Kick & Play: Some Spring In Your Bold-Colored Step

Spring is coming. And if camo wasn’t your thing (as featured last week), then maybe color is. But not just a standard cherry red leather or blue canvas. This week we’re talking creative and daring color.

THE KICKS:

Ronnie Fieg x Asics GT II “High Risk”

Need a pair to stand out? Purple suede on a pair of low lace-ups will turn heads and probably take up a good 20 minutes of conversation at dinner. The Asics GT II, a collaboration with renowned shoe designer Ronnie Fieg, features premium purple suede backed by leather, with trims of red dispersed across the shoe.

The lower-cut shoe is definitely meant to be worn with your pants tucked in. So if you appreciate letting your whole shoe show and have a thrill for rocking bright colors, this limited edition is a must-have in your closet.

Release date and price info are forthcoming, but once they come they’ll go fast, so it’s in your best interest to follow these closely. Stay in the know via Ronnie on his blog for future details.

Nike Roshe Run

Nike Roshe Run

Is purple too much? Try olive green with a hint of orange. Enter the Nike Roshe Run. The Roshe shoe is one of Nike’s newer designs, created by a Nike shoe designer in his own free time. The shoe is named after “Roshi,” a title given to a Zen master. The idea behind the shoe is to be extremely minimal in design and only implement the most necessary features. The design itself is a simplistic woven mesh with an extremely cushioned midsole. The result: one of Nike’s most comfortable casual shoes.

The Roshe Run is from the Nike Sportswear Collection, so it’s meant to be more of a casual running and daily wear kick, as opposed to sneakers for long-distance runners and trainers.

The Nike shoe is available in a multitude of colors, but the newest spring colors feature a dominant color with an inner trim. Three other colors are available (Stone/Volt, Black/Crimson, Anthracite/Mint).

Available at CaliRoots or select Nike retailers for $135.

THE PLAY:

Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn, NY
This is easy. Cheddar waffles. Chicken fried in buttermilk. But Buttermilk Channel, this  chic, imaginative eatery, does far more than just damn good chicken. The menu here is full of goodies for a variety of taste buds. Chicken, steak, or steak lovers can find a menu full of charming entrees with assorted delectable sides waiting for you. House pickles are a big hit here while cornbread with lime and chile butter just might put you to sleep before you get home. By the way, the coconut, lime bread pudding with coconut caramel is stupid good.

Masa, Echo Park, CA
A question over lunch this weekend: Why is it impossible to find deep-dish pizza in Los Angeles? Because there is only one place that really serves it: Masa Of Echo Park. Originally a Cuban bakery, this family-owned restaurant serves good baked gems here, but the real reason to visit Masa is the deep dish pizza with fresh cornmeal dough baked daily. From the super fresh buffalo mozzarella to sausage and pepperoni (vegan too!) instilled with secret recipes, their traditional pizzas do the trick. And not to be outdone, but the bread pudding here is unbelievably fantastic. Chocolate, almond, and butter croissants, pan-baked in vanilla custard with caramel? This idea wins. Everytime.

Beretta, San Francisco, CA
When you think Italian comfort food, you think simple pastas and warm mozzarella. Beretta reinvents this idea with thin crust pizza, a tapas-inspired menu, and super creative cocktails. The list of appetizers here is remarkable – roasted beets with ricotta salad, baked polenta, lamb chops with greens and yogurt, and a Dungeness crab you’ll always remember. The menu also includes artisan salami meats and thin crusts pizzas that are worthy of not sharing. A hidden gem on the menu is their squid ink risotto with calamari. Innovative uses of tequila, brandy, bourbon, gin, and scotch turn cocktails into delightful supper drinks or for dessert. Oh, and by the way, house-made gelato can be found here, and is good – before, during, or after dinner.

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well.

AS

Contact the author of this post at aamir17@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Kick and Play: Shoes. Party. Go.

Lately, I’ve heard many people talk about the struggle to find the perfect boot – the pair that you can throw on with anything and trust it to look and feel good. Sometimes one pair of boots only works with jeans and not your work pants, and vice versa. Meet the pairs that change all that.

THE KICKS:

Wodehouse Chukka by Timberland (to the left)

A brand known for work shoes and a plain look, Timberland introduced the Wodehouse collection a few years ago, and now it lives in its own realm of personal style and function. You get that same lifetime comfort with these Timbs, but look so damn good doing it.

Wodehouse’s super-comfy Chukka boots are a slightly pointed pair with wax-coated laces. They’re built as a mid-top so you can tuck your jeans in for a refined look, or let them hang for that brilliantly messy feel. Blazer, t-shirt, oxford – who cares. They all work.

Available in both black and brown, no pair is the same, since the shoes are hand-finished, full-grain leather with a worn-in aesthetic. That being said, the more you wear them, the better they’ll look. And most importantly, it’ll be your own unique fit. Nobody else’s. Available for $295 at Nordstrom.

Not loud enough? Let’s get wild.

LunarGrand Chukkah by Cole Haan

LunarGrand Chukkah by Cole Haan

For those who want something a little brighter, Cole Haan has taken their partnership with Nike to a new level by recently borrowing their Lunarlon sole technology and beautifully blending it with their very own chukka boot.

Dressed in a soft black suede with a volt (neon yellow) sole, this shoe is definitely a stunner. It’s a pair that you can wear for hours on hours and not have sore feet. With the LunarGrand, you get a great mix of casual aesthetic with traditional feel.

Also available in camel/red, grey/pink and woodbury/orange. Works great on jeans, but get bold with dark chinos. Available for $228, everywhere and here.

THE PLAY:

Smitten Ice Cream, San Francisco, CA

Hey, ice cream is good. But when you taste it at its freshest point, it just might be the best thing ever. No better way to say it, Smitten prides themselves on re-imagining the ice cream experience. Each order is made fresh, and is created from absolutely raw, organic ingredients and liquid nitrogren. Yes, liquid nitrogren. Why? Because it makes the smoothest, freshest ice cream you will have ever had, literally.

Gjelina, Los Angeles, CA 

A staple in the Venice community, the creative fusion-Mediterranean restaurant is perfect for the foodie. Seasonal menus, beautiful people, and all types of energy are here. Hey, it’s LA, right? Atypical from the typical Los Angeles characteristic, the menu is meant for sharing, so the more you order, the better you eat. Known for eclectic array of pizzas, but so good for their grilled goods like corn, shisito peppers, and carrots, Gjelina gives you great food, the LA culture and, likely, a good story. Rock your boots to brunch or dinner, just don’t ask for substitutions.

Momofuku Milk Bar and Bakery, New York, NY

Let’s call 2013 the year of the cookie. And ice cream. And pie. Is that too much? Momofuku is that creative baker-friend you always wanted. Remember sipping on that bowl of cereal milk after you finished your Cheerios? That’s the milk Momofuku uses to create their fantastic soft serve. If ice cream is too cold, try their famous Compost cookie, made of chocolate, butterscotch chips, oats, graham crackers, coffee, and potato chips. It’s one hell of a cookie. And then…the ultimate dessert – the crack pie, full of butter, cream, brown sugar, more sugar, and corn flavoring to give your palette a hit of salty and sweet. As Momofuku pastry chef Christina Tosi is known for saying, it tastes better “with your favorite someone.”

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well. 

Kick and Play: Shoes. Party. Go.

Starting in 2013, BlackBook will start talking shoes. With dinner parties, brunches, coffee dates, and friendly catch-up sessions, figuring out the right outfit can become an interminable task. And while so many publications spend their word count on what pants, blazers, tie clips, and watches you need to wear, we’re going to focus on the one thing you’ll always need: good kicks on your feet. So shake hands with our new weekly column: Kick and Play.

Whether you love your skinny chinos, tapered pants, or baggy jeans, we’ll make sure we’ve got you covered in the kicks department. And don’t worry; the full spectrum of shoes will be covered. From limited-edition sneaker releases, to wingtips, to boots that won’t make you feel like a storm trooper, BlackBook’s got your back – and feet. Once you’ve explored your shoes options, we’ll give you the top national restaurants, clubs, and bars to sport them. Kick, play, go.

THE KICKS:

Nike Air Jordan 13 Retro (pictured above)

 

Over the past two years, Nike and Reebok have become crazy for the retro trend. On the regular, the sneaker brands are re-releasing some of their infamous pairs of retro Jordan’s, Iverson’s and throwback player editions of sports legends.

January is no different, with a number of classic Jordan sneakers being released this month. On Saturday, January 12th, Nike and the Jordan Brand will re-release the Air Jordan 13 Retro in black and red, which was originally released in 1997. The shoe, inspired by a panther, was designed by famous designer Tinker Hatfield.

What was known to be a sneaker to collect or play in, now brings a bold yet sleek attitude to skinny jeans at the bar, brunch, or that afternoon weekend discovering the city – just don’t let anybody step on them.

Available on Saturday, January 12th at select retailers. $160. Follow @nikestore or your local sneaker shop on Twitter for launch information.

 

Aldo Nocks

Aldo Nocks

A fusion of a wingtip and a casual-laced shoe, the new Aldo Nocks is a great shoe for nearly any occasion. Though it is a little narrow, it looks great on khakis or jeans, dressed down with a t-shirt and hoody, or up with a tucked-in shirt. The Nocks are available in black and brown. To add a little flavor, these shoes have a surprising, electric-blue sole, giving your step a vibrant bounce. $70 at Aldo Shoes.

THE PLAY:
Perch, Los Angeles, Calif.

A fantastic rooftop bar a whimsical French-bistro feel. Great drinks and damn good dessert. Flanked with fire pits, lounge seating, and an eclectic sound of music from DJs and, on occasion, an indie band. Great for post-dinner with friends or a date.

Chile Pies & Ice Cream, San Francisco, Calif.

Green chili pies with apple filling, a ground beef pie served in a Frito bag topped with Fritos, pie shakes. This Mexican-infused bakery has no rules – just innovative sweet and savory pies, and organic ice cream for the purists. Perfect for any meal, any time, anybody.

La Esquina, New York, New York

When Mexican food is done well, it can be a life-changing experience. Enter La Esquina. Translated as “the hideaway,” this location is just that. It starts off as a three-space set-up which is perfect in its own right – a taqueria, a café, and a brasserie + bar. While you should most definitely try all three, the necessity here is to secure a reservation for the basement: an underground seating arrangement with a menu that boasts 200+ premium tequilas and cocktails and, oh yeah, unforgettable grilled street corn, blessed main courses, and an environment that you won’t want to leave.

Book a reservation a week in advance for a guaranteed good seat. Take a girl. Celebrate your birthday. And wear your new kicks.