A Grain Conference isn’t exactly how one envisions spending a beautiful Sunday morning in Los Angeles. Received an invite to this daylong event and thought it was intriguing – a whole day’s worth talking about grain? Then they added this was only the second year but the first time they were opening attendance to consumers. Any time a trade event opens doors to consumers – they are looking to educate and make aware. So I signed up!
Former attorney turned full-time baker and Chief PieSmithTM Brianna Abrams has launched Winston Pies in Brentwood. She previously operated from her home kitchen under the former online-only outlet, ButterCrust Pies. Refreshing to see someone leave a career as a high-powered attorney to pursue her passion full time!
Winston Pies offers handcrafted artisan pies featuring only the best seasonal, all-natural ingredients. Each pie is made from scratch by PieSmithsTM in small batches using an all-butter crust, so flavorful crusts and no soggy crust bases in sight. Take your pick from flavors such as Blue Ridge Blueberry Pie and Dixie Classic Cherry Pie available daily; a few chilled pies such as Key West Lime Pie, Banana Cream Pie and a Winston Pies original Cowgirl Pie: a handmade salted caramel chocolate pie with oat crust; and a rotating monthly seasonal option, such as the Orchard Peach & Nectarine Pie.
What sets Winston Pies apart from a typical pie shop though is the wide variety in pie sizes. Purchase pies by the slice, get a full-sized, 11-inch round pie, or choose between 5-inch mini pies, 4-inch square hand pies, and Winston Pies’ original offering: PieBitesTM for when you just want a taste of a little sweet something. Many of the pies are available gluten free and can be customized to accommodate specific dietary restrictions. Winston Pies also offers high-end artisan coffees, teas and select flavors of McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream for pies à la mode. They also accept orders for weddings, events or parties. The space is pretty cool too – light-filled and inspired by luxury southern homes. Check out the large porch swing and the neon pie sign!
Winston Pies is located at 11678 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 and open seven days a week, from early mornings through evenings to fulfill your pie desires, holidays or not!
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Held at Verlaine, the event was a lovely evening do with some appetizers and drinks to start the networking hour followed by a sit down dinner hosted by the Greater Palm Springs CVB. The drink of the evening was an apt Oasis Blisstini with vodka, lime, yellow chartreuse and orgeat. While everything from the Soft fried black bean to the Melting chocolate cake was simply lovely for dinner fare on a pleasant L.A evening, the corn cake was the best part for me! Enjoy the pictures and video, and let me know what your favorite at Verlaine is, or if you have any recommendations for a trip to Palm Springs. Meanwhile, read all about my visit to Palm Desert here and all the things to see, do and have on your itinerary!
Beginning this Sunday, September 10, Ventura Boulevard’s new steak and seafood destination, SOCA, debuts a handcrafted Weekend Brunch ($9-22*) from Valley-based (and L.A.-lauded) restaurateur, Chef Aaron Robins. The new selection of bold and adventurous plates include French toast, flatbreads, and egg dishes accented by hatch chilies, chile verde, and house-made breads, for a diverse array of vibrant flavors every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-3pm.
Also launching this weekend at SOCA is Sunday Dinner Service, which offers a three-course prix-fixe menu ($36) alongside half-price select bottles of wine from 5:30-10pm every week. Courses include Herb-Roasted Half Chicken with chimichurri roasted potatoes; as well as a Petite New York Steak dressed in sautéed wild mushroom demi-glace, among others.
Boneyard Bistro’s sister restaurant, SOCA (standing for Sherman Oaks, CA), brings globally-inspired steak and seafood to the heart of Ventura Blvd.’s restaurant row. The newly-opened dining destination from Valley veterans Executive Chef/Owner Aaron Robins and General Manager/Partner Rory Snipes offers a front row seat to the recent cultural and culinary resurgence of the San Fernando Valley with floor to ceiling glass windows opening to a 28-seat patio overlooking Ventura Boulevard. The coastal resort-style restaurant features distinctive Asian and Latin influences—including Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, French, and Peruvian flavors—complemented by an ever-evolving gin-centric cocktail program and an extensive, predominately French wine list. Guess you know where I'll be Sunday!
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It isn’t even the 10th of the month yet and I already have a never-ending list of place to check out…including this! Restaurateurs and chefs Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts have opened a second Small Batch artisanal ice cream shop on Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles’ burgeoning Mar Vista neighborhood.
The new shop is just a few miles from the couple’s other local concepts--Hudson House in Redondo Beach; The Tripel, the four-in-one beachside complex Playa Provisions, and Tripli-Kit in Playa del Rey; and Da Kikokiko in Playa Vista. They specialize in house-made, nostalgic ice cream flavors and novelties with a twist, with the new Mar Vista shop offering safe-to-eat cookie dough scoops, pints to-go, and fresh pastries from Playa Provisions.
Menu highlights include Birthday Cake, Banana Cream Pie, Vegan Chocolate Coconut, Fresh Sweet Corn, Lemon with Strawberry Pop Rocks, and Cereal Killer (a frozen take on Lucky Charms), alongside frozen novelties, such as Mint Oreo Ice Cream Pie, White Chocolate Thai Tea Pops, Fresh Raspberry Popsicles, and Chocolate Dipped Bananas with sprinkles. Custom sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, and slices of birthday cake are also available. For a real indulgence, order the Unicorn Sundae, inclusive of TEN scoops of ice cream, a variety of toppings, whipped cream, hot fudge, a cherry, and to top it off, a “uni-cone,” a chocolate dipped waffle cone with a sparkler on top, reminiscent of a unicorn’s horn. Cookie dough scoops include Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate Chip, while soft-serve flavors will soon be added to the menu. I need to find a friend with a birthday, and a party, to attempt eating this thing!
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The Los Angeles Times The Taste happened this past weekend at the Paramount Pictures Studios. I was told it was a highly anticipated weekend event but had no clue the crowd that would turn up! The studios were turned into a day and night festive venue – barely recognizable…and the number of participants and attendees was simply unbelievable.