Actress and Founder of Girls on Food:
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Sacramento, California. I grew up a typical “McDonald’s kid”. I was very picky about what I ate and refused to try new foods. No fun, I know.
My Mom started taking me on trips to Europe when I was a teenager and that’s when my palate for finer foods began to develop. Some of my most memorable favorite meals include Veal Bolognese in Rome, Gyros in Athens, Paella in Lisbon and Duck L’Orange in Paris. While this helped me grow out of a fast food phase, I still eat out quite a bit. I know I should be at home cooking, but I love dining out.
I started working in restaurants in various front of the house positions at age 15. Since my start, I’ve worked in every casual restaurant setting you can think of: a teriyaki stand, brewery, sushi nightclub, trendy Mexican, family-style Italian, American diner, pizza parlor and even a BLT themed food truck.
I can't help but notice that many of the LA food bloggers don't have any sort of background working in a restaurant. A lot of my perspective on food and dining out comes from my years of experience in the biz.
Since starting this blog, I have shot appearances on a few cooking competition shows (including MasterChef Junior and another upcoming show). We have also started producing a Youtube Channel.
For this site I contribute content from all over Los Angeles (and the world) to showcase my favorite fine-dining spots, steakhouses, exclusive supper clubs, Hollywood nightlife and our very own #GOFx events, which I plan and coordinate.
Dinner on Ice—a pop-up dinner (presented by Capital One Cafe) featuring five-courses fromMasterChef Finalist Chef Derrick Fox,cocktail pairings, ice skating and more—will take placeat ICE at Santa Monica on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
A limited number of tickets are available for $100 in advance, and all inclusive of skate rental fee, dinner and open bar. Guests are encouraged to dress in cozy winter attire.
Could you even imagine a life without garlic? I absolutely can’t! I pretty much add minced and sautéed garlic to everything that isn’t a dessert. I always crave that intense blast of pungent flavor- there’s never a bad time for it.
Since I live in LA, my kitchen gets sunny and toasty during the day, which makes keeping garlic the old fashioned way (hanging from a ceiling, or just in a ceramic bowl on the counter) not so ideal. I’ve been keeping garlic in the fridge, and I get so bummed out when it begins to sprout, due to moisture. I was asked to test-drive Fox Run’s Garlic Keeper, and I’m so glad I did. I’m always excited to prevent any chance to avoid food spoilage and save a little cash.
Sumo Dog, an Asian-inspired hot dog stand in Los Angeles, kicked off a series of chef collaborations this week. Each collaboration is scheduled to rotate every 2 weeks.
516 South Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90020
First up is a collaboration between Chef/Owner Jeffrey Lunak and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (owners of LA favorites Jon & Vinnys, Animal, and Son of a Gun) which is currently available until December 22nd.
The Jon & Vinny starts with a grilled American wagyu all beef dog, then topped with chow-chow relish, pimento cheese spread, spicy Jewish mustard and green onion, for a mix of New York deli and Southern potluck flavors.
The world of foodie apps is like the wild west right now. Developers are striving to become the next big thing, but few apps offer anything unique to stand out from just being a local restaurant directory. I thought I had seen it all with these apps, until GOF blogger Marcie told me to check out an app called Renzell and it has since become my go-to restaurant directory app.
It’s for those with impeccable taste – What separates Renzell out from the other apps is a restaurant directory that is specifically hand-picked by Renzell staff of fine dining establishments in major metropolitan cities. This app isn’t here to help you find a new coffee shop, it’s to help you find the perfect special occasion spot. Think Marea in NYC, Redbird in LA and Alinea in Chicago.
Be undercover – Members can rate restaurants anonymously through their surveys, which are scored based off overall numbers, no long write-ups required. Their surveys are broken down into categories like ambiance, service, food and cocktails. What I love about this so much is that it’s not public what scores users gave, so I can quietly and candidly score spots. See full list of restaurants here.
Prove it – There is also more accountability in the scores than other review apps. Members are encouraged to show proof of dining by providing a receipt from their visit. This makes me feel better when I read the scores, cause it’s lessening the likelihood of fake reviews.
Get rewarded! – The more you survey and/or provide proof of receipt, the more goodies you can get! Recent rewards include Starbucks gift cards, SoulCycle classes, a month of free Spotify premium and so much more.
With membership benefits, secure anonymity and consistent app functionality, I will consider myself a “lifer” Renzell member.
Featured image – Strozzapreti from Marea in New York, a restaurant you can survey on Renzell
As if a rush to the altar (surprise! I’m pregnant!) wasn’t stressful enough for me these past few weeks, those baby and wedding showers you usually take months to plan became rushed as well.
Considering I would be celebrating my bachelorette party as a pregnant bride-to-be, I wanted to celebrate this occasion on a more low-key, local level. No strippers, no Vegas, obviously no drinking (at least for me). My best friend Devon (you may recognize her as #plusonebae on our Instagram) and I decided on hosting a small baby/bachelorette gathering at Pump in West Hollywood. But we had to have cake of some sort and considering their menu doesn’t offer cake options, what was I to do?
This durable, but still adorable, carton holds 12 standard cupcakes with a latch for travel. The measurements are 6.5 x 17.5, which is the perfect size for our having on our table and for refrigeration of the cupcakes after. This carton is made with food grade plastic and it was so easy to clean with soap and warm water.
My favorite feature of this carton is the cut-out bottom for each cupcake, which makes it easy for cupcakes to pop out without damaging any frosting.
Make sure you hop on Amazon to order this carton today, it’s currently priced at only $10.60!
Once our server brought out the cupcakes, we all indulged our sweet tooth and loved the cupcakes. They were still so pretty once they came out!
Even if this gathering of my closest longtime pals was a little bit rushed, I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
This post is sponsored by Bakelicious; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Last week, French bistro Belle Vie opened it’s doors in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Being a Westsider myself, I can confirm that we are a little bit lacking in French restaurants (unless you counting the endless supply of Le Pain Quotidiens around) so I was beyond thrilled to try a this new neighborhood spot.
The team behind Belle Vie, Owner Vincent Samarco and Head Chef Cedric Nicolas‘ (who met when working together at Michelin-plated restaurant Le Trianon) aim was to provide locals with classic French comfort food with hints of California flavors: mission accomplished.
My inner Fracophile was geeking out right when I walked in, because the design, decor and the littlest details are spot on Parisian. French restaurants may have a reputation for serving up smaller portions, but at Belle Vie the portions are more generous. This spot is perfect to bring a friend and share a few plates.
I’ve been increasing my visits to the gym as of late, trying to work off all of those calories from restaurant tastings. While my body and mind feel clear and great, I’ve been getting so hungry after all that stair climbing and cycling. Since I have a somewhat fast metabolism, I have to have a full meal after I do cardio heavy workouts.
When Fox Run Brands reached out to me to try a product-test on their Vertical Poultry Roaster, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect! Although most owners of this product use it to roast their full-size chickens, I’ve been wanting to experiment in the kitchen with one of the more underrated birds out there- Cornish Game Hen.
Nutritionally, these portion perfect hens (minus skin and bones) are packed with 57 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat, making them a great post-workout beastmode treat. But how does it compare to the traditional roast technique over my new roast technique with the Vertical Poultry Roaster? Follow the recipe below to taste for yourself!
If your hen is coming from a sealed package, rinse off with water. To get that perfect crispy skin, make sure to pat and dry the hen thoroughly with a paper towel before moving forward.
On a clean cutting board, lay your hen out (see image above) and use a small knife to get that top skin loose, then place the thinly sliced butter on the two breasts, you can maneuver it closer to wings too. If you have additional rosemary, feel free to stuff some here also, for extra herbal flavors.
If you’re having a cheat day, Universal CityWalk is a foodie paradise, with grub-tastic options like VooDoo Doughnuts, Mini Monster and Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs. For those of us trying to keep within our daily calorie counters, the CityWalk is a little bit more of a challenge. However, I found the perfect casual lunch and dinner spot, which I recommend checking out, especially during Halloween Horror Nights. (so you can get your candy corn on without feeling guilty!)
Samba Brazilian Steakhouse is a Rodizio-buffet-styled restaurant, with all you can eat options on their fresh-off-the-grill meats.
On Friday, October 6th, 2017, Vibiana, the former 19th century Cathedral turned prominent event space in Downtown Los Angeles, was taken over by the national non-profit culinary arts organization, the James Beard Foundation and the best in the LA culinary scene. Taste America, the foundation’s 5th annual ten-city touring event, celebrated prolific stars of the food scene.
Are you ready to spend an evening of culinary arts fun with MasterChef season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale? If you can make it out, be sure to join one of our favorite TV chefs for a three-course meal and cooking demonstration at Macy’s Union Square, in San Francisco, CA. Along the way, Shaun will be sharing his favorite cooking techniques and you get a signed copy of his cookbook, My Modern American Table with the ticket purchase.
We loved watching this DJ turned Chef and season 7, so we know this will be one fun demonstration! Fingers crossed he packs his turntables!
When: Friday, October 20th 2017 at 6 PM
Where: Macy’s Union Square, 170 O’Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Price: $25, includes 3-course meal prepared by Chef Shaun, a copy of his cookbook, My Modern American Table, a $15 Macy’s gift certificate and a meet and greet with Chef Shaun.
IF YOU’RE NOT ABLE TO ATTEND THE FULL DINNER AND DEMO, WITH ANY PURCHASE OF $15 OR MORE IN THE HOME DEPARTMENT (THE DAY AND TIME OF EVENT), YOU CAN STILL GET A MEET AND GREET WITH CHEF SHAUN AND A COPY OF HIS COOKBOOK.
Culinary Council is a collection of spectacularly talented chefs, pastry chefs, and food professionals that travel throughout the country and hold various tastings and demonstrations in Macy’s all over the U.S. Check with your local Macy’s to see if any are happening near you!
This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Image courtesy of Macy’s Culinary Council.
LA favorite and family-owned Wexler’s Deli opened their 3rd location at Westfield Century City this week. Wexler’s Deli is known for serving up traditional Jewish deli soul food with a chef-driven mindset.
Calling all LA food-lovers! On Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, the James Beard Foundation will touch down on the West Coast for the Fifth Annual Taste America, the Foundation’s culinary tour through some of the country’s most exciting food cities. The festivities will begin at Vibiana and will celebrate Los Angeles’ food culture with esteemed local chefs and one national all-star, Barbara Lynch of Boston’s Gruppo, who will create a multi-course collaborative dinner with fellow James Beard Award winner Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie and Ted’sin Los Angeles, pastry chef Shannon Swindle of Craft Los Angeles,and host chef Neal Fraser of Redbird in Los Angeles.
But before getting seated for dinner, guests will snack on an amazing lineup of bites from some of the finest local chefs, including Amanda Chapman and Johnny Ray Zone of Howlin Ray’s in Los Angeles, Evan Funke of Felix in Venice, Justin Hilbert of Maude in Beverly Hills, Sara Kramer of Kismetin Los Angeles, and David Schlosser of Shibumiin Los Angeles.
This event will celebrate LA’s culinary arts scene and raise money for the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Scholarship Fund during a silent auction and an exciting live auction.
Want to get dapper and celebrate with us? Tickets are still on sale here.