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until soon, open for take out and delivery!

Photo taken in real life

I was feeling very prepared to tackle this newsletter and then immediately upon starting (seven days ago), I came down with a terrible case of newsletter writer’s block (similar in symptoms to catalogue writer’s block, or say, pamphlet writer’s block). And if you could extrapolate that block out farther and wider, you would see we are also navigating the more general kinds of blocks—road blocks, stumbling blocks, mental blocks, and even the dreaded and oft-shamed, energetic block. See, now that the life threatening terror has subsided in our small corner of the world, many other feelings are being exhumed from beneath layers of what geologists might call the ancient crust from the late Triassic period (this one goes out to all my Alluvial fans). You might think this all sounds a little hyperbolic, but lucky for me there are very few igneous rocks to provide reliable radiometric dates, so the time span of the past fourteen months vs. the past 241 million years cannot be so accurately sussed out, and thus such dates are subject to revision only when new determinations based on actual science and fact can be made. In the event you did not get my geological pun but for some odd reason are still reading, let me put it a simpler way: we’re fucking tired. All of us.

Now remember, this isn’t a caption, it’s a newsletter (I think more accurately it could be called a storyletter or the trials and tribulations from a somewhat fabricator and procrastinator) and so although you have but one burning question, I must make it worth your while.

Let me acknowledge right away the good fortune we’ve had all this time because of your support and evergreen loyalty. It is heart-bursting to just reflect on it! We have survived on your patronage, kindnesses, words of encouragement, and by becoming a different business entirely, which itself was fueled by heavy doses of adrenaline and almost no time to think or plan. In hindsight that had its benefits; we couldn’t stop. And now, we have to put things back in a different order—a lot of things. And instead of running for our lives it kind of feels like someone shot us up with a horse tranquilizer; the list of physical and mental tasks is long and daunting. So in our first-ever attempt to leap afterwe look, we are actually taking some time to gauge the distance of this next cliff (we’re not actually measuring it, just trying to eyeball its height within a few hundred or so feet and stop long enough to put on some elbow pads).

We are making many needed improvements to the space! This is thrilling. We would never have had the opportunity to do these things before. We’ve installed a new and very beautiful window that opens and closes as windows are famously known to do! As such, you won’t have to stand in a line with forty hungover twenty somethings waiting to sit down and instead you will get your coffee and chocolate chip muffin to go almost as seamlessly as if you plucked it from one of those floating sushi buffets. But fresher. We are building new redwood shelves inside, the likes of which will be packed to the brim with all of the wine I’ve been hoarding (most of it, there were medicines to administer this past year); we are planting more California native and edible life so that outside it feels less like a parking lot with smelly dumpsters and more like an unlikely paradise sanctuary in a parking lot with smelly dumpsters. We’re waiting for approval on several permits to go forward (with the alterations we are already working on) so as to fortify ourselves against the traditional offensive play the city of LA has been known to make in this board game we call doing business, a move commonly referred to as an eight piece dicking.

We have a laundry list of logistics, from rewiring the entire POS system, to replacing the refrigerators and metros with tables and chairs, to locating the plates and glassware and cleaning off fourteen months of dust, to making a new menu and wine list, to finding the right people who want to cook and work with us. My pizzas are pretty ok, though Tommy’s are better, but we both have our hands full: we need him to build stuff and I have lots more to do than stretch dough, much to my own dismay. Just believe me when I say: all of these items represent a mere smattering of items that amount to the mountain we’re trying to climb. I’m not trying to elicit pity, we want only to somehow convey that opening up, or more to it, our delay on opening up, is not a moral decision, or even any longer a safety one, but it’s also not a switch we can flip.

There has also been so much grief and loss and pain wrapped up in the past year and half, that to smash such intensity and subsequent drain immediately against the forthcoming intensity of opening seems to ignore something very crucial and human. We need to decompress and process a little, so as not to carry our collective and individual shocks and traumas into the next chapter. To be conscious not to adversely alter the fabric of future service with the bruises and breaks we are all still healing. We need to let the previous pressure out a little first, lest we become crushed by the natural pressures, the motivating ones, that come with normal operations. We need to take a road trip, do the work and joy of being married away from the walls of All Time, in the woods cooking over a fire without cell service and reservation requests, so we can become inspired and inspiring again. We need to be outside, take baths, and cook at home. We need to see our friends and families. Our staff need all this too—time off without fear, to see their families, to recover, to refill their own coffers. And those needs we have, they are yours, also, we know. It’s why your desire to sit and be cared for in a familiar place, to be relieved of the immense burdens that have stacked up all this time, by way of wine and candlelight, that’s why it’s all so dire. We know. We just have to wade through our own rivers first, plug up the holes in the walls and the leaks in our souls so we are able to generously turn toward you in true service.

Please rest-assured we remember every one of you—your egg allergy, your favorite table, your preferred white wine (we stashed plenty of Ermes Pavese for you Jeff and Cathy!), your side of salt (Catherine), the fact that you may have lost your dad this year, or mom, or uncle, or had a miscarriage, or a new baby, or gone through a divorce, or battled cancer, or changed careers—we want to hold all of it for you and make a space at our table to feed you much more than salad and steak. We want to suspend time for you, together, and celebrate you being here. Because that, in itself, will be a feat worth celebrating.

That’s what we’re working on. We are readying ourselves and our space and our team to do this thing right and grand and beautiful so we can be here for you beyond the basic motions of being a restaurant. We will be present and available and open, to give and receive. I am excited just typing those words out, filled with optimism and a swell of emotion that can only be described as pure love—for what we do, for you, for ourselves, each other, for the wine growers and farmers, for our team and community.

So to answer your question, the big question, the question hanging so heavy and dangling from our juevos that are backs are hurting (it’s true, our chef actually threw his back out this week), what’s the what, when’s The Big When, ask you? SOON. Mid summer? End of summer? The timeline, like the work, is dynamic; we won’t commit to a hard date, we can’t. But know that soon means real. Soon means happening. And, as soon as we can do it right we will. We’re working on hiring, building, retooling, resting, writing, recharging, swimming, dreaming, strengthening and improving. We’re working thoughtfully instead of frantically, for the first time probably ever; that means this will go somewhat slower, but also smoother, and softer, and by our belief, better.

in gratitude and abundance,

The A in T & A

Tyler testing the new window! Photo by our special projects consultant Michael Gorlami Ardelean

backseat wine school!

If you know Dani Rozman and the wines of La Onda, you’re going to want to go ahead and skip this fluff and get straight to the ordering of the wine. It’s scant! As always. But if you’re a new kid on the scene, bored, thirsty, and enjoy a good story, keep reading.

Dani farms some very wild land up in North Yuba (Sierra Foothills, way north and east of Napa). It’s a place where bears constantly eat his Semillon grapes and damn his yields to a mere one barrel, where water buffalo trample your hard work (literal not metaphorical), and where he turned forgotten fruit from the base of a paltry, step-child like slope of Cabernet Sauvignon into one of my favorite “white” wines of all time. Not the restaurant, but like, of all time in history, of life and land. Anyway, I don’t have that wine on hand (just in our fridge, at home), but we do have a few couple cases of El Colo, one of my other favorites and perfect for right this moment. As the weather warms and we are granted new freedoms to enjoy some gentle reflection and solitude (also a ripe time for euphemisms!), we need wines like Dani’s, and in particular, El Colo. It is lush, fresh, juicy, balanced, and soulful, but not hard to understand, not hard to approach, and well-suited for everything you are eating. That’s a promise.

Every month or so Dani and I will hop the phone to catch up. We always veer down the dirt roads of life, business, dreams and hopes and that stuff, passing by the subject of wine like a turnoff we never quite take. But day to day Dani’s whole life is basically a form of quarantine. Almost year round he’s in the vineyards. It’s just him, tending the vines by hand, cane pruning or weeding with old Japanese gardening tools, not because he wants to be fashionable, but because he wants to see what’s possible. He walks the rows, cutting off suckers and sisters (farmer lingo, google it), removing diseased plants, guided by his own knowledge and intuition and very little else. He’s not a guy that does things for attention, in fact he hates it; he is self-deprecating in a endearing manner and with an acerbic sense of humor; he’s intelligent, realistic, and has this sort of endurance to just keep going, quietly, for the right reasons. His wines are the same. He faces down challenges and losses that cost him money and time and heartache, all a part of farming he’ll say; and yet, he retains that rare breed of optimism and honesty that I think is just rooted in a love for the earth and the need to contribute to an end that goes beyond the wine he puts in bottles. That’s just my own conjecture, based on some years of friendship and drinking wines together and talking about life; he’s probably a way better guy than I know.

As it relates to El Colo, it goes down too easy for how scarce it is. It’s made from two grapes, Counoise and Mourvedre, and it is as easy to love and consume as pizza, as stirring and rare as Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush on vinyl. La Onda’s are wines I’ve come to wait for each year, knowing there won’t be much (a guy can only do so much by hand, alone!), and always full of soul and story. There’s no need to over-intellectualize this wine (or any other for that matter). And to the question of whether it’s natural or not, it’s more: it’s delicious, it’s a labor of love, and it’s made with integrity by one honest man I am lucky to call a good friend.

Dani will tell you turning grapes into wine is a pretty simple deed, if you follow nature and work with it, and don’t get all controlling about outcomes. He’s right. But just because something is simple doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop and pay attention. The sun meets its horizon every night but I couldn’t imagine passing up an opportunity to drink it in twice as often, were it possible.

Find El Colo in the Wine Shop online (in the Reds category), while it lasts.

“Hands-off farming is actually a ton of effort; it’s back-breaking, knee-bending work. Manually pulling things up instead of spraying chemicals or driving machinery is relentless, physical, painful…And out of that comes something. Struggle breeds tension in the wine.”

—Dani Rozman

Beltrane May 1st!

Hello! And happy Beltrane! Not familiar with this optimistic and slightly hedonistic concept of celebration? ALLOW ME TO ENLIGHTEN YOU: From sunset on April 30 to sunset tonight, the Gaelic tradition insists that we honor life, celebrate the peak of Spring and its glorious nexus with Summer; that we bend a knee to earth energy, fertility, romance, the abundant bursting-forth-ness in the air, love-making, sexuality, and nature coming alive! How could you not be twirling around albeit possibly in sweat pants right now?! Get naked! This is when the maiden goddess reaches her fullness (a worthwhile visual, Jordan, use your imagination!) and manifests what’s green, manifests what grows! The moon is waxing and I am sitting in our backyard in the glow of midday sunshine and sharp-shinned hawks swooping, hummingbirds dashing every which way, and a mourning dove couple’s nest on our very back porch with a single, hopeful egg in it! Did you know mourning doves mate for life? Did you know I have Sibley Birds West and my binocs in hand, and also one faithful Jonny Anderpants at my own personal disposal, who is one of the country’s most decorated birders and, as such, am thus very confident in my species identification? Are you to even attempt trying to convince me that life is anything but flourishing? Not. A. Chance. I felt it coming on yesterday, when my brother came up from San Diego and I saw him for the first time in four months. We got to pack him up groceries for a week and send him home with the good wine. And after some struggle, I was able to recognize the searing pang that scorched me from not being able to hug him as the big love that it is; it’s the same longing I feel clenching my chest when Steph or Michael or Michael or Alan or Nick or Paula or Jessica or Ferelith or Dan or literally any one of you come by to pick up provisions that I so wish to embrace—how it aches! But that’s fine, because I know it can be just one thing: that sacred type of absence only abundance itself can create.

Last night, we took a new smoker and an old car for respective spins. First, we cruised the backroads of the Pasadena hills, me at the wheel and Tyler as deuteragonist, a rare role reversal for us. This is major for a few reasons: first, Tyler’s driving bests anyone on planet earth, and I know this to be true. Not in a flashy, racer, or stunt-like way (though his burnouts are top notch), but in its utmost and highly sexual nuance, and his effortless anticipation which is actually more like future prediction. Suffice to say, a bit intimidating for an adolescent student of manual transmission. I’m happy to report yesterday’s lesson went better than our first some years ago, which took place on a dirt road in Sicily in a two-cylinder SmartCar. Sicily’s roads have a way of morphing from desolate dirt driveway to autobahn with merely a single stop sign. (For context) it went sort of like this:

Me, driving down said dirt road about 25 mph—non ce problema! Comes to a stop on slight downward pitch; prepares to make right turn into oncoming traffic, which now appears to be flying at triple digit KPH. Attempt to go, #1: stall out, lurch forward; Attempt 2: stall out, lurch forward more; Tyler prescribes more gas. Attempt 3: additional stall out, third lurch forward, I’m feeling panic, now clearly able to see how fast oncoming traffic is, well, coming; Tyler goes from advising to commanding, but still fruitlessly; more gas is still the directive but I reply earnestly that it’s “not working.” That silently does him in, but there’s one more stall out yet to come. One more lurch forward and the last thing I remember is a road-raging Italian swerving around our front end and the less-than-solemn words GET OUT OF THE [expletive] CAR, which will haunt my dreams and driving for at least another five years.  Were we close to being T boned by a Fiat? Probably. Was Tyler wrong? Nope. But neither was Walter Sobchak (or The Dude for that matter). But what’s important is that we made it to the next round robin, which is to say our drive at sunset last eve was graced by the goddesses. The shift from stop in neutral to first gear never felt so buttery, and the romance has never been so high with me at the wheel. I didn’t know it was Beltrane (or what that even was) until today, but I must have intuited its arrival because the infinite green smells poured in the windows while we drove and the roses stretched open,  and that drive gave way to an impossibly perfect family meal of brisket bounty and rosé in paper cups with our small crew after service and it was magic. We told stories about when Kelsey tore the roof rack off of a so-called indestructible F250, and celebrated him for this accomplishment; and spoke of the one called Gummy Larry, who at age 65, ate 75 mg of weed in the form of gummy bears and lost himself snoring in the woods. We laughed. We smelled like the smoke of summertime. We didn’t think of the future, we just enjoyed what we had on our plates and in our cups, and at our sides. I think this is the meaning of Beltrane. Please go forth and celebrate it somehow, we’ll be thinking of you doing something that involves being outside, being naked, and laughing. We have the supplies (below), but it’s up to you to bring the heart.



a random thursday

What can we say? Another day another pair of gloves? The sun is shining so bright you might almost want to complain about it being too hot, protective gear and all, but then you gotta look around and feel the breeze and listen to the wind chimes. The produce is getting gorgeous-er by the minute with Spring so heavily upon us, and there’s a ripeness hanging in the air and bending the branches on our lemon tree at home. It’s best to lean into the feeling, even if it’s one of stress or awkwardness or boredom *insert hand raising emoji* because life will contract before it can expand us.  It feels like we could even maybe be on the precipice of something; big change feels near, a new, non-aforementioned path that isn’t already so unfolded before us but will get its due shape and carving only with each successive step we dare to take. Maybe the road bends so drastically off the course you thought you were on—that we thought we were on!—that a once-anticipated goal tastes like a boiled cabbage next to the plump, exotic treat we’re now heading toward. An out-creation of what we thought was possible, the so-called big goal or end mark shrunk to a pebble and leaving the tale we had spun to define our very selves outmoded. What if it’s different! What if it’s grander?!  More lush with more water and air and wild birds and flowers opening, more life to be born and love to be given and received, What if! Or maybe the heat has gone to my head, the house is a mess because dirty dishes are self-proliferating, Tyler and I skipped dinner last night and haven’t even really laughed in over 24 hours (!) and the only actual thing on the horizon is more hot weather with no water to jump into, no summertime in Sicily. You could say that was a totally fucked reality. And oh, I am! But not so much that I don’t feel a little giddy just hearing the keys click in ponderance of what could be—what is to come!—(besides more hyphens), not so much that I don’t smile wholly even now at the thought of us swimming again one day in a sea cleaner and brighter, at the very realness of making new dreams come true, and delighting in a little recklessly loud music and more than a little inappropriate jokestering at work with our too-good-to-be-true team in the meantime. And we can couple this state of affairs with a sturdy lot of skin contact wine, a hefty dose of pork (match made in heaven), a chilled red wine (also perfect pairing), a foot in the grass, a total abandonment of the dishes, and some self-guided dancing and singing, because truly, and really, no one is watching. Is that so bad an option? That’s for you to contemplate. Now tell us joke and send over a meme—one we haven’t yet seen, I dare you.





What we are reading: Tyler is rounding third base on London, I just cracked open Song of Achilles. The ending of Bel Canto really fucking pissed me off, and I say that as a true and avid fan of Ann Patchett. WTF over?!

NEW F*CKING AWESOMENESS in the marketplace: PORCHETTA SUNDAY ROAST ENERGY IS LIT AND LIVE FOR PRE ORDER in the Survival Kits category! Marin Sun Farms bellies gettin rolled as we speak; There is an entire CHEESE section now, which bears mentioning again, Italian anchovies, the return of Burger Kits, and mucho mas wine. Striped Bass is not to miss, fresh and gorgeous and delicious with some rice and beans, or greens, or potatoes, or fennel or or or you name it!

SPEAKING OF WINE: Here’s a little recap on the skin contact wines in the market, all available for hire most nights and weekends:

Fleur de Garderose: White Bordeaux (sauvignon blanc) but not grassy or stiff, plush like eating grapes off the vines, made with zero intervention, and super delicate touch of skin contact; a whisper if you will!

Coenobium Ruscum: Perfection and sunlight and apricot and minty dreams coming true with your lover under the shade of a big oak tree and a picnic and a breeze; or maybe on a roadside bench eating a gas station cheese sandwich in rural Europe with no one around for miles. Time is stopped, life is complete, this wine is golden, so don’t order it please it’s for us ok bye.

Arboreus Paolo Bea: a slight notch more depth and skin contact and amber color and texture than Coenobium but with the same balance and energy and completion; this is a pork wine and Bea is a master and this wine for this price, cmon, we might as well just close and give it away, don’t fuck about it here!

Amphorae Kabaj: The deepest dive into a pool of ancient treasure buried underground, and a wine that belies its secrets with an easy rural charm; the mystery will unravel after glass numero uno and you’ll start to see the future in your mind’s eye but only if you tilt your face to the sky and imagine your ancestors working hard to guide you.

Bonus Round: The season for grilling is here, the season for less clothing and more outside, the season for chilling some red and making the meat tender over fire so that it sends a smoke signal and that signal is drink FEINTS From RUTH LEWANDOWSKI CUVEE ZERO. Red and white Italian grapes grown in California and then wine made in Utah (long story, use google), this wine is bright, punchy, electric and selfless in the joy it bestows on anyone lucky enough to open it; that said it is no ditz or airhead, it is thoughtful, soulful, charming, and genuine. Don’t buy it ok thx bye.

We’ve been cooking: last night was house made granola for dinner, a few spoonfuls of ice cream, a few pulls of country loaf, and a corner piece of cheese. Even we don’t cook every night!

Post Script: Merch is here!!! Stay tuned for wardrobe upgrades coming at you in less than 24 hrs…show off your beach bod but just keep your mask and gloves on ok?
“Being in love shows a person who he should be.”

—Anton Chekhov

MUSIC BB: Let’s dance. Here’s a new playlist (trigger warning bc it does have Kenny Loggins and Hall & Oates… you’ve been warned); it’s great for a half-assed, shitty backyard workout where you stop every five minutes to check instagram or eat a random snack, dancing with your dog, laugh-crying alone and saying Fuck it real loud to no one (my friend Gemma knows what’s up), cooking, and really anything that involves non linear movement. Also of note, we’ll be jamming to this heat tonight during service, so it’s like we’ll all be together again for dinner. Kind of.

backseat wine school parr

Perhaps you caught our little vid this week on the wines of Pedro Parra? If not, glad you’re joining us Brenda! Thought we’d recap the bottles we tasted right here so you could get a little better handle on the wines.

P.S. this is as close as you’re going to get to understanding them without actually drinking them, so by now maybe you’re sensing how to bridge that gap (order the wines, Larry)?

Pedro Parra and the Itata Valley: Pedro is a jazz lover, a musician, and a student of the earth. He spent eighteen years working all over the world in wine and geology, from Barolo to Burgundy to Sicily and Rioja; he worked and learned alongside the greats, and finally felt ready to make his own wines, on the land he considers to be the most incredible terroir in Chile, the Itata Valley. Itata has low hanging clouds and rich granite soil, a prolific history of winemaking dating back to the 1500s with the Spanish grape, Mission. In 1939 an earthquake destroyed the region and in the 1940s in a viticultural investment, the Chilean government brought Cinsault and Muscat to be planted and reinvigorate the wine growing. Pedro’s style of winemaking is hands off and thoughtful, and there’s a delicacy that runs through the core of each of these wines. Think infusion rather than extraction, intuition rather than recipe, the vineyards rather than the cellar. Each of these three wines are made from old vine Cinsault that is dry-farmed; their nuanced differences come from tiny variations in soil, sun, depth and location of the vines themselves; that’s it. They are expressive and beautiful as stand alone experiences, but together, they are the song of this special place and person.

Pedro Parra y Familia “HUB” named after the Jazz trumpet player, Freddie Hubbard; red fruit, high toned, bright, crunchy and electric! This wine might be my favorite but that’d be rude to admit so disregard. The vines here grow in shallow sandy red granite and quartz, and that imparts a minerality and a fine latticework of texture and subtlety, but cheerful and without taking itself too seriously. Less than 600 bottles made!

Pedro Parra y Familia “TRANE” John Coltrane was Parra’s hero, A Love Supreme his favorite album; so this is his tribute to the man himself, and it’s a wine that is somehow bluer, richer in fruit, and less hurried to reveal itself. It dances slower, hand-rolls its marijuana cigarettes, and prefers a notebook and pencil to a laptop. It comes from shallow, pebble-y soil and you can feel that rocky texture in the wine like if you dumped an entire one of those tins of hard cassis candies from France into your mouth at once.

Pedro Parra y Familia “MONK” As in Thelonious Monk. Complex, complicated even; clay soils impart structure and texture and this wine bobs and weaves and doesn’t give it to you for free.. There’s nothing to figure out but you’re still going to be scratching your head. What should be doing instead is cooking a steak and putting on a record. This is one you’ll want to settle in with; all of the wines are Burgundian in their way, but perhaps most so, Monk.

These wines are available on their own or as a set! Once you’re on our online menu, drop down to the RED WINE category. If you have questions email us. If you love a delicate red with soul and energy, Pinot Noir, Burgundy, good music, something handmade, the analogue, a game of chess, a good read, these wines are for you.

good friday

Good Friday! I know, that was yesterday, but this week we got our asses kicked so here we are, a day late. Drop kicked really, from a height unnamed only to be sent sailing back up by a boot made of lead and fall right on back down to meet this unwavering rock with all of our bones. Don’t get me wrong, things are going great! Today. The sun is out. Tyler brought me flowers. The mountain, she’s been climbed. But none of us are exempt from a fail or a flail or a level-10 meltdown right now, not even us.

It might have started with a small fire in a small smoker that we purchased for the small price of $75 on the internet two years ago; this investment has paid dividends like a good Craig’s list buy should, but you can’t smoke briskets fat side down. If you did, you would most likely initiate a grease fire. Maybe more aptly described, an inferno that would be mistaken for one of the villainous creatures in Greek mythology who, when owed, cracks open the very crust of the planet we walk upon to swallow its pay in flesh; in this case it was about six briskets whole (no one was injured, thank you for the concern). As we put out the literal fire, metaphorical blazes continued birthing. More orders rolled in. There was a point at which we were packing Passover orders and realized we were behind. That point was right pretty much the second we started. Then we realized we lacked not only time, but also, we didn’t have enough brisket! There is no “hey, fire a brisket on the fly please?” Nope. A brisket is not a fried egg you can just whip up with apologies five minutes late. Then we realized it was very likely to rain on our entire parking lot packing operation. These details coalesced with other minor-in-any-other-circumstances-type of offenses (see: the person who trolled us on Instagram for having plastic lids when we posted about sweet morning crew making coffees for the pm gang; a tasteless lecture from from an angry customer in the midst of trying to solve said brisket shortage, among other things) and aligned in me a muddy rage. It simmered. I mainlined the guilt inherent in my bloodline, a most meta kind of mainlining. We were staring down a large problem of the worst kind; we might be about to under deliver on a promise, on a Jewish holiday no less. By some miracle of Elijah (Tyler), we found more brisket and raced against the clock to get them smoking. I made a delivery to a wrong address and as I reversed up a hill (or more accurately a ninety degree angle, top of Michelteronea, know it?) the ’97 lurched forward and I heard a bag go rolling. The bag was soaked with brisket-juice and fell apart with my ego; the contents of both rolled pathetically into the street. I returned to home base a mess, ready to pack it up, but nowhere near out of the woods. All we could do was wait. In an alternate universe, I would have raised my hands overhead and spiked a brisket down like I was Homer Jones himself. Surely this was the end zone. After that I would have kicked a cardboard box which was only guilty of being proximate to my foot, and stormed into the shipping container to slam a barstool (already broken, totally justified) repeatedly, and would have thrown it even, like a scene from King Kong. And since we are, in fact, living in an alternate universe here, I did all of the above. I raged. And then I called my friend Jordan who hates when people cry, and I let the flood gates part. He’s a good friend, and said something wise, which I’d like to take credit for; he pointed out that we are all looking for somewhere to put our anger. No one knows how to deal with all this. And though we’ve been scrambling to do everything in our power to soothe your emotions with homemade food and wine and jokes and tender love and care, and very technically advanced cooking videos, this week, we cracked and cried and skinned our knees. Then we salved our souls with good wine and laughed that exhausted kind of laugh you’re rewarded with only after you walk through the grease fire. That’s just life right now. It’s ok to freak out every now and then. But there is no point in wishing for our yesterdays back or holding our breath for an un-promised tomorrow. And though it may feel trying and slow and lonely more than it feels otherwise, this chapter will be a blip on the radar and a spit in the ocean as far as time is concerned. Don’t turn away from this moment or try to cheat it; no matter how bored or sad or lost you might feel, let us not bend the rules to our liking just because we don’t have our every pleasure or luxury at our fingertips. Let’s take it as an opportunity to be still with what we have, which is surely enough is it not? To really be home, with family, with ourselves, with our own inner worlds. I say sink into the discomfort like it’s a hot bath. Welcome it. We are mandated to be home right now, but it’s up to us to make that mean something.



keep the light on

Though you wouldn’t know it from Tyler’s hair (pristine), we haven’t stopped moving much. In keeping with forward motion, our uniform has also reached new heights. This week we got upgraded by our very own Karrah, who made our entire staff (super nice!) masks, complete with a pocket for filters, in an assortment of patterns and colors that would put Easter eggs themselves to shame (and you can challenge us on that, because we’ve assembled a basket of delights for Easter that will include a DIY dye kit made from vegetables, spices, and fruit! Passover too, more below). And a mask can be a little claustrophobic at first, but when it’s bespoke and you top the look with black rubber gloves and some newly-formed delicate pre wrinkles around the brow furrow, it’s something. Designer-esque. Like if Bottega Veneta did ninja. We thought we ought not to miss an opportune selfie and once taken, heck said we! How good we look in our Pandemic-Chic! And we’ll take the small wins where we can, fine lines be damned. Other new grooves we’re carving include late dinners at home, more consistent than ever before. We eat every night at our own table (built by Tyler himself out of spectacular redwood and Japanese joinery), and it’s a habit we’ve never had the chance to form before now. Each night that ritual is hewn into our life and feels like the truest definition of family; it is a beacon of light and the most nourishing reward at the end of the long days (cookie dough is also involved, a less-nourishing but equally indulgent reward of its own kind). Last night we told stories about the time Drew was kidnapped in Mexico, and the time I called the cops on myself (weed cake), and the time I—proudly not ironically—told a stranger how excellent Tyler is at air drums and that I, too, aspire to become great like him (both of which I still back entirely), only to learn hours later I was speaking with the actual, tenured drummer of Nine Inch Nails (!); there was also the time I told Colin Ferrell (to his face), that True Detective S2 was a venerable pile of steaming trash (dumpster fire was my chosen turn of phrase). He’s since forgiven me (Colin, not Tyler)…After the stories, Tyler flees from the dinner table to the bedroom without a goodnight and it’s then that I must take on his half-sleeping alter ego to get him to take his vitamins; it’s a duel in which I will never taste triumph, except in the hilarity of his deliriously-crafted arguments which escape his own memory by next day. These are the all-true stories we enjoy with the last of the wine at night, stories much more enjoyable in their tellings than in the living of their narratives. Maybe that’s like the one we’re weaving currently? A little uncomfortable now but fortification for later, to tell down the road after another completed cycle of life getting fat and then contracting again. We’ll see. A friend and a mentor of mine wrote a new book and gave me an advanced copy as a gift the other day. Details on that another time, but inside the cover he wrote me a modest note, it said: thanks for all the support and for keeping the light on. Such a simple bundle of words and ones that knocked me with a force full and rich. keeping the light on. So plain, but so crucial. That’s what our stories are, and that’s what the moments we sneak away to read for hours on end have become, and so, too, our newly-minted family dinners at home—little flames that keep flickering for our own warmth and comfort. So we offer the same to you: for the small wins and the big loves, for the opportunity to feed and the privilege that you’ve continued to grant us, thank you for all the support and for keeping the light on.

is this real life?

I’m currently pecking at the sanitized keyboard in the back of the land cruiser in our parking lot. I’m watching Tyler swing an actual sledge hammer into the concrete; why? Well he said it was part of the plan to plant new vines to scale the fence, but I think he might be trying to escape something? Maybe dig up the gold bricks he stashed there, a surprise gift? We are thirteen days in to a totally new business and we’re asking ourselves a great deal of questions. Will the healthy skin ever grow back on our hands? What killed our refrigerator? Can you believe our home fridge died a weird sudden death taking with it our many months’ worth of meticulously stocked provisions (hint: if you know us you know that is complete fabrication—the part about provisions; there was some wine and maybe a string cheese in it, but the wine is safe, not to worry)? How is it that Tyler so impressively moved the new refrigerator into the house and just broke only one single window? Also somewhere in the back of our minds Umm is this life now? For how long?

We must say that we are SO grateful to be in business, sandwiched between the support of our mighty staff and the support of all of you. We are fairly certain you are likely asking yourselves much of the above, too (esp that which is regarding Tyler’s super human strength and sculptural legs). Luckily, we have zero answers! Instead, we choose to lean on good wine (thinning out the good stash quite rapidly these days), bad cooking vids, and each other. So that’s what we’ll offer you here this afternoon, take what you love, leave what you don’t. Thanks for riding along.


this isn’t a normal newsletter.

Less than two weeks ago we were dimming the lights and gathering around the pass for pre shift shoulder to shoulder to taste the new short rib dish. I was ducking under to taste everyone’s mis and we were lighting candles for dinner service, combing the reservations for birthday notes and allergies, whipping out the air drums at 9pm sharp for the John Foggerty (and again at 1030pm when Robyn came on the playlist). The next morning we’d nascar the restaurant set up so swarms of families, regulars, and the hungover could gather around the table for chilaquiles and oat lattes (honestly a gross combo, pls not together). It feels like it’s been YEARS since then. And if you look at either of our cracked, wrinkled, dried out, chapped (spoiler alert: this is going to get very erotic) hands (you pervert), you’d guess that decades had passed. This has been one hell of a lifetime compressed into less than 10 days, and I think we all know it’s not going back to normal anytime soon.

And so, this won’t be a normal newsletter. There’s nothing to advertise or ask you buy (except for the very possible trench coat wine sale, in which Tyler will be fully nude save for one piece of outerwear draped with bottles of Sylvain Pataille and Chantereves and possibly whole raw chickens…). There’s no event to announce. This is where we will gather. It’s what we need so deeply that our bones ache, and not just us. It’s for Nick from Moti down the street, who had to lay off his entire staff; it’s for Michael with the hustle and positive energy of a thousand racehorses, it’s for Daisy and Greg at Bell’s in Los Alamos, reaching out through the ethers to say keep going; it’s for our buddy Dan wearing the Stetson and blowing us kisses through the glass window, and Paula texting us every morning asking how she can help; it’s for Ben who has cancer and Anita who’s lost her husband, for every restaurant that’s had to close and its staff, and for ours, who are still here standing next to us to feed people, despite being scared and unsure and completely exhausted themselves. Staff who live with their grandmothers and mothers, and still, they show up. It’s for Jordan who can’t tell the difference between a lamb chop and a pork chop, and for Sarah who is buying market boxes for friends just to keep us in business.

And also, it’s for Tyler and me. Because at the end of these nights while we eat family meal in to go boxes with our team  (six feet apart) drinking Fleur de Pinot out of paper cups, we take our rubber gloves off and try to decompress and plan how to do it again, how to make it better for the tomorrow that isn’t promised. We laugh so hard we start crying. Sometimes we just skip straight to the crying. We cry because we’re scared for the single moms and sick people emailing us for food. We cry for the people emailing us on behalf of the single moms, scared neighbor, homeless person, and friends in dire need. We cry because we are scared for our staff, who is really our family. We cry because we are scared, too.  But also, we cry because we are filled with gratitude and pure love for the fact that we are still here, still doing what we know and believe in, and because we have you, and each other (and now Frankie, living in our basement somehow?).

So what is the point of this newsletter you might wonder? I don’t think we know. Except that what we’re craving isn’t marketing, sales, hashtags or fake optimism. It’s contact and connection and a goddamn fucking hug from those we love and do this for, and that’s you. We can’t have the hug part right now and so this is our way. Sometimes it’ll be penned by me, and sometimes by Tyler, but always, by both of us. We’ll share recipes (videos of Tyler cooking shirtless and saying things like ‘salt the fuck out of it’), ideas, fears, plans of action, how to unify, incredibly inappropriate jokes, good reads, podcasts, updates, outrage, and the longer story in general because it just doesn’t fit or deserve to live in an instagram caption. You are our people. This is a two way newsletter, a dialogue. We’re here for you and anyone who needs us. To all of our small business owning hustling friends, both in hospitality and not, we see you. We are in this together. Thank you. So much.


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