Monthly Archives: October 2011

Dined & Dished Dining Food Food & Entertaining Fun Restaurants

Dined & Dished: Milk – Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

In a fast paced city like LA, the years go by fast and the days go by even faster. So much so, that it gets to a point where your thoughts and memories begin to blur and bleed into one another. In a fast paced city like LA, we’re quick to grow up and once we’re grown, we realize that we should’ve never wished it upon ourselves to begin with. Because before you know it, you’re no longer playing Tour of Duty or MacGyver with your brother in your backyard anymore. Instead you’re scheduling meetings and meeting deadlines, all the while planning for the rest of your life.

However, it’s days like today – days like Halloween – where we’re all reminded that, behind our suits and our titles, our Louboutin stilettos and our crazy schedules, everyone of us were all kids once. And more often than naught, that kid is vying to come out. Luckily for us, the folks at Milk seem to truly understand and empathize with this duality dilemma by offering grown up versions of the childhood favorite ooey-gooey, get-it-all-over-my-hands-and-face ice cream sandwich. Sandwiching a baseball sized scoop of homemade ice cream between two dessert-plate-sized, freshly baked French macaron cookies, Milk manages to cater to our childhood wishes while satiating our adult palate and eye for design with flavors such as red velvet, Thai ice tea, and salted caramel, that are then coated with thick icing to create a mod masterpiece that is almost too beautiful to eat…Almost.

It’s places like Milk that make us realize that maybe growing up isn’t so bad. Because after all, although kids can want ice cream for breakfast, kids at heart can actually have it. So in the wise words of the late Steve Jobs, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

MILK
7290 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.939.6455

Social Scene: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival – Success is Sweet

My fan shot with Chef Paul Prudhomme

There’s something about the west that compels people to leave loved ones, forsake all reason, throw caution to the wind and relinquish all claims to a sense of security in exchange for the small chance of achieving something bigger and possibly, a lot brighter. Behind every miner who searched for gold, every pioneer looking to score some land, and every artist and performer waiting to be discovered is the same belief that their lives were meant for something different. Their lives were meant for extraordinary success. And if you’ve ever been to LA, you’d probably believe the same thing.

Rock Shrimp Tempura with Creamy Spicy Yuzu Sauce by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu

It seems like behind every pair of Ray Ban aviators you come across, lives a chart topping indie pop artist, a 21 year old fashion blogger whose opinion matters more than all of the editors at Vogue combined, a reality tv star who’s making a fortune off of her well endowed money maker, a self made millionaire who’s still an undergrad, an actor turned tech investor, and in our case, an Iron Chef.

Chef Masaharu Morimoto‘s Station being bombarded by fans

And nowhere was this made more evident than last week’s Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival where wining and dining’s finest gathered together to raise money for St. Vincent’s Meals and Wheels. It was overflowing with so much talent that the venue could barely contain all of the positive energy that was being exuded by all the celebrity chefs, boutique wineries, musicians, photographers and guests. And that’s when it dawned on me. The stories of success in this city are as varied as they are common but the path usually remains the same.

Kobe Beef by Chef Wolfgang Puck of Spago

Those who achieve the greatest successes in life are the ones who know who they are, what they love to do, and have enough faith in themselves to do it. They are the eternal optimists who can’t help but see the brighter side of things and not let things get them down. Even when things are not going as planned, they see the silver lining and keep going. Those who are the most successful in this town, or any town for that matter, are those that realize that the path to success is success. And I, my friend, will definitely drink to that!

Chef Wolfgang Puck pouring yours truly a glass of wine
Trio of Pork Belly Skewer with Miniature Lo-Mai-Gai & Sunomono Salad by Chef Wofgang Puck of Spago
Nobu Style Sashimi Tacos with Tuna & Salmon by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu
Sushi Chefs of Nobu
Pork Belly Skewer by Chef Wolfgang Puck of Spago
Fresh Whole Ahi Tuna at Chef Sam Choy‘s Station
Ahi Tuna Tartare by Chef Sam Chow of Kai Lanai
My favorite dish of the evening: Wild Mushroom Ragu with Foie Gras Foam & Duck Crackling by Chef Michael Ginor of Lola Restaurant, Hudson Valley Foie Gras
My other favorite dish of the evening: Maple Glazed Pork Belly & Butternut Squash Purée by Chef Richard Reddington of Redd
Bouchon‘s Seafood Ice Serving Sculpture
Seafood Spread of freshly Shucked Oysters, Mussels, Crab Claws & Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail by Bouchon
Pot Roast Sliders with Horseradish Creme by Chef Suzanne Tracht of Jar
Steamed Sea Bass with Coconut Basmati Rice, Mushrooms & Mango Salsa by Chef Floyd Cardoz of North End Grill
Seared Shrimp, Cajun Sauce with Smoked Ham, Okra, Green Chile Grits by Chef Diego Velasco of Memphis Cafe
Goats Milk Yogurt Custard with Shiso and Plum Blossoms by Chef Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant At Meadowood
Maine Lobster and Chestnut Veloutè by Chef Joachim Splichal of Patina
Salmon Sashimi Croquette by Chef Nathan Eckhaus of South Gate
Pâté Trio & Ribs by Osteria Mozza
Cheese Gnovioli w/Wild Mushrooms & Sage Brown Butter by Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino
Train performing live just for us!
The Red Carpet. Dress: BCBG. Shoes: BCBG. Purse: Louis Vuitton. Jewelry: Mei Elizabeth
My empty tasting glasses by the end of the night
A few of many wines that I tasted & loved but I was only sober enough to remember to photograph the following:

Dined & Dished Dining Food Food & Entertaining Fun Restaurants

Dined & Dished: Kristy’s Wood Oven & Wine Bar – Peace. Love. Malibu.

There is definitely something to be said about what crisp California ocean breeze does to a person after excessive exposure to the world of the virtually mundane. (ie: newsfeeds of other people’s babies, beers and bridal showers, videos of mindless stunts that effortlessly manage to stunt your own mental growth, and truncated conversations consisting only of hash-tags, at-signs, abbreviations and acronyms. #FML @danieltosh) I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been the perpetrator of an Instagram Lomo-fi filtered image or two of my gelato, as well as my newborn niece, Morgan. But that doesn’t change the fact that once the cool salt hits my senses and my toes sink into the warm sand that is Malibu, I am all but ready to don my rose colored glasses and give it all up for a simpler life of peace and love.*

And that’s what Kristy’s, a Wood Oven and Wine Bar overlooking Zuma Beach, is all about. Natural ingredients combined with love to make simple familiar dishes such as their Wild Mushroom Arancinis that are, harmoniously both, humble and refined, sensuous and comforting, rich yet delicate, and served with a romantic ocean view on the side. It’s little gems like these that remind me that balance of the mind, body and soul is obtainable even in this city of ever-changing relationships, careers and status updates. Correction: especially in this city of ever-changing relationships, careers and status updates.

It’s about carving out a little bit of simple and a little bit of joy in spite of a world filled with a whole lot of crazy, and keeping it in a place that is easily accessible just for you. And that’s the beauty of it all. You don’t have to go far to find what you’re looking for and you don’t have to give up everything to get it. In fact, in Malibu, you can sit back, relax, have your coconut cream cake and eat it too…and with just enough reception to check an email or two.

*give up my electronic leashes; not my newborn niece…or gelato, for that matter.

Kristy’s Wood Oven + Wine Bar
Malibu Country Inn, The Collection Restaurant:
6506 Westward Beach Road
Malibu, CA 90265
310.457.2602

Dined & Dished Dining Food Food & Entertaining Fun Restaurants

Dined & Dished: Piccolo – A Little Bit of Venice in Venice Beach

Having studied abroad in Italy during an era that only existed in, what feels like a Diane Lane movie, I came back to the States on the eternal pursuit to find, not just delicious Italian food but authentic Italian food. The kind that is so incomprehensibly magnifico that at first whiff, it takes you back to the simple, romantic, it’s-so-intimate-you’re-bumping-chairs-and-rubbing-elbows-with-your-neighbor kind of trattoria. One that exists only within the cobblestoned medieval city center of a town like Siena. That was what I was looking for here in the concrete jungle that is LA. And to my surprise, after much searching, that is exactly what I found.

Tronchetto – Imported Mascarpone and fresh banana semi-iced-cream

After my six year long quest that spanned across Beverly Hills to Santa Monica, from Manhattan Beach to West Hollywood, for the most titillating and tantalizing pappardelle di cinghiale, I finally came across the one that screamed home to me and resulted in me coming to a screeching halt. Maybe it was because the restaurant was literally in my backyard, nestled so perfectly upon the pothole laden back alleys of Dudley Avenue. Maybe it was because all signs pointed to yes as its lights shimmered, right there, tucked behind some mediocre bar alongside the “other Venice”, Venice Beach, where I run every morning. Or maybe it was simply because with every bite that I took of their handmade, blueberry tagliatelle with wild boar ragú, I couldn’t help but be taken back to a time and a place that I remember with such joy and happiness. Whatever it was, all I knew was that they had me hooked and I wanted more of whatever it was that they were pushing. And just like anything else worth longing for, this restaurant is clever in its subtlety. It’s delightfully understated. It’s casually impeccable. It’s my home away from home. It’s Piccolo.

Pane: freshly baked squid ink rolls, olive focaccia, breadsticks, pane
Riccióla e Bufala – seared yellowtail, thyme-sicilian oil, mozzarella di bufala, italian ponzu

Tagliatelle al Ragú di Cinghiale – blueberry tagliatelle with homemade wild boar ragu
Germano Reale al Miele Tartufato – breast of mallard (wild duck) pan-seared, truffled-honey sauce

Bignole – pastry puffs filled with Belgian Gianduja chocolate cream

Tronchetto – Imported Mascarpone and fresh banana semi-iced-cream

Piccolo
5 Dudley Avenue
Venice Beach CA 90291
310.314.3222