Breakout Canadian Actress Ekaterina Baker‘s Latest Film – Lionsgate’s “The Asset” Set to Be Released in 2021

Amidst this global pandemic breakout actress Ekaterina Baker has proven to be a bright shining star. With only two years of acting under her belt, Ekaterina Baker has so many acting offers she is truly one of the most sought after actresses today.

Jeffrey Greenstein of Millennium Entertainment recently produced the film “The Asset”, to be released in 2021 – directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Goldeneye, The Mask of Zorro), shot in Romania, starring Iconic actor – Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Maggie Q. Michael Keaton played the film’s lead villain, Ekaterina shared the screen with him, playing the important role of his villainous associate, “Lotta.” Jeffrey says, “Her unique energy and unbridled talent made her an absolute pleasure to work with”.

Ekaterina Baker hailing from Vladivostok, Russia, (a 9-hour plane ride from Moscow, near Japan), had dreams of acting for as long as she can remember. She left her hometown and moved to Toronto, Canada, happily married since 2017, and attending York University with a Bachelor Degree in Marketing, and Psychology. Once through with school she decided that acting was not a fantasy, instead a craft that was her destiny. She has proven to the world that her talent as an actress should be celebrated.

Producer Michelle Lang, cast Ekaterina opposite Mel Gibson in the movie “Fatman”, which is already in the can – starring Walton Goggins, produced by David Gordon Green and Danny McBride, shot in Ottawa, Canada. They were so enthralled by her talent, commitment and technical skills of the craft that they knew they had to have her as their “Helga”, within 48 hours of her audition. Producer Ryan Johnson says of Ekaterina acting in “Fatman”, “Once on set, Ekaterina did not disappoint. Everyone, myself included, was immensely impressed with the talent and work ethic that Ekaterina displayed.”

Young Ekaterina has so many upcoming acting projects; a role in the upcoming project “The Falcon Thief”, based on the bestselling novel of the same name, starts pre-production later this year. “The Falcon Thief” producer; Houston Hill – President of Santa Rita Film Company loved seeing Ekaterina’s work, he says, “I was immediately struck by the depth of her talents, her complete commitment to the craft as well as her astonishing ability to create unique and believable characters that are both real and utterly compelling”.

Actor/ filmmaker Ezra Miller cast Ekaterina in the role of “Emilia,” in the project “Neptune Frost,” which he produced alongside Lin Manuel Miranda, it was directed by Saul Williams, and shot in Rwanda. Another film offer on the table currently is Paul Schrader’s; “The Card Counter,” Ekaterina has been offered to play the role of “Sarah”, the film stars Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Willem Dafoe, and Tiffany Haddish. And filming the reshoots in California later this year, on “Wild Indian”, with Jesse Eisenberg, Kate Bosworth, and Michael Greyeyes, Ekaterina will play the best friend to Kate Bosworth’s character. Ekaterina is very ambitious, also having produced her first project in 2019, “Bonded”, with Viacom producer Jon Graham, and another juicy leading role with Jon in “Red Menace”, will begin shooting later this year.

Ekaterina Baker’s acclaimed short, 17-minute film “Oksana & Viktor”, produced by Toronto – based, Mark Datuin of
MAD Resilience Films – won the Special Jury Award at the Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival. Critics are raving about her performance, which is so amazing being that this was her first time ever acting on screen. Ekaterina acted in two of Datuin’s other projects as well, “Eulogy”, and “The Other Woman”.

In addition, it is anticipated that Ekaterina Baker will be part of additional productions as they arise for major studios, television networks, and production companies, including but not limited to Universal Pictures, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, Warner Bros Television, Warner Bros. Pictures, Disney, Sony, MGM, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Cinemax, AT&T, Audience, Netflix, Starz, Lifetime, USA, TNT, ION, Lionsgate, Marvel, Bonanza Productions, CW Network, among others.

Ekaterina Baker is a force to be reckoned with, she is talented and hardworking, someone with her acting chops comes around once in a blue moon, she is just that good!

Ekaterina Baker Q & A:

1. What kind of preparation & research do you do to find your characters?

EB: The first thing I do when I get a script is I read it over and over and over again. I read it thinking: “Why is this scene here? What does the audience need from my character in this particular scene? How does this scene push the story forward?” It’s like a puzzle. What is the writer trying to communicate through this scene? How can I honor the writer, the story and the audience?

Then I break it down. What is this piece about? What is the essence? What is the conversations/themes of the movie/scene? What are the two opposing sides… love over fear; personal over professional; shame over happiness… once I know what the themes of the scene are, the fun stuff begins. I break it down into threes. Three acts, three sub-acts, each sub-act into its three, and so on until it’s broken down to every single word. I know, very exciting stuff!

Once I know the architecture of the scene I can look into the character. What does she do, why does she do it, how does she do it, very importantly how does she not do it. What is she saying? What is she actually saying? What my character does not say is as important as what she says. Character is what character does as director Michael Nankin says. Once I know every moment of my scene, once I know what every beat and every pause means to my character and how it gets misinterpreted (or not) by the other character, I can move to work on the relationship to the fellow character. I work on what it is that I am doing to the fellow character and what I need them to stop doing to me. I work on consequence of failing at my objective and the counterpoint (underlying truth). Emotion is energy in motion. Every moment in the scene is something happening to my character even if nothing is happening. Every moment a character does something to the other character.

In terms of my dialogue I never ever memorize it with intention. I memorize it plain, no emotion, no meaning. It is similar to learning notes of a song when playing the piano or steps for a dance. Just as practicing steps and notes, it needs to be done slow, over and over again. Until I have it in my body. When I know it so well that I don’t ever have to think about my steps, notes, lines, I can fuel my character with emotion (I’ll talk about it later) and jump off the diving board into the scene. Fully surrender and let it take me on the journey that was written. I don’t have an idea of what the scene is outside of what’s written. I follow the architecture of the scene just as if I went on a roller coaster and let it take me on the ride.

Now, about emotion. It is called emotional truth of the character. Emotional preparation for an actor is like a muscle for an athlete. It has to be trained consistently, ongoingly, going deeper and more precise each time. No scene could be true if it is “acted.”

I never ever make choices or assumptions. I never invent anything. Everything I do is always lifted off the page. It is always discovered in the writing. I am an instrument, which the story is spoken through. I am an intermediate between the writer and the audience and it is my job to honor both. It is my job to remove myself, let the character speak through me honoring the story. It is never ever about me, it is about the character, the story, and it is about the audience.

So this is what I do when I get a script no matter if it’s 120 pages or a one-liner. I spend hours and hours sitting at my desk, on the floor, lying in bed or on the couch working it till the last beat. That is what I do to make sure I do not have to act in my scenes. No one wants to see an actor acting. The audience wants to see a human being living authentically through the moment – feeling, hurting; laughing… that is when the audience can relate. We as humans can’t relate to an actor doing her job, we can relate to a human being living on stage/screen. Just like ballet dancers we admire, the only way they go out on a stage, let it go and let the movement of the dance, the story of the dance take them on a journey and let that journey speak through them to the audience, is to be so prepared, not only that they don’t have to think of their steps or the story, but that they have no other choice but to surrender and let the story through them.

2. What kind of characters do you enjoy to play most?

EB: This is a great question. When most actors start out much of the time actors gain career traction in roles that others think are best suited for us. Some of the time the suitability is based not only on performance but also on more overt items like age, sex, body composition etc. I have been referred to as a Bond-type girl; which I believe I can play well and it has served me well. I have also had the opportunity to have a couple of roles more specifically aligned with my most favorite comedic type roles. I love comedy so much. I believe humor is one the best gifts of humanity. A great laugh is one of the best experiences in life for me. The ability to provide this type of experience to millions of people is what I value the most.

3. Do you have an acting mentor?

EB: I have been very lucky to come across an incredible acting coach early on in my acting training. He became my mentor. I have been working with Matthew Harrison for over two years now. His approach to acting training is just amazing. He can truly teach a monkey how to act! On a serious note, he has a very detailed step by step system that allows an actor to build their craft. He removes the notion of talent and art from acting and narrows it down to the craft, the process, and hard work. And I believe in that. I continuously train, I truly believe acting is one of those professions where one could always learn and grow.

4. Who are your 5 favorite female actresses and why?

EB: I’ll be repeating myself here a little.

– Nicole Kidman is one of the female actors I respect most. I really love what she brings to her characters. The intensity that’s all within, rather than on the outside, the mystery, the light and the darkness. Her characters pose the most exciting contradiction.
– Susan Sarandon. I love the authenticity of her work. She makes every character shine like a laser beam through the lens and right into the soul of the audience. I watched “Blackbird” at TIFF 2019 and during the entire course of the movie the audience was crying and laughing at the same time. Wow, to be able to do that to the audience. That is beyond, the way she impacts the audience is unlike any other.
– Laura Dern. I just love her characters. She is so amazing at making them be likeable and unlikeable at the same time. It is just so much joy to watch her play.
– Diane Keaton. She’s a great actor and have you seen her style? Do I even have to say anything more…?
– Julianne Moore. I just love the feminine, flowy, gorgeous side of her characters combined with emotional charge and so much sparkle inside.

5. Who are your 5 favorite male actors and why?

EB:
– Bradley Cooper. After I watched “A Star is Born,” I read quite a bit about the creative process that went into that movie and all the work that was put in behind the scenes. I really admire how much work he puts into his characters, how hard he worked and what an amazing result he achieved.
– Billy Crudup. I love his characters. I especially enjoyed watching Cory Ellison in “The Morning Show.” What an amazing work. So exciting to watch the character with so much going on in the inside. It’s like he always has a hint of sarcasm in his eyes. In “After the Wedding” I really loved the boyish, carelessness of his character combined with gentleness and a pitch of irony.
– Sterling K Brown. I love watching him do nothing on screen. He does so much not doing anything. That is mastery.
– Rami Malek. His characters are always so different and so unique. It’s amazing to see an actor discover such different angles of the characters he is playing.
– Matthew McConaughey. Interstellar is one of my favorite movies of all time. His work in this movie is incredible, the story he tells and how he tells it is all so good. I also really admire what he did with his career. The choices he made (and the ones he didn’t). I think it takes a very intelligent, thoughtful, business-oriented person to navigate one’s career in such a smart way.

6. What do you do in your spare time?

EB: Who has spare time? Actually as much as I am very focused on my craft I am a big believer in making sure my priorities are right and I’m living the life that I want in all respects. I love to be active. Snowboarding is an anchor in winter, biking and wake surfing in summer. I enjoy equestrian sports (mostly because I get to pat the horses of course). We have Bruno our incredible four–year-old yellow lab, he makes sure I am walked several times a day, preferably in the woods, covered in mud. I’m also a bit of a foodie and I’m yet to turn away a great glass of wine. I enjoy reading psychology articles and I love to cook (my husband appreciates that interest very much).

7. What is your typical day like?

EB: I’m a morning person. Bruno and I have 30 min Pilates first thing in the morning. Usually includes me trying to move and Bruno trying to prevent any movement whatsoever by lying on top of me the entire time. But, hey, extra weight when exercising is always good. Then we have our salmon and coffee respectively and we start our day with a nice walk. From there I usually have a ton of all that filming prep-work I was talking about and a nice chunk of physical exercise. I have a really great Barre/Pilates instructor that has amazing core workout classes. They will keep me a Bond girl forever (hopefully). Finishing up days with the odd movie is a great wind down for me. I’m a big believer in regularly exercising our brain and bodies’ as well as resting them. It makes life great.

8. What kind of roles are you looking to play in the future?

EB: I love to play meaningful roles that push the story forward and are impactful to the audience. As an actor I am here in service of my audience. If I know it works for them then it works great for me. As I mentioned before I am a bit of a closet comedian. I love comedy so much. Intellectual comedy is the best. Being funny through brain usage is what it is all about for me. That being said, I would love to play a villain and an assassin one day. Those characters are so much fun to work on. I would love to play a character in a WWII movie that tells a story about female character. There are quite a few WWII movies that have male characters at their core; there isn’t a female-driven movie that would tell a story about that difficult time. I feel there are a lot of stories about women during that time (take Night Witches for example) and I’d love to tell one of those one day.

My true dream part, however, is to play Eliza Doolittle in the remake of My Fair Lady. What a good movie! What an amazing character arc. Time to make a remake. What I really want is to tell a story and to impact the audience, to tell stories that carry important lessons and enlist change. Some people say they want to make $10 million a year, I want to make 10 million people cry one day. And then I want to make them laugh of course.

9. What is your fashion style?

EB: I was a tomboy growing up. I wore my older brother’s clothes and hated the frilly stuff. Wearing a skirt or a dress was a punishment when I was a kid. That being said my gorgeous Russian mom showed me the light and brought me up as a proper lady (or at least she tried). And as you know I love being active. So I have a deep closet relationship with both Tom Ford and Mavic as bookends.

10. Do you have a health regime?

EB: I am a big believer that you are what you eat. I do things quite differently from many in North America. I have been shocked and frustrated at how many packaged goods companies have not done enough to promote healthy eating. Obesity in developed countries is one of the major issues of our time. All of the products we consume that are low fat and low this and low that are killing us. I eat largely non-processed foods that are filled with natural good fats. What the modern world has yet to realize but hopefully will someday is that consuming natural food fats is not only great for your health and digestive system but it will keep us all in a Bond girl body much longer than we ever hoped for. So while I am eating away on natural fats, my husband makes fun of me daily asking if I’d like any oatmeal with my butter. I also love to exercise my body and mind every day. Biking, snowboarding, wake surfing, riding horses, Pilates, core workout, hiking, playing games, reading books and articles. Good healthy variety really is the spice of life.

11. Being so blessed – How do you give back?

EB: My family and I are very fortunate. It’s incredible that in such a developed world that there can still be so much hardship. My husband and I support a number of causes but my biggest focus is on dog rescues. There is an amazing organization based in Toronto called Redemption Paws that rescues dogs from all across North America and finds them wonderful homes. We financially support Redemption Paws and have fostered dogs while they waited for a new home. Bruno shares his salmon with them.

12. Where do you see your career in 5 years from now?

EB: The last couple of years have been amazing for me. I have done lots of very cool work with amazing industry veterans. I would hope and expect to continue progressing. I have my sights on a few really fantastic roles for 2020 that will assist in greatly increasing my audience reach. I’m very excited about the next five years for me. I have big aspirations and am looking forward to bringing tremendous and memorable joy, sorrow, fright and every other emotion to millions of audience members in the years ahead.

Ekaterina Baker Links:

The Todd Shapiro Radio Show:
http://thetoddshapiroshow.com/2019/10/the-todd-shapiro-show-ep1279.html

IMDB – imdb.me/Ekaterinabaker
IG – iamekaterinabaker

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February 21, 2020 – Dinner Audrey at The Hammer Museum – Westwood, CA.

The Audrey is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is hidden in the Hammer Museum in Westwood California, but truly a find amongst all of the food establishments in this area. It is tucked away in the courtyard, which has a super fun, modern twist. It is cozy, and intimate, but at the same time, also boasts a lively bar scene. It’s the perfect place to go on a first date or to meet business associates for happy hour. Audrey opened its doors on Feb 26, 2019.

I went to an event for Milan design travel, and met Miya Luce the GM, she was so gracious to invite me to come in and do a tasting.

The magnificent Hammer Museum has 4 rooms with air bridges connecting them, it makes for one architectural miracle. The outside courtyard area has these very festive spinning top type of chairs.

The museums namesake, Arman Hammer, was an American business manager and owner, most closely associated with Occidental Petroleum, a company he ran from 1957, until his death. He was also known as well for his art collection and his philanthropy. This is a great example of fulfilling the American dream and leaving this perfect legacy for the public to enjoy.

There are 3 distinct areas of the restaurant, the patio, the bar and the dining room. Each one has its own set of attributes. In the summer and spring, the patio is the perfect place for an al fresco lunch or dinner. The bar is super happening with its ultra-modern slick appeal. The happy hour is priced so that you can really enjoy many of their menu items and specialty cocktails. The dining room is quiet and intimate, yet super close to both the bar and the patio. The décor uses orange highlights with blonde wood floors and 50’s style hanging light fixtures around the interior. The trees on the patio are also very festively lit. They have a unique garage type hydraulic rolling door that separates the outside patio from the dining room. All areas make for whatever you want to celebrate, with a nice glamorous tone.

Cocktails:

Lemon Drop, sweet and sexy, just what the doctor ordered.

Traditional Vodka Martini with a sidecar. Just love the sidecar, and the actual cocktail was executed with perfection.

Happy Hour:

Snacks:

Popcorn & Bennster Cheese Frico, beemster cheese, cumin, now this is a happy hour item that you could get addicted to, it is just that good.

Selection of Cheeses: flatbread, dried fruit, this is a small taste of all of this yummy cheeses and fruit, but a great deal for Happy hour.

Something to Nibble On:

Oyster: cucumber-ginger mignonette. These little gems were so delicious, fresh and flavorful, a true winner.

Fish & Chips: magic molly potatoes, crispy fish skin, tartar sauce. Not what you would expect, these are the fish skins, not the filet, so be prepared, but none the less delicious.

Lighter:

Green Salad: sugar snap peas, grapes, avocado, sherry vinaigrette. I loved the sugar snap peas, they add a nice sweet crunch, the rest of the salad is a great combination of sweet and tangy, just amazing.

Endive Salad: rye crouton, anchovy, aged pecorino, soft boiled egg. The rye croutons are simply wonderful and the egg rounds out this great salad.

Heartier:

Corn Soup: Dungeness crab, tarragon, smoked corn. This is a must have here at Audrey restaurant, do not ask why, just try it!

Leek Agnolotti: shallot, manchego cheese, hen of the woods mushroom. The pasta had just been made and the delicate nature of their texture is just astounding, along with an incredible leek flavor, another stellar food item.

Whole Sea Bass: hoja santa, sugar snap peas, guajillo chili, a very colorful dish, the presentation is enough to try this wonderful fish.

Garden Things:

Murasaki Sweet Potatoes: Almond aioli, pickled green garlic chutney, grapefruit, they do this dish right, it is healthy and a perfect marriage of all of its ingredients.

Desert:

They gave me a nice combination of treats, cookies, pana cotta, and a chocolate tart, all just the perfect way to end my great experience.

Wines By the Glass:

Arietta on The White Keys Sauvignon Blanc, St Helena, US, 2016 .

Albert Bichot, Chadooay. Pouilly – Fuisse, Burgundy, France.

Lumen, Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, US, 2016.

Le P’Tit Paysan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast, CA, US 2017.

Cain Concept, “The Benchland”, Napa Valley, US, 2011.

Their wine list is great, full of wines from around the world, all of these wines paired great with my various tastings. Be imaginative and try new wines that you wouldn’t normally try; your taste buds will be surprised. They did a nice service for me where they labeled all of these wines so I could compare.

My server Jacqueline was informative and sweet; she did a great job guiding me through my dining excursion.

I met Dan & Mary at the bar before my sit-down dinner. A very hip couple that lives close by and loves treating themselves to the happy hour menu. They said it is one of their favorite places to come for happy hour, they didn’t want to me to tell many people because they love that this is their little hide away. Mary works at UCLA and Dan is a Netflix employee, both very successful overachievers that let me ask them some fun questions, thanks Mary & Dan.

Located within the Hammer Museum in Westwood, Audrey blends elevated and soulful cooking with a contemporary Southern California feel rooted in the region’s growing seasons. From restaurateur Soa Davies Forrest and chef Lisa Giffen, Giffen cooked at Maison Premiere in Brooklyn and its sister restaurant Sauvage and has experience at Daniel and Blue Hill. Davis Forrest was at Le Bernardin for a while before working on Maple, a delivery-only restaurant, for the Momofuku Empire. The dishes emphasize European flavors and techniques complemented by a full bar offering fresh, bright cocktails and a diverse wine list showcasing small-production winemakers. The modern and inclusive space designed by architect Michael Maltzan and interiors by Fettle Design features a prominent tile installation from renowned Cuban-American artist Jorge Pardo.
Accessibility: Audrey at the Hammer fully ADA compliant.

Built around a culinary philosophy that takes heavy cues from the seasons, the restaurant will balance a familiar rusticity with a smart global approach. With a focus on organic, local ingredients mixed with Mediterranean flavors and Italian elegance, Audrey will serve as both a destination for Greater Los Angeles and a meeting place for locals in the community.

The menu highlights innovative dishes and signature hand-made pastas inspired by land and sea. Guests will discover an eclectic collection of wines and fresh, creative cocktails. Prepared and beautifully served, Audrey inspires both the mind and the senses.

Audrey At The Hammer
www.audreyatthehammer.com
10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 · ~4.1 mi
(310) 443-7037
https://www.audreyatthehammer.com

Audrey is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Monday along with the rest of the museum.

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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Sunday – February 9, 2020 – Roger Neal Oscar Viewing Party – Hollywood Museum – Hollywood, CA.

Another memorable evening in Hollywood, would never miss this very grand party!
“Where Academy Members Love to Watch The Oscars Over Dinner then Join The Nominees After Party” Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O ‘Dell – Classic Film Star Mamie Van Doren and Others To Receive ICON Awards at The 5th Annual Roger Neal and Maryanne Lai Oscar Viewing Dinner, with Icon awards gift suite and after party.

The World Famous Hollywood Museum and Sponsors Emerald Hare Wines and Sino TV Network for the benefit of the Jose Iturbi Foundation. ABC 7’s TV On The Red Carpet Official Oscar Party Coverage with George Pennacchio. George and Simona Papadopolous- Candidate for California Congress To Attend.

2020 ICON Awards:
The Roger Neal & Maryanne Lai Oscar Viewing Dinner will once again honor stars with the ICON AWARD during the pre-show to the Academy awards. This year’s honorees include: Nancy O’Dell for Television, Mamie Van Doren for Motion Picture Female in a rare public appearance, Obba Babatunde for Television (Emmy winner), Andy Madadian for Music (multi million seller Icon), Joel Diamond for Music-Grammy winner, Lee Meriwether for Television, Donelle Dadigan- The Woman in Philanthropy Award and owner of The Hollywood Museum.

During the Oscar Viewing dinner party, tradition has our charities spotlighted receiving a donation check from Roger and Lynn Neal and partners Maryanne and Thomas Lai, that will benefit them from funds raised. The 2020 non-profits this year are: The Jose Iturbi Foundation.

Roger Neal, Dinner Chair said, “Our 5TH Annual Oscar Viewing Dinner, Suite and after party will be our best yet and we are looking forward to a spectacular night.”

Hollywood Museum
1660 N. Highland Ave.
Hollywood, California 90028
(323) 464-7776

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February 7, 2020 – Oscar Gift Suite – Wow Creation Media – The W Hotel – Hollywood, CA.

Another year of gifts, how lucky am I!!!!! This year the W Hotel had their upstairs rooms set up for all of the glorious gift giving. Here were some of the vendors: Carefree Boat Club, Wine and Wellness Bag, Michael Sullberg Family Wines, BB’s Pure Heaven Season All (Original Meat Seasoning), Hilton Society, Concierge RN, Archery Jewelry Key Chain, Circus Man, Fresh Home by Partylite, 12 tea light candles, Amore Nichole Eyelashes, Hands Off (baby product), Oh Comadre Candle, To be human psychotherapy stress ball, Lucky Gent t-shirt, Luz Arte bath bomb, Tix Lover T-Shirt, Vita Nourish Water, Sacred Wings teabags/herbs, Nicole Moore, Love Answers Oracle Deck – Coffee Mug, Revealu skin care – hydrating gel with minerals,Donna Leah Designs – clothing for the modern women, Hint – water with watermelon infused essence, Cask Cartel Premium Spirits, Scotch Porter Brand – charcoal and licorice face lotion, SC Enable Oil – all-round booster, Ranch Organics – bar of soap, Niki B’s Soap Company – soap and lip balm, CBD Nutratech – CBD shot, Bedol – alarm clock powered by water, Don Francisco’s Coffee, Vitabrid – Shampoo shot, Dual Mask, Nirvana Bars,Treeting Cards
Traveling Hands Company -infused massage therapy, Perial -Clothing Company, Primal Life Organics – LaMonique, Optimal Rush – Medicated Eye Drops.

I just had the best time, with all of my glorious goodies, and seeing lots of my industry friends, Thanks Mark and Matt Harris!
http://wowcreationsmedia.com

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Kimpton La Peer Hotel – Stay – Dec. 23, 2019 – West Hollywood, LA.

What a luxurious place to stay in my neighborhood. From now on this would be my recommendation to anyone and everyone who is coming to Los Angeles. Whether it’s for business or pleasure this location is so ideal to get around our fair city. It showcases super nice rooms, and a fun lobby for events, and a warm swimming pool, just what the doctor ordered. Their restaurant is also a truly lovely experience. They gave me an amount of money to use for all things in the hotel, I opted to use it on 1 lunch, 1 snack, and 1 break fast, all were delicious and beautifully presented. The delectable food from their restaurant Viale Dei Romani is simply fantastic. I had a nice lunch with a smoked tuna open face sandwich and a falafel plate. A wonderful breakfast with a smoked salmon Benedict, and a late snack of a kale Caesar salad and a fish tempura. Everything was wonderful; I would highly recommend their cuisine.

About The Kimpton La Peer Hotel:

High-design, and style seamlessly blend together for an inviting experience at Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood. Enjoy a thoughtful oasis in one of 105 distinctive hotel guestrooms and suites or be a part of the action at one of our lively community spaces. A Modern California Hotel in West Hollywood. A very relaxing West Hollywood hotel pool. The tranquility of leafy olive trees and al fresco dining set the perfect tone around our outdoor hotel pool. Adjacent to the patio bar, their intimate oasis is an ideal place to enjoy an afternoon cocktail. A vertical garden wall offers a notable sense of privacy, while vintage brass light fixtures offer gentle illumination during our typically warm evenings. This peaceful West Hollywood hotel pool is an inviting place to unwind any time of day.

Each of the 105 guestrooms and suites at Kimpton La Peer Hotel reflect the trendsetting tastes of the Design District neighborhood around the hotel and the nearby Hollywood hustle and bustle. Guestrooms feature neutral patterns and original artwork complementing elegant accents and custom furnishings while suites add white oak herringbone floors. Finishing touches include mini bar, yoga mat and complimentary WiFi. Selected rooms also feature a deep-soaking tub and a separate large shower as additional refuges. Complete your stay with our bath butler service, a massage, and personal training session.

They know how difficult it is to create perfection that looks effortless, and that includes your personal wellness. The Kimpton La Peer Hotel has a full suite of facilities and services to ensure you can keep up, or even enhance your routines while you travel. They offer a fully equipped on-site fitness center, featuring plenty of machines to help tone every muscle. They also have Jade yoga mats available not just in the center, but available for delivery and roll-out service in your room or suite, and our team can recommend running trails of any length or difficulty. All that said, sometimes you need more than what you can do on your own, and for that they partnered with renowned fitness organization Gentry Jackson. Marco Reed and his team offer on-site personal training, small classes, and local adventures to keep you committed to you while you travel. You can enjoy a craft cocktail while relaxing in their boutique West Hollywood hotel living room.

Enjoy some of the most intuitive amenities of any Los Angeles luxury hotel whether it’s via a day exploring the city or in the comfort of your own room. Kimpton La Peer Hotel has a variety of original experiences available to inspire your own getaway.

At every Kimpton boutique hotel, they invite you to bring your furry, feathery or scaly family member — no matter their size, weight, or breed, all at no extra charge. If your pet fits through the door, they will welcome them in. There’s more to their pet-friendly policy than just a no-fuss check-in and scratch behind the ear, though. They have all the goodies you need to keep your pet pampered. Everyone deserves a little respect. Your pet is welcomed by name. Sometimes, our Directors of Pet Relations might be there to greet you with a tail wag. A selection of hotel amenities and extras including plush pet-bed loaners in your guest room, food, water bowls and mats. There’s a concierge list of nearby pet-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers and pet boutiques. Door hangers alert other hotel guests and staff that your cat, dog, or other beloved pet is in the room. Also, courtesy bags for walking your dog. No additional charge for pets, no deposit required. No size/weight limit. No limit on number of pets allowed. Nightly wine reception — pets are welcome to join the party at select hotels!

I have reviewed many hotels, but La Peer is just a sparkling new respite amongst all of the others. It really feels like a home away from home, no attitudes, everyone was so nice and accommodating. Their staff is hands down just the best I have experienced in a very long time. They must their staff go through a how to be super nice and friendly training, they are just that good! My recommendation, next time you have to stay in an hotel in Los Angeles, whether for you or your family pick The Kimpton La Peer Hotel.

Kimpton La Peer Hotel
627 N. La Peer Drive
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(213) 296-3038
https://www.lapeerhotel.com
* Note Some Content Was Taken Off of their Website.

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Dinner – Ozumo – December 18, 2019 – Santana Row – San Jose, CA.

This is a very special place, right in the center of The Santana Row shopping area. It’s all very chic and elegant, so this is the perfect place to have some top notch Japanese food that covers all its bases.

My contact that arranged my tasting was Andrew Fuentes, he was so charming and accommodating, I just can’t say enough about his knowledge and lovely cuisine. He is bay Area royalty, having worked at Aqua in San Francisco, and learning from the best restaurateurs. He also worked at Cezanne, and was mentored by George Chen. He is the shining star amongst all the other spectacular things about Ozumo.

Ozomu has 2 locations one in San Francisco and one in San Jose. In February of 2018 Andrew did somewhat of a reboot for the restaurant. He added music, and put in a new high-end sound system, and different menu items, with the emphasis on small-shared plates. What ever he did he made a huge new success out of this establishment. Helping out is Executive Chef Jimmy Schmizu, who was the chef at their San Francisco location, but brought to Santa Row with new enticing menu items. The owners are Ozumo Concepts International. The night I was there they had a complete buyout that started at 8pm, so you know things are pretty successful.

The interior is very modern, with a great square bar in the middle of the room. It was a few weeks before Christmas, so they had falling snowflakes projected on the wall, also they have great art on the walls. In the corner there is a sushi bar. They have a stage for their entertainment, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A lot of families, couples, larger parties, all having a blast, and enjoying their food. The music they play is ambient, club type but not loud, adds to this hipster spot.

Here’s What I Tried:

Vodka Martini, nice martini glass, great icy cocktail.

Kozara /Small Dishes:

Hanabi, yellowtail sashimi, avocado, warm jalapeno-ginger ponzu. I ate the whole plate, just saying!

Bacon Hotate, skewered bacon wrapped scallops, cherry tomatoes, teriyaki. I love scallops, so I was all over this scrumptious appetizer.

Tempura:

Ozomo Shrimp, with fried white shrimp, yuzu-honey aioli, micro greens, shichimi. If you are a shrimp lover like I am then this shrimp will be the perfect thing to order for you.

Shareables:

Gindara, grilled miso marinated black cod, pea tendril, soy glaze. It’s like candy, super flaky moist fish with a lovely glaze, just spectacular.

Sushi:

Roro/Blue Fin Tuna, the freshest tuna and great smooth flavor.

Botan Ebi/Fresh Water Prawn, they give you the raw and prawn and the cook the heads, which is another treat all in itself.

Local Uni/Sea Urchin, his has got to be the best Uni I have ever had, its just pure and creamy, amazing.

Unagi/Freshwater Eel, a sweet terrific fish, a must have.

Sake:

Dewazakura Daiginjo “Mountain Cherry”. A nice semi sweet but super smooth hot Sake, of course went great with any of the sushi.

Dewazakura Junmai Daiginjo Gensho “Captains Table”. A deeper aroma, with nice fragrant notes, like fine wine, it is worth every penny.

I really had the best time at Ozumo, it was a very delicious tasting, and I would comeback every time I am in San Jose!

Ozumo Santana Row
355 Santana Row #1010
San Jose, CA 95128
408.886.3090

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The Spa – Los Gatos – Massage – December 18, 2019

What a treat, to get an hour Swedish massage at the premier massage location in Los Gatos. Surrounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains, it is just the ideal setting for a relaxation massage before heading down South and back to reality.

When in Rome, when in Los Gatos head to The Spa and get pampered, it is just what the doctor ordered, body work, with a nice glass of wine, yay!!!

Here’s what some people are saying about The Spa:

“Been a client of Los Gatos Spa for [almost] 15+ years. It’s always a great experience. The staff and facilities are my favorite. I drive from Pleasanton to enjoy this treat.”

“The ladies at the front desk are excellent! Love how they’re so professional and make you feel so special!”

“I love your spa, it’s like a mini-vacation.”

“I will definitely be telling all my friends about my “new favorite place” in Los Gatos.”

“I have lived here for years – I cannot believe I have only just discovered the joys of your spa! Thank you for a wonderful morning of relaxation and pampering. I will be back soon!”

“It was perfect!”

“Great spa experience – everyone here exceeds my expectations!”

“I thoroughly enjoyed my spa treatments and can’t wait to come back!”

“Love the Spa in Los Gatos. The facilities are lovely – clean, elegant and soothing. My facialist is simply amazing. Really. She’s thorough and so gentle. I’ve seen other estheticians here – really excellent and talented people. …”

“How do you comment on perfection!”

“My therapist was thoughtful, thorough, calming, friendly and really great at her job.”

“My esthetician is great! I did not feel pressured to purchase any of the products, which I hate.”

What a great way to spend the morning, it just made me relax and feel so glorious!

The Spa
100 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, Ca.
(408) 354-5901
https://www.thespaoflosgatos.com

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Dinner – Paesano Ristorante Italiano – December 16, 2019 – San Jose, CA.

This was a very pleasant surprise, a nice little lovely Italian Restaurant in the new area called Little Italy of San Jose, California. Owner Pino Spatola aka Giuseppe, who is movie star handsome, treated me like a queen. He is from Sicily, and this restaurant has been opened for 9 years.

Established in 2011, in the heart of Little Italy San Jose, Paesano’s Ristorante Italian serves authentic Italian and Sicilian cuisine. Paesano’s interior is vibrant, filled with Italian wine, beer and of course, Soccer!

Here’s What I Tried:

Appetizers:

Melanzana Parmigiana, Breaded eggplant topped with tomato sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. A delectable eggplant dish, with all the bells and whistles, just amazing.

Antipasto Di Mare, Marinated seafood salad, clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, octopus, celery, carrots, olive oil and lemon. This is a nice and light salad, they gave me a small portion but it was just enough to taste how delicious the fresh fish and the dressing combined.

Carpaccio, thinly sliced raw beef with shaved Parmesan cheese, arugula, capers, and extra virgin olive oil. This is always one of my favorite appetizers, the marriage of the beef, capers, and olive oil is truly one of the best combinations.

Pasta:

Pappardelle Alexandra, broad ribbon pasta with pancetta, crab meat in a vodka tomato cream sauce. This is one of their signature dishes, with big nice hunks of fresh crab, such a delightful dish. Salvatore is the pasta maker here, and he knows his stuff, this pappardelle was so great.

Duck Ravioli, this was there special for the night. It is so exceptional, and truly delightful.

Their interior is elegant but simple; with wood floors, white table clothes, and a ten-seat bar with flat screen TV’s. There are ornate glass flower drop light fixtures. The building is Victorian with a wrap around patio. Tis’ the season they had lots of light heartfelt Christmas music. Their customers were dates, families, and young foodies.

Gnocchi Alla Genovese, with homemade potato dumplings with pesto and a touch of cream. The Gnocchi are fluffy and light, and the cream pesto was perfect.

Fettuccine Alla Moda, with egg fettuccine pasta with shrimp, porcini mushrooms in a brandy cream sauce. Another outstanding pasta, especially that the pasta is egg noodles, wow.

Entrees:

Agnello Aromatico, lamb chops marinated with Italian aromatic herbs, grilled and topped with green peppercorn in a raspberry vinegar sauce on a bed of fresh arugula. I specifically asked for small portions, because I was dining solo, so Pino brought me one lamp chop, which was just the right amount. It was tender, meaty, a really terrific lamb chop.

Salmone Alla Siciliana, fillet of salmon with sweet onions, green olives, capers, fresh mint and fresh tomato. The combo of the sweet onions and super fresh salmon, and mint is really something, next time I will try cooking this at home for my family.

The restaurant was super busy on a Monday night, so you know the food has to be excellent. Next to me there were 4 Japanese guys and I volunteered to tell them what I was enjoying during my tasting. They followed my suggestions, even down to the wine and loved everything I told them to try. In some small way it was very cathartic to be able to help these fine gentlemen navigate their dining experience, I really loved being able to guide them.

This is the kind of Italian restaurant where everything and anything you try will be authentic and to die for. Most all of the ingredients were fresh, or from Italy, every dish had its own individual flavors. No two dishes were duplicated in any way. Paesano Ristorante Italiano was one of my favorite tastings on this trip.

Paesano Ristorante Italiano
350 W Julian St
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 217-9327
paesanolittleitaly.com

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The Palms – Dinner – December 15, 2019 – Los Gatos, CA.

Tony Loeffler arranged my tasting, he was so enchanting, guiding me through an incredible experience in this gorgeous Victorian restaurant. This is a grand property, built in 1883, the historic Coggeshall Victorian Mansion, used to house a Chart House restaurant for 17 years. It is a delicious Pacific Rim cuisine at its finest. Celebrating the culinary traditions of the Pacific Rim and taking cues from island cultures, The Palms restaurant delights guests with delicious flavors and signature dishes. The Palms offers a relaxing ambiance in both indoor and outdoor dining settings, but this is a very busy restaurant.

The Palms has very clean interiors, general electric type hanging light fixtures, wood tables and chairs. Paddles adorn the walls, as well as exotic planter boxes. There is a secluded dining area with a drape around it for privacy. In the front there is a very fancy bar with lots of seats. After they remodeled, the original signature lovely bay-window trio from the Victorian era and other architectural flourishes remain untouched. There is lots of traffic in the summer, with a gorgeous outdoor patio, perfect for hot summer nights. The traffic in the summer is for all of the people going to the beach in Santa Cruz.

Ron Gerald is the primary owner; he really has a gem in Los Gatos vast array of dining establishments. He mentioned to customers about hi original theme that he was thinking of as “Roy’s Lite,” as in Roy Yamaguchi and his culinary empire. Manager, wine buyer, and event planner Meagan Garald is a super important factor in why this restaurant is so popular and working. They also have a summer music program, which I am sure is just the right thing to do it the hot summer months.

There is a nice size bar with large flat screens, a large upstairs and the whole place seats 334 people. The night I was there were a lot of families, large parties, and dates, enjoying the great food and atmosphere.

Here’s What I Tried:

A traditional Vodka Martini, with 2 olives, the perfect way to start my fantastic food exploration.

Fresh Oyster, Kushi, small, sweet, succulent, just the freshest oyster ever.

Soup Lobster Bisque, with seasoned croutons. A creamy lobster flavor packed delicate soup, just heavenly.

Fried Rice, with Hawaiian teriyaki, mixed vegetables, egg, scallions, micro cilantro, and prawns. This rice has a super amazing zest from the teriyaki sauce, just superb.

Korean Barbecued Kalbi Ribs, boneless grilled ribs, vegetable stir-fry, and micro cilantro. I adore Korean BBQ, and these little darlings did not disappoint.

Coconut Pacific Prawns, with toasted coconut, and sweet firecracker sauce. The presentation of this dish is like a painting, colorful and rich. The flavors are subtle but tropical, a mighty winner.

Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna Tataki, with sesame crusted, ponzu soy, sesame oil, and micro cilantro. I ate the whole plate, it’s a rare find to have this delicate of a tuna.

7 oz. Australian Lobster Tail, with lobster risotto, lobster cream sauce, and micro cilantro, so much lobster flavor, I just want to bathe in it.

Wine:

Barnett Vineyards – Chardonnay, Carneros, 2017, a smooth buttery wine, soft on the palate and perfect for the Lobster Tail.

Testarossa – Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2016, a bit more fragrant and tropical but super delicious with the prawns.

Seghesio – Zinfandel, Sonoma County, CA 2016. I was a wine club member for many years so I know this wine very well; it paired nicely with the Kalbi Ribs.

Dessert:

Vanilla Bean Panacotta, this is a super creamy and rich, just the perfect dessert.

The Palm has been open for 2 years; their business is getting better every day. My server Julie was very accommodating. They have a great Happy hour all day on Monday as well.

What a treat, really a superb dining experience, I highly recommend this unique restaurant, truly delicious.
“Come find your Palm, come find your Shade.”

The Palms
115 N Santa Cruz Ave.
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Phone: (408) 402-3811
thepalmslosgatos.com

* Note Some Content Was Taken off of Their Website.

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Breakfast – December 15 – Southern Kitchen – Los Gatos, CA.

Owner Mike Williams really has a gem here in downtown Los Gatos. It is comfort food at its best. His family hails from Kentucky, so that is where the Southern influence of The Southern Kitchen comes from.

The interior is very homey, with brick walls, ceiling fans, wood floors, and an L shaped bar, all making this place very fun. There are mirror on one wall, and big roomy booths, with large plantation doors and shutters. Having been to New Orleans this year it is all-reminiscent of the South to me.

Lots of locals are waiting in line to get in outside, they have a coffee set-up out there as well as a list, so you know that they have been down this road many times before. It’s all-good, soon everyone will be delighted by their home cooked super yummy food. Southern Kitchen is local quality, farm fresh comfort food.

Located in the heart of beautiful downtown Los Gatos and family owned and operated for over 20 years. Dedicated to providing outstanding service, a welcoming environment and wholesome quality food with a touch of southern flavor. They have been a favorite destination for locals, tourists, and foodies from around the globe. Taste the quality and feel the love of Southern hospitality in Northern California.

Here’s What I tried:

A Sake Bloody Mary, with bacon as part of the condiments that are poked out of the drink with a straw.

Apricot French toast, it is super sweet and delicious, a real keeper.

Benedict, Nova Scotia, 2 poached eggs and smoked salmon on an English muffin with hollandaise sauce. What can I say, just try this, it is heavenly.

Crab Benedict 2 poached eggs, fresh crab, grilled shallots, and green onions, covered with cheese and salsa, with a lemon caper sauce. This one was my favorite, the crab is super fresh and you get lots of it, just amazing.

Signature Shrimp and Grits, creamy cheesy grits with grilled shrimp, bacon, sautéed onions, diced red bell pepper, and served with a side of corn bread. I had shrimp in grits on my trip to New Orleans earlier this year and this rendition is right up there.

Chicken & Waffle, sweet and savory Southern fried chicken on top of a large Belgian waffle, served with country gravy and syrup. A true craze, this dish hit all the perfect notes.

Biscuits and gravy, luscious, the gravy is one of the great wonders of the world. Michael’s grandfather Ray’s recipe handed down, to him is worth the trip alone.

Grass Fed Burger, Hamburger ½ lb. – grass fed patty, lettuce, tomatoes and pickle. With all the fixings, but what a beautiful burger.

There is a beautiful love story behind it all. Michael’s Mother Rose was the original owner, she passed away in 1993 and Serena, Mike’s soon to be wife, worked as a server there, they fell in love and soon she became Serena Williams, not to be confused with the tennis star Serena Williams. They have 2 children Nolan & Scarlett, who will be the namesake of their new restaurant project coming to the neighborhood very soon.

Southern Kitchen is just one of those staples that you must do when you’re in this adorable town.

Southern Kitchen
27 E. Main St.
Los Gatos, CA. 95032
southernkitchenlg.com
* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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