Girls on Food

Fine Dining

The Top of Dallas: Mirador Restaurant

The question I’m asked the most is “What’s a good new restaurant in Dallas?” Fortunately for Dallas residents and visitors alike there are usually at least two new options every 6 months. In this case my new favorite spot is in downtown Dallas on the top floor of a very posh boutique (Forty Five Ten) with a terrace that overlooks the art piece that locals call “The Eyeball”.

The Eyeball.

Mirador
1608 Elm St., Dallas
http://www.mirador-dallas.com

I had a feeling that Mirador would be great simply because of the culinary backgrounds of the two collaborating chefs, Josh Sutcliffe (executive chef) and Nilton “Junior” Borges (executive chef of The Joule Hotel). Sutcliffe, most recently, was executive chef at Filament and before that worked at FT33, both led by Food and Wine’s Best New Chef-Southwest and James Beard nominee, Matt McCallister. Borges also had a stint at FT33 as an executive chef. Prior to that, he was executive chef at Uchi when they earned 5 stars from the Dallas Morning News. Uchi, by the way, is also owned and operated by another James Beard winner, Tyson Cole.

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Cheese Board 101 With Work Sharp Culinary

cheese board fruit meat

Cheese boards are perfect for Summer entertaining. With endless options, preparing a board at home can seem overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be. All you need to prepare a beautiful board at home is a platter, a sharp knife, and your food items.

Work Sharp Culinary
Work Sharp Culinary has created a new line of knife sharpeners, the E5, an electric sharpener, and the M3, a manual sharpener. In celebration of being picked up by Williams Sonoma, they generously sent me both these new sharpeners, along with their MicroForged Japanese Knife, and tons of other goodies to review for our Girls on Food readers!

To prepare the items on this cheese board, I used the Work Sharp Culinary M3 sharpener to sharpen my favorite paring knife. Since I use it so frequently, the blade on the knife was quite dull, using the M3 was easy, and restored my blade to it’s original sharpness (maybe even better than new!) I used the diamond rod to shape and restore the blade, and followed up with the ceramic rod to create a razor-sharp edge.

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A Great Deal on Korean Tapas in NYC: Atoboy

There’s a fair amount of Korean tapas spots in NYC including Atoboy but this restaurant is doing something different on their menu. Although the dishes are on the finer side with minimalist design and subtle Korean influences, they still make a clear statement that this is the future of relaxed Asian fine dining. The menu allows you to choose any 3 dishes on the menu for only $36 which, is one of the best deals you’ll score for dinner at a fine dining restaurant in the city.

The Chicken dish with a spicy peanut butter sauce and braised leeks with walnuts will remind you of the Korean dishes you see on a menu in K-Town but at Atoboy the twists stem from various popular international flavors ranging from shredded cheddar, truffles, poblano peppers to even good old cheesecake.

ATOBOY
43 E 28TH ST, NEW YORK, NY 10016
WEBSITE

LEEK- Doenjang, Cheddar, Walnut

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Nerano Hosts Their Inaugural Monthly Wine Dinner

Nerano, an upscale Italian restaurant owned by the Toscana Restaurant Group in Beverly Hills, hosted their first in a series of monthly wine dinners.

For this inaugural dinner, in their swank BG Lounge, Nerano’s Sommelier Samantha Johnston and Executive Chef Michele Lisi teamed up with Marchesi Antinori Wines ambassador Alessia Botturi to pair their wines with a five-course dinner.

Nerano & The BG Lounge
9960 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
http://www.neranobh.com/

This dinner was what dreams are made of for an Italian food and wine aficionado. Not only does Nerano have a solid reputation in LA as one of the favorite eateries among Hollywood power-players, but Antinori is also a company that can trace their history back to 1385, making them one of the oldest Italian wine producers. This Italian wine powerhouse is 26 generations owned and popularized in the US in the “Super Tuscan” boom of the 1970’s.

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M Cocina Creativa: A Mexican-Vietnamese Birthday Dinner in Guadalajara

Last weekend I went to Guadalajara, one of the biggest cities in Mexico. Filled with culture amazing food and lots of tequila, this city is a true Mexican gem. Tequila region is just an hour away from there and you can actually ride a tequila train that leaves from Guadalajara. A cousin of mine lives there and since he knows I’m a food blogger he picked a special restaurant so that I had the chance to blog about his city, he took me to M Cocina Creativa, which means “creative kitchen”. This restaurant totally justifies its name. It’s a Mexican-Vietnamese fusion restaurant that implements ingredients you wouldn’t normally see in a menu in Mexico, like pork stuffed squid (which were delicious).

M Cocina Creativa
Av. Aurelio Ortega No. 611, Seattle, 45150 Zapopan, Jal., Mexico
http://www.mcocinacreativa.com/

Another thing that makes the place unique is the really big two story indoor patio with a rustic feel, a fountain made out of half a tree, really tall ceilings and filled with plants. It’s not only relaxing and romantic but it really makes you forget you’re in the city.

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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.

 

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Chang Sensory Trails and Chef’s Table in San Francisco

Thai food is one of my go-to cuisines when I’m in the mood to eat out; in my house growing up, we would opt to get Thai takeout instead of Chinese food. When I heard about Chang Sensory Trails hosted by Chang Beer, a festival celebrating Thai food and flavors, I was super excited to check it out!

The festival took place at Fort Mason in San Francisco, after having great turnouts in Singapore, London, and Los Angeles. Locally known Thai restaurants had different stalls set up throughout the venue serving some of their signature dishes. All of the meals were inspired by Chef Bo Songvisava and Chef Dylan Jones culinary and life journey, in addition to the special tasting I had the pleasure of experiencing. Chefs Bo and Dylan are the wife and husband team behind Bo.Lan in Bangkok, considered one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017, so you know this is going to be legit.

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A Very Bazaar Evening, Indeed: Julianne Explores The Bazaar by José Andrés

The not-so-mellow month of May is going strong for LA Times Food Bowl in Los Angeles. Patrons of this month long festival are indulging in all things food and beverage, including various markets, tastings, workshops and even documentary screenings, that are taking place in multiple locations all over LA and surrounding areas.

I checked out one of the finer, more avant-garde events, the A Very Bazaar Evening, hosted by The Bazaar by José Andrés, at SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills. Friend to Girls on Food Meagan and I explored this spot together, which is famous for modern tapas.

Culinary Director José Andrés is a Michelin-Starred and James-Beard Award winning chef, often credited with bringing the small plates (tapas) and trend to the US. If for some reason you’re unfamiliar with him, please do yourself a favor just watch videos of him on Youtube.

Head Bartender Billy Yoder

This intimate event was set in their tapas bar, Rojo at The Bazaar and featured many different tasting stations. In addition to modern takes on classic tapas and wine, many stations explored creations through avant-garde techniques, which Chef José Andrés is famous. This event was a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.

“At Bazaar by José Andrés, we want you to see the process”, Head Bartender Billy Yoder told me, as he infused smoke into his A Fire in Jerez cocktail. This cocktail with Whistle Pig Rye, San Emilio Sherry, lemon, rosemary, applewood smoke is right up my alley since I love smokier cocktails.

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Pacific Dining Car: LA’s Only 24/7 Fine-Dining Restaurant Since 1921 Offers New Specials

Since 1921, Pacific Dining Car, Los Angeles’ only 24-hour fine dining establishment (7 days a week) has been serving their loyal customers the best in steakhouse cuisine. Now on their fourth generation of family-ownership, and spearheaded by Chef Mark Kalenderian, PDC is breathing some new life into their menu, while maintaining all the favorites.

 

Pacific Dining Car
1310 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
http://pacificdiningcar.com
* Santa Monica location: 2700 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

You may remember seeing PCD in many films and TV shows. Most notably, the 2001film Training Day. Denzel Washington’s character, Alonzo, tells Ethan Hawke’s Jake “Get yourself a Baseball Steak.”

Yes, cinephiles, the Baseball Steak is currently on the menu, you can dine like Denzel.

The second I stepped into this spacious, wood-paneled dining car, I felt like I had stepped into the pages of a vintage Los Angeles-based pulp novel. The lighting is dim, the seating is plush and the décor is old school- my kind of place.

The Astor Room
Main Lobster Tail with a side of Creamed Spinach

There are 6 different rooms at PDC to dine in, I was arranged to taste their new specials in the Astor Room. I was immediately struck by the elegance of this room; everything from the velvet chairs, white linens, fine china and Wallace silverware. I felt a little guilty for not rocking one of my Unique Vintage dresses to dine but the maitre d’ didn’t flinch at my appearance.

Although this is a fine-dining, the dress code is flexible. All walks of life are welcome to dine at PDC- you could be Joe Schmoe and you’ll receive the same high-class treatment as Johnny Depp.

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Hollywood Bowl’s 2017 Summer Season Preview and Julianne’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Shows

I’ve been living in LA since 2013, but I’m still considered a newbie. There’s so much to do, so much to see, my bucket list is endless. One of those items is to see a live show at the legendary Hollywood Bowl.

The view from the stage

The Hollywood Bowl, the iconic amphitheater, is the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the host to hundreds of musical events each year. I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming when I received an invite, on behalf of Girls on Food, for their summer season preview held last night. While it wasn’t a musical performance, there was a DJ spinning tracks from their summer line up.

The craziest part of this event was- I had no clue it was actually going to happen in the famous shell! I imagined we’d be in the seating, not participating as the starring act on stage!

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Chef José Andrés Presents Dine N Dash DC – Get Your Tickets Now!

Will all my DC foodies please stand up?!  Dine-N-Dash is back for its fifth year and better than ever! My favorite Chef, José Andrés, along with special guests Ted Allen (host of CHOPPED) and Andrew Zimmern (co-creator of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel) will be hosting this year’s event on June 7th starting at 6:00 p.m.

For one night only, guests will be able to “taste the city” and have access to unlimited food and drinks at over 30 restaurants in DC’s Penn Quarter and 14th Street Corridor neighborhoods. Leave your wallet at home and eat and drink to your heart’s desire until 10:00 p.m while enjoying live music as well.

This night is sure to be a foodies dream. I’m most excited to try some of the great DC restaurants like Colada Shop, Estadio, and Graffiato to name a few. Also, this year the new MGM Grand National Harbor will be blessing us with pop-ups of some of their restaurants too, like Fish! A full list of participating restaurants can be found here: 30 Restaurants, One Night, No Rules.

Image Provided by Dine-N-Dash

Worried about crowds and lines? Don’t be! Event guests will have different restaurant starting points, and wait staff will be there specifically for the event. There will be ample opportunity to sample everything!

Tickets start at $125, and all proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization started by Chef José Andrés that uses the “power of food” to strengthen communities through health, education, and jobs. Go grab your tickets right now here. You’re sure to have a serious case of FOMO if you don’t!

August 1 Five in San Francisco

When you hear that Chef Manish Tyagi from Rasika in Washington D.C. is cooking out in the Bay, you gotta get over there to eat fine Indian dining, stat. After visiting D.C. and spending a summer there, I came back missing Rasika’s fantastic food. My whole family is a big fan, so when they came up to the Bay during New Years, we knew we had to make a reservation at August 1 Five.

August 1 Five
524 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102
http://www.august1five.com/

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