Every once in a while a visiting business hosts a fun media dinner to introduce members of the community to their products. One such event was a distiller’s dinner with Old Dominick Head Distiller Alex Castle at 189 by Dominique Ansel in The Grove. To launch product availability in California, dinner guests were guided through a tasting menu with Old Dominick pairings and Castle shared a little about their line of offerings.
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!
The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) and Farhang Foundation are bringing to L.A a juried exhibition titled ‘Focus Iran 3: Contemporary Photography and Video’ - a series of biennial exhibitions that features distinctive perspectives about Iran through photography and video works. This year's theme puts a lens on Iranian youth culture.
Italian food is one of my favorite cuisines and I enjoy seafood as well so when Cal Mare posted its Dine L.A menu, guess who made a reservation asap! Located in the Beverly Center, the venue is a lovely blue and brown haven of coziness. One of chef Michael Mina’s many restaurants in the US, the specialty here is the seafood, with a few other options thrown in.
Growing up in India and Oman, I knew of this person named Martin Luther King who was famous in America because he fought for the rights of black people in the country. He gave speeches everywhere and the black community held him in high esteem. He did a lot of work to promote equal rights for black people in society. His famous speech was "I have a Dream"...then one day he was shot and the world mourned his loss. This is literally everything I knew about him/learned at school until I moved to the US at the age of 25. I expected more out of MLK Day in the US other than it being a holiday for government employees and a few people mentioning him on the news. This resulted in some reading up on him and his story to understand the true importance of MLK Day here in he U.S and globally. Here’s a note from contributor Shannon Luders-Manuel on this day and how people can learn more of his efforts and legacy…
Beverly Hills Second Annual BOLD Holiday Season Features Visual Artist Alexa Meade’s Pop-Up Exhibition
Beverly Hills’ BOLD Holidays launched this month with the debut of interactive artist Alexa Meade’s whimsical and innovative art exhibition, Immersed in Wonderland. Meade has transformed nearly 3,000 square feet of space located at 262 North Rodeo Drive into the pop-up, featuring three-dimensional painted holiday vignettes, which create the illusion of a two-dimensional painting when photographed. You can explore these vignettes, interact and touch them, and become part of the artwork. Each vignette offers a different color theme and its own matching painted clothing and accessories that can be worn.
Recovered from the Thanksgiving weekend yet? If you've still got holiday shopping on your mind then you'll be glad to have this on your calendar! District La Brea is hosting its Holiday Shop & Stroll event December 1st from noon to 4 p.m. and retailers are offering special in-store promotions, gifts-with-purchase, and giveaways. There are new holiday pop-ups as well as a holiday-themed “parklet” created by Ben Goods. While shopping, enjoy FREE entertainment ranging from interactive selfie stations to a live DJ spinning festive holiday tunes.
Not many know ofthis gem of a museum located just ten minutes right behind the busy Los Angeles Airport. If you are visiting, live here or are simply out for a long transit or layover, this is certainly a worthy stop if you don’t want to venture too far out from LAX. I am surprised the airport itself isn’t doing much to promote this space, which is truly a treasure trove of aviation and space history and general knowledge.
The building is pretty unassuming and resembles nothing close to any of the museums the city is known for. In fact, it is situated in an industrial complex where other flight service businesses are located so if you are looking for a big model plane or some other signage outside then you will definitely get lost. Follow the directions on your map to the t and you will find the spot.
The Private Suite membership is the Ultimate Gift for the Luxury Traveler. With a long list of devoted celebrity and VIP clients, The Private Suite is a first-of-its-kind exclusive terminal that transforms the traditional departure and arrival process at LAX into one of the world’s most luxurious and seamless experiences in commercial travel.
Months of hard work and planning by Japan House LA staff culminated in a grand opening celebration Friday August 24, 2018, that witnessed actor George Takei as master of ceremonies with musician and celebrity Yoshiki performing on the occasion and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti addressing the gathering.
All of the comfort, none of the guilt is the motto at Granville and they put that to full effect at their West Hollywood location for sure. Sunday brunch at their Beverly Blvd. venue is a comfy cool affair at your own pace. The large space, airy ambience and open floor plan provide a great vibe for relaxation and a fun time with family and friends. At noon, they were already filling up with neighborhood regulars and first timers (like me) alike dining on some of their globally inspired menu.
I live down the street from here so I have to share the latest - Hollywood & Highland, Los Angeles’ iconic shopping, dining and entertainment destination has launched a VIP ACCESS CARD with insider access, offering exclusive savings and complimentary items at 18 of the center's popular eateries, shops and entertainment venues. For the full Angeleno experience!
As of this month, you can pick up the card on Level 2 at L.A. Visitors Center and present it to participating retailers. The card will be a continuous offering at the center with new savings and free items available on an ongoing basis. No special fee or RSVP required.
Whether a movie buff, foodie or shopaholic, the deals in VIP ACCESS cater to all types of interests and feature offers like Dolby Theatre Tour’s $5 off each regular ticket; Jinya Ramen Express’ complimentary two-piece Crispy Chicken Topping upon purchase of any Ramen order; Quay Australia’s 15% off full price sunglasses and accessories; and Cabo Wabo Cantina’s free appetizer with the purchase of two entrees; among many others.
Hollywood & Highland is the entertainment center of Los Angeles for tourists and locals alike, featuring the Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. ® Just steps away from landmarks like the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre and Hollywood Walk of Fame, it is usually the place for a Hollywood tour beginning or ending.
With contemporary fashion and beauty brands, over 20 restaurants, unique entertainment attractions, movie premiers and celebrated live theatre, it’s the ultimate entertainment destination. I can vouch for it because I am there half the time - they have great sales and their summer concerts are so fun!
In the process of continuing to discover the city (I’ve only lived here about 2.5 years) and its many neighborhoods, I’ve stumbled upon a few hidden gems and well-known hotspots while hanging out with le husband, who has ended up becoming my best friend in the process – guess that’s what happens when you move to a new city as adults and don’t know anybody!
Highlighted here are some of the results of such explorations. Sometimes I visited here after thorough research, sometimes by referrals from friends, other times on a whim and then even more so just walking by a spot and having my curiosity piqued. By no means is this list exhaustive, it never will be, not if you live in L.A. but definitely a list I’ve been meaning to share for a long time. Here goes, in no particular order!
All month long, head to Beverly Hills for it Open Later Days with energizing nightlife, shopping and festivities until 8 p. m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Enjoy live entertainment, art installations, restaurant specials and more on Rodeo Drive and throughout the Golden Triangle.
Rodeo Drive will kick off its second annual BOLD Summer on August 2 from 6 p.m.–9 p.m. You can experience live music, fireworks, delicious food and more. Step into a world where flash floral installations take over Rodeo Drive, monogramming booths leave you with a personalized take-home memory and live painting performances bring art to the forefront on the iconic street.
Nothing beats summer in Los Angeles and the folks at The Sofitel at Beverly Hills have some fantastic offers in store!
Riviera 31 now offers a new summer mixology collection, created by their very own Mixology Master Frederic Zemmour. The new beverage lineup highlights the vibrant colors of the blooming flowers on the restaurant’s patio and the magical flavors of their herb garden. From cilantro to thyme, from coconut to apricot, all the way to yuzu and roasted bell peppers, expect the unexpected to play on the flavors and strength of mezcal, bourbon, cognac and other robust liquors.
Eclectic Jazz Nights are in every Monday and you can stay on till the wee hours of the morning. Opt for a VIP experience to hear the unparalleled sound of Ryan Cross and his band. If they aren’t pretty badass themselves, there is also the lure of celebrity sightings to consider. We hear Imagine Dragons took the stage in an impromptu performance one time! The open mic format means that celebrities can show up and sing covers or their own songs or for hidden talents to be discovered during the night. Every Monday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Call ahead to reserve, I can say fro experience the place gets packed pretty quick and usually has a standing crowd only situation.
Cattle & Claw is the new pop-up eatery onsite and the one-stop destination for all things burgers and lobsters! By popular demand, C&C just launched a brunch menu that features waffle + lobsters and lobster bloody marys! Think lobster tacos & lobster toast bites & lobster beignets...you get the picture. Sofitel LA’s outdoor patio is the perfect setting to experience the new pop-up. No reservations allowed, and we are not talking about space.
They also have Salsa Nights on Wednesdays, Blues performances for French Quarter Fridays and female DJs for Saturday night shenanigans. Check out the Sofitel today and let me know if you enjoy any of these experiences there!
Here’s a quick rundown of some of this city’s offerings for Mother’s Day celebrations. I’m too far away from mom to take her out but if you are treating mom to a special day/s, then these local suggestions should come handy!
What are your plans to celebrate mom on her special day this month? Here's the first in a series of recommendations as we run up to the occasion!
This Mother's Day, enjoy a scenic brunch, taking in views of the Marina at SALT Restaurant & Bar at Marina Del Rey Hotel. Executive Chef Mark Gold has carefully curated a special Mother's Day menu that will be offered during brunch hours on Sunday, May 13th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00pm. This specialty menu provides the perfect selection and pairings to come together to celebrate Mom and highlights Chef’s authentic California cuisine.
The exclusive Mother’s Day menu will include many specials and favorites, including the Smoked Salmon plate (Norwegian smoked salmon with whipped cream cheese on a toasted bagel) and the Beausoleil Oysters, served with SALT’s very own house cocktail sauce. Be sure to try Chef Gold’s delicious Japanese Hamachi, hand cut sashimi with fresh citrus yuzu kosho and olive oil, served with cucumber ‘ceviche’. For the main course, try Chef Mark Gold ’s flavor-packed Halibut, served with whole roasted cauliflower straight from Tutti Frutti Farms.
Also on offer are SALT’s signature cocktails such as the “In Bloom” a mix of Vida Mezcal tequila, pineapple liquor, hisbiscus agave and lime juice, or “The Salt” consisting of sauza tequila, grapefruit liquor, lime, agave, and orange bitters. If you’re a wine enthusiast, SALT offers an extensively curated wine list including sparkling whites, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot ranging from wineries along the California coast. Cheers to mom!
Food and wine connoisseurs unite as the top chefs from Southern California battle for ultimate supremacy at one of LA's most mystical landmarks, the legendary Paramour Estate. The sophisticated grand entrance welcomes you into a decadent world of glamour and escapism from the entrance, with the highlight; a greeting all the way from Scotland. A bagpiper sets the tone for an afternoon of cultural immersion as the chefs prepare for the ultimate culinary face-off.
Taste of the World is a uniquely immersive experience featuring an orchestrated day fueled with excitement that transports guests around the world through food and beverage, accompanied by a masterfully curated entertainment experience, ultra-premium beverage offerings and a competitive Chef showdown where you decide who wins. As the competition begins, the chefs come to life and the spectacle commences as guests sample each and every dish in order to vote for their favorite at the end.
Sample all of the chefs' incredible creations, sip fine wines and specialty cocktails made by Flair Bartenders or visit the Rosé & Bubbly Bar provided by Celebrity Cruises while you are entertained by some of LA's top cultural performers throughout the day. From World Champion Salsa dancing to authentic Flamenco and Bollywood entertainment, the day will be filled with bright colors and big flavors from all over the globe.
Only a few lucky guests will be able to partake in this very private and exclusive event so get your tickets early! This is an exclusive event and space is limited. All attendees must be 21+ with an ID. Uber/Lyft strongly encouraged as there is no street parking available outside the venue.
Get your tickets here!
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You know that saying about April showers? Well, you can expect a downpour in May as well – one that will have you buzzing all summer! Effervescence, the first major West Coast event entirely devoted to Champagne and sparkling wine, makes its debut in Los Angeles May 3-5, featuring master classes taught by renowned industry experts. The three-day fiesta will also feature Champagne and sparkling wine tasting events at the historic Avalon Hollywood, and an exclusive gala dinner for collectors, winemakers and enthusiasts prepared by chef Walter Manzke at République.