Meet Julia! Baker and Chef of natural foods.

Julia, Our very own Baker!
Julia, Our very own Baker!

Meet Julia! We are sliding over into the culinary garden/kitchen and so Julia was called in to meet the gang. She happily accepted the invitation to be the local Baker in Botaniumus. Her Bakery will be inside the Knowledge Café. Izabella is very excited all the great aromas and goodies that will now be at the Café, all just in time for summer and sitting outside, enjoying a cold coffee and a “little something” with your friends. Naturally Julia is all about organic/natural ingredients, and supporting local farms/markets/vendors. She will be all set up soon and hopes to report from her new bakery then. It’s all good in every sense of the word!

Welcome to Julia, she is our spokes-creature for the week. This week topic continues to be SUPPORT your LOCAL folks. Find local Farmers Markets, Artist/Craft Fairs, and don’t forget about your local hometown merchant! If you don’t support them they may not be their next time you are looking for them. Remember, there is no food without farmers, there is no art without artist.

Tomorrow Julia will be posting her interview with Dirty Vegan Foods. DVF is a company that is here for all you vegan junk food lovers. They aim to please and try their best to bring back the snacky fun food you loved as a kid! Love all those memories and yummy foods? Tune in tomorrow for the healthy and still yummy version of them!

Congratulations to all the GRADS!

We know that not every Graduation is occurring  this week, but it does seem like a lot of them are!

May the future hold all bright & beautiful dreams to realities to you all! 

This image is also a Graduation card which you can order by contacting me at

Bettcah didn't know

… Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa , Who Was She?
She is believed to be Lisa Gherardini, born Tuesday, (the only day the Louvre is closed) June 15th 1479. She married Francesco di Bartolomeo di Zanobi del Giocondo, a wealthy Florentine merchant, when she was 16. At the time of the painting she was 24 and had 2 sons.

. . . Various people have taken credit for suggesting to Andy Warhol that he paint soup cans. According to Ted Carey (a close friend of Warhol during the late 1950s/early 1960s), it was the gallerist Muriel Latow who came up with the idea for both the Soup Cans and Warhol’s Money paintings. On 23 November 1961 Warhol wrote Latow a cheque for $50 [more than $300 in 2010 terms] which, according to the 2009 Warhol biography, Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol, was payment for coming up with the idea of the soup cans.

. . . artist Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) completed nearly 200 still-life paintings in his lifetime? The early 19th century saw a decline in the popularity of Still-life composition. Cezanne’s love of the still-life was largely responsible for rekindling its popularity in the late 19th century. Cezanne seemed to revel in its possibilities creating an infinitely varied series of compositions repeatedly using a small set of household objects, along with everyday fruit and vegetables.

. . . a tesellation is a design made from shapes that fit together perfectly. For example a chessboard is a simple tessellation made of squares.

.. .The Louvre  was originally constructed as the fortress of Philippe Auguste in 1190.

John James Audubon painted 435 watercolours of birds in his life time. He was born on the Caribbean island of Santo Domingo in 1784. In 1802 he moved to the United states where he fell in love with the bird life and made it his life’s work to paint a picture of every species of bird in America.

♥ Just a reminder the Botanicals Beauties& Beasties take the weekend off – They need their environmental rest.. some zzz’s…and hopefully some fun too. See you all on Monday.
However, they are likely to do some tweeting!  @BotanicalB_B

•REUSE your energy
   •REDUCE your waste
    •RECYLE your stuff   •ReThink your actions

Groves and Kicks – The Art of Music with Debra Mann

debra mann – home – click for sound bites and to download Debras Album called home.

The Art and soul of Music – part 1

Tilly & Debra each at their Pianos

Tilly Loves Music, especially Jazz! On this past Tuesday Tilly had pleasure of interviewing Debra Mann who is a lovely Jazz Musician. She is a singer and pianist who began classical piano studies at age six. She went on to study at Miami Dade Jr. College, and graduated cum laude from Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Ms. Mann has also had training in voice (both classical and jazz studies), advanced jazz improvisation, and composition (both with the renowned Charlie Banacos). She has been described as: “‘A voice that wraps itself around a microphone like a soft feather boa'”  – Rebecca Parris, Eight-time Boston Globe winner, ‘Outstanding Jazz Vocalist’  … “A wonderful gift for communicating emotionally when she sings. Her songwriting – an obvious melodic gift, and such a gift is rare.”  – Michael Scott, professional composer, Warner Bros. Music

We are honored to share a bit of the interview with you here today.  We did take some liberties in paraphrasing for we spoke for about an hour!

Tilly: We have been thinking, and chatting, about Public Art for the past few weeks here in the Land of Botaniumus. Do you think of Music as Public Art?

Debra: Yes- it can be. Music is available in so many different mediums/venues, i.e. on the street, on a public P.A., so many places are possible. In a city you often can’t walk down a block without hearing a musician playing. Warm weather brings out the public and the musicians with organized Concerts in Parks. In today’s world there are no more Boom Boxes, they have been surpassed with personal headphones, it seems like we have enclosed the music. (We both are a bit sadden by this.)

Tilly: Do you “transform” into your music when you are performing?

Debra: Yes-it’s a process. It begins even before I even leave the house. As I am getting ready to go, putting on my make-up, loading the car, driving to the site, while I drive I am doing vocal warm ups, and finger exercises on my knees. It is all part of it! (Tilly and I  feel a sense of excitement and joy in her voice, that I am guessing she feels as she prepares.) When I get to the place, I am mentally prepped. Then the music starts! I am given over to a greater power, tapping in to be a vessel for inspiration – ego must get out of the way – it’s a place that is  just about the feeling of the music. I am transformed (and hopefully) the listener is as well.

Tilly: You said to me that Jazz means to you that one lets go, you see/feel what happens, and all that affects the music.  Your music is fluid and free-flowing – rigid rehearsals are not part of your Jazz.  It is more improv. We love that and wonder how does that work in a performance setting?

Debra: As we play everything effects where we go with the music. It’s alive and we go where we feel the music and audience takes us. The immediate response, the moving and shifting based on EVERYONE, the musicians and the audience. That is the beauty of a live performance!

Tilly: Do you write your own music?

Debra: I am writing more and more –lyrics and instrumentals.

I have made it a part of my day. I write everyday. I am so prolific I almost have to put the brakes on! I typically write a set of chords first. Lyrics can take over and drive. I am writing more and more instrumentals, and I may or may not embed lyrics into them later. When I perform, I sing and play jazz standards, primarily, as well as some originals.  I hope to perform more originals as I continue with this outpouring of writing…I am loving all this writing and hoping to perform and record more.

Tilly: Where can we hear you play? (The Interview was performed over Skype but Debra lives in RI, Tilly is hanging out in RI for a bit, these listing are for the local New Englanders!)

~ Friday, May 27, 2011
  Debra Mann Piano and Vocal with Bass player Frankie Rizzuto at 
The Lobster Pot
119 Hope Street / 
Bristol, RI  / 02809-2047  
8-11 PM

~ Sat, May 27, 2011  
Debra Mann Trio at
 Greenvale Vineyards
Live Jazz at the Vineyard  Bring your friends and a picnic, it’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the summer!
582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871 /  1-4 pm
401) 847-3777

~ Sun, May 29, 2011  
Debra Mann Trio at
 Ocean Cliff Hotel & Resort
In the Safari Restaurant
65 Ridge Rd, Newport, RI, 02840, (401) 841-8868

Tilly: Debra – it has been a pleasure- thanks so much! 

Stay tuned for part 2 ! Watch in the near future for more, for we had a fascinating conversation about Art that you hear, verses Art that you see.  

Debra Mann Website :

The Art of Food

I googled “the Art of Food” and I found Alisa Barry’s wonderful blog on – surprise surprise, THE ART OF FOOD.

Clearly I was meant to find this for her most recent post is “Cooking for the love of it.”  She  says cooking is “an altar of artistic expression.” I have always felt that was true as long as I had a least a bit of time and some nice ingredients. Since Alisa Barry has said it so well – I have quoted her words from her blog. If you are a foodie, and love the Art of Food then I would recommend her blog, it is elegant and full of yummy words, tips, and recipes.

Here are Alisas words:

Even if you love to cook, there are times when cooking is simply about getting food on the table and sustenance in our stomachs.
And then there are the times when cooking is all about the LOVE. 
Cooking for those we love, with love.

This past week a dear friend needed some serious TLC. …
It also reminded me why I love to cook. It’s an offering and an altar of artistic expression. It’s a way to soothe the soul; a delicious salve that can heal all kinds of wounds. It’s how we connect with those we love and recollect those we miss.  It is, above all, a way to nourish and nurture us wholly, whether we’re the ones who are putting the meal together or savoring at the table. 

For a few days after my visit to stock her fridge, my friend sweetly texted me about how she loved the flavors of the dishes I had prepared. In those few words, I felt her strength regain and her spirit revive.  I’m convinced that intention is everything. Food tastes good when good goes into it. Good ingredients, good loving. 

I’m hoping we won’t have to wait for another event like this to get us sitting down to share a meal together.  Life is short and time does indeed fly by.  No time like now to enjoy with those you love. “

For me she has beautifully tied up and wrapped in a lovely gift box – The Art of Food. ♥ Yum!


I could not help myself.  Another side of the coin for “The Art of Food.”  This is too fun to be left out.

Food Art
Joost Elffers and Saxton Freymann: Food Play

“If there were ever two people who didn’t listen to their mothers they would be Elffers and Freymann. The collaborators have written over a dozen books together, all of them tackling the subject of playing with your food and turning everyday fruits and vegetables into incredibly cute animals and anthropomorphic characters. All their creations are appropriate for all ages and may help you feed your kids broccoli and other pesky greens!

food Bikers
Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle – Microsculptures

Sculpture The Roses, and Park Ave. N.Y.C.

Roses and Bugs Park Ave. NYC
The Roses (and Bugs) Park Ave. NYC Thanks to: Will Ryman (artist) , Paul Kasmin Gallery, and The Fund for Park Ave.

RUSH to NYC if you can to see these 38 larger than life Roses!  These GREAT BIG WONDERFUL Roses, and all the LITTLE CREATURES, on them will only be around a bit longer on Park Ave. If you missed them you truly miss a delightful art display and fabulous installation of public art! The art made me smile every time I went by them. They will be wilting away on May 31.

The art is from Will Ryman, who is a Bowery-based playwright turned sculptor. The octet of blossoms and each petal are made of plaster, wire mesh, PVC tubes, stainless steel, yacht-grade fiberglass resin, automotive paint, and brass designed to withstand the elements and be enjoyed by passersby. They are between 57th and 67th Streets.  The Height of each bunch is approx. 25 feet high (i.e. 4 or 5 NY stories high.) I got to see the flowers in the winter, in the snow, and they were delightful and surreal. An oddity that my brain knew was seasonally wrong, but my heart loved seeing! When I went back in the spring it was glorious again. My soul was so happy to see the real tulips and other flowers blooming, the reality of it being a bit early for roses didn’t bother me one iota. It was a splash of color and life – a sight to be seen, and a scene to be experienced.  ART that makes me smile, lifts up my spirits and soul, is available to all – that is good stuff!

Many of the roses are already sold, if you want one then be quick to come up with $200-400,000. Or, just buy a petal; you can use it as a chair- really! It will only set you back $25-$30,000. According to Ryman (in Jan. when The Roses went up)

“About half of the works on view have already been sold. The proceeds from these sales made the installation a reality because the $800,000 in expenses were covered by the artist. Whatever isn’t sold by the time they come down in late May will probably be put on loan by the Paul Kasmin Gallery, said Ryman. “

I was talking to my Dad not long ago, and were chatting about The Botanical Beauties and Beasties. One of the things he said was ” they make me smile.” A friend also recently told me the same, she said ” Your creations make me smile every day.”  I thought how great is that!  I was thrilled.  As I reflected on these very kind and wonderful words to my ears, I remembered a mission I had set out for myself when I started creating the Beauties and Beasties. This mission had sort of been forgotten by me lately. Thanks to Dad and to Chris for reminding me. I wanted, and still want,  The Beauties and Beasties (who BTY were called The Critters at that time) to make people smile, and feel good! The world seems like a pretty hostile place often and it seems important to sooth those rough edges a bit if I can. I am honored, thrilled, delighted, and proud that one of the missions of  The Botanical Beauties and Beasties has come to fruition.  Now that is REALLY GREAT STUFF!

In the near future I am planning on telling you all some of the other goals that the Gang at Botaniumus and I have. We have big plans! In the meantime, Enjoy NYC, Park Ave on a near perfect spring 2011 day!

To read an interesting article from, of all places, The New York Social Diary, the first month the Roses bloomed on Park (Jan.)

Naturally the NYTimes had a review in Jan as well.

To see them in the snow The Huffington Post. or a slideshow from Paul Kasmin Gallery 

The Sign for “The Roses” 

Prints, Art and Joseph Borg

ART WEEK – Part 2. So much fun last week we continue..

Joseph Borg: New York moments metropolitan (no33)

I met Joe outside the MET, on the sidewalk to be exact.  It was a beautiful spring afternoon, and Joe had a table full of beautiful art work.  “Joseph Borg, an artist and master printer, specializes in the traditional intaglio method, utilizing the monoprint technique as a means of endless experimentation. Joseph’s work has been exhibited and well received in the U.S. and abroad. His work has been chosen to be the first and only visual art found in the living quarters of Biosphere II, a life-sustaining experimental habitat in Oracle, Arizona.” ( Very Cool, and Very Green!)

I just had to stop and look, the work has a quality and finesse  that I could not walk by. The colors in his prints are often vivid, like the city of NYC that he lives in, and I like it!

We chatted a bit and he told me that these prints are a mix of painting, drawing and embossing. He then told me these are also often Mixed Media prints, meaning if there is one he doesn’t like it get ripped up and fragments are added to other and a new image is formed. Recycling IN the art. How great is that!

I couldn’t resist and bought a print then and there. I hope you will be moved to do so as well when you see his images on his website.

Bettcha didn't know…

It’s fun fact Friday – and since it’s been an ART week  we will have ART facts.

Artist: Picasso’s First Word: Pencil. It’s like Picasso was born an artist: his first word was “piz,” short of lápiz the Spanish word for ‘pencil.’ His father Ruiz, an artist and art professor, gave him a formal education in art starting from the age of 7. By 13, Ruiz vowed to give up painting as he felt that Pablo had surpassed him.

Painting: Leonardo DaVinci began painting the Mona Lisa in 1503. He was still working on the painting when he emigrated to France in 1516 and is believed to have finished it three years later, just before he died. The painting has remained in France ever since and is owned by the state. It once hung in Napoleon’s bedroom…X-ray technology has shown there are 3 different versions of the Mona Lisa under the visible one.

Architecture: The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet highland  receives a fresh coat of 300 tons of reddish-green paint every seven years.
The extended right arm of the Statue of Liberty is 42 feet long.

Words: “The Wizard of Oz” – where did the word “Oz” come from? – Baum said he looked at the filing cabinet which was labeled “A-N” and “O-Z.” He chose the latter, otherwise it might have been The Wizard of An.

 The Beatles song “Martha My Dear” was written by Paul McCartney about his sheepdog Martha.

See you all next week!

Public Gardens are a wonderful form of Public Art.

What architect so noble…as he who, with far-reaching conception of beauty, in designing power, sketches the outlines, writes the colors, becomes the builder and directs the shadows of a picture so great that Nature shall be employed upon it for generations, before the work he arranged for her shall realize his intentions.  – Frederick Law Olmsted

One of N. Americas most famous parks is Central Park  in New York City. We visited on our NY tour and, as always, are thrilled with how spectacular The Park truly is. On a gorgeous spring day like we had, the Park is especially luscious. Naturally, the Blossoms wanted their photo taken there, so we acted as all good tourist do, and added ourselves to the composition of photo taking couples! Central park is a garden oasis in the middle of a large city that bustles and tussles all the time.  Olmsted’s Philosophy about his work is so powerfully correct about Central Park (one of his own creations)  that it is a true tribute to his life and work.

The Blossoms, Central Park Reservoir, Central Park NYC

“Olmsted’s main goal, no matter what he was doing was to attempt to improve American society. He had visions of vast recreational and cultural achievements in the hearts of cities. He did not see parks as just vast meadows, but rather he saw them as places of harmony; places where people would go to escape life and regain their sanity. He wanted these parks to be available to all people no matter what walk of life the person followed.”

I am curious, how does this compare to a painting, a photograph, or a sculpture?  Olmsted  saw parks as places of harmony.  As I think about a piece of ART and that it is usually created for/with, harmony/angst, and/or to provoke thought. True?  If that is so, and a park is a place that empowers the harmony, then a garden (a park is often/usually a garden) IS  A WONDERFUL ART FORM. A garden encompasses many of your senses. Flowers have beautiful colors, scents, shapes and sizes. Garden walkways, and “hardscapes” can create direction or paths for our imaginations. Gardens water features can give sound, provoke a feeling of tranquility, a place to gaze and reflect. A garden by association is usually a place to sit back, to enjoy nature and it’s beauty. I have always believed that a garden is indeed ART, and a beautiful garden is a Masterpiece of Art!

The folks that design our large public parks are usually Landscape Architects. One of the “greats” was Frederick Law Olmsted. “Olmsted was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1822. Between 1837 and 1857, Olmsted performed a variety of jobs: he was a clerk, a sailor in the China trade, and a farmer, as well as many other professions. He moved to New York in 1848 and in 1857, without having ever had any college education, Olmsted became the superintendent of New York’s Central Park.

As the superintendent of the park he served as the administrator and then architect-in-chief of Central Park’s construction. Next, he served as the administrative head of the US Sanitary Commission, which was the forerunner of the American Red Cross. Finally his last job, before forming his own firm, was that of the manager of the vast Mariposa gold mining estate in California.

In addition to designing for urban life, Olmsted was anxious to preserve areas of natural beauty for future public enjoyment. He served as the first head of the commission in charge of preserving Yosemite Valley and was a leader in establishing the Niagara Reservation, which he planned with Calvert Vaux, in 1887.

Between 1872 and 1895, when he retired, Olmsted’s firm carried out 550 projects. These projects included college campuses, the grounds to the US Capitol, and residential communities.”

If you are in the Boston MA area today (May 12) here is great chance to learn more.  Film: The Olmsted Legacy: America’s Urban Parks. 

This documentary explores the formation of America’s great city parks, including Boston’s own Emerald Necklace, through the eyes of 19th Century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The film traces the life of Olmsted: his early struggles in school, his personal tragedies and his unorthodox career path. Olmsted and his firm carried out more than 500 commissions, nearly 100 of which were public parks.His work includes the linear park system that stretches from the Back Bay Fens to Franklin Park known as the Emerald Necklace. A panel discussion, moderated by Julie Crockford, President, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, will follow the screening. The panelists will be Alan Banks, Supervisory Park Ranger, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site; Margaret Dyson, Director of Historic Parks, Boston Parks and Recreation; and Betsy Shure Gross, Board Member, City Parks Alliance and co-founder of the National Association for Olmsted parks. For more information on the documentary, visit

Fee $10  Offered with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy   Like films? Like Gardens? Like learning new stuff? Check it out!

The Andy Monument (Public Art Fund)

The Andy Monument and Bloom
The Andy Monument and Bloom

Since Yesterday was sculpture and public ART it seemed logical to continue and chat today about Andy Warhol, his statute in Union Square and his art. Like yesterday, this post also has multi parts. #1 is Andy Warhol and his statue. #2 is the Public Art Fund Project. #3 is Food is an art at LAUT.

ART #1
Union Square is one of New York City’s most active social, cultural, and commercial centers. It is home to many well-known monuments, including statues of George Washington and Mahatma Gandhi. From 1968 to 1984 it was the location of Andy Warhol’s Factory, where he and his collaborators reinvented the conventional artist’s studio, producing silkscreen paintings, films, music, books, magazines, and more. With his Union Square Factory as a creative hub, Warhol became synonymous with the Downtown art scene.

Inspired by Warhol’s art and life, Rob Pruitt (b. 1964, Washington DC) created The Andy Monument as a tribute to the late artist. It stands on the street corner, just as Warhol did when he signed and gave away copies of Interview magazine. Pruitt’s sculpture adapts and transforms the familiar tradition of classical statuary. The figure is based on a combination of digital scanning of a live model and hand sculpting, its surface finished in chrome, mounted on a concrete pedestal. It depicts Warhol as a ghostly, silver presence: a potent cultural force as both artist and self-created myth.  As Rob Pruitt observes, “Like so many other artists and performers and people who don’t fit in because they’re gay or otherwise different, Andy moved here to become who he was, to fulfill his dreams and make it big. He still represents that courage and that possibility. That’s why I came to New York, and that’s what my Andy Monument is about.”  Nicholas Baume Director & Chief Curator, Public Art Fund”

When: Wednesday, March 30 to Sunday, October 2, 2011 Where:  17th Street & Broadway.

Rob Pruitt’s larger-than-life sculpture of famed pop artist Andy Warhol is the first public art installation to grace the Union Square district’s new pedestrian plazas at 17th Street & Broadway.

Inspired by Warhol’s art and life, Pruitt created The Andy Monument as a tribute to the late artist. It stands on the street corner, as Warhol did when he signed and gave away copies of Interview magazine just a few steps away from the entrance to where one of the Pop Art pioneer’s legendary Factory spaces once stood. The figure is based on a combination of digital scanning of a live model and hand sculpting, its surface finished in chrome, mounted on a concrete pedestal. It depicts Warhol as a ghostly, silver presence: a potent cultural force as both artist and self-created myth.

As Rob Pruitt observes, “Like so many other artists and performers and people who don’t fit in because they’re gay or otherwise different, Andy moved here to become who he was, to fulfill his dreams and make it big. He still represents that courage and that possibility. That’s why I came to New York, and that’s what my Andy Monument is about.”

Here are some nice facts to know about know Warhol: “Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator, and a very successful one, doing jobs like shoe ads for I. Miller in a stylish blotty line that derived from Ben Shahn. He first exhibited in an art gallery in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1961-62. From then on, most of Warhol’s best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when he was shot. And it all flowed from one central insight: that in a culture glutted with information, where most people experience most things at second or third hand through TV and print, through images that become banal and disassociated by repeated again and again and again, there is role for affectless art. You no longer need to be hot and full of feeling. You can be supercool, like a slightly frosted mirror. Not that Warhol worked this out; he didn’t have to. He felt it and embodied it. He was a conduit for a sort of collective American state of mind in which celebrity – the famous image of a person, the famous brand name – had completely replaced both sacredness and solidity.”

Once again Bloom wanted to experience this art FIRST HAND (not as most people experience most things at second or third hand)- so up he hops, we snap a photo, and as he stands there for a while we are both thinking. Taking in the night sights we can see of Union Square, the noise, the scents, the folks passing by… we wonder what is was like to BE Andy Warhol, Bloom tries to feel it, to feel SUPER Cool – to be THE ONE– the IT guy for 15 minuets, or for 6 years. Like Yesterday we have again have a  “force” this time as both artist and self-created myth.Would you want “it? ”

ART #2

“The Public Art Fund is New York’s leading presenter of artists’ projects, new commissions, and exhibitions in public spaces. For over 30 years the Public Art Fund has been committed to working with emerging and established artists to produce innovative exhibitions of contemporary art throughout New York City. By bringing artworks outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, the Public Art Fund provides a unique platform for an unparalleled public encounter with the art of our time…. Since 1977 (it’s beginnings) , Public Art Fund has presented more than five hundred artists’ projects throughout New York, making it possible for artists to engage diverse audiences and, along the way, redefine what public art is in relation to the changing nature of contemporary art. A comprehensive list of past projects can be found in our online archives, which are continually updated.”

How cool is that!
Art for the masses, art for the public, art where it can be seen and experienced by anyone who happens past it as we did.  Art for some who will make a destination to go and see, just like a museum -but so easy! I love Public art! Then to add to the coolness- there is a webpage just for Andy. The Public Art fund has done an amazing job; free smartphone app, free Audio Tour, Artist Talks and more- Check it out!!!!

ART #3 This eve Bloom I had an AMAZING dinner at LAUT ( if  you have not tried it yet you need to RUN, not walk, downtown to them. The food (which is an art form itself) was the best meal I had had in a long time. The owner is charming and knows his foods, the cook must be amazing +++  for that how good the food is. “Lurking in all the fusion in this restaurant near Union Square is some of the best Malaysian food in Manhattan…Laut is well worth a visit.”   RESTAURANT REVIEW | LAUT. It was after leaving the restaurant we stumbled upon the Andy Monument. Bloom jumps up – and insist I take a photo of him and Andy!