Girls on Food

Los Angeles

Venice Art Crawl Presents Music Connects Us: Photography & Art Show

The Venice Art Crawl, a music fundraiser organized by an all-volunteer non-profit organization that is part of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, took place outside of Venice for the first time. Now in its seventh year, the art crawl has moved to Runway at Playa Vista, not too far from the beach. The 3800 square foot installation space is connected to Hal’s Bar & Grill, which used to be located in Abbott Kinney. Funds raised will go to preserving the arts of Venice and keeping it alive within the community. Over 70 artists had their work displayed, and DJs Arabian Prince and Betty Nguyen spun their jams in the background.

The moment I walked into the Runway at Playa Vista, I naturally gravitated to Neely Shearer, an author and curator who was welcoming to guests. She showed me the ropes around this event. I saw several pieces of art displayed I found interesting. Local and international artists, in addition to street artists, were represented. 

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Bites by the Beach: Leona in Venice, CA


When Leona opened in the summer of 2015, I was there for their first brunch. I loved the casual, yet sleek vibe and the inventive, seasonal menu. Not to mention that adorable cookie stand? Too cute! So what’s next for one of Venice’s most-beloved spots?

Former Sous Chef Jennifer O’Neil, now Head Chef, is leading the way at Leona with a new menu and is introducing new concepts to the restaurant.

Leona
123 W. Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
http://leonavenice.com 

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Rice and Shine! Chef AC Boral Serves Up His Filipino Brunch via Feastly

Good food is all the sweeter when shared with good friends.

To get $10 in Feastly credit, use this link: http://fst.im/s/c9962c44

I was invited to try Feastly, an online marketplace connecting epicurean customers to pop-up events hosted by their choice in a chef. Being a “Feaster”, I hopped onto their site and found a brunch that peaked my interest. I had already heard of Chef AC Boral’s Rice and Shine Brunches, he’s established a cult-following all over the country, so when I saw he was one of the chefs I could purchase a feast with, I was beyond giddy. The pop-up was easy to book on their site and I looked forward to his Filipino-American brunch.

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Venice Art Crawl Presents Music Connects Us: Photography & Art Show on 4/20

The Venice Art Crawl (VAC) is pleased to present its 7th annual Anniversary Fundraiser event, Music Connects Us: Photography & Art Show on Thursday April 20, 2017 at the Runway at Playa Vista, 12746 W. Jefferson Blvd, Playa Vista, 90066 from 6-10PM. The event will take place at the Runway, transforming a 3,800 square foot space into an urban art installation. Over 70 local and international artists will be featured, including Miles Regis, Spaik, Plastic Jesus, Guy Webster, Balloonski, and more!

VIP tickets include a sit down dinner at the new Hal’s Bar & Grill Playa Vista. General admission tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.veniceartcrawl.com for the “VIP Dinner and Art Show” package for $200 and the “Art Show” alone for $40.    

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Exclusive Tour: Larder Baking Co. in LA

Editor note: This tour is not open to the public, this was a private tour 

In the Fall of 2013, I moved from Venice to Brentwood (fun fact: very close to the Nicole Simpson house). I absolutely loved wandering around San Vicente Blvd. Four years later, the long and winding street continues to be packed with restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, pilates studios- it’s all upscale, but not in a flashy way.

I discovered The Larder at Tavern one day on a whim, in a gutterpunk top and sweats. I was just looking for a cheap cup of coffee. Little did I know I was wandering into what would become a regular spot for me and maintains a lot of respect from this foodie.

The Larder at Tavern is attached to a low-key but still beautiful restaurant Tavern. The Larder is even more casual serving coffee beverages, breads, deli foods, salads, sandwiches, desserts and more. I ate there a lot and everything was always phenomenal but the bread always stood out to me.

Sourdough –
Photo by Meagan McCall

The Larder’s breads and pastries are supplied from Larder Baking Co which is owned by Chef Suzanne Goin (James Beard award winner) and restauranteur Caroline Styne (James Beard nominated). Since 2008, Nathan Dakdouk has been serving as Master Baker and supplying baked goods to Goin and Styne’s other spots Lucques, AOC and Tavern as well.

 

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Speakeasy to Me: The BoardRoom in DTLA

Kendall’s Brasserie (Patina Restaurant Group) has been serving up traditional French cuisine to DTLA eaters inside The Music Center for 14 years now. This past month, they opened a speakeasy in the back called The BoardRoom, and I can assure you, the meetings held there will be nothing like the meetings at your 9-to-5. Think of The BoardRoom as Kendall’s artsy, Francophile little sister.

The BoardRoom at The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
http://patnagroup.com

The BoardRoom has the speakeasy essentials- a slightly tricky to find front door, dim lighting, live performances (Thursday – Saturday nights), cushy seating in booths (intended for large groups) and a menu offering updated classic cocktails and sharable foods. From the moment I walked in through what seemed like Kendall’s back office, I could hear singer Melissa Morgan crooning to a standard jazz tune with her band.

Front: Tennessee Williams (yes, it comes with a macaron), which is their take on the Ramos Gin Fizz. Back: Gertrude Stein, similar to a Pimm’s Cup

Our blogger Christina Russo, is currently the bar manager of The BoardRoom and has created a cocktail menu inspired by the arts. I always love seeing punches on a menu (they serve 4-6 drinks), not only are they trending, they’re perfect for larger groups. But what separates her menu out from others in LA is the Tripple Tipple, her 3-course cocktail tasting menu. This menu is looking like it’ll be changing bi-weekly to weekly and consistently inspired by the arts. It truly is the crème de la crème of the cocktail menu.

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Craft Beer, Cocktails, and More at the Artisanal LA Spring Market

What better way to spend a beautiful spring Sunday in Downtown Los Angeles than sipping on a craft beer and browsing dozens of local vendors and crafts? Up on the 13th floor of the California Market Center, you can do just that at the Artisanal LA Spring Market! I honestly wasn’t quite sure what the event was going to be like, but I can’t wait for them to host another.The highlight for me, as always, is the booze. They featured three craft breweries as well as two craft spirit producers and a cocktail mixer and not a single one disappointed. Breweries featured Sunday were Brouwerji West, Cellardor Ales, and Three Weavers Brewing. Each was unique in what they brought to the table and the folks representing them were so knowledgeable and friendly. Brouwerji West was tasting their saison, which is naturally fermented in the can (!!!) and oh so tasty. They’ve also jumped in on the haze craze and had a fantastic experimental hazy pale ale. Cellador Ales had two different wine barrel aged beers, which were unique and extremely well done. Their focus on barrel aged beers is a breath of fresh air in what can feel like a market sometimes crowded by typical styles and trends, and they do these beer extremely well. 
Three Weavers brought their fan favorite Expatriate IPA which I had somehow never tried but loved. They also had their beer from the Pink Boots Society’s Big Boots Brew, which is an annual brewing done at breweries across the world to celebrate women in the beer industry. It was a wonderful sampling of different beers that are from right here in Southern California, and really drove home the fact LA has a fantastic beer community.
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Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas Introduces a New Bar Menu

For believers of the supernatural, Los Angeles is a goldmine for ghost hunters, especially for the spirits of Old Hollywood movie stars. The only rumored haunted spot I’ve been to in LA is The Magic Castle and I saw no ghosts. So when I got an invite from Chef Adam Horton to taste the new bar menu at Saddle Peak Lodge (rumored to be haunted by a few spirits according to Haunted Places), I wondered would I finally see a ghost?

Saddle Peak Lodge
419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas, CA 91302
http://saddlepeaklodge.com 

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Public School in Culver City: An Education in the Art of Food and Beer

“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.” – Andrew “The Breakfast Club”

Public School
9411 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
http://www.psontap.com/locations/ps310/

Time for class!

Whether or not your high school experience was your glory days or you were an outcast, it’s tough to not appreciate Public School’s “stroll-down-memory lane” theme. Everything, from the happy hour called “Recess”, to the Mead composition notebook-inspired menu design, the times tables wall decor in the bar, is all reminiscent of your average American high school.

Is Public School a chain-restaurant? Considering it’s owned by Grill Concepts (Daily Grill and The Grill On The Alley) with physical headquarters in Woodland Hills, CA and they have 4 different restaurants with over 30 locations, I think it’s safe to place Public School in this category.

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Spring Has Sprung: Chef Zach Geerson Hosts a Journeyman’s Preview Dinner at Citizen Kitchen, in Hotel Fullerton

The colorful dining room at Citizen Kitchen, where Chef Zach hosts the Journeyman’s dinners

Journeyman’s Food + Drink is a restaurant that will be opening up in a few months (alongside Citizen Kitchen) at the Hotel Fullerton in Fullerton, CA. Executive Chef Zach Geerson (of Citizen Kitchen) will be spearheading Journeyman’s and is giving his fans a taste of what’s to come, with his private wine pairing dinners. If you are wondering why it’s going to be called Journeyman’s, Chef Zach explains, “We thought it was embodying how we feel about our craft to say that we are constantly Journeymen.”

Journeyman’s 
1500 S. Raymond Ave, Fullerton, CA 92831
http://www.hfullerton.com/dining-en.html

Chef Zach has already hosted three precursor wine pairing dinners since November of last year. The first dinner series, “A Trip to Spain” embodied dishes reminiscent of a vacation in Spain such as the Tortilla Española Spanish, Grilled Octopus, Paella en Su Tinta, and Quail in Grape Leaf.

Chef Zach and TinTin

The second series was called “Five” because it consisted of five dishes, using five ingredients, cooked five different ways. The main ingredients that were consistent of the dishes were duck, almond, beet, cocoa, and honey. I thought the most unique dish was the Almond Bisque. One wouldn’t think that the ingredients chosen would go well together, but they did. The Beet Salad was very flavorful. I am not a huge fan of beets, but lately, they’ve been growing on me. Next, there was the Cocoa Agnolotti and the texture of that pasta was incredible. The Duck Breast was outstanding- I could have had that as my main entree and be satisfied. Now to my surprise the Honey Red Velvet Cake also contained the five ingredients, and I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. You could taste just a hint of the smokey duck.

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Bombay Palace in Beverly Hills

When it comes to Indian food in Los Angeles, most people think of driving to Artesia (aka Little India) or Culver City. Beverly Hills may not come to mind, for those who think it’s dominated with steakhouses and chain restaurants.

Since 1985, Bombay Palace has been serving Beverly Hills locals authentic Northern Indian dishes. Bombay Palace is led by owner Deep Sethi and Chef Harnam Singh and has maintained the same management and staff since its opening. This restaurant is part of a large Bombay Palace restaurant group with locations in New York, London, Kuala Lumpur, and more.

Bombay Palace
8690 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
http://bombaypalace.com

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Market City Caffe: Brews and Bites in Burbank

For the entire month of January, I endured Whole30, which meant no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no sugar, no alcohol, nothing of all the things I love to eat. So when February rolled around, I was only too happy to say “Ahola30” and dive back into the world of eating whatever the heck I want. There was one thing I was craving especially, and it was Italian food. Breadsticks! Pasta! Risotto! Cream sauce! Need I go on?

Market City Caffe in Burbank was exactly what I needed to fill the Italian-food-shaped hole in my stomach and I was excited to sample a number of their dishes paired with beers by 156 Verdugo West Brewing Co.

Market City Caffe
164 Palm Ave, Burbank, CA 91502

Market City Caffe is a casual, but classy, restaurant located on a bustling stretch of eateries in the heart of Burbank. The vibe is warm and lively with a welcoming, unpretentious air, and an open kitchen affords a view of meals being prepared under the care of executive chef Robert Chaidez.

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