April 5, 2017 – Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Humanitarian Award 2017 National Tribute Dinner – Beverly Hilton – Beverly Hills, CA.

Ron Meyer was honored with Simon Wiesenthal Center Humanitarian Award Ceremony at a very politically charged gala. NBC Universal vice chairman Ron Meyer received the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Humanitarian Award at the organization’s 2017 National Tribute Dinner, aka the Oscars for L.A.’s Jewish community.

Jeffrey Katzenberg chaired the dinner, which was presided over by SWC founder and dean, Rabbi Marvin Hier, a two-time Oscar winner and member of the Academy. Past recipients included Katzenberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Billy Crystal, Jim Gianopulos, Ted Sarandos, Harvey Weinstein and Jon Feltheimer.

Rabbi Meyer H. May, the Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museums of Tolerance, called out the recent desecration of Jewish cemeteries and “creeping uptick” in anti-Semitic hate crimes as a reminder of the constant battle against hate.

Ice Cube served as the evening’s emcee. “I know I may not be the most obvious choice to host tonight’s evening,” the rapper joked to the audience at the Beverly Hilton before getting serious. “But we’re not living in obvious times. Racism, we all know, is a disease. It’s a disease that fights your spirit, it’s a disease that attacks your well-being, and it attacks your humanity. It tries to make you feel less dignity. So we all have to stomp out racism wherever it is.” “Tonight, we’ve come together from our diverse backgrounds and personal journeys to stand united against intolerance,” the rapper added. “Recent and ongoing events have only made nights like tonight and this museum’s mission more urgent. So we’ve come together to raise our voices not because our backgrounds and journeys are the same, but specifically because each and every one is unique. It doesn’t matter where we started on our journey of tolerance, we each must decide where we are today, what unites us, and where we want to go tomorrow, together.” Ice Cube also praised Meyer, describing him as a “straight shooter.” “He gives people like me a chance to tell my stories without a filter, without the gatekeepers,” the star behind Universal films “Ride Along,” “Ride Along 2” and “Straight Outta Compton” explained.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, who has co-chaired the tribute dinner 25 times, added, “In recent times, forces have been released in our country — and around the world — that are intolerant and intolerable.” The former Dreamworks CEO then quoted Wiesenthal. “Long before the internet, social media, fake news, here’s what he said: ‘Technology without hate can be so beneficial for mankind. But in conjunction with hatred, it leads to disaster.”

While others talked broadly about the current cultural climate, Barbra Streisand, who presented Meyer with the Humanitarian Award, specifically called out Donald Trump’s administration. “We are living under an administration that deliberately omitted Jews from its Holocaust Remembrance Day statement. We are living with a president that, in his own words, wants to ban a specific religion. All this while the president praises authoritarian leaders and calls our free press the enemy of the people. This is a president who uses words calibrated to incite the beast in people, not the best in people. “After her political speech, Streisand called out the best in Meyer, describing him as “fiercely loyal,” “caring,” and “extremely generous.” And she described how his commitment to the Museum of Tolerance was personal, as both Meyer’s parents escaped Nazi Germany. (Survivors of the Holocaust were also in attendance at the gala.)

Many other studio executives were in attendance, including NBC Universal’s Steve Burke, Paramount’s Jim Gianopulos, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, and MGM’s Gary Barber. Nir Barkat, mayor of Jerusalem, and former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also attended. Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, 20th Century Fox Film Chairman and Chief Executive Stacey Snider, MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Barber, Imagine Entertainment co-founders Brian Grazer and Ron Howard and Academy Award-winner Michael Douglas, among others.

The night’s other honorees included Reverend Johnnie Moore, the late Roddie Edmonds, and the late President of Israel Shimon Peres, who were awarded the Medal of Valor.

The event served as a celebration of the Center’s 40th anniversary and raised $2.65 million in funding, a record. Attendees also got an interactive tour of the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem, opening in 2018, with the hopes of battling Anti-Semitism and promoting tolerance and human dignity worldwide.

A lovely cocktail reception started the night followed by a sit down dinner. Everyone was filled with energetic conversation about politics and the importance of stopping the Anti-Semitic climate permeating in our society. Most of the celebrities and studios heads were approachable and eager to share their point of view. The grand moment of course was when Ron Meyer accepted the humanitarian award and spoke. I was very pleased that I was able to partake in such a prestigious affair.

http://www.wiesenthal.com

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Poke 2 Go – Lunch – April 4, 2017

On this perfectly sunny day in Los Angeles, I was treated to the best healthiest lunch in town. Poke 2 Go is a food truck, with all of the food trucks this one offers some seriously fresh tuna in the form of a Los Angeles obsession, Poke. There are so many brick and mortar shops opening up daily offering this great old Hawaiian tradition. Poke 2 Go sets the tone for the freshest poke in town.

The truck is only on the West Side, In Playa Vista and in Venice. It is kind of hard to find but worth every second of searching. You can also check out their location on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Poke-2-Go

Poke 2 Go was created by LA chef Jeremy Ryan and designed to bring high style, high quality restaurant meals without compromising value and taste.

Here’s what I tried:

Spicy Poke – Raw Ahi Tuna, OG recipe plus spicy mayo and Sriracha®.

Wasabi Poke – Raw Ahi Tuna, dash of wasabi, “The OG” recipe, plus black sesame seeds.

Aloha Poke – Sweet, Island flavor, Raw Ahi Tuna, Aloha soy sauce, sesame oil, white sesame seeds, seasoned rice vinegar, sea salt, and crushed red pepper.

Original Poke – “The OG”, Raw Ahi Tuna, Yamasa soy sauce, sesame oil, & white sesame seeds.

Kale Salad – Kale Salad – A healthy alternative Kale, brown rice, avocado, chopped carrots, white onions, macadamia nuts, Yamasa soy sauce, sesame oil, and white sesame seeds. The Kale salad is huge and offers an alternative for a vegetarian, and it is delicious.

Add Ons & Sauces: Avocado, Kale, Carrots, Seaweed, Pickled Ginger, Jalapenos, Macadamia Nuts, Sriracha®, Wasabi, Crushed Red Pepper, Chili oil, Chili flakes, Spicy Mayo, Masago (fish eggs).

Each poke has it’s own individual style, and you can add the toppings of your choice. The real deal here is the very fresh, large chunks of Ahi Tuna that has on top of each bowl, they really don’t scrimp, lots of luscious tuna. My favorite is the Aloha Poke with a drop of sweetness, from the rice vinegar, for me really makes all the difference.

Not more to say other then when you in the mood for really terrific Poke’ that stands alone in flavor, ingredients, and has the freshest Ahi Tuna then check out the Poke 2 Go food truck.

https://www.poke2go.com/

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Dinner Locanda Del Lago – March 29, 2017 – Santa Monica, CA. “Restaurant Italiano – A window on Lake Como.”

Locanda del Lago, or “Lago Santa Monica” as the locals call it, has been a mainstay of the Santa Monica beach community since it opened in 1991. Located, just steps from the sand and right on the Third Street Promenade, Lago draws first-time tourists as well as longtime fans to its inviting patio and warm interior. They offer Northern Italian specialties, many gleaned from the cuisine of Bellagio on Lake Como. The ultimate upscale restaurant experience, with exceptional flavors and meticulous, friendly service. It’s a favorite of foodies, celebrities, locals and travelers. The freshest seasonal ingredients available from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market are served in traditional and innovative recipes, and pastas, focaccia, desserts and gelato are house made daily. The popular bar offers Happy Hour nightly and distinctive Artisanal cocktails.

My waiter Simone Zonca from Lake Como was the best source of information about the region. Chef George Washington accommodated my every need with his delicious cuisine, and his hysterical name. My handsome host, Mirco from Bologna, in Los Angeles for the past 3 years, with his wife and 2 daughters. Before this he worked at Michelin restaurant, Il Porto in Italy. He prides himself on a great wine list that is his choice.

The interior is upscale casual with nice peach faux walls and a round, double-tiered candle candelabra in the middle of the room. There is a Pasta bar on the far end of the restaurant, with a large outdoor wrap around patio. Ambient music sets the tone for a nice dining experience. Their customers are, families, Italians, dates, girls out for dinner. My dining neighbors Liana and Enzo, who have been married for 30 years, love the food at Locando Del Lago, they are from Caserta Italy, speaking to them brought me right back to Italy.

Here’s what I tried:

Insalata Cardini, Romaine, creamy anchovy-parmesan dressing, focaccia croutons. They use famers’ market lettuce that they get fresh every week and the dressing was wonderful as well.

Vitello Tonnato, Roasted & Chilled Veal, Genoa Tuna Caper Aioli, Micro Rainbow Greens, Shaved Parmesan. This is very popular in the Lake Como region, and its very light and a great way to start your meal.

Zuppa Di Farro E Mare, Farro Soup, Calamari, Little Neck Clams, Tiger Shrimp, Black Mussels, Tomato, Seafood Broth. Like an Italian chicken soup but without chicken, instead just great seafood broth with fresh clams, shrimp, calamari and mussels, and the faro is an added bonus.

House made Burrata, Chef Daniele’s Signature Burrata Cheese served with your choice of the following, Eggplant Caponata, Grilled Crostino. House made burrata should be enough to make you order this terrific menu item, but the sweet eggplant caponata will also make you glad you did.

Pizzoccheri Alla Valtellinese, Wheat Pappardelle, Roasted Garlic, Savoy Cabbage, Yukon Potato, Creamy Bitto Cheese-Sage Fondue. This is such a crazy dish, who would think that a cheese fondue would work so brilliantly with pasta, but it does. The whole combination is just something you can’t describe until you try it.

Seafood Risotto Do Marre Arborio Rositto, Black mussels, Manila Clams, Tiger Shrimp, Scallops, Langoustino, Seafood Broth. The clams, scallops just pop in your mouth and the risotto has a very subtle seafood essence.

Hand Torn Tagliatelli with short rib ragu, by far my favorite dish of the night. You can tell that the pasta is super fresh, the short rib sauce has all of the short rib packed in flavors, just wonderful. Pasta’s they make: tagliatelle, lasagna, torn pasta, and ravioli.

Salmone Al Finocchio, Scottish Salmon, Taggiasca Olives, Sauteed Cherry Tomato & Fennel, Grilled Lemon. This is a small piece of salmon, with a nice zest from the onions and olives.

Creekstone All-Natural Skirt Steak, Salsa Verde, Grilled Crostino. Nice tender skirt steak, with a great grilled flavor.

Pollo Arrosto Al Limone, roasted half debones, all natural chicken, Lemon sauce, and Parmesan roasted potatoes. Very fragrant sauce filled with lemon flavor and the roasted chicken simply delicious.

Here are the Wines I tried:

Camara Chardonnay Italy Provincia di pavia, this wine was a pleasure to drink with this great risotto di mare.

Barbaresco “Ca Grossa” Cascina Rabaglio, full bodied, aroma of cherry. I love this wine with the hand torn pasta with short rib ragu, what a great combination.

Barbera Torti Lombardia, bold juicy wine went great with the skirt steak.

Dessert:

Tiramisu Lady Fingers, espresso Vanilla – Mascarpone Cream, Cappuccino sauce, this tiramisu is really as good as it gets, done to perfection.

Lago’s wine list has received an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator every year since 1995 and has over 400 selections from Italy and California. “Don’t miss the Ossobuco alla Milanese” – Gourmet Magazine. “There’s no better place to people-watch than at the outdoor patio” – Frommers. “Recommended” – Michelin. “Perfectly crafted pastas” – Zagat. “Best Italian Cuisine” – Los Angeles Times.

Farmers/Purveyors: Santa Monica Farmers’ Market: Coleman Farm, JJ Lone Daughter Ranch, Weiser Farm, Tutti Frutti Farm, Jaime Farm, Wong Farm, Santa Barbara Pistachio Co., Fairhill Farm, Tamai Farm, Sycamore Farm, Lily’s Eggs, Niman Ranch, Durham Ranch, and Clean Fish. They always follow the suggestions of the Seafood Watch by Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Information on Owner West Hooker-Poletti:

Born in Milan, West Hooker-Poletti spent much of his youth in Lombardy’s well-known capital city and later in Bellagio, the idyllic village in northern Italy known as “the pearl of Lake Como.”
Moving to the United States at age 18, intending to establish his career in the hotel industry, Hooker-Poletti enrolled at Cornell University’s renowned School of Hotel Administration, graduating with top honors.

After earning his degree, he became assistant food and beverage director at the Mayfair Regent Hotel in New York. At the time, the hotel housed the world-famous Le Cirque restaurant and its legendary owner Sirio Maccioni, who imparted many wise business pointers to the young manager.

Upon returning to California, a strong entrepreneurial spirit moved Hooker-Poletti to conceive of his own dining establishment, and in 1991 the restaurateur opened Locanda del Lago in Santa Monica. “Lago truly started as a window into my past,” he notes. “It focuses on the cuisine I grew up with and the flavors I know best.”

West leads the restaurant along with his wife, Karin Fumagalli, and their 2 children. The family can often be found dining on the patio and enjoying the fruits of their labor. Stop by and say hi!

Megan Heritage, General Manager:

If the chef at Locanda del Lago is the restaurant’s soul, then General Manager Megan Heritage is its heart. Respected, highly regarded, and a favorite of her staff and Lago’s patrons, Megan’s superb operation of the restaurant is a key reason for its popularity and success.

Megan, who has worked at Lago since 1996, began as a server then promoted to lead server/trainer, assistant manager, and eventually General Manager. Most notably, Megan was concurrently studying Electrical Engineering at California State University, Long Beach, as a full time student, where she graduated with honors. As a grad, Megan received many offers to work as an engineer, but her passion for the restaurant industry prevailed. She accepted the position of General Manager of Locanda del Lago and continues to grow and improve all aspects of the restaurant. In 2006, Megan enabled expansion of the company by opening Caffé Bellagio and running both locations simultaneously.

Megan currently works very closely with the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Monica Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Downtown Santa Monica in order to support the community as well as aide Santa Monica to become an internationally recognized destination. She currently is the co-chair of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s committee PeBL, Professionals emerging as Business Leaders and sits on the Hospitality Committee. She was also the implementer and ambassador of Lago’s green certification and an integral part of Lago winning the Grand Prize at the 2015 Sustainable Quality Awards.

If you want a truly authentic Italian dinner with all of the bells and whistles then Locanda Del Lago is for you. I will make this wonderful cuisine a habit in my monthly restaurant outings.

Locanda Del Lago
231 Arizona Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
http://www.lagosantamonica.com/
* Note some content was taken off of website

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LA Weekly’s The Essentials – Sunday, March 26, 2017 – California Market Center – Downtown Los Angeles

I went to this extravaganza last year but it was at night. This was from 2-5 in the day and more food and drink then any one could possible taste. It is a huge, taking over 1 full floor, east west, north south at The California Market Center. Many fantastic restaurants in tow, and some of the newbies in town as well. If your a foodie then this is a must have event for you. For me it is amazing, but I also ways like to go to the individual restaurants after this to see what they are all really about.

Here are all of the participants: (The 99 Essentials and The 15 Freshmen)

Food:

Angelini Osteria, Animal, A.O.C., Baroo, Bestia, Beverly Soon Tofu, The Bellwether, Bill’s Burgers, Beijing Pie House, Apple Pan, Baco Mercat, Bar Ama, Adana, Alimento, Baran’s 2239, Destroyer, Broken Spanish, Burritos La Palma, Cacao Mexicatessen, La Casita Mexicana, Cassia, Chengdu Taste, Chichen Itza, Chi Spacca, Colombo’s Italian Steakhouse and Jazz Club, Connie & Ted’s, Coni’Seafood, El Coraloense, Dal Rae, Dune, Din Tai Fung, Egg Slut, Father’s Office, Gjelina, Gjusta, Gwang Yang BBQ, Hatchet Hall, Ham JI Park, The Hungry Cat, El Huarache Azteca, Isaan Station, Jon & Vinny’s, Kogi BBQ, Langers, Kobee Factory, Leo’s Tacos, Locol, Love & Salt, MB Post, Mariscos Jalisco, Matsumoto, Petit Trois, Philippe, Pizzeria Mizza, Q, Quesadilla lady, Redbird, Revolutionario, Ricky’s Fish Tacos, Rustic Canyon, Rose Cage, Ruen Pair, Salt’s Cure, Sapp Coffee Shop, Sea Harbor, Shunji, Spago, Tsujita, Oh My Pan, Shibumi, Howlin Ray’s, Colonia Publica, Elf Cafe, El Huarache Azteca, ERB Bar, Guelaguetza, Guerrilla Tacos, Guisados, Jitlada, Kogi, Le Comptoir, Lucques, Lukshon, Maude, Melisse, n/naka, Night + Market, Park’s BBQ, Pine & Crane, Providence, Racion, Republique, RiceBar, gotta have S’MORE, Rose Cafe, Rustic Canyon, Sotto, Summer Rolls, Szechuan Impression, Trois Mec, Tsjuita LA, Union, Wexler’s Deli, 71 Above, Erven, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Gwen, Here’s Looking at You, Holbox, Kali, Kato, Lalibela, Michael’s, Salazar, and Winsome.

Beverages:

Alexandra Wine Company, Babcock Winery & Vineyard, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Brightwater Vineyards, Ceres, Chalone Vineyard Estate Grown, Clearview Estate Winery, Ferrari Trento 1902, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Foley Johnson, Fresco Baldi Toscana, Kaena, Librandi, Emblem Napa Valley, Martellotto, Montemar, Myka Cellars, Nielson by Byron, NZ Wine Navigator, Drumsara, OTU, Penville, Pence, Pico Maccario, Roth Estate, San Antonio Winery, Planeta, Santa Barbara Vintners, Shacksbury, Squawking Magpie, Susana Balbo, Darling, Wine Exchange Est. 1982, Sweetzer Cellars, Vidal Estate.

Sponsors:

Angel City Brewery, BAI, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Basil Hayden, Birchware, Broken Shaker, Cacique, Califia Farms, Center Theater Group, Corona Extra Draft, Dave & Buster’s, Don Julio, Dry Sparkling, Farm Fresh To You, Food Forward, Freehand Los Angeles, Going In Style, Gotta Have S’More, Grub Hub, Health Ade Kombucha, Honest Tea, Hubert’s Lemonade, 93.1 Jack FM, JAKEMANS, Jim Bean Black, Ketel One Vodka, LAArtParty.com, Life WTR, Melissa’s, Milk & Eggs, JDN73, Neuro, NZ Wine Navigator, O.N.E Coconut Water, Panache Jewelry, Santa Barbara Vintners, ShowGrow, The Dudes Brewing Company, UCLA Extension, Waltzing, Wheel House, Wine Exchange Est. 1982, San Antonio Winery.

My favorite dishes were: the shrimp cocktail from Chef Sang Yoon, from Lukshon, with whipped tom ka gai, mushroom crumbs, pork, and lime, so ingenious and inventive. Then there was crab porridge from the newbie Kato, so delicious. Park BBQ did a nice rice ball kimchi style with BBQ meat that was very tasty. Lucques dished up an astonishing salmon, Chef Suzanne Goin did not disappoint, it was slow roasted with a superb flavor. Baroo did a galbi short rib that was tender and flavorful. Summer Rolls restaurant served a great fresh duck roll, very hearty with wonderful subtle flavors. Spago had a broth with a piece of black cod that would rock your world. Bestia delighted us with a lobster crudo, who would think that raw lobster cooked with citrus acid would be so incredible. Gus’s fried chicken, probably the best chicken you will ever eat. For a unique dessert the s’mores were fantastic, by gotta have s’more. Half cupcake half smore, but all delicious.

This is a great event that will get you all current with the Los Angeles food scene, which by the way is really gotten up there with other trending cities. I really didn’t eat very much before I went so that I would be able to try a lot, but there is so much food that you have to pace yourself or only eat they type of cuisine that you like. My advise do not eat anything before you get there and you will make it threw at least half of the restaurants represented. Not to mention the lively cocktails that are being made and the astounding wines that you’re able to taste. All in all what a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

http://essentials.laweekly.co

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Lunch – Factor’s Deli – Friday, March 17, 2017

For me Factor’s has a history in my heart and in my soul. Growing up not to far away and my grand parents living down the street, having my family business right there on Pico as well. Going to Factors is like going home. Being a nice Jewish girl I love all of the terrific menu choices. With its delicious traditional Jewish foods it makes me think about all of my great childhood memories growing up right in this very ethnic hood.

Freddie Markowitz the son of Lilly and Herman Markowitz was a high school friend, even though he was a few years older then me. He always would talk about his family business but never brought us over there to witness his wonderful family! Debbie, Freddie’s sister was my host for my fantastic tasting, even though we did not know each other, we reminisced about our high school years and childhood memories.

Factor’s Famous Deli has been at the same Los Angeles location on Pico Blvd since 1948. The Markowitz Family has owned and operated Factor’s since 1969 and from the very beginning the Markowitz’s strived to provide quality food, generous portions, and friendly service in a warm family atmosphere. Next year will be their 70th anniversary!!

Here’s what I tried:

Breakfast:

Eggs Florentine, poached eggs with spinach on an English Muffins, topped with Hollandaise. Wonderful sauce will brighten any breakfast dish and does not disappoint.

Egg onion Breakfast Wrap, they do their onion very special where they dry them out to get that entire great onion flavor.

Starters and Noshes:

Fried Zucchini Sticks with apricot dipping sauce. These beauties are cut small but not thin, you get real zucchini flavor in each bite, very yummy.

Thin Fried Onions, I adore any type of onion ring, with its rich onion aroma, truly a delight.

Salads:

Debbie’s Chopped, finely chopped turkey, salami, Swiss cheese, red onion, tomato, cucumber, and mixed greens. This is a favorite amongst many of their customers and you can see why, all of the ingredients are super fresh and deliciously blend together.

Chinese Chicken Salad, with mixed greens, cabbage, thin rice noodles, almonds, and mandarin oranges, with homemade sesame dressing. Everyone loves this salad with its great sesame dressing.

Soups:

Mushroom Barley, large mushroom and barley make for one hearty rib sticking soup with great flavor.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage, you have never tasted anything like this soup, it is sweet and sour, with lots of cabbage, wonderful.

Lentil, this was there soup of the day. It was light, but lentils are very healthy, a nice source of protein for the vegans.

Matzo Ball, really the biggest best Matzo ball ever!!

Sandwiches:

Hot Corned Beef or Hot Pastrami, either one you can’t go wrong, and they just got their best pastrami award for Los Angeles.

Honey Maple Turkey Sandwich, piled super high with lettuce tomatoes and onion, this is a healthier sandwich on the lighter side, but equally a great lunch item.

Chopped Liver, well who doesn’t love chopped lover. They do theirs very clean and lite, with not a lot of chicken fat it the mix. I really loved this rendition of this great Jewish staple.

Nova Lox, with cream cheeses on a bagel, tomato, onions on the side. There is something about factors lox that you just can’t describe, but it sure beats any other deli in Los Angeles!

Dinners:

Meat Loaf, served with nice thick gravy, very much like a home cooked one that your Mom used to make.

Sides:

Potato Salad, lots of nice potato chunks, with a great creamy dressing, basic but great.

Coleslaw, cabbage and carrots make for nicely presented coleslaw that is very fresh.

Drinks:

Dr. Browns, Wild Cherry and Cream Soda. This is my favorite brand of soda especially the Cream Soda; if you have never tried it you got to start now.

Lots of great photos of the family adorn the walls as well as movie posters from the past. There is a large patio and lots of inside booths for happy conversation and delicious food.

If you want a slice of real life in this predominantly Jewish neighborhood try Factor’s. From the characters to the food you will really understand Jewish culture. Every bite will make you very happy, and wish that you were born with a Jewish best friend or a Yiddisha Momma!

Factor’s Deli
9420 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
factorsdeli.com

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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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