Weekly Wanderlust 7/21/17: #GOFxHOOCH at Harlowe in LA, Din Tai Fung in Santa Clara, CA and Bettolino Kitchen in Redondo Beach

Every Friday here at Girls on Food, we’ll bring you Weekly Wanderlust, featuring the best our in cities, recipes, videos and advanced notice on events we’ll be appearing at.

Julianne here:

Come join Girls on Food and HOOCH Cocktail Society at Harlowe! $1 Admission will include a premium cocktail made for you gals. For the public event page, go here

Date: Sunday, July 23rd 5:30pm-7:30pm 

Location: Harlowe in West Hollywood, 7321 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046.

Ladies – Wear a LBD and you’ll be featured on the Girls on Food Instagram stories with your handle tagged!

Harlowe is offering a choice of 2 premium cocktails: 

\\\ Bontanist Elevated Gin & Tonic: A Scottish classic cocktail, with sweet, minty, and herbal undertones. 

\\\ Mount Gay Rum Dark & Stormy: A bold, sweet, and spicy rum cocktail.

Continue reading “Weekly Wanderlust 7/21/17: #GOFxHOOCH at Harlowe in LA, Din Tai Fung in Santa Clara, CA and Bettolino Kitchen in Redondo Beach”

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Grilled Avocado is the New Avocado Toast: Spartina in LA

I love nothing more than a brunch that’s delicious and comforting with an innovative twist. As much as I love classic American brunch cuisines, it’s easy to grow a little tired of them. I was invited in to taste brunch items at Spartina, in Los Angeles recently. Spartina offers Northern Italian inspired dishes with a SoCal twist. After this brunch, I believe I found the next “it” brunch items that could spawn many copycats.

Spartina
7505 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
http://www.spartina.la/

Spartina opened in 2015 and is owned by Chef Stephen Kalt, well-known for stints at Le Cirque in NYC and Caulfield’s in LA. Executive Sous Chef Gary Caldwell started cooking here last September. He comes from the Las Vegas scene (having met Chef Kalt from his stint at the Sinatra in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas).

This atmosphere feels relaxed with the amount of sunlight and use of sky blue tables. I’m already itching to come back for dinner and seeing if it feels a bit more formal in the evening. Pricing wise, I’d say it’s pretty reasonable for the LA dining scene.

Continue reading “Grilled Avocado is the New Avocado Toast: Spartina in LA”

Weekly Wanderlust 7/14/17: Omakase at Kru in Sacramento, Nashville Fall Wine Festival, Hopdoddy’s Impossible Burger and Cristina’s Hojaldres de Nutella

Every Friday here at Girls on Food, we’ll bring you Weekly Wanderlust, featuring the best our in cities, recipes, videos and advanced notice on events we’ll be appearing at.

Julianne here:

I recently visited my mom back home in Sacramento, and I finally decided to make a stop into Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine. Back when I lived in midtown Sacramento, I often dined at the original Kru location (at that time it was on J street… I’m talking 2007), and I was excited to check out the new location in East Sacramento on Folsom Blvd.

The new location is quite spacious, with multiple seating options for diners; bar seating, dining room seating, patio seating, sushi bar. I was a little shocked at how big of a space the new venue is. I’d describe the previous location as “hugable” whereas this location feels more “big time”.

Sushi Chef Ricky Yap

Good things come to those who wait, and I have been waiting a long time to taste Kru’s Omakase, so the day finally came for me! I sat at the sushi bar, and Sushi Chef Ricky Yap guided me through this smorgasbord of special appetizers, sashimi, and nigiri with a couple of wagyu steak dishes.

Continue reading “Weekly Wanderlust 7/14/17: Omakase at Kru in Sacramento, Nashville Fall Wine Festival, Hopdoddy’s Impossible Burger and Cristina’s Hojaldres de Nutella”

The Perfect dineL.A. Dinner at Firefly in Studio City, CA… According to Julianne and Christina

From Friday, July 14th – Friday, July 28th, many of the best LA restaurants will be participating in dineL.A. with set pre fixe menus. dineL.A is very dear to my heart; it’s a great way for Angeleno epicureans to dine at higher end restaurants on a smaller budget. For someone like myself, who has champagne taste a beer budget, these two weeks are a gift from the gods. In addition to fine dining, a lot of the local/family owned restaurants participate as well, which allows you to taste more of their options as well. These menus vary in timing, prices, and number of courses depending on location, so be sure to do your research here before making a reservation.

When GOF blogger Christina and I were invited to Firefly in Studio City for a preview of the dineL.A. menu, I immediately jumped at the chance to go. It’s been on my bucket list for a while, since I knew of Firefly’s Executive Chef Perry Pollaci from his stint at The Royce in Pasadena. The Royce is one of the best fine dining steakhouses in LA, so I was excited to see what he would bring to an established modern American bistro setting.   

Firefly
11720 Ventura Blvd, Studio City CA 91604
http://fireflystudiocity.com

When I first entered Firefly, it has a very dark, somewhat brooding atmosphere at the bar. It’s the kind of spot perfect for a date but not so perfect for a photographer. Luckily, as you make your way in, there’s an old school library-themed lounge with a lighter disposition. Then when you make your way to the patio, it’s suddenly Instagram-friendly with lots of natural lighting and spacious seating. There are even a few private booths that would be fun to have a party in.

Continue reading “The Perfect dineL.A. Dinner at Firefly in Studio City, CA… According to Julianne and Christina”

Weekly Wanderlust 7/7/17: Five-Course Dinner at Nerano in Beverly Hills, Paula’s Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries and The Ainsworth in NYC

Every Friday here at Girls on Food, we’ll bring you Weekly Wanderlust, featuring the best our in cities, recipes, videos and advanced notice on events we’ll be appearing at.

The BG Lounge | photo credit Rob Stark

Julianne here:

I am so excited for Nerano and Marchesi Antinori‘s Italian Wine Dinner in Beverly Hills. For this dinner, Executive Chef Michele Lisi and Sommelier Samantha Johnston of Nerano team up with Wine Ambassador and Sommelier Alessia Botturi of Marchesi Antinori. 

This five-course dinner tasting menu paired with Italian wines by Sommelier Samantha Johnston will commence on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at 7 PM, in The BG Lounge. 

Pricing for Nerano’s Antinori Wine Dinner is $140 per person, inclusive of the wine and menu, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Advance reservations required and there is limited seating available for this event, make a reservation here: 310.405.0155 

Nerano & The BG Lounge
9960 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Here’s a sneak peek at the menu for the evening:

The evening reception begins with Stuzzichini – Crostino Di Pomodoro Verde with Apulian Burrata & Green Tomato Marmellata and Bruschetta with Grilled Rustic Crostino, Diced Campari Tomato, Arugula & Parmigiano Reggiano paired with Col de Salici Rosé Brut NV.

Followed by Antipasti  Crudo Di Ricciola with Pacific Yellowtail, Crispy Capers, Fresno Chili Peppers, Rainbow Micro Greens & Citronette paired with Tenuta Guado Al Tasso, Vermentino 2015and Burrata Caprese with Heirloom TomatoesApulian Burrata, Tomato Confit & Arugula-Pesto paired with Castello Della Sala, ‘Cervaro,’ Chardonnay 2014. 

Next is the Pasta course of house-made Orecchiette with Colorado Lamb Ragú, English Peas, Tuscan Mint & Fiocchi di Burrata paired with Guado al Tasso, ‘Il Bruciato’ 2015. For Secondi – the main course – Tagliata di Manzo, USDA Prime New York Steak with Yukon Gold Potato Focaccia & Sautéed Spinach paired with Antinori ‘Tignanello’ 2014.

Completing the dinner is a Dolci of Panna Cotta e Frutti di Bosco – Tahitian Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Wild Berries, Orange Zest & Vin Cotto paired with Fattoria Aldobrandesca, ‘Aleatico’ 2011.

I will be on our Instagram @girlsonfoodblog providing stories and live content, so make sure you’re following us!

Continue reading “Weekly Wanderlust 7/7/17: Five-Course Dinner at Nerano in Beverly Hills, Paula’s Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries and The Ainsworth in NYC”

Girls on Food Hosts an Influencer Tasting at Wood & Vine in Hollywood

Many have deemed Hollywood Boulevard “the boulevard of broken dreams”, but on Sunday, June 25th, the energy on this iconic street was anything but broken.

Girls on Food teamed up with Wood & Vine, a restaurant and cocktail bar that rests on the legendary corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in LA, for our first (of many) social media influencer tastings. These tastings bring social media awareness to restaurants on social media platforms. At the last event, we kept it limited to GOF bloggers, but for this one, we decided to get a little more social and invite some of our favorites Instagrammers to come out.

W&V particularly wanted us to give feedback on Bar Manager Katy Nichols‘ new summer cocktail menu items. We were definitely up to critique the sips provided and taste their shared plates.

Wood & Vine
6280 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
http://woodandvine.com

From left, clockwise: Mallory (@couchpotatocook), Caroline (@dinewithcaroline), Evi (@evseats), Libby, Sara, Rebecca (@grubfiend), myself (@girlsonfoodblog), Kathy (@redcarpetreport), Tintin and Noriko (@koko_roy)

Girls on Food bloggers in attendance:
Sara
Libby
TinTin
Me!

Influencers in attendance:
@losangelesfoodie
@grubfiend
@couchpotatocook
@dinewithCaroline
@Evseats
@kimlaiyinling
@koko_roy
@redcarpetreport

Continue reading “Girls on Food Hosts an Influencer Tasting at Wood & Vine in Hollywood”

Summer Loves Sunshine Package at SLS Hotel Beverly Hills

I recently checked out The Bazaar by José Andrés, at SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills (read about it here) and I had such a magical experience, I have to share with you the SLS Hotel’s Summer Loves Sunshine package, available today through September 30.

SLS Hotel let me come in for a tour of this fantastic offer. After this tour, I’m dying to escape and seek refuge at the SLS Hotel! I always recommend the SLS to my friends when they come in from out town. But if you’re an LA local looking for leisure, this hotel package is arranged perfectly for those looking to recharge.

Premium Suite

The Summer Loves Sunshine Package includes:

  • Overnight accommodations in a premium Suite – these suites are so luxurious! Everything from the furniture to the lighting to the decorative accents are methodically thought out by designer Philippe Starck.
  • $100 Ciel Spa credit – $100 here can cover a blow-dry, hair treatment, manicure or pedicure, foot or hand massage. This is perfect for a little pick-me-up. 
Altitude Pool Cabana
  • Altitude Pool Cabana (including food & beverage by José Andrés and a welcome bottle of cava) – Swim or tan rooftop with marvelous views of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.

    Altitude Pool Cabana
  • The Pool Menu offers renewing treatments – includes a Chair Massage or a brightening Eye treatment.
  • Sunshine Dreaming Tote packed with:
    • SLS-branded water tumbler
    • SLS-branded hat
    • Sun Bum sunscreen spray
    • Pair of Toms sunglasses
    • Sunshine Dreaming pillow
Tres by José Andrés

This package is priced starting at $2032/night (plus taxes) and subject to availability. Bookings for SLS Beverly Hills’ “Summer Loves Sunshine” Package can be made online or by calling 866-716-8136 (ask for Rate Plan LTPKG1). 

Let me know in the comments below if you book this package!

Joey Wölffer’s The Road We Travel Pop-Up Shop at Platform LA

A couple of my favorite things: Wölffer Rosé, Wölffer No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider and jewelry!

Whenever I’m in NYC and dining out, I always order a glass of Wölffer Estate’s Rosé and/or my absolute favorite, the No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider. It’s very common to find in NYC restaurants and bars. I’ve always wanted it to come over to the West Coast though!

While Californians still can’t purchase Wölffer Estate wines in their own state, we do have time to shop for new clothes at Co-Owner Joey Wölffer’s pop-up, The Road We Travel at Platform LA. Joey curates a Hamptons-meets-boho collection from an array of her favorite luxe designers.

If we can’t sip on a glass of Wölffer Estate Rosé in LA, we can at least dress like we do! I had a moment to chat with Joey about this pop-up among other things.

Joey Wölffer and myself!

Joey Wölffer at Platform
8830 Washington Blvd, #101, Culver City, CA  90232

JG: How will this pop-up be different from your Sag Harbor and Nantucket locations?

JW: My ascetic is always the same. But LA is sophisticated and glamorous, so for this pop-up, I added a little sparkle to my boho ascetic. I haven’t been able to showcase here, so I’m very excited for that. When Platform reached out to me, I thought “to be amongst these other brands is so great.”

Continue reading “Joey Wölffer’s The Road We Travel Pop-Up Shop at Platform LA”

The Chef’s Tasting Menu at Alexander Steakhouse in Pasadena

As your editor-in-chief, I have a new goal here at Girls on Food: I want to make steakhouses and haute cuisine well… hot again.

I’m not saying steakhouses and other fine dining establishments suddenly became passé, but my Instagram feed is inundated with rainbow/freak/junk foods and I’m just over it.

I believe the reason these foods are so popular on social media is because they’re cheap and easy to obtain. They photograph well with their bright colors and craziness. An influencer can budget out their Instagram shoots easily. I get it. I respect it, I just want to deliver our readers a different perspective.

But while I set the bar a little higher for myself and continue to grow my palate more into the world of finer dining, I promise to not get too bourgeois on anyone. I will never forget my McDonald’s roots. And don’t worry, we’ll maintain plenty of comfort food content here at Girls on Food. (holla at Fatboi Tendencies)

I had just gotten out of a foodie event (I wouldn’t dare say which one) with a lack of fantastic bites. I decided I just wanted a steak and glass of red wine. So I went to Alexander’s Steakhouse in Pasadena on total whim and my evening was redeemed times infinity.

Alexander’s Steakhouse
111 North Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
http://alexanderssteakhouse.com

The Alexander’s Steakhouse mini-chain has locations in Pasadena, Cupertino, San Francisco and Tokyo, with Patisseries in Cupertino and Mountain View; they also own By The Sea in Palo Alto. Alexander’s Steakhouse serves classic American steakhouse cuisine with a Japanese influence. The San Francisco location was at one time a Michelin-starred location, but has lost the star since. (inspectors, get back in there!)

The Pasadena location is a posh, dimly lit spot, tough on me as a blogger for photos (I did my best here at the last minute!), but fantastic for a date night. Right when I walked in, the service was very attentive and precise, without a stuck up attitude.

I wanted to go all out and try The Chef’s Table Experience ($200 per person), a custom tasting menu, but that is quite the endeavor as it’s intended for a party of four guests. This option requires a reservation (by phone or in person) in advance. Sure, it would’ve been fun to have Executive Chef Matt Bata all to myself, but the Chef’s Tasting ($175 with an optional $75 wine pairing) was the next best available option and I was so happy I went with this 8 course tasting.

I opted to not sip the night away with the wine pairing, since I drove out from Culver City. But next time, I’m taking an Uber out to be safe! I had a glass of Robert Foley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011. Perhaps not the perfect pairing with seafood and lighter courses, but boy was it beautiful once the steak came out.

  • Editor’s note – the Chef’s Tasting menu could have slightly changed with the season, but they told me it doesn’t change up that much. So if you’re reading months later, the menu may have altered.

 

Continue reading “The Chef’s Tasting Menu at Alexander Steakhouse in Pasadena”

Happy #nationalroséday From Girls On Food!

From Editor-In-Chief JULIANNE:

Dear Rosé,

Although I had tasted you several times in my early to mid 20s, honestly… I just wasn’t that into you…until I picked up a cheap bottle of you at Trader Joe’s in West Seattle back in 2012. Over the next 5 years, I’d grow quite fond of you; sipping on a glass of you pretty much everywhere I go. 

Everything about you is a delight to us here at Girls on Food; your pale pink color, your dry, light-to-medium body and that fruity aroma. If this we were together in a movie, it would be Love, Actually and we’d all confess our love to you the way Andrew Lincoln’s character did to Kiera Knightly. To us, you are perfect.

My favorite rosé is Cloud Chaser. It’s my go-to whether I’m watching Real Housewives of… well, Anywhere, or enjoying a home-cooked meal. It’s one of the most versatile rosés I’ve ever come across.  

With #nationalroséday approaching tomorrow, a bunch of the Girls on Food wanted to share our favorite rosé bottles and recipes.

Congratulations to your growing success!

XOXO,

Julianne

VICTORIA: The Rose scene is new to me. I wanted to get into it like five years ago when I became a Bravo Housewife junky. I couldn’t find any unless it was a champagne version. Nowadays it seems like it’s EVERYWHERE.

Vinudilice caught my eye from the artistic label and the fact that it’s grown in the highest vineyard in Europe. The small (.35 hectare) vineyard is more than a century old and it’s on the side of a volcano named Etna in Sicily. It’s an up and coming area in Europe and the producer Salvo Foti is truly gifted in every aspect of the wine making process. I was lucky enough to meet him last year. He’s an incredible person and makes incredible wine. He uses old school techniques and even has a donkey working in the vineyard!

Fun fact: No refrigeration, yeasts or filtration are used in the winemaking process.

This bottle is acidic with a hint of tangerine and grapefruit. I’m not shy about being hard on wines and I can’t seem to complain about this one. It’s balanced, refreshing and sexy. A totally different style than the norm of rosé today.

Continue reading “Happy #nationalroséday From Girls On Food!”

Let’s Get Messy: Tavern’s 4th Annual Low Country Boil

If you keep up with my posts here at GOF, you know that Tavern was one of my old stomping grounds when I lived in Brentwood. Tavern has one of the most beautiful patios in all of LA, but it maintains an easy-going vibe. The Larder at Tavern, their cafe, serves coffee, tea, pastries and grab-and-go items. Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite or having a dinner date with your significant other, Tavern is one of the most consistent restaurants in LA. Today, I explore a different side to Tavern, a more down home cooking side.

Tavern
11648 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
http://tavernla.com/

Recently I attended an exclusive media preview for Tavern’s 4th Annual Low Country Boil, which will take place Sunday, June 25th. Chef de Cuisine, Amy Deaderick hosts this boil which the Tavern owners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne fully endorse. This annual boil is very personal to Deaderick, who grew up in South Carolina. Memories of her childhood and the Carolina culture inspire every course.

Isle of Palms & Boiled Peanuts

For $65 per person, this one-time event will be set in The Larder at Tavern, serving up three courses and dessert. South Carolina-based musicians Josh and Leslie Roberts will be providing live acoustic folk-country tunes to really set a “dining by the shoreline” ambiance. The Communal tables are covered with newspapers and -warning- you may get wet, so come out in your “eatin’ dress”.

Continue reading “Let’s Get Messy: Tavern’s 4th Annual Low Country Boil”

Oh, Yes!: Brunch at O + O Sicilian Kitchen in Santa Monica

Last year, when O + O Sicilian Kitchen opened in Santa Monica, Girls on Food (and our pal Meagan, aka @caffeineaddictfoodie)  had an absolute blast there. I love that the atmosphere is beachy and laid-back, but the food and drinks are high quality. We’re happy to let you know they now have a weekend brunch!

O + O Sicilian Kitchen 
1705 Ocean Ave Suite #11, Santa Monica, CA 90401
http://oosantamonica.com

On the last visit, Meagan and I pestered Head Bartender Sam into creating a caffeinated cocktail for her. Sam took us up on this challenge and instantly concocted the Caffettoso: espresso, Amaro Averna, Kahlua, and vodka with lemon zest. We’re very pleased to see this drink, which will keep you wide awake during your boozy brunch, has since been added to their brunch menu!

Bottomless Sparkling and Spritz’s – Mimosa, Aperol Spritz, Bellini

O+O’s Bottomless Brunch Menu (Saturdays and Sundays 11 AM – 3 PM) might just be one of the best damn brunch deals in all of Los Angeles! For $20 per person, not only do you get bottomless Mimosas, Aperol Spritzes and Bellinis, but your table also gets one tasting platter, including an ample amount of Italian cheeses, olives and other delicious starters. It’s one per table, but that’s still a fantastic package that’ll keep you full if you’re sipping the day away.

Bottomless Brunch Menu – Antipasto Tasting Platter

Their mimosa is a combo of prosecco and blood orange juice, while the bellini is prosecco with peach puree… but the Aperol Spritz is my favorite. Nothing beats this combo of prosecco and blood orange juice with a bitter Aperol kick.

Continue reading “Oh, Yes!: Brunch at O + O Sicilian Kitchen in Santa Monica”