dineLA Kickoff Event – July 14 through July 27 Restaurant Week

IMG_0402Upon entering the Palihouse in West Hollywood for the kickoff dineLA event, I was handed a glass of Wolfgang Puck Sauvignon Blanc at the check-in table.

The 2012 vintage had aromas of key lime and honeydew. The wine was slightly tart with a slightly sea breeze finish. Wolfgang Puck also made a Red Blanc wine with dark fruit flavors.

I rode the elevator up to the rooftop just before sunset. Booths were set up with seven of LA’s favorite chefs on hand cooking up some delicious dishes.

The lovely Stacey Sun, Director of dineLA, announced to a crowd of over 100 dineLA fans and media, that this year there will be over 360 restaurants participating in the Restaurant Week from July 14  through July 27. It is the largest Restaurant Week in the world.

British chef Mathew Woolf of Palihouse prepared his Hamachi Carpaccio, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Strawberry and Cream donuts. Read my review of Chef Mathew in the July 10 issue of the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News – parklabreanewsbeverlypress.com/news/2014/07/palihouse-courtyard-brasserie-food-fit-for-a-queen/.

The affable Executive Chef Jimmy Shaw attended the event with his Loteria white jacket preparing mango soft tacos and a wonderful rice pudding. He and I reminisced about our lunch interview at Loteria in Hollywood. Read my review of my lunch with Chef Jimmy, also in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News – parklabreanewsbeverlypress.com/news/2013/09/loteria-grill/.

Chef Jimmy Shaw
Chef Jimmy Shaw

I was excited to meet General Manager Michael Main of Bourbon Steak at the Rick Caruso Americana at Brand. The Michael Mina restaurant served up the most delicious wood grilled lamb meat balls with fingerling potatoes. The dineLA lunch is $25 and dinner is $45. Check out the menu at http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/bourbon-steak-los-angeles.IMG_0403

I finally got to meet the talented chef Ernesto Uchimura at Plan Check on Fairfax. He served a mac n’ cheese with Fritos chips and sliced jalapeños. It was not my favorite dish of the evening. I told him that I loved his pastrami sandwich with a fried egg on top. It is my all time favorite dish on his menu. Read about this terrific sandwich in a past review in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News – parklabreanewsbeverlypress.com/news/2014/03/plan-check-restaurant-bar-gastropub-fun-and-fare-on-fairfax-ave/. Plan Check will be offering a dineLA lunch for $25. To see the menu, go to http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/plan-check-kitchen-bar-fairfax.

I really enjoyed interviewing three USC Band Alumni that collectively are creating LA Ale Works. Stephanie poured IMG_0435me a small glass of their Lievre Saison. It’s a beer that traditionally was brewed for laborers working in the fields. It’s lower in alcohol, traditionally at 2-3% ABV. This particular beer that LA Ale Works makes is 6.5% alcohol and is made with kumquats that the three handpicked in friends yards around Los Angeles. They spice the beer up is coriander, chamomile and Thai palm sugar. It’s an ideal summer beer with its fresh citrus bouquet and hints of honey.

While sipping and talking to Stephanie, her partner Kristofor Barnes handed me a glass of their Thai Iced Tea Soda. Wow, that was terrific. I learned that Barnes is an accomplished gold-medal-winning home brewer and founder of the brew blog Bierkast.com. He also recently published a Beer Lover’s Southern California book featuring breweries, brewpubs, and beer bars. Their beer is served in over 50 restaurants around LA.

SugarFish passed around blue crab hand rolls that were delicious. Each guest received a card for a complimentary hand-roll at their new Kazu Nori restaurant between August 1 and 30, 2014. The dineLA lunch is $20 and the dinner is $35. See the menu sugarfishsushi.com/our-menu/special-menus/dinela-menu

Mi Piace in Pasadena served delicious Short Ribs and adorable pieces of Opera Classic Almond Sponge Cake. Lunch is $25 and dinner is $35. To see the menu – http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/mi-piace.

Jiraff in Santa Monica brought out trays with spoons filled with a light summer pasta. Their dine LA lunch is only on Fridays for $25. The Jiraffe dineLA dinner is $45 per person. To look at the menu – www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/jiraffe-restaurant.

This is the time to try a restaurant in Los Angeles that you have been eager to experience, yet never had the opportunity. At these discounted prices for lunch and dinner, now is the time to dine in Los Angeles.



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