It’s Time to Get Schooled

Happy Friday!  In honor of the start of the weekend (and the fact that I am long over due for a post for you guys), I thought I’d share my new favorite watering hole.  Public School is the newest hot spot in downtown Culver City.  It’s been on Jefe and my’s to-do list since it opened in December, but thanks to the line out the door and around the block, we have yet to make it inside.

But apparently tonight was my lucky night when I met up with a friend from graduate school.  I managed to walk right in and grabbed a table in the back.  While I waited for my friend to arrive, I looked up and was immediately fascinated with the light fixture overhead.

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Then I took a look around and immediately whipped out my phone for some serious Instagram-ing.  I started with the menu and cocktail napkin…

menu and napkin

Followed by a stunning exposed brick wall.  The line of bulbs were the clear Edison kind dipped in silver.  Beneath those was a shelf of old microscopes.

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The interior is simply gorgeous.  It is the perfect blend of industrial, vintage, rustic and old-school chic.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get any more images of the place without walking around looking like a stalker, but I did manage to find a few online.  They really don’t do the place justice, but will give you an idea of it’s true beauty:

overhead

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outdoor bar 2

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sign

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outdoor bar

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bar 2

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bar area

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As I was trying to be good since this was my second night out in a row, I opted for a single beer and a healthy meal.  I got the heirloom tomato salad with ruby red grapefruit, basil and balsamic vinaigrette glaze.  Thanks to our stellar waitress, she managed to get me a side of grilled chicken too.  I was so famished after 11 hours at the office, that I inhaled it before I could get a solid picture to share.  My friend was nice enough to let me taste some of hers.  She got a burger that looked absolutely incredible and some fries with a spicy ketchup.  Now I’m a die-hard Heinz fan myself, particularly after living in Pittsburgh for 4 years, but this Sriracha ketchup was a nice touch to the perfectly crisp fries.  Public School’s own Instagram will give you a taste of what you’re in for:

burger and fries

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So what do you guys think?  I’m admittedly still daydreaming about that burger.  And the excessively awesome amount of globes.  The use of reclaimed windows was perfection.  I can’t wait to go back.  Has anyone else been to Public School yet?  Any new spots in your own neighborhoods that will rival my new favorite?

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Eat the Ranch

My brother Casey was visiting LA for the long weekend and being the good older sister that I am, I asked what kind of food he wanted to have in the house while he was here.  I was mildly shocked when he asked for fruits and vegetables.  This was coming from the kid who is 6’1″, played tight end for a D2 football team, and used to put away Bagel Bites like it was his life’s calling.

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Exhibit A on the left

So last Wednesday after a grueling day at the office, I dragged my butt to the grocery store.  Being so exhausted, I took one look at the vast produce section of my local Ralph’s and headed straight for the pre-packaged party trays of veggies.  I hate to spend extra money on things that I easily could have done myself and although I do love my brother, I had no desire to stand in the kitchen chopping veggies after an 11 hour day at the office.  So party tray it was.

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Sunday rolls around and Casey, Jefe and I head to the gym.  By the time we got home, we were famished, and had high hopes of eating something other than bowls of cereal or 3 granola bars as our first real meal of the day.  And as much as I just wanted to grab an ice cream bar or a few slices of full fat cheese, I opted for the veggie tray Casey had pulled out.

When I’m on plan for Weight Watchers, I try really hard to be hard core.  I define hard core as eating nothing in it’s full-fat form.  Regular JIF and full-fat yogurt are sacrilege.  I’ve been on or off Weight Watchers in some form or another for my entire adult life and have always abidded by this philosophy (which admittedly may have led to many a downfall in staying on plan).  Keeping that in mind, I took one look at the dish of fatty, oh-so-creamy ranch dressing in the center of that veggie tray and dug right in.  Five minutes after Casey and I had inhaled the entire tray, I had the realization: EAT THE RANCH.

As much as I wanted to prove how much of a rock star I am and be hard core as often as I can, diving right in to that dish of high-calorie dressing was the best move I could have made.  Although I took in some extra calories and grams of fat, I got at least 2.5 servings of veggies for the day and I was essentially full.  And I had avoided the 3 slices of cheese and the ice cream bar I was headed towards, which would have done much more damage to my points for the day than those few scoops of ranch I ate.

So for those of you counting points, or just trying to cut back, I say EAT THE RANCH.  It’s better being a little bad, and getting all the benefits of those veggies you just plowed through than to splurge 30 minutes later when you feel so deprived you’ll eat the first thing in front of you.

And as a bonus, I completed my daily veggie intake when we headed to Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City for their summer Sunday BBQ.  I made sure that our side dishes consisted of more than just mac & cheese or potato salad.  I feasted on marinated heirloom tomatoes and roasted corn with garlic butter.  That garlic butter gave me pause initially but just as I learned earlier that day, adding a little butter to corn is a far cry from licking the bottom of the mac & cheese bowl.

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So there you have it folks.  My Weight Watchers Words of Wisdom for the week: EAT THE RANCH.