatbread, lentil salad.  Good flavor but I would recommend balancing the bread to meat ratio.  The bread is a tad too thick and should be slimmed down.

Dessert was PB & B – bruleed banana, maple bourbon caviar, peanut butter ice cream, candied bacon, chocolate oil.  Loved the rich and creamy ice cream.  The candied bacon was a bit chewy.  Would have preferred a crispier texture.  If the chocolate oil was present I missed it.  A tad disappointing considering that this is their signature dessert.

The service at Chapter one was friendly and attentive.  One of the owners Jeff Jensen was gracious enough to engage us in conversation as we were departing the restaurant.  We spent a fair amount of time learning about the inspiration that drove to the opening of this eatery, the choice of the chef (Oge Dalken from Detroit), how the layout was designed and future extension plans.  Jeff is a diligent, dedicated and passionate individual and I believe his drive makes this restaurant a success.  Jeff – please do consider my suggestion on improving the wine list 🙂

Our first visit was more hit than miss and we will return for a second try.  Looking forward to it.

Tequila!


Snob factor around wine, beer, scotch is oft discussed but tequila often doesn’t get mentioned with the same reverence.  A bit unfair I think.  I sampled some great high tequila with my friend Bernd last week.  Most of his collection leans toward the Anejo variety … described as follows …

After aging for at least one year, Tequila can  be classified as an “Añejo”. The distillers are required to age Añejo Tequila in barrels that do not exceed 600 liters. This aging process darkens the Tequila to an Amber color, and the flavor can become smoother, richer, and more complex.   A new classification added in the summer of 2006, labeling any Tequila aged more than 3 years, an “Extra Añejo”.  With this extended amount of aging, the Tequila becomes much darker, more of a Mahogany color, and is so rich that it becomes difficult to distinguish it from other quality aged spirits. After the aging process, the alcohol content must be diluted by adding distilled water. These Extra Añejo’s are extremely smooth and complex.

We started with the Sin Rival … an extra aged artisan spirit aged in Tennessee whisky barrels.  On the palate, you can feel light heat with a sensational sweet and long after taste that resonates on the tongue.  At under 100 bucks, this tequila is a no brainer to have around in your home bar!

Next up was the Patron Gran Burdeos Anejo Tequila Bordeaux Cask.  This is an extremely-limited-production añejo, from one one of the world’s top tequilla producers. Patrón Burdeos is a tequila matured in barrels made of a unique blend of American mountain oak and oaks from the different regions of France. The tequila is aged for 12 months, then distilled once again and racked in hand-selected Bordeaux barrels, adding the distinct fruity flavors of the finest Bordeaux wines.  Not cheap at around $500+ but worth the splurge!

Chased with beer, the appetite gets worked up and dinner is next.  Simply grilled sashimi grade pepper tuna with summer squash.

Up next was El Mayor Anejo Tequila – This 100% agave tequila is aged up to 3 years in small, charred, white oak barrels. El Mayor Añejo is highly sophisticated, masterfully crafted and is designed for slow contemplative sipping.

The three stages of tequila drinking start to set in … standing up after your first one, one your ass after the next 2 and down and out after the next few …  Thanks B!

Spectator Loafers – Barker Black


The Spectator shoe is a style of low-heeled, shoe constructed from two contrasting colors, typically having the toe and heel cap and sometimes the lace panels in a darker color than the main body of the shoe. This style of shoe dates from the nineteenth century but reached the height of popularity during the 1920s and 1930s.

Common color combinations include a white shoe body with either black or tan toe and heel caps, but other colors can be used. The spectator is typically an all leather shoe, but can be constructed using a canvas, mesh or suede body.

My Barker Black spectators are white and tan crown loafers … a nice change to the slightly more formal lace ups.

As with all BB’s, these spectators are well crafted, good year welting and complete with the skull and cross bones logo.

Wear them with khaki’s or linen pants …

Arrive in style …