Thursday, February 4, 2016

Life in Pics: Rooney Mara, Tacos, and the Best Shabu Shabu Ever

Yes, we had a blizzard! I'm sure your social media timeline was assaulted with billions of snow photos.  I thought it was beautiful!

Hello, Ansonia.

And if you read my past post, you know that I got to reap some of the benefits of getting snowed in.  A free stay at The Palace Hotel.  

View outside the window

I wish all of my girlfriends could have joined me in the hotel room. We could have reenacted the sleepover scene from 13 Going on 30.  "Love is a battlefield!"
image via

We discovered another oyster happy hour place!  We usually go to Mermaid Inn (I love their fried clam sliders!), but we had to try this new charming location on the Upper West Side.  Crave Fish Bar has a daily rotation of 10-12 oyster varieties for $1!

I am always on the search for delicious tacos.  Living in LA for five years has spoiled me in terms of proximity to good Mexican food. So when my friends wanted to share their favorite taco joint El Bronco in Brooklyn, I was game. 

SAG Awards season is always so fun for us SAG members.  We get the DVDs and attend amazing screenings and Q+As with the cast and directors.  After watching Carol (gorgeous film), Rooney Mara talked to us about her experience. One audience member said, "I didn't want to bring this up, but I want to ask about the sex scene.  It was so beautiful and natural in the film. How was it filming this scene?"  Rooney immediately stated that it was not comfortable for her at all.  Obviously, it's a closed set. But it was still "choreographed" and very technical. And she mentioned how intimidating it was...this was the woman Mara watched in Elizabeth and many other of her movies. It was so crazy because she grew up idolizing Cate Blanchett, and then she's in this film with Blanchett as her lover!

Another person asked Rooney if she is attracted to oddball characters, referring to the past roles that Mara has played.  Rooney's response was that perhaps she was the oddball bringing her weirdness to all of her characters.  As she was saying all this, she spoke gently and took her time answering everything. Rooney actually said she is more of an introvert like her character in Carol. Everything about her was so...soft.  Even her acting.  She was so subtle.  Similarly, with Cate Blanchett, sometimes she would be doing NOTHING, but it would be saying so much! It was very inspiring.

I hope you're not hungry because there are more food pics.  My friend Joni had been enthusiastically telling me about this Shabu Shabu place in Queens.  I finally got to experience it. 

For about $11-$15 depending on whether it's lunch or dinner, you get a broth of your choice.  The pork with spicy broth was ridiculously yummy.  Then you have a selection of all-you-can-eat vegetables, noodles, and other goodies at these insane stations. I'll show you.




 Fish cake


And you get free refills of broth so it feels like you can eat forever and forever...

A quick lunch catching up with girls from my acting program at William Esper.

2016 is the year of using up the things I have, including gift cards!  And one was a wedding gift for us to eat at Thai fusion restaurant Pok Pok.

There are a couple of pretty interesting things on the menu, including Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings and drinking vinegars mixed with soda water.  We went for the stir-fried manila clams, sweet pork belly and shoulder curry, and this amazing salad with crispy pork cracklings!

The salad was part of the specials, but the server said Pok Pok tries to frequently bring variations of it back as a special. Probably because it's so darn good.

Oh, the textures in this salad. We loved it so much that we ordered two!

The clams were meh so we won't even discuss them.  But the pork curry was flavorful and tender.

Just don't be sad when a hunk of your dish is not edible.  I mean, I guess it could be.  We didn't go there.  That's some FAT.

Thanks to everyone who watched Billions and sent me wonderful messages of support.  I had such a fabulous time on set, and I will try to remember to post a blog about the entire experience later.  



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