Red Restaurant & Bar – Pacific Palms Resort – Late Lunch – June 15, 2024 – City of Industry

Sitting high on a glorious hilltop, overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains, you’ll find a wonderful bar and restaurant the City of Industry offers. Red Restaurant is an upscale dining experience where only the finest steaks, freshest seafood, and most stunning cocktails are served. The luxurious restaurant makes the Pacific Palms Resort a must stay hotel in the San Gabriel Valley. Red is perfect for a scrumptious breakfast, power lunches, passionate evenings, or any special event.

Dining with a view at Pacific Palms Resort, you may have realized that Pacific Palms Resort has quite a bit to offer. In fact, this luxury resort is almost a complete world of benefits for its guests, including golf and spa options. But you can’t enjoy all this, or anything else on an empty stomach! That’s why this luxury resort also includes one of the best restaurants in the City of Industry, CA. Red Restaurant and Bar’s fine California style dining stands in contrast to what you’d expect from most resorts. They confidently invite you to bring friends and significant others alike for a dining experience that will satisfy everyone and enjoy the expansive outdoor seating area with spectacular views!

Here’s What I Tried:

Cocktails:

Traditional Vodka Martini: 3 olives; it came with little ice crystals in the glass and was the perfect amount of vodka, olive juice, and vermouth, a great martini.

Lavender Lemon Drop, Grey Goose Vodka, lemon, and lavender. The lavender adds a very soothing quality to this delicious smooth cocktail.

Redgarita, Patron Silver Tequila, Cointreau, pomegranate juice, sweet and sour, and a salt rim. For the tequila drinker, this would be the one to order. It really doesn’t have an acidic element, so it goes down pretty easily.

Pear Martin, Absolut Pear Flavored Vodka, Disaronno, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Another elegant martini type of cocktail, with very subtle pear nuances.

Soup:

Lobster Corn Chowder, there are nice chunks of lobster on the top as you eat the soup. The combination of corn and lobster is so brilliant, one of my all-time favorite soups.

Firecracker Shrimp, garlic lime sweet chili sauce, and honey sesame aioli. They give you a generous portion and the dipping sauce is just to die for.

Crispy Calamari and Vegetables, carrots, onion, jalapeno, and sweet chili garlic lime sauce. I really like the addition of all of the fried vegetables with the calamari, something about it made it healthier.

Sesame Wok Saute, chicken udon noodles or steamed Calrose rice, stir-fried vegetables, peanuts, and wok sauce. This was a surprise; I was told by my server, Joshua Pearson, to try this and it did not disappoint. The vegetables are served crispy and fresh. The chicken is very flavorful and tender, coupled with the amazing udon noodles, this one was a winner.

Red Chopped Salad with Shrimp Garden Greens, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, crispy wanton, and sesame dressing. There are big, huge, plump shrimp in this wonderful salad, I would highly recommend it to start your meal. 

Miso Black Cod, slow-roasted, sauteed baby bok choy, shitake mushrooms, sweet soy miso glaze, and steamed rice. This was my favorite dish; the cod was so tender, and the sweet miso glaze added another layer of goodness.

Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb, these little darlings were just delicious, cooked medium rare, they had a tender juicy flavor, and I loved them.

Pan-Seared Blackened Day Boat Scallop, the flavor of this blackened scallop was both crispy, and caramelized, and the amazing flavor of the scallop itself.

Side Order:

Mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and wild mushrooms. Each side order was perfect.

Dessert:


Baileys Chocolate Mousee Cake, raspberry sauce; a chocolate lover’s dream, with the Cabernet, it covered all my culinary bases.

Crème Brulé, seasonal berries, nice crackling sugar top, delicious, with a nice vanilla flavor. It was a hit with the lamb.

Wines:

Chateau Buena Vista Chardonnay 2020 North Coast, a nice, rounded wine that went well with the chopped salad and with the seafood.

Sonoma Cutrer, Chardonnay 2020, Sonoma, this was a great pairing with the soup, just simply divine.

1000 Stories Zinfandel, 2021 California, you can drink this wine with the chocolate dessert or, of course, the lamb.

Ca’Momi Cabernet, 2019 Napa, nice leathery nuances, it was the perfect addition to the lamb.

It’s just an overall delightful experience. Manager Gerardo made my dining wonderful as well, he knows this area and can give you lots of fun tidbits. His knowledge and experience made my trip extra special. Looking out onto the golf course is really the main event, it is lush and gorgeous, with great views and a great way to enjoy your meal, I would come back here anytime!

Pacific Palms Resort

City of Industry

626-854-2509

Hours Breakfast 7:00am-10:00am

Lunch and Dinner:

Sun-Wed 10:30 am-9:00 pm

Bar: 10:00 am-11:00 pm (Bar Food Menu until 10 pm)

Thurs-Sat: 10:30 am-10:00 pm

Bar: 10:00 am-12:00 am (Bar Food Menu until 10:45 pm)

https://pacificpalmsresort.com *Note some content was taken off their website

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Manohar Delhi Palace – June 14, 2024 – La Puente, CA.

If you find this place on your own or you were brought here by a friend, however, you get here, it’s pretty much the best Indian cuisine you’re ever going to eat. This place is a true gem. Located in a strip mall off Azusa Ave, in the very sleepy City of La Puente, with an unsuspecting exterior. You really wouldn’t know about this amazing place unless you scoped it out on your own.

Manohar’s Delhi Palace is the most ambitious Indian restaurant in La Puente. They really take pride in serving the best. It is Punjabi-style dishes, retaining the original traditions of Northern India.  The methods of cooking that follow Mughal traditions and dishes prepared at Manohar’s Delhi Palace are generally made mild so that you can experience the natural taste of the fresh masalas used in each preparation. In business since, 1990, they use fresh vegetables and ingredients in all their preparation. Sauces are uniquely blended with the finest and freshest root herbs and spices. Food is prepared in cholesterol-free corn oil, they do not use M.S.G.

Here’s What I tried:

Beverages:

Sweet Lassi, a refreshing blend of mango sweet yogurt and water. It is very filling but simply amazing.

Appetizers:

Garlic Nan, the most perfect flatbread with herbs and garlic, what a treat.

Samosa, crisp turnovers stuffed with spiced potatoes and green peas. This is a staple in any Indian restaurant, but somehow, they managed to make it unique with nice seasoning and herbs. 

Tandoori Paneer, soft, juicy chunks of paneer marinated in Tandoori masala with vegetables. A big bold flavor coupled with all of the onions and peppers, a great start. 

Entrees:

Butter Chicken – Murg Makhani, rich and creamy sauce with butter and tomatoes, blended with selected authentic spices. They call this butter chicken because the chicken melts in your mouth, with such aromatic sauce and spices.

Shrimp Masala, shrimp cooked with ginger in a special curry sauce. As a shrimp lover, this one took my breath away, just delectable.

Lamb Vindaloo, tender lamb with a spicy red curry, cooked with potatoes. The meat is super tender and it’s a very different curry from the others ordered, so it was a really good choice.

Shrimp Biryani, an aromatic basmati rice with tender shrimp cooked with nuts, herbs, and spices. I love rice and I love shrimp, so the combination rocked my world. 

Vegetables:

Malai Kofta, mixed vegetable balls, deep-fried, served in tomato, onion, and cream sauce. Fragrant and aromatic, this was a nice accompaniment to the rest of my meal.

Dessert:

Kulfi, Indian-style ice cream. The perfect pallet cleaner, nice soft sweet ice cream with a hint of coconut.

Taj Mahal Beer, super cleansing and refreshing. I love a nice light beer with Indian food. 

They do a huge catering business. The night I came in, manager Ricky told me that the owner Mike was doing a catering job in Stockton California. For them, driving far away is a pleasure, the fact that there are numerous Indian restaurants all over California, but people choose them, no matter what the distance is. There is a nice Indian community here in La Puente. I met many locals while I was dining, all talking about how wonderful this restaurant is and is a staple in their community.

The interior is very clean and upscale, with beige tablecloths, with lots of tables for group dining as well as family-style eating. The staff makes you feel very welcome like you are in someone’s home.

This was a very lucky find for me, I just happened on it because it was so close to my stay at The Pacific Palms, it is literally down the street. But in my world, there are no mistakes, always new finds and lessons to be learned, everything comes from a very positive outlook! It’s always so nice when I get treated the way they treated me at Manohar’s Delhi Palace. Ricky was so generous, he invited me to come in again while I was down the street, but sadly I was unable to. If you’re ever hankering for wonderful Indian food and you’re anywhere nearby, try it, or far away, you too will be very happily surprised. 

Manohar’s Delhi Palace

581 S. Azusa Way

La Puente, CA 91744

626-964-0343

https://www.mdelhipalace.com/
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Hotel Stay June 14, 15, and 16 – Pacific Palms Resort – City of Industry, CA.

It’s like one big mirage, only 30 miles away from Los Angeles. Up on a hill, with spectacular views lies The Pacific Palms Hotel; it’s just the most perfect staycation. With its award-winning views, The Pacific Palms Resort promises to put you in a whole different mind space, relaxing, soothing, peaceful, and just what the doctor ordered.

The pool is very tranquil, you could be anywhere, on a Polynesian island or in Palm Springs. It is tropical and revitalizing. It was a pleasant getaway from the loud bustling city. There is a bar there at the pool if you want to get your drink on. I had this hotel stay since last year, but they were reinviting the pool area, both the jacuzzi and pool are fresh and fantastic, just the right temperatures.

I was given a great food tasting at their premier restaurant Red’s, you can see that review on my website as well.

This is just the perfect place for a golf weekend, whether it’s romantic or just for the fun of the sport, it’s got some great golfing. There are 2 golf courses, Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms Resort; come and play on one of their two championship golf courses, the Ike, and the Babe! Breathtaking views. It has pristine grounds and landscapes, and it’s exciting and rewarding. The Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms Resort is one of California’s most noteworthy public golf courses, and a historical site as well. Some of the game’s greatest players have graced these links making it one of the best golf courses in Los Angeles and a memorable round for more than 40 years.

Their guests enjoy these championship links in better conditions than they’ve ever had before. This vintage gem is upgraded with 650 acres of new, lush, green carpet. Fully modernized for the demands of today, and our San Gabriel Valley golf club is one of the best to be found near LA.

The Eisenhower (The Ike), is a Premier Southern California Course. Designed by both William F. Bell and Casey O’Callaghan, locals and fans affectionately call this Los Angeles golf course “Ike” because it attracts golfers from around the world, it is fitting that this 18-hole, classic par 72 course be named for a popular world leader who also happened to love the game. Since reopening in late 2006 after a multimillion-dollar renovation, the Ike continues to win over fans with its traditional features: Lush fairways and large undulating greens. This course has earned its place among the most challenging in Southern California and can lay claim to it. It stretches 5,662 yards from the forward tees to 7,211 yards from the championship tees, with slope ratings from 130 to 145. It’s no wonder that the Ike has been the proud host of many U.S. Open Qualifying tournaments as well as LPGA tour events.

The Zaharias (The Babe) an 18-hole course is named for Babe Didrikson Zaharias, one of America’s most decorated all-around athletes. In fact, in a poll conducted by the Associated Press, Americans voted her the world’s greatest woman athlete of the first half of the 20th Century. Today, the “Babe” welcomes players of every skill level who are eager to experience a remarkable feat of design and engineering. Designers William F. Bell & Casey O’Callaghan designed the Zaharias course to be intentionally narrow and long, maximizing the expansive acreage of the hilltop resort. At 650 acres, the sheer size of the layout remains a novelty among golf courses near Los Angeles. It ranges from 5,363 yards from the forward tees to 6,821 yards from the championship tees. This par 71 features slope ratings ranging from 126 to 138, making the course worthy of the great athlete for which it is named. I actually saw a funicular that isn’t being used anymore, that goes up and down from the hilltop parts of the golf course. My recommendation is to get it back to working again, it really would be such a main attraction. 

The whole experience was stellar, and so close to Downtown Los Angeles, and it’s a great way to spend a weekend.

Pacific Palms Resort

Industry Hills Golf Club
Pacific Palms Resort
1 Industry Hills Parkway
City of Industry, CA 91744

Note Some Content Was Taken Off Their Website.

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Mrs. Doubtfire – The Hollywood Pantages Theater – Broadway in Hollywood – June 12, 2024 – Hollywood, CA.

When I saw the movie, I just loved Robin Williams’s portrayal of the iconic Mrs. Doubtfire, and Daniel Hillard, especially because Robin was a friend. I met him right before Mork and Mindy at The Holy City Zoo in San Francisco. But, what Rob McClure did for this show was just astounding. He is talented, can do anything, and makes it look so easy.  He was the true star of the show. What an amazing actor, singer dancer, and storyteller. I just can’t say enough about him. The other highlight for me was Giselle Gutierrez, her voice was pure and just delightful. A difficult part was playing Daniel Hillard’s daughter, Lydia Hillard. She really completed the singing part of the show for me. Of course, the setting of San Francisco was also a big plus for me.

About the Show: Rob McClure is an American actor and singer, best known for his work on the Broadway stage. McClure made his Broadway debut in 2002 as an understudy in I’m Not Rappaport. From 2006 to 2009, he went on to play several roles in Avenue Q, both on Broadway and on the show’s national tour. His Tony-nominated performance in the title role of Mrs. Doubtfire for the musical’s national tour, launching from Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, New York. In September, McClure, who created the role for the musical’s Broadway 2021 premiere, was joined by Maggie Lakis as Miranda Hillard plus the newly announced Giselle Gutierrez as Lydia Hillard, Aaron Kaburick as Frank Hillard, Nik Alexander as Andre Mayem, Leo Roberts as Stuart Dunmire, Romelda Teron Benjamin as Wanda Sellner, Cody Sawyer Braverman and Axel Bernard Rimmele as Christopher Hillard, and Emerson Mae Chan and Kennedy Alexandra Pitney as Natalie Hillard.

The ensemble included David Hibbard, Alex Branton, Jonathan Hoover, Sheila Jones, Julie Kavanagh, Jodi Kimura, Marquez Linder, Alex Ringler, Bianca Rivera-Irions, Lannie Rubio, Neil StarkenbergJoey Stone, Gina Ward, Lauryn Withnell, and Julia Yameen. Along with McClure, Kaburick, Hibbard, and Kimura were also members of the Broadway company.

“It is a very rare and special event when the star of a Broadway musical takes the show on the road,”  producer Kevin McCollum said in an earlier statement. “Rob won the hearts of theatergoers and huge critical acclaim for creating one of the great musical comedy roles in Broadway history. I am thrilled that audiences across the country are not only going to be able to laugh and tear up at Rob’s landmark performance but also see a magical onstage chemistry with Maggie, a major talent who I first met when she starred in the national tour of Avenue Q. Our show is all about family, so to have Rob and Maggie leading this on the road, it couldn’t be more perfect.”

Based on the 1993 film, Mrs. Doubtfire follows out-of-work actor Daniel Hillard, who transforms himself into a senior, Scottish woman so that he can be hired as a nanny for his own children after losing custody in a divorce. The work, which features a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell and music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, premiered at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in 2019, making the jump to Broadway in 2021. A West End debut began in May following the musical’s U.K. premiere in Manchester last fall.

Mrs. Doubtfire is directed by Jerry Zaks and features choreography by Lorin Latarro; music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Ethan Popp; scenic design by David Korins; costume design by Catherine Zuber; lighting design by Philip S. Rosenberg; sound design by Brian Ronan; hair and wig design by David Brian Brown; and casting by The Telsey Office‘s Craig Burns.

McCollum is producing the tour in association with Work Light Productions, which also serves as executive producer and general manager.

The tour dates through July 2024, including stops in Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, Memphis, Tampa, Orlando, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Run, don’t walk to this fantastical journey. It’s just the best of Broadway here in Hollywood. I just can’t say enough about this production, the talent, the music, the sets; everything was simply wonderful.

https://www.broadwayinhollywood.com/

The Hollywood Pantages Theater

6233 HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD
LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA 90028

(323) 468-1770

DoubtfireBroadway.com.

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June 2, 2024 – Manee Valentine at The Catalina Jazz Club – Hollywood, CA.

Remember a time when crooners were king and all you wanted to do is have a martini and get dressed up in your gorgeous glitter and lace outfits. Well seeing Manee Valentine will just make you go back to a time when things were gloriously innocent, but oh so fun. His two special guest songstresses were equally brilliant: Pamela Clay and Wanda Ray Willis. His show is a show not to be missed, check his calendar and next time he is playing run don’t walk to see him in all his glory.

International Jazz Crooner, BMI affiliated and Recording artist, Manee Valentine will celebrate the release of his new album “Lucky 7” – dropped on June 1 (The physical CD will be available at Amazon; digital CD is already available.)

The album “Lucky 7” features 7 original compositions written by Argentine songwriter Ike Montana. Manee Valentine will be performing several songs from “Lucky 7”, and some from his previous CD “Red Soul”, plus he will dazzle his audience by performing many favorite American standards. Keeping with his 7 themes, he has 7 talented female jazz musicians accompanying him: Beth Marlis (guitar) Anne King (trumpet), Amanda Campos (sax), Sherry Luchette (bass), Amanda Mora (trombone) and Ana Barreiro (drums) His very seasoned music director, Karen Hernandez has many accolades, she burst onto the jazz scene in the 60’s, she has many film credits to her name as well, including original songs in “Pretty Woman” and “The Fabulous Baker Boys”. Alongside her is music arranger Carlos Luna, he too has many television credits.

Valentine has the vocal precision and control of many that have come before him, but he has a bit of a Latin twist in there for good measure. Manee Valentine says, “I just love bringing a good story from a great ballad to life, but in my own fresh way! I listen to all the greats and take away what I can use for myself, I take pride in having my own unique style, and I love what I do!”

As the Creative Director of 7Notas Music Designers & Publishing, Manee Valentine has an uncanny and natural ability to create lyrics and melody for his original songs. He specializes in adapting and translating popular songs, including standards and current hits.

Coming from Miami, Manee Valentine was able to get a real feel for what Florida had to offer musically. Miami is the mecca for rich Latin music and is a great place to learn the ropes. But he feels Los Angeles is really the place to be seen and grow as an artist. With Manee Valentine’s velvety smooth voice, and enormous stage presence, he can trigger emotions of better days, and toe tapping happiness of what’s to come. Every generation who are lovers of Jazz and Big Bands, will enjoy his rhythmic renditions and arrangements of the great American songbook. Truly a throwback to a time when crooners were gold, whether interpreting a romantic ballad or singing to the beat of swing, Manee Valentine is a force to be reckoned with.

Manee Valentine Posts:

https://www.lifoti.com/2024/05/lifoti-interview-jazz-sensation-manee.html
https://www.hollywoodvue.com/2024/05/jazz-virtuoso-manee-valentine-announces.html
https://www.woralfi.com/2024/05/manee-valentines-lucky-7-album-release.html

Celebrate with Manee Valentine at The Catalina Jazz Club for the launch of his new album “Lucky 7” on June 2, 2024 (pumpitupmagazine.com)

YouTube Video’s:

Videos for his new CD “Lucky 7”:

“Lucky 7” is on – social media platforms: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and most music digital platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/manee.valentine/
https://www.instagram.com/maneevalentine/
https://www.youtube.com/@maneevalentine9328

Catalina Jazz Club

6725 W. Sunset Blvd.

Hollywood, CA 90028

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May 25, 2024 – Benjarong Thai Cuisine – Dinner – Redlands, CA.

This restaurant is quite the find, tucked away in a forest-like atmosphere, in the foothills of Redlands. The Esri compound is right behind Benjarong. Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) since 1959, and is a privately held company 100% owned by its founders, Jack and Laura Dangermond. 

So, you can take the Arrow train and walk back a few blocks to Benjarong. Their back patio is huge and has live music on the weekends. The patio is tranquil, with foliage filled exotic vegetation. It is lit by twinkling party lights.

The night I visited included a great duo who played adult contemporary modern rock from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. Where else can you find live music with great Thai cuisine. It’s quite the little gem in Redlands, just the best Thai food with great creative menu items.

Here’s What I tried:

Cocktails:

Thai Tea Martini, a great unique idea, so delicious and truly an imaginative cocktail.

Traditional Martini, a great way to start my delicious dinner.

Mojito, lush and tropical; just a wonderful cocktail.

Appetizers

Lumpia, deep-fried crepes stuffed with ground chicken, carrots, potatoes, and onion served with a special sauce. A small egg roll with marvelous flavor.

Fried Wontons, wonton skins stuffed with ground chicken and spices served with Benjarong sweet and sour sauce. These wonderful wontons are full of flavor and super filling.

Satay, with four skewers of marinated and grilled chicken, served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish. The sublime coconut flavors are heavenly marinaded and made my taste buds dance. This is a must-have menu item.

Coconut Shrimp, succulent deep-fried shrimp battered with coconut. These are coated with lots of coconut which makes for a very delicious and satisfying appetizer. Plus, who doesn’t love shrimp!

Salads:

Yum Nuer, slices of perfectly grilled beef sirloin in spicy lime juice and seasoned sauce with cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and scallions over a bed of mixed greens. A very tangy dressing that is both sweet and sour, with nice tender meat slices. It was a nice start to my amazing meal.

Soup:

Tom Kah Kai, a hot and sour spicy soup with chicken, mushrooms, and baby corn in coconut milk. A great, sweet, savory comforting soup. Their rendition was super scrumptious.

Wonton Soup, served with lovely flower-cut carrots and a super flavorful broth; just what the doctor ordered.

Noodles:

Pad Thai, stir-fried, thin rice noodles, bean sprouts, scallions, and eggs with shrimp and ground peanuts on the side. These are nice, thick noodles with very well-rounded Thai spices. They did a great job with this menu item.

Rice:

Gulf of Siam Fried Rice, a mixture of seafood, shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels, imitation crab, stir-fried with eggs, scallions, tomatoes, and onions. The rice is super flavorful, and the added seafood makes for one very satisfying rice dish.

Entrees:

Deli Fish, breaded and fried Orange Roughy topped with ground chicken, ginger, mushrooms, and scallions in a special sauce. They serve it with the fish looking like a flower, and the added ginger just melts in your mouth. This is one of my favorite dishes.

Pad Ka-Pow, beef stir-fry with chili, bell peppers, onions, scallions, and basil leaves in Benjarong sauce. Their Benjarong sauce is just superb! It is a light soy sauce-based gravy, and they use it in many menu items. The beef is very tender, and the sauce is very subtle with white rice. It hits the spot!

Yellow Curry Shrimp, cooked in a special, smooth curry with potatoes, onions, and coconut milk. Another favorite dish, the way they present the potatoes is enough to order this dish.

Panang, with chicken and tofu with bell pepper, cooked in a special, smooth curry and peanut sauce in coconut milk. Anything that they do with coconut sauce is going to be divine.

Dessert:

Mango and Sticky Rice, a sticky delight; it was a great way to end my fantastic experience.

Manager Tan mentioned that they only have 3 woks in their kitchen, and everything is made from scratch. Their head cook, Noon makes most of the food and follows their family recipes. She explained that her customers are very loyal and have been coming for the full 18 years of them being open. Server and bartender, Alexandra Olson started when she was 17, and was taught by Tan how to do everything to run a successful restaurant.

This is the kind of place that someone has to take you to, like it’s their own hidden secret because it really is an amazing treasure in Redlands. You can take the train and make it a destination lunch or dinner, as well as being out on their amazing, beautiful patio listening to live music. I would say to put down what you’re doing, and just get there; you will be so happy you did.

Benjarong

1001 W Park Ave,

Redlands, CA 92373

(909) 792-3235

thebenjarong.com

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Girl From The North Country – Hollywood Pantages Theater – May 15, 2024 – Hollywood, CA.

This is just a spectacular theater piece. It’s got a very tough story, but with the actors and the music of Bob Dylan, it just explodes with fiery passion and extreme talent. The cast’s amazing singing and acting really shined through. But don’t expect a Broadway-type song and dance musical, this one has deep-seated meaning that takes place in a boarding house in 1934, in the shores of Lake Superior, in Duluth Minnesota. It’s all about the Laine family during the Great Depression and their friends and acquaintances struggling financially, with illness, and other life events. The musical focuses on desperation and its effect on the human psyche and includes nearly 30 songs by Bob Dylan. The story follows the family as they try to save their property from foreclosure, and the wife, Elizabeth, struggles with dementia that causes her to become detached and then have outbursts that are difficult to manage. The story is narrated by Dr. Walker, a physician to the Laine family. Nick Laine is the proprietor of a rundown guesthouse. The bank is threatening to foreclose on the property, and he is desperate to find a way to save his family from homelessness. His wife, Elizabeth, is suffering from a form of dementia that propels her from catatonic detachment to childlike, uninhibited outbursts which are becoming difficult to manage. Their children are Gene, who is in his early twenties, and their adopted daughter, Marianne, who is nineteen.

Marianne is five months pregnant, and the father’s identity is a mystery she guards carefully. Nick is trying to arrange a marriage between Marianne and a local shoe mender, Mr. Perry, to secure her future. The social awkwardness is complicated because Marianne is a black girl living with a white family. She was abandoned in the guesthouse as a baby and brought up by Nick and Elizabeth. Gene is unable to get a grip on his life, and veers between ambitions of becoming a writer while having debilitating alcohol binges, a situation not helped when his sweetheart, Kate, announces she is marrying a man with better prospects.

Nick has become involved in a relationship with a resident of the guest house, Mrs. Neilsen, a widow who is waiting for her late husband’s will to clear probate. They dream of a better future when her money comes through, although she scolds Nick for his constant pessimism. Also, staying at the house is a family, the Burkes. Mr. Burke lost his business in the crash. His wife, Laura, and his son, Elias, share a room upstairs. Elias has a learning disability and the family struggles to come to terms with their vulnerable state. Late at night, during a storm, a self-styled reverend bible salesman, Marlowe, and a down-on-his-luck boxer, Joe Scott, arrive looking for shelter. The arrival of these characters is a catalyst, changing everything for everyone in the house.

Girl from the North Country  – book by Conor McPherson and songs with music and lyrics by Bob Dylan. It is the second show to use Dylan’s music after Twyla Tharp‘s The Times They Are a-Changin’. The production premiered at The Old Vic in London running in October of 2017, directed by McPherson. Following the success of The Old Vic production, it transferred into London’s West End at the Noël Coward Theatre in December for a limited 12-week run until March of 2018, with the majority of The Old Vic cast.

It made its Broadway premiere at the Belasco Theatre, beginning previews in February 2020. On May 16, 2022, it was announced that prior to re-opening, the Broadway production was filmed for a future public release. Producers Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons remarked, “We feel that now was the right time to capture this incredible production … this was the right time with the right cast, and everything fell into place perfectly. This story is beautiful and deserves to be seen by audiences all over, even if they can’t make it to the theater,” while revealing that negotiations were underway to find a distributor.

Musical numbers include 28 songs by Bob Dylan that appear throughout the show. Each is backed by instruments from the 1930s. The Original London Cast Recording was made at Abbey Road in August 2017, and released by Silvertone/Sony Music on CD in September 2017and double vinyl in December 2017. The Original Broadway Cast Recording was made on March 9, 2020, at Reservoir Studios in Manhattan, and released by Legacy Recordings/Sony Music in August 2021.

Stand-out cast member, Jennifer Blood, playing Elizabeth Laine, had an incredible voice, with her physical comedy, she really steals the show. Ben Biggers as Gene Laine has a moody, lonely stance on stage at all times, but it’s his angelic voice that really captures everyone’s hearts. Sharae Moultrie plays Marianne Laine; the audience feels her. She is strong and vulnerable at the same time and has unsurpassed vocal chops, all making her a cast member to watch and cherish. All the other leads had their own essential gifts and talents to round out this terrific cast!

Music Numbers:

Act I

Act I

This is a show not to be missed since it’s an amazing story and includes Bob Dylan’s partial songbook. It makes you think about heartfelt chapters in people’s lives, and transports you to a time long ago, but not forgotten.

Hollywood Pantages Theater

6233 Hollywood Blvd,

Los Angeles, CA 90028

(323) 468-1700

https://www.broadwayinhollywood.com/venues/detail/pantagestheatre
  • Some content was taken off their website.
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May 10, 2024 – Casa of Los Angeles –12th Annual Reimagine Gala – Beverly Hilton – Beverly Hills, CA.

This is my charity of choice. Every year I go and have such an eye-opening experience. I bid on the silent auctions, and always win a few, this year was no different. It’s a wonderful way to give back and also get something in return. I just love it.

At 6:00 pm, there was a great cocktail reception-, with bidding on the silent auction. Then 7:00 pm dinner, which included awards, entertainment, and an auction. The dinner started with a beautiful leafy green salad, with a lemon herb vinaigrette. Then there were sumptuous, mashed potatoes with a medley of wild mushroom and baked chicken, with broccoli. It was simply amazing!

There were special performances by, The Divas and Drummers of Compton, and by actress & singer, Morgan Dudley (Jagged Little Pill, The PromDescendants). We were welcomed by the chair of the board, Alaynè Marie Sampson, and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Charity Chandler Cole.

The Casa Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Dev Stein, the Reimagine Award was presented by She Ready, and the Karen Bass Award was presented by Sydney Kamlager-Dove. Sponsors were Parton Plus, Amazon, and MGM Studios. Los Angeles Mayor, Karen Bass appeared in person and gave a great speech as well.

CASA of Los Angeles (CASA/LA) organizes the community to take action and advocate for children and families in LA County’s overburdened child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Through an intentional, restorative and culturally relevant lens, we train committed, consistent and caring adults who provide equitable access to resources and life-affirming connections. Casa/LA’s vision, is that all children and families impacted by the child welfare and juvenile justice systems have equitable access to the resources and support they need to thrive.

Make time for this charity if you have not already, you will be so happy that you are able to give back.

Beverly Hilton Hotel
9876 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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Jake’s Italian Bistro & Brew – Dinner – May 2, 2024 – Yucaipa, CA

This is a great neighborhood place to come, let your hair down, and relax. The ambiance is casual, but what makes Jake’s so great is how the staff makes you feel like you are at home. And the food, well it’s just great! Part Italian, part American, but whatever you order is guaranteed to be tasty, fresh, and just fantastic.

Owner, Jake Litras, comes from a culinary family background. His father owned Two Guys Pasta and Pizza, so Jake really has a handle on what makes an eating establishment successful. From my tasting, he delivered delicious food, at great prices, in a cozy neighborhood atmosphere; what more could you want?

Here’s What I tried:

Cocktails:

Prickly Pear Margarita, this cocktail is so smooth, with great pear nuances, I just loved it.

Traditional Martini, they did a great job with my signature cocktail.

Cucumber Cosmo, a very refreshing drink, with a nice neutrally balanced fruit-forward flavor.

Appetizers:

Sauteed Mushrooms, whole button mushrooms sautéed in white wine, butter, and garlic sauce, served with toast points. These mushrooms pop in your mouth, with their rich garlic and butter flavor; a winning start to my glorious meal.

Jake’s Famous Chicken Wings, served with carrots, celery, blue cheese, and a sweet chili glaze. I opted for the sweet chili, which is also a bit spicy, but these are the best wings I have had in a long time. Their secret recipe will blow your hair back; a must-try.

Corkscrew Calamari, lightly battered and seasoned calamari served with marinara, ranch, and lemon wedges. A fun way to slice calamari, like a corkscrew, and they land very easily in your mouth. These are piled high; I would order every time as a starter.

Soup and Salad:

Broccoli Potato Cream Soup, a luscious rich, flavorful thick soup.

Wedge Salad, iceberg wedge, Applewood smoked bacon bits, carrots, tomatoes, red onion, candied cashews, blue cheese crumbles, topped with blue cheese dressing, and balsamic reduction. So, hands down, the best Wedge Salad ever. It’s their super creative ingredients that knock this one out of the park. Also, they make all of their own salad dressings. Pretty much everything is house-made from scratch, and it’s all very fresh.

Off The Grill:

Flame-broiled steak with pan-seared shrimp, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. A very tender, yummy steak with the perfect grill marks, just loved it. And the surf and turf part were off-the-charts good!

10 Oz. Grilled Chicken, just a stunning presentation, with nice crosshatch grill marks; a wonderful, low-calorie, healthy menu option.

Handcrafted Sandwiches:

Philly Cheese Steak, ½ lb. grilled and seasoned steak with sauteed mushrooms, crispy onion strings, roasted bell peppers, topped with their house-made cheese sauce, and served on a toasted French roll. It’s a huge sandwich, with a big, bold, and meaty flavor. A perfect lunch item!

OG Pastrami, grilled and seasoned pastrami, melted mozzarella cheese, topped with spicy mustard, and served on a house French roll. I love the mustard; it just adds so much flavor to this sandwich.

Wraps:

Impossible Vegetarian Wrap, there is no way this is not beef, it’s so flavorful, and you really think it’s meat. Just the perfect menu item for the vegan.

Gourmet Burgers:

The John Wayne, ½ lb. Angus beef, Applewood smoked bacon, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheddar cheese, and topped with smoked BBQ sauce. This burger is something else, with the very smokey Applewood smoked bacon, wow, just amazing!

Pasta:

Sicilian Combo, lasagna, Italian sauce, and penne pasta, smothered in marinara sauce, baked until golden brown. You get a little bit of everything, and it’s so enjoyable!

Penne A La Vodka, smoked bacon, Roma tomatoes, and basil, tossed in their house-made vodka sauce, served over penne pasta with shrimp. A delicious pasta, and a huge portion that can be shared with a friend.

Pesto Chicken, grilled chicken breast, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh basil, roasted garlic, and parmesan cheese, in a pesto cream sauce over penne pasta. A very comforting pasta with great pesto flavor.

Stone Oven Pizza 14″ BBQ Chicken Pizza, grilled chicken, red onion, gouda cheese, cilantro, and BBQ sauce. The crust is thick and tasty; I just love anything with BBQ sauce! Their pizzas are worth the destination.

Dessert:

Cheesecake, homemade with strawberries.

Bread Pudding, homemade.

Both desserts were out of this world! I would just love to come in for their desserts. Chef Danny Meron really goes to the extreme with the ingredients to make sure it’s true perfection.

Wine:

Bogle Chardonnay, a bright crisp Chardonnay; it went great with the sauteed shrimp.

Bogle Essential Red, a nice blend of varietals that paired so great with the burger, and of course the steak.

Jake’s mom, Janie Dakan, redecorated the interior 2 years ago, she really spruced everything up. The bar has some great sports heroes adorning the walls, as well as many classic rock posters. It goes along with the great music they play while dining. They also have live music on most Saturdays.

Bartender/Server, Tess Emmons, tells me that 80 percent of their customers are regulars; some come as much as every day. They have 15 flat-screen TVs, so lots of these regulars are coming in for a variety of sporting events. As well as their nightly specials, they have a burger night, a wing night, and a steak night; all highly discounted meals. Chef Danny Meron came from a very well-known place in Redlands, CA called Copehouse. When he was hired, he had only one condition, which was to change up the menu by adding brunch and soon-to-be seafood selection to their huge menu. I am so lucky to be invited back to taste both brunch and the new menu coming in mid-June. Chef Danny got his wish!

Jake’s Italian Bistro & Brew offers up some very delectable grub but with a cheers bar type of vibe. When you’re at Jake’s, you’re family, and everyone knows your name!

Jake’s Italian Bistro & Brew

12170 4th St.

Yucaipa, CA 92399

909-790-8750

(Corner 4th and Yucaipa)

Monday 11:30 am to 8:30 pm

Tuesday 11:30 am to 8:30 pm

Wednesday 11:30 am to 9:30 pm

Thursday 11:30 am to 9:30 pm

Friday 11:30 am to 9:30 pm

Saturday 11:30 am to 9:30 pm

Sunday 11:30 am to 8:30 pm

Happy Hour 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday – Friday!
1/2 off Selected Appetizers
$2 Off Pints
$3 Off Pitchers
$10 Buckets of Domestic Beer
$13 Buckets of Imports

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April 25, 2024 – Late Lunch – Cava – Century City, CA.

Cava is a great way to get nutritious Mediterranean food at a great price. It’s a pick your combo type of counter operation. There are many options, you can either have them do one of their specials bowls or pitas or you can choose your own. I opted for both.

Here’s What I Tried:

In my bowl, I did basmati rice, corn, eggplant, lamb meatballs, harissa honey chicken lettuce, pickles, different dips, and garlic salad dressing. It comes with a couple of pieces of homemade pita bread as well.

Crispy Falafel, with hummus, roasted eggplant, pickles, cabbage slaw, tomato + onion, garlic dressing, skhug, roasted eggplant that’s emulsified with olive oil and lemon juice, plus, parsley, onions, garlic. Red Pepper Hummus, something magical happens when fresh roasted red peppers are puréed with chickpeas, tahini, and garlic. Hummus, chickpeas puréed with tahini, lemon juice, fresh garlic, and salt. No oil here! A guest favorite and a CAVA classic.

Drinks:

Strawberry Citrus Made in-house with fresh strawberries and lemon juice. With great strawberry flavor, this drink is a true winner.

Blueberry Lavender, Made in-house from a purée of blueberries and lavender. The blueberry flavor is really all you need to know.

This review is short and sweet because it’s just the best Mediterranean food that is quick, no-nonsense, and not a big dip in your wallet.

About CAVA:

CAVA is the category-defining Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant brand, bringing together healthful food and bold, satisfying flavors at scale. Our brand and our opportunity transcend the Mediterranean category to compete in the large and growing limited-service restaurant sector as well as the health and wellness food category. CAVA serves guests across gender lines, age groups, and income levels and benefits from generational tailwinds created by consumer demand for healthy living and a demographic shift towards greater ethnic diversity. We meet consumers’ desires to engage with convenient, authentic, purpose-driven brands that view food as a source of self-expression. The broad appeal of our food combined with these favorable industry trends drives our vast opportunity for continued growth.

Cava

Westfield Century City

10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 2120

Los Angeles, CA 90067.

https://cava.com/news/century-city-opening
  • Note some content was taken off of their website.
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