Weekly Recommendations: Try New Stuff, Lumpy!
Today's the perfect day to hit NIC Beach with a cooler full of Peach-Mango Wonder Drink and get some sun on those poor white legs! Wonder Drink is one of several popular brands of Sparkling Kombucha, a bizarre beverage of Russian origin that I've recently become addicted to. Kombucha is one of those definite acquired tastes. It tastes a little vinegary, kind of tart like sour garbage. The first sip is foul, gag-inducing perhaps. The second taste is a little better, intriguing even, and if you've made it that far, you won't mind finishing the rest of it. Cold enough and with the right flavor choice, it can even be refreshing and you can actually feel a significant tingle of effervescent energy, with none of the mystery supplements or high fructose of energy drinks.
Wikipedia defines Kombucha as "the Western name for sweetened tea or tisane that has been fermented using a macroscopic solid mass of microorganisms called a "kombucha colony," usually consisting principally of Acetobacter-species and yeast cultures. It has gained much popular support within many communities, mentioned by talk show hosts and celebrities." Madonna says it's good for you, so drink it!
Pilgrim's Market on 4th Street in Cd'A offers a huge selection of Kombucha, including the fizzy, fruity, easy to inject Wonder Drink, the stinky, fermenty hardcore variety by Synergy, and others inbetween. Your liver will fall back in love with you.
Today is local sushi day. Well, every day is local sushi day in Get Out Land. My homegirl Christa raved recently about the newly-installed Sushi Bar that appeared after the dust settled in the Coeur d'Alene Fred Meyer after their latest injection of remodeling botox. She says the sushi was surprisingly fresh and tasty, and that she was charmed by the extremely knowledgeable little old Japanese woman running the show. Best of all, she says, she can get her sushi fix while her raw-fish hating hubby and kids can order their grody corndogs and jojo's or whatever. Amazingly, including all delis and restaurants, there are now 9 places for Sushi in our little berg by my count. Kore o kudasai.
Handshake Productions deserve a handshake indeed, or at least a high-five for bringing us a ton of live music every summer for many moons now. These are the folks who always put together the concerts at Cd'a and Hayden City Parks, Riverstone concert series, and the concerts at Sherman Square downtown. Speaking of which, you might want to call your favorite Auntie and invite her to Chinese dinner at Canton and to be-bop and swing the night away with the Coeur d'Alene Big Band starting at 6:30 p.m. at Sherman Square Park.
Stay home tonight, it's just a boring Wednesday. I have an idea. Order an incredible Aegean pizza (olive oil glaze, mozzarella, fresh garlic, spinach, marinated sun-dried tomatoes, feta, oregano). from Nick & Willy's, who now deliver in Cd'A. Follow this link to Yahoo Games and download the trial version of the PC game Cooking Academy. Warning: you'll probably end up wanting to pay for the full version (unless you have "other ways" of going about this task. Shhh.)
Have your pal bring some wine coolers and their laptop so they can download it too, and you can have a Cooking Academy marathon/completion. This game is completely addictive, teaching you dozens of recipes that you create by using your mouse to cut, stir and cook. Bonus points are given for accuracy and speed and you have a series of exams at the end. It's a little clunky at first, but once you get used to it, you'll feel like you're trapped in some kind of virtual Food Network contest. The Casio-fied country music sucks though, so turn it off and put the excellent new Beck album Moden Guilt on repeat instead.
Seems like a good night to validate downtown's new buzz club Baja Bargarita, which is located in the old Toro Viejo lounge on 2nd St., half a block up from Sherman Ave., Baja is the pet project of Ms. Jessi, a fierce Latina diva who tended bar both at Mik-n-Mac's and the Torch before her significant other, Toro owner Junior, gave her some of his space to start her own thang. Joining her behind the bar is legendary liquor mixologist Chris Hagen, also formerly of Mik-n-Mac's and more recently Parkside Bistro. If you've never had an Oatmeal Cookie shot, you need to see Chris asap, because she makes the best ones, period. Baja Bargarita has a nightclub atmosphere with guest DJ's and drink specials, and killer Mexican food as long as the restaurant is still cooking. Jessi and co. are open Tues - Sat from afternoon 'til late. They're just starting up a MySpace thing over here.
Sadly, my dear friend Jhanie is preparing to say bye-bye to these lovely shores and head east to Virginia Beach for work purpose. And although he vows to be back in a few short years, when the work project is over, he's still planning one hell of a going away bash at the Corner Bar tonight. Jhanie 's private Leopard Lounge, located in the basement of his Fairmont Loop home, has been the site of a series of packed, jaw-droppingly debauched and hilarious parties over the last five years, including the Studio 54 series, the White Trash parties, and always New Years Eve. If you were lucky enough to attend one of these, it was a night you won't soon forget, filled with loud disco, a full-stocked wet bar, mind-warping food layouts, and a lot of half naked, fully drunk Home Depot staff (Jhanie's employer).
As a last blast, Jhanie and his entourage are taking over the Corner Bar for some Karaoke with Marj one more time. The CB already gets rowdy and weird on karaoke night, but mix in the Leopard Lounge crowd and I'd be surprised if the roof was still attached in the morning.
Lithium.ID are one of the area's tightest punk-grunge influenced live acts, and they've got a headlining gig tonight at the Grail on Seltice Way. These boys are pretty good at the self-promotion thing, flooding MySpace inboxes and bulletin boards with upcoming shows and flyers. I love it, it makes my life much easier when bands send me updates, plus it's made them one of themost name-recognizable bands around. Additionally, there are a gaggle of young opening bands, listed below (links go to their MySpace.)
Reason For Existence: Menacing Spokane Punk.
Juice Falcon: Wyoming Psycho Punk.
Gaglaw: Spokane Surf Punk.
Big Dirty Guns: Spokane Punk Metal.
From Sword to Sunrise: Progressive Spokane Metal