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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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

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Ad Hoc: A BTS Look at Yountville’s Family Style Favorite

Recently I was asked to cover Yountville Live and although any time off from the event was limited, I couldn’t resist sneaking a few places in.

My experience at Ad Hoc was made extra special with the manager allowing me to go behind-the-scenes, I wanted to share with all of you. So put on your stretchy pants for a family-style feast!

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
https://www.thomaskeller.com/adhoc

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Biwon Restaurante Coreano Brings Korean BBQ to Mexico City

Korean food in Mexico City is not that easy to get. After living in Los Angeles for almost three years and having Korean food only fifteen minutes away from me it was harsh to accept my new reality: no Korean food. Heartbroken is an understatement for the way I felt about this. 

One day as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I found out there’s a small Korean town close to Downtown Mexico City. It consists on a couple blocks right next to El Angel de la Independencia, Mexico City’s icon. 

As soon as I got this news of a K-Town in Mexico City, I called my boyfriend (who was also heartbroken because he fell in love with Korean food while visiting me in L.A.) and on we went for some Korean barbecue.  

Biwon Restaurante Coreano was our choice. If you’re walking down Florencia Street you could totally miss it. It’s a small entrance, so tall people, be prepared to duck down in order to get in. This old-fashioned restaurant is situated upstairs and it was packed at the moment we arrived. No hostess just a couple of waiters running fast and furious to accommodate hungry patrons. 

Biwon Restaurante Coreano
Florenica 20, Juàrez, 06600 Cuidad de Mexico, CDMX, Mexico

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Megan’s Philly Tour Part 2: Eastern State Penitentiary and Philly Foods

Sure, I drank my way through Market Street, but surely, I wasn’t done. There is so much more of the Philly food landscape that’s ripe for exploring. To work up an appetite though I had to do a little sightseeing first. That brought me to The Franklin Institute and The Jurassic World exhibit.  ROAAAAAR, real monsters, and The Eastern State Penitentiary.

Straight up chillin’ in the prison yard, yo

The Eastern State Penitentiary is a pretty baller landmark to visit on a beautiful day. Using an audio tour, you weave in and out of its hallways, peak into Al Capone’s luxury cell, and get to take the tourist photo from atop the loft looking down a dark corridor. I accomplished all three and even got to work on my tan in the prison yard.

Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19130
https://www.easternstate.org

 

a view from the balcony
classy pants art installation

They had some pretty neat art installations on exhibit. This in particular by Cindy Stockton Moore entitled “Other Absences,” showcased the victims of the inmates, hanging their photos from the ceiling of a corroding jail cell. I emerged triumphant, having experienced my very own Shawshank Redemption, falling to my knees and staring up at the sky my head turned slightly, and I looked across the street noticing a charming eatery cobbled out of an old firehouse.

Jack’s Firehouse
2130 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
http://www.jacksfirehouse.com/

The day could not have been more perfect, and the warm April air joined us for our nosh. The large doors of the converted firehouse are left open when the weather is just right allowing diners inside to get a glimpse of the historical landmark and the gorgeous day.

Biscuits

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Brunching With Best Friends at D’kírico in San Ángel

San Ángel is a colonial neighborhood in Mexico City with lots of tradition, its cobbled stone streets and colorful facades take you back in time. But on the inside things are entirely different, restaurants and shops occupy the place of what once was bedrooms of the richest people in Mexico City. One of these restaurants is D’kírico. 

D’kírico
Plaza Grand San Ángel
Calle de la Amargura #17, Álvaro Obregón San Ángel, 01000, Ciudad de México, CDMX
www.dkirico.com

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Phil Er Up: National Mechanics, Revolution House and Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar

My DIY Bloody Mary

I have journeyed back to the historical land that is Philadelphia to further explore the city and its many food offerings. First stop was National Mechanics, a spot I hit up last time but while researching the ‘hood discovered that, during brunch, it has its very own DIY Bloody Mary Bar. I mean… how can I not? This eatery is unique, utilizing old wooden church pews for booths and showcasing fun bug collections, mounted bison skulls, and cute displays of plants.

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When in Peru, Try Maido: Brittaney Indulges in Their 13 Course Meal

In March of this year, I went on an incredible trip to Peru and Brazil! I had the opportunity to see fantastic sites, try all different types of food and meet my Peruvian side of the family for the first time. 

During my trip to Lima, I was able to try out Maido Mitsuharu – Experencia Nikkei in Miraflores which is an area of Lima. Lima-born Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura is known for his modern takes on Nikkei cuisine. His goal is to create dishes that combine both Peruvian and Japanese cultures. Maido made The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 with the 13th spot. And they just announced that they moved up to 8th place in 2017

Maido
Calle San Martin 399, Miraflores 15074, Peru
http://www.maido.pe/en/

For less than $140 without a wine pairing, you get a 13-course meal of a lifetime. I have never spent that much on myself for a meal, but I was on vacation, I was in PERU, which is dominating the culinary game and I was ready for a new experience. 

The 13 course called 200 miles, takes you through a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese Cuisine while appreciating different elements, flavors, and ecosystems. What’s great about Maido is that they change their menu, and give you a brochure, so you remember everything you ate. Trust me; you will be in such awe with the presentation you might forget every detail that was made for each dish.

About 90% of the dishes included seafood of some sort. So if you’re allergic, I don’t suggest going here. They do have a vegetarian menu, but honestly, the fish is incredible, and I can’t imagine any of these dishes without it. Below is each dish I tried:

  • Snacks
    • Onion terrine, sole tartare, smoked silverside fish, masago.
    • Sushi rice cracker, avocado, trout belly, ponzu gel.
    • Black rice cracker, olive tofu, octopus, pachikay, ginger sauce.

Check out this rock! I have never had food served on a rock like that. This set the tone.

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Headwaters Restaurant at Millcroft Inn and Spa

Headwaters Restaurant at Millcroft Inn & Spa
55 John St, Alton (Caledon), ON L7K 0C4
http://www.vintage-hotels.com/millcroft/dining.php
https://www.instagram.com/MillcroftInnAndSpa

Located within Caledon, ON, in a little town called Alton, this restaurant is a hidden gem within the palace of Millcroft Inn and Spa. My boyfriend, Nico, and I had the privilege to dine at this restaurant and catch up with his previous Chef who is now the Executive Sous Chef at this prestigious spot. With a short one hour drive North of Toronto, and feeling like we were lost in the wilderness (but we had our trusty GPS!) we finally arrived and instantly wished that we were staying for the night and not just for dinner. You feel like you are in a different world on their grounds.

The top section is referred to as “The Pod”. The Pod is probably an ideal dining spot in the entire restaurant. The section below is part of their banquet hall. The doors open up, so you and your guests can be right beside the waterfall! And yes, there are lights that light up the waterfall beautifully.

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