You’ve seen it in the news everywhere – there is a beautiful superbloom that the state of California is experiencing right now thanks to the heavy rainfall received this year. People are posting pictures and media has covered it far and wide – flowers as far as the eye can see in orange, purple, yellow and other shades typically unaccustomed for the desert state. For those habituated to the dry green landscape found in the southwest, these are welcome sights to behold. But the superbloom is attracting attention from locals and visitors alike and many parks have already restricted visitation due to the masses flooding the area. Protecting the habitat is essential.
Sometimes I am surprised at the hidden gems I find in and around Los Angeles. The Curious Palate is one of those, located in the busy Santa Monica Place mall. You’d think most people would have heard of it but two years into business at that location, they are still building their client base. While the regulars continue to stop by – they were busy at dinnertime earlier on in the week – it’s the new foot traffic that needs to head here.
I assumed anyone that heads to the movies (they are located right by the AMC) would possibly stop by here for a meal or at least to grab a drink and snack but that isn’t necessarily how it works. At the exclusive menu tasting, the co-owners Mark Cannon and Elliot Rubin shared their experience moving from their Venice location to this larger spot at the top floor in the famed mall.
Los Angeles’s leading farm to fork restaurant FARMHOUSE opened doors in the city amid much fanfare March last year at the Beverly Center – the launch day party was the talk of the town for days after. The city’s culinary aficionados certainly took note of the grand debut and many remarked rather surprised that the space was helmed by Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso.
You did read that right…Executive Farmer. Peitso comes from more of an agricultural background, farming at Kenter Canyon Farms until this venture was announced. While meat is served at FARMHOUSE, Peitso shines the rare spotlight on veggies, many of which are from his own farm and the rest sourced from other local farms. If you wanted to know where your food came from, there’d be no doubt when dining here.
The second annual Santa Barbara Restaurant Week Feb 22 - March 3 is your chance to experience and explore the best of Santa Barbara's food scene at a fraction of the cost. The 10-day event will showcase the vast culinary world that exists in Santa Barbara with restaurant options that will apply to all tastes, ranging from Asian to Farm-to-table to Vegan, and more. The participating restaurants offer a prix-fixe menu, which includes a $25 2-course lunch and a $40 3-course dinner option, along with local wine tasting rooms offering special tasting experiences.
Huckleberry Bakery & Café’s 10th Anniversary is coming up on Monday, February 18, and the team is cooking up some fun specials to celebrate! If you didn’t know, Huck is only one arm of a family of restaurants that come under the Rustic Canyon brand including Sweet Rose Creamery, Milo & Olive, Cassia, Tallula’s and Ester’s – all pretty well-known in the city thanks to the winning team behind these culinary endeavors.
Visit Carlsbad’s third annual Petal to Plate, a 10-day celebration of fine flowers, food and drink, is back in bloom! From April 4 to April 14, 2019, the city of Carlsbad will focus on all things floral in venues throughout the city. Tour The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch and enjoy the delights of spring with floral-inspired creations from participating resorts, spas, restaurants, and breweries.
Crustacean Beverly Hills, the iconic restaurant from House of AN’s Master Chef Helene An, introduces a Lunar New Year menu for the first time ever. Available from February 5-8, 2019, the menu features traditional dishes that represent good luck and prosperity, including an 8-Hour Massaged Suckling Pig to honor the Year of the Pig. Crustacean also incorporates colors and other food that have symbolic meaning into the Lunar New Year celebration, including red for good fortune or luck; gold for wealth; and sticky rice and noodles for longevity.
Executive Chef Helene An and lauded Chef Tony Nguyen, who is newly spearheading the kitchen at the restaurant, have worked closely together to create their modern interpretation of Vietnamese gastronomy while also paying homage to Lunar New Year’s history. While An’s Asian fusion cuisine remains intact, Nguyen utilizes his impressive culinary training and techniques to modernize the dishes at Crustacean, which can be seen throughout the Lunar New Year offerings.
Consider options such as Lacquered Quail, Dover Sole Congee, An’s Famous Garlic Toasted Dungeness Crab, Lemongrass Steamed Chilean Seabass and more. To complement the cuisine, Crustacean’s new sophisticated and versatile design features several floating walls that can shift to accommodate multiple dining experiences, such as an intimate family dinner for Lunar New Year. Booths, communal tables, indoor and outdoor dining and a chef’s table with an open glass kitchen are also available throughout the restaurant.
If you plan to dine here, Crustacean is located at 468 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
Confession time: Not that I am particularly into the game itself but I do love the ads, the half time show, and just the all around general camaraderie the event brings about so here are some spots in the L.A. metro area you can check out to watch the game, pick up food for your house parties and enjoy some game day brews!
All your French fry dreams have come true with this DTLA based gourmet style fry bar that I visited last week. What’s not to love about fries right? But wait till you see what they’ve done here at Fry Madness, taking fries to a whole other level!
I had the pleasure of attending a fun plant based, zero waste cooking demo with the lovely Scheherezade Daftary of The Delightful Table. Held at the Sky Lounge of the newly opened Line Lofts in Hollywood, it was an intimate setting with Scheherezade leading our group, teaching some useful knife skills, practical food storage tips and hands on prep with veggies so as to focus on meal plan and prep. We even had a fun cooking contest of sorts with everyone in the group making their own creations with the ingredients provided to enjoy a community lunch after. If you know me, I organize my weekly meals on Sundays and enjoy the freedom that gives me during the week to focus on my work and other professional commitments. Sharing here some of my takeaways from the day and two quick and easy recipes she shared with the group that I’ve already made a staple in my kitchen!