MDMA (No, Not Dr. Massachusetts)

Plus salsa, chili, and paella.

JULY 15TH, 2023

ONINO Crispy Chili

I need another garlic and chili-flavored condiment in my fridge like I need a hole in my head, yet today’s installment of High Praise will (spoiler alert) feature not one but two new additions to my arsenal. First up: Crispy Chili by ONINO, an extremely crunchy, onion-y, garlicky, and, yes, chili-y Brooklyn-made mix that’s more bits and bobs and seeds and stuff than it is sauce. It’s also smokier than it is spicy, and absolutely delicious. On Monday night, I seared some shrimp in butter and then made a garlic, vermouth, and lemon pan sauce. I ate the leftovers cold and topped with dollops of Onino for lunch the next day, which should give you a sense of the sort of flavor profile it might work with. -VvP

“The Rebranding of MDMA”

Another week, another article in a mainstream outlet about the ongoing second psychedelic revolution. -DW

Telfar x Melissa

My partner and I stopped in the SoHo Melissa store a couple months back so she could finally pull the trigger on a pair of jelly shoes that she’s been eyeing, and I’ve been trying to steal them for myself ever since. Melissa seems to be having yet another moment thanks to collaborations with Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, and now even Telfar. Their collab jelly shoppers are both adorable and practical, with a festival-friendly clear (and waterproof!) design, but I personally have my eyes on the slides. Bonus rec: Melissa also happens to make the perfect hot pink heels to accessorize your Barbie premiere look. -PR

Johanna Stickland’s PRISM

Artist Johanna Stickland opens her new solo show, PRISM, at the Thames Art Center next Thursday, July 20th. I’ve long been a fan of the former model-turned-photographer and painter for her use of soft lighting and unique framing to capture the realness of intimate moments. Just as life can be a million emotions at once, some of my favorite of Stickland’s images evoke seemingly contradictory feelings, a feat accomplished just by slightly shifting your gaze. I’m not sure how long the show is on for so go see all her work in person soon. -DW

Somos Salsa Macha

Wow, okay, so I’ve been a freak for salsa macha ever since I first tasted chef Alan Delgado’s version at one of his Burritos Juarez pandemic pop-ups. This version from Somos—a spicy, saucy, almond, sesame, and pumpkin seed-studded creation—absolutely lives up to my memory, is nationally available, and comes in two flavors: classic and mango pineapple. Somos encourages drizzling the “sweeter” iteration over ice cream and while I have yet to try it, I’m very intrigued. This weekend’s stoner snack, here I come. -VvP

9° Book Stopper

We have a ton of books in our house, and while they’re increasingly being displaced by kid stuff, I’m one of those prideful people who views them as the perfect decoration for a New York City apartment. But as we’ve had to find clever new places and ways to display them, I’ve come face to face with one of my design enemies: bookends. No matter how aesthetically pleasing they may be, I find bookends to be an unsightly and rigid intrusion into the beauty of a haphazard library. However, I just came across these 9° Book Stoppers by Soguand they might be a game changer. These tiny pieces of metal keep one book on a lean, using geometry and gravity to provide a simple and elegant solution for an age-old problem. Or so it is in theory. I have yet to order them so I don’t know if these actually work, but I’ll report back either way. -DW

Arroces Street Paella

In case you missed last summer’s series, Chef Eduardo Cuenca of Miss Ada is bringing back his outdoor paella party this Sunday, July 16th at Ensenada in Brooklyn. He’ll be serving up street paella with fresh seafood and seasonal veggies, spicy chicken croquetas, and a gazpacho made with black garlic oil and fermented ají dulce honey that sounds absolutely divine. It starts at 3 PM and they’ll keep serving until sold out, so bring an appetite and RSVP here! I’d recommend pregaming with a strain like Pineapple Express or Lemon Kush to put you in the munchies mood. -PR