Is it just me, or does 2024 already feel better than 2023 did? Despite it being the slow season just about everywhere, things seem to be advancing at a rapid clip. The general sentiment seems to be positive for the first time I can remember in recent memory. It may be silver and gray in Los Angeles right now, but the energy is high, and I have been, too! I also quit smoking. Not weed, obviously. That hasn’t been helping with the spirits – in fact I truly believe everyone who said quitting was the best thing they’ve ever done is lying to my face – but I say that to say everyone who was all up in arms when I released this piece a few months back can shove it – this feels exactly the same as when I try not to smoke weed. But alas, those are negative feelings, and we’re in our positivity era. LOL I spend too much time online.
Anyway, from the heady boiz to the budget-conscious, there’s something for everyone in this edition. Earlier this month Astor Club opened the doors to their new LA jaunt, and you’ll see a few nods to some of the brands available there, as well as some of the more hard to obtain jars y’all have been asking me about. Remember that just because you see me post something cool on Instagram doesn’t mean it was excellent, but if you see it below, that means I really believe it’s elite, for whatever reason.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know what new heat you’re excited about, or what you hate right now. That side’s always fun too!
This is one I’ve been hearing about for a minute now. My boy P over at GOAT has been telling me for months that this is the best smoke on the market, and now that I’ve finally got a jar in my hands I’m pleased to report that it’s not just hype; Omakase is onto something special here. True to their name, the cultivars are branded as courses rather than just the strain name, but the back label does more to describe what you’re about to indulge in than just about any other brand I’ve seen. Grown in living soil under only four lights, Course 1, also known as the Yuzu, is a cross of Tropicanna Cookies and Orange Zkittlez, and it’s just as vibrant as you imagine when hearing who its parents are. Now I know citrus is a little polarizing, but let me just say, this shit is like sunshine in a joint. It rocks your senses, it stains your palate, and the high is one of my favorites from recent memory. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what the rest of this meal is like, bc the appetizer smacked!
This is another one of those small batch producers that are incredibly elusive, but that consistently receives rave reviews from the heads in the know. A few months ago when Harvest Moon told me he had a life-changing batch of Z in the works, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. That’s a bold claim to make, and for a guy who loves Z, how good would it have to be to change my life? Well friends, I’m happy to report I get where he’s coming from, because it’s almost like he’s recreated Z. Not only can you taste how clean it is, but there’s a new almost menthol-y texture in the middle of the flavor that cuts down on some of the sweetness, and it feels like the grown-up version of the original cultivar. If you can get your hands on it, this one’s Hall of Flame worthy.
Known across the world as the guy who brought hash holes to the masses, Fidel’s is once again raising the bar with his upcoming 1/1 line. In a world where everyone’s trying to repeat the vibe, or feeling, Fidel’s new rolls aim to provide the exact opposite: a brand new experience every time. While these will present themselves in a series of different ways, the general idea is this: every available roll will include a different combo of flower and hashes to provide a unique flavor and high. This means they’ll have more than one flavor, sometimes of both ingredients, included in each roll. There will be several hash dollops, as opposed to a single core, and the order in which they’re reached will vary. There may be blends of flower, or hash, within the mix. And because of how the hash melts into the flower, this means that every single roll will be unique, and provide a combo of flavors you might not ever experience again. Launching next month, I’m very excited to see how the market receives these. Between the limited nature of what they’re offering and the cult-following Fidel’s has amassed, I expect these to be a hot ticket this year. If the way people line up to take a hit of his personal rolls are any measure, these ones will move quick.
Long regarded as LA’s flavor king, Wonderbrett’s got another hit on his hands with his latest Kush Cola. It’s almost more Cherry Cola to me than a regular old cola, but the crazy part about this one is how the taste almost mimics that feeling of carbonation in your mouth while you’re drinking. It burns smooth and clean, so I don’t mean that to sound like it’s crackling or pop-rocking in your mouth – this ain’t no spray pack – but it does have a taste that’s almost exactly a cherry coke, and for a Coca-Cola fiend like myself, that’s a prettttty sweet selling point. For those of you out there who aren’t as aroused by soda flavors as I am, it’s worth nothing that this is a true Kush, so unlike the caffeine in a sodyboi, this one’s going to mellow you out real quick. It’s also worth noting that Brett has released seeds of some crosses of this with his new company Byrdseed Genetics, so if you’ve got a green thumb this is a cool one to dig into!
Over the past few months Parlay has quickly become one of my most in-demand smokes. I didn’t even know they existed at this time last year, and now I’m burning their gear several times a week, if not every day. The last time I mentioned them it was around their Mochi Latti, which remains one of my favorites from the brand, but his take on Biscotti is one of my top 5 nighttime’s right now. However, today I’m here to talk about this fire collaboration he dropped with my dog Joey Colombo. Dubbed Street Credit, this is Parlay’s Candy Fumez, which has itself made a ton of noise over the past year, and it’s adorned by this insane piece that Joey put together for the branding. Now, I started this by telling you how much I enjoy smoking their product, but I’m going to close it by telling you that I’ve got the empty mylar on display on my shelf because it’s that dope.
I was going through the archives of this column the other day trying to see when the last time I wrote about Wooksauce was and I realized that I actually have never given them their own call-out here, so allow me to start this by saying my bad, because I love these guys and they’ve long deserved it. First off, since the moment I heard their name I’ve been excited by them. I mean, WOOKSAUCE?! C’mon. Is there a better nickname for concentrates? If there is I haven’t heard it. I love the term ‘Wook’ to begin with, I think we should wear it as a badge of honor (like WEIRDOS, perhaps? ;)) so it speaks to me on many levels, but before you jump down my throat yelling that I’m just talking about the branding let me tell you, their hash is elite by every measure. The new Bop Gun, of which they are the single source that touches the product, is absolutely crazy. The terps are a mix of sweet lemon and like paint thinner – the kind that make your eyes wide from the sniff, and that you can feel behind them before you’re finished exhaling. I know you don’t need me to mention the awards they’ve won, or how excellent I think they are as actual people, but I still think the details matter.
Speaking of the Astor Club opening, one of my favorite parts about going to the club is that they’ve always got some crazy heat from the Archive homies. I don’t get up to Oregon very often, and these guys are ALWAYS pumping out a ton of new gear that tends to buck the trends of the major market – or at least what’s moving the needle down here in LA – so it’s hard to keep my finger on their pulse. Now that Astor’s got an LA location I’ll be more in the loop, and that’s already started as, at the opening, I got to taste three of their new rosin phenos and while I know they’re not properly labeled so I don’t want to share any wrong information, all were stellar, unique, and unexpected expressions. I should also shout out the homie Matt Jackson for keeping me abreast of what these guys have had going on in the past. One of the last times we hung out he gave me some of the super rare Oishii x Sour D cross that blew my doors down, and while I’ll likely never see that one again, I’ll keep dreaming about it!
Here’s another brand that’s been making noise in the streets for a while now that I’m glad to report lived up to the hype. People have been telling me that Dash has the choice bags just like Metro Bloomin, and now that I got hands on with his Apollo 41 it seems like they were telling the truth, as this is a very special expression of one of the most popular strains in recent history. That said, unlike a lot of what’s found on the streets these days, this one has that original almost warmth that excited so many of us back in the day. Excited to dive further into this catalog and see what else he’s got up his sleeve.
Lyfesauce has been in the lab the past few months breeding tons of new varietals and after getting to check some of them out over the past few weeks I’ve got to say the boys got some serious new winners on their hands. My favorite of the new cultivars was the Orange Sherb x OZK x Gastro Pop, which has an excellent orange flavor to it (lots of citrus this month!), as well as the Deathdream x Capulator, which was also super flavorful, and had a wonderful clean and productive high to it. I’m not sure when these will hit the streets, but when you see it, these two are must cops!
I first caught wind of these guys sometime last year at one of Jimi’s Transbay Challenge events, and a few months later I went down to check out their grow out here in Los Angeles and I’ve got to say, for a brand that has largely focused on bulk so far, these guys have some seriously great and consistent smoke. Now it seems like they’re producing a ton of flavors so I haven’t even begun scratching the surface of what they’ve got in their portfolio, but I really liked their Sherbaccio Sweet Tea – which seemed to surprise some of the team. That said, I even like smoking their LCG – which y’all know is saying a lot for me. Another one to keep an eye one!
I’m going to start this by saying I was never some massive fan of stained glass in the past, but that all changed when I saw the new drop from Cutie Lil Glass in collaboration with Bird and Mouse Glass last week. Dropping a twist on ‘the Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo with assorted smokeables, as well as other creations like a Bic-adorned mirror, the glass pictured is immediately my favorite cop of the year so far. These are both new names for me so I’m excited to keep an eye on their growth, and hopefully scoop up some more cool and unique culture-inspired art!
I’ve kind of been on a tote bag kick lately – which is strange because I honestly don’t like them, but this is another I feel compelled to acquire despite preferring some sort of body strap to handles. Marketed as the tote bag the government doesn’t want you to experience, it feels like the type of thing you want to have on you for an experience of the psychedelic variety. Featuring artwork by CatDirty, while this is probably not the one normal people would grab for a trip to the grocery store, I on the other hand like making things uncomfortable.
Nepotism Bonus: National Pizza Day with Good Pizza
Added the Nepotism tag here because I’ll be hosting, but if you happen to find yourself within reachable distance of Sacramento in early February, you should pull up to the first annual National Good Pizza Day, which will be going live with hella dank from a currently undisclosed location on the 9th. Stacked with multiple pizza purveyors, heady jars, and as many Italians talking with their hands as you can handle, this one’s going to be a sesh to remember, family! Featuring tons of homies like Zackwoods, Planta, White Ashes, Surfs Up, CGO and more, tickets are available now – scoop one and let’s get lit in the capital!