Wednesday, April 15, 2009

realbyte: Anniversary at Palate

While Palate did not disappoint, it's pretty much a Glendale version of A.O.C. (plus urns full of giant plastic grapes).  Since Jonathan Gold happened to personally recommend the restaurant to a close friend, we absolutely had to stop by for our 3rd wedding anniversary.  The meal started with a plate of delectable cheeses and progressed to homemade pickled cucumbers (which were most definitely a highlight).  For the main course, we over-indulged ourselves trying four separate dishes (one of which - the steamed asparagus with egg - I am so going to deconstruct!) We lubricated our gastronomical experience with a lovely bottle of Sancerre.  Delicious? Yes.   Absolutely unforgettably mind-blowingly amazing?  Meh.  The fine wine and cheese and refined dinner portions have been done before so it's no longer surprising.  But what does set Palate apart is smart retailing.  They offer a library of cook books and a space where you can buy your favorite wine and cheese.  Now that is pure brilliance! 

Monday, April 13, 2009

green byte: Spring Greening DIY Design Contest Draws to Close

Inhabitat's Spring Greening DIY Design Contest comes to a close tomorrow, April 14th, at midnight EST.  The contestants this year are quite brilliant.  I wrote a story about one inventive submission from San Francisco dubbed the "Live Long and Prosper" lamp.  And the inner tube chair wrapped in recycled upholstery hailing all the way from Norway is pretty gorgeous too.  The book book shelf also brings a touch of wit to any room (why didn't I think of that?).   But I'd have to say that my favorite so far comes from Porto Alegre, Brazil where one creative - and infinitely patient - person managed to give old phone books a new life as rad new accordion coffee table.  If you've got an upcycled/recycled DIY project to share, you still have 24 hour to submit your great, green go on: get greening!

Friday, April 10, 2009

designbyte: French Furniture Renaissance Comes of Age and Sprouts Moustache

The Italians and Scandanavians are generally at the top of the design food chain, particularly when it comes to luxury furnishings.  But Moustache, a new furniture company launched by Stephane Aurriuberge and Massimiliano Iorio (partners in Domestic) is about to move France up a few notches at the upcoming Milan Design Week.  The First Collection which features designs by Mattali Crasset, Inga Sempe, Big Game, and Francois Azambourg seeks to attain the heritage value that objects held in the past while anticipating and fulfilling needs of a lifestyle in the future.  In other words, crazy next gen French designs which maintain some connection to the past without being cheesy and nostalgic.  Pretty trippy stuff that strangely blends yet contrasts with the traditional French aesthetic.  In the same way that Louis XVI style furnishings still have a place today, Moustache is gambling that their designs will have the same enduring timeless appeal.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

designbyte: SchubLaden Finds Mates for the UnMated

If I were a lonely drawer with no mates, I would head straight for Berlin's Schubladen to find my perfect match.  Located in the creative neighborhood of Kreuzeberg's Graefedistrict, Schubladen, which actually means "drawers" in german, pairs old cast-off drawers with new bodies to create superbly unique one-of-a-kind pieces in small, medium, or large sizes.  The new frames are typically made from oiled MDF or oiled wood.  Besides the "out of the drawer" designs, the design studio also takes custom orders.  Order online or take a trip to Berlin.  Shipping/airfare are not included in the prices.  And the drawers?  Well, they live happily ever after with their new mates.  What a great find from Bloesem.