Dinner – Preux and Proper – September 25, 2018 – Downtown Los Angeles

This building is so iconic, it is a corner landmark, that was once a railroad crossing dating back to 1927, and is the last flat iron building in Los Angeles. It was also an oyster house, a beer house, and a brasserie. But has always been a restaurant. To me it’s San Francisco meets New Orleans, how cool!!!

Comfy, cozy, everything you would want from a night or day out. Everything is sustainable, the food is astounding, comfort food at its best, and the vibe is all that as well.

Here’s What I tried:

House Cocktails:

Punk Evans, Absolut Elxy vodka, lemongrass, ginger, watermelon, be ready for some kick ass cocktails, they pack a punch in more ways then one.

Jazz Men, Serrano infused tequila, house jasmine liqueur, agave, cilantro, lime, and coriander salt. A bit of a kick in this one but it went down fast all the while.

Treasure Island (Served In a Pineapple), Stolen smoked rum, orgeat, pineapple, lime, grenadine, lemon bitters. This is like a honeymoon drink for two, delicious, refreshing, and very sexy, served in a glorious pineapple.

Starters:

Proper Dinner Grilled Yellow Sweet Corn, pork cracklins, queso fresco, aleppo, smokey miso aioli. Oh my goodness, is all I can say, the sauce is just the best part of this fantastic corn.

Spicy Roasted Carrots, Golden beets, labneh kefir, roasted greens, crunchy jerk chick peas, okra leaf. For the very healthy, vegan, this will do the trick. The carrots are caramelized and the chickpeas are crunchy and filling, just delicious.

Chicken Liver Pate, Knob creek whiskey, bacon fat, house piccalilli relish, creole mustard seeds, and baguette. The relish got my attention as well as the mustard seed, but everything in this dish is terrific.

Fried Mississippi Catfish, Buttermilk marinade, cornmeal crust, house pickles, celery salt, red remoulade. Another accomplishment by Chef Samuel, the catfish is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, WOW!

Dungeness Crab Hushpuppies with House bourbon barrel aged green hot sauce, boil spice, charred Poblano butter. They have gotten to be known for these little darlings and you can understand why, the real crab and the butter are the real gift of this wonderful dish.

Mains:

Liberty Farms Organic Duck Breast with Anson mills grits, white truffle, foie gras butter, roasted kale, huckleberry jus. The presentation is otherworldly, coupled with all of the unique ingredients, a must have menu item.

36 Hour Prime Boneless Beef Rib with Garnet yam puree, crispy parsnips, charred leeks, trumpet mushrooms, potlikker demi. How can you cook a 36 hour prime boneless rib to perfection, Chef Samuel nailed this one.

Desserts:

Beignets, pate a choux dough with “bananas foster” dulce de leche & powdered sugar. These are mini Beignets, but the cream sauce is the real show stopper on this very unique dessert.
Custard – Homemade Ice Cream, you just have to trust me on this one and order this.

Wines:

Chardonnay, Stags leap “Karia,” Napa Valley, 2016, with jasmine, white flowers, and white peach.

Petie Sirah, true grit, Mendocino 2015, with white pepper, black fruit, and dark chocolate.
The wines were all a great addition to certain dishes. Their wine list is terrific and of course I would order the best California wines that Preux and Proper has to offer.

Design features are distressed wood floors, original floors, and rafters. It’s a super cool eclectic vibe. Downstairs has only high tops and bar stools.They have a full dining room upstairs, which I was invited to come back to another time on Thursday nights, That’s their Jazz night.

Preux and Proper Story:

Hailing from humble beginnings in Baton Rouge, LA, owner/operator Joshua Kopel wanted to bring a little bit of The South to Southern California. In 2010 he opened Five0Four, a New Orleans style bar, in Hollywood. Four years later, Kopel looked to DTLA, broadened his focus from Bourbon Street to The South as a whole, and opened up Preux & Proper. After a rocky first year in The Fashion District, Kopel was ready call it quits. In walks Sammy Monsour, a third generation chef that grew up in his father’s kitchen in Chapel Hill, NC. Kopel and Monsour hit it off instantly, and what came to fruition was the best kind of Southern. Monsour’s food encompasses his classical training at the CIA, his Lebanese ancestry, and his Southern roots. It’s like your grandma’s food went to school, traveled around the world, and came back to you beautifully plated with one hell of a story to tell. What Kopel and Monsour have done at Preux & Proper is create a truly authentic experience. You can feel it as you walk in, it surrounds you as you dine, as you drink, and then as you drink some more; and Joshua and Sammy hope you take a little bit of their Southern Culture home with you. It is their mission to inspire Southern Culture and Hospitality throughout their restaurant and community.

The Owners/Chefs Stories:

“Monsour is doing some special things in the kitchen.”
— Eater LA

Sammy Monsour – Executive Chef / Partner:

Chef and partner of Preux & Proper and South City Fried Chicken in downtown Los Angles, Sammy Monsour has received acknowledgment and acclaim from James Beard Foundation, Eater, American Culinary Federation and Zagat. He is a third generation chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, with roots stemming from his parent’s neighborhood joint in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Sammy’s advocacy toward sustainability has positioned him as the LA Locals Leader for Chefs Collaborative and a proud member of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. Sammy has also appeared on Viceland’s The Untitled Action Bronson Show, Travel Channel’s Food Paradise and been the victor on several of Food Network’s popular reality cooking shows, including Alton Brown’s Cutthroat Kitchen. Samuel grew up in North Carolina went to CIA in New York. Was in NY for 6 years and Boston for 8 years. Everything to him has an n east coat sensibility. He supports The Aquarium Seafood Watch and The Chefs Collaborative.

“An arbitrator of taste in all things Southern within the confines of the city of Los Angeles”
— Voyage LA

Joshua Kopel – The Colonel / Partner:

Joshua is an entrepreneur, restaurateur and environmental advocate. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the spawn of bootleggers and retail giants, he was bred for the hospitality industry. Throughout Kopel’s 20+ year career in food and beverage he has managed venues ranging from the Alligator Bayou Bar, located on Alligator Bayou Road, seated on Alligator Bayou (it was exactly how you’re picturing it in your mind) to the hottest Hollywood nightclubs, bars, and ultra-lounges (far less glamorous than you’re picturing it in your mind). Kopel went independent in 2010, partnering with Mark Egland to opening their first concept Five0Four, a New Orleans-inspired bar, on the Walk of Fame in the heart of Hollywood. Four years later their sophomore effort Preux & Proper opened.
Kopel’s varied interests and talents have landed him several positions of influence ranging from being voted one of the Steamiest Southern Stars by E! Entertainment Television to the elected position of Business Chair on the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council to founding and serving on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Runyon Canyon, a non-profit focused on the protection of local Los Angeles Park areas.

The staff is friendly and fun, my busboy/assistant was Jesus aka Chuy stole the show, who was just was marvelous.

Their customers are very eclectic people, with a laid back atmosphere. The kinds of people that come to Preux and Proper, after work happy hour and then destination people.

All of their background music is upbeat Cajun based. They play old black and white movies with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall; The Big Sleep, Two for The Road.

Chef Sam says a big renaissance is going on in the neighborhood, instead of saying gentrification. He likes to talk about food politics and sustainability. In the immediate area, he says that everyone is welcome and there are no old timers trying to push out the newbies. He says that it is promoting an opportunity for healthy commerce.

Whatever the case maybe, Preux and Proper is a huge hit in my book, I can’t wait to come back!

Preux and Proper
840 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
https://www.preuxandproper.com

Hours
Mon – Wed, 4 pm – 10 pm
Thursday, 6pm – Midnight
Fri & Sat, 5 pm – 11 pm
Sunday Brunch 12pm-4pm
Sunday Supper 4pm-9pm

* Some Content Was Taken off of their Website

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Upcoming October 14, 2018 – 3:00 pm – 7:00 PM – Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival

Sunday, October 14, 2018 – 3:00 pm – 7:00 PM – Los Angeles Westside Food/Wine Fest. benefits Westside Food Bank, by Producer & Organizer Todd Elliot Entertainment & Event Planning.
At The Courtyard By Marriot – Los Angees Westside – 6333 Bristol Parkway, Culver City – Tickets at: www.swingentertainment.com.

This promises to be one of the best food event of the fall season, come and meet me there!!!

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Dinner CHAYA Izakaya – September 23, 2018 – Venice, CA.

This was one of the most memorable dinners in my history of doing Jodi Jackson’s Hollywood. The whole dinner was super special and tasty. The freshest ingredients, with the right amount of everything. I just can’t say enough about the delightful, inventive food at CHAYA.

This past spring, the 28-year-old CHAYA Venice officially transitioned into CHAYA Modern Izakaya, inviting guests to discover innovative Japanese-Californian cuisine along with a brand new cocktail program.

The room was filled with ambient world music; the vibe is very relaxed with a gorgeous interior. There are white kites that have been there since CHAYA opened. Nice touches of Asian inspired interiors make for a peaceful Zen type of atmosphere.

Nathaniel Beaumond my server came from Minnesota a year ago, went to University of Minnesota, quite refreshing being that he is not an actor. He added just the right amount of knowledge and charm to my fantastic experience.

CHAYA is reinventing themselves with smaller, shared plates and many more ala carte items on their menu. Kind of family style, where a table can order many plates that can all be shared. The whole restaurant seats around 130 guests, and they also have a very private party room.

Here’s What I Tried:

Specialty Cocktails:

Watermelon Margarita, with Tequila, Agave, and Lime Watermelon. An extremely refreshing cocktail, with nice sour nuances, I just loved this one.

Seasonal Caipiroska, Effen cucumber vodka, Leblon Cabaca, Orgeat, Lime. The cucumber is always a nice addition; it makes me feel like I am at the spa. It has a bit of a kick, but went down very well.

Starter:

Rainbow Roll: scallop, albacore, tuna, yellowtail, salmon avocado, crab. This is the best freshest sushi roll I have ever tried, really remarkable. A great way to start my fantastic experience.

Noodles:

Garlic Chili noodles: chili garlic oil, sprouts, and chives. Another perfect dish, and a great accompaniment to my dinner.

Salad & Vegetables:

Sesame Chicken Salad: black sesame, Japanese cucumber, mizuna, and chili oil. The minute this salad goes in your mouth you taste the bold flavors of the black sesame. I couldn’t get enough of this salad.

Mains:

Seafood Paella: clams, mussels, gulf shrimp, calamari, lobster tail, saffron. All of the seafood is super fresh and delightful, with the perfect garlic flavors.

Ribeye Steak: 14 Oz, three-peppercorn butter. The meat is super tender and the sauce is very simple, but a delicious steak, I would highly recommend this dish.

Dessert:

Peach Parfait: mascarpone cream, brownie. The peach parfait is light and creamy, with a touch of chocolate brownies, how could you go wrong?

Milk Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding: vanilla Ice cream, caramel. This is one of their standout popular items and I can see why, extremely rich and yummy.

Wine:

Sauvignon Blanc Preston, Dry Creek Valley, 2017. Dry Creek happens to be one of my favorite regions in Sonoma County; this wine has a bit of a fruity peachy flavor but just the right amount of acid to counter balance any fruit forward flavors.

Chardonnay, Sebastian, North Coast, 2016. I just love a buttery Chardonnay and this one hit the spot. It paired so nicely with the seafood and garlic in the Paella.

Zinfandel Blend, Killer Drop, North Coast, 2014. Another one of my favorite wines, this is a rich berry, jammy Zin, hitting all of the right notes, pairing with the Rib Eye Steak will blow your hair back.

Groth Syrah, Napa Valley, 2017. This wine had some nice chocolate characteristics, adding the perfect balance with the Rib Eye Steak.

Story of CHAYA

Our family opened Chaya’s mother restaurant, Hikage Chaya in the early 1600s, as a teahouse along a mountain pass near the harbor city of Kamakura, Japan. The combination of fine fish and spices passing through the port and the preponderance of weary travelers quietly made Chaya into a somewhat famous destination unto itself. When the Imperial Summer Villa was completed in 1893, just minutes away in Hayama, our restaurant had truly arrived. Chaya became a Ryokan and established itself as a gathering place for the royal court, government officials, and for those who sought a summer audience with the emperor.

After endearing ourselves to the imperial kitchen more than one hundred years ago, Chaya quickly evolved into the modern era. In the 1970s Hikage Chaya was a landmark destination for weddings and formal events. As Japan turned its attention outwards in the 1980s, we opened La Marée de Chaya in a pioneering step towards fusion cuisine.

Consecutively we landed in Los Angeles, opening La Petite Chaya in Silver Lake and Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills. Our marriage of French and Japanese traditions blossomed in the west. One night in 1984 at Chaya Brasserie, the iconic dish Tuna Tartare was born, and throughout the 1990s the restaurants became beloved haunts of actors and artists.

In 2006 we opened M Café on Melrose Avenue: a casual concept serving contemporary macrobiotic meals, anticipating the ongoing craze for simple, nourishing food.

Today we invite you to rediscover Chaya as we open dining rooms for a new century of tradition, food, and health.

About Their Chefs:

At CHAYA Modern Izakaya, our innovative team of chefs have come together for the first time combining their skills and showcasing their Japanese-Californian cuisine in a modern izakaya setting, while utilizing local seasonal ingredients, the highest-quality seafood, poultry and meats. Corporate Executive Chef Yukou Kajino delivers not only a deft hand to creating this inspired cuisine, but also an intimate knowledge of the kitchen, the dining room and its guests, overseeing all aspects of menu development. Driven by the notion that cooking has no boundaries, Executive Chef Joji Inoue exemplifies a “Seafood Samurai,” showcasing his transcendental views through a respected culinary expertise. From introducing special omakase experiences at the Kaiseki Chef Counter, to pushing the boundaries on what one is capable of producing, Chef Joji elevates CHAYA Modern Izakaya’s commitment to innovation. Kaiseki Chef Katsuyuki Wako, whose tutelage and resume speak of his extensive Japanese education and extraordinary skill in the authentic culinary art ofKaiseki, brings balance and harmony to this powerful team with his meticulously prepared and exquisitely served multicourse meals that are as visually appealing as they are flavorful. With a perfectionist eye and Kaiseki palate, Chef Wako brings his seasonal and spontaneous mindset to Chef Joji’s European training, thus continuing the CHAYA cycle of bridging eastern philosophy with Western techniques.

CHAYA Modern Izakaya also unveils a stunning new Cocktail Bar, where custom backlit shelving now fully displays the premium spirits and eclectic sake collection served at CHAYA Modern Izakaya. The sweeping bar counter also offers prime seating for guests to observe the craftsmanship of the bartenders executing each libation with the utmost integrity.

Every day from 5:00 pm until closing they have a great Happy Hour featuring Wines by the Glass, Draft Beer and Cold Sake Flights at special prices. Additionally, several Cocktails especially designed for Happy Hour are available, including Stone’s Lychee Martini, comprised of vodka, St. Germaine, lychee purée and lemon; the classic Highball made with Toki whisky and club soda, or the Last Mule, prepared with bourbon, ginger, cassis and lime. An extensive Happy Hour Small Bites Menu designed by Executive Chef Joji Inoue is also available, enticing guests with hearty dishes like Chicken Kara-age with mango chili and lemon pepper; the slurp-worthy Tequila Ramen featuring creamy chicken broth, braised pork and reposado tequila, or the perfect for summer Salmon Crudo, served with charred tomato ponzu, Fresno chili and yuzu.

CHAYA Modern Izakaya serves Dinner every Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm, and every Friday and Saturday from 5:30 pm to 11:30 pm. CHAYA Modern Izakaya offers Happy Hour at the CHAYA Modern Izakaya Cocktail Bar every Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and every Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

I have tried all kind of dining experiences, but this one captured my heart and taste bids. Truly every dish was individual and beyond delicious. If you want an amazing experience where there is so much attention to detail, you too will be pleasantly surprised. The next time you need a place to go in Venice, California, give CHAYA a try, you will be very happy and satisfied.

CHAYA Modern Izakaya
(310) 396-1179
110 Navy St, Venice, CA 90291
thechaya.com

* Note Some Content Was Taken off Of Their Website

 

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September 16, 2018 – Waterside Restaurant – Brunch – Channel Islands Harbor – Oxnard CA.

A super fun filled restaurant with an amazing brunch. The patio was buzzing with lively mimosa drinking fans of the music and the food. Its right on the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, a true must for any Sunday Brunchers. Whether you are a local or it is a brunch destination, Waterside is a great find with a very cool beachy atmosphere.

Here’s What I tried:

Soups:

Clam Chowder it won 1st place Chowderfest 2018. Big whole clams and a great creamy soup, I would order this every time.

Starters:

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, 5 large oven roasted shrimp with house-made cocktail sauce. These shrimp are huge and delightful; a nice way to start your experience.

Bagel with Lox & Herbed Cream Cheese, with capers, tomato, and red onions. The best part about this is the herbed crème cheese, really a winner.

Salads:

Waterside Caesar Salad, Chopped romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, house-made dressing, and brioche croutons. This salad is on of my favorite items, with nice bog grilled shrimp and the dressing is superb.

Entrée:

Fettuccine Alfredo, Served in a cream sauce with forest mushrooms and grilled chicken. This is a very rich dish so I would do this as a share first course.

Eggs & More:

Surf & Turf Burrito. Fillet Mignon, shrimp, potatoes, eggs, cheese, and hollandaise. Served with tortilla and house-made fire-roasted salsa. Not my favorite thing on the menu but the plump shrimp makes up for tough steak.

Waterside Brunch Burger, Ground chuck, red dragon cheese, lettuce, tomato, red wine onions, Dijon aioli, fried egg, on a brioche bun, choice of fruit or potatoes. A perfect burger, huge patty with all the fixings a definetly winner.

They did brunch item that was not on the menu that I really loved. It was bread, egg, sweet paotao and bacon, with a thyme rosemary crust. Super light and delicious, who knows maybe they will name the dish after me.

Sides:

Sausage Links & Bacon, basic but hit the spt.

Summer Drink Specials:

Organic Cucumber Cosmo, Organic cucumber vodka, triple sec, fresh lime juice, simple syrup with a splash of cranberry juice. Shaken and served up. A nice rendition of this popular drink with the floating pulp it makes it pretty tangy.

Waterside Pine-Tai, Pineapple Bacardi rum, pineapple & orange juice, splash of grenadine, squeeze of lime. Topped with Meyers Dark rum float. Served on the rocks. This would be my go to, with the wharf backdrop and all of the water and boats this drink makes you feel like you’re on a real vacation.

Blood Orange Mimosa, these Mimosas are bottle less and come around as often as you can say more, the fresh blood orange juice makes it go down real easy.

Melanie was my server she was super efficient and extremely busy, but got the job done.

It is a very lively crowd, families, dogs, puka-shelled men, with football playing on many screens in the inside at the bar. A great festive way to brunch!

If I lived close by you bet I would be here every Sunday, with live music and a great vibe, Waterside Restaurant has my seal of approval, big time. It is really worth a trip to Oxnard to experience this laid back feeling that all if great in the world. Spend a Sunday, its only an 1 hour and a half away, you will feel like you took a much needed vacation, but with out spending all of that hard earned money.

The Waterside Restaurant & Wine Bar
3500 Harbor Blvd, Ste 1,
Oxnard, CA 93035
(805) 985-4677
watersidechannelislands.com

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September 14, 2018 – The WOW Emmy Gift Suite – The W Hotel – Hollywood, CA.

During Emmy week there are many wonderful events, parties and gift suites to be part of. The WOW Creation gift suites did not disappoint, there were many fabulous vendors gifting amazing items and well as lots of celebrities from music, TV and Film. What a great way to spend a Friday morning!!

Both Mark and Matt Harris, that I fondly call the WOW brothers treated me like a queen!! Thanks guys!

WOW’s Charity is Face Forward, which is having their fundraiser Gala this Saturday. www.faceforwardla.org

Many gifts were given out, here are some of the many represented:
www.faceforwardla.org
www.glamore4u.com
www.Schwarzkopf.com
www.tipsytravelerandco.com
ART PROVIDED BY NEW ARTIST “NO SKRIPT”
www.hillbillyhustlers.com
www.lethalchickengames.com
www.sringrayne.com
www.thorlo.com
www.nursegigi.com
www.vanessapetronelli.com – ( spiritual speaker and channeler)
www.dentallace.com
www.luzarteproducts.com
www.abwinejelly.com
www.beatboxbeverages.com
www.dabahair.com
www.viavaifashion.com
www.hollywoodeyemagic.com
www.isobeauty.com
www.takako-beauty.com
www.bcl-company.jp/en
www.uniquecreativeideas.com
www.dirtnaphandcraftd.com
www.dailybodyrestore.com
“What If Imagine the Possibilities” – book by author Matthew Imes
ww.relites.com
www.aubio.com
www.aztec-secret.com
ww.winecaterers.com
www.nutrivista.com
www.vivisoi.com
www.damatequila.com

The perfect venue for a marvelous way of enjoying Emmy Week.

wowcreationsmedia.com

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Re-Visit Drago Restaurant – August 9, 2018 – Lunch – The Petersen Museum – Los Angeles, CA.

One of the things that I love about all things Drago is how unique and fresh all of their food is. Each dish is made to order by Chef Juan Carlo, but you will find this at all of their Los Angeles restaurants, made fresh to order by their various chefs. It is astounding how many restaurants they have and their quality control is off the charts. I have never had a bad meal at any of their restaurants. Drago is just simply the best Italian in my immediate area. Each and every dish has its own unique flavors that are all about the best, freshest Italian ingredients.

Housed inside The Petersen Automotive Museum, Drago Restaurant will give you a welcomed break from all of the new and vintage cars that you will see on your visit. Drago also does all of the onsite catering for their many events at The Petersen.

Here’s What I Tried:

Bartender Marvin made me some terrific starter cocktails both with Vodka, both truly delicious. When I asked Marvin for a name, he said call them Marvin’s Connection.

Soup:

Minestrone, Assorted vegetable soup. I can always know if a restaurant is going to be good by their soup. This is the platform of all cooking in my food 101. This soup was delicate and simple, but just hits the spot.

Antipasti E Insalate:

Cozze E Vongole, Salt spring mussels, manila clams, spicy tomato broth, toasted garlic bread. A lovely fragrant red sauce with nice texture, this appetizer is a must.

Calamari Fritti Con Verdura, Fried calamari and vegetables, lemon capers tartar. This lemon tartare sauce makes the whole dish, it is fragrant and smooth.

Carpaccio Di Bue, Scaglie Di Parmigiano, Mostarda, Beef Carpaccio, shaved parmesan cheese, and mustard dressing. The meat is raw, but super tasty, coupled with the mustard and the cheese, truly a winner.

Salads:

Cesar, Caesar salad, romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons with prawns. The lettuce is super crisp, with a nice hint of anchovies, really fantastic.

Mele E Indivia, Baby mixed lettuce, pink lady apple, bacon, candied walnuts, and champagne vinaigrette. The apple, candied walnuts and bacon melts in your mouth. The delicious champagne vinaigrette adds the right amount of acid, all in all a keeper.

Kale, oranges, pomegranate, avocado, almonds, focaccia, croutons, yellow beets, dry ricotta, champagne vinaigrette with chicken. Kale is all the rage, but what makes this salad so enticing is the oranges with the ricotta cheese.

Carne E Pesci:

Tagliata Di Ue E Salsa Verde, Pan roasted Flank steak, herbs sauce, seasoned vegetables. Cooked rare, with great flavor, the salsa verde adds just the right amount of tang to the mix.

Filetto Di Branzino Alla Livornese, European sea bass, tomato olives capers broth. The presentation is so beautiful, rich with color, flavor, and the perfect accompaniments. I love the rendition of this Italian staple

Salmone, Pan roasted Salmon, season sauté vegetables. The salmon is crusted but flaky and light. The seasonal vegetables are cooked al dente but add a nice texture to the plate.

Burger, Prime beef burger, caramelized onions, Portobello mushrooms, Fontina cheese, truffle butter, and truffle fries. Possibly the best burger ever, the caramelized onions seal the deal for me.

Paste E Risotti:

Bucatini Carbonara Con Piselli, Bacon, peas, egg yolk, cream, Parmesan cheese. This is always one of my go to pasta dishes when I go to Italy. At Drago, it is done old school way, so amazing.

Fettuccine Alla Bolognese, Fettuccine with meat sauce. Another one of my pastas that I crave, this sauce had a nice mushroom, cinnamon essence, which added to the overall experience.

Spaghetti Con Polpette, Spaghetti with meatballs and tomato sauce. Traditional menu item, more Italian American then typical Italian style dish.

Spaghetti Frusta Di Mare, Shrimps, calamari, bay scallops, mussels, clams in a light tomato sauce. The shellfish is very fresh with a wonderful aromatic flavor.

Linguine Vongole fragrant, Linguine, clams, garlic, fresh parsley. Lots of little clams, the very light sauce is filled with garlic.

Lasagne Bolognese, Baked meat lasagna. Done in a little casserole dish with béchamel sauce baked on the top. This is very delicious lasagna.

Risotto Porcini e Mascarpone, Risotto with porcini mushrooms and mascarpone cheese. If this is done right, it will be the best thing you ever put in your mouth. The combination of the mushrooms and the mascarpone cheese is pure heaven in your mouth.

Pizza:

Siciliana, Eggplant, smoked mozzarella, basil, shaved ricotta. The crust is thin, with an ideal sauce, for a pizza lover this would be the place you would want to have a real authentic pizza.

Barese, Sausage, broccoli, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese. A more robust pizza but does deliver.

Dessert:

Lemon Crème Brule, light, smooth, just what the doctor ordered as a final touch to this unbelievable lunch!!

Chocolate Tart, a wonderfully rich and perfect dessert item.

Wine:

Champagne Taittinger, “Brut La Francaise”,
Reims, France NV. The magical rise of the bubbles lifts your spirits; the clinking of the glasses is music to my ears, a lovely way to start my experience.

Rose of Pinot Noir, Main and Geary Sonoma 2015. This is the go to rose. The trend now is people drinking a lot of Rose, and this one does not disappoint. I loved this wine with the calamari, it was the perfect marriage of flavors.

Sauvignon Blanc, Cake Bread Cellars, Napa Valley, 2016. I just love this wine. The brand is always great and the quality matches the label always.

Chardonnay, Ronco del Gelson, “ Sietvignis”, Fruili, Italy 2014. This was a nice blend of creamy and fruity, it went great with the Linguine Vongole.

Due Data, “Pietro Caciorgna”, (Celestino Drago Selection) 2016. I can understand why this would be a Celestino Drago selection, it is simply fantastic. It is the wine to drink with the delicious burger.

Brunello di Montalcino, Fattoria dei Barbi, Toscana, Italy 2014. This is by far my favorite Italian wine, the perfect combination with the flank steak.

Server Alfonso Ochoa and Hostess Sabrina were the most welcoming pleasant staff members that truly guided my experience in a very positive way.

If you want real, delicious, authentic food in Los Angeles then this is the place to go. I am always a huge fan of anything Drago. I just love how wonderful the food is and how much effort they put into every dish.

The History of Drago’s Kitchen:

Born and raised in the Messina area of Sicily, the four Drago brothers, Celestino, Tanino, Calogero and Giacomino have owned and operated some of the Los Angeles area’s most prolific Italian restaurants. Featuring hand-cranked pastas, pizza, fresh-baked bread and more, Drago Ristorante offers elevated, yet authentic Italian fare and a heavy dose of classic Italian hospitality that the Drago brothers have been providing Angelinos and visitors alike for over three decades.

Experience contemporary Italian cuisine from the Drago brothers, alongside some of the rarest and most valuable cars in the world inside the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Hours: Sunday – Friday: 11:00am – 6:00pm Saturday: 11:00am – 6:00pm- Last reservation accepted for 4:30 p.m.

Drago at The Petersen
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323-800-2244

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

 

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Waitress- Pantages Theater – Friday August 3, 2018 – Hollywood, CA.

For me this show was all about the music, delightful and strong, their voices really hit home. Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland). “It’s an empowering musical of the highest order!” raves the Chicago Tribune.

Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, WAITRESS tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.

“WAITRESS is a little slice of heaven!” says Entertainment Weekly and “a monumental contribution to Broadway!” according to Marie Claire. Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.

We celebrate Adrienne Shelly as the writer of the 2007 film WAITRESS, on which our wonderful musical is based. An actor and filmmaker for almost 20 years, she conceived the film while pregnant with her daughter Sophie (“Lulu” in the film), and wrote it in just two weeks. People often ask if Adrienne was a baker, loved pies or if she had been a waitress or had ever lived in the South. She hadn’t. In fact, Sophie was the inspiration for the story. Like many expectant mothers, Adrienne wondered how motherhood would change her life and impact her career. But just like her main character Jenna, once she saw her baby, she immediately fell in love! And she soon realized that she could in fact have it all. In many ways WAITRESS, and Jenna’s story, is Adrienne’s story as well.

Her legacy has many facets, including The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, which her husband Andy created after her death in 2006. With partners including Sundance, AFI, IFP, Women in Film, Columbia University and Boston University (Adrienne’s Alma Mater), and an advisory board that includes Paul Rudd, Michelle Williams and Keri Russell, ASF’s mission is Supporting Women Filmmakers. Since its inception it has awarded 60 production grants to very talented women all over the world.

Please visit www.adrienneshellyfoundation.org to honor Adrienne’s memory and support ASF’s critical artistic mission.

Producers – Barry and Fran Weissler Norton and Elayne Herrick. Director Diane Paulus, Choregrapher Lorin Latarro, Music Supervision & Arrangements, Nadia DiGiallonardo, Set Design – Scott Pask, Costume Design – Suttirat Anne Larlarb, Lighting Design – Ken Billington, Sound Design – Jonathan Deans, Hair & Make Up Design – Richard Mawbey, Associate Director – Nancy Harrington, Associate Choreographer – Abbey O’Brien, Music Coordinator – John Miller.

CAST:
Jenna – DESI OAKLEY, Cal – RYAN G. DUNKIN, Dawn – LENNE KLINGAMAN, Becky – CHARITY ANGÉL DAWSON, Joe – LARRY MARSHALL, Earl – NICK BAILEY, Mother – GRACE STOCKDALE, Father – JIM HOGAN, Nurse Norma – MAIESHA McQUEEN, Dr. Pomatter – BRYAN FENKART,Ogie – JEREMY MORSE,Francine – KYRA KENNEDY Lulu – (Thurs. 8/2 eve., Sat. 8/4 mat. & eve., Tues., Weds., Sun. mat., Sun. eve.)ELIZABETH LAST Lulu (Fri. 8/3 eve., Sun. 8/5 mat. & eve., Thurs., Fri., Sat. mat., Sat. eve.) CATHERINE LAST Ensemble: MARK CHRISTINE, JIM HOGAN, KYRA KENNEDY, MAX KUMANGAI, MAIESHA McQUEEN, GERIANNE PÉREZ, GRACE STOCKDALE

SWINGS:
CHANTE CARMEL, DAVID HUGHEY, EMILY KOCH, BRAD STANDLEY

DANCE CAPTAIN:
MAX KUMANGAI

UNDERSTUDIES:

Understudies never substitute for listed performers unless a specific announcement is made at the time of performance.

For Jenna—KYRA KENNEDY, EMILY KOCH, GRACE STOCKDALE; for Becky—CHANTE CARMEL, MAIESHA McQUEEN; for Dawn—KYRA KENNEDY, EMILY KOCH, GERIANNE PÉREZ; for Dr. Pomatter—JIM HOGAN, BRAD STANDLEY; for Earl—JIM HOGAN, BRAD STANDLEY; for Joe— DAVID HUGHEY, MAX KUMANGAI; for Ogie—MARK CHRISTINE, JIM HOGAN; for Cal—MARK CHRISTINE, DAVID HUGHEY.

MUSICAL NUMBERS:

ACT ONE:
“What’s Inside”, “Opening Up”, “The Negative” , “What Baking Can Do”, “Club Knocked Up”, Women “When He Sees Me” , “It Only Takes a Taste”, “You Will Still Be Mine”, “A Soft Place to Land”,“Never Ever Getting Rid of Me”,“Bad Idea”.

ACT TWO:
“I Didn’t Plan It”, “Bad Idea” (Reprise), “You Matter to Me” ,“I Love You Like a Table” ,“Take It From an Old Man” ,“She Used to Be Mine”,“Everything Changes” “Opening Up”(Finale).
Music Director/Keyboard—RYAN CANTWELL Conductor/Piano—LILLI WOSK Drums—ELENA BONOMO; Bass—LEXI BODICK Cello/Guitar—NICK ANTON; Guitar—ED HAMILTON.

Music Coordinator—JOHN MILLER

MUSICIANS:
LOCAL MUSICIANS:
Keyboard Sub—ALBY POTTS Local Contractor—BRIAN MILLER.

I really enjoyed this show; from the sets, to the songs, and especially the comedy, it really knocked it out of the park.

“A DELICIOUS TALE THAT’S NOT SIMPLY
ABOUT GETTING PRINCE CHARMING,
BUT GETTING ITS HEROINE TO TAKE
ACTION AND DISCOVER HER WORTH!” – Variety

Waitress The Musical
The Pantages Theater
(323) 468-1770
6233 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
pantagestheatre.net

* Note some content was taken off of website.

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Mild Sauce – Lunch Tasting – July 31, 2018 – Beverly Hills, CA.

Located in a strip mall in an area known as Beverly Hills adjacent lies a real home spun gem. Steeped in family tradition Mild Sauce is a Chicago staple. Owner Kenneth Caldwell, and business partner Chicago Native – Apryl Correa, realized their dreams by bringing the best freshest Chicago Style fried chicken to Beverly Hills. Owning a few Chicken restaurants in Chicago, where Ken learned how to perfect Chicago Style chicken and fish. Named after famous Mild Sauce, which began in Chicago, many years ago, taking that simple condiment and turning into a viable brand.

Everything at Mild Sauce is made fresh every day, Ken does it all himself; he adds his own twist to their recipes. What sets Mild Sauce apart from the A-typical establishments is their use of different special seasons and spices. Ken wanted to give Angelinos the opportunity to taste the most delicious golden fried chicken, and putting his customers in the mindset of a home cooked meal.

I tried their trio combo, which is fried jumbo prawns, catfish and chicken, I had chicken thighs. All I can say is wow; every bite was succulent and delicious, really delightful. Menu includes; Fried Chicken, Jumbo Fried Shrimp, Catfish, and Chicken Strips, all batter fried with different seasonings, just simply delicious. His sides include homemade secret recipe coleslaw and fried okra, which will blow your hair back. All of the food is cooked to order, so make sure you give yourself enough time to wait, it will be totally worth it.

Mild Sauce has become the go to spot for numerous celebrities. Many people are stopping in to Mild Sauce and saying, “I’m from Chicago here to see if its real?” After one bite they know it’s the real deal.

They will be starting a new program soon, with internet delivery only; daily from 11:00pm – 4:00am, with Uber Eats, Grubhub, Yelp, Doordash, Eat 24, and Postmates.

Besides all of the amazing food and great vibes, Mild Sauce plays house music all day and night, another tradition inspired by Chicago, featuring mixes from Chicago’s own DJ Wayne Williams, Alan King, Terry Hunter, and Andre Hatchet, just to name a few.

There is no competition in Los Angeles, because Mild Sauce is the best fried chicken, fish and shrimp anywhere in California.

“It Ain’t Got Sauce On It, It Ain’t Chi-Town, We’re On Top Of Everythang.”

Tuesday – Thursday 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Sunday – 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Monday – Closed

Mild Sauce
8500 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
310-652-3310 @mildsaucela
www.mildsaucela.com

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Taste of Yorba Linda – July 27, 2018 – Yorba Linda, CA.

Why travel this far from West Hollywood to go to another food event. Well I am here to say that this was one of the best food festivals I have ever been to. Lots of different styles of food to choose from. Mostly local Yorba Linda restaurants and huge portions, you did not go hungry at this event.

Truly the best food event in Orange County for over 29 years, with over 50 restaurants, wineries and breweries of Orange County! The evening included a silent auction and great entertainment from The King Salmon Band, lots of great dance music.

Participating Restaurants:

All-American Ale Works
BevMo!
BJ’s Grill Anaheim Hills
Black Gold Golf Club
Bristol Farms
Brookdale Yorba Linda
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Canyon Inn Sports Bar & Grill
Cavaller Wine Exchange
Cedar Creek Inn Brea
Center Catering
Craft Brew Tours
Craftsman Pizza: Bar: Grill
Crepes Bonaparte
Darby’s
Dunkin Donuts
El Torito Yorba Linda
Esther’s Taco House
Eureka Pizza Co.
Fat Freddy’s
Frisco’s Meat & Deli
Gusto D’Oro Italian Cuisine
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches
Joaquin’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
Joya Sangria
Karma Lounge Restaurant
Mimi’s Cafe
Monarch 9 Cafe
Mustache Mike’s
Nikki’s Kitchen
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Phantom Ales
Polly’s Pies Restaurant & Bakery
PRP Wine International
Quigley Fine Wines
Rich Farm Ice Cream
Rita’s Brea
Romano’s Macaroni Grill
Sam’s Club
South Coast Winery
Sprouts Farmers Market
Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams
Sunrise Senior Living
Surf City Still Works
Sushi Fresh
Terra Wood-Fired Kitchen
The Blind Pig Kitchen + Bar
The Butchery – Brea
The Cookie Element
The Olde Ship
Tio Chava’s Mexican Restaurant
Tipsy Traveler & Co.
Versai Wine Bar
Wise Guys Pizzeria
YLS Bakery

There were a few stand out food items that I tasted, meats ball and lasagna were amazingly delicious. The shirt rib with mashed potato served in a martini glass with a purple orchid filled your senses with great flavor and even better presentation.

Presenting Sponsors:

The Edie Israel Team

Gold Sponsors:

Digital Label

Silver Sponsors:

ADT
All Class RV
Bristol Farms
Diamond Resorts
Gil Cisnero
Peggy Thomas, Insurance Services
PNP
Todd Spitzer
County of Orange, CA.
Together We Rise
Windham Worldwide

Bronze Sponsors:

Brea Orange County Plumbing & Heating
First Bank
Grant Romancia Photography
Jimmy Johns
Orange County Credit Union
Postal Annex
Progressive Builders
Smart and Final
So Cal Edison
UC Irvine
Yelp

It was a hot balmy night filled with libation, taste treats and fun entertainment, next year I will go and stay close by to really be able to get to know the area better.

http://tasteofyl.com/

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40 Years In The Making: Magic Music Movie – Thursday – July 26, 2018 – Beverly Hills, CA.

40 YEARS IN THE MAKING: THE MAGIC MUSIC MOVIE [Paladin]. The documentary chronicles how one of their greatest fans, acclaimed director (and UC Boulder alumnus) Lee Aronsohn, tracked down the original band members four decades later to tell their story. More importantly, he makes a dream come true for himself, fellow fans, and the band, by bringing them all back to Boulder for a sold-out reunion concert that preserves their legacy for posterity. Filmmaker Lee Aronsohn and members of Magic Music.

When I saw this press screening being offered I ran to apply for credentials. Having been a music publicist and working in this business for many years I really wanted to see a behind the scenes view of a band that I had never heard of. Magic Music was a band from Boulder Colorado, and seeing that I had been to Colorado twice in my life, but never Boulder and never during that time.

It’s a real life lesson about how forgiveness cannot only help the person you are forgiving but more important about how forgiveness heals the person forgiving. The band members were young and naive so they really did not know how to navigate the music business and dealing with record labels and executives. Which caused a lot of problems amongst themselves. One of my favorite scenes was when one the band members walked into Capitol Records in Hollywood, to meet with a record executive and was very adamant about not wearing shoes. It did not go over well and a record deal fell off the table.

The music is really fantastic, and you can see where famous bands like The Eagles, or The Grateful Dead were highly influenced by Magic Music’s style.

This was a wonderful documentary, revealing the struggle of a band, chronicled through caricature type drawings. The subtle extra touch was how Lee Aronsohn chronicled all of the political events at that time. I am recommending this film, and I am sure the commonality will find its way to many happy viewers.

www.magicmusicmovie.com
www.facebook.com/MagicMusic Movie
Twitter.com/MagicMusic Movie
Instagram.com/magicmovie

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