All Posts By

Zach Leary

Blog - Food

Delicious Outrage

My world view alternates between two very distinct yet merged realities – the sparkling psychedelic spiritual reality where nothing is real and the earthly bound plane of worldly pleasures. For myself, the temperament of the pleasure senses is because moderation can aid in staying in it for the long haul. Excess, in my experience has taken a toll on my body. Elements of restraint that are born out of guilt, sin, renunciation or any other religious dogma have no place in my zeitgeist, let me make that clear. My God wants me to experiences her divine form in all it’s various manifestations.

As it turns out many of these glories are edible, delectable and delicious!

This was a very flowery way of saying how much I love food. I’m an equal opportunity eater while trying my best to remain a conscious one. I’m going to slowly add a food section into this website that contains not just ramblings but also a professional service that I’ll get into later.

My passion for edible excellence has led me to traveling the world searching for that elusive taste bud orgasm. Italy, Japan and Spain are to no surprise the top three culinary destinations that I’ve experienced thus far. I’ve yet to go to Vietnam, Greece and Turkey to taste their offerings, that will happen soon.

Somewhere within my path, my love for creativity and social connection led me to venture somewhat intensely in culinary school where I learned to formalize my cooking skills that were originally instilled from my mother.

And now, without any hesitation, my love of food has inspired me to become a consumer possessed at giving feedback if a restaurant or service deserves it. I can’t sit idly by and spend my hard earned money on something that’s advertised as delicious when it’s anything but. I’m constantly amazed at how many good eateries fuck up, phone in and give up on many core dishes that should be extraordinary. It’s as if they rob Peter to pay Paul while leaving John alone to die in the woods. There’s no excuse.

Below is a sampling of my letters of feedback to a few LA institutions that I feel are honest, direct yet respectful. If you love food and eating out as much as I do I encourage you to write your local kitchen if you feel disappointed. You’d be surprised to how many of them listen to you and are so pleased that you’ve taken the time to write them.

Letter to Santa Monica Erewhon:

On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 11:25 AM Zach Leary <zachleary@mac.com> wrote:
Hey guys,

Not sure why the breakfast burritos at the new Santa Monica location don’t follow the recipe from the Venice location.

It would be fine if you were trying something else out and wanted to experiment, if you wanted to make it better perhaps.

But you haven’t. It’s not that good.

The Venice breakfast burrito is extraordinary – it’s one of the best in LA. The hash browns, steak, sauce, etc…make up something worth traveling for. Why did you half ass the Santa Monica version?

If each store is autonomous, I get it. However something tells me that’s not the case.

Can you please fix this tremendous oversight?

With love,

-zl sent from the singularity

Zach Leary
zachleary.com
213-864-XXXX

The Erewhon Response:

Thanks for writing.  We will have it right within a day or two.  If you don’t mind following up once you try it again.

Same ownership all stores.

Sincerely,

Tony Antoci
CEO
Erewhon Markets
7660 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA.  90036
323-602-XXXX

Letter from QuickSand (West LA) in response to my query on their lack of creative execution:

On April 12, 2018 Jeffrey Stupler wrote:

Hi Zach,

First of all, thank you. Your email made my day. I appreciate your feedback, and you are absolutely correct on both points:

Wolf & Crow legitimized the sandwich shop big time and they’re approach needs to be replicated everywhere.

Bay Cities still has a monopoly which is amazing considering the talent in this town. Gotta give them credit though!! They’re a money machine.

As for us, sadly, we’ve been so busy running a restaurant, our creativity has taken a back seat lately. The good news is, we will be shaking things up shortly as we open up our second location on Washington Blvd. in Culver City. The menu over there will be slightly different which will give us the canvas to create (or re-create) more adventurous sandwiches!

If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list, since we will be blasting out our opening details in early May.

Thanks again for your kind words,

Jeff

Letter to Sweet Rose Creamery (with reply), one of many:

On Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 4:42 PM, “Zach Leary” <mail@sweetrosecreamery.com> wrote:

Sweet Rose friends – your recent Chef Picks are simply too exaggerated. They are autumnal to a fault. Every single flavor is like some holiday pie made into an ice cream. You don’t need Spiced Pumpkin and Cinnamon and Apple Pie. It’s redundant and boring. One of those is enough to satisfy your endless quest to represent some sort of seasonal satisfaction. This is LA, this isn’t Vermont. It’s like one big spiced fest.

It’s ok to riff on chocolate, malt, cookies, berries and perhaps even a nut butter of some kind or dare I say lavender, all year round. There is but one chocolate flavor on the entire menu? That is no way to grow an Ice Cream empire! I look to you to blow my palette away as you have done for years now!

Seriously – enough. You’re losing your way and it’s not ok. I can not continue to spent $100 a month at your shop under these conditions!! Please get a grip and get the Chefs Picks back in order – The Earl Grey and Malted Milk flavors would suffice while one of those awful spiced flavors goes away.

Thank you and good day.

The Sweet Rose Response:

Hi Zach,

Thanks for your feedback – I’m sorry to hear you are not pleased with our recent flavors! We do our best to incorporate seasonality as you know as well as change things up to appeal to all different tastes. I’ll definitely pass your feedback along to our chef and team. Please do check back with us in December when we’ll have another batch of flavors coming out! We really appreciate our loyal customers and hope to be able to offer something pleasing to each of you.

All my best,
Margot

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 119 – Lama Tsultrim Allione

The It’s All Happening Podcast continues it’s exploration into the spiritual path with yet another wise, intuitive and iconic spiritual master. Lama Tsultrim Allione joins the podcast to share her journey into her lifelong immersion as a trail blazing woman deep in the heart of Buddhism and to discuss her amazing new book Wisdom Rising: Journey Into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine.

Tsultrim’s masterful new book teaches you how to embody the enlightened, fierce power of the sacred feminine—the tantric dakinis. Our conversation breaks down the different archetypes of the divine feminine found in the tantric Buddhist teachings and why it’s as important as ever to embody them for life in the modern Western world. This knowledge and the subsequent practice radiates for women but is also applicable for men and their search for a more balanced life.

INTRO RANT – How we spend our time and it’s effect on emotional intelligence

Lama Tsultrim Allione, author and international teacher, is the founder and spiritual director of Tara Mandala. In 2009, Lama Tsultrim was selected by an esteemed committee of Buddhist scholars and practitioners to receive the International Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award given in Bangkok, Thailand.

To read here full bio please click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 118 – Deepak Chopra

This episode of the podcast features the practical and poetic wisdom from the one and only legendary Deepak Chopra! What an honor and thrill it was to sit down with Deepak to do a podcast that surfed many planes of consciousness, mysticism and science. Our conversation dealt primarily with the success of the scientific revolution over the course of the last 300 years and how that turned humanity away from it’s mystic roots and quest for spiritual understanding. Deepak provides a roadmap on how to cultivate the spiritual heart while not turning ones back on science and logic. Sit back and settle into a download from one of the great icons of the modern spiritual movement.

INTRO RANT – The American Spiritual Experience as seen through “Wild Wild Country” and “Come Sunday”

Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, Founder of The Chopra Foundation and the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in mind-body medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

Chopra has authored more than 80 books, published in more than 43 languages, including 22 New York Times best sellers. Two of his books, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind (1993) and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (1995) have been recognized on The Books of The Century Bestsellers List. For the last three years, Greatist.com recognizes Dr. Chopra as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness “.  The World Post and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked him #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine Fitness. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century”.

www.deepakchopra.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 117 – Jason Louv

Jason Louv returns to the IAH podcast as our first three time guest! Jason’s depth of expertise and eloquence shifts it’s attention to that of his new book “John Dee and the Empire of Angels – Enochian Magick and the Occult Roots of the Modern World.” John Dee was one of the most fascinating characters of the middle ages. His role as Queen Elizabeth I’s court advisor and astrologer, was the foremost scientific genius of the 16th century. Laying the foundation for modern science, he actively promoted mathematics and astronomy as well as made advances in navigation and optics that helped elevate England to the foremost imperial power in the world. Our conversation dives into many of the core topics this book uncovers and of course takes a few spontaneous turns! If you don’t know who John Dee was, pay attention, your mind will be blown.

INTRO RANT – Why Trumps 41% approval rating is a cause for concern on a social level

Jason Louv is the author of eight books, including Generation Hex, Ultraculture, and Thee Psychick Bible. As a journalist, he has covered surveillance, international trade and the dark side of technology for VICE News, Boing Boing, Motherboard and many more. As a futurist and strategist, Jason has worked on Buzz Aldrin’s international campaign to colonize Mars, Google’s artificial intelligence program, and in many more strange and wonderful places. He lives in Los Angeles.

Pre-Order “John Dee and the Empire of Angels ” by clicking here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 116 – Philip Goldberg

It’s All Happening with Zach Leary returns with a new episode featuring Phil Goldberg the author of the new book “The Life Yogananda – The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru.” Phil sheds light on the life and influence that Paramahansa Yogananda had on the American ethic. Arriving in 1920 in Boston, Yogananda soon after traveled through America spreading his brand of Indian mysticism and yogic philosophy onto the American public.

Our podcast conversation touched on some of the more important milestones of Yogananda’s life, his influence on LA specifically and how his teachings are still felt today. Yogananda remains one of the most colorful icons of the yogic revolution in the West. Phil’s intellect, humor and wisdom is the perfect vehicle to capture this portrait and to tell the story.

INTRO RANT – April 2018 marks the anniversary of  two different yet equally important milestones – the 50th anniversary of MLKs death and the 75th anniversary of the first LSD experiments.

Phililp Goldberg is the author or co-author of numerous books; a public speaker and workshop leader; a spiritual counselor, meditation teacher and ordained Interfaith Minister.  A Los Angeles resident, he cohosts the Spirit Matters podcast, leads American Veda Tours and blogs regularly on Elephant Journal and Spirituality & Health.

Pre-Order “The Life of Yogananda” by clicking here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 115 – Christine Mason

Our collective podcast audible journey collides head on with the dharmic brilliance of Christine Mason. She is a force of nature who dances her away through the multi-verse with ease, grace, wisdom and a whole lot of creation. Our conversation traversed many landscapes including technology, running companies and business, spiritual practice, refining ones dharma, how to create more compassionate working environments and a look at the state of yoga in the west. YES, we really did cover that much ground. Additionally, Christine shared with us her experience of how she re-adapted her lifes work based on a psychedelic spiritual experience that changed her life instantly.

Christine’s state of being in the world is truly remarkable and being with her can hover between inspiration and intimidation. She’s extremely accomplished and constantly flowing with new ideas and energy. In my opinion, Christine is the model for the 21st Century woman. Enjoy the episode!

INTRO RANT – A look at dharma

This episode of the podcast is brought to you by The Timothy Leary Project a new book by Jennifer Ulrich, published by Abrams Books.

Christine Mason

Christine serves as a Board Member for Now Labs, doing early stage technology strategy, advising and investing.  She’s the founder & President of Rosebud, a V-beauty line.  She is the Editor-in-Chief of Enter Magazine, Investigating Technology and Human Culture, and the co-founder of New Earth Hawaii, a center for yoga and human potential on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Her books include:  Indivisible: Coming Home to True Connection (2016) and Bending the Bow: The Common Story of Great Activists (upcoming, 2018), and the editor of the poetry anthology Love in the Face of Everything. She is a Board Member at Insight Out, driving for restorative justice in California’s Prisons, and at the Stone Research Foundation, improving the future of the human body.

She’s a mom of 6 and a grandmother, a 20 year+ yogi and bhakta.  You can find more of her writing on Human Potential and Yoga, Music and Spoken Word at XtineM.com

Her prior work includes founding and growing multiple venture backed technology companies, and mapping new markets for emerging technologies for leading companies such as AutoDesk, Panasonic and Estee Lauder. Areas of investigation include technologies as far ranging as markets for biologic patents, short and midterm potentials for synthetic biology applications, 3D printing, unmanned aerial vehicles, cloud computing, big data, video analytics, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 114 – Duncan Trussell (MAPS Podcast 26)

This episode of the IAH podcast is actually a double dipping orgasmic sonic podcast co-share with the MAPS Podcast (www.maps.opg). The interview with Duncan was so good, of course, that I felt compelled to use it for both shows that I host. What can be said about a talk with Duncan? Not much that hasn’t been said before however, since this episode was recorded for the MAPS show it’s focus is primarily on psychedelics. Duncan is one of the smartest psychonauts in the multi-verse and is no doubt one of the finest representatives for the power and potential of psychedelics. Enjoy!

INTRO RANT – On John Perry Barlow

This episode of the podcast is brought to you by The Timothy Leary Project a new book by Jennifer Ulrich, published by Abrams Books.

Duncan Trussell is a comedian, psychonaut and host of the wildly popular Duncan Trussell Family Hour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People

On Barlow

Throughout the course of any one person’s life there are sure to be a few key people that show up as agents of transformation. People who help to define the myriad of essential moments that shape your journey into one that has direction, purpose and meaning. I have my parents Timothy and Barbara, a couple of romantic relationships, many close friends and my teachers that I’ve known personally as well as in the astral. Within that mix, nestled deep in the roots of my formative years, resides John Perry Barlow. I say this with the utmost conviction and gratitude. I’d be a different person than I am today had I never crossed paths with Barlow.

Barlow entered my life 30 years ago when I was 14 years old. I was just a gangly confused teenager trying to find my way in the world. During the span of these 30 years there were phases in my relationship with Barlow where we’d be in each other’s orbit frequently and fondly, possibly sharing a laugh at a trademark “Barlow Frenzy.” Alternatively, many years could also pass, sometimes awkwardly, that would eventually come to an end in the form of a loving reunion. It must be said that certain elements of my time with Barlow could contain their fair share of complex tensions having to do with the very strong personalities of both my family and his being. That’s not to say any of it had a lasting effect. They were gracefully balanced out with countless intimate moments of dancing in each other’s consciousness that could only be achieved by Barlow’s brilliance at understanding complex eco-systems and then knowing how to rebuild them.

Nostalgically, I recall many moments where my Deadhead-ness would take over and I’d barrage him with my curiosity about the inner workings of the Grateful Dead. That was hard to shake with me. Remember, I met Barlow when I was a 14-year-old fan and a kid, so the context of our friendship evolved over time. For the first 10 years he was more of a “god-uncle”, as he put it, intent on exposing me to the wonders of the world through his unique lens. He knew that my household was kind of “different” and that I could use an extra set of adult eyes helping me out to make sure I didn’t go further astray. Growing up, I was so blessed to have some of the greatest guest stars one could ever imagine, but it wasn’t always easy for me to connect with them. The stage was so large, and I tried so hard to be smart and liked, that I often fumbled because I was also in the midst of screeching through the baffling process of growing up. Barlow made it easy, he made any bullshit go away. He was always so comforting, funny and gracious with the way he could make me feel safe and included. He’d come into my room and crouch down next to me as we geeked out on Mac IIci games or to dial up to The Well to unearth the possibilities of what was to come. Cowboy boots always on of course.

I didn’t spend as much time with Barlow over the years as many did nor did I spend the least. I’m no authority on his life and legacy, however, due to the memorable intensity of the time I did spend with him things tended to morph from mundane moments to thrilling events that left stamps on my consciousness for life. Everything he did was full on.

Perhaps, the most special quality of his was the way he could set the stage for glorious potential. When you were with Barlow you got the feeling that THIS night could be the greatest night of your life. Anything could happen. His thirst for stirring the pot with forward thinking ideas, for bringing people together, for seducing women and all while weaving the mischief of the Grateful Dead ethos into the mixture made for the perfect conditions for an atmosphere of magic. Only someone with his brand of unmistakable ego and intellect could be a ring leader of this magnitude.

At first, and this is true, my folks and I used to laugh uncontrollably at Barlow’s relentless ego and need to speak in the third person. Before email was a regular thing, we’d get “BarlowGrams” in the mail. My dad would be like “who does this guy think he is? Who the fuck cares what he’s doing?” The thing is, our acerbic tongues and judgement eventually went out the window because his sincerity and authenticity could not be denied. We’d came around. Even grouchy ol’ Timmy saw Barlow was doing amazing stuff, gathered fantastic people for parties and was actually worth following in his branded email updates. His finger was many levels above being “on the pulse”, he was creating a new pulse. Barlow was a social media brand 15 years before any of us were trying to do the same thing. Fact.

Also, like my dad, Barlow’s ability to reinvent himself was the stuff of legends. If you plot the logic of a Wyoming cattle rancher Dead lyricist changing professions mid-stream to that of an Internet freedom fighter philosopher, you’ll get lost and confused. It was a brilliant transformation that defied convention.

For me though, I was a Deadhead first and foremost, that was my main lifeline to him. In my eyes his place in the world was part of that formula. When the Mondo 2000 era was booming and the EFF was forming, Barlow’s voice as a freedom fighter on the plains of cybernetic consciousness was visionary and a sight to behold. But it never moved me in the same way because I was much more interested in learning about how “Throwing Stones” came to life. That’s just who I am I guess. I am thrilled that his desire to be remembered as an Information Age visionary is what’s leading the headlines in public obits. Look Barlow, you did it! I think the NY Times didn’t even mention the Dead in depth for 3 paragraphs.

He was a maverick until the end.

Death has no mercy. That much is true. Barlow’s slow burn into formlessness was rough. In the last couple of years, it pained me to see him to be honest. Still, it was reflective of way he lived – full on, hard, gritty, vulnerable and always up for adventure. For a cowboy from Wyoming, Barlow was one of the most sensitive guys I’d ever come across. From an early age he was an example to me of how a man could show emotion with pride. His death encapsulated those notes as well. He lived and died on the edge with a hunger to seize every moment and to make them into epic tales of ragged glory. Many of his greatest songs he wrote with Weir illustrate that part of him.

The Weir/Barlow cannon makes up many of the most cherished Dead songs in my opinion. At any given show I was just as happy to hear “Let it Grow” as I was “Scarlet Begonias” – I was full on with Bobby and not solely a Jerry freak. Barlow’s contribution to the Dead zeitgeist, while not as prolific as Hunter’s, was an essential part of the fabric. He helped to paint the tapestry of one of Rock n Roll’s most important legacies.

All this aside, this post isn’t about praising his accomplishments. Many will do that better than I will. Not to mention the fact that his accomplishments are obvious and speak for themselves.

This is about family. Barlow was a core part of the Leary family and many of its dimensions. His presence during the last 9 years of Timothy’s life was not subtle. He formed a friendship with Timothy the best anyone really could. Anyone who saw the two of them together remembers fondly their battles of oratory and quiet battle to see who could own the room. That being true, I have to say now that he made a mistake by getting in too deep when Timothy and my mother Barbara were headed for splitsville. His penchant for the spotlight and unquenchable attraction to powerful women helped create a set of circumstances that I wish didn’t happen. They come complete with gossip and intrigue that in the end left some scars. All the details aren’t important but it’s a tough sting when someone crosses the line with your own mother and claims to have had a relationship with her that simply was not true. That was always looming in the back of my head even decades after, it was hard to shake. The crowning bit of poetic irony is that Barlow being the way he is, made it so that I somehow could look passed it and just keep on dancing. Hard to explain I guess. As times goes on, I find many of the great long-term friendships in one’s life can also get complex and that’s just fine. It makes them rich and special.

My intention of bringing this up is not to add scars to his legacy, the point is that he was family and things got that intimate. With family comes many nuances, ins and outs and various sets of baggage. It’s how any family operates. He played hard and wasn’t afraid to go all in. That I admire. And for that I love him.

He also gave me what I felt was too harsh a dose of tough love during a time when I was in my addiction and faulted by making some poor choices (to say the least.) I felt that doing it publicly wasn’t the right move considering his way of life and penchant for hard living wasn’t always the best example to follow. Still, he meant well and always wanted me to shine. Additionally, I have to admit that his knack for not being subtle may have actually benefited me in this case. Essentially, his contradictions were part of his charm. I mean, how could you love a sometimes Mormon Republican Bohemian Grove member Grateful Dead lyric writing acid head? You just could. Because he was the only one of that kind.

He had so much to offer the world and many people as well, I’m lucky that I got even a shred of it. I can’t think of a smarter, more generous and more worldlier profound person that I’ve ever known. The world is a sadder place without him.

Like I said earlier, magic with him was always possible and even frequent. My top 3 memories of Barlow infused magic are as follows:

1.) Pink Floyd 1994 – this story could be an entire book. The last night he spent with his beloved Cynthia Horner happened to be at our house in 1994 the same weekend that Pink Floyd was playing at the Rose Bowl. Gilmour was a friend, so that weekend of shows saw our house turned into a launchpad for the shows, dozens of people gathered up there before the trek to Pasadena. Barlow and Cynthia too – they exchanged beams of love, possibly took something and then transported with all of us at the Floyd show. From what we all understood they had an amazing night and sealed their bond. Tragically, the very next day Cynthia passed away on an airplane in her sleep only hours after Barlow took her to LAX. It goes without saying that he was never the same and the un-calculable grief that came as a result was his work for the remainder of his life. While sad, the profound connection with his loss fused with magic of Pink Floyd all while using our house as the playing ground is something I’ll never forget. For years after that, every time I saw him I could not escape the image of that weekend.

2.) Brent Mydlands death – I was only 16 but Barlow called our house the day Brent died of an overdose in 1990. Or maybe Timmy called him after I explained why Barlow’s relationship with Brent was special. I’m not sure. After talking to my dad for a while I was handed the phone to give my condolences. I wasn’t sure why, what could I possibly say? I had gone to over 40-50 shows in the previous two years and because of that and my age it was very hard to put it all into context and to come from my heart. I did my best and we stayed on the phone for probably 15 minutes, which I thought was a lot back then. With effortless grace the lessons, wisdom and perspective that I got from talking to Barlow that day left a deep canyon of love in my soul. It was one of the earliest confrontations with death that I experienced. There I was talking to a guy about his friend and song writing partner who just died. He blew my mind and also set the stage for many more encounters with death that I’d walk through over the years. This was new territory for me not to mention a deeply sad and surreal example. Footnote – The Grateful Dead were essentially never the same after that. They rebounded a little with Hornsby but that 87-90 peak was the last of its magnitude.

3.) ACLU Benefit – I believe the year was 1997. It wasn’t long after Timmy had checked out and I use that as context because many of the Leary.com team was still hanging out together and we were Barlow’s guests that evening. In addition, Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman were the musical guests to compliment the honoring of Barlow by the ACLU. The event was at the Century Plaza Hotel in LA and Barlow thought it would be a grand idea to make the entire evening into a post Leary-drome memorial gathering fused with a classic BarlowFrenzy that was to take place in his hotel room. It wasn’t quite the case in terms of size but after the event and a classic mini-set by Bob and Rob, Weir joined myself and some of the other Leary-folk in a psychedelic dance around the cosmos. It was so special for me personally because Jerry hadn’t been gone long and Bobby was still marinating in the haze and was quite candid in talking about it. The combination of that and the psychedelic exploration was a night to remember. Classic Barlow magic.

There are so so many more. But that feels about right.

Shine on John. I’ll miss you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for being a pain in the ass. For challenging me. For teaching me. For making me laugh. For countless Dead tickets. And for not being successful at hooking up with my mother. Having you as a step dad would have been too much. See you on the other side.