Terra Cotta – Dinner – December 28, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA.

This is such a great space with lots of rich mid-city history. I remember back in the 90’s it was one of my favorite restaurant bars called The Atlas. Enjoying a great show at The Wiltern and then coming here to this space was always a joy. This new incarnation has been going strong now for 4-months, making Terra Cotta less formal and more hipster casual. The interior is completely different but the cool vibes still remain.

Their customers are young instagramming influencers. Enjoying their libations and each other’s company. When I was there I saw a table of 12 – 20’s something’s having a marvelous time. Eating their amazing cuisine, drinking some exotic cocktails and laughing hysterically. A Thursday night out for these beautiful young ladies, doing selfies and instagram the whole time. The backdrop for these photos is truly elegant, with their gorgeous 3-teired chandeliers and their industrial cage style tables, everywhere you look it is a feast for your eyes.

The interior is very sexy, with deep dark wood floors, a very industrial yet elegant interior. They have a small stage that is in the center of the room; they will be doing jazz and comedy nights in the near future. But you can see that with the right entertainment it could set the tone for some very hip nights.

Here’s What I Tried:

Cocktails:

Soju Mojito, with mint, lime, soju, and Club soda. A great cocktail, and you don’t miss the rum at all.

Marquee, vodka, aperol, simple syrup, strawberries, and lemon peel. This drink is light but the combination of ingredients makes for one special cocktail.

Palomita, tequila, grapefruit, lime, agave, sage and soda. A bit tangy, but the great tequila cuts through any weird favors.

Martini, in a coupe glass with 2 olives. Of course my drink of choice, this one was very elegant.

Taylor Nigh made sure I knew about their cocktail program, which is outstanding. He is the bar manager and created their lovely bar menu. It is such a beautiful bar, there is really a lot to work with here.

Wines:

Fess Parker, Chardonnay, 2016, Santa Barbara, fruity, yet oaky, it was great with any of the seafood dishes.

Barolo Pajana, 2008 Nebbiolo, Piedmont Italy. One of my favorite Italian wines, paired with the skewers for a nice balance.

Skewers:

Large, with 2 grilled short rib patty skewer, 1 spicy pork skewer, 1 salt pork skewer, 1 spicy chicken skewed, veggie skewer, Elote, and crunchy salsa. My server David Paez made sure all of these terrific meats were sliced and diced with his trusty scissor, he made it look really beautiful.

Protein:

BBQ Ribs with a delightful sauce, these babies melt in your mouth.

Tapas:

Hamakama, crispy on the outside, smoky flaky yellow tail on the inside.

Honey Butter Squid, with a peanut glaze, a nice fragrant menu item.

Popcorn Shrimp, one of my favorite things I tried, with a nice aioli style sauce drizzled on the glorious shrimp, served on a bed of coleslaw.

Raw:

Oysters on the half shell, so fresh and perfect, just loved these little darlings.

Chicken:

Spatchcock Chicken, prepared with crispy skin with Korean style piled radishes and coleslaw. A great rendition of a fried chicken style dish.

Rice:

Avocado Mentaiko Rice, this rice comes in a tin box, my server presented it to me then covered it back up and shook it before he served it. Worth the wait, all of the nice ingredients including a raw egg, truly another favorite of mine at Terra Cotta.

Noodles:

Spicy Seafood Pasta, with a tomato sauce. This is a spicy pasta but not too over done and the fresh clams, calamari are just amazing. This is an Italian twist in this otherwise Asian Fusion style restaurant, a dish not to be missed.

To Share:

Yuzu Clams with Bacon, these clams pops in your mouth, super fresh with the smoky bacon rounding out the flavor profile.

Flatbread Pizza:

Apple wood Smoked Bacon & Chives, this is a very different pizza for me, it had lots of fresh onions of top, still very delicious.

Dessert:

The Makgeolli, with fresh bananas ice cream, this is a great way to cap off your evening.

About The Wiltern Theater:

The building itself houses the Wiltern Theater as well as Terra Cotta. Originally built in 1931 in Los Angeles, the Wiltern was designed by architect Stiles O. Clements of Morgan, Walls & Clements, the city’s oldest architectural firm. The Wiltern Theatre was originally designed as a vaudeville theater and initially opened as the Warner Brothers Western Theater, the flagship for the theater chain. In 1956, the building and theater were sold to the Franklin Life Insurance Company of Springfield, Illinois. The Los Angeles chapter of the American Theater Organ Enthusiasts worked to restore the theater’s 37-rank Kimball pipe organ, reputed to be the largest one in Los Angeles at the time, and held recitals there through the late 1960s and into the mid-1970s. Through the intervention of a group of local preservationists, the group saved the complex from being demolished on two occasions in the late 1970s when the owners filed for demolition permits. (The preservation of the Wiltern was one of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s first victories in its fight to preserve the architectural heritage of the City.)

In 1981, the Wiltern was purchased by developer Wayne Ratkovich who worked with architect Brenda Levin to restore both the theater and the office building to their former glory. The magnificent interior of The Wiltern evokes a period of elegance and style simply not found anywhere in today’s modern venues. The entrance is set back among colorful terrazzo paving, and its art deco design contains decorative tile work along with colorful murals. The most dramatic element of the overall design is the sunburst on the ceiling of the auditorium, with each ray representing its own art deco skyscraper. The venue offers the perfect vibe and shape for a variety of events.

Terra Cotta is the newest restaurant venture from 6th Avenue restaurant group. Their menu draws inspiration on a global scale of Korean elements, but also Japanese, Latin American, and other regional influences.

There is some thing for everyone here, that is what is so great about Terra Cotta, but don’t let the name fool you, most of the cuisine is not Italian but wonderful Asian fusion. Your taste buds will dance just like mine did, with so much great flavors how could you go wrong.

Terra Cotta is open for dinner 7 days/week with happy hour from 5 to 8pm, and a late night menu available until 2am most nights, bar only.

Terra Cotta – aka “TC”
3760 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Koreatown, Wilshire Center
(213) 365-1077
http://www.terracottala.com
* Note some content was taken off of various websites

I want to give a shout out to Christina Fulton for being so kind to set this up for me with her clients!

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Trattoria Cattaneo – Dinner – December 21, 2017 – Santa Rosa, CA.

Coming to Trattoria Cattaneo is like you landed in your Italian Auntie’s home for the freshest, most delicious authentic Italian food you have ever tasted. All of their recipes are family inspired, brought down from generations. The ingredients and quality is amazing, and all of this in a little tuck away neighborhood, Bennett Valley in Santa Rosa.

Owner Ricardo and his wife Chef Julie will greet you as well as one of their sons who will serve you. So it really is a family run Mom and Pop type of an establishment. You really feel the close-knit warmth of their family.

Here’s What I Tried:

They start you off with homemade fresh baked focaccia with a nice olive tapenade.

Bruschetta, with it’s balsamic reduction, this starter will make you beg for more.

Spinach Salad, with bacon, walnuts, feta cheese, and raspberry-balsamic vinaigrette. Sweet and sour, with a nice crunchy edge from the walnuts, a true winner.

Garlic Potato Pureed Soup, luscious texture, velvety smooth and delicious overall flavor.

Gnocchi, Chef Julie kicks ass on this one, with a great creamy sauce and the gnocchi’s just float in your mouth.

Steamed Clams white wine, garlic, chili flakes, basil, fresh tomatoes. I just loved the freshness of the clams coupled with the garlic and heat.

Lasagna Meat Lasagna, with Bolognese sauce veal cannelloni in marinara sauce. Big hearty flavors, with lots of meat delivers a great rendition of this famous Italian staple.

Linguini Carbonara pancetta and bacon cooked in chicken stock, olive oil, onions and parmesan cheese, tossed linguini, finished off with an egg yolk, another perfect pasta dish.

Tortellini alla Romano, cheese tortellinii in a rich garlic cream sauce with peas and diced prosciutto. I used to get this at E’ Angelo’s in Mill Valley back in the 80’s and the is where Chef Julie used to work, so it is a great memory, and very delicious.

Papardelle alla Salsciccia, with homemade Italian sausage, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and chili flakes, cooked together and tossed over fresh papardelle pasta. When you get some of the sausage in your mouth with the wide noodles you too will have to give this 2 huge thumbs up.

Seafood Cioppino, with prawns, bay shrimp, scallops, salmon, calamari, clams, and mussels, in a spicy marinara sauce. This is right up there with any of the finest Cioppino’s I have ever tried, with rich bold tomato flavors and the freshest seafood.

Dessert:

Teramisu, Chef Julie is asked to make this dessert for all of the city functions and food fairs, and after you try it you will understand why. It is an Italian staple, but under Chef Julie’s guidance it becomes something from another delicious planet.

The Wines I Tried:

Riva Leone Gavi, a nice Italian white, fruity and subtle, it will go great with any of the white sauce pasta, or seafood dishes.

Red Sasseo, 2015, Primitivo Salento, like a rich Zinfandel, with all of the jammy flavors, went great with the red sauces.

Mantanzas Creek. 2013, Merlot, Sonoma County, a nice bold wine, I would pair this with the papardelle and sausage.

Trattoria Cattaneo is a quaint Italian restaurant with a homey neighborhood vibe. The walls are decorated with old photographs of Italy and a large mural of the Italian coast. Trattoria Cattaneo’s menu is made up of primarily classic Italian dishes. Appetizers include bruschetta, caprese, polenta and ever rotating soup of the day. The specialties of the house include several pasta dishes like homemade gnocchi, meat lasagna, linguine vongole and a chicken Alfredo. Trattoria Cattaneo’s also offers a build-your-own pasta option where guests get to pick their noodle, sauce, and protein.

This is the kind of place that someone has to bring you to, they don’t have a website and rely on their Facebook presence for their reviews. For me this is super refreshing seeing how the Internet has taken over any word of mouth advertising.

If you live in the neighborhood or are passing through Santa Rosa this is a must do dining spot. I would even say to make it a destination meal, its just that good.

Trattoria Cattaneo
2700 Yulupa Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
https://www.facebook.com/Trattoria-Cattaneo-115641031791697/

Note: This review was 2 month after the devastating wild fires that were up on the hill super close to the restaurant. I heard some very scary stories while I as there, and having lived close by I know about the hearts and souls of Sonoma County people. I have to say I was so proud at how quickly most of this are has recovered, and want to give a huge shout out to the first responders. Some of the people I talked to said their homes had been saved due to the hard work from the fire fighters. I am very thankful for this community and how everyone pulled together, especially their astounding
spirit and bravery.

 

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Re-Visit New Delhi Dec. 20, 2017 San Francisco, CA. Dinner

I came here back in 2011 and tried one of the best Indian restaurants ever. With so many exotic spices, each and every dish has its own flavor wheel, all made with authentic Indian seasonings, truly one amazing experience

Named one of the finest Indian Restaurants in the US by New York Times and featured on the Galloping Gourmet TV Show, New Delhi is the place to dine. Decorated like a Maharajah’s private banquet room, the restaurant serves cuisine made from recipes culled from the royal Indian menus dating back 300 to 400 years using the freshest local ingredients. Chef and owner, Ranjan Dey, star of PBS show – “MY INDIA” creates daily specials with his six gourmet spice blends, available nation wide in gourmet specialty stores. He started his career in the food business at the age of 14 at Calcutta’s Park Hotel as a vegetable cutter. After finishing high school, he graduated from Institute of Catering Technology, Hotel Management and Applied Nutrition. But during all this, he kept his part-time evening job in different hotels. He then worked at the Grand and Great Eastern Hotels in Calcutta before he moving to New Delhi where he worked in Akbar and Janpath Hotels. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Ranjan spent two years as a senior Chef in the kitchens of the Maurya Sheraton Hotel in New Delhi.

New Delhi Restaurant was established in 1988 and opened by San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos, on Nov 20th, 1988. Since then many famous politicians have crossed its threshold from Lt. Governor Pete Wilson, Ex Gov. Jerry Brown, others like the late Milton Marks, Wille Brown and many more. In 1990 it became established as the Indian Cultural and Culinary headquarters when President Bill Clinton met all the Indians of the Bay Area to listen to their issues. Their famous front bar, since its inception in 1988 the New Delhi Bar has been the favorite hot spot for many working in the downtown restaurant and hotel trade. It remains open up to 2 am. They are famous for our two happy hours; the first at 5 pm and the second at 11 pm. This is because not everybody works 9-5 pm and the restaurant staff usually end the evening shifts about 11pm at night. This is definitely the place for fresh scoop in the restaurant and hotel industry in downtown San Francisco.

“When you’re looking for a relaxing meal filled with exciting, stimulating aromas and flavors try the New Delhi and don’t forget the bartender makes Bombay Gin Martini” -SF Bay Guardian.

New Delhi Restaurant and Chef Owner Ranjan Dey has received numerous awards and gold medals for excellence in Indian cuisine and spice blends. His restaurant is also a favorite spot of many Indian celebrities, on any given day you may be dining next to spiritual guru like Dr. Deepak Chopra.

Here’s What I Tried:

Cocktails:

New Delhi Sunset, An exotic combination of vodka, sparkling lemonade, pomegranate syrup and a dash of grapefruit juice. Effervescent and refreshing, filled with a floral nuance.

Lychee Martini, A tropical delight with infused vodka, pretty much my favorite, and it is sweet but packed with a nice rounded vodka flavor.

Mango Martini, Alphonso mango puree and pomegranate syrup. This has such a rich smooth texture, really fantastic.

Murky Bengali Martini, Shaken with infused vodka, spiced tamarind and served with the biggest olive you have ever seen! They are imported directly from City of Olives, Jalpaiguri in Bengal, India. These unpitted giant olives are pickled in spicy vinegar with ghost chili in-house and cured for twenty-one days for a tasty perfect murky moment. A must try when your at New Delhi, it just hits the spot.

Appetizers:

Samosa, crispy turnovers filled with lightly spiced potatoes and green peas. What can I say except for simply the best samosa ever.

Papadums, lentil wafers with cumin and pepper studs. This is one of my favorites appetizers, its just crispy goodness.

Assorted Tandoori Platter, Combination of chicken tikka, seekh keebab and tandoori prawn. A great start, it has a bit of everything you would want to try from the tandoori oven.

Coconut Cilantro Goan Kofta, A vegetarian house specialty made with mushroom and soya bits in delicious coconut cilantro gravy. There is something so special about this dish, and I had never tried it before. I just loved it.

House Specialties:

Kerelan Pepper Chicken, with creamy coconut chicken in onion gravy with black pepper, curry leaves and whole mustard. Another great dish with a terrific array of spices and just the right amount of sauce.

Murg Akbari, an exotic preparation of chicken with cashews, raisins and grated paneer, simmered in a creamy sauce. It was a favorite of the Mughal ruler of India, Emperor Akbar (1542-1605). This is a recreation of the original recipe dating back to the 16th century. The cashews and raisins add a good amount of texture and sweetness.

Curries:

Prawn Masala, big juicy pieces of prawn cooked in a light sauce. Being the shrimp lover I just had to try this one and it didn’t disappoint.

Lamb Vindaloo, with spicy hot lamb or chicken curry with potatoes. Be forewarned this one packs a punch, very spicy but truly a winner. After every bite the spice will last and get deeper.

Vegetable Side Dishes:

Spiced Vegetables Curry, with a combination of cauliflower, beans, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes and potatoes in a medium sauce. This dish will give you the freshest vegetables in a perfect curry sauce.

Mattar Paneer, with homemade soft cheese and green peas simmered with delicate spices. Always a favorite of mine, it has subtle flavors that go well with the rest of the curry dishes.

Raitha, homemade yogurt churned with cucumber flakes and studded with roasted cumin. This dish was sweet with a pickled type of flavor; it will cool your palate down from all of the heat.

Rice and Breads:

Vegetable Pullao, Saffron flavored rice cooked with seasonal vegetables. Done correctly there is nothing better then good basmati rice and at New Delhi they really know how to make delicious rice.

Garlic Nan, with fresh-spiced garlic and cilantro. This has lots of garlic, and the bread is soft and inviting.

Dessert:

They gave me 2 different desserts and both were a great way to end my glorious meal.

Wine:

Chardonnay, barrel fermented wine in American oak. A nose of tasty vanilla and butter with flavors of ripe pear, apple and spice. A long terrific finish. This is a lovely, buttery wine that paired nicely with the shrimp masala.

Zinfandel, deep rich black fruit on the nose, wild berry and spice on the palate. This wine went great with any of the curry dishes, as well as the lamb dish, it has a big bold flavor that matches up well with the spicy curries.

The interior is very romantic and elegant, with lots of exotic details. The bar is very lovely as well, but the dining room is where you want to have your taste buds experience all of this bounty and all of their amazing spices. What more could you ask for, delicious, Indian fine dining with all of the bells and whistles.

This is specialized Indian food at its best, for those that have never tried Indian food then here is your chance. Skip all the rest and try the best!!

New Delhi Restaurant and Bar
160 Ellis St.
San Francisco, CA.
94102
http://www.newdelhirestaurant.com
*Some text was taken off of their website

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Aroma Sunset Bar and Grill – Dinner – December 17, 2017 – Hollywood, CA.

This place is just so cool you can tell why the young Hollywood crowd is smitten with its atmosphere and great food. Right on Sunset with nice inviting curb appeal, the outdoor fireplaces make for a cozy romantic spot in the winter in Hollywood.

The interior has a blue lite ceiling, which gives Aroma extra ambiance. It has a capacity is 140, and even though its not Kosher by Jewish standards it is for people who keep Kosher. For real Kosher you have to have a rabbi on premise 24/7. There are many Israeli dishes as well as Mediterranean, seeing that the owners are from Israel.

In January they will starting a new lunch special program with some of their delicious dishes priced from $8.00 – $12.00 a plate, that’s what I call a bargain!

Here’s what I tried:

Wine:

Bell Town Chardonnay, CA. 2014, fresh fragrant and very easy on the palate. It is straightforward and went great with the salmon dishes.

Starters:

Lettuce Cups, with ground chicken breast sautéed with green onions and jicama in a tangy teriyaki marinade, topped with rice crunchy noodles and diced tomatoes. This is a fun refreshing way to start your experience here at Aroma Sunset Bar & Grill, it is tasty and light.

Avocado Roil, with fresh avocado egg rolls fried up crispy. Served with our sweet cilantro and teriyaki dipping sauces. Freshly made in-house daily. Like an egg roll but with fresh avocado inside, perfect for the vegetarian.

Salads:

Salmon Salad, with pan-seared salmon fillet, served warm over a bed of greens, hearts of palm, grape tomatoes and walnuts, tossed in their house dressing. They use fresh salmon and cook it with a nice crust, the greens are wonderful, all together a great healthy option.

Pizza:

BBQ Chicken Pizza, with Mozzarella cheese, red onion, mushrooms and chicken breast topped with a tangy BBQ sauce. The presentation is astounding, with a nice round drizzle of BBQ sauce and the pizza dough is cooked to perfection.

Salmon:

Salmon Penne Pasta, pan-seared salmon fillet on top of penne pasta tossed with broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots in a creamy pesto sauce. This is the same salmon used in the salad instead it is on a bed of penne with fresh pesto and some nice vegetables. It is full of flavor and very filling.

Mains:

Young Chicken, tender, juicy chicken thighs marinated in Aroma’s special seasonings. Served with onion rice and a chopped vegetable salad. A flattened down grilled chicken thigh that is tender and wonderful, the rice and the salad are also fantastic.

Sides:

Onion Rings, once again you all know I am a huge lover of onion rings and these are right up there with the best, they also serve it with a secret sauce that is out of this world.

Dessert:

Mini Chocolate Soufflé, milk chocolate, served with whipped cream and ice cream. The soufflé takes about 14 minutes to make so order early, but completely worth the wait.

There are always notable folks here including recent sightings of Alice Cooper and Dr. Dre, as well as other celebrities. It’s always a scene at Aroma Sunset Bar & Grill.

They offer delivery up to 8 miles away, and they have an amazing happy hour with reduced food and drink prices. With a 3 for $14.00 food menu, so you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Many places in Los Angeles you’re paying for the atmosphere and the hipster vibe, here your paying for the delicious food, and the vibe is free of charge. Aroma offers great food with an elegant interior, very extensive menu, something for everyone, and lots of influencers here every night, what more could you ask for.

Aroma Sunset Bar & Grill

7373 W. Sunset Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90046

323-850-8120

www.aromasunset.com

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The Federal New Years Eve tasting Menu – Dinner – Tuesday December 12, 2017 – North Hollywood, CA.

The Federal bids farewell to 2017 with 3 ways to Celebrate in North Hollywood on December 31, 2017. This is always one of my favorites tasting, brought to me by the fabulous Henry Eshelman, always captivating and a great host. This year was especially great because we were able to taste Georgo’s wine from Sonoma County. The grapes are from Greece but the process is done at Deerfield Winery.

We had a nice array of food writers and everyone seemed to bask in lovely holiday conversation. The Federal itself was decked out in the perfect holiday décor.

The food was simply marvelous. With 2 different salads offered, Beet and a Cesar it was a nice way to start the evening. The main courses Chicken, Salmon and Prime Rib were the true highlight of the meal. We were served 2 sides as well, vegetables and mashed potatoes. The wine pairings were equally perfect. Santorini, Sophies Smile, 2016, went great with the salads and the salmon. This is a very light and drinkable Sauvignon Blanc type wine, but with nice floral and fruit aromas. IOS – Aphrodites Kiss, more of a Rose, nice with the salads as well. Ithaka – Penelopes Spell, a well-rounded spicy Cabernet that paired nicely with the Prime Rib as well as the chicken. Mykonos -Wine of Hercules was by far my favorite, paired with the prime rib was an other worldly experience for me, and by far my most favorite bite.

Facts:

The Federal design features two distinct mixed contemporary and traditional bars on the ground floor – each has its own style and charm with a flair for the 1930’s and prohibition era. Windows opening to the street pushing light off of the resurfaced industrial brick walls, period furniture with a modern style, adding to the premise upstairs, an expansive room with opulent wood floors, treated windows, intimate booths, cushioned leather chairs, private rooms, and a small but decorative stage. Back lounge parlors, open to the public, with a speak-easy theme and a gorgeous outdoor patio, only add to the charm of this 1926 North Hollywood building. Premium sound and flat screens tie in the old with the new and abound through the venue.

The Federal in North Hollywood is throwing a New Year’s extravaganza with three distinctive experiences. Each package at The Federal in North Hollywood is unique; so guests can choose how they would best like to ring in the New Year. Dinner and Drinks: is a 4-course prix fixe dinner package featuring Crab Hot Pot, House Smoked Pork Belly, Prime Rib, Herb Roasted Chicken, Wild Salmon, and Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding. The experience is 75 dollars a person, and includes party favors, admission to the nightclub, and a champagne toast at midnight. Dancing and Drinks: Access to the upstairs night club will feature the SnapBack DJs and dancing in addition to Party Favors and a Champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are available for 25 dollars per person. VIP Open Bar: Their Exclusive Speakeasy, The Salon, is offering a VIP open bar package for 100 dollars per person that includes appetizers, party favors, admission to nightclub, and a champagne toast at midnight. The dining package is based on reservations, but the upstairs nightclub and The Salon will open its doors for New Year’s Eve Guests on December 31, 2017 at 9:00pm.

For private events, The Federal Bar is available to rent in whole or in part.

This is a no-brainer, great food, fun festivities all under one roof, I would run to buy tickets, and you won’t be disappointed.

The Federal
5303 Lankershim Blvd,
North Hollywood, CA 91601
thefederalbar.com
Reservation must be made at 818-980-2555

#greekwine #georgosgreekwine #thefederalnoho

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Dinner – Twohey’s Tavern – December 11, 2017 – Pasadena, CA.

Twohey’s has quite the history with it being the original diner in Alhambra. A taste of nostalgia combined with the elevated flavors of today. Towey’s Tavern opened on November 6th, 2017, from Greg Mallis and Tanya and Jim Christos, the three family members that kept the original Twohey’s name alive at the iconic 75-year-old Twohey’s Restaurant in Alhambra, which is a piece of Los Angeles history from the era of the Historic Route 66. With a tantalizing menu that playfully calls back to the classics.

Chef Travis Limoge has a great gift for executing diner type menu items while honoring timeless and contemporary cooking techniques in a modern tavern setting. Born and raised in Vermont, Chef Travis Limoge grew up in the kitchen of his Grandfathers beloved restaurants, most notably Valley’s Steakhouse, where port wine cheese and broasted chicken were all the rage and weekend brunches were a showcase for his Grandmothers baking prowess, laying the inspiring groundwork for a future Chef. Upon moving to Los Angeles he became Chef de Cuisine at Fork in the Road in Santa Monica and Mardi at Palihouse in West Hollywood. After his grandmother passed he decided to take a trip to Mexico, exploring the flavors of the different regions and the restaurants of Alejandro Ruiz, father to modern Mexican cooking. A serendipitous meeting with Chef Ruiz at the airport led to a further five months in Oaxaca learning all about countryside cooking, in both taste and technique. When he came back to California the opportunity at Twohey’s became available, where he seized the chance to marry his passion for modern composition and the warmth of his grandmother’s table. “The nostalgia is in the taste, but the cuisine is now,“ Limoge says of his culinary philosophy at Twohey’s Tavern.

Tanya Reyes welcomed me for my fun experience she came from Alexander’s Steak house. She is the general manager at Towhey’s Tavern, her smile and knowledge will keep you coming back for more.

Here’s What I tried:

Cocktails:

Traditional Vodka Martini, done in a coupe glass, very clear and perfect, my kind of Martini.

The Heartbreaker, with Vodka, IPA reduction, cucumber, Hawaiian black sea salt, and lime. This is a very refreshing martini, with great cucumber essence. The Hawaiian black sea salt added just the right amount of seasoning to this glorious cocktail.

Starters:

Liver and onions/chicken livers, with caramelized onion, Worcestershire sauce, and sourdough. This is one of those dishes that could go very wrong if the liver was over cooked or if too much salt was added, but this dish is done to perfection with every detail covered.

Pickled Yellowtail, with cider caviar, Fresno red hot, dehydrated apple, fennel pollen, and scallion. This is super fresh yellow tail, they give you four large slices, just enough to engage your palate.

Shrimp coctel, with spot prawns, coctel aspic, michelada foam, Fresno red hot, avocado mousse. Large prawns with their heads on, truly the presentation is a work of art, but once you get one of these glorious succulent little beauties in your mouth you will see why this will become a must have every time you’re at Twohey’s Tavern.

Salads:

Kale, with baby kale, pipian vinaigrette, apple, pepitas, and fennel sprouts. Super healthy menu option, with very few ingredients but they all work so great together.

Potato Salad, with fingerlings, orange, sage, grainy mustard, crème fraiche, horseradish, and cured yolk. The Potato Salad is just the right amount of all of its parts, and the Peruvian purple potatoes, put this dish right out there in the stratosphere.

Dinners:

Fried Chicken, with Half Rocky’s chicken, with braised greens, and wildflower honey. The Fried Chicken utilizes a half chicken without the bones and is accompanied by braised greens, cranberry beans, and Bill’s Bees wildflower honey. The breading is just off the charts with it super delicious seasonings, and crisp tender coating.

Santa Barbara Halibut, with juniper broth, wild mushrooms, toasted barley pearls, and roast turnip. Limoge also partners with Dock to Dish, all line-caught from Santa Barbara for most of his fish menu items. A nice woodsy dish with very smoky mushrooms with these delightful barley pearls.

Dessert:

Twohey’s Famous Hot Fudge Sundae, this is the best Sundae ever. The fudge is super chewy ad when it lands on the ice cream is gets more lovely texture, what an amazing sundae, featuring the Original Twohey’s Bittersweet Fudge topping with whipped cream, roasted almonds and a cherry.

Apple Tartan, such a gorgeous arrangement of fall leaves and apple vinegar flavors really worked as a nice ending to my very lovely experience.

White Wine:

Vine Cliff/Chardonnay – Carneros, Ca. A nice light fruity Chardonnay that went great with the Shrimp Coctel.

Jackhammer/Kristy’s Chardonnay – Monterey Ca. This is a very oaky chardonnay, with lots of buttery goodness; I loved this wine with the Halibut.

Red Wine:

Brave & Maiden/Cabernet Sauvignon – Santa Ynez Valley, Ca. I would try this wine with the Fried Chicken, it has a lot of smoky jammy characteristics that match the crisp breading of the fried chicken.

Smokescreen/The Chemist-Paso Robles, Ca. This wine is a blend with some pepper nuances; I loved this with the Liver and Onions, especially the sweetness of the onions.

The décor is very inviting, with copper topped tables and grey wood wainscoting. The light fixtures are upside down glass cones as well as industrial copper hanging fixtures. The bar is lively with a flat screen TV for sports events. The lighting is bright but warm and the modern feel makes this place truly enticing.

Twohey’s Tavern is open for Dinner every Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm and the Bar is open from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Twohey’s Tavern is open for Dinner every Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm and the Bar is open from 5:00 pm to 12:00 Midnight.

Twohey’s Tavern
2835 East Foothill Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91107
T: 626.449.2337
www.TwoheysTavern.com


* Note some content taken from website

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Mia Jee Tandori & Juice Bar – Dinner – November 27, 2017 – K – Town, Los Angeles,CA.

Right in the heart of K-Town on Vermont lies a good place for a combination of Ethnic food, including Mediterranean, Indian, & Pakistan.

With Authentic Spiced Tandoori, they specialize in Tandoor (clay oven) dishes. Mia Jee Tandori has over 50 dishes to choose from whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian. There is also a great juice bar; I enjoyed a watermelon juice, a carrot juice and a sugar cane juice, all super fresh and delightful.

Here’s What I Tried:

From The Mediterranean Menu:

Tabouli, the flavor is very fresh and it is just tomato, onion and parley, no Bulgur wheat, which makes it super light and healthy.

Humus, this humus is smooth as silk and really great, they serve it will nice pita bread.

Biryani:

Chicken Dum Biryani, Classic Mughlai Dish of Curried Chicken in Rice Flavored with Saffron Cooked in Aromatic Spices. Biryani: A delicious combination of different colored Basmati rice, with bold rich flavors, and render chicken with Saffron Cooked in Aromatic Spices.

Curries:

Chicken Tikka Masala, Boneless Tandoori Chicken Marinated in Spices with Tomato Cream Sauce. Just the perfect flavors of sweet curry with chucks of chicken that melt in your mouth.

Tandori:

Mai Jee Tandoori Platter Combination of mixed tandoori, I liked the beef kabob, nice spices and very tender.

Handcrafted Naan Bread:

Garlic Naan, Fresh garlic and coriander-seasoned bread, this bread is so flagrant and soft, dips well into any of the sauces.

Paneer:

Spinach Paneer, very different, but truly wonderful. The spinach is pureed and the flavors are sweet and spicy, a lovely dish.

Sides:

Raita, with the cooling yogurt and crunchy cucumbers, this condiment will help you get through all of the heat in most of these dishes.

Dal, this is a bean puree that is spicy and thick, a great accompaniment.

They have a lunch buffet and a Sunday Brunch, both from 12:00-4:00pm.

The interior is very cafeteria like on one side, but on their juice bar side it is very colorful and sexy. Make sure you sit in that area when you come here, it will give you a better outlook on life. This room is also used for many special events.

Talk to the staff when you get there and find out what is good for the day, they will steer your meal in the right direction.

Mia Jee Tandori
205 S. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90004
323-977-2249
http://www.miajeetandoori.com/

 

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The 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade – Sunday November 26, 2017 – Hollywood, CA.

The 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade Featuring Marine Toys for Tots, produced by Associated Television International and presented in associations with The City of Los Angeles, was led this year by Emmy Award-winning television guru, Dr. Oz, who served as Grand Marshal. This year’s parade makes its 3.2 mile trek through the streets of Hollywood. The parade was hosted by Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain and Montel Williams, with Co-Hosts Elizabeth Stanton and Garrett Clayton.

2017 Parade Sponsors included: Marine Toys For Tots; Salvation Army; Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! – Hollywood, celebrating their 100th Anniversary in 2018; Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes (with at car transporting Emmy Award-winning Jack Scalia and Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Williams, U.S. Army (Ret.); Rilakkuma; The Aquarium of the Pacific, located in Long Beach, CA; Paddington 2; The Australian Institute For Performing Arts; Easy Choice Health Care; Archibald Mouse; Charlie McNeal, Singer and Recording Artist; Calprivate Bank; Knott’s Merry Farm; 501st Legion; Banc of California; Air Force Mini Jet Team; StarCarCentral.com and Miss Hollywood International Studios. Media Sponsors include: The CW, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Hallmark Channel, Planet Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Variety, KOST 103.5 FM and POPSTAR!

Eighteen award-winning bands from around the country were featured in this year’s parade. They include: Marine Band San Diego with U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard (“Hooray For Hollywood” and “Marine Hymn”); Encore High School Hippogriffs (Riverside, CA); United States Air Force Color Guard; Ola High School Marching Mustangs Band (McDonough, GA); Los Angeles Department Honor Guard, Los Angeles Police, Emerald Society Pipes and Drums; Foothill High School Marching Band (Pleasanton, CA); Gadsden Elementary School District #32 Marching Band (San Luis, AZ); Pacific American Volunteer Association World Traditional Korean Marching Band (PAVA World, Los Angeles, CA); Fishers High School Marching Tiger Band (Fishers, IN); Golden Valley High School Cardinal Regime (Merced, CA); Korean American Youth Performing Artists (KAYPA) (Chino, CA); Carlsbad High School Caveman Band and Color Guard (Carlsbad, NM); Center Grove High School Marching Band (Greenwood, IN); Cesar Chavez High School Marching Band and Color Guard (Stockton, CA); Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band (Worthington, MN); New Milford Marching Band and Color Guard (New Milford, CT); Greenwood Marching Woodmen and Irish Guard (Greenwood, IN); Beverly Hills High School Marching Band (Beverly Hills, CA) and Los Angeles Catholic Schools Band (Torrance, CA).

Twenty larger than life inflatable character balloons floated down the streets of Hollywood on parade night including: Betty Boop (Sponsored by Entertainment Tonight; Wrangled by the Hollywood Arts Council); Gumby (Sponsored by Gumby; Wrangled by Make-A-Wish Foundation); Rilakkuma (Brown Bear), Korilakkuma (White Bear) and Kiiroitori (Yellow Bird) (Sponsored and Wrangled by Rilakkuma); Gingerbread Man and Gingerbread House (Sponsored and Wrangled by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!); Pirate & Treasure Chest (Sponsored and Wrangled by Author Services, Inc. and Galaxy Press); Lorax (Sponsored by Variety; Wrangled by Hollywood Central Park); Toy Soldier (Sponsored by Coalition To Salute American Heroes; Wrangled by American Legion Auxiliary Hollywood, Unit 43); Garfield & Pookie (Sponsored by Easy Choice Health; Wrangled by Kiwanis) (Representative Robert Gandara); Star, Bell and Ornament (Sponsored and Wrangled by Salvation Army); Candy Canes, Christmas Stocking and Gift Box (Sponsored by POPSTAR!; Wrangled by U.S. Air Force).

Four Equestrian Units were featured in this year’s parade, including: Knott’s Merry Farm (Buena Park, CA) with Santa Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Lucy with spokesperson Tim Klega; Majestic Acres (Ramona, CA); Broken Horn Ropers (Baldwin Park, CA) and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Mounted Enforcement Detail.

This year’s parade included 100 celebrities from film, television and stage and other VIPS, including: Santa Claus, Lt. General Pete Osman; President and CEO of Marine Toys for Tots; U.S, Marine Corps Color Guard; cast members of “The Young and the Restless (celebrating their 45th Anniversary),” “The Bay,” “Mike and Molly,” “The Riveras,” “Days of Our Lives,” “This Just In,” as well as The Village People (celebrating their 40th Anniversary and the return of original singer Victor Willis), Lou Diamond Phillips, Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow (celebrating their 60th Anniversary on “Leave It To Beaver”); Nancy Cartwright; Asia Monet; Magicians Tommy Wind, Titou, Chris Randall and Naahan Phan (stars of The CW’s “Masters of Illusion”); Gumby; California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and Councilmember David Ryu and more!

A Pre-Parade All-Star Concert kick-offed the festivities at 5:00 p.m. in the streets of Hollywood, CA with the following performing artists: The Village People, Tom Dixon, “American Idol” Season 14 Winner Nick Fradiani, Nickelodeon’s Breann Yde, Magician Tommy Wind from The CW’s “Masters of Illusion,” The Tearaways, Recording Artists Julia Ara, Magician Titou from The CW’s “Masters of Illusion,” Cee Lo Green, “American Idol” 2003 Winner Reuben Studdard and Band of Merrymakers. Other Live Performers at the parade will include: Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” Candy Canes; Charlie McNeal singing “Christmas On The Phone); Rollettes (12 Wheelchair Dancers featuring Che’nelle performing “Miracle” and Australian Institute For Performing Arts performing “Deck the Rooftop.” Street Performers will include magicians Chris Randall and Naathan Phan.

Five Floats featured in this year’s parade including: Rock Band Float with Aerialists, Fan Dancers and Kickline performing with Encore High School Hippogriffs from the Encore Junior/Senior High School for the Arts from Hesperia, CA; Nebuta Marching Unit and Nebuta Float inspired by the popular Nebuta Festival of Aomori Prefecure, one of the largest and most famous festivals in all of Japan that dates back hundreds of years; The Way To Happiness with actress Nancy Cartwright, Voice of Bart Simpson on “The Simpsons;” Miss Hollywood International Studios, Silvio Nicholas Walters, Presents “Heroes and Villians,” a array of original designs by Silvio Nicholas Walters starring Samantha Hart as The American Commander and Sweety Vaga as Bastet Cat Goddess, along with the Amazon Warriors; Santa Claus and His Reindeer, ushering in the holiday season, accompanied by two United States Marine Corps escorts. Santa’s Elves have adorned his ceremonial robe with snowflakes and thousands of Swarovski Crystals, in addition to weaving in 500 red crystals in the Poinsettia on Santa’s hat.

Seventy two Characters and Novelties were featured in this year’s parade, including: United States Marine Corps Color Guard; 30 Movie Picture Cars Supplied by Nate Trumans’ Star Center; United States Air Force Color Guard; P51 Mustang and F16 Mini Jets; Gumby, with Joe Clokey, son of Art Clokey, creator of Gumby, and his wife Joan Clokey and their children; 501st Legion; Rilakkumma and Korilakkuma, with representative Rina Hoshino; Archibald Mouse with author Gradma Sylvia Lieberman and her daughter Dr. Carole Lieberman; Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! (celebrating their 100th Annivesary) with Unicyclist, Contortionist, Bullwhip Artist, Sword Swallower, Fire Breather; Aquarium of the Pacific; Friends of Sister Cities of Los Angeles;
Victor McGlaglen Motor Corporation and Stunt Team ad Paddington 2.
As always Santa Claus and His Reindeer, ushered in the holiday season as the very last float, accompanied by his United States Marine Corps escorts, Sergeant Saskeia Bell and Lance Corporal Christian Diaz.

The 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade Featuring Marine Toys For Tots will premiere as a two-hour primetime special on The CW Network on Friday, December 15, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT (7:00 p.m. CT) and will be seen on Hallmark after The CW broadcast. The parade will also air to more than one million American servicemen and women worldwide on the American Forces Network during the holiday season. The parade will also feature a Special Tribute “The Young and the Restless,” celebrating their 45th Anniversary.

During the Red Carpet Arrivals Event Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and Lt. General Pete Osman presented this year’s Parade Grand Marshal Dr. Oz with a Certificate of Recognition from The City of Los Angeles for his career accomplishments, and Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell will present a Certificate of Recognition to Bill Lomas, celebrating his 40th Anniversary as a Producer of the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

This year’s parade had great weather and everyone was truly feeling the Christmas spirit even though it is in November, what a great way to start out this glorious holiday season.

http://thehollywoodchristmasparade.org/

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Strays – Sunday – Nov. 19, 2017 – The Secret Rose Theater – North Hollywood, CA.

Cats and dogs, oh my – how could you go wrong, with such great subject matter – it’s a no–brainer. But what you don’t know is how one person’s emotional journey can take them through the best of times and the worst of times, and that is all exhibited through Lisa’s eyes, as well as in her rescued Dogs and Cats perspectives.

Knowing some part of Lisa Wharton’s journey, I was so excited to see what was on tap for this 1 hour one-woman show. Lisa Wharton wrote this emotional roller coaster, which was filled with laughter and sadness; it really tugged at all of our heartstrings. Hey she even cried at one point in the show.

Her journey begins when she tells the story of how she rescues her dog Freeway from the 10 – Santa Monica Freeway, hence the name Freeway. Even how she tries to get him adopted only to fall in love with him herself, and with her dog Lady Bug finding a new pal. The audience was hysterical with all of her wacky physical comedy when describing her pets. She dives into more juicy matter with her own adoption stories of her birth mother, and when her soon to be adopted Mother first brought her home. But what you take away from knowing about Lisa’s adoption is her fear of abandonment, which gave her strength, and made her move forward to a more fruitful life. Her bravery allowed her to help animals in need, making this crusade a huge part of her life. The generosity of spirit in her story is very enlightening, that humans can make a difference when it comes to our furry friends. Lisa is a humanitarian in the truest sense of the word, funding this amazing show and doing it in partnership with animal rescue was very creative and nothing I have ever seen before. Celebrating animals with 75 percent of proceeds going to animal rescue organization.

Other memorable parts of the show for me were when Lisa uses her athletic prowess by roller-skating to the very fun Captain and Tennille. Using the song “Make Someone Happy”, by Jimmy Durante was also very inspiring. She started caring for animals very young, with her many stuffed animals on stage, she talks to all of them and reminisces with the Russian – Mr. Professor, with a comical Russian accent. Her motherly instincts kick in when she puts all of her stuffed animals to bed.

Also, the visual aids of the dogs she spoke about was very helpful because you didn’t have to imagine the faces of these precious angels, you simply see them and melt.

A lot of tragedy struck Lisa’s life at a very young age, with her adopted father telling his family that he didn’t want anything to do with them when she was 9 years old, and then her new father Ron molested some members of her family. Using all of this tragedy Lisa transcends her anger into the joy of giving love to her rescued animals.

A favorite part of the play comes when Lisa climbs on top of a riser in the front of the stage and howls like all of her canine friends. It is a very freeing moment, one where we can see all of her emotional layers removed and her rescue efforts shine through. Lisa is very creative; she even coined some terms that we have never heard like, “see you in a bitsy”. Lisa’s fun, irreverent characters really added a special nuance that helped her audience realize how versatile her talent really is. Let me put it to you this way, if you were a dog or cat you would Lisa to be your owner. She may have her ups and downs, but the fun and love she radiates makes her the best pet owner in the world!

Writer / Performer: Lisa Wharton has held lead and supporting roles in several independent films including Razor’s Ring, The Light, Teachers and Anarchy TV and Clocking the T.

If you look closely, you might recognize her as PetSmart employee in the PetSmart National Adoption Weekend commercial. This fall, she will appear in Criminal Confessions premiering on the Oxygen Network.

Lisa began her acting training in San Francisco with the acclaimed Jean Shelton and then with her son, Christian Phillips at the Actor’s Theatre before moving to Los Angeles in 2007. Lisa was a company member of the Actor’s Theatre in San Francisco for three years. Her favorite theatre roles include Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Madame X in Strindberg’s The Stronger and Thelma in A Trip to Bountiful where she shared the stage with Jean Shelton.

Lisa is a passionate animal advocate. She started volunteering with animal rescue organizations 10 years ago. While in San Francisco she volunteered with the ASPCA’s Animal Therapy program. Lisa’s magic-wand wish is to end all animal cruelty in the world.

Lisa currently works as an Account Supervisor for an advertising agency. Think “Mad Men” without the day drinking. She lives in Los Angeles with her three rescue animals.

About The Show: STRAYS: We all feel a little lost sometimes, is a heartfelt, funny journey of one woman’s experiences in the animal rescue world as she finds the parallels of her own story having been adopted twice. Through the animals, she faces her own fears of abandonment, the guilt of not being able to protect the ones she loves and finds hope, one rescue at a time.

Director: Lisa Nicole Lennox is a film and stage director who worked the theatre circuit in the San Francisco Bay Area for eight years. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as an actor and casting associate but found directing to be her spark and the best way to share her creative voice. She finds the exploration of the human condition to be fascinating and enjoys delving into the many layers of life on film and stage. She teaches acting at The Young Actors Studio in North Hollywood. Lisa graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Theatre.

Who’s Who: Producer-Lisa Wharton, Director and Set Design-Lisa Nicole Lennox, Publicity-Anita J. Lee & Sandra Kuker, Lighting Design- Donna Willet, Stage Manager-Amanda Reimer, Graphic Designer- Lizzy Margiotta, Website Design-Angela Valley, Rescue Extraordinare and Fundraising Coordinator: Claudia Garcia

This show is dedicated to the all the resilient beings that have suffered at the hands of cruelty. And, to the tireless animal rescue volunteers that help make the world a more compassionate place, one rescue at a time.

I just loved the premise and Lisa’s talent is simply remarkable. Going from present to past, each scene had great intent, whether funny or sad she nailed every moment. We really got a glimpse into her dedication, and the comparison of adoption, human or otherwise.

To be so exposed about ones life in a funny touching way will surely make you want celebrate Lisa Wharton’s story and go out and adopt a pet!

Tickets are $28 and available at Brown Paper Tickets: http://strays.brownpapertickets.com
75% of all ticket sales will be distributed between two different animal rescue organizations. The hour-long performances are at 3PM every Sunday, October 29 through Sunday, December 3rd. at The Secret Rose (11264 Magnolia Blvd. North Hollywood, 91601).

Written and Performed by Lisa Wharton
Directed By Lisa Nicole Lennox
www.straystheshow.com
Link to Youtube Video:

* Note some text was taken off of their website.

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Sunday – November 5th 2017 – Dinner – Barbara Jean – Melrose District – Los Angeles, CA.

Barbara Jean is absolutely food for the soul, with its many takes on traditional Southern Cuisine, every bite has an extra punch, with very flavorful nuances.

Located in the fun, trendy fashion section of Melrose Ave. In the back patio of the Melrose Umbrella Co., lies a dim, wood-lined bar. The retractable roof makes for some sunshine in the day, or coziness in the evening. I was seated out on the patio, and although there was a hint of chilly breeze, the heat lamps really made for a comfortable and pleasant dining experience. My server Lindsay was knowledgeable and to the point about this thoroughly modern cuisine.

About Chef Jason Fulliove:

Jason Fullilove grew up in Ohio where he began his culinary career working in country clubs and restaurants. Recognizing his true passion, he relocated to New York where he studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Armed with a solid technical background he ventured out onto the New York restaurant scene. He earned the position of Head Restaurant Chef at Mangia, followed by Executive Sous Chef at Isabella’s. Longing to expand the depth of his culinary vision, he traveled to the Caribbean and served as the Chef de Cuisine at the illustrious Ritz Carlton on St. Thomas. At last he found himself in California with a list of accolades to his credit. Such endeavors include Chef de Cuisine for The Gorbals, Executive Chef at Da Vinci, stints at Malibu Pier, as well as a Catering Chef for The Patina Group, executive chef at elite restaurant Campanile and also at Patina Restaurant Group’s LACMA Café. He went on to become executive chef for the high profile reopening of Clifton’s Cafeteria.

On Feb. 24th – 2017 Barbara Jean began as a pop-up with Chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, he’s reviving many classics with a contemporary spin, like black-eyed pea bisque, charred okra, and saffron poached apples. He’s embracing his love for the farm to table philosophy, integrating modern cooking techniques such as charring and fermentation. Chef Jason Fullilove’s innovation uses ancient grains, limes, pumpkins, and a myriad of root vegetables, to act as a healthy conduit to his more Southern type recipes. Assuredly he will entice the palate with flavor combinations anyone has yet to even conceptualize.

This is a great “permanent brick-and-mortar” restaurant, Fullilove has found a home, where he’s doing his food on his terms. No more pop-ups, he doesn’t need a big blockbuster restaurant because he’s got the freedom to serve whatever he pleases at the 45-seat Barbara Jean. This means celebrating his African-American roots while simultaneously showcasing his formidable cooking skills.

Fullilove is a chef who still enjoys changing things up on the regular. He’s always tweaking his dinner and weekend brunch menus, based on the availability of “locally farmed, wild and foraged ingredients.”

Here’s what I tried:

Barbara Jean’s Signature Cocktails:

Melrose Mule: Vodka Lime, Blood Orange, Ginger, and Cinnamon Syrup. A pretty strong cocktail, but very refreshing all the same.

Midnight Market: Zaya Aged Rum, Lemon, Teeling’s Irish Whiskey, Watermelon, and Coconut La Croix. You feel like you are on a deserted island, filled with sunshine, the rum will make your forget all of your troubles.

Mezcall Me Banana: Mezcal or Tequila, Prickly Pea, Lime Grapefruit, Banana, Habanero Salt, and Charred Rosemary. For the margarita drinker this one will really make you fall in love, it hits all the rights notes.

These are the Wines I tried:

“Locations”, Red Blend – Merlot – Syrah – Petit Syrah.
Washington. This is a nice blend, and accompanied with the brisket it is a no-brainer.

“Locations”, White – Chardonnay – Northern California. This is a very buttery, creamy Chardonnay; it went well with the lobster in the Lobster Mac n Cheese.

What I tried from the To Start options:

Watercress Salad: grapefruit, avocado, bacon bits, endive, and tossed with grapefruit dressing. This is a very healthy refreshing salad. One that you, like me, will eat the whole thing. Truly delicious and a must have at Barbara Jean.

Deviled Pumpkin: sourdough, roast pumpkin, pomegranate, and ground chestnuts. This is a very filling menu item, and so fall, I just loved the colors.

Curry Fried Chicken, with Thai red chili aioli, and house made pickles. Something you only dream about, curry and fried chicken, what a concept. The visual on this is off the charts and once you get these darlings in your mouth you will know why Chef Jason Fullilove has this huge hit on his hands.

Heirloom Tomato & Fig: local heirloom tomatoes, mascarpone, fig vincotto, and tarragon. Truly a work of art, and the many nuances dance in your palate, of course the Mascarpone is the centerpiece.

Sides:

Hushpuppies, with truffle honey. Another worldly feat, done with such elegance, your taste buds will forever be in your debt.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, with apple chutney. These little gems are all the rage and Barbara Jean’s version does not disappoint. It’s health, meaty, its got all the bells and whistles and more.

Buttermilk Biscuits, with honey, butter, and seas salt. These biscuits are a big mystery, I know they are hard to make, a true Southern accomplishment. The butter and honey round out the goodness; if you’re not a Southern Bell these biscuits will make you be a convert.

What I tried off of the “From the Sea” choices:

Lobster Mac N’ Cheese, with Gremolata and sharp cheddar. A no-nonsense Lobster Mac n Cheese, you get lots of lobster and the cheesy bites will make you a Mac n Cheese lover for sure.

What I tried off the “From the Farm” options:

12 Hour Braised BBQ Brisket, with poached apples, natural jus, asparagus, carrots, and chestnuts. This is melt in your mouth brisket, and the accompaniment are bold yet delicate, with this great natural jus, simply amazing.

Dessert:

Hummingbird Cake, with banana, pineapple cake and cream cheese frosting. This cake is very light and fluffy, kind of like a carrot cake, but the dripping caramel makes for one fantastic dessert.

The atmosphere is like a speakeasy, but with an Americana flare. You almost feel like you could be in someone’s backyard, or their elegant patio, but very cozy and casual. Music enhances the vibe, with Amy Winehouse and Justin Timberlake playing loud enough to enjoy. In the South they use butcher paper on dining tables for a cookout, and Barbara Jean does the same homespun thing. Many frames without art in them adorn the walls, kind of a secret why they do this, but super creative.

Named after Jason Fullilove’s mother, Barbara Jean is really a great find! Every foodie in Los Angeles must come and enjoy this gastronomic experience. I’m really not the queen of all knowing when it comes to food, but this restaurant makes me proudly want to wear a crown. Come and enjoy the atmosphere, the food and libations, it will put you exactly where you want to be, heaven.

Barbara Jean
7465 Melrose Ave Los Angeles
323-951-0709
www.barbarajeanla.com
* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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