Current Fixations — July 2014

Since working for myself, I've made a concerted effort to revel in a slower life pace, and have really tried to take the time to soak up my surrounding as I go about my day. With my eyes wide open to discoveries of the culinary kind and otherwise, I've discovered quite a few new obsessions that I'm quickly making a habit of. 

I've spent more than my budget's worth on independent food, fashion, and literary magazines, but my absolute favorite right now is Anthology. It's the perfect mix of aspirational and relatable, with a little bit of everything I'm interested in: travel, food, thoughtful design, reading. 

The bloody Marys at Wood Tavern in Oakland. They've got that whole smoky-chioptle thing going on, and come with a shot of beer as the perfect chaser. While we're at it, their fried cod sandwich is pretty much perfect.

Devoto Cider ($11.99 at Whole Foods) — The Devoto Family learned how to make hard cider in Asturias, Spain, then brought the craft back to their farm in Sebastopol, CA. They make three varieties, ranging from semi-dry to dry, but my favorite is the 1976. Warning: don't expect to NOT through an entire bottle by yourself in one sitting. 

The best bookstand ever: Issues shop in Temescal. It's great that they have Cherrybombe and Kinfolk and Lapham's Quarterly and witty letterpress cards. But when I walked to the back and saw a bin of homemade magazines labeled "ZINES $4," I really knew I had arrived at my happy place. 

Barrel-aged cocktails at Blackbird Bar. Ever had a rhum negroni that's been aged for five years? Neither had I, until I stepped into Blackbird. Co-owner Shawn Vergara had the foresight to put down a bunch of cocktails when the bar first opened and each year after that, and for a limited time, you can try them, too (the drinks are available until they run out). 

The newly-opened Marla Bakery. Everything, from the coffee to the baked goods to the bread to the lunch is solid at Marla Bakery. But if I had to choose one thing from the store, it might be Amy Brown's chocolate chip cookie. I've never had a better rendition.