LA Times Food Bowl – A Tutta Pizza – Sunday May 13, 2018 – Lunch – Hollywood Palladium – Hollywood, CA.

In December, the art of pizza making – specifically Neapolitan pizza – made international headlines when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiolo as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity with inscription 12.com 11.b.17 No. 00722. To celebrate this recognition, LA, Grow!, an annual community event that focuses on healthy eating and urban agriculture, and Los Angeles Times Food Bowl brought pizza makers from all over the world to the Hollywood Palladium for Pizza Fest: A Tutta Pizza! “Pizza, full steam ahead!”

This event showcased over 20 food vendors, pizzerias, restaurants, and pizza trucks, alongside photo booths and sponsorship booths in the venue’s parking lot, lobby, and ballroom. Trying all of these delectable pizza slices you kind of forget that there is any other kind of food; pizza truly ruled the day! During the course of the day, there was cooking workshops, cooking demos, panel discussions, and a DJ spinning music. As well as Many special guests also made appearances, including top pizza chefs Enzo Coccia, Nancy Silverton, Tony Gemignani, Zach Pollack, Daniele Uditi as well as L.A. Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, L.A. Times Deputy Food Editor Jenn Harris, and producer and host Phil Rosenthal (Somebody Feed Phil, Netflix).

The Authentic Italian Table Series cooking workshops are curated by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West. The Authentic Italian Table highlights the art of Neapolitan pizza-making, as well as the values of the Italian food culture. As part of the greater Extraordinary Italian Taste campaign – a promotional and educational project conceived by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, in collaboration with Assocamerestero – this event puts the spotlight on “the queen of the Italian table!”

A Tutta Pizza
Hollywood Palladium
6215 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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May 11, 2018 – Harlowe Bar – Dinner – West Hollywood, CA.

I had my Birthday party here back in January and they really did a great job. When manager Billy Bob said he wanted me to come in for a proper tasting I jumped at the opportunity.

Friday night in any city is usually happening, this Friday night was an old friend of mine’s happy hour birthday celebration there at Harlowe Bar, so that added to the fun vibe. Through another friend I met Lynn Powers and her daughter Blaze. Blaze has a band and is a great performer. She also has been the bar manager at Harlowe Bar for the last 2 years. She set me up with my cocktails which added to my overall experience and knowing a friendly face working at the bar added to my overall experience. So all in all it was like I was a regular at Harlowe Bar, at least for 1 night.

At Harlowe Bar, the cocktails and décor illuminate the elegance and decadence of the Golden Age of Hollywood, with a playful list of classic and original cocktails, fountain and bottled drinks, homemade libations, and more. The menu is rounded out by a selection of old-meets-new dishes, which elegantly compliments Harlowe’s tastefully ambitious design.

Here’s What I Tried:

Cocktails:

Sidewinder – El Silencio Mezcal, black tea, mango, lemon, orange, honey, fire water, and chile. This is a spicy blend of citrus and fruit; just a delicious cocktail.

Miss Cross – Kettle One Vodka, dimmi, strawberry, rose water, lemon, orange bitters, and bubbly. Right up my alley with the Kettle One vodka, I would order this next time.

Art & Zen – Suntory Toki Japanese whiskey, Gifford peche, green tea, lychee, yuzu, lemon, tonic, with grapefruit oils. Not quite for me but if you are a whisky drinker then this is the cocktail for you.

Idle, Wild – Aviation gin, Braulio Amara, mint, ginger, lime, Belgian beer, and Angostura. I really like the combination of all of these ingredients, even though I don’t drink Gin very often.

Wine:

Conundrum White Wine, a creamy wine that paired great with the mussels.

Intrinsic Red 2016, a nice full bodied wine that was a good addition to the burger.

Appetizers:

Moules Meuniere – Pei mussels, Italian sausage, romas, and white wine. Lots and lots of garlic but a super choice for an appetizer.

Summer Squash – Summer squash, balsamic gastrique, with burrata. This is served with grilled bread and was just brought to me; it is a very healthy option.

Baked Meatballs – Beef & pork blend, marinara, burrata, and spinach. These are huge meatballs with a great marinara.

Breads & Greens:

Onion Jartine Flatbread – Sweet onions, Gruyere, Gorgonzola, and pancetta. Nice sweet onions make for one amazing flat bread.

Grilled Romaine – Myer Vin, feta, with toasted chickpeas. A very creative salad that was equally delicious.

Plates:

Harlowe Burger – White cheddar, arugula, caramelized onion, white mushroom, garlic aioli, with crispy fries. This was my favorite thing of the evening. The meat is juicy and the onions and cheese are truly spectacular.

Sweets:

Choco Chip à la Mode, the cookie is served hot in a mini iron skillet, the ice cream melts right on top, and a nice way to end a glorious evening.

Chef Garcia Jacento does a great job in the kitchen and manager Lance Stacy, manager who came from the bay, are working for Alice Waters and Tom Keller, Spectrum Food Group, Prego, and Ciao restaurants. He made me feel right at home.

The interior is Hollywood Glam but we are talking about a time that no longer exists, so it’s nice to be feel nostalgic and be brought back to the golden age. The bar is the centerpiece and all of the socializing takes place there. Then, you’ve got small banquets that fill up the space. Old time bar stools, vintage light fixtures and photos make for a flash back to the past. There are not many bars in Los Angeles that take this kind of design approach. But all in all it makes you feel great about going back in time.

Harlowe is a fun social hang, offering good food and lively drinks. The scene is super hipster, but there are no snobby airs here, the staff tries to make you feel at home and they do a great job. On the weekend they have a DJ with a long line outside to get in; it’s really a huge deal on any given weekend night.

So get your party on and try Harlowe Bar with your friends, family and loved ones!

Harlowe Bar
(323) 876-5839
7321 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
harlowebar.com

 

 

 

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Re-Visit May 10, 2018 – Wood & Vine, Hollywood, CA.

This is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Los Angeles and Hollywood. My first tasting was a dinner in 2014, then followed by a brunch in 2014 as well. In 2016 I did a re-visit and another one now in 2018. The big difference between the last one and this one is the chefs. In 2016, chef Kyle Schutte was at the helm but now in 2018, Chef Jennifer O’Neil has put a brand new spin on all of this goodness. I can’t say enough about this recent tasting.

The back patio is very industrial, but intimate. It had a lot of young spirited people, some having birthdays, some for a night out on the town, coming from seeing the show at The Pantages; all with the same thing in mind, having a fun classy slice of life in Hollywood. There is nice instrumental jazz as a cool backdrop and they have movies every night in the outside patio on the wall and of course, all housed in the historic Taft building. I worked on the 11th floor for 8 years, so I know all of the stories and history (need to write a book to be able to tell my readers all about that). But the vibe of the Taft building is old Hollywood at its core.

Here’s What I Tried:

Cocktails:

Accomplice – New Amsterdam Vodka, strawberry, lemon, and champagne. Bubbly and effervescent; a great quenching cocktail.

Magnolia – Cucumber-infused vodka, muddled cucumber, lime, ginger, and honey ginger syrup. This is a very user-friendly drink with a nice combination of ingredients that work great together.

My Other Lover – Mezcal, lime, simple syrup, peach bitters, sage, and blueberries. If you’re a margarita aficionado then this is the cocktail for you. Bar Manager / Mixologist, Tom Carney made all of our drinks and he is just amazing!

To Start:

Roasted Beet Salad, arugula, house apple cider vinaigrette, herb goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and beet puree. A true art piece and I am not the biggest beet fan, but the dressing did a balancing act; not too much vinegar, instead a nice sweet type of nectar.

Popping Shrimp, golden brown house seasoned and breaded shrimp with tartar sauce. These amazing darlings just made my evening complete.

Scallop Fresa, strawberry salsa, balsamic reduction, and greens. A great combination; who would think to put strawberries with scallops, but it worked.

18 oz. Rib eye, sautéed spinach, shiitake mushrooms. The meat was cooked rare and just melted in my mouth; the mushrooms were a welcomed addition as well.

Pan Crusted Salmon, crispy skin on salmon, roasted tomato sauce, peas, crispy prosciutto, and crisp roasted tomatoes. This is probably the best salmon ever; the crust alone will make you come back for more.

Pork Back Ribs, miso carrot puree, radish, butternut squash, sweet Asian BBQ sauce, with greens. These ribs just fell off the bone and the sauce was equally brilliant.

And Then…

Brussels Sprouts, chili paste, brown sugar, and lime juice. A bit spicy for my taste but a spice lover will surely enjoy them.

Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes, roasted asparagus, cherry tomatoes, house vinaigrette, and feta cheese. I adored the way these were cooked and the melding of flavors really worked for me.

Lobster Mac, trio cheese sauce, pine nuts, and crispy prosciutto. This is not your typical mac n’ cheese, they use a more liquid cheese that goes great with the lobster and it has nice light fusilli pasta.

Something Sweet:

Relax Time, dulce de leche and chocolate lavender infused cookie bar. This dessert was incredible with nice chocolate nuances and the lavender really is the showstopper.

Butterscotch, house butterscotch, maple ice cream, and sweet thyme crumble. All I can say about this is interesting and if you’re a butterscotch lover, then this is the dessert for you.

Nutella Bombshell, chocolate cake, Nutella whipped mousse, with fresh berries. Another piece of art, so gorgeous you will have reservations about eating it, but hey, live a little!

Wine:

Chardonnay, La Follette, ‘13 Sonoma. This is a creamy rich Chardonnay with lots of buttery goodness. It was a sure fire hit with the scallops.

Malbec, Writer’s Block, ‘14 Red Hills. A super jammy wine that paired perfectly with the salmon.

Syrah, Levo, Into the Static, ’14, Santa Barbara. I loved this wine with the Rib Eye; it just enhanced the richness of the meat.

Cabernet, Obsidian Ridge, ’15, Napa. Another great pairing with the Rib Eye.

I really do feel like family here. Manager Wally Moran is just so fun and welcoming, I really adore him. All of their staff was helpful as well as not so bad on the eyes!!!

Staying right around the corner at Villa Delle Stelle, this is the perfect place to come for a delicious dining experience! Make this part of your Hollywood excursion and you will become a regular like me.

Wood and Vine
6280 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Hollywood
(323) 334-3360
www.woodandvine.com

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Hotel Stay – Hollywood Staycation – May 10 & May 11, 2018 – Villa Delle Stelle, Hollywood, CA.

A small sophisticated hotel on Harold Way around the corner from The Pantages, The W Hotel, and The Metro Rail line is a hidden jewel in Hollywood. You feel like a queen or a princess staying at Villa Delle Stelle, it really is the best find for lodging in the greater Los Angeles area.

Every suite has the comforts of home with the luxury of Hollywood. You will feel what it’s like to live like a star from the privacy of their full apartment suites just steps away from the glamour and excitement of Hollywood. Each suite features different distinctive styles; from clean, contemporary lines, to opulent antiques and silks. You would never know that Villa Delle Stelle is a hotel, because they have very discrete signage for their guest’s privacy.

Villa Delle Stelle recaptures the glamour of the silver screen and allows guests to feel what it is like to “live and be treated like stars” from the foothills of the famous Hollywood sign. Co-owned by actors and entrepreneurs Susan Foster and Brogan Lane, each of the five suites are specially designed with a Hollywood legend in mind. Former wife of the late Dudley Moore and celebrity designer, Ms. Lane bought the hotel in 2004 and renovated the neighborhood treasure originally built in 1924 to accommodate silent film stars including Buster Keaton for Columbia Studios (now Gower Studios). Together Ms. Foster and Ms. Lane offer guests everything they would want from their star watching Hollywood experience.

It really is a premium location where guests can sip their morning coffee under the gaze of the famous Hollywood sign and feel the small neighborhood charm while having the freedom to walk to all the restaurants, shops, studios, and attractions that our world renowned city has to offer. All of Los Angeles picturesque beaches, downtown, and mountains are a short drive or ride on the LA Metro subway line.

You can choose from one of their five unique suites located in vintage bungalows, casitas, and the main villa. Whatever your reason is for visiting Southern California, Villa Delle Stelle can arrange for the perfect stay, may it be one day or one year.

Recommendations and reservations for restaurants and nightclubs, spa reservations, and obtaining hard to get tickets to sold-out shows are just some of the benefits provided by Villa Delle Stelle’s celebrity services. Below are some of the services they provide: Dry Cleaning & Laundry Service, Maid Service, Business Services – Fax, internet and postal services, Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, Hair Dresser, Limousine Service, Ticket Reservations, and Grocery Shopping.

Their staff was so accommodating, Caroline, Tom & Natalie, all had big smiles and could give you tips on anything in Hollywood, they all made my stay truly memorable.

The décor is really magnificent; each room had its own charm with very well appointed design. The name of the room that I was staying in was “The English”, making me feel like I was in the English countryside. Dudley Moore inspired this charming one bedroom English suite. Located in the main villa, Dudley Moore’s original “disklavier” piano, dining table, antique carved wood bed, and memorabilia from his childhood, this suite offers true celebrity living. The warm colored walls and rich English detail create an immediate feeling of comfort and coziness. The English suite sleeps 1- 2, is a first floor suite with private entrances, 1 Bedroom/1 Bathroom (with tub and shower), Queen bed in the Master Bedroom, Full Kitchen and Dining Room, Seating area in Living room, Sofa, Flat screen TV in Living room & bedroom, Wi-Fi & Cable, 1 parking space, and 897 Square Feet. If you’re a cook and want to have a family dinner or a dinner party this suite has a dining room table that seats 8, and the kitchen has an old fashioned stove and range top, everything you would need to prepare a delicious meal. I only made breakfast, but that was a very welcoming luxury, with a darling built in breakfast nook. Not many hotels give you that option, so I loved it!

Villa Delle Stelle Suites, Bungalows and Guest Houses are an elegant way to spend your Los Angeles vacation. Whether you’re in Los Angeles on a holiday, visiting family, or working, this luxurious Hotel offers much more than any of the local hotels in the area, a true home away from home. You will feel safe and comforted, being able to fully rest after a long day in my glorious home town-Los Angeles.

Villa Delle Stelle
6087 Harold Way
Hollywood, California 90028
323-876-8100
VillaDelleStelle@gmail.com

http://www.villadellestelle.com/

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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Masters of Taste – May 6, 2018 – Pasadena Rose Bowl – Pasadena, CA.

This is the 3rd year and I have to say each year keeps getting better and better! This year there were a lot more new restaurants with many different choices of food. I absolutely had some favorites, but all in all everything was simply delicious.

Here’s are all the folks that were there:

Culinary Masters:

Alexander’s Steakhouse, Ayara Luk, Bistro Mon Cheri, Bone Kettle, Bourbon Steak, Celestino Ristorante, Chaya, Chef Michael Hung, Church & State / Spring, Claud Beltran & Co. Bacchus Kitchen, Derive, Eat @ Rollin Joe’s, Fahrenheit LA, Garlic & Chives, Grill ‘Em All, Gus’s Barbecue, Jaffa, Kato Restaurant, LiOrient & Triple 8, Loquita, Lunasia Dim Sum House, M Café, Maestro, Maple, Mercado, Momed, Nerano, Pez Cantina, Poppy + Rose, Prince of Venice, Ramen Tatsunoya, Redbird, Sweet Greek, The Bellwether, The Flats / Montresor, The Raymond 1886, True Food Kitchen, Wax Paper, Wolfgang Puck Catering, and World Empanadas.

I loved the lumpia’s from Bone Kettle, a great rendition of this Filipino staple. The dim sum from Lunasia Dim Sum House was so wonderful; they had a lot of different ones to choose from. A truly delicious pasta from Nerano, with sausage and Orecchiette. Gus’s barbeque had an amazing corn bread that they served with their signature pulled pork BBQ. Another one of my favorites was the beet sauce ravioli from Celestino. The ramen from Ramen Tatsunoya was wonderful; it was served cold without any broth, but really flavorful. Poppy and Rose did a great fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy; super yummy. Kato did buckwheat and smoked ocean trout, with caviar on top of a tortilla style chip, very creative and inventive. Moncheri did a pot sticker that blew my hair back; delicious filling with great flavor. The Flats did a salmon mousse with Meyer lemon gelee and smoked crème fraiche, in a little plastic cup with very colorful layers. Wow. From Triple 8 they delivered a candied, Hong Style BBQ Pork that was out of this world. I really didn’t drink any alcohol, just a lot of water but from what I could tell there were lots of great wines being served and mixed cocktails were in abundance as well.

Beverage Masters:

American Born Whiskey, Angel City Brewery, Ascension Cellars, Bai, Boxed Water, Brewyard Beer Company, Buzzbox, Califia Farms, Chaya + Tequila Herradura Ultra, The Estates Group, DRY Sparkling Soda, Dulce Vida Tequila, Golden Star Vineyards, Groundwork Coffee, Hitching Post Winery, Honeydrop Beverages, Humm Kombucha, IMMORDL, Indie Brewing Company, Iron Triangle Brewing Company, Kieu Hoang Winery, Lincoln Beer Company, Lorimar Winery, MacLeod Ale Brewing, Magnolia House + SelvaRey Rum, Mt. Lowe Brewing Company, Navarro Vineyards, Nektar Juice Bar, Riboli Family Wines, Rutherford Wine, San Fernando Brewing, Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer, Sate Brewing Company, Sunset & Vinyl + Ki No Bi Kyoto Gin, The Raymond 1886, Woodford Reserve, Wrath Wines, Zico Coconut Water, and Zyr Vodka.

Sweet Masters:

Butter Cake Shoppe, Chocolate Stars USA, Crème Caramel, Fatamorgana Gelato, Helados Pops, Mignon Chocolate, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Porto’s Bakery, Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee, The Dolly Llama, and Zooies.

Sponsors:

2018 Gold Sponsors – Home Street Bank, Judith L. Chiara Foundation, Western Asset, and Woodford Reserve.

Silver Sponsors – John & Joy Beaty, Alan & Gail Maltun, Rhodes & Liz Trussell, Bart & Pam Wald, Kaiser Permanente, US Bank, and Capitol Group.

Bronze Sponsors – Thomas & Jodi Cassutt, Charlie & Rene Chiara, Terry & Teresa Krupczak, Hannah & Russel Kully, David & Janet Lazier, Jim & Cary Moore, Cathy Simms & Garrett Bell, Vickie & Alex Taylor, Union Bank, Bank of America, Universal Studios Hollywood, Westport Construction, Kauffman Wealth Management, Norton Rose Fulbrite, the James & Sue Femino Foundation, HKG, and Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Copper Sponsors – Nancy Gibbs, Margo & Ralph Kidushim, Sally Lash, Wendy Lees & Tom, Boyle, Don & Gloria Pitzer, Marie & John Queen, Goldrich Kest, Goldstar, and the Tsutayo Ichioka & Satsuki Nakoa Foundation.

Brass Sponsors – Congresswoman Judy Chu, William & Laura Olhasso, Shirley Schumacher & Gregory Goeckner, Grace Kim, Janie Steckenrider, The Bukata Family, Vicki & David Thompson, Arroyo, Citizens Business Bank, Edgewood Realty, Hahn & Hahn, Individual Food Service, Lawyer’s Title, Locke Lord LLP, Re/Max Elite Properties, TJ Maxx, and Westmount Asset Management.

Centerpiece Sponsor – ADP Foundation, Linen Sponsor – California Linen Services, Parking Sponsor – Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Gift Bag Sponsor – US Bank, Media Sponsors – Angeleno, Outlook, Pasadena Now, We Like L.A., and Yelp, and Community Partners – Lyft and Laemmle.

This was the menu from the Wolfgang Puck experience, which was a separate area that you had to sign up for to get a reservation. I was too full to even try to do a tasting, but I did walk around inside this area to check out all that was being made. Menu: Snap Peas, Caviar, Sesame Crème Fraiche, Crab, Seaweed, Black Garlic, Rib Cap, Papaya, Kroeung, Pineapple Guava, Chili, and Coconut Curd. WolfgangPuck.com, Rogue-expo.com.

A truly glorious day.  What could be better, under the sun at the iconic Rose Bowl with luscious food and drinks. Get your tickets for next year, you will be very happy you did!

Masters of Taste
https://mastersoftastela.com/
Rose Bowl
https://www.rosebowlstadium.com/
Rose Bowl Stadium
1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena, California 91103

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May 2018 – School of Rock The Musical – The Hollywood Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, CA.

Based on the cult film and with a rocking new score from Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock follows slacker Dewey Finn as he turns a class of straight–A students into an all out rock band! Lead character, Dewey Finn, is a failed, wannabe rock star, he decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. Finn gets the band to be part of a Battle of The Bands competition and has to sneak them out of school away from a parent’s night; the message of the whole show relies on this outcome.

The cast is brilliant, with subtle nuances; you learn what rock n roll is all about threw their eyes.

Cast:

Rob Colletti (Dewey), Lexie Dorsett Sharp (Rosalie), Matt Bittner (Ned), Emily Borromeo (Patty), Merritt David Janes (Dewey at certain performances), Olivia Bucknor (Shonelle, u/s Tomika), Grier Burke (Tomika), John Campione (Swing, u/s Ned), Patrick Clanton (Gabe Brown, Mr. Hamilton, Jeff Sanderson, Ensemble), Liam Fennecken (Bob, Mr. Sanford, Cop, Ensemble, u/s Dewey), Carson Hodges (Mason, u/s Lawrence), Elysia Jordan (Mrs. Hathaway, Ensemble, u/s Rosalie, Ms. Sheinkopf), Deidre Lang(Ms. Sheinkopf), Alyssa Emily Marvin (Marcy), Sinclair Mitchell (Snake, Mr. Mooneyham, Ensemble), Theo Mitchell-Penner (Lawrence), Vincent Molden (Zack), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton (Freddy), Jameson Moss (Stanley, Mr. Williams, Ensemble, u/s Dewey), Iara Nemirovsky (Summer), Tim Shea, (Doug, Mr. Spencer, Ensemble, u/s Ned), Theodora Silverman (Katie), Cameron Trueblood (James, u/s Freddy), Gabriella Uhl (Sophie, u/s Tomika), Hernando Umana (Theo, u/s Ned), and Huxley Westemeier (Billy, u/s Lawrence).

Based on the Paramount movie by Mike White, Book by Julian Fellowes, Executive Producers: Nina Lannan and Madeleine Lloyd Webber, Director: Laurence Connor, Composer: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics: Glenn Slater, Choreography: JoAnn M. Hunter, Scenic – Costume Design: Anna Louizos, Lighting Design: Natasha Katz, Sound Design: Mick Potter, and Music supervision: John Rigby.

The sets are simple and easily moved, most of the action took place in these places on stage: The Olympic Powerhouse, Ned’s Apartment & Dewey’s bedroom, Rehearsal Space, Horace Green School – The Assembly Hall, The Music Room, The Faculty Lounge, Classrooms and Hallways, Students’ homes, The Palace Theatre – Onstage and offstage, and The Roadhouse.

The stage musical on Broadway and in the West End is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has also composed 14 new songs for the show, which additionally features all of the original songs from the movie. The composer’s numbers “You’re in the Band” and “Stick it to the Man” are well on their way to becoming rock solid standards, while the finale with “Teacher’s Pet” brings audiences to their feet, eight shows a week.

School of Rock, with its sensational live kids’ rock band, is a loving testimony to the transforming power of music. May the spirit of rock be with the schools and community theatres that pledge allegiance to Lloyd Webber’s newest hit!

It is nearly 50 years since my first musical JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT was premiered at a London school. A year later it received its USA debut at a college in Douglaston, Queens, New York. I can think of no better introduction to SCHOOL OF ROCK than to repeat what I wrote about JOSEPH so many years ago. SCHOOL OF ROCK is for everyone to take part in. It is a celebration of the empowering force of music. All of us in the creative team have had a fantastic time bringing the movie to the Broadway stage and we all hope that you have as much fun when you perform the show as we had when we put it together. Good luck and may the spirit of rock be with you.” Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Always one of my favorite venues to see Broadway shows, The Pantages Theater, with its own amazing history, the theater itself is an art deco paradise, with its ornate motif, you can truly get lost in the beauty of the décor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantages_Theatre_(Hollywood)

School of Rock is a two-hour, two-act musical – plus intermission, based on the hit movie. It’s the rough and tumble ride of loser Dewey Finn, who some how proves himself to be everyone’s hero by the end of the show. You feel sorry for him, but kind of know he will triumph in the end. The kids really steal the spotlight with their enormous talents; they rival all of the adult cast members, performers must currently be aged 18 or younger. They turn into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. It’s playing through May 27, 2018, so run to get your tickets now.

The Hollywood Pantages Theater

Hollywoodpantages.com

(323) 468-1770

6233 Hollywood Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90028

 

 

* Some content was taken off of their website

 

 

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May 2, 2018 – Launch of Wusah – Hills Penthouse – West Hollywood, CA.

This event was for the launch of Wusah, a new brand of the Cannabis wellness line of products brought to us by Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, from Bravo’s “The Shahs of Sunset.” There were lots of other cast members from The Shahs of Sunset and other shows, along with other celebrities and athletes. All of this celebrating took place at the very cool Hills Penthouse in West Hollywood.

So imagine everyone there, except me, was imbibing in either a watermelon, pomegranate, mint juice that had CBD and THC called Refresh, as well as GG’s cannabis vape product. There were lots of very happy people but the whole vibe was very peaceful and mellow. Along with that, the extremely talented recording artist Aquile performed his original music, then out popped the feather clad Brazilian dancers.

Oh and did I mention the marijuana plants on every table that were parting gifts? Since Cannabis has become legal in California there are many fantastic events happening all over Hollywood and beyond. It’s a real business now so why not include this with the Hollywood elite and the reality TV world. Such a super fun evening, filled with merriment and glamour.

About Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, taken off of the Bravo Website: http://www.bravotv.com/people/golnesa-gg-gharachedaghi

Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi: “I Have Found My Purpose Through Cannabis” Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi has provided an update on her latest business venture. The Shahs of Sunset friend, who has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, previously opened up to fans about her entrepreneurial plans.

Finally, we know what that “something” will be. On May 3, GG took to Instagram to share a major update on her business venture, which has been named WüSah. “Please welcome WüSah to the world!” she wrote. “I can’t believe it’s finally happened. I am so grateful for my journey! I believe I was given an autoimmune disease so I can make a difference. I have found that purpose through Cannabis. Many of you will mock me. Many of you will support me. I just hope you continue to follow me and watch the evolution of great healing take place using WüSah. I’m almost in remission y’all. I’m living proof this stuff works.”

“The first thing I made is a cold-pressed drink,” she said, showing off a prettily packaged bottle of a beverage called “Refresh.” Containing THC and CBD, the drink has a watermelon-pomegranate-mint flavor. The Shahs pal also showed off her vape pen, which contains a mild, antibacterial strain of cannabis. She also designed an inhaler as “a way to get your THC hit.” “I’m about to launch the coolest business ever and it’s so cool because it’s Cannabis. Cannabis is newly legalized in California and other states, and I’m going to bring you the best of it.” She went on to explain the products she intends to produce will help herself and others overcome the pain of auto immune diseases. “I’ve suffered for years with rheumatoid arthritis, and I’ve used Cannabis the last year and a half to get me closer to my remission,” she said. “Autoimmune diseases, epilepsy, insomnia, depression … I’m creating something for all of you guys.”

GG is so personable, she is just a lovely girl, I had a blast at her event!

Launch of Wusah
Hills Penthouse West Hollywood
8560 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood
www.hillspenthouse.com

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Food Bowl -May 1, 2018 – The Wiltern Theater – Los Angeles, CA.

The Power of Food was a great evening with José Andrés and friends celebrating the opening of LA Times Food Bowl. Los Angeles is a city rich in culture, food, community spirit, and resilience. This event is a conversation on the power of food and its impact in our communities, while showcasing rising sous chefs in a two-segment cook off. L.A. Kitchen brought four of Los Angeles’ best sous chefs together to showcase their culinary talent, creativity and ability to think on their feet. Inspired by Jose’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico, each chef was challenged to create a memorable dish out of everyday ingredients readily available in a disaster relief situation. The participating chefs were given the opportunity to join the World Central Kitchen chef relief team. There was a pre-event reception with dinner, drinks, and exhibitor tasters. L.A. Kitchen hosted this event and also provided dinner.

The evening was presented by World Central Kitchen founder, and 2018 James Beard Humanitarian Award recipient, José Andrés and Times restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold. Hosted by the L.A. Kitchen.

About the Celebrities:

José Andrés (Chef/Owner,ThinkFoodGroup, Somni, The Bazaar by José Andrés, Founder, World Central Kitchen and Board Chair, L.A. Kitchen), Jonathan Gold (Food Critic, LA Times), Robert Egger (Founder, L.A. Kitchen, DC Central Kitchen, Campus Kitchen), Zooey Deschanel (Actress & Founder, The Farm Project), Ron Finley (The Ron Finley Project), Nyesha Arrington (Executive Chef, Native LA), Tim Kilcoyne (Executive Chef, Scratch Sandwiches), AlexGranados (Sous Chef, Native LA), Manuel Villagomez (Sous Chef, Broken Spanish), and more to be announced!

José Andrés:

Named James Beard 2018 Humanitarian of the Year, José Andrés is an internationally recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, humanitarian, and the Chef/Owner of ThinkFoodGroup, Somni & two Michelin starred minibars by José Andrés. José is a committed advocate of food and hunger issues and is known for championing the role of chefs in the national debate on food policy. In 2012, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that provides smart solutions to hunger and poverty by using the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies. Together with World Central Kitchen and #ChefsforPuertoRico, Andrés served over 3.3 million meals in Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017. He has earned numerous awards including the 2015 National Humanities Medal. Andrés’ work includes his role as the Chair Emeritus of L.A. Kitchen, founded by Robert Egger; awards and distinctions including the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from International Association of Culinary Professionals and the 2015 National Humanities Medal.

Jonathan Gold:

Jonathan Gold is the restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times. He won the Pulitzer Prize in criticism in 2007 and was a finalist again in 2011. A Los Angeles native, he began writing the Counter Intelligence column for the L.A. Weekly in 1986, wrote about death metal and gangsta rap for Rolling Stone and Spin, among other places, and is delighted that he has managed to forge a career out of the professional eating of tacos.

Robert Egger:

Robert is the founder and CEO of L.A. Kitchen. He has been a leader in the food recovery/job training/social enterprise movement since 1989 when he founded the D.C. Central Kitchen, which he led for 24 years. Collectively, these businesses have used donated food to produce over 40 million meals that helped over 1,600 men and women gain full-time employment. Robert is an award winning author (Begging for Change, HarperCollins) and a sought after speaker on subjects ranging from innovation, leadership, the role of nonprofits, and social enterprise.

Ron Finley:

Armed with a shovel, some soil, and seeds, Ron Finley has come to be known as the “Gangsta Gardener” and his unexpected tactics have made him one of L.A.’s most widely known activists. Frustrated by his community’s lack of access to fresh, organic food, Finley inadvertently started a revolution when he turned the parkway in front of his South Central L.A. home into an edible garden in 2010. Ron’s goal was simple; bring healthy food to an area where there was none. This made him see first-hand how gardens build communities and change people’s lives. This experience blossomed into a quest to change how we eat, teaching youth that they have the capacity to design their own lives and transform culture. Based in LA, Ron founded The Ron Finley Project, which has ignited a horticultural revolution worldwide. He wants the world to know that if you change your food, you change your life!

Zooey Deschanel:

Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award and Grammy Award nominee and Critics’ Choice Award winner, Zooey Deschanel, is an entertainer in every sense of the word, bringing the classical leading lady back to the modern audience with her old-fashioned charm. Lauded as “timeless,” “vintage” and “ethereal,” Deschanel’s starring roles in “(500) Days of Summer”, opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and “Yes Man,” opposite Jim Carrey, cemented her place as a mainstream presence with a handle for nuance.

Zooey recently started The Farm Project with her husband Jacob Pechenik; an endeavor to help reconnect people to their food. Among other initiatives, they co-produced the show Your Food’s Roots along with ATTN: Media reaching over 20 million views, and growing.

This was a fun event with a real message about humanity and how people can survive in any situation, especially ones that are brought on by Mother Nature. The true gift of giving was what every celebrity was talking about, coming in many forms but all with the same message: to step up in times of unforeseen disasters and taking care of thy neighbor.

The Wiltern

3790 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90010

www.wiltern.com

*Note some content was taken off of current press release.

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Il Piccolo Verde – Dinner – April 27, 2018 – Brentwood, CA.

I was so excited to try this little neighborhood gem; nestled in a fantastic foodie area, with lots of charm, Il Piccolo Verde promises to be your new favorite Italian restaurant. They treated me like a queen and served me everything I requested, my experience was filled with mouth watering enjoyment!

It’s bright with lots of ambiance; just the perfect place to enjoy some fantastic regional Italian food right here in this little village called Brentwood.

Brentwood is one of the most sought after real estate in Los Angeles, with lots of celebrities buying up the million dollar properties, it is a very affluent neighborhood in the Westside of Los Angeles, California. The stars have a place with no paparazzi to enjoy a great home cooked meal. Well, I am here to say the Il Piccolo Verde is right up there with the best of Italian cuisine here in Los Angeles.

Jeff Kantor, aka DJ Gold Dust, has been with Il Piccolo Verde for the past 3 months. He is the managing partner and came from a lovely seaside area called Malibu. Jeff knows his way around restaurants and events, creating some very cool past events, where he was the DJ. Now he brings his expertise to Il Piccolo Verde. They have live jazz on Thursdays with some famous players; Robby Krieger, and David Marcus to name a few. On Fridays they have Karaoke until 3am. I’m going to have to come back with my singing voice in tow.

My server Eduardo Gomez from Mexico City had the best dimples, as well as the best demeanor. Eduardo made my experience great, with his no nonsense style.

Chef Pablo Merida, was just honored as Culinary Visionary at the Flavors of Los Angeles at Taglyan Center in Hollywood, he worked at Tutte Bene in Beverly Hills before this. His timeless classics will make you become a regular, it is just that good, and most of their customers are locals, go figure.

Owner Michael Schwartz, who is in real estate saw Il Piccolo Verde as a good business deal and decided to take it over in 2014, a great decision for him. The night I was dining his kids were keeping it real by eating just the basic pizza and spaghetti and meatballs. Michael says they always order the same thing every time; they just love their traditional favorites, so why change a good thing?  He is looking into opening another location in downtown Las Vegas.

Appetizers:

They start you out with delicious house made flat bread and black olive tapenade.

Melanzane – Baked eggplant parmigiana. This is a small portion because it’s an appetizer, it just makes you want to come back for more.

Calamari Friti – Fried calamari rings in a spicy marinara sauce. These little daring’s are light and crispy, no big long tentacles, just little bite size pieces of succulent breaded calamari.

Homemade Carrot Cauliflower with Tarragon Soup, and organic unrefined coconut
oil. I just loved this soup. It is thick and creamy but with no cream, what a concept.

Pablo’s Homemade Meatballs, the sauce is the best thing about this dish, a traditional red sauce, and the meatballs are the icing on the cake.

Salad:

Tre Colore – Arugula, endive, blue cheese and house vinaigrette. A light healthy way to start your dining experience. There is a very fresh nice mellow dressing.

Pizza:

Quattro Stagioni – tomato sauce, homemade mozzarella, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, olives, and mushrooms. This is a great pizza; they have a Caputo pizza oven, which came from Naples. This oven really makes a difference, the crust was thin and crispy with great flavor, a must have.

Pasta:

Pappardelle Mare e Monti – wide noodles with mushroom, spinach, clam, shrimp, and truffle oil. The clams just pooped in your mouth and the pappardelle noodles are luscious.

Arugula Aglio Olio – with sautéed arugula, garlic, shrimp, extra virgin olive oil with a touch of lemon juice. The sautéed arugula is something I had never tried before; you could mistake it for spinach. The bitter arugula flavors melt away when it is cooked, and the shrimp was cooked to perfection, a nice dish.

Gnocchi Alla Cardinale – Homemade potato dumpling with peas and prosciutto in a Parmesan cheese sauce. This is an outstanding dish, the cheese sauce the peas and prosciutto, all things I adore about this dish.  A great gnocchi that I would highly recommend.

Entrees:

Filet Mignon – 8 oz. prime cut filet mignon served with roasted potatoes and sautéed spinach. This is a melt in your mouth steak, perfectly cooked rare, tender and flavorful, just wonderful.

Fish and Crustacean:

Scampi Limone – Tiger shrimp with garlic, capers, and lemon white wine sauce with a side of mixed vegetables. These are huge shrimp served with lovely carrots. The flavors are astounding, with lots of garlic, parsley; it’s just the perfect scampi.

Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes, simple but tasty, these potatoes are a no-brainer with the beef.

Millet Verde, organic gluten free millet, cauliflower, carrots, Celtic sea salt, and organic unrefined coconut oil. A rich nice flavor, a great side option.

Spinach, healthy, smart a good side choice.

Dessert:

Crème Brûlée, a great rendition of this super popular dessert. Rich, flavorful just delightful. What a great ending to my truly fantastic dinner.

Wine:

House Selection Sparkling Wine, a great pairing with the calamari.

Talley Estate chardonnay 2015, Arroyo Grande, Central Coast-CA, Organic. A bright bold Chardonnay, I would pair this with any of the dishes that have shrimp.

CADE sauvignon Blanc 2016, Napa-CA. A very fruit forward, it was a good combination with the Tre Colore salad and the blue cheese.

Montepeloso “A Quo” Tuscana 2014, Tuscana-IT, Super Tuscan Cabernet, Blend, and biodynamic. Big hearty, jammy, cherry flavors, worked so great with the filet.

Adaptation Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Napa-CA, Second label from Stag’s Leap’s Odette. I can’t say enough about this wine; it’s a bit pricey, but worth every cent. I just love that at this tasting I got to try a new Cabernet that I truly fell in love with.

Kristine Morcos is their Sommelier, she picks boutique labels, and small purveyors. Their wine list is really user friendly; you can tell that their customers are well versed in all things wine.

Their Interiors are modern Italian, with orange and yellow walls. A small patio with hand painted blue-sky ceiling with heat lamps. The dining room has wood floors, and wooden modern chair and table clothes. They play mostly Italian music that adds to the overall appeal.

I am smitten, a great find in a very upscale neighborhood, with super friendly staff, that makes you feel right at home. The perfect combination!

Il Piccolo Verde
140 S Barrington Place
Los Angeles, CA 90049
310 472 4939
https://ilpiccoloverde.com

 

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La Dolce Vita – March 27, 2018 – Lunch – Oxnard, CA.

Located in the very popular Heritage Square is the one of the best Italian restaurants in Ventura County. Great food in a fun charming atmosphere is what La Dolce Vita has to offer.

They were located in Port Hueneme and moved to this location 5 years ago. All of the buildings in Heritage Square are historic landmarks and were moved from different locations in Ventura County.

This building is the Laurent – Mc Grath House, built in 1901.It is a Colonial Revival home primarily built for Martin Laurent and his wife. The basement, outdoor patio, south extension, and elevator are not original and were added for the use of a restaurant. Heritage Square began in 1985 as this vision preserves the historical and architectural uniqueness of turn-of-the-century Oxnard. It opened in 1991. Through the commitment of some of Oxnard’s, eleven homes, a church, water tower, pump house and storehouse have been moved to a single block and restored to their original condition. The original location was 403 South W. Woodley Road in Oxnard.

The interior is very charming, with yellow walls, cinnamon red ceiling, and café table and chairs. Nice art seascapes, still-life flower with a wrought iron wine cellar in the hallway. There are delicate small tables, the table lamps are different but all with the same lampshade. It is very quaint, with everything being very simple, the perfect backdrop for this spectacular Italian food. Classical, jazz is in the background, and it makes you feel very relaxed.

Here’s what I tried:

Starters:

Pumpkin Ravioli- topped with Gorgonzola cream sauce, sage, and walnuts. I would just order these by the dozen; the perfect cream accompanied by the lovely pumpkin ravioli, just made my heart melt.

Soup:

Grilled onion chowder- Marsala infused grilled onions in a sweet cream. Another feat of excellence. How did they come up with this concept? My taste buds were just dancing away, you don’t want this experience to end.

Salads:

Insalata di Spinachi – baby spinach with house raspberry vinaigrette, mandarin oranges, candied walnuts, and Gorgonzola. I can really say by this point in my meal I realized that everything here at La Dolce Vita is going to be stellar, and I was right. This salad is very simple, but the dressing is what made this stand out for me.

Pasta and Risotto:

Linguini Bolognese – with sausage and beef Bolognese with marinara and finished cream over linguini and topped with Parmesan. Nice linguine highlights this straightforward Bolognese sauce. Very meaty with great tomato flavor.

Linguini – With white clam sauce. There are lots of clams and you can tell it is a very simple sauce of clam juice, butter, garlic and, parsley. If there are other secrets in there I can’t tell, but I enjoyed this fantastic dish.

Seafood Linguini, lots of fresh seafood, scallops, shrimps, clams and mussels ad to the luscious flavor of this great pasta dish.

Lunch Plates:

Seared Ahi – served rare over jasmine rice with Asparagus topped with lemon aioli. The sesame seeds make all the difference in the world; they pop as you eat this perfectly seared Ahi Tuna. The sauce is very subtle but adds to the overall beauty of this dish.

Dessert:

Traditional Tiramisu with Espresso Sauce, simply spectacular!

Wines:

Pasqua Prosecco, Italy. A lovely light starter to my amazing meal. It went great with the grilled onion chowder.

Chardonnay, Cedar Brook, California- Light and fresh with hints of vanilla, butterscotch, and melon in the aroma. Straw-colored with a smooth, crisp finish.

Chardonnay, Santa Barbara Crossing, Santa Barbara County – Fruit forward with a clean crisp finish that lingers on the plate.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Picket Fence, Alexander Valley- French oak aging contributes vanilla, clove, and hazelnut aromas which create a unique foil for the robust, berry-driven fruit flavors.

Zinfandel, Haraszthy, Lodi- a very approachable wine exhibiting delicious cherry, black fruit flavors and a generous vibrant bouquet. This wine is almost like syrup, rich and elegant, a great addition with the Bolognese.

Owner Michelle Kinney comes from a restaurant business family. Her Mother owned this restaurant before she did. A Southern California native, Michelle went to high school in Arcadia. You can just tell from her no-nonsense personality that she takes great pride in making her customers happy.

La Dolce Vita has gotten their share of awards in these publications: Pacific Coast Business Times, Ventura County Stars, and Talk of the town.

Out of all of my Oxnard dining experiences this one was the best. Even if you want to take a day trip and not spend the night, it is worth the drive!
La Dolce Vita Restaurant – “The Sweet Life”

Heritage Square
740 South B. Street
Oxnard, CA. 93030
www.ladolcevitadmare.com
805-486-6878

 

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