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.

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

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.

Continue reading “A Very Bazaar Evening, Indeed: Julianne Explores The Bazaar by José Andrés”

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.

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

Butcher a Pig, Without Squealing Like One: LA Food Bowl’s Pork 101 Workshop Hosted by Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana, CA

The LA Food Bowl, a premiere month long food festival, presented by the Los Angeles Times, is in full swing in Los Angeles. All things pertaining to food and beverage, including various markets, tastings, workshops and even documentary screenings, are taking place in multiple locations all over LA and surrounding areas.

In addition to celebrating the best the Los Angeles food scene has to offer, LA Food Bowl is making a point to promote awareness on food waste and hunger.

I know everyone is gushing over the Night Market, but I don’t like outdoor events with a ton of people waiting in line for small bites (sorry guys!) I’d rather take a workshop and learn new skills.

When I heard Electric City Butcher, a butcher shop in Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market, owned by Michael Puglisi, Richard Lu, Steve Sabicer and Shelia Anderzunas, would be hosting their signature Pork 101 workshop for Food Bowl attendees, I jumped at the chance to take it. I had never stepped past the deli counter at my local butcher, so it was an opportunity to learn more about what goes into my meats.

Electric City Butcher
Located in the 4th Street Market – Alta Baja
201 E4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
http://electriccitybutcher.com/

*This workshop can also be taken at Electric City Butcher outside of  LA Food Bowl.

Continue reading “Butcher a Pig, Without Squealing Like One: LA Food Bowl’s Pork 101 Workshop Hosted by Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana, CA”

LASA Takes Over Unit 120 in Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

When it comes to the LA food scene, pop-ups are how many of the most innovative chefs have brought their unique cuisine to the public. Many of the most successful new restaurants can trace their origins to this style of experimental restaurant development.

LASA is the most recent Los Angeles pop-up success story.

LASA
727 Broadway Ave. Unit 120, Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.lasa-la.com

Continue reading “LASA Takes Over Unit 120 in Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA”

Bowing Down To Baobab in Little Tokyo Galleria, DTLA

Little Tokyo is LA’s cultural center for their Japanese-American population. Being only five blocks (long blocks to be fair) it manages to pack in many merchants. The Little Tokyo Galleria is a stand alone of its neighborhood. This three story building is beloved among LA-locals with it’s famous Little Tokyo Marketplace, many department stores, and restaurants. According to Urbanize LA, expansion on the Little Tokyo will continue upwards, if you will, with a series of high-rise buildings. I can’t speak for the other businesses of the Little Tokyo Marketplace; I know owner Chef Eric Baker, of the self-proclaimed “gourmet fast-food” pan-Asian stand BaoBab, is excited about this development.

Eric told me “I think the new development is great. It’s going to bring a more diverse group of people to our small shop and hopefully help us grow. As far as the decision to come to little Tokyo it was mainly the location. We took the challenge to open up an entirely new concept in the area.”

BaoBab
333 S. Alameda St. #100 E, Los Angeles, CA 90013
https://www.facebook.com/BAOandBAB/

Continue reading “Bowing Down To Baobab in Little Tokyo Galleria, DTLA”

Ocean Avenue’s Day At The Races

Ocean Avenue’s Day At The Races, was a culinary walking tour jam-packed with food, drinks and entertainment. Select Santa Monica restaurants, located within walking distance, such as Del Frisco’s, Red O, O+O Sicilian Kitchen and Bar, Chez Jay, Jimmy’s Famous Tavern, and Herringbone and also the Loews Hotel come together and celebrate the Kentucky Derby. Proceeds went to the Surfrider Foundation, which is an organization that is dear to me.

Ahi Tacos by Del Frisco’s

Surfrider Foundation helps protect our beaches and to keep our waters clean. I was fortunate enough to meet and speak with three core volunteers Summer, Josh and Graham from the West Los Angeles Malibu Chapter. My son has participated in beach clean ups before for Dock Weiler (#proudmomma!) so I was happy for him to meet others who are noble in their care for beaches as well.

We were given a card that mapped out all 7 places we needed to visit and had to have checked off on our list. Once you complete the card, you have the opportunity to bring it back to the main booth at Del Frisco’s and be entered in a drawing to win a night stay at The Shore Hotel. Who wouldn’t want to win staying at a cool, chic and hip hotel right on Ocean Avenue?

Continue reading “Ocean Avenue’s Day At The Races”

Hermosa Beach Fish Shop: Fast-Casual With Something For Everyone

I always feel my best when I’m following a pescatarian diet. I may post the best burgers in town, but in my off time, I try to limit my proteins to ocean and plant based ones. When I was invited to taste items from the Hermosa Beach Fish Shop menu I was relieved, cause after so many meat-packed tastings, I was excited to try some lighter bites.

Hermosa Beach Fish Shop 
719 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
http://thefishshophermosabeach.com

Continue reading “Hermosa Beach Fish Shop: Fast-Casual With Something For Everyone”

The District By Hannah An: All About The Noods

Beverly Hills/Grove gets a bad rep among Angeleno’s “foodies”, and I believe a lot of it has to do with higher prices, a serious lack of parking and food that doesn’t always feel inspired. I’ve been seeing many posts on The District by Hannah An, a higher-end Vietnamese restaurant, so I decided to pop in for their brunch.

 

The District by Hannah An
8722 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
http://thedistrictbyha.com

Restaurant ownership runs in Hannah An’s blood. Hannah, is among one of 5 sisters who run House of AN, a restaurant group with spots all over California. When I entered, through what appeared to be 19th century panel doors, The District felt as if Lisa Vanderpump had opened a Vietnamese restaurant. Hannah An shares a specific eye for elegance with Vanderpump. Not only is the ambiance romantic but it does have a strong colonial Vietnamese influence as well including wood block walls, high ceilings and Eidson lights, which separates it from the other Beverly Hills/Grove spots.

Continue reading “The District By Hannah An: All About The Noods”

Ocean Avenue’s Day at the Races: Celebrating The Kentucky Derby and Raising Funds for the Surfrider Foundation

How can you not get excited for a culinary crawl that celebrates the Kentucky Derby and raises funds for the Surfrider Foundation? I know I am!

Restaurants and hotels along Santa Monica’s premier oceanfront street come together for Ocean Avenue’s Day at the Races, a culinary walking tour to celebrate the Kentucky Derby and raise funds for the Surfrider Foundation on Saturday, May 6, from 12-5 p.m.

Come out and support by purchasing a ticket for $40 here (a portion on all ticket sales will benefit Surfrider Foundation).

This crawl will begin at Del Frisco’s Grille with their signature Ahi Tuna Tacos and a complimentary Mint Julep courtesy of American Born. Then we’ll trot along for food and drink tastings at each of the participating locations and watch the race at 3:34 p.m.

Food offerings include classic Sicilian meatballs at O+O Sicilian Kitchen & Bar. Julianne recently checked out this new-ish spot and I’m excited to try all the Sicilian goodness myself! Then we’ll race off to try Corn & Goat Cheese Tamales at Red O, Oysters Rockefeller at Herringbone, Chicken and Beef Empanadas at Shore Hotel and more. 

Continue reading “Ocean Avenue’s Day at the Races: Celebrating The Kentucky Derby and Raising Funds for the Surfrider Foundation”

Hopdoddy Burger Bar: An Austin, TX-Based Concept Taking Over the West Coast

The concept of Hopdoddy Burger Bar is all about feeling good about what you’re biting into. Their main staples are their all-natural, humanely-raised, house-ground burgers that arrive on fresh baked brioche buns and washed down with craft beers. The atmosphere is lively with service that is fast-paced but still takes time to be friendly. Hopdoddy Burger Bar is also a bit of a do-gooder with one particular menu item, which I’ll tell you about below.

Continue reading “Hopdoddy Burger Bar: An Austin, TX-Based Concept Taking Over the West Coast”

A Rant on LA Food Blogging and Brunch at Redbird in DTLA

Over a year ago, when I heard a few of my food blogging peers were invited to the Carondelet House for a 5-course meal, a Culinary Exploration by Chef Neal Fraser, I eagerly awaited my invitation. After all, an episode of Masterchef Junior, where I served as a guest judge just aired. How could they not want me to attend?

Days went by and no invite arrived. I tried to reassure myself, “sometimes invites to tastings are last minute”. When more time passed, my thoughts turned into “maybe I’ll be a back-up blogger in case someone can’t make it, I’m sure they’ll rush me out.” The day of the event came and an invite never came through.

I was stumped as to why Girls on Food wouldn’t get an invite. We have the expected amount of followers required to be considered a “social media influencer” and we have great relationships with LA PR and marketing. I felt like the kid in class not invited to the most popular girl’s party. Is my blog just not cool enough?

Continue reading “A Rant on LA Food Blogging and Brunch at Redbird in DTLA”