The Charleston in Santa Monica now open

Offering food, drink, and live entertainment, The Charleston in Santa Monica opened its doors last night. This nightlife venue boasts of a culinary program created by chef Jet Tila (as seen on Iron Chef America) and will host occasional pop-ups, an extensive bar program featuring wine, beer, and housemade specialty cocktails, and live entertainment from DJs, jazz, dueling pianos, hip hop acts, rock cover bands, and comedy and karaoke nights.

Chef Tila’s menu showcases his style of American fare with a twist as his menu offers shared plates such as Slow Roasted Short Rib Tacos with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Korean Salsa and the Welsh Rarebit-Welsh Cheese Bread, Country Toast Smothered in Cheese Sauce then Broiled, his flatbreads menu include Bacon, Egg & Cheese and Sausage, Arugula and Fennel, a wide variety of salads and sides, and his selection of entrees including Five Spice Pork Belly Bao Buns and the Charleston Burger with Cheddar, Arugula, Onion Marmalade and Sun Dried Tomato Aioli. And to complementing the cuisine is the bar program, which features specialty cocktails such as the Ginger Kiss- Beefeater Gin, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Fresh Ginger & Habanero Chili, the Jet 75 – Gin, Simple Syrup, Lemon Juice and Brut Champagne, the Kaffir Lime Pie – Stoli Vodka, Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Egg White & Kaffir Lime Garnish, and the Poison Rose – Beefeater Gin, Monin Rose Syrup, Lilet Rouge & Lemon Juice. 2460 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403. 310-828-2115.

Events & Festivals

Shade Hotel announces its first annual beer-fest

Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach is co-hosting its first annual “Waves of Grain Beerfest” on April 22 from 3 – 6 PM, along with Gene Simmons’ Rock & Brews of El Segundo and BREWCO of Manhattan Beach. The event includes 25 local and regional breweries providing samples as well as a chance to chat with brew masters and senior representatives. Food will be available at an additional cost provided by Mucho Ultima Mexicana offering guests hand-crafted tacos while Shade’s restaurant and lounge is preparing barbeque tri-tip sandwiches, turkey and beef burgers, and pretzel bites. Read More

Tortilla Republic in West Hollywood now open

Tortilla Republic, modern Mexican cuisine, has hit Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood and is now open. Offering a menu featuring farm-fresh ingredients, available organic products, and items free of lard and processed additives created by consulting chef Cathy Shyne and one of the owners, John Halter’s mother’s recipes. Some of the unique menu items include the Hibiscus Flower Enchilada – hibiscus flower, roasted tomato chipotle sauce, jicama, carrots and onion, small plates such as the Tacos de Jicama – thinly sliced jicama “tortillas”, shrimp, chipotle mayo, cilantro, red onion and avocado and the Duck Confit Tacos – sour cherry salsita, shaved radish and cilantro crema. Also available is a vegan menu consisting of items including the house beans and rice and Ensalada de Casa.

The cocktail program at Tortilla Republic focuses on their extensive list of tequila offering specialty cocktails such as the “Perfect” with Herradura resposado, Cointreau, agave, lime sweet and a Grand Marnier float and the Cucumber Lavender with El Jimador silver tequila, fresh lime, muddled cucumber and house-made lavender syrup. 616 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. 310-657-9888.


Haven Gastropub + Brewery now serving up own beers: ‘Hello World’

Hello World, a pale ale, is what Haven Gastropub +Brewery‘s brewmaster David Larsen and his team has named their first beer ever to be served to the public. The brew is named after a simple programming syntax which people use to learn computer programming. In essence, “Hello, World” interprets the first time a computer program is successful in execution in it’s most basic form. For David, it’s the first time Haven guests will have the chance to taste his brews. He describes the newly brewed pale ale as an easy drinking beer with a nice hop bite. Read More


The fifth annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine returns

Pebble Beach Resorts presents the fifth annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine at the Inn at Spanish Bay on April 12 – 15. The event will provide cooking demonstrations and vertical tastings by more than 75 chefs and 250 wineries from around the globe.

The Food & Wine schedule includes Farewell to Foie Gras: A celebration of foie gras (fatty duck liver) presented by Michael Ginor of Hudson Valley Foie Gras along with chefs Andre Bienvenu and Chris Cosentino. Anne Burrell from “Iron Chef” and “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” will share cooking secrets in the one-hour event Cook like a Rockstar! A team of Northern California chefs will celebrate the achievements of wine-pioneer Jess Jackson on the one-year anniversary of his passing by pairing Bay Area cuisine with wines from Kendall Jackson, Hartford Court, Verite, and Stonestreet. Lastly, the Grand Finale pairs Moët & Chandon’s Dom Pérignon with courses from select chefs designed to complement the Champagne’s best vintages.

Tickets range from $100 for a single event pass to $4,750 for a VIP four-day pass, per person. VIP passes provide access to all events and after-hours parties with chefs and winemakers. For tickets call 866-907-3663 or purchase online. The Inn at Spanish Bay: 2700 17 Mile Dr, Pebble Beach, CA 93953.

Photography provided by Barnaby Draper Studios

Pacific Edge Hotel has a plan to get you out of work

Joie De Vivre‘s Pacific Edge Hotel of Laguna Beach is now offering the Occupation Vacation Package ($299) from now until September with stays available Thursday night into Friday and Sunday night into Monday. The package includes the hotel room and a private surf-inspired indoor/outdoor cabana as well as bottomless Bloody Marys from 12 – 2 PM (all drinks are doubles during this time). Also included is a copy of the movie Office Space and a list of excuses why you need to take the day off. 647 South Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. 949-281-5709.

The Lazy Ox celebrates National Paella Day

The Lazy Ox Canteen in Downtown L.A. begins a week-long celebration for National Paella Day starting on March 27 while welcoming Chef Perfecto Rocher, a third generation paella maker from Spain. The Ox will also be featuring wines from Spain and all paellas will be served family style for two.

Traditional Valencian style paella with rabbit, free range chicken, artichoke, and Lima bean ($28) will be prepared Tuesday, followed by Catalunya paella with chicken, Swiss chard, and artichoke ($26) on Wednesday. Thursday through Sunday will see Californian Vegetarian paella with artichoke, mushroom, Swiss chard, and Lima bean ($26), Valencian “Fideua” with squid ink and Santa Barbara prawn ($34), Iberico Pork paella with local vegetables ($38), and Country style Paella with rabbit, escargot, chicken, artichoke and Lima bean ($30). 241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. 213-626-5299.

Photo: Chef Perfecto Rocher’s ingredients on FOX 11
Photography provided by Lazy Ox Canteen

Mohawk Bend screens ‘5 Second Films’ on three seperate nights

Mohawk Bend in Echo Park is hosting a film festival on April 10, 17, and 24, featuring three one-hour segments of 5 Second Films – vignettes highlighting comic, and often inappropriate, moments in life. The commemorative “5-Second Filmmaker” drink  consisting of Cismontane’s Blacks Dawn coffee stout and Fog’s End Monterey Rye ($10) will be available while you watch the movies. Playing from 6 – 9 PM, the film will run silently in the background for the first and last hour. 2141 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026. 213-483-2337. Read More

Prego Ristorante invites the family to an Easter Sunday Brunch

Prego Ristorante in Irvine will be hosting a 7 dish Easter Sunday Buffet ($32.95; $16.50 for children 7-12; 6 and younger are free) on April 8th, from 11 AM – 3 PM. A meet and greet with the Easter Bunny will be held from 11:30 AM – 2:30PM as well as an Easter Egg Hunt from 12 – 1:30 PM. Children too young to participate in the hunt will have a chance to win prizes from a goodie basket filled with coloring books, crayons, stuffed animals, and reading books.

Appetizers will include selections such as Pomodori e Ciliegine (fresh mozzarella, tomato), Patate Rosse con Mostarda e Dill (red potato salad with mustard, dill), Insalata de Mare (seafood salad), Misto di Salumi all’Italiana con Giardiniera (assorted salami, garden vegetables) Melanzane con Caprino (Eggplant with goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes) and an assortment of pizzas. Among entree options will be the Vitello Tonnato (cold sliced roasted veal topped with tuna sauce), Tortino di Spinaci (rolled pasta stuffed with ricotta and spinach) Alfredo Pollo (shell pasta, chicken, cream, and parmesan), Pollo a Limone Ecapperi (chicken breast in a lemon caper sauce), Mahi Mahi alla Checca (mahi mahi with tomato, garlic, basil and olive oil), Baby Back Pork Ribs, an omelet bar, and a prime rib carving station. 18420 Von Karman Ave, Irvine, CA 92612. 949.553.1333.

Fullerton-based Bootlegger’s Brewery to celebrate 4th anniversary

On Friday, April 13 starting at 6:00 PM until 9:30 PM, Bootlegger’s Brewery celebrates turning 4 years old with a music and beer festival at The Muck in Fullerton, CA. Tickets are $25 during pre-sale and includes: 10 taster tickets (additional tickets will be available for purchase), commemorative tasting glass, live music, 30 house beers on tap including specialty and rare beers, and access to The Muckenthaler Gallery exhibit showrooms. Three food trucks will also be onsite with food for purchase. 1201 West Malvern Ave., Fullerton, California 92833.

Private cooking classes with Chef Dakota Weiss at W Los Angeles

Starting April 11, the W Los Angeles will be hosting a series of private group cooking classes with Chef Dakota Weiss. Hotel guests and L.A. locals have the opportunity to prep, cook, and dine on Chef Weiss’s specially designed seasonal menus while enjoying specialty cocktails and wine pairings. The menu for the first class consists of a grilled artichoke appetizer with three dipping sauces, an entrée of whole roasted beef tenderloin with brown butter spring carrot puree, English peas and port wine reduction, and a dessert of roasted white chocolate and lemon-infused bread pudding with Voli Raspberry Cocoa vodka hard sauce. Classes can accommodate up to eight people and is priced at $135/person (includes wine). Scheduled class dates are April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, and August 8. Call 310-443-8211 to get your tickets. 930 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024.

City Tavern’s one year anniversary

City Tavern in Culver City is turning one year old! And to celebrate City Tavern is serving up special anniversary items Tuesday, April 3 while a portion of all proceeds go to the Culver City Historical Society, a non profit organization preserving the culture and history of Culver City. From 7 – 10 PM, a special Anniversary Cocktail – Champagne with cherry bitters ($9) and the City Tavern Sampler Board – a selection of menu favorites including shrimp and grit poppers, house pickled veggies, mini pimento cheese, pulled pork one bites and grilled vegetable roulades with smoked salt will be offered. There after, City Tavern is offering a the “Under 10 after 10” program – a selection of their craft cocktails available for $9 (usually only available Thursday – Sunday). 9739 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232.

New seasonal cocktails at Drago Centro for $8 next Wednesday

Join Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles and head bartender Jaymee Mandeville on Wednesday, March 28 for a discounted taste of the new cocktail menu. Specially priced at $8 (normally $12 each), guests have the chance to sample the seasonally inspired cocktails such as the Airstream Libation – Pueblo Viejo Blanco Tequila, R. Jelínek Fernet, Toasted Coconut Infused Demerara, Fresh Lime, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Egg White to the Cool Revival – Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Cynar, Yuzu, Cucumber, With Lemon and Dill Meringue to the Trädgård – Karlsson’s Gold Vodka, Cocchi Americano, Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters, Lemon Juice, Chives. 525 South Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90071. 213-228-8998.


Learn about beer with Certified Cicerone Thomas Kelley and get certified yourself

Beer is not just for throwing ping pong balls into a red cup, it can be quite sophisticated. Just ask Certified Cicerone (beer sommelier) Thomas Kelley, who’s launching a class about beer. The three part course ($50) begins on Wednesday, April 11 at 7 PM and is held at El Segundo Brewing Company in El Segundo, CA. Each session is about 1.5 hours long, allowing the student to familiarize themselves with the history, the brewing process, evaluation of beer, serving and pairing with food, and beer styles. The point of the class is not only to prepare students for the Certified Beer Server exam (first level of the program), but to break down the stigma of Budweiser commercials. “The best way for craft beer advocates to overcome the mass marketing campaign of the last century is very simple and can be summed up in one word. Educate,” Kelley says. Read More

Sushi Roku Hollywood offers a nothing over $6 happy hour menu

Sushi Roku Hollywood is now offering a new seasonal happy hour menu. The discount lasts all night on Sunday and Monday, 5 – 7 PM on Tuesday – Friday, and 3 – 7 PM on Saturdays. The menu includes: Albacore Sashimi with Crispy Onions ($5), Spicy Tuna Hanabi ($4), Rock Shrimp Tempura Jalapeno Hand Roll ($3), Edamame Hummus ($3), Crispy Chicken with Cilantro Aioli ($4), and Albacore Salsa Sushi Roll ($5). Five dollar drinks include: Peach Saketini, Fuji Apple Martini, and Raspberry Lemon Drop. 8445 West 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048. 323-655-6767.

Photography provided by Claire Thomas

Get a ‘Jumpstart’ on your bikini body at Shore Hotel

Shore Hotel in Santa Monica wants you to help you get in shape for the summer. The “Bikini Jumpstart” package offers: overnight accommodations, one-day cleanse with eight juices from Pressed Juicery, detoxifying body scrub and use of the Infrared Sauna at Tikkun Holistic Spa, map of Santa Monica with outlined walking and running trails. The package starts at $469 per night. Call 800-599-1515 to book. 1515 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401.