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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October 29, 207 -Taste Talks – All-Star Cookout – Medusa Lounge Parking Lot

A sunny warm day in Los Angeles in October, the perfect day to raise a glass and eat some really scrumptious food. That is what Taste Talks had to present their foodie type attendees.

Here is what was offered:

Neighbor- Sichuan Cauliflower, Broken Shaker X The Exchange-Grilled Sweet Potato w/Chile and Almond Milk, Mexikosher- Watermelon and Chile Tostada, Bone Kettle- Garlic Herb-Crusted Lamb Loin, Cento Pasta Bar X Otoño- Sweet Corn Polenta, WOOD- Wood-Fired Meatballs, Kato Restaurant X Barbra Jean LA- “Surf and Turf” Smoked Pork &Pickled Shrimp, Delicious Pizza x Delicious Vinyl DJs- Delicious mini-slices, Secret Lasagna- Moo Ping Tacos with Jaew salsa, Dream Pops- Assorted Superfood Pops, Custom Cocktail- Broken Shaker Celery , Complementary Drinks- GA Bar: Beer or Wine.

Celebrity Chefs: Katherine Spiers / LA Weekly, Lara Rabinovitch,
Neuman / Google, Zach Patterson / Umbrella Hospitality Group, Erik Martirosyan / WOOD, Avner Levi / Cento Pasta Bar, Rick Ross / Delicious Pizza, Felipe & Ignacio Santiago // X’tios,Dina Samson / Rossoblu, Steve Samson / Rossoblu, Claire Herminjard / Mindful Meats, Erwin Tjahyadi / bone kettle, Teresa Montaño / Otoño, Jean Trinh / Freelance Writer, Heather Sperling / Botanica, Jeff Miller / Thrillist, Royce Burke / Secret Lasagna, Luke Reyes / La Hoja, Elise McDonough, Ryan DeNicola / chi SPACCA, Alex Pitts / Bazaar Meats, Jodi Liano / San Francisco Cookin, JeffThe420Chef, Antonio Diaz / Life & Thyme, Andrea Drummer / Elevation VIP C, Isa Fabro / Unit 120, Josh Elkin / Cooking Channel’s Sugar Showdown, Alex Chang / The Exchange, Gabriel Orta / Broken Shaker, Ellen Bennett / Hedley & Bennet, Jason Fullilove / Barbara Jean,Jonathan Yao / Kato Restaurant, Christian Page / Cassell’s Hambu, Nguyen Tran / Button Mash, Star, Michael Fiorelli / Love & Salt Claudette Wilkins, Katsuji Tanabe / Mexikosher, Nakul, Arjun and Pawan Mahend, and Curtis Stone / Gwen, Maude.

They had a VIP area on top of this event in a raised area, where the margaritas were flowing, and people were enjoying every last sip, including me. You were perched atop of all of this glorious smoke filled cook out.

The event organizer: Northside Media Inc., out of Brooklyn, is bringing their beloved Taste Talks food & drink festival to LA for the second year! Join us to celebrate the future of taste through a weekend of talks, tastings, dinners and parties. We’re bringing together LA’s amazing chefs, restaurants and cultural figures together to engage in great conversation, awesome food and one-of-a-kind experiences.

The event was filled with great food, lively foodies, beautiful Eastside types, enjoying their tastes and libations.

http://losangeles.tastetalks.com/

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East Side Food Festival – Sunday Oct. 22, 2017 – Mack Sennet Studios, Los Angeles, CA.

On a hot October day, lots of delicious Los Angeles Eastside food was to be had. Restaurants that were all part of this new creative force that belongs to the Eastside food scene in Los Angeles. Lots of tasty fare, thirst quenching cocktails and very friendly people.

What I like the most about this festival is that it is small and you really get to know the vendors. The studio itself is compact, there is an outside courtyard filled with vendors and an inside area as well. Living in Los Angeles we are known for our very wonderful ethnic cuisine, but there is no festival that features this kind of food. All walks of life and all ethnicities are required for a day of fun and merriment.

Here’s are the participants:

Button Mash, 
Cafe Birdie, 
Cosa Buona, 
El Cochinito, 
Fat Dragon, Frankie Lucy Bake Shop, Go Get Em, Tiger Guayaki, Hey Hey, Home State, Hot Hot Food, Jeff the 420 Chef, Jeni’s Ice Creams, Kettle Black Kevita, 
La Hoja, 
Little Beast, Melody, 
Mixed Company, Momed, Ohana Poke Company, Our/Los Angeles Vodka, RBTA, 
Red Herring
Sawyer, Starry Kitchen, Sweetfin, 
Tabula Rasa Bar, The Black Cat, Trois Familia, Ventura, We Have Noodles, Winsome, 
Wood, Gget, Amaro Angeleno Spirits, 
Angel City Brewing Co, Bar Angeles, and Lord Jones.

Some of my memorable food item were the delicious Green Noodle with Kale Broccoli, and fried shallots. Chili garlic Noodle with sous vide chicken, from We Have Noodle, Rice balls from Button Mash, Momeds Greek Meat Balls, with lamp & beef, spicy chermoula, toasted pine nuts, fresh pomegranate, feta, and soft herbs. Delicious Spicy Tuna, and Spicy Yuzu Salmon Poke from Sweet Fin, Frankie Lucy Bake Shop, pudding and cookies, Fat dragon, spicy dumplings, Trois Familia, Carrot Enchilada, Anchovy toast from Birdy, Little Beast, pork and bacon terrine corn bread with caramelized pineapple. Most of what I tasted was delicious, but some flavors just linger in your mouth for a very long time.

Events:

Exclusive VIP Wine Tasting with Eric Wareheim: 
Master of None actor Eric Wareheim brings Las Jaras Wines to the VIP hour 3pm-4pm. Snacky Tunes: 
Live podcast on the subject of siblings in the food and music industry feat. music from Tangerine and interview w/ HomeState. Cannabis Cooking 101 food demo: 
Learn the basics of cooking with Cannabis infusions, live! Alta California: Writer Bill Esparza hosts a panel talking to local Mexican Chefs on the modern Mexican cuisine movement ‘Alta California’. VIP Exclusives:
 VIP Early Happy Hour 3-4, VIP Tequila Lounge, Eric Wareheim Wine tasting, VIP Gift Bags.

Schedule: 
Woodshop Stage (in Mack Sennett Vendor Hall) 3:00pm – 4:00pm: Eric Wareheim offers tastes of his all new Las Jaras Wines
4:15pm – 5:00pm: Smart Mouth Podcast Q&A with LA Weekly Food Editor Katherine Spiers and a local chef
5:15pm – 6:00pm: Dope & Dank, a conversation with local brewers about bridging the diversity, dope culture and the dank world of craft beer. 
6:15pm – 6:45: Starry Kitchen Chef Q&A and Book Signing. Main Stage: Food Demos, Discussion Panels and Podcast Recordings – 4:00pm – 4:45pm: Alta California – A discussion with local Mexican chefs exploring the trend of the modern Mexican-Inspired California cuisine movement emerging from Los Angeles dubbed ‘Alta California’ cuisine
5:00pm – 5:45pm: Snacky Tunes: Live podcast recording featuring live music from Tangerine and an interview with the sisters behind HomeState Restaurant. 6:00pm – 6:45pm: Cannabis Cooking 101: will educate guests on ways to make a simple cannabis infused meal with quality culinary cannabis products.

Ongoing Events
VIP Lounge Exclusive: Topo Chico and Dulce Vida Tequila Tasting Raffle benefiting Path organization
CBD Massages in Cannabis Corner, Compliments of Loki Lotions.
Supportive Partners: Acme Real Estate, Mack Sennett Studios, Path, Making it Home Our/Los Angeles, Tabula Rasa, Bar Prismatics, Ventura Spirits, Dublab,
Angel City Brewery, Uber Eats, Topo Chico, and Dulce Vida Amaro Angeleno. Media Partners, Prohbtd RN
LA Weekly Do LA, Salt Wind Flood Magazine.

Benefiting: Path Organization.

A great event with everything you would want from a food festival. The perfect libation, with the most delicious exotic cuisine, what more could you ask for.

http://eastsidefoodfest.com
Mack Sennett Studios
1215 Bates Ave.
LA, CA 90029

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LA Weekly – Brunch at The Races – Santa Anita Park – October 15, 2017 – Arcadia, California

October has some really hot days and this was one of them. It’s quite a long walk from the parking lot to the field and then once you’re there, if you’re not wearing a hat you will sizzle. But for all of the effort the delicacies of food and drink are worth it.

This is a fun event at the races. Wether you play the ponies or don’t you will find all of the necessities of a great brunch right here at the track.

Who All Was There:

Hornitos, La Huesuda Tacos, Sanctuary Coffee, Petit Pot, Du-par’s, Barbara Jean, Health–Ade Kombucha, Food Forward, Fred 62, Angel City Brewery, Myke’s Café, Red Herring, Little Dom’s, Bru’s Wiffle, AR Cucina, Backyard Mary, Cacique, Poppy + Rose, Todo Verde, Otus, Mascarpone Cheesecake, Sweet & Savory, Monkey Bar, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, Momed, Tacos Sin Karma, Kobawoo House, Bai, Pez Cantina, Waffling Around, Napa Valley Grille, Cindy’s Eagle Rock Restaurant, Hubert’s, Mc Connell’s, Jones Coffee Roasters, Effen Vodka, Makers Mark.

My favorite dishes were, (some of the restaurants I did not catch their names) a lovely fish with a nice chili sauce on top, great croissant with a quail egg of top, biscuits and sausage gravy, Myke’s lemon curd pancakes, Du-Pars pancakes, Kobawoo House’s Belgium endive with white rice and marinated beef, Pez Cantina’s Pozole soup, which is a perfect way to enjoy pork. It is simmered with hominy in a broth seasoned with chiles, cumin, oregano and garlic, like chicken soup but Latin style. Momed’s hangover meatballs, with sweet dates in the sauce, super yummy.

The Bloody Mary’s that Effen Vodka was making in the VIP area were spicy, but fantastic. There was so much activity in that area, fun merriment, and people being happy drunks.

The majority of women were decked out wearing their Sundays finest to check out the races, kind of like you were watching Kentucky Derby. The hats were glorious, many colors with glamorous headpieces or fascinator. Some men were dressed to the nine as well, wearing colorful suits. It just seems like everyone was having a ball.

I ventured into the betting area and picked a few horses in the 4th race, no winners, but the best $12.00 I have ever spent! Exciting stuff.

https://brunchattheraces.laweekly.com/

 

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Electric Entertainment Presents – LBJ – Screening – September 26, 2017

This is a very ambitious project, one that will truly shine a light into a time that was holds very sad memories for those who remember where they were when JFK was shot. I was in kindergarten and home sick from school when my Mom came in the room and announced that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. This film for me brings back all of those raw emotions. Unlike many other films that have documented this horrific time in our countries history, I felt all of those raw emotions came back, and cried my eyes out.

About the Film, the cast, directors, producers, and some of the back story:

As LBJ reveals, Lyndon Johnson was a masterful behind-the-scenes negotiator who lacked the leading- man looks and charisma of his presidential predecessor. “Hopefully, this movie will enable people to see LBJ in a more human light,” Reiner says. As co-founder of numerous political action groups including American Foundation for Equal Rights, which sponsored the successful constitutional challenge to California’s gay-marriage ban, Reiner envisions LBJ as an opportunity to re-assess Johnson’s pragmatism while in office. “Now that I’m older, having spent a lot of time in politics, I’ve come to understand more about what it takes to get things done,” he says. “I now admire LBJ a lot more than I used to.”

Filming on LBJ began in September 2015 in New Orleans and moved quickly under Reiner’s famously fast-paced directing style. “Rob’s incredible,” says Harrelson. “You come in thinking you’ve got a full day of work ahead of you, and you’re out by lunch.” Harrelson praises director of photography Barry Markowitz for keeping up with the no-nonsense director. “Barry is the fastest lighter I’ve ever worked with,” says the actor. “He uses mostly natural light and he’s brilliant.”

On the eve of the 1960 presidential primaries, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (Woody Harrelson), the most powerful Democrat in Washington, underestimates the political skill of Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan) and his shrewd campaign manager Bobby Kennedy (Michael Stahl- David). After losing the nomination to the telegenic junior senator, Johnson agrees to be Kennedy’s running mate, optimistic he can transform the vice presidency into a vital office. But when JFK wins the election, he and Bobby, the newly appointed attorney general, dismiss Johnson’s efforts to broker a compromise between Southern Democrat segregationists and the Administration over a groundbreaking Civil Rights Bill. Effectively sidelined and frustrated by his figurehead status, Johnson tells his closest advisors “My future is behind me.”

But everything changes on November 22, 1963, when Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas thrusts Johnson into the most powerful office in the world. While the nation mourns, President Johnson, with his devoted wife Lady Bird (Jennifer Jason Leigh) by his side, moves into the White House, re-igniting tensions with a grieving Bobby.

As Johnson tries to win over his predecessor’s formidable team of advisors, the first Southern President in a century faces a deeply divided country, torn between North and South, Democrat and Republican, black and white. With a lifetime of legislative experience and the future of his political life hanging in the balance, Johnson defies his longtime mentor, Georgia Senator Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins), and teams with Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough (Bill Pullman) to honor JFK’s legacy by championing passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.

LBJ is directed by Oscar® nominee Rob Reiner (A Few Good Men, When Harry Met Sally) and written by Joey Hartstone (Shock and Awe). The movie stars Emmy® winner and Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt, “True Detective”), Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield), Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Jeffrey Donovan (“Fargo,” “Burn Notice”), Bill Pullman (The Killer Inside Me, Independence Day) and Kim Allen (“Army Wives”).

In Theaters Nationwide – November 3, 2017

* Note some content was taken off of website.

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Maxwell Dickson’s Purple Tie Affair Fundraising Event – Benefiting Stroke Awareness – Friday September 15.

The venue for this event was the Hotel Indigo in Downtown LA. I had never been to this hotel before but it’s very conveniently located. It’s only 2 blocks away from the Staples Center. The inside décor of the hotel was absolutely stunning with a modern chic and hip vibe. The event was held on the 18th floor. Once you stepped out of the elevator, after checking your ID with the security guard, you are welcomed by a stunning 360-degree-view of Downtown LA and the multiple freeways. The timing was perfect to witness the beautiful sunset.

The whole room was beautifully decked out with paintings of renowned music artists and athletes. There was a beautiful fireplace with super comfy couches and seats overlooking the spectacular views of the city. On top of that, a very nice bartender checked in with the attendees to make sure they were properly served.

At the other end of the room, there was the purple carpet area where interviews and photo ops were being held as the attendees arrived and checked in with the host. By the end of the night, the room was full of people dancing to the music of the DJ.

Overall, the venue location was a smart pick. By the time I left everyone seemed to be enjoying their Friday night out.

http://www.maxwelldickson.com
Contributing Columnist – Mariana Muela

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