Thursday, April 29, 2010

All About Bay Cities

I've long been a fan of the wonderful Italian sandwiches of Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica. The Bay Cities Godmother, loaded with meat, oil and vinegar and stuffed onto a freshly made, crispy crusted loaf of their housemade bread, satisfied a hero sandwich craving when I first moved her from Manhattan. Now, I'm guessing that if I ate at my old sandwich haunts in New York, I would miss the Godmother. I'm also a sucker for the meatball sandwich, with all of that glorious sauce loaded onto that same fresh bread.

The big disadvantage of Bay Cities is that it's in Santa Monica, and while it makes an ultra-convenient beach picnic, it's not always easy to satisfy a craving, and I've long wished for a good grinder east of Fairfax. That's why I was excited to hear about the new deli All About the Bread on Melrose at La Brea which I was told made similar sandwiches to Bay Cities.

It turned out that these were not merely similar sandwiches. The primary meat sandwich at All About the Bread is the Godfather. As with Bay Cities, it can be ordered with "the works" which includes hot peppers. And it is served on housemade bread that is remarkably similar in appearance to the bread in a certain Santa Monica deli. Why not just call the place Inland Cities? Anyway, I would caution the proprietors of this new haunt to be on the lookout for angry lawyer letters in the new future.

But how do these sandwiches compare to the Bay? They are good sandwiches and I'm glad to have an outlet for them closer than Lincoln Boulevard, but they aren't quite up to the Bay Cities standard. The Godmother was tasty and I liked that it had prosciutto, which added a nice hint of cured meat. The All About the Bread bread is crunchier than Bay Cities' version, but it lack some of the nice, yeasty flavor of the Bay Cities bread.

The meatballs and marinara on the meatball sandwich were nicely flavored, though I would have liked more sauce. Still, I didn't dig it quite as much as the giant Bay Cities meatball.

Of the sandwiches I tried, the one that I thought All About the Bread did better than Bay Cities was the caprese, which had a good balance of mozzarella, tomato and basil and came together well. The caprese benefits from the somewhat thinner bread at All About.

It may seem like a blatant copy of the Bay Cities formula, but hey, it's a successful formula and I'm glad to get a good Italian sandwich closer to home.

All About the Bread
7111 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 930-8989

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Whiskey Wednesday: Templeton Rye

Templeton Rye is a fairly new rye whiskey that is, so far, only available in the Midwest. It is made by a company in Iowa which buys the whiskey from Lawrenceburg Distillers, a large distiller (formerly Seagram's) in Indiana.

Templeton Rye is apparently named for a prohibition-era whiskey which was distributed by Al Capone. On its website and bottle, Templeton has adopted a prohibition era aesthetic. Ah, the world of American whiskey, where even a brand new brand can claim a storied history.


Templeton Rye, 40% alcohol ($35).

The nose is beautiful; full of rye spice with pickling herbs, very characteristic of a strong rye and very nice. The flavor is doesn't fully follow through with the nose. There is some good spice, but also a bit of soap and a watery quality which dulls the spice. I'd like to try this at a higher alcohol level, which might allow it to retain a bit of the punch from the nose. For now, I'll just enjoy the aromas.

Templeton Rye is not available in California yet, but can be purchased on-line from Binny's, though it is occasionally out of stock.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mantee Mediterranean Cafe

My latest obsession is Mantee Mediterranean Cafe in Studio City, a decidedly atypical Armenian-Lebanese-Turkish restaurant.

The salads at Mantee are stupendous. At first, the Armenian salad appears to be a fairly typical Middle Eastern chopped salad of tomato, cucumber and lettuce; to be honest, I expected a throw-away dish, but this salad tastes far better than the description merits. The fresh lemon vinaigrette is super-tangy and loaded with spices. It's the perfect version of a very standard dish. The fattoush, a traditional Mediterranean salad with crisp bits of pita was composed of sumac, radish and mint with a similar dressing and was also quite good if not quite as wonderful as the Armenian salad.

You will find the standard mezze features on the menu, all done well: Hummous, a very smoky motabbal (baba ghanoush) and a slightly spicy muhamarra among them.

The centerpiece of any meal at Mantee though is the eponymous dish Mantee, which comes in both regular and vegetarian. The menu describes the dish as ravioli in a yogurt sauce, but the culinary experience is more akin to escargot en croute. The small, pasta shells are firm and crunchy, almost as if they were made from phyllo dough. The yogurt sauce is thick, creamy and intensely garlicky. I used my pita to mop up every last drop; you don't want to miss this sauce or this dish. It may be my favorite new dish of the year.

Another star was the lamb chops, some of the most tender I've had; they are marinated in a heavily spiced sauce, but that opening spice yields to the smoothness of the lamb. They come with foil on the tips so you can pick them up and eat them as they deserve to be eaten.

The kabobs were also excellent. Mantee's sweet and sour kebab is a kafta-type sausage kebab in a sweet cherry sauce with dried cherries. I never would have thought to pair kafta with cherries, but the sweet and spicy contrast worked well.

The regular shish kebab, featuring a spiced, grilled filet was less exciting but tender, juicy and perfectly cooked.

Desserts were also well done. We had a very nice passion fruit mousse as well as a passion fruit-coconut chiffon. A tri-chocolate mousse cake was good if fairly standard dessert fare.

Mantee is decidedly different from most restaurants in the broad Middle Eastern category and offers a refreshing and innovative take on the cuisine. Check it out!

Mantee Mediterranean Cafe
10962 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 761-6565

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Boycott Eater and its Advertisers!

The Eater websites, including Eater LA, Eater NY, Eater SF, etc., have long been the bottom feeders of the food blogging world. They traffic in gossip, rumor-mongering and celebrity watching like a food-world National Enquirer. They've even used one of my own photos without credit (which raises questions about both their ethics and taste - since my photos largely suck). And they do all of this without any apparent interest in actual cuisine.

All of that would be at most a minor annoyance, but this time, Eater has gone too far. Earlier this week, they published photos of the nation's most prominent food critics, many of whom pride themselves on their anonymity. This ridiculous "news item" does an immense disservice to restaurant consumers. Even in this day of Yelp, Chowhound and countless bloggers, there needs to be a place for the professional food critic, a knowledgeable journalist who takes multiple meals under the cloak of anonymity in order to make reliable recommendations to the public.

The issue is less crucial for someone like Jonathan Gold who, over the last few years, has appeared to have largely shed his anonymity. Once a critic goes public, they are fair game for the press. Publishing a photo of the new New York Times critic Sam Sifton, however, is an entirely different story. Not only is Sifton anonymous, Eater apparently lied in wait for him while he was eating in order to sneak a photo, prompting Sifton to label them the "geek paparazzi." And kudos go out to Lee Klein and our own Irene Virbila for managing to completely avoid Eater's prying eyes.

Some may argue that many restaurants already know what the critics look like and what tricks they use, but if that is so, then I would like to know what value this post had to anyone. The fact is, Eater is doing restaurants a favor at the expense of us, the eating public.

I have no use for a food blog that would so grievously undercut the interests of consumers, so I say BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT. Don't read Eater and don't buy its sponsors' products. Better yet, maybe we should post pictures of Eater editors Raphael Brion, Greg Morabito, Amanda Kludt, Katherine Odell, Lesley Abravanel, Eva Hagberg, Ben Leventhal and Lockhart Steele, so people can follow them around with cameras.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Whiskey Wednesday: Identity Crisis - Party Source Buffalo Trace Experimental Wheat on Rye

Bourbons come in two standard formulas. To meet the legal definition, they have to be at least 51% corn (but usually much more), and to produce necessary enzymes, most use a bit of malted barley. Beyond that, the vast majority of Bourbons use one of two additional grains for flavor: rye or wheat. Most Bourbons use rye as the secondary flavor grain, which imparts a spicy flavor, but a few use wheat, which is milder, sometimes includes citrus or acidic notes and can allow the sweetness of the corn to be more dominant. If you are a regular reader, you know that I have reviewed a number of so-called "wheaters" and have a fondness for them.

Buffalo Trace has three Bourbon recipes, two using rye (with different percentages) and one using wheat. The wheated recipe is used for the Weller and Van Winkle line of Bourbons. They also make fantastic rye whiskeys under the Sazerac label.

In this third in a series of reviews of the newly available on-line specialty bottlings from The Party Source, I taste their Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Wheat on Rye, a wheated Bourbon aged in rye whiskey barrels.


Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection "Wheat on Rye" by the Party Source, 8 years old, 63.5% alcohol ($59.99 exclusively at The Party Source)

The nose on this is soft and mellow, very typical of wheated Bourbons. As with the Party Source's Rye 'n Barrel, the flavor is unique. From each sip, I get different elements of the constituent grains. When it hits the tongue, I get sweet corn, followed by a distinct rye spice. Throughout, there is an underlying flavor from the wheat. The corn and the rye may be more immediately discernible, but the inner Weller is always there, and after a few drinks, it tastes more of wheated Bourbon than rye. Adding water brings the wheat even more to the forefront, but the rye spice still kicks in on the finish. This is another terrific, innovative whiskey from The Party Source.

I've had great fun on the last three weeks of Party Source Bourbons. The Party Source is doing some amazing work with these bottlings, and I look forward to trying some of their other special selections.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Existential Questions: Where do I go from here?

We are approaching the third anniversary of this blog which has prompted me to do a bit of navel gazing which I hope you will politely endure. It's hard to believe Sku's Recent Eats is three years old, which in blog years is teenaged at least. Back in 2007, the blogosphere was a different place. There were maybe fifteen or twenty total LA food blogs, but only two or three of much prominence, and there were only a handful of whiskey blogs. Now, there are too many LA food blogs to count; along with all of the personal blogs we have the commercial blogs like EaterLA, Grub Street, Squid Ink and Daily Dish which, with their constant posting, have created the food blog equivalent of the 24 hour cable news cycle. And even many of the formerly amateur blogs have broken out into the mainstream with book deals and TV appearances. And it seems you can't go to food fair or the opening weekend of any restaurant without bumping into tripod yielding bloggers, hoping to be the first out of the gate with a review. Even at the lower end places I tend to frequent, it's become much more challenging to find something that hasn't been Twittered, Flickred and Facebooked to death.

All of this leaves me, on this third birthday, wondering what the future should hold for this humble blog. I started the blog sort of on a whim, wanting to catalog the types of posts I'd been making for years on Chowhound. Really, just simple restaurant recommendations as well as my favorite libations, cheeses, chocolate and other fun things. I quickly fell into a formula of three posts per week with a restaurant type review on Monday, whiskey on Wednesday and another food item (often sweets, cheese or a non-whiskey spirit) on Friday.

The posts I'm proudest of in the food categories were my big roundups such as those I did for doughnuts, pupusas, gelato, the Farmers Market, Disneyland, espresso etc. Unfortunately a pressing desire to lose some weight and get healthy as I approach one of my own milestone birthdays (down 25 pounds in the last seven months!) make the roundups difficult to stomach (pun intended). I've also enjoyed adding some humor to the food blogging world (both fiction and nonfiction), but that's very occasional and comes only with great inspiration. Beyond those, I worry that I'm simply churning out more reviews of places you've already seen reviewed by the myriad of bloggers out there. Is that really adding anything to the food world at large other than more noise?

The whiskey world is very different, and I still feel like I fill a fun niche in whiskey blogging. There aren't really any other LA whiskey blogs (other than some excellent ones for our local whiskey clubs which I will highlight in some future post) and there still is a surprising dearth of blogs that spend any amount of time on American whiskey (as opposed to Scotch). I should add that some of my thoughts here were impacted by the recent announcement of Dr Whisky, one of the original and finest whiskey bloggers, now balancing the joyous burdens of work and infants, to scale down his blog.

Over the next few months, I will thinking about what lies ahead for Sku's Recent Eats, and I would love to hear your feedback. Should I abandon my self-imposed goal of posting two food items per week and just wait until inspiration hits? Or should I give up the food writing altogether and go back to Chowhound posts while converting Sku's Recent Eats to a purely whiskey related blog with occasional asides? Or should I just do whatever the hell I want and not worry about big questions about a little blog? Readers, I look to you for guidance.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Venezuelan Rum: Ron Anejo Pampero Aniversario

Venezuelan rums are known for being sweet, thick affairs. The soils of Venezuela are even said to produce a sweeter sugar cane than other locales. I enjoy the sweet, murky rums of Venezuela; one of my favorites was the Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva (and I will have more from that line to try). Today we try another Venezuelan, Ron Añejo Pampero Reserva Exclusiva (Aged Pampero Rum Exclusive Reserve for those who couldn't guess the translation).

Pampero is a Venezuelan distillery founded in 1938 but now owned by liquor giant Diageo.


Ron Añejo Pamero Aniversario Reserva Exclusiva, Venezuela, 40% ($30).

The nose is a deep, brown sugary syrup. The flavor follows up, thick and sweet, almost liqueur like, Christmasy, possessing some of the notes you'd find in a heavily sherried Scotch. A bit one dimensional and a little of this goes a long way. As far as Venezuelan rum, I prefer the Diplomatico, which while sweet, has more complexity beyond the basic sweetness.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Whiskey Wednesday: The Party Source Willetts

The Willett distillery was an old, fairly obscure Kentucky distillery that made Bourbon until the 1970s. The old distillery is currently owned by independent bottler Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD), who, despite their name, don't actually distill anything. KBD buys whiskey from other distillers and bottles it under their own labels and for other companies. (You can see a list of their brands on our Complete List of American Whiskey Distilleries and Brands). KBD has occasionally made noises about reopening the distillery and making their own whiskey and maybe some day they will, but for now, all of their whiskey is sourced from elsewhere.

KBD uses the Willett label for their premium offering, a series of single barrel Bourbons. The Party Source in Kentucky is now offering some specialty Willett bottlings, so I thought I would sample a few. Special thanks to Mr. Atomic for the samples.

Keep in mind that since KBD is an independent bottler, all of these bottles could contain whiskey produced by different distilleries. In fact, given the wide range of flavors and styles, I would guess that there are at least a few different distilleries represented (or at least different mash bills).

Willett 3 year old, exclusive to The Party Source, Barrel 1370, 61.55% alcohol ($30)

Very light and caramelly on the nose, almost Canadian like. The flavor maintains its Canadian character; it's very sweet with caramel and fruit, a light whiskey. A bit too fruity for my tastes.

Willett 6 year old, exclusive to The Party Source, Barrel 779, 63.3% alcohol ($40)

Heavy caramel and toffee on the nose. The flavor is a nice, thick, caramel tasting Bourbon with a good, chewy texture. Very pleasant and very drinkable if not the most complex Bourbon in the world...sort of tastes like Evan Williams at barrel strength.

Willett 8 year old, exclusive to The Party Source, Barrel 374, 62.3% alcohol ($48)

Very light on the nose with a faint port wine scent. Very wine-like flavor profile, with the type of fruit you might get in a port. More similar to the three year old than the six.

Willett 13 year old, exclusive to The Party Source, Barrel 3665, 56.1% alcohol ($72)

Very nice nose on this, subtle, complex, with a nice oak to it. The flavor has some good aged Bourbon characteristics (oak and wood) without losing its complexity, sweetness comes in late in the palate. A fine, subtle Bourbon. Nicely done. I should note that The Party Source's tasting notes highly recommend water with this one, but as with most whiskeys, I preferred it neat. I found that the oak flavors dissipated too much with water, and I like some oak in my Bourbon.

Willett 13 year old, exclusive to The Party Source, Barrel 3696, 56.2% alcohol ($72)

Nose is very similar to the other 13 year old, dry and aged. The flavor shows a bit less oak on this one and lots of sweet corn flavor early on with a fair amount of rye spice as well. Very straightforward, but not as intense or complex as barrel 3665.

This was an interesting selection of Bourbons of fairly diverse styles. Overall, I preferred the six year old and Barrel 3665 of the thirteen year old.

I have one more specialty bottling from the Party Source, another Buffalo Trace Experimental, which I will review next week.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Delicias Life: Las Delicias in Van Nuys

Las Delicias is a Costa Rican restaurant in Van Nuys. They serve a variety of traditional Costa Rican dishes, but the highlight for me was definitely the chorreadas. Described on the menu as corn fritters, the chorreadas look like flour tortillas but taste like green corn tamales. They have great texture, crispy and chewy, with a slightly sweet corn flavor. Get them con natilla and they are served with a small container of crema which is the perfect condiment. These things are addictive but also filling, a perfect snack food.

The main dish offerings were fine, but not as pleasing as the fritters. The Casado Tico seems to be the most recommended dish, a combination plate including steak fajita, pork chunks or chicken with rice, beans, a potato hash and a fried plantain. We tried both the beef and pork which were a bit bland, though the house-made hot sauce is a good, tangy accompaniment. My favorite thing on the main plates may have been the beans; they are blended until smooth like Salvadoran red beans though a bit drier, but the most fantastic thing is they have a slightly sweet taste that is charming in its unfamiliarity; I spend the last part of the dinner scraping up the remaining beans from the banana leave upon which they are served.

Rice pudding fans at our table raved about the rice pudding (arroz con leche) which I did like, but I just don't get that excited about rice pudding.

The vibe at Las Delicias is nice-casual. You order at the counter and sit in the seating area to wait for your dishes. The staff is friendly and helpful.

Las Delicias
15355 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 988-8323

Thursday, April 8, 2010

San Diego Sweets: Extraordinary Desserts

Extraordinary Desserts is sort of the San Diego equivalent of Sweet Lady Jane, an upscale dessert house that pedals sweet and luscious cakes as well as cookies, brownies and other assorted delectables. Located just west of Balboa Park, the dominant technique at Extraordinary Desserts is soaking cakes in various liquids - such as espresso or liqueurs - to keep the cake moist. Pictured are a blood orange ricotta cake and wonderful lemon cake (foreground) which had a crispy, toffee crust. The moist cake blends well with the various creams and custards used as fillings. It's just hard not to like a good cake store. Next time you're headed to the zoo or anywhere else in San Diego, check it out.

Extraordinary Desserts
2929 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103-5919
(619) 294-2132

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

BT Experimental - Rockin' Good Rye from The Party Source

A few weeks ago I wrote about the specialty bottlings from the Party Source liquor store in Kentucky which are now available through on-line shipping (to certain states). I'll be sampling a variety of these over the coming weeks, and the first to go is the Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Rye 'n Barrel.

There are different kinds of great whiskeys. There are those that are subtle at first taste but that evolve on your tongue and in the bottle, and your relationship to them matures to the point where you see their greatness. There are others that bite you at first but that calm with a bit of water, which reveals their complex wonder. And then there is the rarest category, those whiskeys that from beginning to end, from first sniff to last breath of the finish exude power and beauty. The Party Source's Rye 'n Barrel is one of the latter.

The Party Source spirits program is run by whiskey writer and enthusiast Jay Erisman, who has been working in the industry since 1997. The Rye 'n Barrel is his baby, and as far as I know, the only rye whiskey finished in a wine cask. It was Erisman who came up with the idea as part of his quest to find a whiskey that "explodes old boundaries and expectations."

Erisman acquired a five and one half year old rye whiskey from Buffalo Trace (that is slightly younger than the standard Sazerac Rye aka Baby Saz)and aged the rye in botrytized dessert wine (i.e. Sauternes style) casks from Napa Valley's Dolce Winery for close to three months. The entire, fascinating story of the bottling, including how the whiskey evolved in the barrel, can be found on the Party Source website. The whiskey that resulted, as described in the notes below, has an interplay of sweet and spice that is unusual in rye. Erisman told me that this "sweet-spicy thing" along with the combination of sweetness in a typically dry whiskey, is what he was looking for when he dreamed up this experiment.

The Party Source Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Rye 'n Barrel is bottled at cask strength (61.2% alcohol) and non-chill filtered. The price is a very reasonable $60 for a 375 ml bottle of this whiskey available exclusively at The Party Source.


The first whiff is a clean, clear rye, much like the standard Sazerac, which yields to just a touch of fruit mixed in to the rye spice. The flavor is what grabs you right away. There is plenty of rye, but with a sweet, fruity note from the dessert wine, very unlike the sweetness you traditionally get from the corn in rye whiskey. Each sip is a mouthful of contrasting flavors - spicy and sweet, dry and fruity, whiskey and wine in perfect balance. The party continues into the finish. It's hard to believe that the few months this whiskey spent in the wine casks is enough to have such a pronounced influence on its character, but it can't be denied.

Kudos to Erisman on this one. This is really remarkable stuff and one of the best whiskeys I've tried this year. Get some!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Coming Soon

I have a busy spring planned, with lots of tasty treats and travels.

I'll be heading to New York for business, but I plan to grab some good bites while I'm there. It's been a full three years since I hit New York City so I'm already planning my map of doughnut shops, espresso bars and hot dog stands and seeing if I can squeeze in a trip to the Brandy Library.

May is my birthday month (and it's a big one; like ends in a zero type) so along with my typical May doughnut adventures, I'll be heading out to Vegas to celebrate with a massive and carefully designed chow-plan which I will dutifully report on.

And of course, more of the usual, cheese, whiskey and chocolate, including extensive reviews of the newly available specialty bottlings from The Party Source starting this Whiskey Wednesday.

Oh, and I should send out a special thanks to Tony from SinoSoul (our man in Monterey Park) for setting up the excellent blogger dinner at Hunan Restaurant in San Gabriel. Thanks Tony!

Stay tuned...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter Candy!

Living in a bi-religious household, I often find myself hiding Easter candy for the kids around the same time I'm baking coconut macaroonss. The truth is, I love the pork and candy centric food traditions of Easter, and unlike Halloween, there are many candies that can only be found on the shelves during the Easter season. Here then, are three of my favorite Easter candies, and I'm not talking about fancy-schmancy stuff made by artisanal chocolatiers either. Easter, like Halloween, is for mass produced kids' candy.

3. Hershey's Marshmallow Egg

It looks like the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, but it uses darker chocolate and it's filled with marshmallow, lots of chewy-gooey marshmallow. And unlike some marshmallow candies, the marshmallow tastes good and not like an odd chemical compound. Unfortunately, I've had some trouble finding these this year, and no, the new chocolate covered peeps, with the aforementioned chemically taste and the bright yellow die, are not a suitable substitute.

2. Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

I've always been a big fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but unlike the Easter offerings from many other candy bars, these aren't just the regular candy in a pink and blue pastel wrapper decorated with bunnies. The Reese's Egg is a fundamentally different candy than the traditional cup in that it alters not only the shape but the proportions. There is a far higher proportion of peanut butter to chocolate in the Egg than in the Cup. I like this version which really gives you a full bite of peanut butter with just a hint of chocolate. Hey, you got your egg in my peanut butter cup!

1. Cadbury Creme Eggs

I remember when these things first appeared on the shelves; they were a revelation. Long suspicious of the subpar chocolate eggs and the hollow monstrosities that haunt the aisles, it was with great fervor that I embraced a chocolate egg with a yolk. They're messy, they're so sweet you might enter a diabetic coma if you have more than one, and they have a certain gross out quality of pretending to eat a raw egg, but they are tasty and unique, even if there are millions of inferior copies now crowding the shelves each spring.

Oh, and what about Peeps you ask? Peeps are evil!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

(W)hiskey Thursd(a)y: Whisk(e)y of the Year - The Macallan Ridiculique

Welcome to the first edition of Sku's Whisk(e)y Awards! In an effort to help our readers select from the best whisk(i)e(y)s, we will be giving an annual award to the best whis(k)ey of the year, chosen from among all of the free samples we have received, because remember, the best whiskey is the one you didn't have to pay for.

And this year's winner is: The Macallan Ridiculique!

The Macallan Ridiculique is an 80 year old Macallan presented in a beautiful crystal decanter, hand blown by trained monkeys. Macallan Ridiculique is cask strength at 44% abv and non-chill filtered. It uses only vintage caramel colo(u)ring.

The world's rarest whisky, the sole Macallan Ridiculique in existence was sold for an undisclosed sum to an anonymous petroleum tycoon, but I was lucky enough to get a sample.


The Macallan Ridiculique has a lovely nose of exclusivity and elitism, followed up with a flavor of self-promotion, self-satisfaction and speculation. The finish though, is tinged with regret, decreased expectations and a solemnity that borders on melancholy.

Sku rating: 10 million!