Weekly food round-up – Taco Bell, Alinea, and artisan coffee! [VIDEOS]

Since I’m listening to doctor’s orders and staying in, I’ve been catching up on food stories on the internet – ranging from the unbelievable to the awesome. Here’s a round-up of some links and videos that caught my attention.

Alinea presents… edible helium ballons! You have to see it, then you’ll want to inhale it!

And for you Angelenos who live off of coffee, looks like artisan coffee is the big thing right now. I’ve added some coffeehouse brewing porn for you…

Handsome Coffee, Downtown LA Arts District

DripLA, Koreatown

Demitasse Cafe, Little Tokyo

Cheese or Cool Ranch taco shells? Taco Bell test kitchen has been testing Doritos taco shells and looks like you might be able to try one yourself! And if you want proof, humorist John Eick is tweeting about it.

Video: Beautiful tomato plating by Alinea

Here’s a short video posted by the famous Chicago gastronomie restaurant Alinea Restaurant. Loved the colors of the tomatoes and movement in this short. All in all, lovely plating that made me drool for refreshing summertime dishes. However, I don’t quite know what the pillows at the end are meant to do. Do you know? Please share.

Some of my favorite things…

Here are some things that make me smile. I can’t believe March is just starting and there’s so much awesome things to share with you. More to come… but til then, enjoy these finds.

Tiny Wings app on iphone – Help this little birdie see new land at lightning speed with just a touch.

TED – Right now, big thinkers and creative minds are meeting in Long Beach. Alas, I’m not a luminary so I’m not at the event but I can watch from you and so can you! Here’s the first video posted from this year’s meeting of the minds…

Adele ’21’ – One of my favorite albums so far in 2011. I hope this is a sign for more good music to come this year. Adele’s ’21’ is soulful and smart. I admit I can’t help but turn up the volume when I listen to this album.

Charlie Sheen in New Yorker Cartoons – I do admit there’s been a Charlie Sheen overload in the media these days. Here’s a worthy link that is clever and brings a new depth to Sheen’s words. Brilliant! By the way, here’s a clip from the ABC interview chock-full of Charlie Sheen quotables.

Shave me off a piece of that… shave ice!

The summer months make me crave shave ice… not shaved ice. I’m talking SHAVE ice. It’s the fine icy treat that President Obama indulges in when he visits Hawaii. In Los Angeles, we have Get Shaved which is as close as it gets to the real deal in Hawaii but their store is all the way in North Hollywood and their food truck is hard to track down because it covers a big area (ahem… @getshaved, please come to downtown LA during the weekday!!).

When I was in Hawaii this spring, I made a pilgrimage to Matsumoto General Store that specializes in this fluffy refreshing goodie. Check out my video of my experience and why shave ice isn’t your everyday snow cone. By the way, this is the first video I’ve posted and I’m on the fence if this is going to be a regular feature. I still need to work on my Final Cut skills. But please leave a comment if you want more videos (or not).

I mention li hing mui in this video and you’re probably wondering… exactly what is it? Well, it’s a salty plum powder. I know your taste buds just turned when I said that. The flavor is a nice rounded taste of salty and sweet that goes well with the sweet flavors of the shave ice. Lots of Hawaiians actually dip their fruit (like pineapples) and sometimes gummy bears in this reddish-orange colored powder. My roommate, Isabella, was the one who told me about the li hing mui and my life hasn’t been the same since then.

Here’s a closer look at Matsumoto’s.

Even though Matsumoto’s is known for their shave ice, they really are a general store. They sell candy, food, trinkets, and t-shirts.

Here’s a close-up photo of my friend’s shave ice — she got the Matsumoto special which is coconut, lemon, and pineapple.

Let me know if you want more video and also if you have suggestions on the best shave ice outside of Hawaii… especially if it’s in Southern California.

Music videos that make me smile

Here are some notable music videos of 2010. Why do I like these? It’s the storytelling that takes place in 3-5 minutes. Plus, these artists look like they are having a damn good time while making music.

I heart Mark Ronson. Enough said… just watch and you’ll know why.

Here’s the new OK Go video that came out this month. Seems pretty simple but when you look closely, you realize this was shot all in real time and it’s made by using stop-motion. Well done!

And we can’t forget OK Go’s last video – yeah, I’m talking about the Rube Goldberg machine one… brilliant!

This Vampire Weekend video has some unexpected cameo appearances by Jake Gyllenhaal, Lil Jon, RZA, and Joe Jonas. Plus, this is one catchy song that I adore.