Girls on Food

Dinner

A Night of Liquid Gold With Redoro 100% Italian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

I must’ve been Italian in my past life because anything that has to do with Italian indulgence is my absolute kryptonite. Pasta, pizza, olive oil, wine and everything in between was made to make me weak in the knees. So when I heard about a night of all of the above, I knew I had to be there!

On a cool summer night in New York City, food lovers from all over gathered for an intimate dinner with the Redoro family for an exploratory conversation about the olive oil and wine making process.

Set high above in a beautiful penthouse at the Hotel Giraffe in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood, the night began with a lovely lesson in olive oil making by  Lou DiPalo, an expert in the field. As he spoke, we tasted three different oils, each processed in its own particular way, slightly changing the taste and texture of the product.

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The Chef’s Tasting Menu at Alexander Steakhouse in Pasadena

As your editor-in-chief, I have a new goal here at Girls on Food: I want to make steakhouses and haute cuisine well… hot again.

I’m not saying steakhouses and other fine dining establishments suddenly became passé, but my Instagram feed is inundated with rainbow/freak/junk foods and I’m just over it.

I believe the reason these foods are so popular on social media is because they’re cheap and easy to obtain. They photograph well with their bright colors and craziness. An influencer can budget out their Instagram shoots easily. I get it. I respect it, I just want to deliver our readers a different perspective.

But while I set the bar a little higher for myself and continue to grow my palate more into the world of finer dining, I promise to not get too bourgeois on anyone. I will never forget my McDonald’s roots. And don’t worry, we’ll maintain plenty of comfort food content here at Girls on Food. (holla at Fatboi Tendencies)

I had just gotten out of a foodie event (I wouldn’t dare say which one) with a lack of fantastic bites. I decided I just wanted a steak and glass of red wine. So I went to Alexander’s Steakhouse in Pasadena on total whim and my evening was redeemed times infinity.

Alexander’s Steakhouse
111 North Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
http://alexanderssteakhouse.com

The Alexander’s Steakhouse mini-chain has locations in Pasadena, Cupertino, San Francisco and Tokyo, with Patisseries in Cupertino and Mountain View; they also own By The Sea in Palo Alto. Alexander’s Steakhouse serves classic American steakhouse cuisine with a Japanese influence. The San Francisco location was at one time a Michelin-starred location, but has lost the star since. (inspectors, get back in there!)

The Pasadena location is a posh, dimly lit spot, tough on me as a blogger for photos (I did my best here at the last minute!), but fantastic for a date night. Right when I walked in, the service was very attentive and precise, without a stuck up attitude.

I wanted to go all out and try The Chef’s Table Experience ($200 per person), a custom tasting menu, but that is quite the endeavor as it’s intended for a party of four guests. This option requires a reservation (by phone or in person) in advance. Sure, it would’ve been fun to have Executive Chef Matt Bata all to myself, but the Chef’s Tasting ($175 with an optional $75 wine pairing) was the next best available option and I was so happy I went with this 8 course tasting.

I opted to not sip the night away with the wine pairing, since I drove out from Culver City. But next time, I’m taking an Uber out to be safe! I had a glass of Robert Foley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011. Perhaps not the perfect pairing with seafood and lighter courses, but boy was it beautiful once the steak came out.

  • Editor’s note – the Chef’s Tasting menu could have slightly changed with the season, but they told me it doesn’t change up that much. So if you’re reading months later, the menu may have altered.

 

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Mi’hito Sushi Laboratory: Toronto’s Pioneer in Sushi Burrito

Mi’hito Sushi Laboratory
285 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1S2
https://mihito.ca/
https://www.instagram.com/mihitosushi/

Menu board
Display Table

Welcome Mi’hito Sushi Laboratory to downtown Toronto! I was given the privilege to attend a media event hosted by DKLO Events to explore this new sushi joint and all their offerings. Mi’hito opened up their first location in Mississauga (right next to Toronto) and were the first to bring the sushi burrito craze to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area)! I have actually dropped by this downtown location during their opening week and had the chance to try a few of their varieties but this event allowed me to try more.

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Boxwood on the Roof at The London in West Hollywood

When you’ve got a hankering for rooftop fabulousness and world class bites; get in your car and head over to The London. Do not pass go or collect $200. Valet park, get in the elevator and push the button for the rooftop bar, Boxwood. 

Boxwood on the Roof
1020N. San Vincente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
http://www.thelondonwesthollywood.com/

Even though my recent dinner at Boxwood on the Roof was haunted by fog that would not burn off, I was kept warm and cozy by heat lamps and the incredible company of my fellow diners. I can only imagine how gorgeous it would be on a clear night! Executive Chef Anthony Keene sent us a number of tasty morsels from his new menu that is largely New American with some fun street food inspiration.

The cocktail list is inspired by English rockers such as The Who. Their coordinating cocktail, “Behind Blue Eyes”, a concoction of fresh blueberry, mint, lime, and vodka. My favorite was the unlikely “Rebel Rebel,” a margarita with a float of Pinot Noir wine on top.

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Postpartum Weight Loss: The Struggle Is Real

Postpartum weight loss is no joke. Let me just get that statement out of the way.

During my pregnancy, I convinced myself that I was going to eat organic, garden fresh vegetables and follow a very strict eating regime that would fuel my body full of nutrition and not hop on the unhealthy weight train. (While being pregnant, you should never worry about gaining healthy weight and always follow the advice of your physician, let me just clarify myself.) My visions of strolling through Whole Foods and local farmer’s markets were quickly blurred by the bright lights blinding me in the Super Burrito drive-thru.

Pregnancy is beautifully strange. You crave things you never thought you would eat in a million years. Trust me, I became the fast food junkie of Reno, shamelessly devouring double cheeseburgers and smothered chile relleno burritos at random times throughout the day. There are some things you just cannot control, nor would want to.

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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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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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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
http://www.lasa-la.com

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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/

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