Girls on Food

Comfort Food

Let’s Get Messy: Tavern’s 4th Annual Low Country Boil

If you keep up with my posts here at GOF, you know that Tavern was one of my old stomping grounds when I lived in Brentwood. Tavern has one of the most beautiful patios in all of LA, but it maintains an easy-going vibe. The Larder at Tavern, their cafe, serves coffee, tea, pastries and grab-and-go items. Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite or having a dinner date with your significant other, Tavern is one of the most consistent restaurants in LA. Today, I explore a different side to Tavern, a more down home cooking side.

Tavern
11648 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
http://tavernla.com/

Recently I attended an exclusive media preview for Tavern’s 4th Annual Low Country Boil, which will take place Sunday, June 25th. Chef de Cuisine, Amy Deaderick hosts this boil which the Tavern owners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne fully endorse. This annual boil is very personal to Deaderick, who grew up in South Carolina. Memories of her childhood and the Carolina culture inspire every course.

Isle of Palms & Boiled Peanuts

For $65 per person, this one-time event will be set in The Larder at Tavern, serving up three courses and dessert. South Carolina-based musicians Josh and Leslie Roberts will be providing live acoustic folk-country tunes to really set a “dining by the shoreline” ambiance. The Communal tables are covered with newspapers and -warning- you may get wet, so come out in your “eatin’ dress”.

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Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern in Santa Monica

When I hear the word “tavern”, my mind takes me back to a bar scene from the TV Show, Cheers. Picture a dimly-lit, confined space with bar stools that make you slouch and not much else to look at. While there’s certainly a time and a place for divey spots like this, there’s also a time and a place to step it up a notch.

Case in point: recently opened Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, a modern neighborhood restaurant. The spacious, extended patio overlooks the Loews Hotel, JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot and Santa Monica Pier. I checked out JFAT on Ocean Avenue’s Day at the Races earlier in May and tasted the Southwestern Dip and Mint Julep. This time around I tasted a lot more.

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern 
1733 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
http://j-fat.com/locations/santa-monica/ 

Spicy Ahi Poke

Poke is a personal favorite of mine. I have flashbacks of being in Oahu and walking along the beach. The addition of papaya to this Spicy Ahi Poke added more island flair to this appetizer. After one bite I found myself compulsively searching airfare prices to Hawaii.

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#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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LA Food Fest 2017 Preview: Familiar Faces And New Friends Representing The Best Of The LA Scene

Tickets are still on sale for the LA Food Fest! Check out their site here. We hope to see you there! 

We were given a glimpse at all the goodies that are in store for the LA Food Fest, June 10th, 2017, 2 – 7 PM at LA Memorial Coliseum, 3911 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037.

Get out those #stretchypants! The LA Food Fest always features award-winning chefs and restaurants, plenty of food stands, food trucks and carts, a beer garden, cocktail bars, coffee, desserts… basically everything under the sun!

For the $65 general admission ticket, LA Food Fest offers 100+ food and beverage vendors. For the $95 VIP ticket, attendees are given early entry and access to the VIP Lounge.

We were at LA Food Fest last year and this year, we’re even more excited because many foodie businesses we’ve featured on GOF in the past are going to be there serving up bites. It’s always good to see your friends! There will also be some new faces, and we’re excited to see them as well.

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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. (more…)

Pasta Sisters in Los Angeles Expanding to Culver City This Fall!

The type of businesses I love to feature on Girls on Food is family-owned businesses where the food is so tasty, that they’ve earned an opportunity to expand and are on the brink of something bigger. Pasta Sisters in Los Angeles embodies just that- their dine-in deli and pasta shop is growing into a second, and much larger, location in Culver City this coming Fall.

While I eagerly await their future 90 seat Culver City location to open in the Helms Bakery (it’ll be walking distance from me!) I decided to stop into their main shop on W. Pico Blvd. and try the famous spaghetti dishes I’ve been reading so much about over the past two years.

Pasta Sisters
3343 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
http://pastasisters.com

Their current location, in an unassuming strip mall, is small, but it gets packed! I came in on a weekday around 4 pm, all the tables were full, and there was a line for the to-go food. As I was taking images of the interior, a regular customer of theirs was curious to know what I was photographing. I told her about the write-up, and she let me know that Pasta Sisters supplies their pasta to a nearby school on Fridays for their lunches. This may have been the first time I was impressed with a restaurant for doing good before I tasted just how good the food was.

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Japanese Bites in Toronto: Ebisu on Queen

Ebisu on Queen
204 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z2
http://ebisutoronto.com/
https://www.instagram.com/ebisuonqueen/

Ebisu on Queen is a Toronto offspring of the Kamei Group, whom introduced Japanese cuisine in Vancouver, British Columbia. With five Japanese restaurants opened up in Vancouver, they decided to bring one over to Toronto! They just opened up in October 2016 and I had the opportunity to check it out with some foodie friends recently. The decor is very modern while the dishes are both modern and traditional that is bound to please anyone.

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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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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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Chef José Andrés Presents Dine N Dash DC – Get Your Tickets Now!

Will all my DC foodies please stand up?!  Dine-N-Dash is back for its fifth year and better than ever! My favorite Chef, José Andrés, along with special guests Ted Allen (host of CHOPPED) and Andrew Zimmern (co-creator of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel) will be hosting this year’s event on June 7th starting at 6:00 p.m.

For one night only, guests will be able to “taste the city” and have access to unlimited food and drinks at over 30 restaurants in DC’s Penn Quarter and 14th Street Corridor neighborhoods. Leave your wallet at home and eat and drink to your heart’s desire until 10:00 p.m while enjoying live music as well.

This night is sure to be a foodies dream. I’m most excited to try some of the great DC restaurants like Colada Shop, Estadio, and Graffiato to name a few. Also, this year the new MGM Grand National Harbor will be blessing us with pop-ups of some of their restaurants too, like Fish! A full list of participating restaurants can be found here: 30 Restaurants, One Night, No Rules.

Image Provided by Dine-N-Dash

Worried about crowds and lines? Don’t be! Event guests will have different restaurant starting points, and wait staff will be there specifically for the event. There will be ample opportunity to sample everything!

Tickets start at $125, and all proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization started by Chef José Andrés that uses the “power of food” to strengthen communities through health, education, and jobs. Go grab your tickets right now here. You’re sure to have a serious case of FOMO if you don’t!

Brunchin’ With Beers at Courthaus Social in Arlington, VA

Courthaus Social
2300 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
http://www.courthaussocial.com


I don’t think it’s any secret that brunch is my favorite meal of the day. I usually judge a restaurant based off of its brunch menu too. So, when I tell you a spot is legit a great spot for brunch, just trust me.

Photo via courthaussocial.com

A couple of weeks ago I met friends for an al fresco brunch at Courthaus Social, in the Clarendon area of Arlington, VA. Clarendon is located just outside of DC, and Courthaus Social is right down the block from the metro. This means there is really no excuse not to check it out!

Courthaus Social is a beer garden and restaurant that prides itself in being a “from scratch kitchen” that only uses fresh local ingredients. It’s fairly new and having been open for two years. In these two years, they’ve evolved from serving frozen bar food to having an extensive dinner and brunch menu, as well as an impressive beer, whiskey and cocktail list. In addition to draft beers, Mimosas and Bloody Marys are served for brunch as well!

My favorite thing about Courthaus Social though, is its back story. The owner, unhappy with his job as an investor/banker at the time, decided to quit his job and follow his dream of opening and running a restaurant. What a risky move! With the support of his wife, and a few investors, he bought the space and has worked tremendously hard to make it the success it is today. Including, flying out a Chef from Chicago, Thai Dang to help customize the menu and train kitchen staff.

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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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