UMAMI Burger partners with TBS new show “CHAD,” premiering on APRIL 6

I been seeing the trailer for a new original comedy Chad, a 14-year-old coming-of-age “quest to become popular in high school.”

Then when I heard from my friends at Wagstaff, I learned that Chad is Nasim Pedrad (“SNL,” “New Girl,” “Aladdin”). Not only does she star in the show, she also created and produced it.

Umami Burger, the burger concept by C3, is giving a free CHAD Burgers (one per dine-in customer) now through April 27 at Umami Burger Santa Monica, The Grove and Downtown L.A. locations. “As Umami Burger continues to explore partnerships in the entertainment world—whether it be music, film, or television shows—we viewed TBS’ newest sitcom “Chad” as an opportunity to really get creative with a burger recipe,” shares Sam Nazarian, C3 CEO and Founder. “Umami Burger prides itself on celebrating unique flavor combinations, being truly one-of-a-kind, and standing out in its own way, which is why we easily bonded with and related to the character of Chad, and thought, ‘why not explore that cultural coming-of-age story through a burger?’”

This one-of-a-kind burger draws inspiration from the show’s narrative featuring a Kofta patty made with onions, garlic and various herbs and spices. The patty is topped with lettuce, tomato, mint cucumber yogurt, parsley, and Kewpie mayo.

The CHAD Burger comes with a recipe card for guests to recreate at home with each new episode that airs, and QR code for guests to scan that links to the show’s website. 

The Persian-inspired CHAD Burger will be available at Umami Burger Santa Monica, Downtown LA and The Grove locations, with free burgers on premiere day, April 6, 2021, while supplies last*

This is also featured in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News on April 1, 2021.

Wellness Santa Monica Shore Hotel

For those flying coach to Los Angeles sitting in the dreaded middle seat, not only will you get off the plane a little hangry, but probably tired and possibly a little jet lagged too.

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If you book a room at Santa Monica’s oceanside, wellness-minded Shore Hotel, and show proof of being seated in a coach-class middle seat on any arriving flight into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the staff at the hotel will upgrade guests to an ocean-view room when checking in between January 28 and March 31, 2020, subject to availability.

A recent study about airplane design shows that airline seats have shrunk as much as 4 inches over the years, now offering a minuscule 28-30 inch pitch, and only 18-inch wide. Non-reclining seats are becoming increasingly more uncomfortable, causing millions of air travel trips to be cancelled or avoided, because people hate long security lines and flying.

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Once they arrive to the Santa Monica Beach hotel, and check into their room, guests can sit out on their outdoor balcony featuring two chairs and a table for first class views. Rooms overlook the famous Santa Monica Pier, and a bird’s eye view of Ocean Avenue, the beach, and Santa Monica’s famous sunsets, all from ocean-facing balconies.

Wellness opportunities include soaking up some sun and swim in a large solar heated pool warmed to the temperature of 86 degrees. Nearby is an even warmer bubbling whirlpool. More than 75% of the hotel’s roof surface is covered in solar-reflecting panels. The outdoor center also offers an alfresco cocktail bar, flowing water feature, and patio dining at Blue Plate Taco.

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Guest rooms are visually appealing in bright orange and pretty aqua blue colors. A see-through glass enclosed rain shower features local bath products by LATHER. Pillow top mattress’ have hypoallergenic pillows and duvet covers. Each room offers free high-speed Wi-Fi 55”, a LED HDTV with cable and Showtime, plus a iHome docking station. There is a fully stocked private mini bar, and a coffee/tea maker with in-room organic and fair trade Wolfgang Puck coffee. Two white plush bathrobes are located inside the closet. Slippers can be brought up for guests by staff upon request.

Onsite chefs prepare food using organic local produce and free trade food such as free-range poultry, eggs, meat, wild-caught salmon, organic coffee and organically grown fruit and vegetable whenever possible.

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Reservations can be made here or by calling (310) 458-1515. In order to receive the upgrade, guests must have a pre-existing booking with Shore Hotel and show their boarding pass at check-in.

The Shore Hotel is located at 1515 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

25 Hanukkah, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Venues

  1. Christmas at the Gallery on ICE – On Friday, Dec. 20, enter an ‘Ugly Sweater’ contest to have even more fun during your holiday shopping in Santa Monica near the corner of Fifth and Arizona avenues. A winter wonderland known as ICE at Santa Monica is open, offering visitors an 8,000-square-foot ice-skating rink throughuntil Jan. 20, 2020. Wear your creative Christmas sweater and enjoy bites and $4 brews at the Gallery and SocialEats Food Hall before or after skating. 1315 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, (310)584-7836.
  2. InterContinental L.A. eight crazy nights – During Hanukkah, enjoy a festive cocktail menu that includes Jewish twists on some of beverage manager Silvia Rho’s favorite libations. Specialty cocktails will be served in both the Copper Lounge and during meal service at Mari Los Angeles from Dec. 22 through Dec. 30. On Dec. 22, sip Lights of Kikori, followed by a Manischewitz mojito on night two. The Chosen One will be made on night three, and an apricot and dark-chocolate gelt martini is available on night four. Order a Sufaganiyah jelly donut martini on night five, He-Brewed on night six, Vodkas & Latkes on night seven and the Star of Century City on the last night of Hanukkah. Each specialty cocktail is $12. 2151 Avenue of the Stars, (310)284-6536.
  3. Eight nights of Hanukkah at Viviane – Enjoy a menu featuring matzo ball soup, potato latkes and horseradish-pistachio-crusted salmon from 3 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 22 through 30. This menu is available for $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity, along with the regular dinner menu.  Viviane is also offering a special Christmas Eve menu for $65 per person, as well as its regular breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. On Christmas Day, a holiday menu from Chef Michael Reed is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, (424)285-6605.IMG_1729
  4. Holiday fun in Century City – Dine at Eataly or Del Friscos Double Eagle Steakhouse before or after riding a dragon at Dreamscape’s recently launched “DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy.” It’s a free-flying immersive virtual-reality experience inspired by DreamWorks critically acclaimed “How to Train Your Dragon” film trilogy. The interactive experience propels up to eight participants at a time on a first-of-its-kind flying adventure. 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., (424)603-2948.
  5. Beverly Hills – Maude’s Tuscan White Christmas – Maude will be open Christmas Day for the first time and executive chef Chris Flint is preparing a white truffle lunch. The menu includes  roasted pumpkin with truffle soup, chicken liver crostini, chestnut bread and smoked fig with gorgonzola and truffle. Potato ravioli precedes a third course of mushroom risotto, then pheasant with cannelloni-bean puree and braised kale. Finish with a white-truffle gelato and chestnut cake with persimmon and pine nuts.  Reservations are available from 1 to 4 p.m., at $250 per person via Resy. 212 S. Beverly Drive, (310)859-3418.IMG_7526
  6. Jean-Georges Beverly Hills Christmas – Enjoy Christmas Eve at the Waldorf Astoria with an elegant three-course menu. Listen to a live pianist throughout the evening while enjoying truffle hamachi on a toasted brioche or grilled octopus. Main entrées include fresh tagliatelle pasta garnished with black truffles, spice-crusted squab or Maine lobster. Finish up with chocolate coconut and banana chestnut with orange and mascarpone, or an apple with salted caramel and cinnamon dessert. This menu is $165 for adults and $80 for children. On Christmas Day, bring your family to enjoy a very special brunch menu offering a choice of slow-baked salmon served with truffle mashed potatoes, and short ribs with a celery root and apple salad. Side dishes are served family style and a variety of desserts are served buffet style, including matcha green tea custards, chocolate salted caramel tarts and pumpkin cheesecake. 9850 Wilshire Blvd., (310)860-6700.
  7. Culina Christmas menus – Chef de cuisine Luca Moriconi is preparing a Christmas Eve four-course prix-fixe menu at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills for $89 per person. Menu options include roasted octopus, buffalo mozzarella, capon chicken ravioli, roasted striped bass filet and jidori chicken. Finish with a festive chocolate yule log or baked Alaska. On Christmas Day, sip and savor the holiday with an elaborate buffet-style brunch for a $135 per adult and $69 for children ages 5 to 12. 300 S. Doheny Drive, (310)860-4000. IMG_7545
  8. Christmas buffet at Sofitel L.A. at BH –  The annual ‘sea to table and farm to fork’ Christmas buffet at Cattle & Claw features traditional favorites such as chestnut soup, slow-roasted goose, maple-glazed ham and herb-crusted halibut with lobster velouté. Cattle & Claw’s famed creamy lobster mac ‘n cheese will also be served. For sweets, choose from a variety of delicious pies, cakes, Christmas yule logs and the famous chocolate fountain with fresh fruits. Book your table now, with pricing at $65 and up per person and $30 and up for children between ages 5 and 12. The buffet is free for children 5 and under. 8555 Beverly Blvd., (310)278-5444.
  9. CIRCA 55 Christmas – Christmas Day Brunch is priced at $95 for adults – including bottomless mimosas – and  $38 for children served from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Brunch favorites include a make-your-own-omelet station, assorted breakfast pastries, and festive prime rib, roasted turkey, roasted kabocha salad and a selection of “Santa Pastries” courtesy of chef Thomas Henzi. Christmas Day dinner is priced at $55 per person and includes fresh oysters, potatoes and green bean salad, wild-caught salmon, prime rib and an assortment of hand-crafted Christmas pies from 5 to 10 p.m. 9876 Wilshire Blvd., (310)274-7777.IMG_1411
  10. Peninsula Beverly Hills Christmas – On Christmas Eve, feel the magic of Christmas at the Belvedere while enjoying a three-course meal served family-style for $148 per person from 5 to 10:30 p.m. On Christmas Day, the holiday dinner includes free flowing Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne, parsnip and pear soup, beet carpaccio, turkey and sage stuffing, and a selection of classic desserts for $140 per person from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., (310)975-2736.
  11. Downtown L.A. Sunday brunch at WP24 – On Sunday, Dec. 22, Santa will make an appearance as chef de cuisine John Lechleidner offers guests a personalized culinary journey through the kitchen of WP24 by Wolfgang Puck. Enjoy demonstrations by the chefs making dumplings, wok-fried dishes and eggs to order. Culinary stations of  holiday favorites include honey-glazed ham, Belgian waffles topped with maple and cinnamon, and an assortment of freshly baked pastries. This festive brunch is $75 for adults and $35 for children under 12 years old. Price includes teas, coffees, juices and bottomless mimosas for adults. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213)743-8800. 
  12. Redbird Christmas Eve dinner – Chef Neal Fraser and team will prepare a special three-course Christmas Eve dinner with optional wine pairings in celebration of the holidays. Bar director Tobin Shea presents a winter holiday cocktail collection. The dinner is $90 and optional wine pairings range from $45 to $65. Entrees include Beyond Meatloaf with smoked potatoes, John Dory with herb gnocchi, roasted turkey with cranberry chestnut stuffing, and filet of beef with Rosti potatoes, haricots verts, cippolini and bordelaise sauce. 114 E. Second St., (213)788-1191.
  13. Veranda Christmas – Inspired by the beloved Dr. Seuss’ holiday classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”, Veranda at DTLA’s Hotel Figueroa is serving a themed menu including Roast Beast rib roast and whole roast duck; Who Hash is roasted root vegetables with caramelized onion and herbs. When you order Red Fish, Blue Fish, a whole roasted red snapper and blue-nose bass with red and green mojos arrives. This special Christmas Day meal includes chicories with hazelnuts and crushed pomegranate vinaigrette, potato purée and Stolen Christmas Pie. Reservations are available from 3 to 8 p.m. on Christmas Day at $55 per person. 939 S. Figueroa St., (213)627-8971.
  14. NoMad Christmas – Chef de cuisine Rudy Lopez serves an a la carte holiday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Later, he will prepare a four-course prix-fixe dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. Main courses entrees include NoMad’s roast chicken breast, braised beef cheeks and scallops with butternut squash bisque. Executive pastry sous chef Henry Molina features a selection of desserts, including chocolate cake with ginger ice cream, Milk & Honey or a trio of seasonal sorbets. Reservations for brunch and dinner can be made on OpenTable. 649 S. Olive St., (213)358-0000.IMG_2086
  15. Miracle Mile Jar Christmas – Suzanne Tracht, chef and owner of Jar, celebrates Dec. 24 with a special Christmas Eve dinner menu. Come in starting at 5 p.m. for perfectly crafted crab and shrimp cakes, braised pork shank and a prime porterhouse for two. Holiday cocktails include a spiced hot chocolate with house-made marshmallows served with a shot of maestro dobel tequila, or a spiced pear old fashioned made with Rough Rider rye whiskey, spiced pear and orange zest. Finish with Jar’s famous chocolate or butterscotch pudding. 8225 Beverly Blvd., (323)655-6566.
  16. Hollywood Christmas at Gwen Butcher Shop – Gwen will operate regular hours and service on Christmas Eve, and then a special four-course-prix-fixe on Christmas Day. Chef de cuisine Juan Rendon will serve winter root vegetable salad, black truffle risotto and Jack’s Creek 8 oz. New York strip steak with cauliflower bagna cauda and maitake mushrooms. For dessert enjoy a cranberry cremeux with red walnuts and pickled cranberries. The Christmas Day menu is $95 staring at 1 to 7 p.m. 6600 Sunset Blvd., (323)946-7513.
  17. The Pikey Christmas – Come into the renowned English Pub serving local and organic dishes at noon on Christmas Eve. Come back for a Christmas Day prix-fixe dinner featuring choices of roasted duck or sea scallops. Sides for the table include Brussels sprouts and cauliflower with red pepper sauce, crispy potatoes with herb sauce, roasted carrot and parsnip with rosemary and confit garlic. The dinner is complete with figgy pudding and whipped crème fraîche. The holiday menu is $55 per person. For vegans and vegetarians, a composed plate of side dishes is $28 per person. 7617 Sunset Blvd., (323)850-5400.
  18. Public Kitchen & Bar Christmas dining – At the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, the American brasserie offers a multi-course Christmas dinner of squash soup and seared diver scallops, roasted Moulard duck breast with Japanese sweet potato, and a deconstructed pumpkin pie or heirloom apple cranberry tart tatin. A holiday children’s menu includes chicken noodle soup, Christmas honey-glazed ham, macaroni and cheese, and crunchy praline mousse. 7000 Hollywood Blvd., (323)769-8888.
  19. Marina del Rey Christmas brunch at Whiskey Red’s – Celebrate with herb-butter roasted turkey, garlic-herb-crusted prime rib, a holiday ham, crab legs, raw bar and traditional sides. Besides live music, Santa will visit throughout the brunch. The price is $62.95 for adults and $29.95 for children ages 5 through 12. 13813 Fiji Way, (310)823-4522.IMG_1406
  20. Christmas Eve at Cafe del Rey – Celebrate the holidays with your family while enjoying stunning marina views. The four-course meal by executive chef Job Carder includes roasted chestnut soup to start, followed by choice of Belgian endive or baby frisée salad. Main course options include a slow-roasted prime rib, honey- and clove-roasted goose, or salmon en croute. Finish with a Bouche de Noel or eggnog crème brulee. This special menu is $89 per person, while teens can receive the same menu at a $20 discount. A holiday kids turkey plate is for those 12 and under. All these specials are available from 4:30 to 8 p.m. 4451 Admiralty Way, (310)823-6395.
  21. Santa Monica Christmas Eve dinner at Catch – Celebrate the holidays with prix-fixe menu that includes a choice of four starters, as well as entrees that include dry-aged rib-eye, grilled Maine lobster with lemon brown butter, Mary’s Farm slow-roasted organic turkey or dill branzino. Finish with a warm pecan tart a la mode or banana-cream pie with Chantilly cream. Make a reservation from 5:30 to 10 p.m. 1910 Ocean Way, (310)581-7714.
  22. Christmas Day beach brunch at 1 Pico – Treat yourself to a variety of appetizers, including Dungeness crab cake and grilled prawns, before selecting a whole lobster Benedict on a brioche, Jidori chicken and rosemary bacon parmesan waffle with chili-maple syrup, or pan-roasted prime filet mignon and eggs. Desserts include a pear tart with amaretto gelato. This holiday brunch is $95 per person. 1 Pico also will serve a Christmas Eve and prix-fixe Christmas dinner that includes braised waygu short rib, white-truffle tagliolini and roasted muscovy duck breast. Sweet endings include a chocolate yule log and citrus tuille. The Christmas dinner menu is $115 per person. 1 Pico Blvd. (310)587-1717.
  23. Westwood at STK Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – Bring the family to STK at the W Los Angeles and order from the full menu, or splurge and choose the prime rib special featuring roasted “Linz” prime rib with truffle Madera sauce for $58. A special children’s menu is available offering a 4-ounce beef filet with mac and cheese and sautéed broccoli. Their meal ends with a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream for $24. 930 Hilgard Ave. (310)659-3535.
  24. NoMad Los Angeles – Celebrate the season with a cocktail pop-up in the Coffee Bar. The cocktail Spectacular will run from 5 to 11pm on Saturday and Sundays nights through Sunday, Dec 22, and feature holiday cocktails from the NoMad bar team with festive decor to match. Naughty options include a boozy Ho, Ho, Hot Chocolate spiked with green chartreuse and Fernet Branca, and the Lump of Coal with Sombra mezcal, Lustao Oloroso sherry, fig leaf and verjus. “Nice” beverages include the Winter Wonderland milk punch with spices served in a decked out snow globe; and the Into the Woods with Douglas Fir liqueur, blanc vermouth, maple syrup, lemon and egg white. NoMad Los Angeles will operate regular service hours on Christmas Eve, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Christmas Day, NoMad chef de cuisine Rudy Lopez serves an a la carte holiday brunch from 10am-2:30pm with a four-course prix fixe dinner available from 5:30 to 9:30pm. Executive pastry sous chef Henry Molina features a selection of either chocolate cake with ginger ice cream, the iconic Milk & Honey, or a trio of seasonal sorbets. Reservations for brunch and dinner can be made via OpenTable649 S. Olive St.
  25. Preux & Proper’s SLEIGH BELLS on SPRING  is a monthlong holiday spectacular featuring Holiday Specials, Christmas Cocktails. decorations galore, and a Holiday Calendar of Festivities that includes weekly visits from Santa Claus himself runs through Monday, December 30, 2019. Preux & Proper will not be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but will re-open on Dec. 26. 840 S. Spring St. (213)896-0090.

These were also featured in the Beverly Press.

Holiday COOKIE GOODness

You know that feeling when you receive a package and unwrap it? Well what if inside the package is a stack of beautifully colored cookies. You take your first bite of a perfectly baked cookie and you detect a slight crunch through that crisp exterior and then enjoy the chewy center. It’s that little buttery essence with slightly sweet and salty notes that tantalize your tastebuds and make you take a second and third bite. This sensation floods your brain with happiness and feeds your soul, putting an instant smile on your face. This is what the founders of Los Angeles based Cookie Good want to create daily for cookie lovers.

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The founders are perfectionists in making the perfect cookie and bar. They use the best ingredients starting with chocolate from Callebaut & Van Leer, Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla, and AA sweet creamery butter.

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A regular-sized cookie begins as a 48 grams dough ball (that’s 1¾ oz) and baked to measure about 2 ½- 3 inches across. Their larger-sized cookies are about 78 grams (2¾ oz) and measure about 3 ½ inches across. Each one of their bars are measured by a ruler and cut 2 ¼ by 2 ¼.

If you live in Southern California, you can walk into their upscale Santa Monica brick and mortar store, to select a variety of cookies. Bakery boxes can be filled with one to five pounds of cookies, brownies, bars and gluten-free options.

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Cookie Good has gone pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donating a portion of all sales to Breast Cancer Care & Research Fund – bccrf.org during the month of October. They also have gone orange and purple for Halloween.

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Bring a box of holiday themed cookies to your Halloween party tonight. Gourmet bakery Cookie Good is baking Halloween flavors that include Monster Mash, Sour Patch Kids, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos & Trick or Treat. After Halloween the bakery is making more more than 200 unique flavors of cookies and brownies based on their favorite cereals, candies and other treats for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays.

 

So Cal Mexican Cuisine at Tallula’s

Eager for some elevated Mexican fare, my husband and I drove to Tallula’s in Santa Monica Canyon for Sunday Brunch. The owners Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan acquired a former Japanese restaurant, that later turned into the legendary Marix Tex-Mex near the beach. Pulling up to the parking lot, we realized Tallula’s is where my husband and I met over margaritas 32 years ago.

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The Japanese blue tiled roof is still intact, but the Japanese pagodas have been removed. Along with Colby Goff, they hired design firm ORA to upgrade the interior into a colorful eye-catching dining room and bar, reminiscent of something you would discover in the Mexican beach town of Tulum or Loreto.

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Similar to a Spanish hacienda, the interior has terra cotta floors and a coastal color palette inspired by nature. Walls are turquoise blue sea, peach sunset, and green palm. Artistic hand-embroidered macrame pieces, along with vintage Mexican posters and Californian artwork hang on the wall.

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Original features from Marix days, include the beautiful large oak and glass doors, dark wood beam and paneled ceilings, rustic columns and ornate Hawaiian Koa wood banquettes, now with turquoise blue leather seating.They also saved an array of vintage orange glass lanterns and added some hanging basketweave lighting.

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Loeb and Nathan named the restaurant after their daughter Tallula, and the pink neon sign displaying “Felix’s Bar,” is named after their youngest son. The bright hand-painted Mexican Talavera tiles by Silverlake’s Further Store are featured throughout the bar area and patio. The bar showcases one of the largest collections of Mexican spirits including mezcals, tequilas, rum and lesser-known spirits from small-batch producers in Mexico. There is also a nice selection of craft beers, and their margaritas are made with housemade syrups and fresh produce from the market. 

Rustic Canyon Family Wine Director Kathryn Coker crafts the eclectic wine list, featuring wines from boutique producers in Mexico, Spain, Argentina, France and California.

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What used to be the host stand, is now a colorful lounge area with rich leather and wood chairs. The staircase is now a vertical garden of pots with greenery acquired from Potted, of L.A.’s Atwater Village. It leads up to a private event space and bar for a 50 person standing cocktail party, or private seated dinner for 32 people. 

Looking into the open kitchen from the main dining room, James Beard six time nominee Executive chef Jeremy Fox oversees Executive Chef Saw Naing and his team. Together they prepare familiar Mexican dishes using seasonal fresh ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market and other local purveyors. Naing graduated from Pasadena’s Le Cordon Bleu, and worked at Joachim Splichal’s Café Pinot, and Thomas Keller’s (now closed) Bouchon in Beverly Hills, before with Fox.

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While we were dipping chips into guacamole, we noticed Fox walk in with his family and friends. That is always a good sign, when a chef is not working in his kitchen, that he comes in to break bread or tortilla chips with loved one.  

As the assistant manager Max Mueller welcomed us to Tallula’s, he shared that the restaurant takes “family” to heart, including the staff and guests to feel at home, be inspired, nourished and leave satisfied.

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The imaginative, home-cooking includes fresh chile pastes and salsas, and heirloom corn masa for fresh tortillas. We ordered their signature Caesar salad that arrived in a bowl with long Little Gem leaves loaded with crunchy pumpkin seeds, shaved parmesan, anchovies, garlic and lemon juice. 

The chefs at Tallula’s also make the best blue corn pancakes and chilaquiles. The pancakes arrive in a black skillet topped with fresh berries, and a pour of unrefined Mexican cane sugar called piloncillo syrup, powdered sugar, chopped mint and whipped cream.

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The chilaquiles are artfully arranged in a beautiful terra cotta serving dish, layered with corn tortilla chips, salsa rojo, black beans, cilantro, red onion, cheese, pico de Gallo and a fried egg on top.

Be sure to order the crispy potatoes with a drizzle of chipotle aioli. They are a little hidden on the menu, and delicious.

Other Mexican fare includes a rotating Taco del Día, wet breakfast burritos with verde sauce, pork, eggs, potatoes, crema and pepper jack cheese, and local Channel Islands rock cod tacos.

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Heartier options include grilled carne asada with grass-fed hanger steak, is served with house-made tortillas, carrots, blistered shishito peppers and chipotle tamarind sauce. 

Zoe Nathan Mexican-inspired dessert recipes, including a tres leches cake drizzled with honey, chamomile and fresh market berries, are lovingly made by the Tallula team. 

Tallula’s is part of the Rustic Canyon Family, a collection of chef-driven dining destinations that includes Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe, Sweet Rose Creamery, Milo & Olive, Cassia, Esters Wine Shop & Bar, Milo SRO, Cassia Rice & Noodle Kitchen and Birdie G’s. 

Weekend brunch is served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy Hour is all-night long on Mondays and from 4 to 6 p.m., and every Tuesday through Friday in the bar, lounge and patio. Weekday dinner service is nightly at 5 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the weekends. Tallula’s is offering a takeout and delivery-only menu starting at 5 p.m. $$ 118 Entrada Drive (310)526-0027.

This article was featured in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News.

20th Anniversary for The Lobster in Santa Monica

The Lobster, at the entrance of the historic Santa Monica sign, is a popular fine-dining seafood restaurant. Recognized as a one of the most picturesque sunset dining destinations in Southern California,  in 1923 this building was a final stop of Route 66 in the west. It’s as much a part of Santa Monica’s history as the historic Santa Monica pier below.

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Lobster cake by Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

In the 1950s one of the dishwashers Mateo Castillo took over the iconic restaurant and turned it into a beloved “seafood shack” that residents and tourists frequented in the 1950s through 1980s.

The Lobster shut its doors for several years and reopened in 1999, after a family of investors refreshed and expanded the original structure and added a new entrance. They enhanced the space into a more modern, two-story cantilevered building with glass walls. The dining room now can seat more than one hundred guests.

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On July 22, 2019 the owners and Executive Chef Govind Armstrong hosted a special VIP friends and family 20th Anniversary Party.

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Celebrity Chef Govind Armstrong, Mayor Gleam Davis and others.

Celebrity chef Govind came out of the kitchen for a toast and ceremonial cutting of the Sweet Lady Jane Bakery life size lobster cake. Mayor Gleam Davis did the honors, as Santa Monica dignitaries and locals cheered her on.

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There was an elevated seafood bar featuring shrimp Kusshi oysters, crab legs and claws on ice. Servers passed trays filled with crab cakes, large shrimp, vegan hearts of palm cakes, lobster and fried clam rolls.

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The “Rockette” made with Roku Gin,

Specialty Cocktails for the 20th Anniversary celebration included a “1909 Old Fashioned” made with Markers Mark Bourbon; “Sunset & Ocean” made with Gray Goose Vodka, “You, Me & Tequila” made with El Reposado Tequila, and the “Rockette” made with Roku Gin, lime and wild arugula. The craft cocktails dazzled with micro flowers.

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Chef Govind was born in Inglewood, CA and raised in Costa Rica, before coming back to Los Angeles to work under culinary legends that include Wolfgang Puck, Mark Peel and Susan Feniger. He became a master of California Cuisine opening his own restaurants Table 8,  Willie Jane and Executive Chef at Post and Beam. This busy chef also has multiple 8 oz. Burger Bar locations, and has been a guest judge on the Bravo series Top Chef, as well as the Food Network series Iron Chef America.

His artfully composed seafood dishes, California Spiny Lobster and Maine Lobster are crafted with only the freshest, locally sourced, and responsibly farmed ingredients.

Here’s to another 20 years of success! Click here to look at The Lobster menu . 

Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Happy Hour Monday through Friday is 3 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday The Lobster stays open until 11 p.m.

The Lobster is located at 1602 Ocean Drive, Santa Monica (310)458-9294.

Wine and Dine at Rustic Canyon

Wine dinners at Rustic Canyon celebrate the best things in life – great farm to table food and vine to bottle wine. The restaurant opened after founder Josh Loeb held a series of successful dinners inside his beautiful home nestled in Rustic Canyon. Recently, the restaurant received a one-star distinction in the newly launched 2019 MICHELIN GUIDE CALIFORNIA.

Executive Chef Andy Doubrava is passionate about visiting local farmers markets. He has developed a great relationships with farmers and gives their names top billing on his changing menu.

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Ferdinando Mucerino, the wine manager and sommelier at Rustic Canyon invites wine makers to collaborate in a comfortable setting to provide informative wine pairing dinners. The restaurant’s wine representation includes an array of local artisan, hand-crafted producers throughout California, Oregon, Italy, France, and Spain.

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Last week I joined Steve Beckmen of Santa Ynez Valley’s Beckmen Vineyards and a small group of oenophiles at Rustic Canyon. The evening started with Mucerino pouring two Beckmen wines – a lovely pink colored 2017 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache Rose’ and crisp Viognier.

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We sipped these wine with hunks of Milo & Olive bread, while spreading cultured butter all over or dipping into bowls of ENZO olive oil. Large Luna Garcia designed bowls made in Venice, CA held freshly picked gem lettuce with a sprinkle of herbs and drizzle of light shallot vinaigrette. Beckmen shared that he keeps the skin contact on his Grenache Rose’ grapes a little longer than a French Rose’ to add richness and depth of flavor to his wine.

He also informed us that his 2017 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Viognier grapes are farmed bio-dynamically and he is part of the Ballard Canyon AVA. This light yellow wine wasn’t too sweet, yet offered tasting notes Fuji apple, jasmine, passion fruit, white ginger, pineapple, guava, melon, and apricot. It’s long clean finish with lasting acidity paired well with a dazzling Rustic Canyon dish of quartered beets and whole berries with chunks of JJ’s avocados, crunchy red quinoa and chopped pistachios. Some of the nuts were pulverized into a fine powder that chef calls “pistachio dirt” on the menu.

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For the next course Mucerino poured glasses of 2016 Beckmen Curvee Le Bec and Beckmen Santa Ynez Valley Grenache. Both went well with one of the most popular dishes at Rustic Canyon – ricotta fritta.  It arrived with three fried sticks floating in a luscious yellow sauce with a mound of sautéed greens, a shaving of cheese and micro flowers adding a touch of beauty. When Mucerino noticed my excitable facial expression as I finished my first bite, he told me chef uses Kong’s broccoli, Maggie’s green leaf sorrel, and orange French mimolette cheese. “The fried ricotta sticks taste similar to broccoli and cheddar soup meet a mozzarella stick,” he said. They are heavenly and a must to order. After a few sips of the Beckmen Grenache, I appreciated the white pepper and raspberry jam aroma with lavender, nutmeg and strawberry tasting notes.

The Cuvee Le Bec offered more bright fruit and spices on the mouth, and fine tannins carrying the flavors on the long finish.

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Two hearty entrees arrived at the table with two bottles of Beckmen’s Syrah. The first poured was a 2016 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Syrah that we all enjoyed with a platter of grilled grass-fed “melt in your mouth” hanger steak with Bay blue cheese, Zuckerman’s asparagus and chile de arbol. Next a platter of different pieces of roasted Autonomy Farms chicken arrived bathed in hot honey and a sprinkling of chopped California pecans. Pours of 2017 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Syrah Clone #1 offered notes of plum, blackberry and chocolate with pleasing minerality. It’s a little like a taste of the sea, because these grapes grow in limestone near the Pacific Ocean.

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We finished with an artisan plate decorated with three different cheeses, thin slices of moist and dense sunflower bread, a puddle of raw honey and sweetened baked rosemary walnuts. Beckman urged us to enjoy this with a pour of his 2008 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Syrah Clone #1. It’s made from a UC David Shiraz clone from vines planted in 1868 in Victoria, Australia’s Best Vineyard. Beckmen told us that these 2008 grapes were hand harvested in mid-October to ensure great concentration of flavor. It was an ideal finish to a fabulous meal.

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Save the date for Rustic Canyon’s next Farmer & Vegetable Dinner Series. It’s on Tuesday, June 25 and tickets are available now. The Weiser Family Farms & Tehachapi Grain Project will feature winter vegetables that have been fermenting for months and beautiful fresh melons, along with heirloom grains from the Tehachapi Grain Project. Tickets are $85/person (plus tax and gratuity). 

Rustic Canyon opens Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday it stays open until 11 p.m. $$ 1119 Wilshire Blvd. (310)393-7050.

My review is also featured in the Beverly Press .

Beach level dining at Coast Beach Cafe and Bar

The casual restaurant Coast Beach Café at Shutters on the Beach offers an all-day menu of California favorites, a lovely brunch and themed dinner nights. Overlooking Santa Monica beach, hotel guests and locals can walk down a flight of stairs or take the elevator to sit outside on the sunken patio, or indoors near the lively bar. The ground level location is prime territory for watching beach-goers stroll by the craftsman-style restaurant.

When Shutters on the Beach opened in 1993, it was the only Santa Monica hotel with direct beach access. Coast Beach Cafe and Bar opened in 2007 offering grilled seafood, salads, sandwiches and burgers.

Since the weather is warming up, its an ideal Sunday Brunch destination.Sitting on the shaded patio, my family and I started with a variety of fresh juice from the juice bar. Blends include a sweet pineapple, apple, lemon and mint, and an earthy kale, celery, cucumber, lemon, parsley, romaine and spinach juice. 

The menu offers a variety of breads including a freshly baked blueberry, raisin bran, carrot or chocolate muffin and butter, almond or chocolate croissants. We ordered an almond croissant to enjoy while looking over the menu.

Selecting the avocado toast, it arrived on pieces of thick grilled country bread. Guests can add shrimp on top for protein. I chose a grilled Waygu burger that arrived with melted cheddar cheese on a soft brioche bun. This burger is a meal in itself, loaded with crisp lettuce, purple and red heirloom tomato slices and grilled red onions. It’s served with either a side salad or crispy French fries.

My husband ordered the lobster roll filled with generous pieces of lobster meat that were enhanced with a lemony aioli inside a buttery brioche bun. Be sure to try the fries, because they are better than most. These still have their skin, are crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. They are served in a little silver fryer container with a ramekin of ketchup. 

Hearty brunch fare includes the classic Eggs Benedict served with home style potatoes. Sauteed spinach or smoked salmon can be added to this breakfast favorite. The chefs also make a “Bulls-Eye” breakfast skillet layered with roasted eggplant, spicy tomato, and eggs. 

Healthy salads include a grilled salmon salad topped with sliced avocado, asparagus, cucumber and radish. It’s dressed with a light lemon citronette.

For sweeter fare, the signature lemon ricotta pancakes with mixed berries on top are a local favorite. They aren’t too lemony and they aren’t too dense. They arrive stacked with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, and a carafe of maple syrup.

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Our server informed us about the daily theme dinners during the week. On Monday the chefs offer a Burgers & Beers night. My wagyu enhanced burger is one of the burgers served with a craft beer for $30. The chefs also make a turkey burger topped with Portobello mushrooms, Pecorino and Romano cheese. For fish lovers they also make a salmon burger topped with capers, housemade cole slaw, and horseradish cream on a knot bun. Vegetarians can enjoy a burger made with brown rice, cannellini beans, spinach, Burrata cheese, lettuce, basil aioli, and vine ripped heirloom tomato slices on a soft vegan bun.

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All these burgers are paired with a California craft beer. Some of my favorites on the menu include Santa Monica Brew Works, 310 Blonde ABV Knee Deep extra pale ale, ABV Angel City Pilsner, and ABV White Rascal Belgian style White Ale. 

On Tuesday’s the theme dinner is Pasta on the Patio. Wednesday is raw seafood bar night, and tacos on Thursday. All of these theme dinners start at 5 p.m. Happy Hour is every Sunday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., and brunch is Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Since we were going to walk along the beach and out to the end of the pier after brunch, we splurged and ordered a slice of coconut cake. A variety of cakes are on display near the entrance including Southern red velvet cake, a chocolate cake, and carrot cake. 

$$ 1 Pico Blvd. (310)587-1707.

This review was featured on May 16, 2019 in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News

Take the dineLA Burger Trek on #National HamburgerDay!

Now that the weather is warming up, Los Angelenos are seeking the best indoor and outdoor destination to sink their teeth into a juicy hamburger or cheeseburger. Last month, while sitting out in the beer garden style patio at Everson Royce Bar I received a #BurgerTrek map and guide.

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The burgers served for a group of us to try included a ShackBurger from Shake Shack, unbelievably good Vegan Cheeseburger from Burgerlords and a juicy Burger from Everson Royce Bar.

Guests were poured four different beers from Everson Royce Bar, including a Ballast Point lager, Beachwood Amalgamator IPA, Three Weavers Hounslow Porter and Fort Point Wesfalia Nuremburg Red Ale.

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dineL.A. Burger Trek celebrates Los Angeles’ diverse burger scene by highlighting 32 locations and the must-order item at each spot. Here is a list of the Burger Trek spots by neighborhood:

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ALHAMBRA: Grill ‘Em All for a Behemoth Burger,

CHINATOWN: Burgerlords for a Vegan Cheeseburger

CULVER CITY: Plan Check for a PCB

EAGLE ROCK: The Oinkster for The Royale

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DOWNTOWN LA: Badmaash for a spiced lamb burger; Belcampo’s Double Fast Burger at Grand Central Market; Everson Royce Bar for their Single Burger; Cassell’s Hamburgers for a Patty Melt; Everson Royce Bar for a Single Burger; Monty’s Good Burger; Plan Check for a PCB; Rossoblu for a Bolo Burger

FAIRFAX: Badmaash for a spiced lamb burger, Golden State for The Burger,

HIGHLAND PARK: Burgerlords for a Vegan Cheeseburger

MID-CITY: Petit Trois for a Big Mec; République for a Dry-Aged Beef Burger; Salt’s Cure for a 5 oz. Bacon Cheeseburger

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MULTIPLE LOCATIONS: Badmaash; Belcampo; Burgerlords; Cassell’s Hamburgers; Father’s Office; fundamental LA; Golden State; In-N-Out Double-Double, Animal Style; Mont’s Good Burger; Petit Trois; Shake Shack for a ShackBurger; Plan Check; Simmzy’s

PALMS: Howard’s Famous Bacon & Avocado Burgers

PASADENA: Pie ‘n Burger for a Cheeseburger

PLAYA DEL REY: The Tripel for a Triple Burger

SAN PEDRO: Bunz Gourmet Burgers for The Pedro

SANTA MONICA: Father’s Office for their The Office Burger, HiHo Cheeseburger for their Hiho Double Cheeseburger

SILVERLAKE: Burgers Never Say Die for a Double Cheeseburger,

MANHATTAN BEACH: The Arthur Jay in Manhattan Beach; Simmzy’s for an Oak Charred Simmzy’s Burger

STUDIO CITY: Bellwether’s Patty Melt

TARZANA: Arcwood Restaurant + Wine Bar for an Arcwood Burger

VAN NUYS: Bill’s Burger for a Cheeseburger

VENICE: The Rose for a Double Smash Burger

WATTS: Hawkins House of Burgers for a Whipper Burger

WEST HOLLYWOOD: Shake Shack for ShackBurger

WEST LA: The Apple Pan – 10801 W. Pico Blvd. for a Steakburger

WESTWOOD: fundamental LA for a burger,

Visit dineLA Burger Trek

Flavor Bombs at Heroic Deli & Wine Bar

Over the last ten years, Adam Fleischman, an avid foodie and successful restaurateur opened his first gourmet hamburger restaurant Umami Burger. Next he partnered with Chef Anthony Carron and opened 800 Degrees Pizza, as part of the Umami Restaurant Group. I’ve enjoyed writing about his innovative restaurant concepts including Umamicatessan, a gourmet food court in the renovated Orpheum (closed), authentic Spanish restaurant Smoke.Oil.Salt. (closed), and PBJLA in the Grand Central Market offering a creative array of nut butter and jelly sandwiches, and Cold Cocked Coffee Co. in Koreatown. His cookbook with Tien Nguyen called “Flavor Bombs – Umami Ingredients that make Taste Explode” is a perfect description of his newest endeavor with his famous eating partner, Jeffrey Merrihue, founder of XtremeFoodies.com. Merrihue is also a gastronome, having dined at all of the award winning “The World’s Best 50 Restaurants” since 2005. He too wrote a cookbook “The History and Science Behind the World’s Best Pizzas.” Together these food and wine adventurers, partnered and opened Heroic Deli and Heroic Wine Bar, an intimate new Italian eatery with a wine room located in downtown Santa Monica.

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The name Heroic offers a double meaning. First it signifies their signature Italian “Hero” sandwiches served on the deli side, as well as the “Heroic” ambitions of the kitchen on the wine bar side.

They reinvented the classic Italian Hero, as the next-level sandwich experience for adventurous eaters. Not only are their eight different sandwiches made with the finest imported Italian premium meat and cheese cuts, they are served on warm, freshly toasted, crunchy ciabatta bread.

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In the kitchen Executive Chef and Cordon Blue trained Barbara Pollastrini prepares “Cal-Italian” fare. Pollastrini, whose deep traditional skills are rooted in Roman gastronomy, enjoys combining a Modern California approach into new Italian cuisine.

Not only has she won numerous awards as a food stylist for the motion picture “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, she was also a contestant on the Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.”

Meeting a group of friends inside the Heroic Wine Bar, I admired the Roman garden design by Los Angeles hospitality designer Alexis Readinger of Preen Inc. Sitting at the 16-foot bowtie shaped communal table, we noticed couples sitting in intimate leather booths tucked into the front windows. Upstairs overlooking the wine tasting dining room is the private dining area with for 12 guests. This “Segrata” Room offers exclusive dining experiences. Looking up at the indigo colored ceiling is a hand painted mural of stars and celestial representations of the zodiac.

The night we dined one of the “Hero” deli sandwich makers serenaded us with a beautiful aria while standing on the stairs. Besides singing opera, he makes an incredible O.M.G. sandwich, layered with imported Italian prosciutto, capocollo, porchetta, salame, mortadella, smoked mozzarella, artichokes, roasted tomatoes and a spread of truffle mayo and mustard. Giving this an extra zing is the housemade Italian pickle relish called giardiniera. It’s a mix of chopped bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower, garlic in oil and vinegar. Other sandwiches that will have you smiling include Chicken Tetrazzini, “Pizzandwich” and The Vegan.

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I learned from Merrihue’s daughter (It’s a family affair) that the bread is made in the San Fernando Valley and baked 80%, before delivery to Heroic. Here they bake the ciabatta just a little longer to give it that snap of crunch on the outside and light and porous inside. The deli side also makes a handful of salads, homemade potato chips and an Italian corn soufflé.

While sipping a flute of bubbly Canella Valdobbiadene Prosecco, we noticed on the Wine Bar menu that guests can order a prix fixe for $50. There is a choice of ordering one item from the Primi, Pasta, Secondi and Dessert sections. Chef Barbara’s signature dish “Santa BARBARA” a house-made pasta topped with a trio of seafood of live uni, crab, and caviar all sourced from Santa Barbara in an ethereal butter sauce is $10 extra.

My favorite dish of the evening was in the Primi section, a heavenly tomato soup “Soupfle” – It’s a thick seasoned tomato soup, almost like a stew that is topped with burrata, sliced tomatoes and fresh pesto. Merrihue coined the name “soupfle” for its flavorful soufflé consistency.

Next, I enjoyed a lamb ragu rigatoni with crispy artichokes, before my secondi of a hearty roasted pork topped with fresh rosemary, sautéed king oyster mushrooms and a garlic cream sauce.

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Wines are easy to order here. There is an array of high quality of California and Italian wines rated 90+ points. Order a glass of white wine for $12 or a bottle for $40. Red wines are $14 by the glass or $50 a bottle. They also offer some premium wines ranked 95 points and above. I enjoyed a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from Heritance Taub Family vineyards with my four-course prix-fixe. The wine offered nuances of melon and Asian pear with good acidity and crispness, followed by a smooth lingering finish.

Other menu choices include a seared steak tartare; giant eggplant parmigiana ravioli; and cioppino stew filled with calamari, octopus, clams, mussels, fresh tomato, garlic and parsley.

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After one bite of the sweet and creamy Barolo panna cotta, I asked for a second serving. What makes this dessert is a coulis of intensely flavorful red wild Amarena cherries and crumbled pieces of twice-baked and crunchy biscotti cookie sprinkled on top.

Fleischman has another unique gastronomic winner. Visit Heroic Italian deli to pick up picnic fare for a day at the beach or return in the evening to enjoy a romantic, flavor exploding Italian dinner with reasonably priced wines.

Heroic Deli is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 516 Santa Monica Blvd. and Heroic Wine Bar is open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. $$ 514 Santa Monica Blvd. (310)490-0202.

This review is featured in the February 21, 2019 issue of the Beverly Press  page 15.

 

 

Santa Monica Restaurant Week

Celebrate California Restaurant Month in Southern California by dining at one or more of Santa Monica’s award-winning, health-conscious culinary destinations. The chefs are crafting delicious and healthy custom dishes centered around the persimmon. Now through Jan. 13 nearly 30 Santa Monica restaurants are participating in Santa Monica Restaurant Week.

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Persimmon is a versatile fruit that contains key minerals and fiber, which promote heart health, reduce inflammation, support healthy vision and keep the digestive system healthy.

Last Wednesday my daughter and I were invited to the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Colorful persimmons were on display. Laura Ramirez of JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch is one of the many farmers who grow and sell the fruit. At Caffé Bella they are making a Persimmon Sorbetto using JJ Lone’s Persimmons. It’s Vegan, dairy-free and only 90 calories per scoop.

Here’s where to find persimmons and other Farmers Market produce in Santa Monica:

  1. Diners at Water Grill can order farmed New Zealand King salmon crudo with persimmon confit and crème fraiche.
  2. The Independence Tavern is offering persimmon toast and a Fuyu persimmon salad  filled with radicchio, shaved fennel, Tuscan kale, feta cheese, pomegranate, toasted pistachios and a citrus-cardamom vinaigrette during Santa Monica Restaurant Week.
  3. Azulé Taqueria is making Roasted Acorn Squash and Pickled Persimmons Taco filled with epazote, requeson cheese (ricotta) and spicy almonds.
  4. Bondi Harvest is making a Persimmon Pomegranate Salad.
  5. Dolcenero Gelato Persimmon Sorbet and Vanilla Sauce – it’s a new creation combines the pulpy and sweet taste of persimmon with a warm hint of vanilla.
  6. El Cholo Santa Monica – Chipotle Glazed Carnitas Tacos with Persimmon Salsa. Three slow roasted pork tacos in a handmade corn tortilla topped with persimmon salsa, served with black beans and cilantro rice.
  7. Élephante – ‘Nduja toast with stracciatella and persimmons.
  8. Esters Wine Shop & Bar – Arugula Salad with persimmons, walnuts, manchego and champagne vinaigrette; Available during lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
  9. FIG Restaurant at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows – Orange Salad with Delicata squash, thumbelina carrots, red kuri squash, chocolate persimmons and walnut vinaigrette.img_8401

10. Funnel Cakes on the Pier – Persimmon Pacific Park funnel cake topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and drizzled with sweetened persimmon compote.

11. Inotheke – Persimmon and Goat Cheese Salad with lemon, dill, arugula and red onion.
12. Kye’s – Persimmon Cucumber Salad with fresh mint and lime dressing.
13. Lunetta – Caramelized Pork Chop with fresh persimmon chutney, wild rice and smoked bacon and persimmon sauce; Available for dinner
14. Malbec Argentinean Cuisine- Persimmon Salad with Pomegranate and Walnuts.

15. Massilia –Crunchy Kale and Persimmon Salad with shaved fennel, toasted sunflower seeds, Comté and Jerez vinaigrette (add chicken $4, hard-boiled egg $2, ahi tuna $5, smoked salmon $5, ratatouille $5, shrimp $6, grilled salmon $6, rotisserie lamb $6).

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16. Meat On Ocean –Duck Rilettes with Persimmon Marmalade and Goat Cheese
17. Obicà Santa Monica –Gelato Castagna e Cachi ia a chestnut ice cream with Brandy-spiked persimmon sauce and Amaretto dust.
18. Red O –Salmon and Persimmon Aguachile served with winter citrus, habanero and nori
19. Seaside on The Pier – Roasted Persimmon Pizza; Grilled Salmon with Persimmon; Persimmelon Margarita- The house-made pizza crust with garlic, olive oil, roasted persimmon, prosciutto, shaved parmesan and arugula with a balsamic drizzle; Grilled salmon with persimmon glaze, grilled persimmon and green beans, persimmon and cilantro garlic rice; Tequila, persimmon, watermelon, lime, agave and passion fruit
Pizza; Salmon; Persimmelon Margarita.

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20. Stella Barra Pizzeria –Persimmon Pizza with Taleggio cheese, hobbs bacon, fresno chili and herbs.
21. STRFSH – Mahi Mahi with Persimmon Chutney arugula and pickled radishes.
22. Sushi Roku – Sashimi Sushisu Vinaigrette Salad with Cucumber, mizuna, micro shiso, red onions, daikon, persimmons and pomegranate seeds.
23. The Curious Palate – Persimmon Upside Down Cake
24. The Penthouse at Huntley Santa Monica Beach –Burrata – Persimmons, pine nuts, pomegranate, basil, 30-year aged balsamic and heirloom tomato.
25. The Veranda Restaurant at The Georgian Hotel –  Persimmon Mozzarella di Bufalla Salad is a Persimmon gremolata, buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, pomegranate seeds, pomegranate gastrique, arugula, basil.
26. Tiato – Fall Persimmon Salad with roasted Brussels sprouts, baby wild arugula, red cabbage, pomegranates, grapes, balsamic glaze and red onions (add chicken $3; add shrimp $5).

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27. True Food Kitchen
Persimmon Toast with almond ricotta, spinach and balsamic vinaigrette.
28. Upper West – Roasted Persimmon Tartine made with Burrata, arugula, lemon, hazelnut, reduced cider vinegar with fennel.

Share a photo of the dish on social media using #SMRestaurantWeek for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate.

Christmas Dining & Delights in Los Angeles

Enjoy a festive and hassle-free Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day meal prepared by talented chefs throughout Los Angeles. Instead of spending the holidays shopping, chopping, cooking and cleaning – dine with friends and loved ones at the following Los Angeles culinary destinations: Learn more by clicking here https://www.gpsmycity.com/gps-tour-guides/los-angeles-631.html.

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BEVERLY HILLS:

Mr. C Beverly Hills Christmas Eve special dinner

Celebrate the night before Christmas with a decadent Italian four-course dinner starting at 6 p.m. Executive chef Giuseppe Manco will prepare an array of dishes including a trio of marinated Norwegian smoked salmon, shrimp and tuna tartare, and beef tenderloin with porcini sauce. This festive four-courses dinner offers wine pairings. 1224 Beverwil Drive, Los Angeles, (310)277-2800.

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Christmas Day brunch and dinner

Circa 55 offers a Beverly Hills-style Christmas brunch buffet with an omelet station, assorted breakfast pastries, prime rib, roasted turkey and roasted kabocha salad. Chef Thomas Henzi’s special holiday meal includes bottomless mimosas for adults. The Christmas dinner includes wild-caught salmon, fresh oysters, prime rib and hand-crafted Christmas pies. Brunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner is from 5 to 10 p.m. 9876 Wilshire Blvd. (310)274-7777.

The Peninsula Beverly Hills’ holiday dinner

Enjoy the magic of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at The Belvedere with a three-course meal served family-style. During Christmas Eve, the menu includes lobster bisque, seared scallops, 28-day dry-aged prime rib and a yule log. This menu is vailable from 5 to 10:30 p.m. On Christmas Day, enjoy free-flowing Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne with parsnip and pear soup, beet carpaccio, turkey with sage stuffing, and a selection of contemporary and classic desserts from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., (310)551-2888.

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BRENTWOOD:

Christmas Eve at Toscana

Chef Hugo Vasquez prepares elegant Italian holiday dishes for Christmas Eve including white truffle risotto and asparagus. Other delectables include a braised duck leg, turbot puttanesca al cartoccio, Diver scallops, and fresh ricotta ravioli with tomato concassé and brown butter. Wine director Roberto Facciolla pairs each dish with a choice of premium wines. Next door, Bar Toscana celebrates the holidays with a more casual dinner featuring Kumomoto oysters, poached lobster Catalana with sweet onion mousse and an Italian cheese platter. 11633 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, (310)820-2448 and (310)826-0028.

Coral Tree Café Christmas

Throughout December, guests dining at the Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Encino Coral Tree Café will enjoy a festive menu. 11645 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, (310)979-8733. 225 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310)553-8733. 17499 Ventura Blvd., Encino, (818)789-8733.

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DOWNTOWN LA:

Enjoy a Tiki-style Christmas Eve

Stop by plant-based Beelman’s for a Tiki Christmas celebration with Tiki drinks. Beelman’s will be closed on Christmas Day. 600 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, (213)622-1022.

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Holiday vegan doughnuts

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken makes vegan doughnuts in three festive flavors that include vanilla, Nutella, and cinnamon sugar and gingerbread for the holidays. The vanilla is topped with a hot Madagascar vanilla glaze. The gingerbread doughnut is available only in December. A second Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken will be opening in Santa Monica in early 2019. 516 W. Sixth St., Los Angeles, (213)622-7876.

Patina’s Christmas Eve dinner

Toast while enjoying a four or six course dinner. Start off with either the wild Japanese Madai fish or chestnut cavatelli or black truffle acquerello risotto. The second course includes foie gras or Dover sole with fennel, grapes and Brussels sprouts. Main course entrées include Mary’s duck with braised red cabbage, Millbrook Farms venison with root vegetables and binchotan-grilled American wagyu beef. Finish with a choice of three bûche de Noël. The options include chicory, Black Forest and passion fruit white chocolate. 141 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, (213)972-3331.

Hot dog! Spring St. Bar’s Christmas

Step into the downtown Los Angeles’ friendly neighborhood bar and sandwich shop for a whimsical Christmas hot dog bar. Enjoy a hot dog with one of the 26 constantly rotating taps of craft beer and refreshing classic cocktails. The bar is open on Christmas Day from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. 626 S. Spring St., (213)622-5859.

Hotel Figueroa’s Christmas feast

Head to Veranda on Christmas Day and indulge in roast beef, whole roasted duck, roasted root vegetables with caramelized onions, whole roasted red snapper, bluenose bass with red and green mojos, chicories, potato purée and a special Christmas pie. This special menu is $55 per person and reservations are from 3 to 8 p.m. 939 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, (866)734-6018.

NoMad Holiday Spectacular

Now through the end of December, NoMad Hotels hosts a cocktail pop-up with guest bartender Julian Cox every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Sip on custom cocktails from bar director Leo Robitschek and guest bartenders. The whimsical menu of festive drinks can be found at the hotel’s Coffee Bar at the corner of Seventh and Olive. 649 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, (213)358-0000.

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Christmas Eve at Nick + Stef’s

Celebrate Christmas Eve with a luxurious steakhouse meal. Executive chef Megan Logan will prepare a celebratory holiday menu featuring an interactive tableside Caesar salad, dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, Snake River Farms wagyu rib-eye, grass-fed filet mignon, jumbo Maryland lump crab cakes and signature sides. Start with a festive drink and end with one of the beautifully presented desserts. 330 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, (213)680-0330.

HOLLYWOOD:

The Hollywood Roosevelt

Step inside The Hollywood Roosevelt for an eclectic yet relaxed dining experience. The American brasserie Public Kitchen & Bar dinner. Start with savory squash soup or seared Diver scallops. The second course includes roasted moulard duck breast with Japanese sweet potato or einkorn tagliatelle with chanterelle mushrooms and leeks. For a sweet finish, try the deconstructed pumpkin pie or heirloom apple cranberry tart tatin. Children have their own special menu that includes chicken noodle soup, honey-glazed ham, macaroni and cheese, and crunchy praline mousse. 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, (323)769-8888.

Wood & Vine

Wood & Vine offers festive pre and post-theatre meals all year round. Located across from The Pantages Theatre, be sure to enjoy Chef Rick’s hearty pork shank, shrimp and grits, or lighter winter plates that include IMPOSSIBLE meatballs with plant based spaghetti and vegan cheese. Be sure to finish with a slice of Grandma Helen’s chocolate pie. 6280 Hollywood Blvd. (323)334-3360.

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Holiday drinks at Rise-N-Grind Coffee & Juice Bar

Hollywood’s Rise-N-Grind gets into the holiday spirit with festive beverages such as a classic hot chocolate made with dark chocolate syrup, a toasted marshmallow latte with a double shot of espresso, a gingerbread latte topped with whipped cream and a gingerbread cookie, and a peppermint double shot latte with peppermint syrup and choice of milk. 6501 Hollywood Blvd. (323)553-8901.

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MELROSE/FAIRFAX:

Posada at Antonio’s

Antonio’s Restaurant on Melrose celebrates posada, the biblical story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, with a special menu. Try the chicken sweet tamales, pozole featuring pork borth and hominy, or the crunchy cinnamon buñuelos. 7470 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323)658-9060.

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SANTA MONICA:

Hotel Casa del Mar

Dine near the sand at Hotel Casa del Mar that includes a starter of Iberian ham and manchego cheese foam with crusted tomato and warm bread. Entrées include roasted duck with blueberry sauce and passion fruit glaze, or wagyu beef filet mignon with shaved black truffle. Finish with a warm apple tart and bambucha éclair with hazelnut ice cream. 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, (310)581-7714.

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