Drink + Food

Inside look at Mixology 101 at Planet Dailies + Salvatore Calabrese shows us how to make the Breakfast Martini

Cocktail Jedi

If you’ve ever stumbled into a 24 hour eatery at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas after a night of drinking, then you might know about Planet Dailies – unless of course you passed out on the table (the best ones do). The second location for this growing brand shares the idea of the original spot, but unlike the original – this one includes a cocktail bar. Mixology 101 at Planet Dailies opens on March 12 at The Original Farmers Market in L.A. Here is an inside look at the bar/lounge and a brief introduction of London-based bartender Salvatore “The Maestro” Calabrese (pictured on the left) and his apprentice Joseph Brooke (pictured on the right). Read More


From line cook to ramen chef, talking to chef Jonathan Shin of Sai Sai Noodle Bar

Sometimes all you need is a chance, and ramen

Jonathan Shin dreamt of playing professional golf and even considered getting into art, a dream he’s closing in on as he now practices the art of ramen. At the tender age of 26, Jonathan is currently the Chef de Cuisine of Sai Sai Noodle Bar inside the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, under the guidance of Executive Chef Thomas Ryan. Once a sushi restaurant, Chef Jonathan has created dishes for this fast casual Asian-influenced noodle bar. We sat down with chef Jonathan Shin and chatted about all things hot and soupy. Read More


6 questions with WP24’s Sally Camacho

Top Chef Just Desserts Season 2 contestant

After landing a spot in the top three during season two of Top Chef: Just Desserts, pastry chef Sally Camacho of WP24 is a recognizable figure in both the culinary world and to foodies alike. But chef Sally’s accolades extend much farther than that as she placed third representing the United States at the 2012 Valrhona C3 World Competition in Madrid, a coveted international restaurant dessert competition. Additionally, Sally has competed and placed in other notable pastry competitions such as the National Pastry Team Championship and the Culinary Olympics. But what do we really know about Chef Sally? Read More


Seven L.A. chefs combine forces to protest foie gras ban lead by Executive Chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub

A controversial and prized delicacy

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck wrote a letter to restaurant owners convincing them to stop serving foie gras and S.F. restaurants that offered it were met with protesters. However, not everyone is convinced that the ban is justified. TV personality Anthony Bourdain has been adamant about his stance (watch Bourdain’s video) against the ban. With California’s ban beginning on July 1, 2012, a number of L.A. chefs are not ready to give up on the controversial and prized delicacy (goose/duck liver). Animal rights activists who see the force feeding of ducks or geese as inhumane are about to win the war. But for chefs like Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub, who operates both Orange and Pasadena locations, believe that people should learn more about foie gras. “My response to those that are against foie gras is simple. Don’t be blinded by propaganda,” Greg said in an email statement. Read More

Drink + Food

Taking on L.A.’s Skid Row with the owners of The Escondite, DTLA’s burger and craft beer hideout

With owners Erin Carnes and Brian Traynam

The Escondite, located in Skid Row adjacent to Little Tokyo in downtown L.A., blocks away from the epicenter of L.A.’s contemporary restaurant and bar culture. Co-owner Erin Carnes describes the area as, “a great location with a lot of history. It’s an old bar stemming way back to the 80′s called Al’s Bar (closed in 2001). People raged here – it was a celebrity hangout.” Her business partner Brian Traynam was emphatic about the location and endeared himself to all of its qualities, “it’s just such an awesome spot. We call it Skidrowkyo.” A nickname Brian gave to the geographical position of the restaurant and bar. Read More

Drink + Food

Los Angeles happy hour round up: DTLA, Santa Monica

Taste Terminal's Happy Hour Round Up II

We all work hard for our money (so hard for it honey) and now with the recent spike in gas prices, who can afford to eat? You can, with these discounted dishes from Taste Terminal’s list of local happy hours. Here it is, Happy Hour Round Up Part Two. Read More

Drink + Food

Art as an appetizer – secret menu at John Sedlar’s Playa and Rivera

Available now until March 31

From now until March 31, a secret menu will be available at John Sedlar‘s Playa and Rivera in L.A. to guests with proof of admission to any of Pacific Standard Time’s Exhibitions and guests who ask for the “Pacific Standard Time Secret Menu.” Joined by artist and Del Maguay Mescal’s Ron Cooper and mixologist Julian Cox, Chef John Sedlar’s Playa and Rivera will host a menu inspired by select art work from Pacific Standard Time’s collection. Read More


Your guide to Valentine’s Day, drinks and eats in L.A., part two

Here we go again

The first time around we gave you plenty of options to please your significant other on Valentine’s Day, but it seems that Los Angeles restaurants have more V-day spirit than we could cover in one guide. Here is part two. Read More

Drink + Food

Haven’s Holy Trinity: brewery, craveable cuisine, and groovy gastropub

Plus a video interview with host Jace Milstead, co-owner Wil Dee and brewmaster David Larsen

Haven Gastropub +Brewery may be new to Pasadena, but the second location of this Orange, CA establishment is hardly the new kid on the block. Balancing artfully executed fare with carefully curated craft beer, wine and cocktail selections, Haven exists somewhere between a high-quality, local-centric restaurant and relaxed gastropub. If that wasn’t enough, they will soon brew their own beers right inside the Pasadena premises, due to start serving in late February. Read More


Your guide to Valentine’s Day, drinks and eats in L.A., part one

Paint the town red or ignite the fire within

As the short February days continue to wane away, we start to consider our next big holiday. There is Labor Day, Independence Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day; even St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching. But we feel empty, like maybe we’re missing something. Then it comes like a wave of sickly, syrupy gushiness – days later we find the evidence – an empty wallet, half-burnt rose petals, and three extra pounds of chocolate-weight. Beware of the coming holiday, as it prefers to ambush its practitioners. Here is part one of our Valentine’s Day guide on where to drink and eat in L.A. to get you prepared. Read More

Drink + Food

Northern California native brings casual touch to SoCal gastropub

Introducing chef Charlie Parker of Freddy Smalls

Charlie Parker might have worked in some of the best kitchens up in Northern California (consider such places as Manresa, Ubuntu, and Plum), but he brings a decidedly casual affair to the rather sleepy area of West Los Angeles along Pico Boulevard. With David Fleisher (formerly of Seven Grand) taking care of cocktails and front-of-house, they’re pushing the gastropub envelope at Freddy Smalls, the brainchild of The Counter Burger owner Jeff Weinstein.

Jeremy Fox, Parker’s mentor, consulted early on with the menu but Parker is applying the neighborhood aesthetic of Oakland’s Plum restaurant, with a few simple, well-made pub favorites (that eschew the same-old burger/pizza/hot dog variants) in favor of market-fresh vegetables, house-made charcuterie, and dishes like the crispy pig ear open-faced sandwich. Amid the start of dinner service, we sat down with Parker and Fleisher to hear about their start in the restaurant industry. Read More


Discovering culinary possibilities presented by Food & Wine Magazine

By invite only, foodies and Buick enthusiasts attended an exclusive culinary event hosted by Buick and Food & Wine magazine on January 21 and 22 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Guests enjoyed a scheduled program glittered with test driving Buick’s latest vehicles, wine tasting with sommelier Michael Green, and exciting demos and tastings from some of the nations’ most prominent and innovative chefs, headlining with Master Chef Michael Psilakis. Read More


Inside look at chef Vicente Del Rio’s Casa Azul Cantina

Authentic Mexican cuisine on the Westside

Mexican cuisine can be enjoyed by all walks of life, from your local taco stand to elevated restaurant cuisine. Now the folks of the Westside can enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine at Casa Azul Cantina in Westwood, CA from chef and restauranteur of the FRIDA Restaurant Group, Vicente Del Rio. Learning his craft from his mother and grandmother, Chef Del Rio’s authentic and traditional Mexican cuisine rivals that which you would find in Mexico. As Vicente tells us “if you go to any part of Mexico, you can find this food there.” Read More


Napa Valley Grille’s new Executive Chef Taylor Boudreax

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

Drink + Food

Golden Road Brewing pub serving up something for everyone

Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village had their grand opening party last Sunday. To celebrate, they tapped seven new beers: Burning Bush IPA, Either Side of the Hill American strong ale, El Hefe Anejo – a tequila barrel-aged Hefeweizen, Festivus Cinnamon Bitter, Get Up Offa That Brown, Lost its Way IPA, and Rye on the Palate. Those delicious glasses of malty goodness will be joining the three taps already up – Golden Road Hefeweizen, Point the Way IPA and Schwartz Stout. Read More


StillRoom’s Executive Chef Sam Goldman: cooking confidential

Plus a video interview with Sam

Sam Goldman has been around in the restaurant business. A founding member of Kitchen Confidential and homeboy to Anthony Bourdain, he’s worked at several top restaurants in New York for a big chunk of his life until he eventually left the scene. He hasn’t cooked in a professional kitchen in almost a decade. Where’s he been? Selling meats for Prime Selection Meat and Seafood Company.

But the man is back in the kitchen at Pasadena’s new restaurant, The StillRoom Seafood Restaurant & Lounge. We had a chance to sit down with him and find out exactly what’s been going on in his life. Read More