Girls on Food

K-Town

Girls on Food’s Shared Plates Event Recap

The Girls on Food inaugural fundraiser with Industrious Century City and some of LA’s finest food and beverage vendors raised over $2,300 for the L.A. Kitchen.

Host Julianne Gabert (Girls on Food) hosted the event on Friday, October 5, 2018 at Industrious Century City. This ticketed event was in affiliation with L.A. Kitchen’s Shared Plates fundraiser, a city-wide weekend of gatherings October 5-7, 2018 to celebrate the power of food in Los Angeles. 100% of all ticket sales and any additional funds raised were donated to L.A. Kitchen.

Despite the L.A. Kitchen’s significant impact and outpouring of support, they have had to acknowledge that their combined philanthropic and earned income has not been able to fully sustain their work and meet the requirements of the loan they took out to build their beautiful facility. This required them to temporarily pause their culinary training and meal distribution programs.

Although they are not going anywhere, this year’s Shared Plates was more important than ever. All money raised through Shared Plates was matched as part of their goal to reach $600K by the end of the year. Although this event raised a total $1,167, through donation matching, this event raised $2,334 total!  

Industrious Century City, a co-working space that also celebrated it’s grand opening 2 night before this event, generously donated the space. Attendees were allowed to explore the upscale Century City offices, which make up the entire 17th floor of the Watt Plaza, freely as they participated in the event.

Attendees participated in a “take one, give one” burrito station, sponsored by Benny Borsakian, the owner of Benny’s Tacos. At this station, guests took half a burrito to eat at the event and donated the other half. Burritos and additional leftovers from this event were delivered to non-profit organization Upward Bound House, and distributed to local food insecure.

Slo Bru Craft Coffee owner Eric Raschka provided guests with bottles of his new decaf cold brew coffee. He also donated his new product, Bru Packs, a line of brew-it-yourself cold brew packs for the raffle.

Lauren Zeiher of the mylk team, supplied guests with servings of their honey, lavender and matcha almond milks. Many guests fell in love with these local plant-based mylks.

Gérard Bertrand brand ambassador Mathias Icard poured the brand’s Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc and their 90 point Cap Insula Red Blend into mason jars, which guests were encouraged to take home.

Wolfgang Puck Catering provided hor d’oeuvres including Butternut Squash Tarts with Caramelized Onions and Crispy Sage, Poached Pear Parmesan Crisps as well as an array of desserts like cookies and brownies.

Co-Opportunity Market and Deli, who’s locations include Culver City and Santa Monica, contributed a full crudités plate and a generous $100 gift card for the raffle.

A Chile Mushroom Quinoa Salad was provided by Beaming Century City. This dish was a perfect side for guests keeping it vegan.

The avocado toast station, provided by AvocaToast by Lizzy with bread by Bread Lounge (special thanks to the team at Kitchen Table app for arranging) was one of the most interactive stations. Caterer Lizzy Cooper has a special connection to L.A. Kitchen having volunteered there several times helping them prep food.

Cheeri Cheeri, an artisanal and vegan Filipino ice cream, were scooped by owner Christy Cunanan on site as well, and ended up being the Instagram image hit of the night.

Additional prizes awarded from the raffle included CHAYA Modern Izakaya, Mee And GreetTŪMBI, Osteria Mamma, and Food Stirs.

Stay tuned for information on any upcoming events here at Girls on Food! 

For more information on L.A. Kitchen, visit https://www.lakitchen.org/.

LA Hot Dog Stand Sumo Dog Begins Chef Collaboration Series

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.

Sumo Dog 
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.

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Renzell: The Perfect App For Fine Dining Lovers

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.

Cocktail from Redbird in LA, a restaurant you can survey on Renzell

Why Renzell?

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

Guelaguetza Hosts Chef Rodolfo Castellanos and Chef Diego Hernandez for an LA Times Food Bowl Pop-Up

The LA Times Food Bowl in Los Angeles teamed up with Guelaguetza, a longtime running  Oaxacan restaurant, to host a pop-up dinner led by Chef Rodolfo Castellanos (of Origen) and Chef Diego Hernandez (of Verlaine). This was a one-night residency for the LA Times Food Bowl that hosted over 30 guests.

Guelaguetza, a James Beard Award winner, also famously praised by Jonathan Gold, promoted this event heavily and many of the guests were their regulars, who were excited to be introduced to Chef Rodolfo, known as one of the leaders of contemporary Oaxacan cuisine. Chef Diego of Corazón de Tierra, one of the 2016 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, recently opened Verlaine in West Hollywood.

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Karaoke And Kimchi Carbonara At La Vue in Koreatown, Los Angeles

Koreatown, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, is one of my favorite locations for food. There are many hidden gems tucked away in strip malls—so tucked away, if you don’t keep your eyes open, you could miss them. However, La Vue—a newer spot on Wilshire that I just discovered—is not one of those places. The space is gigantic, much larger than most restaurants in K-town, and I didn’t know why until I stepped inside.

Not only is La Vue a restaurant serving lunch and dinner, but at night, it becomes a karaoke bar with its own private rooms… but more on that after the food!

La Vue
3855 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
http://cafelavuela.com

La Vue, led by Chef Alex Kim, is an eclectic mix of Italian and French cuisine; some of the dishes incorporate Asian flavors. The menu is heavy on shared plates, seafood and pasta. Right when you walk in from the parking lot, you enter their modern designed patio, featuring lots of plush furniture. It’s comfy but classy at the same time.

I had the pleasure of breaking bread with pals horror film composer Eric Elick and filmmaker/scream queen Jessica Cameron. We realized, by default, we had to order the Sweet Pumpkin Salad. It’s October and since my guests are in the horror scene, we can’t skip eating an iconic holiday symbol.

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If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this salad is right up your alley. The pumpkin is topped with a light green salad with a balsamic dressing, then drizzled in maple syrup and served with pecans. It managed to remind me of eating both a pumpkin pie and fresh salad in one bite.

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We also shared the Grilled Vegetable Medley Caprese, which came on this fun spinning plate.  The veggies are hot off the grill, so they maintain a crunch when they arrive to the table. Like any caprese salad, there’s burrata cheese, fresh basil and tomatoes — and for a kick, grilled garlic.

I’m a tough critic when it comes to carbonara pastas because I love them so much… so when I saw Kimchi Carbonara on their menu, I was a tad skeptical. Why mess with a perfect recipe?

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I was so wrong. La Vue’s Kimchi Carbonara is my new favorite pasta dish in K-town. The pickled kimchi flavors mix beautifully with the eggy, cheesy sauce. Instead of chopped bacon, it comes as a full slice, with a Parmesan crisp as garnish. We killed this dish so quick, we probably should’ve ordered another. The briny kick from the kimchi with the creamy sauce couldn’t last long on our table.

img_3448Mentaiko Pasta, a popular dish in Japan, isn’t commonly found in LA (outside a handful of places), so I was very excited to try it—especially since I was told it’s Chef Kim’s signature dish. I recommend this dish for lovers of seafood. The mentaiko sauce is prepared by seasoning and brining pollock roe, which break apart to form the light pink sauce. Usually either olive oil or butter is blended with the roe, creating a perfect seafood sauce.

Chef Kim gives the sauce a hint of spice from jalapeño, then it’s poured over pasta, garnished with nori, bonito flakes, Parmesan cheese and served with a halved shrimp. Each bite is creamy, savory and oceanic. Of course the Kimchi Carbonara was the favorite but this is a very close second.

img_3262After the carb-load, it was time to get our sweet tooth on. The Black Tea Panna Cotta comes in a deep black bowl ( a trend I’ve seen popping up), which makes it a little trickier to share, but the decadent dessert makes up for it. The black tea flavor is very present in the creamy panna cotta, and is lightly dark and herbal. Then it’s topped with thin, wafer-like cookies, matcha crisps and a sea salt chantilly cream on top.

img_3451The Pavlova at La Vue was topped with berries as well as mango and raspberry sorbetto. This was the table’s favorite dessert. Nothing beats this classic meringue dish topped with icy, fruity sorbettos. This was the perfect way to wrap-up the evening. Now it was time to explore the karaoke rooms.

 

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Like any traditional K-Town spot, the karaoke rooms are private. Located upstairs, the rooms here hold 20 – 30 people and are priced at $60 per hour. There is a special tapas menu for the karaoke rooms, which features lots of sharables like Crab Tartar, Bruschetta and Tuna Poke. There are also more filling dishes like Herb Grilled Beef Sticks, Baby Back Ribs and Chicken Wings.

The rooms have bottle service and I must say, the prices are very reasonable compared to other bottle service clubs in Los Angeles. I don’t want to list the prices, but trust me, this beats any nightclub in Hollywood. Also, the songs and lyrics are updated weekly, so you can sing off key to many different tunes.

They also have these adorable light up tambourines. As you can see here, Jessica couldn’t get enough.

My idea of a perfect night in K-Town with friends would be dinner at La Vue, then transfer to one of their private karaoke rooms. This Girl on Food will be back for more.