Restaurante Esmeralda in Acapulco

Acapulco located only three and a half hours from Mexico City is one of the biggest destinations for “chilangos” (people who are from Mexico City) and also for international travelers. Back in the 1950’s, Acapulco was huge for Hollywood elite, even Frank Sinatra included it in his famous single “Fly Me to the Moon.” Other notable characteristics of this charming city are the views of the bay:  “La Quebrada,” a tall cliff where divers throw themselves into the sea (with the only protection of their knowledge of the tides) and over three hundred days of sun and warm ocean. The average temperature is between 78 and 89 degrees throughout the whole year.

Acapulco has many different ways to entertain its visitors including; the longest zip line above the sea opened earlier this year, chic nightclubs, delicious restaurants, bungee jumping, fishing, all of the water sports one can think of and so much more.

Restaurante Esmeralda

One of these water sports is what brought me to Restaurante Esmeralda. After water-skiing we were famished so our captain took us here where we got to eat the most amazing “Pescado a la Talla”, enjoy beautiful views of the lagoon and the ocean, relax in hammocks and look at the amazing nature all around the island, including a baby alligator.

Restaurante Esmeralda
Pie de la Cuesta, 40981 Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

This restaurant is located on Montosa de Cocuya Island it is close to where Cocuya lagoon and the South Pacific Ocean meet. (a 40-minute boat ride to get there from where we were water-skiing) There’s a legend revolving around this island and the ones next to it; people say there was a man here once that had a hundred wives and they all lived there together. The rumor is all the local women here, that serve and prepare the food at Restaurante Esmeralda, are his descendants or ex-wives.

So this island belongs to the staff of Restaurante Esmeralda. 

 

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Madrid Musings: Street XO

As you all know by now, I am notorious for planning all of my vacations around food. Before I even made flight or hotel reservations for Madrid, I checked to see what Michelin star restaurants were in the area. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that there were 14 different restaurants with Michelin star rankings, and that doesn’t even include the World’s 50 Best list! Seeing how Diver XO and Alinea recently collaborated, it was one of the first places to research. Months in advance of my trip, I reached out to Diver XO inquiring about reservations. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that they don’t accommodate parties with less than two guests. Dammit. Rather than brooding over the fact that I would not be able to experience the culinary creations of the mohawked, Michelin star chef, David Muñoz, I decided I would check out the next best thing, Street XO. And so the journey begins.

Street XO
Calle de Serrano, 52, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Website

Planning my itinerary, I decided that Monday would be the ideal day to visit as I had read numerous articles talking about the wait. I grabbed my things from the hotel and off I went. Starting my day with a quick bite at Arzabal, I then spent a few hours wandering through the Reina Sophia and then decided to make my way to Street XO. I grabbed my phone and input the address. I was a little over a mile away and would arrive as soon as they opened. Perfect timing, right? As I made my way down Calle de Serrano, I kept looking for building 52. 60, 56, 48, where the hell was 52? Trying to avoid being the typical American tourist, I popped into a few stores asking if anyone knew where it was and all I received were blank stares until the last store where the kind gentleman told me it was located in El Corte Ingles. I had only walked past that place at least 6 times during my search.

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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.”

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Cristina’s EuroTrip: A Taste of Kraków, Berlin, Saint Petersburg, Brussels and Amsterdam

Tiptoe through the tulips… With Mom at Keukenhof Tulip Festival

Let me just start by saying my mom is awesome! She booked a trip to Europe and took me as her plus one! For 18 days we got to experience some of the most amazing cities in Europe: Kraków, Berlin, Saint Petersburg, Brussels and Amsterdam. It was a magnificent learning experience and a multifaceted trip. Of course food was amazing! You’re about to find out which restaurants stuck out in my head not only for their food but for their ambiance and hospitality. Lets go!  Continue reading “Cristina’s EuroTrip: A Taste of Kraków, Berlin, Saint Petersburg, Brussels and Amsterdam”

Check Out Thanksgiving, A Comedy By Tiffany Cascio At Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017

Ah, Thanksgiving. Some of us love it, some of us dread it, some of us decided to stop celebrating over political differences with family members.

Either way, there’s something for everyone to relate to in Thanksgiving, a comedy performing as a part of Hollywood Fringe, LA’s favorite annual, open access theater festival.

Image by Cali Bloomfield – (left) Sharon Spence as Lily, Allison Youngberg as Chloe

Thanksgiving follows Chloe Patterson, who invited her perfect fiancé to what she what she hopes is the perfect Thanksgiving, despite her very imperfect family. She’s got a solid plan in place to combat any and all hints of dysfunction, providing for every possible contingency — except the unexpected dinner guest: a very unfiltered, Las Vegas stripper. Scabs are picked, secrets are revealed, and fights erupt as this group struggles to make it through another holiday unscathed.

I attended the preview for Thanksgiving, and that alone was a packed house, so make sure to purchase your tickets now! The actors in this show are all from Samovar Subway Ensemble, and I thought the casting was fantastic. Each actor held their own with their performance, but the chemistry they all brought amongst each other is what made it so special to watch. The writing of this show is not only full of belly laughs but full of heart as well. All around, this is a very solid production.

There are only going to be five performances for this show-
Saturday 6/3 at 7:45 pm
Friday 6/9 at 9:45 pm
Sunday 6/11 at 3:45 pm
Saturday 6/17 at 1:45pm
Friday 6/23 at 7:45 pm

Image by Cali Bloomfield – (left) Sharon Spence as Lily, Asia Lynn Pitts as Starr, Trip Langley as Max, Gary Pux as Luke, Allison Youngberg as Chloe and Susan Louise O’Connor as Victoria

Thanksgiving is written by Tiffany Cascio (an OG Girl on Food), directed by Kitty Lindsay and produced by Allison Youngberg. Runtime – 90 minutes without intermission.

#GOFPoutineParty! Smoke’s Poutinerie in Hollywood Hosts Girls on Food For Our First Blogger Tasting!

Since August of 2012, Girls on Food has grown from a team of 2 bloggers to a team of over 40, all over USA, Canada, and Mexico. My goals are to host someday a GOF convention, where we can all hang out but in the meantime, your favorite girl-gang will be hosting foodie events regionally.

Our first ever blogger meet-up was hosted by Smoke’s Poutinerie (thanks to our friends at All Points Public Relations) in Hollywood.

For those not quite sure what poutine is, it’s a French-Canadian dish that originated in Quebec; French fries get topped with cheese curds and a light brown gravy. It’s a hot, savory and cheesy dish. And while a lot of Americans aren’t familiar with it, it’s growing in popularity after being referenced on South Park and now with Smoke’s Poutineries popping up nation-wide in the US.

Smoke’s Poutinerie 
1552 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
http://smokespoutinerie.com/

Tania won a prize for being Best Dressed! A cut-out of the Smoke!

The owner of this Smoke’s franchise location, Alan Goldstein admits he’s been educating LA-locals on poutine, since the opening in 2015 but that’s all right with him. Even if some of the newer customers walk in a little confused, they walk away educated, full and happy.

GOF bloggers who attended this party were TinTin, Tania, Sara, Christina, Julieta, and Libby. Now usually, we’re a little more demure with our wardrobe choices, but considering Smoke’s is all about 80’s glam rock and flannel, we decided we’d take a more fun approach with this one. Nobody wants to chow down on poutine in Herve Leger. And besides, who doesn’t love an 80’s/flannel party?

From left: Christina, TinTin, Julieta (back row), Julianne, Tania (back row), Libby and Sara

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Megan’s Foodie Tour of Baltimore

I had written about Baltimore previously when I journeyed with my skeeball team in toe to compete in The Skeeball Nationals, but upon my return, I discovered so much more than the magical aquarium. There’s an entire other side of the harbor. Hold onto your crab shells because I’m about to make you fall in love with Fell’s Point.

One of the most exciting stops on my trip this time around was The American Visionary Arts Museum. Lauded by CNN as one of the best museums in the country this quirky, wonderful oasis features creations from self-taught artists and calls upon some of their favorites from all mediums to talk about FOOD!  That’s right; I spent a delicious afternoon navigating the halls of AVAM learning and experiencing unique installations about our favorite topic. NOMS.

American Visionary Arts Museum
800 Key Hwy, Baltimore, MD 21230
http://www.avam.org

Upon entering this food phantasm, the walls are lined with some of the cheekiest confessions about how people counteract our cultural relationship with how much we acceptably eat, order, or what we clandestinely desire. If you’re familiar with Post Secret-they offered some of their most bizarre and fun food confessions as the four featured below.

Is this my Uncle? No, seriously, I think this might be a self-portrait.

Willie decked out in corn kernels.

Yes!  The Swedish Chef is really one of my personal heroes THE SWEDISH CHEF made entirely out of The Easter Candy Peeps. He-a’ll nefer cetch oune-a ouff Gunzu’s fefurite-a cheeckens. Bork Bork Bork! Yes, I found a translator. And yes, absolutely waste the next ten minutes of your life using it. Continue reading “Megan’s Foodie Tour of Baltimore”

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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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.

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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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