Valentine’s Day specials at Koi, Casa Vega now taking reservations for Valentine’s Day

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Japanese restaurant Koi Los Angeles, is offering specials from Friday, February 9 until Tuesday, February 14. The menu includes: White Kiss Roll for $22 (Yellowtail, Scallion and Cucumber Wrapped in Soy Topped with Sliced Halibut & Tomatoes with a Lemon Lime Ume(Plum) Sauce); Heirloom Tomato & Shrimp Cocktail with Sweet Yuzu Vinaigrette for $14; Tuna Caprese (Buffalo Mozzarella, Garlic Oil, Balsamic & Soy) for $16; Oven-Roasted Snapper with Habanero Dashi Salsa for $22; Trio Platter (5 Layer Chocolate Cake, Macaroon Ice Cream, Chocolate Covered Strawberry) for $15; Tres Leches Cake (Poached Cherries and Cherry Chocolate Sorbet) for $12; Champagne Chocolate Mousse Cake (raspberry bon bon and raspberry coulis) for $12; Koi Crush (vanilla vodka and strawberry liqueur topped with pineapple and cranberry) for $12. 730 N La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069. 310-659-9449.

Sherman Oak‘s Casa Vega is now taking reservations for Valentine’s Day dinner on February 14. Diners that make reservations will receive Champagne and roses. Aside from Mexican dishes, the restaurant offers a full bar including all sorts of margaritas. 13301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423. 818-788-4868.

Bru Haus’ dineLA menu with $16 lunch and $26 dinner

Offering deals to L.A. diners, dineLA is from January 22 – 27 and January 29 – February 3. With over 300 restaurants this year, first time participant Bru Haus, a German restaurant in West L.A. is offering their menu with $16 lunches and $26 dinners. 11831 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049. 310-473-2337. Read More

Drink

Klatch Coffee’s Mike Perry on winning awards, and expanding to LAX in June

Meet the Willy Wonka of coffee

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Upland, CA based micro coffee roaster company, Klatch Coffee, opened in 1993, is no stranger to winning awards. Having already won some of the highest honors in the coffee industry like “Best Espresso in the World” at the 2007 World Barista Championships in Tokyo, to San Dimas “Businessman of the Year”. Owner, Mike Perry, can now add another one to his long list of accolades. Just a few weeks ago in San Francisco, Klatch Coffee took home a Good Food Award (an award for “recipients who push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities“) for their Ethiopian Gedeo Worka. Read More

Chef Andrew Kirschner’s Tar & Roses opening tomorrow

We reported in November that Chef Andrew Kirschner’s new neighborhood restaurant Tar & Roses, Santa Monica, was planning on opening in late November or December, well, the date is January 24. The food is described as “at once rustic and elegant, simple and complex, masculine and feminine.” The menu, like it’s namesake is a juxtaposition of extremes with Andrew’s travels to Italy, Spain and Southeast Asia influencing his cooking. But the heart of the kitchen is centered in its wood burning oven. Check out some examples from the menu. 602 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401. Read More

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Play winemaker with Temecula Creek Inn’s ‘Ultimate Experience for Wine Lovers’ package series

Stay at the Inn, make wine at Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery

Unfortunately most of us can’t turn water into wine with one touch, which is okay, because the whole wine-making process can be enjoyable. Temecula Creek Inn in Temecula, CA is offering the “Ultimate Experience for Wine Lovers” package where guests will have the chance to participate in three different wine making processes at the Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery: pruning on February 3; harvesting on September 28; and finally blending on November 9.

Each package includes a one-night stay, bottle of Palumbo wine with engraved glasses, a two hour seasonal tour on Friday, complete with wine tastings and catered lunch overlooking the vineyards and limo transportation to and from the winery. A discount is offered when booking all three days at $409/event (two people) or $459/event (two people) for single days. 44501 Rainbow Canyon Rd., Temecula, CA 92592. 877-517-1823.

Travel

Top 5 places you’d want to go to after visiting the L.A. Travel & Adventure Show

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Like most trade shows, there are exhibitors who sit there because their bosses make them, and there are those that actually make the experience fun. Sure, this doesn’t automatically make what they’re selling gold, but in this case, I am more open to visiting these 5 countries. Read More

Improve your wine palate at Royal/T, Valentine’s Day specials at City Tavern

All you need is $68 and two hours to get some wine edumacation at Los Angeles Wine Tasting‘s “Aroma Training & Blind Tasting” held at Royal/T in Culver City. On Wednesday, February 8 from 7 – 9 PM, wine beginners can learn about aromas and get tips on how to develop your own nose. Each ticket includes six wines, breads, cheeses, charcuterie, chocolate truffles, tasting glass for you to keep and handouts. 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232.

Chef Jessica Christensen of City Tavern in Culver City has prepared two Valentine’s Day specials for Tuesday, February 14. A cheese board with five cheeses for $18, and a chocolate board with three chocolate desserts for $16, both boards will include handpicked specialty craft brews to pair. Call 310-838-9739 for reservations. 9739 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. Read More

The Dish

Freddy Smalls: Crispy Pig’s Ear and Fried Egg

Available now on the late-night menu

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A creation from chef Charlie Parker‘s kitchen at the newly opened Freddy Smalls restaurant in West Los Angeles. The Crispy Pig’s Ear and Fried Egg is an open face sandwich with pig’s ear, coleslaw, bacon, a sunny side up egg on top of a large brioche toast. A dish not meant for the faint of heart, is only available on their late night menu which kicks in sometime after 10:30 PM. Read More

‘Sunday Supper’ deal at Taco Asylum, five-course tequila dinner at SOL Mexican Cocina

Two O.C. restaurants

Starting on Sunday, January 22, Taco Asylum in Costa Mesa, CA is kicking off their “Sunday Supper” deal. For $12 guests will get two tacos, rice and beans, and a draft beer. The offer is valid every Sunday between 8 PM – 11 PM. 2937 S. Bristol St., B102, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. 714-922-6010.

On Sunday, February 26 at 6:30 PM, SOL Mexican Cocina in Newport Beach, CA is having a tequila and food pairing. A nice change from traditional wine and food pairing or beer and food pairing. Executive Chef Deborah Schneider plans to feature five dishes to go with Clase Azul Tequila for $75 per person. Call 949-675-9800 or email events@solcocina.com for reservations. 251 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 90291. Read More

Show off your love poem skills by tweeting to Shore Hotel and you might win a free room

Roses are red, violets are blue ...

Starting now until January 31, tweet your love poem to Santa Monica’s environmentally-conscious hotel (@ShoreHotelSM) and you’ll be entered in the “Love Poems by the Shore” contest. The person with the “most unique and creative poem” will win a night stay during the month of February. Winner to be announced on twitter on February 1. Here is our poem (under 140 characters): love cures all, unless diabetes, then insulin. 1515 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401. 800-599-1515.

Photography provided by Ryan Gobuty, Gensler

One month of rare bourbons at Far Bar, Karl Strauss’ 23rd Anniversary Old Ale

Karl Strauss is debuting their 23rd anniversary Old Ale at “Changing of the Barrels” with a limited tasting on February 2, 2012, 6 PM – 9 PM. 100 ticket holders will get the first tasting of the 23rd anniversary brew and will also be able to sample the 24th Anniversary Flanders Red Ale before it goes into barrels for a year. Tickets, only purchasable online, are $50 and include beer for the night, MIHO Gastrotruck food ticket, live music, a commemorative 23rd Anniversary snifter, and a 33 Beers tasting book. 5985 Santa Fe Street, San Diego, CA 92109.

The month of February will be dedicated to bourbon at Little Tokyo’s Far Bar. Expect “top notch bourbons and ryes as well as some rare and decadent barrel-aged beers” to be at the first “Annual Bourbon on 1st Street.” They’ll also be pairing stouts and barleywines along with bourbon and rye. If you haven’t had a beer and whiskey pairing, then you haven’t lived. 347 E 1st St , Los Angeles, 90012. Read More

Farmshop’s Artisan Market holding an open house

On Sunday, January 29 from 4 PM to 7 PM, Santa Monica based Farmshop‘s newly opened Artisan Market will be hosting an open house to showcase their curated selection of goods. Fresh produce, cheese, charcuterie, a butcher station and bakery are all featured inside the Artisan Market.

Farmshop’s Artisan Market is open now from 7 AM to 7 PM. In the future, lookout for educational workshops with local purveyors and chefs including dinners, tasting events, cooking demos and book signings. Farmshop is located at The Brentwood Country Mart at 225 26th Street, Suite 25, Santa Monica, CA 90402. 310-566-2400.

Catch Restaurant at Casa del Mar’s two dineLA menus

With dineLA right around the corner, the beefed up menus are starting to arrive. Catch Restaurant‘s two menus includes a lunch and a dinner which are available from January 22 – 27 and January 29 – February 3, 2012. 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA 90405. 310-581-7714. Read More

Food

Napa Valley Grille’s new Executive Chef Taylor Boudreax

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Seasoned chef, Taylor Boudreax, with over 17 years of culinary experience takes the lead at Napa Valley Grille in Westwood, CA. He’s cooked at Mastros, was executive chef/partner Citizen Smith, and most recently was recruited to work as the corporate executive chef of Wolfgang Puck Worldwide. Taylor takes a straightforward approach with food that emphasizes on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, “When you are fresh out of school, you might think putting 19 things on a plate is great, but, to me, the soul of a dish gets lost. I came to understand that if you take a great cut of meat and season and cook it correctly, it will be amazing. It might be called ‘simple’ or ‘rustic,’ but it’s also about letting the food be what it should be.”

New seasonally-inspired winter creations at Napa Valley Grille include his signature Blue Crab Cakes with classic Tartar Sauce, Fresh Herb Salad, and Lemon Vinaigrette ($16.25), and Lamb Ragù with housemade Tagliatelle Pasta, Red Wine, Tomatoes, and Parmesan ($13).

Photography provided by Napa Valley Grille

Learn about beer with the author of Beer U at Tony’s Darts Away, Wirtshaus offers beer and food pairing dinners

On Tuesday, January 24 at Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, CA, Jeff Musial, a beer educator and author of the book Beer U will be onsite. From 7 PM – 8 PM, he’ll be discussing the importance of craft beer over a beer flight of his favorite beers for $8. He’ll also be signing copies of the book. 1710 West Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91506. 818-253-1710.

Starting Tuesday, January 31, Wirtshaus on La Brea is kicking off a series of German beer and food pairing dinners. A pre-fixe menu will be offered from 6 PM – 10 PM for $40. The dinner includes three courses and a flight of five beers. The first dinner will have rabbit stew, Pork Wellington, and pretzel bread pudding. 345 N. La Brea Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036. 323-931-9291.

Venison menu at Locanda del Lago

On Thursday, January 26th at 7 PM

Always wanted to taste venison? Well now you can enjoy the whole animal at Locanda del Lago in Santa Monica for Chef Gianfranco Minuz‘s nose-to-tail dinner “Morso della Bestia” – Bite of the Beast. On Thursday, January 26th at 7 PM, 14 guests will be able to enjoy Chef Minuz’s Northern Italian take on venison through a 5 course menu. 231 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401. 310-451-3525. Read More