Monthly Archives: July 2012


Disappointment comes in many forms.  The Monster was once sure he’d won the lottery to find out he didn’t have one number right.  Damn it.  The Monster thought he’d have a career as a rock god until he remembered he lacked any all musical talent.  Oh well.  There were failed relationships and career false starts and the time when The Monster’s hair just didn’t work.  It happens.

Which brings us to Sycamore Kitchen.

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Filed under Reviews, Sycamore Kitchen


Two wine related items today:

1) For anyone interested in a last minute getaway The Monster received word about ten discounted #3 VIP promo passes for this weekend’s annual beachside California Wine Festival in Santa Barbara—  they provide entry to two events at a deep discount.

*The romantic July 20th Friday evening champagne reception gets underway at 6:30PM and features live jazz, gourmet foods and tasting of extremely rare reserve wines under the stars.

*The Saturday July 21 VIP beachfront event offers a 90-minute early entry at 11:30AM-4PM, a separate VIP pavilion with table seating, rare reserve wines, unlimited food, and the main festival with over 350 wines, live music, a celebrity chef ‘Guacamole Throwdown’ cooking show—with contestants selected from the 2,500 attendees. The winner takes $10,000. in prizes including a cruise along the Mexican Riviera! And much more.

The ‘gate’ ticket price for both events is $255. Your price is $50 per ticket or–$500 for all ten. Please note: All attendees must be 21+photo ID must be presented at event entries.   For more info email Suzanne at to learn more.

2) Talk and Wine Tasting at the Getty Villa – Drinking in the Greek Manner: A Brief History of the Symposion –  Saturday, July 21, 5:00-8:00 p.m. | The Getty Villa, Admission: $60. Call (310) 440-7300

 In ancient Greece the symposium was a social institution for men of status to meet, converse, and drink wine. Learn more in a lecture by Oswyn Murray, then taste wines inspired by ancient wine making techniques in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Villa.

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Filed under 7/18 N&N, News and Notes


Rubino’s Pizza is The Monster’s idea of heaven and if he had to pick a last meal it would be here.  So there’s this place that has no atmosphere, not much functioning air, doesn’t even so much as offer a menu (since it’s on the wall and everyone knows what they want) yet it’s perfect.

Is it the Ms. Pacman along the back wall?  The pinball machine the kids in little league jerseys jockey over?  The fact that the place hasn’t changed since Papa Monster used to come as a child?  Or for that matter since they opened in 1954?  That prices reflect the Nixon administration moreso than now?  That they only take cash and the register is older than The Monster?  It’s all of those things and more.

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Filed under Reviews, Rubino's Pizza (Columbus Ohio)


Cap City Diner…

Pretty decent eats for sure.

Holy gumballs, wow.

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Filed under Cap City Diner (Columbus Ohio), Reviews


The next stop on The Monster’s Columbus dining tour is Ocean Club.  A Cameron Mitchell restaurant   It was Cameron and Papa Monster who began and jointly chaired Serra Bella, a charity for The Children’s Hospital in Columbus.  The first year they raised $200,000 for the hospital with the charity eventually reaching $800,000 a year.

It’s that philanthropic spirit that The Monster has tried to emulate with his own efforts on behalf of The James Cancer Hospital in honor of Papa Monster’s battle and survival through throat cancer.

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Filed under Ocean Club (Columbus Ohio), Reviews



With six rail lines, including the new Expo Line to Culver City, Metro puts diners within easy walking distance of dozens of participating restaurants including Lukshon, Mo-chica, Papilles, and more.  From  Culver  City,  Downtown  LA,  and  Hollywood  to  Pasadena,  Universal  City,  and  Long  Beach,  diners  can  navigate shelling  out  $10  for  valet.

2) Speaking of dine LA, Coupa Café is participating again this year, offering a budget-friendly $15/per person lunch and a $25/per person dinner prix fixe menu with items that range from traditional Venezuelan to delectable Americanized treats with a twist!  Coupa Café has ample outdoor patio seating for guests to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

3) Los Angeles Chef Kenny Seliger, will host the second venture in his new pop-up restaurant / dinner series concept, “Trap Door Dining” (, on Sunday, July 22, 2012. The pre-fixe dinner menu, a six-course “Pig & Fig Mountain” pig tasting menu with Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. ( beer pairings, will be held at Melrose Avenue gourmet sandwich and fine foods purveyor, Marcona ( The pre-fixe menu will be served from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM on July 22.  For July 22 reservations/ reservation policies, please contact the Trap Door Dining team at or {Twitter: @TrapDoorDining}

4) Café Fiore, a neighborhood restaurant that serves traditional rustic Italian cuisine, is expanding with a new location in Woodland Hills, CA located at 21550 Oxnard St. near Canoga Avenue. Café Fiore is known for its one-of-kind Italian dishes, a beautiful martini lounge and popular happy hours.

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Filed under 7/12 N&N, News and Notes


In the old Bexley Monk and Blind Monk space (The Monster hasn’t been in twenty years but not much seems to have changed) is Barrel 44 Whiskey Bar and Restaurant.

It’s a nice large bar in one room and dining in the next, warm brown tones and an outside patio that’s much too hot today as we celebrate America’s birthday.

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Filed under Barrell 44 (Columbus Ohio), Reviews