Culver City Centennial Westside Food & Wine Festival – Sunday – July 2, 2017

Culver City Centennial Westside Food & Wine Festival presented by Wescom. July 2, 2017 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM, at the Courtyard by Marriott LA Westside Hotel, 6333 Bristol Pkwy, Culver City, CA, 90230.

On a beautiful sunny day in Los Angeles, I was able to taste and enjoy some prime restaurants and great cocktails. What more could you ask for.

Here are some of the vendors from the event:
Enjoy 20+ Great Food and Wine/Drink Vendors. Event is Indoor & Outside on the adjacent patio and back parking lot. Culver City/Celebrity Chefs including Kimmy Tang (Owner of many past restaurants including 9021PHO). Free chair massages by fantastic massage therapist Jason Chase for VIP ticket holders. Gold Sponsor Wescom Credit Union, Silver Sponsors Culver City Toyota & Honda- Bringing some of their model cars. Local restaurants participating include Hanjip, Pitfire Pizza, Mayura Indian, LA Gastronomy, Public School, Wildcraft, Panini Cafe, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Luciano Italiano Cuccina, Marriott Hotel, Cava, Naked Juice, Harmless Coconut Water, Le Pain Quotidien, Ococoa Chocolates and more coming. Ambiance Music by DJ Gabe of Culver City and Live Guitar by Kevin G as well as other entertainment including Fantastic Paul-professional strolling magic from America’s Got Talent and a fortune telling psychic.

Its worth trying out next year, perhaps they will even have more food vendors since this was it’s first ever year. I would go and check it out!

Culver City Centennial Westside Food & Wine Festival

http://culvercity100.org/events/culver-city-centennial-westside-food-wine-festival/



 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Miro – Dinner – June 19th, 2017 – Downtown Los Angeles, DTLA.

Downtown Los Angeles has so many new fantastic restaurants; it has really turned into its own microcosm. What Miro has to offer is a big city feel with incredible attention to detail, and delicious cuisine.

Miro is off of Wilshire and Figueroa Street. It’s sleek and minimalistic design is destined to immerse you in an unforgettable delightful dining experience. The restaurant uses an array of top-notch, high-quality fresh ingredients that will get your taste buds going. Everything is house made; their charcuterie, their perfectly fresh cooked pasta and the exquisite ingredients they use for Mediterranean dishes and tapas. Miro delivers an outstanding food variety that will certainly please every palate alongside their fine selection of whiskeys and wines.

Kevin Willis my very generous host, gave me a nice overview of the restaurant, having had his 1 year anniversary party a little while back, and my assistant attending and writing about it, I was all excited to taste this innovative cuisine.

When you walk in your are shocked, this is a stand alone building in this bustling downtown area, they have managed to make you feel like your in a very urban environment, but with a nice modern feel. The interior is very contemporary and stylish; it has lot of very high-end nuances that make for a sexy environment. The gorgeous bar and the overhead light fixtures add a touch of elegance. The Whiskey bar is hidden and secretive, it almost has a speak-easy vibe. The whole place is very sophisticated, a welcome space for all of the other boring establishments in the neighborhood.

Here’s what I tried:

Cocktails:

Elder Fashion – Flymouth gin, elderflower, and orange bitters. This cocktail is only for a Gin drinker, you really have to enjoy the taste of Gin, but it is very refreshing.

Come On…Chai Me – Titos, chai orgeat, lemon, and orange curacao. This is a very invigorating drink, you could have many of these because it is tropical and you can’t taste the alcohol.

Grey Goose Martini, a real winner, simple and direct.

Small Plates:

Wood-Grilled Peach – burrata, local honey, prosciutto, and saba. When you add the creamy burrata with the slice of prosciutto and a piece of basil, you’re getting the best Italian salad on the planet. The peaches are luscious and savory at the same time. The texture, the sweetness and the grilling combination of flavors make for an excellent salad, perfect, gorgeous presentation. The basil adds a splash of an Italian bitter herb that you’re familiar with.

Wild Local Crudo – Meyer lemon, pickled chili, mint, and Calabrian chili oil; it is spicy and tangy. The herbs on top are mint. The red pepper gives a little bit of kick. The salmon is raw but perfectly cooked from the acid in the lemon.

Eggplant Pahi – spiced eggplant, herb yogurt, and house-made flat bread. All vegetarian, the bread is grilled and handmade. The labneh adds just the perfect texture and makes it creamy and savory at the same time, simply wonderful.

Pastas:

Rigatoni- wild mushrooms, truffle butter, and Parmesan. They use wild mix mushrooms, which change every season. The butter and the Parmesan cheese make a wonderful creamy texture that just melts into your mouth. This pasta is otherworldly.

Squid Ink Corzetti- lobster, tarragon, cherry tomato, and saffron. The dough used for this pasta is from Genova. The lobster is soft and tender and was a perfect combination.

Pizzas:

Italian Sausage- mozzarella, tomato, arugula and lemon; this pizza reminded me of my time in Italy. It has just the right amount of sausage. They use pure imported Italian flour. The tomato sauce was cooked to perfection, not watery and thick enough to perfectly blend with the arugula and lemon. This is is a top-notch savory pizza.

Large Plates:

Lamb Kofta Tagine – green harissa, cage free egg, pine nut, raisin, and grilled bread. This is Kevin’s personal favorite dish. The lamb is overwhelming with all its spicy flavors. It’s so earthy, and smoky yet spicy. It leaves your palate with an aroma of cloves and curry. The flavor is a mix of Indian, Middle Eastern, and Iranian seasonings. They used preserved lemons on top, spicy harissa and a spice mix.

Desserts:

Devil’s Whiskey Mousse Cake, Choco- whiskey ganache, anglaise, cocoa nib-almond tuile, it is so delectable and good; you just want to bathe yourself in this luscious desert.

Mascarpone Cheese Cake, Caramel, marshmallow, Nutella Chantilly, Chono-nut streusel. The caramel will knock your socks off an all of the other components make for one delightful dessert.

Deep Fried Bread Pudding, with peach compote, peach cobbler ice cream, stone fruit salsa. A very different take on a popular dessert item, my favorite part was the peach cobbler ice cream.

Salted Caramel, this ice cream is so fantastic, you got to try it.

Teas:

Green (Sancho), sensible and healthy, this tea was a great way to end my meal.

Wines:

Emmolo, Sauvignon, Blanc, 2014, Napa Valley. This wine has some tropical fruit notes and went great with the burrata; it adds a nice luscious mouth feel that worked great with the peaches.

Farm, Chardonnay, 2013, Napa Valley, CA. You have to try this wine with the creamy saffron in the lobster pasta dish, oh my goodness, just spectacular.

Argyle, Pinot Noir 2013, Willamette Oregon. This wine worked great with the Eggplant Pahi, it has just the right amount of spice to add some nice texture to this dish.

Niner, Red Blend 2014, Paso Robles. This wine was just the perfect match to the Lamb Kofta Tagine. There are some many complicated flavors going on with this dish, but the wine just rounded out all of the rough edges.

Feudi Di San Gregorio Primitivo 2013, Puglia, Italy. I would try this wine with the Pizzas Italian Sausage, it lends itself to being jammy but helped out the meaty goodness in this great pizza.

Gabriel Rubens is the pasta chef and was a delight to talk to. Gabriel is Brazilian and he told us his fascinating stories in the cooking field. Gabriel went on a three-month trip to Italy where he worked for Chef Lorenzo Polegri in Orvietto, a city in the province of Terni. In Italy, he attended the Art Institute alongside other 25 students and he also worked at a restaurant called Restaurant Zeppelin. During his time in Italy, he juggled between internships, worked in agriturismo (farm-stay) while working at Zeppelin. After honing his skills in Italy, he went back to Brazil for two years where he worked at Dom restaurant in Sao Paulo, then moved to Rio and worked at Gero, the owner Rogerio Fasano, owns a hotel chain.

An interesting fact is he learned all the main techniques of pasta in Brazil. He spent the next years making pasta and he says he learned how to make pasta by sight. He messed up a lot of dough’s. How did he fix them? “If the dough is too dry just throw it away. If it’s wet, add a little more flour. If it’s dry, a great technique is to use a spray bottle to control the moisture.”

In addition to this, he explained the differences between a ravioli and tortellini.
The ravioli has more crust than the tortellini. The word ravioli originally comes from the Latin word “Raviola”, which means to wrap. The ravioli is encased in two sheets of pasta whereas the tortellini is folded in one and is wrapped and pressed.

Gabriel is going to start teaching at the “Organic Kids L.A” in North Hollywood where they make lunch kids for school and they also offer cooking camps during the summer. The kids are between the ages of 6-10 years old. During school year, they take cooking classes around LA. He says its very nice cause this year, and it’s exciting to see how girls are getting into cooking.

This was one great experience; there is just so much that goes into this great establishment and all of its various dining capabilities. Their passion for really great food shows in every dish, you will not be disappointed. Take an excursion to Downtown Los Angeles; I took the subway, which added to my adventure, you would be very glad you did.

Miro
888 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90017
213-988-8880
www.mirorestaurant.com
Written by Jodi Jackson and Mariana Manuela

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Upcoming event – Culver City Food and Wine – Sunday – July 2, 2017

I am so excited to attend this event, it promises to be one to remember. Culver City Centennial Westside Food & Wine Festival presented by Wescom. July 2 2017 @ 4:00 PM – July 2 2017 @ 8:00 PM. Courtyard by Marriott LA Westside Hotel, 6333 Bristol Pkwy, Culver City, CA, 90230.

Here are some thing you need to know about this great event:

Enjoy 20+ Great Food and Wine/Drink Vendors. Event is Indoor & Outside on the adjacent patio and back parking lot. Culver City/Celebrity Chefs including Kimmy Tang (Owner of many past restaurants including 9021PHO). Free chair massages by fantastic massage therapist Jason Chase for VIP ticket holders. Gold Sponsor Wescom Credit Union, Silver Sponsors Culver City Toyota & Honda- Bringing some of their model cars. Local restaurants participating include Hanjip, Pitfire Pizza, Mayura Indian, LA Gastronomy, Public School, Wildcraft, Panini Cafe, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Luciano Italiano Cuccina, Marriott Hotel, Cava, Naked Juice, Harmless Coconut Water, Le Pain Quotidien, Ococoa Chocolates and more coming. Ambiance Music by DJ Gabe of Culver City and Live Guitar by Kevin G as well as other entertainment including Fantastic Paul-professional strolling magic from America’s Got Talent and a fortune telling psychic.

All of my followers, friends, clients; come meet me there, it will be a blast!!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/culver-city-centennial-foodwine-festival-presented-by-wescom-tickets-34288770636http://culvercity100.org/events/culver-city-centennial-westside-food-wine-festival/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LAWineFest. – Sunday – June 18th, 2017

A brand new venue highlighted my enjoyable afternoon in Downtown Los Angeles, DTLA. The event was held on Market Row, a pretty outdoor lane partially shaded by revitalizing 90-year-old warehouses. Market Row is fun, eclectic and also houses the fun event Smorgasburg, which I will also touch on at the end of my article.

The LAWineFest is in its 12th successful year. This popular event blazed a trail in L.A to bring wine and people together in an inviting and accessible way. It is now a local institution, known to reliably deliver an event that balances fun, exploration and education.

The LAWineFest brings wines and brews from around the world, in a fun, relaxed environment. The Fest also serves up boutiques to browse, artisan merchandise to buy and more!

The new event location, headed to be the next big destination in Downtown LA, is a beautiful blend of artsy and urban and offers plenty of parking. When you add award-winning wines, artisan beers and ciders, shopping, and tasty food curated by Smorgasburg LA, you’ve got an excellent way to enjoy a weekend in Los Angeles.

LA’s “Signature Celebration of all Things Wine” attracts thousands of attendees annually. The guests savor and discover flavors from around the world, whether is a buttery chardonnay, a fruity Zinfandel, or an ice-cold innovative craft beer, this event is great for wine aficionados who want to experience small-batch pours from boutique wineries.

LAWineFest also donates a portion of the event proceeds to Sunshine Kids. This non-profit organization is dedicated to providing activities, trips and events to young people diagnosed with cancer. Some of the event sponsors include: ROW DTLA, Los Angeles Magazine, La Brea Bakery, Icelandic Glacial, Tasting Panel Magazine, Somm Journal Magazine, Tossware, and Pasquini Coffee.

The admission to LAWineFest includes a commemorative glass, beverage sampling, bottled water, coffee and bread.

Wineries: 3 Badge Beverage (Leese-Fitch Wines), A Stone’s Throw Winery, Allied Importers (Dalton Winery), Ascension Cellars*, Blendtique Custom Crafted Wines, Bonterra Organic Vineyards, Bekseju USA, Inc (Kooksoondang), Blackjack Ranch Vineyards & Winery (Sat. only) , Cantara Cellars, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Cowboy Canyon Winery, Cuatro Dias Wines , Dunning Vineyards , Giracci Vineyards & Farms, Graffiti Wine, Herzog Wine Cellars (Sun. only), Holman Cellars, J. Wilkes Winery , Josh Cellars & Eppa Sangria , King Frosch Wine , Competition, Lucky Dogg Winery, McPherson Cellars, Nelle & Cordant Winery, Nomadica, Oak Ridge Winery , Old Word Vines ,PB Importers (Takler Wine Estate & Twikel Wine Estate, Hungary) ,Peachy Canyon Winery, Paso Robles, Powell Mountain Cellars, PRP Wine International, Quigley Fine Wines (Italian, French & Spanish),Rebel Coast Winery ,San Antonio Winery, Sanger Family of Wines, Sleeping Indian Vineyard, Slyd Wines, SummerWood Winery, Sunstone Vineyards & Winery , Sycamore Ranch Vineyard & Winery, Temecula Valley Winegrowers Assoc.., Turiya Wines , The Wine Caterers ,Vinemark Cellars, Wedell Cellars, and Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards Yarden Wines (Yarden, Gilgal, Hermon, Galil labels, Israel).

Lifestyle Exhibitors: Bazaar Boutique, Bella Candles, Blue Collection LA, Body Butter Lady, Downtown Dental, Eisner Health, Equinox Fitness, Fancifull Fine Foods and Gift Baskets , Farm Fresh To You, Flask & Field, Gourmet Blends, Glitz N’ Glamour “Trendy Clothing & Accessories”, Jewelree Bar, King Barrel, Laguna Salt Company, Los Angeles Times, Meredith Strauss, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, Pasquini Espresso Co., Picnic Pack , Senegence/Lipsense, Boutique, Southern, The Needed Bead, UberEATS, Vagabond Cheese Company , Vineyard Elite Perfect Wine Opener, Waerator (Pro-Comp Products, and Wine Tasting Club Card.

Food Exhibitors: Curated by Smorgasburg LA, Crispy Cuban, Batterfish, Mad Pambazos, Pico House,Beers & Ciders: Beer, Baja, Ballast Point Brewing Co., Coronado Brewing Co., High Water Brewing, Iron Triangle Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Lincoln Beer Company, Peroni, Reel Brewery, San Fernando Brewing Company, and Saint Archer Brewing Company.

Smorgasburg Los Angeles:

This event was held at the same location but behind LAWineFest. Many people told me about it and I got there 45 minutes before they closed, however I managed to try out a few things:

Workaholic handcrafted Koren Mandu Kimchi Dumpling; really delicious, big plump dumplings with an amazing kincho smoky flavor.

Stoked California BBQ Brisket Taco; really complex with nice layers of ingredients and sauces.

Paratha Tacos Goa pork taco; unique pork taco with Indian bread as well as the tortilla. Kohn & Sahk Lao Style jerky, all flavors are scrumptious.

This was a very nice event with lots of stimulation in both wine and food. I would recommend this event to any wine lovers as well as folks that just want to experience a local adventure!

LA Wine Fest
Row DTLA.
777 S. Alameda St, LA 90021
http://www.lawinefest.com
*Note some content was taken off of their website.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hyperion Public Dinner – June 11th – 2017 – Silver Lake, CA.

I tried their sister restaurant in Studio City back in September of 2016. The thing that I loved about that establishment is how community-based their business is. The Silver Lake location seems to be more integrated in the neighborhood than the other location.

From the moment you walk in, you can feel all of the local flavors and be wrapped up in the comfort of knowing you will be taken care of like a member of the Hyperion Public’s extended family.

There are many fun components to this very lively space. They have an outdoor patio that is separate from a smoking patio. On the inside, you have the main dining room and then there’s the exciting lounge, fully equipped with 10 flat screen TV’s for sports and world events.

Here’s what I tried:

Cocktails:

Greygoose Martini; a very traditional Martini with the perfect blending of all parts vodka, vermouth and olive juice.

Astrotime, with Tito’s vodka, muddled strawberries, basil with balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. This is a very unique type of cocktail, with its bold balsamic and basil flavors.

Flaming Grey hound; a bit spicy with fresh grapefruit, it will quench your thirst.

Jalapeno Scratch Margarita, Casamiga Blanco, Jalapeno tinctures, fresh lime juice, and agave syrup. You got to love the kick of this stunning drink.

Build – A – Buck Ginger Beer; fresh lime juice with vodka, a nice refreshing cocktail.

Beginnings:

Spiced nuts, this is a great bar snack, as well as a nice way to enjoy my cocktails and the beginning of my meal.

Marinated Olives, lots of different olives make for a great starter.

Avocado Fries, with Panko crusted, and lime-cilantro aioli. It is just so remarkable that the avocado is deep-fried but still maintains its texture, just a lovely dish.

Oh My Goodness Dip, Gluten free vegan option, and vegetarian option. The potato chips are spectacular and the dip is very creamy and delicious.

Salads:

Kale Caesar, with shrimp, massaged kale, croutons, radishes, chives, red chiles, shaved Parmesan, and scratch Caesar dressing. The kale is super fresh and crispy, with the nice plump shrimp.
The dressing is tangy and adds a nice balance between the kale and the other ingredients.

Caprese Salad, with stack of tomatoes, burrata, basil, and balsamic dressing. The presentation is outstanding, and the sweet balsamic dressing makes for one great salad.

Comfort Bites:

Spicy Blueberry Wings, with carrots and celery and ranch dressing. The spicy sweetness of this sauce is otherworldly, I just loved it.

Burgers:

The Cali, House-made turkey patty with Muenster cheese, caramelized onion, avocado mash, arugula, tomato and buttermilk ranch. This burger is for the more health-conscious, someone who doesn’t want to eat meat. The avocado is creamy, buttery and adds a lot to this wonderful burger.

Mac n Cheese:

Truffle, with truffled mushrooms, smoked Gouda, and Panko Crust. This is comfort food at its best.

Entrées:

Sea Bass En Papillote Marinated Sea Bass roasted in parchment, served with quinoa, green beans, fire roasted cherry tomatoes, macadamia nuts, and caper berries. I love the macadamia nuts and the quinoa adds a great texture, all in all a great dish.

Sides:

Sweet Potato Fries, with nice thin strips, cooked to perfection.

Sauteed Cabbage with sweet and sour onion jam. This is a very Polish, Russian dish that I grew up with. It’s savory yet sour, and simply delicious.

Desserts:

Donut French toast; a great dessert order, it would be fantastic as a breakfast item as well.

Salted Caramel Pie; this pie is in my wheelhouse. I love the salt and caramel nuances.

Tea:

The Vert Gunpowder Green Tea – Dammann Freres, a great palate cleanser with a nice healing effect.

Wines:

Butterfield Station, Sauvignon Blanc, fruity, light, peach. I liked this wine with the Sea Bass; it is just enough acidity and lends itself to securing all of the rich buttery flavors in the fish.

Canon, Chardonnay; nice light wine which went great with the Kale Caesar salad along with the shrimp.

Tenuta Polvaro, Pinot Grigio, 2014 Veneto, Italy. There are hints of citrus, wild flowers, green apple, and pear. Not too tangy which is great, not what are typical Pinot Grigio characteristics? This wine went well with the truffle mac and cheese; it was a perfect addition to the creamy flavors.

Casarena Reserve, Malbec, 2014, Mendoza Argentina. There are hints of dark plum, soft tobacco, violets, and sweet spice. This wine went great with the chicken wings and the lovely blueberry sauce.

Broadside, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Paso Robles, CA. Blackcurrant, black cherry, vanilla, cola, fig, and leather. This was a wonderful pair with the turkey burger.

Donati Family Vineyards, Claret Red Bland, Central Coast, CA. Aromas of ripe strawberries and cocoa with notes of cherry cola, spicy. I liked this wine with the firm tomatoes in the Caprese salad.

Their music is 70’s soul, which adds to the overall cool atmosphere. In addition to this, there are large wicker hanging basket lamps, with café chairs and tables. It’s a great place to let your hair down and hang around.

Chef and owner Padriac Aubrey, along with the three other owners, are making all your fun pub dreams come true. Padriac had a catering company that specialized in Mac and Cheese. The other chef and owner, Nakitta Khaleel, says it is a challenge to cook in their very small kitchen. He worked as a bar back then and after that he joined forces as a chef and owner three years ago. He knows what it takes to make this kind of restaurant successful. He attended John Marshall High School in the neighborhood of Los Feliz. Growing up in LA and knowing the scene, he is a real Angeleno.

General Manager Veronica, is moonlighting as an actress and has worked at Hyperion for the last five years. Originally from Australia, she was a server but was asked to run the restaurant, which is something she really enjoys, being the captain of this very fun ship. Manager Matt Herter just moved here from Boston and loves his new job. He says he just fits in. He was looking for a job, so he pounded the pavement, when he walked in he said “I love this place.” He was hired that day.

Hyperion Public Studio City opened its doors on January 25th 2016, and the Silver Lake location has been opened for five years. Customers are locals, super friendly and well-behaved. They have Karaoke on Thursdays and trivia every week with the regulars. They have bottomless mimosas every day of the week; with 4 different types of mimosas, it has become very popular.

Hyperion Public provides friendly service offering local farm-to-table, seasonal contemporary American comfort cuisine with light and healthy options, paired with craft and local beers, quality wines, specialties and classic cocktails. Hyperion Public is a friendly neighborhood pub chain that caters to everyone in the immediate and surrounding communities, hence the word “Public” in their name. Their customers are locals, hipsters, older clientele, as well as sports fans. Their motto “By the People, For the People” is indicative of their community pub concept.

Hyperion Public
2538 Hyperion Ave.
Silver Lake, CA 90027
323-761-6440
https://www.hyperionpublic.com/
*Note some content was taken from their website.
Guest Photographer: Lanning Gold

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lunch – Soom Soom – June 5th 2017, Los Angeles, CA.

There are many types of this restaurant popping up all over the major cities. It’s the Chipotle model but with a different type of food: Mediterranean. But not just any type of shawarma, falafel, kabob restaurant, this one is probably the best you will ever taste. That is because everything is made from scratch and fresh every day. They don’t buy anything pre-made, they have no freezers or microwaves and they cater to many types of food restrictions. From vegan to gluten free, everything here is just the best of the best, and you can leave very satisfied.

Owner Ronit Machlouf and her business partner Zahi Ofengart, saw a need for Mediterranean food in this area and beyond. Ronit is from Israel, so she knows what it takes to make homemade pita bread and hummus. And let me tell you, this is the best humus I have ever tasted!. She says their process takes a very long time, because they do everything in the traditional right way with no shortcuts.

When I asked her about the choices on her menu, she said that Zahi is the foodie guy, and that he knows what people like and how to mix key ingredients to make their customers very happy. Ronit is the numbers gal; she has a degree in accounting and is a certified fraud examiner. She leaves the creative side to Zahi. Whoever does what really doesn’t matter as it’s more about the successful outcome of what they have created as a unit. From what I can see, the model of this type of restaurant is different from those that came out before. They use great fresh locally sourced foods that make up an ethnic wonderland of infinite possibilities. Also all of their paper products are recycled and compostable. There are already plans for opening three more locations in the near future, one opening will take place on July 8th, in DTLA, Downtown Los Angeles, and is at the busy hub of Spring and 8th.

With lunch lines already formed down the street, many of their customers are from Cedar Sinai Hospital. Their pitas are made fresh daily, and on a normal lunch day, they use more than 200. Ronit described me how long it takes to make both: the pita bread and the humus, and I can honestly say that it’s worth every minute. With the humus, you don’t have any bitter garbanzo bean after tasting it. It’s just creamy and fantastic, with very subtle hints of garlic and beans.

This is not Ronit Machlouf’s first restaurant. She also owns Mr. Sandwich on Olympic which features a similar menu, with a few more typical style deli meats. Coming from some of my Israeli friends, they say that this too is an amazing restaurant.

Soom Soom is a unique, fast-casual restaurant that offers delicious Gluten-Free Mediterranean street food. The food is made fresh each day, without preservatives or additives.

Here’s what I tried:

Shawarma Beef and Chicken. The seasonings on both were simply delightful, with real Mediterranean spices and not too salty. All entrées may be topped with any of the following: Hummus, Mediterranean Salad, White Cabbage, Marinated Onions, Skhug (Yemenite Salsa), Cucumber Salad, Tehini, Roasted Cauliflower.

Falafel Pita Plate; they make their falafel to order, so you know its super fresh and tasty and well as gluten-free.

Chicken Schnitzel, with Pita, Couscous; a wonderful crispy treat that will for sure make you want to come back for more.

Beef Kebob; these little meaty wonders just pop in your mouth, they are delicious. Their meat products are Halal, hormone free, and their ground beef is Kosher.

Mediterranean Meatballs Plate; this is made from Zahi’s Mother-in-laws recipe. They have a very earthy tone and they sit in a wonderful sauce.

Drinks:

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice; made fresh every morning, delicious.

Fresh Squeezed Carrot Juice; made fresh every morning, jam-packed with sweet carrot flavors.

Salted Caramel Soom Shake with Tahini; non- dairy, so wonderful, you would never know that there is no dairy in it.

Ronit’s husband, is a general contractor but she acts as the contractor for her restaurant endeavors. Soom Soom has a modern-day farm type of vibe, with its herb plants and olive trees, Designer Eiphrat Dimor created quite a nice family friendly space.

Aaron Brill, their general manager, is very knowledgeable, especially about this new model of counter ordering. Having worked previously at Chipotle, he uses his prior experience and knows exactly how to make Soom Soom a huge success.

Think Lawrence of Arabia meets Casablanca. Soom Soom loves all Mediterranean things and keeps it classic with the originals: Falafel, Shawarma, and Hummus. Their food is made with fresh ingredients, nothing is pre-made, no preservatives or additives. In their case, you can tell the food is super fresh just by looking at it and your appetite will be reinforced.

Soom Soom opened in November 2016 in Los Angeles; the owners Ronit and Zahi blended their love of healthy, organic food with their Mediterranean roots and flare.

If you want delicious, fresh Mediterranean food that won’t empty your piggy bank, try Soom Soom. I was very glad I did. Soom Soom means sesame seeds X 2.

Soom Soom
8744 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310-888-8804
http://soomsoomfresh.com/


• Note some content was taken from their website.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Emporium Thai – Dinner, Sat. June 3, 2017, Westwood, CA.

I met John Sungkamee at Taste of The world in Hollywood a few weeks back. Emporium Thai’s food was the best food out of 15 or so restaurants. John was so sweet and asked me to come in and do a proper tasting. His confidence in his restaurant and his good nature made me very curious. I was pleasantly surprised at how much attention to flavor and detail his luscious cuisine is. John greets everyone that comes in and walks around to every table to see how his customers are enjoying their meal. John was a software engineer and quit his job 4 years ago to help his family with the restaurant. At the far side of the restaurant sits a photo of a very sweet woman. His mother Supis was a fixture for many years at Emporium Thai, but sadly she passed away last December and was 88 ½, John has her photo there to remind him of her love every day. Supis instilled in her family a passion for authentic Thai cooking. In 1990 Supis won a green card lottery which allowed their family to become US immigrants and eventually US citizens, the rest is history.

John has 11 siblings and one of his sister’s Jazz is the owner of Jitlada, I did a review a few years back. So for me this was an all in the family type of review. However Emporiums menu is completely different from hers. Jitlada has been in business since 2006 and Emporium has been in business for 17 years. With all of their fame I felt that Emporium’s food was equally delicious and when you’re on the West side you really need to try their scrumptious cuisine.

Emporium Thai has recently been redesigned by Peter Gurski, a two-time Emmy winning interior designer. The interior is soothing with a great water feature in the middle of the dining room and background jazz rounds out the cool vibe.

Here’s what I tried:

Wine:

Chardonnay, Eden Valley, CA. Harmonious and complex, like a creamy burrata mouth feel with crisp apple acidity and touch of oak. This wine went great with the seafood curry.

Beer

Sapporo, a beer is always a great pair with this spicy food.

Appetizers:

Thai Chicken Dumpling, the dumpling is nice golden brown, crispy, all that you would expect and love from a dumpling.

Crying Tiger Beef, beef in an iceberg lettuce bowl. This beef has a great flavor and is super tender.

Salads:

Coco Mango Salad with Shrimp or Tofu – shredded raw mango mixed with dried coconut, fresh chili, limejuice. The sweet and tangy flavor combinations make for one delicious salad.

Soup:

Tom Kha, with chicken in a rich coconut milk and lemon grass soup, with shrimp.

Noodles:

Pad See Ew Westwood with shrimp, and flat noodles with fried egg. I have tried this dish before but never like this, with its rich deep flavors, the best ever.

Rice:

Thai Fried Rice, lots of great vegetable and nice flavor make this rice one to order.

Entrée:

Beef, beefsteak stir fried with fresh garlic, Thai basils and light soy sauce, and mixed vegetables. The meat is marinated with a great tender texture, one of my favorites of my experience.

Fish and Seafood Lovers:

Mixed Seafood Southern Curry, the presentation is just amazing, and the curry sweetness with all of the great fresh seafood, another great dish.

Desert:

Mango with sticky rice, the rice was heart shaped and the mango is super sweet.

Premium Cocktails:

Margarita Martini: Made with TY Ku Soju instead of Vodka, very smooth and refreshing.

Thai Basil Mojito, also made with TY Ku Soju, lovely light refreshing cocktail.

Executive Chef, Gina Sungkamee, John’s sister, is passionate about cooking. She studied for four years at Bangkok’s most prestigious culinary school. She specializes in the cuisines of all regions of Thailand, particularly the cuisine of Southern Thailand, where their family grew up.

Emporium Thai’s many awards include: L.A City Guide: Most Favorite Thai Restaurant 2015 – Los Angeles Travel Magazine , L.A’s Best Thai Restaurant outside of Thai Town – Thrillist, Westwood’s Unmissable Restaurant-The Hip Side of LA 2015 – The Culture Trip (theculturetrip.com) ,THE BEST THAI RESTAURanT IN TOWN 2015 by AskAConcierge@AskAConciergeLA with Sarah Dandashy – One of The Leading Concierge in the World , People Love Us on Yelp Award 2015, U.S.A First Thai restaurant to partner with uberEATS, delivers via uber_LA – uberEATS, Emporium Thai Cuisine has been voted one of the 100 best Thai Restaurants in the US.

Emporium Thai Cuisine uses only the finest ingredients bought locally, they purchase their vegetables from the nearby farmer markets and we shop for fresh seafood, meats and produce daily. They offer a variety of gluten-free and peanut-free items as well as vegetarian and vegan options, also delivery, pick-up and extensive catering service. They have a good happy hour Mon-Sat. 3pm-6pm, with some great prices on food and drink.

Their mission is simple “To create such a memorably wonderful Thai dining experience that you’ll want to return to Emporium Thai often, and rave about us to your friends”. Simply, Khob-Kun-Krub – “Thank You” in Thai.

Emporium Thai
1275 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
http://www.ethaicuisine.com/
facebook.com/EmporiumThai
#EmporiumThai
* Note some content was taken off of their website.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Upcoming event – Culver City Centennial Westside Food & Wine Festival – Sunday – July 2, 2017

I am so excited to attend this event, it promises to be one to remember. Culver City Centennial Westside Food & Wine Festival presented by Wescom. July 2 2017 @ 4:00 PM – July 2 2017 @ 8:00 PM. Courtyard by Marriott LA Westside Hotel, 6333 Bristol Pkwy, Culver City, CA, 90230.

Here are some things you need to know about this great event:
Enjoy 20+ Great Food and Wine/Drink Vendors. Event is Indoor & Outside on the adjacent patio and back parking lot. Culver City/Celebrity Chefs including Kimmy Tang (Owner of many past restaurants including 9021PHO). Free chair massages by fantastic massage therapist Jason Chase for VIP ticket holders. Gold Sponsor Wescom Credit Union, Silver Sponsors Culver City Toyota & Honda- Bringing some of their model cars. Local restaurants participating include Hanjip, Pitfire Pizza, Mayura Indian, LA Gastronomy, Public School, Wildcraft, Panini Cafe, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Luciano Italiano Cuccina, Marriott Hotel, Cava, Naked Juice, Harmless Coconut Water, Le Pain Quotidien, Ococoa Chocolates and more coming. Ambiance Music by DJ Gabe of Culver City and Live Guitar by Kevin G as well as other entertainment including Fantastic Paul-professional strolling magic from America’s Got Talent and a fortune telling psychic.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/culver-city-centennial-westside-food-wine-festival-tickets-34288770636

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Miro Restaurant – One Year Anniversary – Thursday – June 1, 2017 – Downtown LA

Guest Columnist – Mariana Muela

Miro restaurant is off of Wilshire and Figueroa Street in Downtown LA, DTLA. Last Thursday, June 1st, they celebrated their one-year anniversary. Miro offers a variety of food that will satisfy every palate: Italian, tapas and other Mediterranean specialties.

I’ve never driven by this restaurant but apparently a lot of people already knew about it including my Uber driver. From the outside you can get a little glimpse of what the decoration will look like. Once you enter the big large wooden door with the golden M it’s like stepping into a different dimension. The interior is very sleek and minimal. There is a beautiful marble counter top at the bar, as well as incredibly sleek modern light bulbs and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Then there are gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows that flooded the interior with natural light. Miro restaurant offers a unique dining experience that will surpass all your expectations.

They have an underground lounge that offers a completely different vibe than the one I described above. As you head downstairs through the stonewall stairway, is like you’re going down the rabbit hole that leads you to a bar lounge with a complete different music and atmosphere. This room is more intimate and dimly lit. In addition to this, there’s also an adjacent room called “The Whiskey Room” that offers you an array of different vintage whiskies from around the world. The Whiskey Room is decorated with cozy leather couches and banquette seats, alongside a brick wall that makes perfect for an intimate and exceptional drinking experience after a nice meal upstairs. Perfect way to end the night with your party. However, as this area was more of an informal setting, 2 DJS were spinning electronic dance music as opposed to the live jazz sophisticated music played upstairs.

A little bit after my arrival, I was introduced to Manager Kevin G. Willis, he showed me around, and was telling me interesting facts about the place itself. Funny thing is, that the restaurant is named after the owner’s son.

They offered different types of food including their handmade charcuterie bar. It was good but not exceptional, maybe because I grew up in Spain and I know how to properly judge cured meat. The real star of the night was the hand-made pasta and the cake. The Bolognese pasta with pork meat was exquisite. The noodles were perfectly cooked and the meat was fresh, perfectly blended with the Gremolata and the Parmesan cheese. As a pasta lover, I’ve tried lots of different pastas throughout my stay in LA since I moved here, but this one takes the cake for me. I’ll be back very soon simply for this dish. Chef Gabriel was simply stunning, kneading the dough with his hands carefully forming the Tortellinis.

The cake was delicious as well, the fluffiness of the texture and the simplicity of the ingredients that accompanied the cake (whip cream and fruits), made this cake tasty and light at the same time.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an intimate experience with your date or simply have a delightful time with friends, Miro is the place to go. The atmosphere itself with all the elements I’ve described here, are destined to immerse you in this memorable modern dining experience.

Miro
888 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90017
213-988-8880
www.mirorestaurant.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

True Food Kitchen – Dinner – Sunday, May 28th 2017

True Food Kitchen is a health-driven, seasonal restaurant. The restaurant offers merging nutrient-rich ingredients and a flavor-forward menu that rotates regularly to let guests experience great-tasting ingredients at the peak of their freshness. Their open kitchen brings guests closer to their culinary craft while showcasing that there’s nothing secret about the way they prepare their dishes. Their scratch bar is brimming with a selection of wines, local beers and seasonal cocktails that are made using fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices paired with organic spirits. They take great pride in a menu that caters to nearly every food preference with a variety of gluten-free, naturally organic, vegetarian and vegan offerings.

I loved the interior, with its exposed air conditioning ducts, big huge drum like light fixtures. Even though its modern, it lends itself to being casual but elegant. The food is the real star of the show. Every dish I tasted had its own individual delicious reasons for being so healthy and good.

Here’s what I tried:

Cocktails:

Citrus Skinny Margarita, with ixá organic tequila, muddled citrus, mint, cucumber. Sweet and sour it packs a punch but with little calories, I like that!

Blueberry Royale, with organic vodka, lemon, prosecco, mint. This would be a great brunch cocktail but it went great with my starters.

Ginger Margarita, with añejo tequila, elderflower liqueur, ginger honey, and lemon. It’s a very welcoming soft margarita!

Traditional martini, with olive juice and vermouth. This martini was so smooth that I could not taste the vodka.

Vegetables:

Charred Cauliflower, vegan, gluten free harissa tahini, medjool date, dill, mint, and pistachio. The combination of all of these ingredients makes for one heck of a great guilt-free menu item. The dates give it a wonderful aromatic bouquet that will get your taste buds going.

Starters:

Shiitake Lettuce Cups, Vegan, tofu, jicama, sambal, Thai basil, cashew. It has a bit of a kick, but its concentrated flavors with the super crisp lettuce cup will make for a great starter.

Wild Caught Albacore Tataki, gluten free, avocado, jalapeño, toasted sesame; yuzu ponzu. I just really enjoyed this dish, and ate every piece.

Edamame Dumplings, vegetarian, with dashi, white truffle oil, Asian herbs. One very creative dumpling that I could tell was very popular amongst the folks eating.

Bowls:

Ancient Grains, vegan. Miso glazed sweet potato, turmeric, charred onion, snow pea, grilled Portobello, avocado, and hemp seed. To be a vegan at this time is so wonderful because with a dish like this you are getting so much nutrition that you would not miss the meat.

Red Chili Noodles, vegetarian. Gai lan, zucchini, shiitake mushroom, snow pea, cashew with grass-fed steak. I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious subtle flavors and the noodles were a great addition.

Spicy Panang Curry, gluten free. Organic potato, long bean, bok choy, carrot, Thai basil, coconut shrimp broth, with shrimp. I am very fond of curry and wanted to have one that was sweet with a bold coconut essence and this one satisfied all of my specifications.

Sandwiches:

Smoked Turkey Wrap, with avocado, tomato, cucumber, provolone, hummus. A great menu item for lunch.

Grass-Fed Burger with umami mushroom, caramelized onion, arugula, Parmesan, mayonnaise, flax seed bun. So light and lovely, this was one delicious burger.

Pizzas:

Roasted Artichoke, vegan, with sugar snap pea, smoked onion, roasted garlic, vegan almond ricotta, and black truffle. They make their own crust and the topping on this pizza was super scrumptious.

Wild Mushroom, vegetarian, with asparagus, roasted garlic, and taleggio. This pizza is straightforward with its mushroom earthy flavors, it was very tasty.

Entrées:

Sustainable Sea bass, broccolini, sugar snap pea, roasted mushroom, ancient grains, umami sauce. It’s a wonderful fish that makes for a great entrée choice.

Lasagna Bolognese, gluten free with house-made chicken sausage, mushroom, spinach, lemon ricotta, and herbs. A very hearty lasagna, with wonderful sausage and all of the other ingredients made this dish perfect.

Desserts:

Flourless Chocolate Cake, vegetarian and gluten free, caramel, vanilla ice cream, and cocoa nibs. Imagine, a flourless cake that is a real slice of heaven.

Coconut & Chia Seed Flan, vegan and gluten free. This dessert has wonderful coconut flavors that take away any need for any animal products.

Wines:

Manifesto JB Sauvignon Blanc, a nice crisp taste, worked great with the lettuce cups.

Grogs Leap Chardonnay, the nose is very different from what you get to taste. It’s a very elegant wine that paired nicely with the shrimp curry.

Lincourt Chardonnay, a buttery wine that I would recommend to drink alongside the Sea bass.

Cabernet Sauvignon Long Meadow, spicy, peppery, with a good deal of oak. This wine goes amazing with the burger, and the umami mushrooms.

Petit Syrah EOS, I would drink this wine with the lasagna. The chicken sausage adds a great balance.

Kunde Zinfandel, I used to live around the corner from this winery, so I know it well. This Zinfandel was just good all by itself!!

When it comes to sourcing the best ingredients for their dishes they don’t cut corners. They believe that food is meant to be grown and nurtured. True Kitchen uses organic produce, sustainably raised beef and fish whenever possible. Their wine selection features sustainable, organic and biodynamic options.

It all starts with fresh, honest and thoughtful ingredients that actually taste great together and the passionate people who consciously choose to seek out these ingredients. These are people who respect food. They respect their bodies and the effort it takes to create food that doesn’t sacrifice quality, nutrition or taste.

Their culinary team changes their menu seasonally with four menu changes each year: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. True Food is alive with progressive energy, optimism, and passion for all that is real and natural and good. Each restaurant reflects these principles, featuring a large open dining room and an open kitchen, designed to bring guests closer to their culinary craft and honor the commitment to transparency. On their natural wood walls is vibrant, locally-inspired artwork to bring a contemporary touch and give a nod to the community.

Concept: All True Food Kitchen locations feature dishes that closely adhere to the principles of Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. They are intended to be a new kind of restaurant: one in which delicious flavors, healthy nutrients, environmental awareness and an inviting atmosphere come together to create an unforgettable dining experience. Dishes are influenced by Mediterranean, Asian and Californian cuisine, that include soups, appetizers, salads, pasta, rice and noodle dishes, wood grilled dishes, sandwiches and burgers, brick oven pizzas and desserts.

History: Andrew Weil, M.D., met Phoenix restaurateur Sam Fox in the late 1990s at one of Fox’s restaurants in Tucson (Fox Restaurant Concepts operates 25 restaurants in Arizona and the Midwest). After spending time with Dr. Weil, and in particular after cooking with him at his ranch, Fox came to understand how delicious healthy food can be and realized that Dr. Weil’s concept for a restaurant; one that serves great food that just happens to be good for you, could work. On Oct. 27, 2008, the first True Food Kitchen opened in Phoenix, Arizona. It was an immediate success, and inspired Fox and Dr. Weil to open new locations in the southwest, with the long-term goal of a national rollout.

Engrained in True Food Kitchen’s ethos is a commitment to a conscious, community-based dining experience, a commitment that ensures that, no matter how many locations are established, True Food will never become what one thinks of as a “chain.”

Food sources: All True Food Kitchen locations use local, organic sources whenever possible. For example, the Phoenix location receives most of its produce from McClendon Farms, a 25-acre, USDA-certified organic produce farm in Peoria, Arizona.

Green features: The restaurants are decidedly “green” with environmentally friendly accouterment including: high efficiency kitchen equipment, low voltage LED lighting, waterless urinals (saving 40,000 gallons/year), ultra low water faucets, low VOC paint, white oak butcher-block tables and counter tops, reclaimed wood floors , recycled quarry tiles and Natura water purification unit: (True Food Kitchen creates both still and carbonated bottled water in-house. Bottles are cleaned, sterilized and reused, eliminating plastic bottle waste).

Everything about True Kitchen screams love, hope, integrity, and health. You will not have a bad experience as each dish is designed to make you happy and healthy. True Kitchen brings back healthful food that keeps you always in the pink. They address every type of eating styles: from vegan to gluten free, you will successfully find a menu item that fits whatever your dining preference allows. There are numerous locations across California and other states across the US, so there is no excuse for you not to try this fantastic cuisine.

True Kitchen
395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 172
Santa Monica, California 90401
310.593.8300
http://www.truefoodkitchen.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment