March 14, 2017 – Dinner at Blue Plate Oysterette

Filling the void in the Westside restaurant scene for a casual, beachy, seafood restaurant and buzzing neighborhood vibe appealing to both surfers and studio heads. A charming little crab shack type establishment right on Ocean Avenue. It is small and cozy with a casual air, not to mention it’s just across from Palisades Park and the Pacific. Owner Jenny Rush went for a neighborhood kind of place rather than something glitzy. The menu is smart too, it pretty much has everything people love about East Coast seafood; oysters, clams, mussels, lobster rolls, fish ‘n’ chips, steamers is listed on the one-page menu. The selection of fresh oyster is listed on a chalkboard outside the restaurant and above the counter in front of the kitchen. Their amazing Chef Jason Hanin will inspire your taste buds.

The first time I tried this great restaurant was at their sister location on 3rd street and I was awestruck. They have now closed that location and all of their efforts are now at the Santa Monica location, and you can really tell. Everything is a little bit brighter; a bit better, they just added a bit more zing in their totally fantastic cuisine. They have treat service, reasonable prices and delicious food and it all adds up to a great little restaurant in a perfect location for a lazy day of “people watching” at the park, or for a romantic dinner for two.

Their staff is so fun and friendly, guaranteed to show you a good time no matter what. All of the wait staff will put a smile on your face. My server Andrew from Chicago, was smart and knowledgeable, his no nonsense attitude made my experience really wonderful. Everyone there is so attentive and has your best dining interest at heart.

Here’s what I tried:

Raw Bar:

Oysters on the half shell, they served me every fresh oyster on the menu, each with different flavors and characteristics. Homemade cocktail sauce, MV pickled shallot mignonette. My favorites were Stellar Bay, Naked Cowgirl, and Kennedy Creek. Andrew told me that the selection changes daily and they only buy enough for a single day’s needs.

Soups and Salads:

New England Clam Chowder, with Cherrystone clams, and light cream broth. This soup has a bit of a spicy kick to it, but chalk full of clams and super creamy, it will do the trick.

Crab & Shrimp Louis Salad, avocado, tomato, red-onion, olives and egg, really one of the best Louie’s ever. Usually they put small bay shrimps in this salad staple, but here they do jumbo shrimp that they chop up, you can totally tell the difference.

Small Plates:

Oysters Rockefeller baked with spinach, Bechamel, and Parmesan. What a phenomenon. Cooked with creamy spinach on top and the oyster are still left tender, I just loved this rendition.

Fried Seafood Combo, nice amount of oysters, calamari and shrimp. Good strong batter makes for a delicious menu item.

Lobster Mac & Cheese, with Parmesan, herbs, and truffle oil. This is one a kind flavor, with truffle oil and huge chunks of lobster, so velvety rich, you just can’t go wrong.

Large Plates:

Linguine with Clams, white wine, olive oil and garlic sauce. The pasta is Al Dente and they serve up quite a lot of fresh clams, it has a nice light sauce as well.

Bouillabaisse, shellfish, brioche croutons, and saffron rouille. This too has a bit of a kick, nicely presented and executed, for the true seafood lover.

Wild Caught Fresh Halibut, if you like a hearty fish this is the one for you, cooked to perfection.

Wild Caught Fresh Salmon, I have had many many types of salmon, this one did not disappoint. Super fresh, extremely moist, another amazing menu item.

Steamed Maine Lobster, with potatoes and corn, well what can I say about this dish. Order it, it is the showstopper!

Sides:
Coconut Brown Rice, this is one of my favorite rice dishes anywhere. What a delight, the coconut dances in your mouth, and the rice is sweet, but perky. A great side dish!

Brussels Sprouts, nice big sprouts that they split on half, cooked with great array of seasonings.

Desserts:

Key Lime Pie, fresh key limes, and whipped cream. This is a must have when you come here. It is light and delicious, the best key lime pie you’re ever going to eat.

Hot Fudge Sundae, the fudge itself is the reason to order this wonderful dessert.

Wines:

Roederer Estate Brut – Anderson Valley, California. Bubbly with a strong earthy flavor, it will go great with the oysters.

Prosecco Superiore – Valdobbiadene – Mionetto | Veneto, Italy. This delicate prosecco will work with the Oysters Rockefeller.

2015 Pinot Grigio – Pighin | Grave, Friuli, Italy. I thought that this wine worked good with the crispy fried seafood combination. It is fragrant but doesn’t take away from all of the seafood goodness.

2015 Sauvignon Blanc – Cep | Russian River Valley, California. I can recommend this lively Sauvignon Blanc with the Seafood Louie Salad. They do a delicate Louis dressing that balanced out the fruit in this delightful wine.

2012 Vouvray – Marc Bredif | Loire, France GL. This wine has many floral notes and would be fantastic with any of the grilled fish dishes.

2015 Chardonnay – Spellbound | California. Pretty much the most elegant Chardonnay on the planet; I would pair this with the fresh Maine Lobster.

2012 Pinot Noir Wavetree – Wendell | Santa Rita Hills, California. I always believe that a good Pinot should be paired with a grill salmon, and this Pinot came across with lots of wonderful nuances.

2014 Le Bon Marche Buehler Vineyards | St. Helena, California. I loved this wine with the Bouillabaisse; it lends itself to the spicy red sauce.

It is so hard to find a good East Coast seafood restaurant in Los Angeles! Sure there are the usual suspects but really, an East Coast seafood restaurant is a rare commodity. This type of cuisine that Blue Plate Oysterette ‘s serves is very popular in New England, Cape Cod, and Montauk. Delicious food that was inspired by East Hampton summer lobster bakes, with influences like Pearl Oyster Bar and Mary’s Fish Camp in New York; Oysterette serves lunch and dinner seven days a week with a menu straight out of the seafood shacks you find on the East Coast. I have never been to any of these cities, but I am so happy that Los Angeles has Blue Plate Oysterette as an amazing dining option.

There are three restaurants in all in the Blue Plate Company, Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica, then there’s Blue Plate Taco and Blue Plate. Depending on what kind of food you’re in the mood for, but their attention to detail and the freshest ingredients will surely make any of their restaurants a weekly habit.

The interior is clean, white and bright, you feel like you’re in a seaside village, but there is a huge blue ocean right across the street, in this historic beachside section of Palisades Park, Santa Monica. There is a small outdoor patio that sits right on Ocean ave., with nice warming heat lamps so you can enjoy your meal at the ocean without feeling the cold snap of the coast. A striped awning defines the sidewalk terrace outside with three wooden picnic tables. Inside, designer Tim Clarke of Tim Clarke Interior Design has given the Oysterette a designerly take on the clam shack with a pearlized white leatherette banquette and galvanized metal tabletops. A metal starfish adorns the stove hood, and a narrow counter runs in front of the kitchen, the better to watch the frantic goings-on there. Antique glass bottles turned into hanging lamps march down the length of the small space. A round mirror framed with writhing brass octopi is hung at the very back of the room. All still remain cozy and will heighten your dining experience.

You can take the Expo line down to Santa Monica, so there is no excuse not to take a break in your daily Urban life and go to the Ocean and experience what the sea has to offer, it’s bounty will amaze you. Blue Plate Oysterette’s wonderful food will amaze you as well!

Blue Plate Oysterette
1355 Ocean Ave,
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone. 310-576-3474
http://www.blueplateoysterette.com

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The Hollywood Museum Presents The Roger Neal Style Hollywood (RNSH) Oscar Viewing Dinner & The Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Suite, Sunday February 26, 2017

The Hollywood Museum Presents The Roger Neal Style Hollywood (RNSH) Oscar Viewing Dinner & The Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Suite a The World Famous Hollywood Museum, at The Historic Max Factor Building.

Official Charities, The Thalians, Generosity.Org, Sheryl Lee Ralphs – The Diva Foundation, and Celebrity Page will serve as media sponsors. The Icon Award was given to, Burt Ward, Kevin Sorbo, Tippi Hedren, presented by her daughter Melanie Griffith.

The 21st annual Oscar Suite will be held on Oscar Day at the Hollywood Museum. The celebrities are being gifted with a gift bag filled with couture, and brands worth $23k. From the suite, the stars go to the Oscar viewing dinner press line to walk the red carpet and then on to the ballroom for the Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Viewing Dinner.

Stars Who Attended: Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith, Kevin Sorbo, Burt Ward ( ROBIN FROM TV’S BATMAN), Carolyn Hennesey (GILMORE GIRLS), Fred Willard, Karen and Kat Kramer, Katherine Kelly Lang( BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL), Michelle Johnson( BLAME IT ON RIO), Lee Purcell, Suzanne Sena, Sheree J Wilson ( WALKER TEXAS RANGER), Patrika Darbo( DAYS OF OUR LIVES), Don Most(HAPPY DAYS), Judy Tenuta, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Dawn Wells ( GILLIGANS ISLAND) , Christy Gibel ( LITTLE WOMEN OF LA), Rebecca Holden ( KNIGHT RIDER), Fernando Allende, Ruta Lee( SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS), Hank Garrett, Nikki Leigh- (LIFETIME MOVIE) , Stanley Livingston( MY THREE SONS), Erin Murphy (BEWITCHED), Barbara Luna( STAR TREK), Illeana Douglas ( TCM),Kathy Garver( FAMILY AFFAIR), Jen Lilley( DAYS OF OUR LIVES), Phil Morris( SEINFELD), , Kate Linder ( YOUNG & THE RESTLESS), Matty Cardarople( NETFLIX SERIES A SERIES OF UNFORTUANTE EVENTS), Alison Arngrin ( LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRE), OSCAR WINNER George Chakiris, Clarence Gilyard( WALKER TEXAS RANGER) ,Mayf Nutter ( THE WALTONS), Lindsey Bloom ( MIKE HAMMER), Jayne Kennedy, Lee Benton ( NOCTURNAL ANIMALS), Marla Gibbs, Kymberly Hefner, Renee Lawless( THE HAVE AND HAVE NOTS), Randy Jackson( AMERICAN IDOL), Anne Marie Johnson, Gloria Loring, Kym Douglas( HOME& FAMILY), Jerry Douglas( YOUNG & THE RESTLESS) , James Dumont ( PATRIOTS DAY),Marci Miller ( DAYS OF OUR LIVES) Khandi Alexander, Maria Conchita Alonso, Alice Amter, Victoria Summer ( TRANSFORMERS), Ro Brooks (STAR OF TYLER PERRYS HAVE AND HAVE NOTS),Geri Jewel, Abby Lee Miller ( DANCE MOMS), Jeremy Miller ( GROWING PAINS), Sofia Milos, Rex Smith ,Jake Busey, Benjamin Onyango, Kira Reed Lorsch.

The stars received couture and gifts from: Belleck Castle, Ballina Ireland www.belleckcastle.com, $10k 4 day 3 night stay. SHI PU LIN (SPRIN JEWLERY) CHINA- www.sprin.com.cn, this exquisite Jewelry Designer creates one of a kind pieces known the world over and for the first time comes to America and Oscar night. Knight Beauty Jewelry- Knight Beauties offers a wide selection of unique, contemporary, jewelry incorporating face chains. Some of the pieces are interchangeable and can be worn as a necklace. The look Knight Beauties creates is eye catching. They also take a portion of the proceeds and donate to different organizations that teach children about the arts. They are currently working with the international Child Art Foundation which is one of the top charities for children in the United states. “By purchasing Knight Beauties your creating a look which will make people stop and stare. Plus, you’re helping us provide an artistic and musical life to children who would otherwise go without. Our goal is to raise awareness and help communities so that we can re-install music and art programs back in our public school’s systems.” – Lotti Bluemner Knight Beauties Founder. BEST WAY CO -www.bestway.cn/en BESTWAY Group is a leading enterprise focusing on medical beauty chains, general health management, R&D medical products and medical database, bringing global medical resources and tech into line for premium clients, as well as a platform for latest medical resources to maximize their value. AUTISIM CHANGES FOUNDATION- this organization is helping those with autism live to their full potential! Gm Collin Skincare Paris – for the 9th year GM Collin will have its much sought after line of skincare for the stars, HOLLY & PHILIP WAGNER- marriage and relationship experts of the books FIND YOUR BRAVE & UNLOCK YOUR DREAMS. www.oasisla.org. Nikken Int- wellness products for your home. www.nikken.com Author Ethel Richards- with her new book The Bobby Sherman Miracle Author ED Damphouse new book- Out of the Darkness. Handbag Designer Timmy Woods Beverly Hills , www.timmywoods.com with us for her 9th year with her one of a kind handbags.Lorimar Winery- www.lorimarwinery.com – The beautiful Tuscan Winery the official Winery for the suite and dinner since 2012. Lorimar Wines win gold medals for their wines. Buzzies- wear these bracelets and your stress and anxiety gone in 30 seconds.
www.thetouchpointsolution.com. Mario Della Casa- Celebrity Artist www.jeanniebottles.com, Glamour Bonbonier Chocolatier- Will have their chocolate Mini Oscar statues dusted with gold and gourmet chocolates for the stars, and special chocolates for the gift bags, and Mauridi Skincare – natural skincare and vegan cosmetics, www.mauridicosmetic.com.

Chef John Safoyan, of LA LOBSTER PARTY www.lalobsterparty.com served fresh Lobster tail flown in from Maine, Filet Mignon, Tomato Bisque or Lobster Bisque soup, Salad. Dessert was created by Chef Turok of Mascarpone Cheesecake with his Gourmet Cheesecake made just for our Oscar Viewing Dinner. https://mascarponecheesecakebychefturok.wordpress.com/

Hollywood Museum founder, Ms. Donelle Dadigan said “We are thrilled to have Roger and his Oscar Viewing Dinner back with us , we are right in the middle of all of the Oscar night activity and we know that the guests and stars coming to this dinner will have an incredible time.”

So much fun to be just around the corner from the Oscar Show, but here in this fantastic little gem of a party, with delicious wines and amazing surf and turf dinner, I would not want to be anywhere else. Thanks Roger!

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Tuesday Jan. 31, 2017 – Motown The Musical – The Pantages Theatre

It is one thing to be an audience member and experience the story of one of the most important music pioneers ever, but another thing when the musical is over and he appears there onstage in person. Yes both Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson came on stage to give a brief speech and thank the cast and director for this great show!

Motown The Musical is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more. Featuring more than 40 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Motown The Musical tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. Motown shattered barriers shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat.

Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Produced by Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris, Motown Founder Berry Gordy and the Nederlander Organization, featuring Chester Gregory as “Berry Gordy”, Allison Semmes “as Diana Ross”, and Jarran Muse as “Marvin Gaye” reprising their Broadway roles. Also joining the cast are David Kaverman as “Smokey Robinson”, CJ Wright as “Young Berry Gordy”, “Young Stevie Wonder”, “Young Michael Jackson”, and Raymond Davis, Jr. as “Young Berry Gordy”, “Young Stevie Wonder”, “Young Michael Jackson”. Rounding out the company are Michelle Alves, Malcolm Armwood, Erick Buckley, Latrisa Harper, Judith Franklin, Jeremy Gaston, Alyssa V. Gomez, Garfield Hammonds, Rod Harrelson, Jared Howelton, Louis James Jackson, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Ramone Owens, Devin L. Price, Alana Randall, Tavia Rivee, Matthew Sims Jr., Kimberly Ann Steele, Doug Storm, Daniel Robert Sullivan, Gabriella Whiting, Galen J. Williams & Ricardo A. Zayas.

The show was recently nominated for eleven 2016 NAACP Theatre Awards, garnering four of the top awards at the 26th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards ceremony held in Beverly Hills on Monday, November 21, 2016. The first national tour of Motown The Musical won for Best Playwright (Motown Founder Berry Gordy), Best Choreography (Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adam), Best Costumes (ESosa), and Best Sound (Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook).

Featuring more than 40 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Motown The Musical’s arrangements and orchestrations are by Grammy and Tony Award® nominee Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), who also serves as music supervisor in reproducing the classic “Sound of Young America,” with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Tony Award® nominee Bryan Crook (“Smash”) and dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).

Motown The Musical features staging by Schele Williams, choreography by Patricia Wilcox (A Night with Janis Joplin) and Warren Adams (Toy Story), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by Tony Award® nominee ESosa (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, “Project Runway”), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys), projection design by Daniel Brodie (Aladdin), hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe (Memphis) and casting by Wojcik Seay Casting. Motown The Musical is produced by Tony Award® winning producer Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q), Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Entertainment Doug Morris and Motown founder Berry Gordy, and in association with Work Light Productions.

This is truly a trip down memory lane, into the most iconic music periods of all of our lives. You will be dancing, applauding and revel in this fantastic musical. Run don’t walk to Motown The Musical.

Opening Night: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 8pm through Feb.12. Performance Schedule: Tuesday – Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm

Hollywood Pantages Theater
6233 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
www.MotownTheMusical.com.
www.HollywoodPantages.com
* Note some content was taken off of Motown The Musical website
Photos: www.hollywoodpantages.com/motownphotos
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Production B-Roll: www.hollywoodpantages.com/motownbroll
Courtesy: Hollywood Pantages

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Wine and Food Tasting at D’VINE Lounge & Bar – Monday Jan. 30, 2017

With each and every tasting I do, part of the fun for me is getting there. If the venue is off of the Metro rail line, the better for me. You can take the Red line from Wilshire and Western to 7th street metro station and walk a block and a half and be at D’Vine. It just makes life so much easier having to not worry about parking and leaving the driving to someone else.

This is downtown Los Angeles at its best, classy upscale. It is a little bit New York and San Francisco’s Union Square, but it’s really all Downtown Los Angeles.

When you arrive you go downstairs into the basement of this stellar old building, it has speakeasy vibe, with a very elegant wine tasting bar. The wines are the star of the show. You can taste a glass of 2011 Henri Clerc, Puligny Montrachet, for $37.00 a glass, truly super elegant wines that you’re able to taste, what a concept.

This is a one of a kind French-style “hidden” wine cellar, a paradise for wine aficionados. Romantic, dim-lit date spot – for Valentine’s Day, February – the month of love, weekends, any night of the week, unique private event venue, intimate live music / jazz events – artists include jazz saxophone player & electronic violinist

Here is what I tried:

Wines:

Argentina – Santa Julia, Malbec, Mendoza, 2015, rich bold, drink this wine with meat or any or the cheeses.

Spain – Muga, Rioja, Reserva, 2012, nice earthy nuances, I would try this one with the cured meats.

Italia – Argiano Brunello di Montalcino, well this wine will knock your socks off, it will go with anything.

California – Carpe Diem Cabernet, Sauvignon, Napa, 2013. I liked this wine with the pate; it can stand up to the pepper in this great dish.

Italy – Anselmi, Garganega Blend, Veneto, 2014. This is a bright herbal wine; with the cheeses you will be pleasantly surprised.

California – Backstory Chardonnay, Napa, 2013. A nice subtle Chardonnay with not a lot of oak, it will enhance any of the cheeses.

Prisoner Blindfold, White Blend, 2014, this was my favorite wine; it has butter and oak and will go great with the Tataki.

France – Domaine Schlumberger, Riesling, not a big fan, but it will work with any of the cheese as well.

Domaine des Ducs, Pouilly-Loche, 2012. This is an earthy wine with lots of mineral terroir, also great with the salads.

Henri Clerc, Puligny Montrachet, 2011, I only got very small sip, but this wine will outshine everything else.

Selection of Charcuterie and Artisanal Cheeses: Fellino Salami, Spicy Soppressata, Prosciutto di Parma, Pamploma Chorizo, Speck, Bresaola. Brie, Cabra Romero, Humboldt Fog, Aged Vermont Cheddar, St Agur, and Aged Gouda. The presentation is astounding, done on wood platters, very rustic. The cheeses are really the highest quality, and so delicious with the wines. The meats are also a feast for your eyes and palate, adding to the overall excitement of all of these great tastings.

House Made Snacks: Marinated Roasted Peppers, Garlic confit, and Oregano, very light and delicious.

Tataki: Tuna, Salsa crudo, and Avocado puree, a nice way to enjoy a light savory menu item.

Black Pepper pate, pickled celery, Apple mustard, and Cornichons. A very wonderful menu option, this is a pork-based pate with nice herbal overtones, one of my favorite things I tried.

Marinated Baby Artichokes: Caper berries, and Herbs. This is just so simple, but really amazing. Everyone at my table loved this dish.

Salads:

Kale Caesar, Ciabatta croutons, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, I was head over heals about this salad, with the fantastic crouton and this tangy, cheesy dressing.

Chopped Salad, Iceberg Salad, Soppressata, Parmesan Chips, Tomato, and Balsamic Vinaigrette, a bit too much vinegar for my taste, but the Soppressata is reason to try it out.

Tartines:

Provençale, Olive tapenade, Goat Cheese, Herbs, and Walnuts, this is a great combination.

Oceane, Poached Albacore tuna, Crème franche, Cornichons, and Boiled eggs, kind of like tuna salad, simple and direct, the egg is the show stopper for me.

Sucrèe-Salée, Pear, Brie, Walnuts, and Balsamic reduction, you can’t go wrong, all ingredients are perfect together.

Sweet:

Maple Pecan Bread Pudding, the crunchy nuts make for one heavenly dessert.

Previously known as D’Vine Wine Cellar, new owner Gerald Ferrante renovated the existing space to have an old-world charm with new wines where time is measured by the glass. The below ground location is key to storing wine properly in a cool, controlled-climate, and creates the ideal setting for pouring, swirling, and toasting. Served by the glass or bottle, whites, reds, rosés, champagnes, sparkling wines, and on-tap labels, from 10 different countries with over 50 varietals, satisfy all varieties of aficionado. “As a Frenchman and Angeleno, wine is always a pleasure,” says Ferrante. “The space has good vibrations and we wanted our guests to feel cozy and comfortable, and to feel as if they were at home. Except here, they have many more choices of wine than they would have at home with experts to help them choose. Ferrante adds, “People are curious about wines. Our expert stewards specialize in wine, not just pouring. They have a great deal of wine knowledge to advise our guests on new wines and tastes, how wine feels when tasting and drinking so they enjoy what they drink.” With the new renovation, Ferrante also installed special equipment that enables guests to enjoy even the most expensive wines by the glass. The bottle usually sells high-end wines as they spoil with oxidation more easily, and therefore guests could not sample these specialties by the glass. However, with this new tool, D’Vine can indulge guests with a wider selection of wine offerings. D’Vine staff sommeliers can help guests choose their wines based on what they have liked and would like according to their preferences. D’Vine guests can purchase by the glass, by the bottle and by “wine flights” – a three-wine sample customized per guest’s request or with consultative help by D’Vine’s expert wine stewards.

Fun, lively and great wine, how could you go wrong, this is one wine bar I highly recommend, a truly great find in a sea of establishments in Downtown Los Angeles. Next time your in the mood for great food and perfect choices of wine try D’Vine, you will be glad you did.

They also have a great Happy Hour from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

D’VINE:
821 South Flower St
Los Angeles, CA • 90017
(213) 262-8517
* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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Friday – January 13, 2017 – Intro Art Gallery and Chefs Table – North Hollywood, CA.

What a spectacular way to spend a Friday evening in Southern California, food, wine, art and genuine people, how could you go wrong?

It’s on Lankersheim Blvd. in North Hollywood, not far from Universal Studios, and not far from the Universal Studios Metro Rail Red line station. This was one of those nights where I just didn’t want to drive and knew that alcohol was part of the evening, so I opted for an uber from my home to Hollywood and Highland metro rail station, took the train from there, and it was about 5 blocks away from this magnificent venue.

When you arrive you are greeted by Rob Ciancimino the curator and a glass of processco. Checking out the art on the walls, which changes every month. The official opening was the night before where they took the long chefs table out of the space so it could act as a proper art gallery. I was fortunate to view the art the day after its opening. The show is called Between The Lines, Artist Oscar Meza. Wonderful linear pieces, my kind of art, abstract with figures and hidden meanings in each piece. The prices were also very affordable.

About Intro:
INTRO Art Gallery and Chefs Table is an innovative event space located on Lankershim Boulevard in the up-and-coming NOHO Arts District. Imagine an art gallery exhibition where you relax at a 24-foot chef’s table, enjoy a specially-curated menu from Michelin-starred chef Paul Shoemaker, and drink fine wines while the featured artist reveals their personal insights on the pieces displayed. Whether you want to catch rising young artists with a growing following, or established art-world luminaries looking to show in a creative new environment, INTRO’s relaxed and stylish 1,000 sq. ft. space will provide the best possible showcase. Every month will feature a new fine artist, and their art will stay up throughout the month for all our guests to view and purchase. Specialty menus can be curated for your specific event. From passed hors deserves and snacks to an elaborate 12 course meal, INTRO will deliver a delicious, elegant evening. We’re also open to the public twice per week with an exceptional 10-course tasting menu. INTRO also has live music capabilities for your private party, or for artists to showcase their talents to the industry. INTRO is a celebration of Art, Food and Music and is available for all your event needs.

Chef Paul Shoemaker brings a breath of culinary artistry, seasonal reverence, and imagination to his cuisine. Complimenting the global, refining techniques for which Shoemaker’s playful menus reflect his personality and a sophistication that honors the diverse Los Angeles community. Chef Paul’s pedigree stems from the kitchens of Michelin-starred Bastide, Providence, Alain Ducasse, French Laundry, and Water Grill, all which shaped his current culinary philosophy. By honoring the longtime traditions of local farmers, ranchers, purveyors, and fishermen, as well as weekly foraging excursions in Malibu hills, the essence of California’s agriculture and resources are tasted thought his menus. Paul’s touch on his menu showcases a causal yet sophisticated meal, made with playful techniques and flavors that express the brightness of Southern California.

Curator Rob Ciancimino, brings his vast hospitality experience with a special focus on advanced, high-end, customer service. He’s taken the fine dining background he learned as a youngster in NY, and melded it into some of Hollywood’s hottest venues. The most recent being the very successful live music venue and restaurant called Sayers. He got his start in Los Angeles almost 18 years ago as a 26-year-old General Manager of the now famous Circle Bar in Santa Monica. He then went on to work at the W Hotel in Westwood, where he oversaw and ran the high-end 9:30 Restaurant and Backyard Bar. Rob went on to consult and work with former sushi restaurants Tengu, both in Westwood and Santa Monica, before opening and running the highly successful Playhouse in Hollywood. It was after that he got the call from SBE to open and run Sayers, an exclusive lounge and restaurant. It was at Sayers that Rob really tapped in to the live music aspect of hospitality, overseeing the operations for live music shows housing artists such as Prince, Stevie Wonder and the Black Keys, just to name a small few. Rob C has been one of the most sought after GMs in the city as his penchant for understanding the intangibles of putting a service team together to his stylish execution in all aspects of hospitality and beyond. He believes true hospitality is a lost art and prides himself on redefining people’s dining expectations to an actual “felt experience” touching upon all emotions.

Now on the meal, we sit down at 8:00 pm, they are many guests and we are all conversing about every thing under the sun, but as each course is delivered Chef Paul Shoemaker comes out and describes each delightful item with appreciation and expertise. We are all his audience and completely taken by this gastronomic experience.

Here’s what we had:

Cocktails – Bourbon Cider Liquid Rav, Champagne Strawberry Fizz, and Cold Fever.

Pre-Amuse – Salmon Skin Chicharon, Smoked Salmon Row, Crème Fraiche, Lemon Gel.

Amuse – Foie Gras, Dime Bag.

Bone Marrow Ravioli, Parmesan Reggiano Espuma.

Scallop, Baked Avocado, Yuzu Ponzu, Caviar, Smoked Sesame, Pickle Daikon.

Peas and Carrots with Pate Choux Gnocchi, English Shoots, and Carrot Jus.

Maine Lobster with Coal Butter Poached, Basil Soil, and Lemon Espuma.

Beets with Goat Cheese, with Smoked Walnuts, Pickled Berries, Meringue, Mellow, and Meyer.

Big Eye Tuna with Sake Lemongrass Reduction, Tomato, Confit, Pewee Potato, and Red Shiso.

Pork Belly Bourbon Aged Maple, with Honey Poached cranberries, Pine Nut, and Cocoa Ginger.

Prime Hanger Beef with Epoisses Fondue, Sauce Bordelaise, and Pistu.

Gold Mine 24 k with Gold Passion Fruit.

Chocolate Forrest with Milk Chocolate Spruce, and Brown Butter.

There was also 2 wines served with the meal:
Pfeiffer Three Chimneys – Chardonnay Marsanne, and La Bete – Cotes Du Rhone, both lovely picks as pairs to many of these items served.

It is way too hard to talk about each individual item; all I can say is every dish had its own individual story and explosion in your mouth. Chef Paul makes it all look so easy; his explanations are a painting in words; each and every presentation was a marvel. But when these wonderful taste treat hit your palate, all bets are off, and you are transported into something otherworldly. The dishes are small plates but by the time you’re done with each one it’s like a building of a grand symphony, with all of the musical notes dancing away in your mouth. It is a sexy culinary extravaganza; with all of the food being an aphrodisiac for what ever you want it to be for, in my case life!!! The luxury of being able to spend a night with such indulgence it just over whelming. It’s really a once or twice a lifetime innovative opportunity and it just needs to be experienced by every one.

A very special shout out to my friend and publicist Lawrence Moore for providing me with such amazing opportunities and experiences, I just can’t say enough about her and what she lets me enjoy and write about, I love my life!!!

“I cook with wine…SOMETIMES I even add it to my food” W.C, Fields.

Intro
4200 Lankershim Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA.
* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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Red O – Birthday Dinner – January 10, 2017 – Santa Monica CA.

Chicago based celebrity chef Rick Bayless needs no introduction, he is just that famous already. His restaurants Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and now Red O are truly keeping his empire really busy. There are 4 locations in Southern California, West Hollywood, La Jolla, New Port Beach and Santa Monica. Whichever one you try you will be very surprised and excited about their Cal-Mex cuisine.

Since it’s meant to appeal to the beach set, the space has a decidedly more Cabo vibe thanks to wood beams, sand and rock textures, rustic tiles and a ceiling that takes cues from a palapa. There are even cabanas outside on the patio, which is a nice touch since the ocean is just across the street and down the hill.

Red O hosted me for 5 dining campanions for my Birthday dinner, and I have to say it was truly one of the nicest things that any restaurant has ever done for me in my culinary writing journey, thank you so much!! Nicholas Biglari set this up for me, what a great guy!! When you read all of what I tried keep in mind there were 5 diners total, so it wasn’t all of what I ordered, but I was able to taste everything.

Here’s what I tried:

Cocktails:

House Margarita with Espolon blanco tequila, house-made limonada, triple sec. Served on the rocks with a salt rim. This drink will make you very happy, it has just the right amount zest and tang and the amount of alcohol will get your night going in the right direction.

Food:

Classic Guacamole, Fresh limejuice, cilantro, Serrano chile
Very ripe avocados make for a delicious spread.

Fresh Oysters, Dozen oysters shucked to order with chile cocktail sauce, atomic horseradish, fresh lime. Very nice little beauties, that taste like the sea!!

Fresh Corn & Goat Cheese Tamales, Fresh ground corn masa, laura chenel goat cheese, tomatillo salsa small little gems with great tangy flavor, and the sauce is to die for.

Mary’s Duck Taquitos, Slow-cooked duck, tomato-arbol chile sauce, wild baby arugula. One of favorite food items, the duck is super moist and stringy at the same time and the tomato-arbol chile sauce is one of Rick Bayless signature sauces.

Yucatecan Shrimp & Calamari Ceviche, with Mexican white shrimp & calamari, orange, lime, habanero, avocado, jicama, cilantro. Served with plantain chis this is one appetizer not to be missed.

Ahi Tuna Tartare, with Yellowfin ahi tuna, chile-cumin oil, guacamole, wakami, harissa aioli, pickled red onion, crushed tortilla. The presentation is fantastic and it has a nice sweet flavor, really a winner for me.

Organic Baby Kale Salad, Baby‎ kale, avocado, cucumber, ruby red grapefruit, pepitas, grilled jicama, orange-habanero dressing. This salad has a bit of a kick, but it will really make you feel like you are eating a healthy salad.

Red O Caesar Salad, Romaine lettuce. Toasted pepitas. Cotija cheese, Caesar dressing, grilled white tortilla crisp. I just can’t get enough of this salad, I just loved it.

18 oz. Prime Cowboy Ribeye, Fried sweet plantain, crema, traditional black beans, mole Negro. This is a huge steak with great flavor and cooked to perfection.

Lamb in Mole Negro, with Roasted Brussels sprouts, organic baby kale, caramelized onion, nut crunch. Nice size lamb chops with great grilled flavors.

Filet Mignon Chipotle crema, cotija mashed Yukon gold potatoes, grilled Mexican knob onions. I did mine as a surf and turf with a Maine Lobster Tail on my plate. Both the steak and the lobster were very succulent and a brilliant combination, you just can’t go wrong!!

Jumbo Scallops, they did a small tasting for the sea scollops with put any of the accompaniments and they too were equally marvelous.

Maine Lobster Mac & Cheese with three-cheese sauce, poblano chile. A very comforting smooth dish that will keep the cold at bay.

Sautéed Baby Kale & Brussels Sprouts, for the health conscious a delicious way to get your vegetables in.

Mexican Street Corn, Poblano chile, cotiia cheese, cilantro. I just love corn done anyway and this dish dos nit disappoint.

Dessert:

Passion Fruit Butter Cake, With Grilled strawberries, passion fruit custard, coconut crumble, coconut ice cream I could eat this dessert day and night, it is buttery and silky, just wonderful.

Tres Leches, Delicate cake soaked in three milks, whipped cream, fresh assorted berries, mint, this is a nice dessert item but once you have the passion fruit butter cake forget about anything else.

Chocolate Tart, with fresh assorted berries, canella whipped cream, cajeta caramel sauce. I just love the caramel sauce so I would have to order this one again.

Wine:

Cantabria, Spanish Red Wine. Very bright and bold went great with the lamb.

Mt. Veeder, Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine was great with steak, filet or rib eye, its berry, jammy flavors were consistent with the overall flavors in the steak.

Ferrari Carano, Sonoma, Chardonnay, well of course any of the seafood would be just terrific with this lovely wine. I liked the lobster the best though with this buttery delight.

Red O is a world-class restaurant collection, which strives to deliver superior cuisine and service in a stunning vacation inspired atmosphere. Offering a unique combination of prime steaks and seafood using authentic Mexican sauces prepared with ingredients that are primarily sourced from local farms using sustainable practices to create dishes of un-paralleled flavor and quality. Red O’s team of friendly employees creates a welcoming atmosphere that parallels the luxury resort interiors of the restaurant. Red O also features an impressive bar and lounge, where you’ll find their specialty cocktails, an extensive tequila list and an award winning wine list.

THE CHEF – RICK BAYLESS

While many people know Rick Bay less from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Master in 2009, others may recognize him from either one of his eight award winning cook books or his highly Public Television Series, Mexico – One Plate at a Time. Rick has also received other glowing distinctions including winning James Beard awards for: Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year, and best American Chef of the Year.

As a pioneer in supporting sustainable practices, Rick received the Humanitarian of the Year award in 2007 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his work with local farmers. Rick and his team began the Frontera Farmer Foundation to attract support for small Midwestern farms. Each year, grants are given to local farmers for improvements to their family farms.

In 1987, Rick opened the casual Frontera Grill. In 2007, Frontera Grill won for Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Organization. Soon thereafter, Rick opened the elegant Topolobambo in 1989. Topolobampo is one of Americas’ only fine dining Mexican restaurants and the only one to receive a Michelin star. Rick recently opened his third restaurant XOCO – a casual service restaurant that features house-ground chocolate and wood grilled tortas. Rick and the Red O team launched the highly acclaimed Red O Restaurant on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles in May 2010, and in 2013 opened their flagship location in Newport Beach.

Red O is the perfect setting for all occasions including corporate dinners to holiday parties as small as 10 and up to 400 guests. They also offer offsite catering if one prefers your own venue. There’s also a daily happy hour (4-6:30 PM).

For those foodies out there that are Rick Bayless fans, you should be really excited that now there’s a local spot where you can try his signature sauces and cuisine right in our own SoCal Backyard!

Red O Restaurant
1541 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, California 90401
310-458-1600
www.redorestaurant.com/
* Note some text was taken off of their website.

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DPA Golden Globes Gift Suite – January 5, 2017 – Luxury Style Retreat for Golden Globe Nominees and Presenters.

As always this gift suite is very elegant with many fantastic vendors who carry on Natalie’s Dubois vision of what stylish gift suite should be. When I got there Sharon, Stone, and Anthony Anderson, Steven Bauer and Tim Matheson. These are A list celebrities, all at the same time. Natalie with all of her grace handled everything with so much finesse; she really makes this a very classy event.

Here are some of the vendors represented, some in they’re own words:

The Love Light Compassion Foundation (LLCF) was formed in 2014 to provide emergency financial assistance to the patients and their families during a major medical crisis in our local and global communities. 100% of the proceeds from the Foundation’s compassion based jewelry line support this mission. The Foundation was built on the principle that compassion is one of humanity’s greatest gifts. This beautiful spiritual thread connects us all, and to help one another is truly the purest form of Love and Light.

Lupus LA, a non-profit health organization, was founded in 2000 by a concerned group of lupus families spearheaded by Daniel J. Wallace, MD, attending physician in the Division of Rheumatology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a clinical professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. Lupus LA serves the needs of people with lupus and their families in Los Angeles County and across Southern California. Lupus LA has a full-time staff of five and an annual operating budget of $1.5 million.

The Brand, For 15 years, Turia was in charge of the international development for Robert WAN, the emperor of the pearl, who was involved with names such as MIKIMOTO, Tiffany’s, Harry Winston, Van Cleef, Cartier and more. Very Quickly her recognition and passion for Tahitian pearls were spread among private buyers, pear connoisseurs and famous people, in search of exclusivity, luxury and beauty.

Elena Wang, is a Montreal based woman powered fashion house that provides a sophisticated yet edgy style that will satisfy even the most trend-craving clientele. Our easy-to-wear styles combined with the use of colour and patterns make our clothes second to none. We maintain our reputation for quality and care through great value and strong customer service.

Amy DeGregorio Handbags, Leather bags designed and handstitched from top quality leathers, precious metals, and stones. Truly one of a kind pieces, all art pieces.

LINGER™ Lasting Fragrance Primer, is the ultimate fragrance primer that helps your scent to remember. This remarkable one-of-a-kind lasting scent primer helps extend fragrance wear. A true scent invention. LINGER™ Lasting Fragrance Primer creates an invisible shield that preserves skin’s moisture as it balances its surface for scent that lasts and memories that linger.

Jacqueline Piotaz, These high-tech cosmeceuticals have been developed by a renowned Swiss laboratory on the basis of my decades of personal experience and my sound knowledge of cosmetics. They bring nature and science into perfect harmony and guarantee the highest Swiss quality.

Good Times Soap, Originally from Red Lake, Ontario, Karen Wood has lived in Yellowknife for over ten years. She specializes in quality hand-crafted soaps, lip balms and lotion bars. Her work is available at the Northern Frontier Visitors’ Centre and Old Town Glassworks.

Gem Fan Co Ltd, My company is called GemFan for a reason – I love gemstones! I design and create all my jewelry with gemstones I’ve acquired from around the world. I previously worked for a leading gemstone dealer and jewelry manufacturer and learned my craft from the very best. I love creating beautiful and unique pieces which makes the wearer feel extraordinary. I also work with individuals to design one of a kind pieces, suited to personal style.
http://www.gem-fan.com/

Ario O, My vision is encompassed in the studio I work in. It is an open studio that is connected to the gallery. I design the pieces and then me and my other talented craftspeople handcraft those designs on the spot. Anyone that walks in will see us creating the objects that are placed in the gallery. For me it is important to know where the food I am eating comes from and where my clothes were made…it’s the same with my jewelry. Here you can meet the designer and the folks making the art objects. You can chat with us and find out the full story behind your favorite piece and learn about how it was made.

Sunny Blue – handcrafted Omusubi, these are so special, lovely triangles with all different types of fillings, my favorite is the mushrooms.

This is not a public event; you really have to be a presenter, nominee or media to get into this exclusive gift suite. Sorry readers you can’t enjoy this event, but you can live vicariously through Jodi Jackson’s Hollywood.tv…enjoy!

The DPA Gifting Lounge
Rodeo Penthouse Suites
Luxe Hotel
360 North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

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El Mansour – Dinner – Wednesday Dec. 28, 2016 – San Francisco, CA.

There are not many places like this in San Francisco or for that matter anywhere. It is an old school Moroccan food at its best, complete with a performance while you are dining.

The restaurants décor is very authentic Moroccan. Jack’s wife, Houda, went to Morocco and bought all of the whimsical design elements that make El Mansour a fun place to come, along with the belly dancing performance they have every night.

Owner, Jack Tanverakul is from Thailand and is wife Houda is from Morocco. Jack being no stranger to fine cuisine, spent many nights at the well-known, L’ Orangerie in San Francisco as a server. Jack tells stories about the very famous, Herb Caen, coming in to El Mansour as an undercover reviewer. He says Robin Williams used to be a frequent customer as well.

Here’s what I tried:

Lentil Soup, very smooth and luscious, a great soup.

Basket of Bread, be very careful otherwise you will eat the whole basket and have no room for anything else.

Salads Mohammed – Combination of Carrots, Eggplant, Cucumbers, and Tomatoes, but all very different and fantastic.

Bastela Du Chef Pastry filled with chicken, almonds, and assortment of spices. Flaky dough with sweet chicken and powdered sugar, I just love this starter.

Moroccan Seafood Prawns and Scallops, very distinguished seasoning, really terrific.

Couscous with vegetables, the couscous is cooked perfectly with a symphony of tastes.

Lamb with honey and almonds. This was my favorite menu item. The lamb falls right off the bone and the sweet honey sauce is just delightful.

Chicken with onions and olives. A delicious combination of flavors make this a great dish.

Lamb and Chicken Kabob, both meats are grilled and just the perfect amount of seasoning with a great texture. Lets not forget the unique spices on every dish!

Dessert:

Bananas Fritter, and Kenefa. Sweet bastela with cream and almonds, and sweet tea. This is a very light dessert with lovey fragrant bananas featured. The tea is served from high above and it a great way to end this lovely meal.

Wines:

Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc, I loved this wine with the Bastela du Chef, it has great fruit nuances that add to this great dish.

Robert Mondavi Chardonnay, drink this wine with the shrimp and scallops, it’s the perfect pairing.

Ouled Thaleb – Moroccan Red Wine, a super wine to enjoy with the honey lamb.

Established in 1976, El Mansour had a recent move next door from its original location on Clement Street in the Richmond District. Proprietors reconstructed their vision of Moroccan dining quarters with fabrics and textiles shipped from various parts of Morocco. In addition to the materials, the traditional menu has experienced a rebirth with new tagines and kebabs. Chef Abu-Home has orchestrated the kitchen staff for over 15 years at El Mansour, focusing on using the finest ingredients, he continues to construct delicious meals nightly.

The Belly dancer came out in between appetizers and entrees, she was a dead ringer for Kourtney Kardashian, but of the Latin kind. She was sexy and fun and she was getting the audience to participate. Tips are welcomed, so come with some dollar bills, the show is very entertaining.

If you’re looking for something a little different then your usual dining experiences, this is the place for you. Keep an open mind and a hungry stomach and you will be surprised. Not to mention the great feast for your eyes with the food, libation and belly dancing. Do something out of the ordinary and try El Mansour.

El Mansour
3119 Clement St.,
San Francisco, CA
http://www.elmansour.com

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My Rose Garden Guest House – Stay – December 27, and December 28, 2016

In an off the beaten path neighborhood lies a slice of heaven, with many amenities and delicious breakfasts served every day. This is a house that will make you feel wanted and comfortable, especially when Sally and Marilyn come greet you outside the kitchen door. Kathleen’s two adorable pugs are super friendly and will also make you laugh.  There are reminders of these two gregarious pugs everywhere in their house. From the overstuffed chair in the living area with pugs in the fabric, to the art in many of the rooms, pugs are everywhere. So welcoming, truly they will become your pals for the length of your stay.

The very safe and upscale neighborhood is known for many scenic walks with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. Right next to the Presidio, now a National Park, and within walking distance of Golden Gate Park. Two beautiful and challenging public golf courses are less than a mile away.

The big San Francisco earthquake of 1906 had major damage across the city, five years before the My Rose Garden Guest House was built. The city fathers like to remind us that it was the fire that followed which did most of the damage, and that planning after the earthquake has made a repeat of the fire virtually impossible. During the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, My Rose Garden Guest House, which is built on solid land, did not sustain any damage whatsoever.

Proprietor Kathleen Meeker opened My Rose Garden Guest House in December of 2006. This is what she was born to do; it just took her a while to figure it out. Kathleen moved to San Francisco in October 1973 fresh out of college (BA Syracuse University in Journalism/Art History class of 1973) with $600, her Border Collie dog Ruby, and an old Renault and heavy debt from college loans. Scrambling to make ends meet, she had various jobs which included working as a secretary in a law firm, receptionist at a construction company, and waitress at a fast food restaurant until she went into business for herself in February of 1974.  Kathleen rode the wave of the popularity of house plants and opened an interior landscaping firm named “Once Upon A Vine”.  By the time she sold the company 14 years later, she had 10 employees, a husband and 3 young children. In the early 90’s she opened “Great California Chef Tours”, hiring celebrity chefs to put on cooking demonstrations and then getting people to attend. She loved this and was well on her way until she was diagnosed with cancer and closed down the business. Her prognosis was good but she had to go through nearly a year of treatment including chemotherapy and just couldn’t run the business, take care of a 4, 6 and 8 year old, a husband and herself at the same time.

The next 10 years were filled with driving carpools, taking children on field trips, teaching Sunday school, and doing volunteer work of all different types. When the children started leaving the nest she was itching to go back to work and the idea of opening up a Bed and Breakfast in the now empty house occurred to her. Her husband Steve wasn’t thrilled with the idea and did everything he could do and say to discourage her but she persevered, got all the licenses from the city, special insurance, planted a rose garden out front and opened her doors, first with only 2 rooms and eventually a total of 4 rooms. Steve has now been won over and helps out when he’s around. Kathleen is the oldest of 5 (4 girls and 1 boy); her mother was a home economics teacher. Kathleen and her sisters were always trying to out-Martha Stewart each other before she was even famous. By the age of 12 she could have probably run the Bed and Bed as well as she does now, maybe not cook as much, but she probably would have crocheted the potholders and sewed the aprons.

The décor is kind of old school but makes you feel super comfortable, like your in your own home, and that is what staying at a bed and breakfast is all about. Christmas time is a perfect time to come, with all of their fantastic decoration and a beautiful tree, you will feel right at home. Not the rigidness of a hotel but the love that surrounds a great home that has lots of character. My Rose Garden Guest House is a great example of how a well lived home can be transformed into a great getaway. After all Kathleen raised her children here. My room the Yellow room is the attic, I could see her kids playing hide and seek and being mischievous with all of the fun eaves in the ceiling. Kathleen did a nice job of turning her kids fun clubhouse into very a doable guest room, with all the creature comforts you would need. I also saw the Violet room, which has a wrap around deck that the dogs go to during the day. The Green room on the second floor looked very magical as well, with its own bathroom. While staying here, if there is something you need all you have to do is ask and they will accommodate you.

The only downfall is parking, it is on a street that is small and butts up again the Presidio. The only parking sign is at the very top of the street and really hard to see. They do street cleaning the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month, make sure you pay attention to the sign and move your car if its Wednesday, getting a $71.00 parking ticket might put a damper in your day.

All and all My Rose Garden Guest House is a good find away from the hustle and bustle of city living, but just a quick Muni bus away from it all, Muni is ½ block away, or you can Uber there as well. Transit in San Francisco is as good as you get, so really no need to have a car to stay there.

Breakfast was fantastic as well, the first morning Kathleen made Huevos Rancheros with cheese, the second morning she made spinach, onions and arugula with fried eggs on top. Breakfast is at 8:30, so no chance of sleeping in, and who would want to and miss Kathleen’s delicious savory breakfasts. My room was so comfy I would go take a catnap after breakfast to make up for my early rising.

I love my job, and finding new fantastic accommodations is always a plus, so I am here to say that I am a fan of My Rose Garden Guest House and will come back when ever I am in my city by the bay!!

My Rose Garden Guest House
75 20th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94121
my-rosegarden.com

*Note some content was taken off of website as well as given to me by the owner.

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Sotto Mare Oysteria and Seafood – Tuesday Dec. 27, 2017 – Dinner – San Francisco

Rich Azzolino is my pal, so when I knew I was coming back this year for Christmas I called him and he said without any hesitation, come back and try some things you didn’t try last time. Well I am here to say that not only is Sotto Mare super fun, but the food will truly knock your socks off.

Like last year, Christmas time at Sotto Mare is a big event. There are stockings on the wall for each employee and every customer that comes in wishes Rich a Merry Christmas. This year was a bit different, Rich underwent 2 knee replacement surgeries at the same time, who does that? Only a man who can’t wallow in his misfortunes and has to get up and get right back to work. So there was Rich in all of his optimistic glory greeting everyone just like he did last year, but with a little bit of a stagger in his step, you know he is so happy to be back, because nothing will stop this great man!

I posted my first review on December 21, 2015.

Here’s what I tried:

Whole Cracked Crab, with cocktail sauce, this is my own personal showstopper. They get the crab from the bay and it is sweet as can be, what a delicacy!!!

Oysters on the half shell – West Coast and East Coast, each one had their own individual flavor, extremely fresh and just went down so easy.

Blue Cheese Salad Wedge, very crispy and fresh lettuce makes for one delicious salad, chalk full of blue cheese.

Boston Clam Chowder, it has bacon in it so it is a bit salty, but wonderful none the less.

Mussel/Clams Steamers, they are both so sweet and fresh, just amazing.

Petrale Sole with sautéed beat greens, I just loved this dish, full of capers and done just right!

Sea Scallop Sauté wild caught, nice plump scallops with a simple sauce so you really get to taste the freshness of the scallops.

Linguine with Manila Clams. These clams are so sweet and nothing here is overdone, just spectacular.

Fettuccine with Smoked Salmon, white sauce. This by far is my favorite here at Sotto di Mare, it is just a wonderful concept that really no other restaurant does.

Wines:

Pinot Grigio, Italy, worked perfectly with the crab with all of its fragrant characteristics.

Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma, I liked this wine with the salad wedge, it went great with the blue cheese

Montepulciano, Italy, you have to stretch your imagination for this wine to go with the smoked salmon.

Zinfandel Sonoma, not your typical fish wine, but I still drank it with the Petrale.

Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma, this one too is not your best wine with fish, but for me I would drink this wine with anything, its just that good.

There is never any dessert served here, they give you a sheet telling you where to go if you want that in the neighborhood, who wants dessert after such a remarkable meal anyway??

Then there is Tiffany who will stop you from eating your crab and say “You better stop eating that and save room for the next thing” LOL, she is hysterical, and the best server you will ever experience. She really makes her job look so easy. She had just gotten back from her vacation in Hawaii, so she was all a glow, and ready to make my experience really memorable!

I can never say enough about this establishment, from the food, to the staff, and their loyal customers. There is always something to cheer about when you’re here, and it’s just a real pleasure to be part of their extended family! No matter who you are when you walk in their doors you will feel like family as well, they are the most welcoming people of any of my tasting experiences.

Sotto Mare is just one of those things that you have to do when you’re visiting San Francisco, forget Ghirardelli or The Golden Gate Bridge, I am telling you, forget anything you ever knew about this fair city by the bay and start making your habit of going to Sotto Di Mare, its one of the great wonders of the world, for your mouth!

Sotto Mare Oysteria and Seafood
552 Green Street
San Francisco, CA.
http://www.sottomaresf.com

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