Show 223, May 13, 2017: Remembering Harry & Marilyn Lewis’ The Hamburger Hamlet

Vintagfe Sunset Strip Hamburger Hamlet“The Better Burger” is all the buzz right now on restaurant menus but it’s not actually a new innovation. It started in Los Angeles in 1950 on The Sunset Strip with the founding of Harry & Marilyn Lewis’s Hamburger Hamlet.

By the time the Lewis’ sold the prominent enterprise in 1987 they were some 30 very busy company-owned units in California, Arizona, Chicago and the Washington, D.C. area.

The Hamlets were so popular at their height that in Beverly Hills (where the Lewis’ lived) there was a flagship Hamburger Hamlet on N. Bedford Dr. and another on S. Beverly Drive just below Wilshire within a short walk of each other. The popular Sunset Strip location (near the original Hamlet) was less than a mile away!

Marilyn passed away on May 3rd and we reminisce about the pioneering legacy of Hamburger Hamlet – “Known for Simply Marvelous Food & Drink.”

 

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Show 209, February 4, 2017: John Kunkel, 50 Eggs, Inc & Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, The Venetian, Las Vegas

John KunkelJohn Kunkel’s (50 Eggs, Inc.) lauded Yardbird Southern Table & Bar initially roosted at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas in January of 2015. The original is in Miami. The motto is “Southern from Scratch,” a modern take on Southern fare.

John revealed to us exclusively that Yardbird Southern Table & Bar will launch a new location in Beverly Hills before year’s end.

Founded by John Kunkel, 50 Eggs, Inc. is a multi-faceted, full-service culinary and hospitality firm focused on developing cutting-edge brands with unparalleled dining experiences. Named Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s “Coolest Multi-Concept Companies in the Land”, 50 Eggs, Inc. owns and operates the James Beard-nominated and award winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami and Las Vegas, Swine Southern Table & Bar in Miami, and Spring Chicken in South Beach, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, and the Miami International Airport.

50 Eggs, Inc. will open its first international location in 2017, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. The brand’s first Latin concept, CHICA, will debut at the Venetian Las Vegas in 2017 (in the former db Brasserie space). The menu is from acclaimed chef, Lorena Garcia.

John is here with all the details.

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Show 203, December 24, 2016: Lawry’s Beef Bowl with College Football Historian Todd Erickson & Tim Tessalone, Sports Information Director, USC

Road to the Rose Bowl 50 Years of Lawry's Beef BowlThere is a great tradition associated with the annual Rose Bowl Game and it’s not held in Pasadena. It’s the iconic Lawry’s Beef Bowl, now in its 61st year, hosted at Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. The gridiron guests this year (on separate nights) are the USC Trojans and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

USC will be celebrating their 22nd appearance in Lawry’s Beef Bowl on December 29th, a Beef Bowl record for number of appearances!

The Tournament of Roses – Lawry’s partnership was the first of its kind in college football. It claims the distinction of being the longest running sponsor partnership in bowl game history.

Football Historian Todd Erickson wrote the book on Lawry’s Beef Bowl (Road To The Rose Bowl: 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl) and is our guest along with long-time USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone.

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Show 189, September 17, 2016: Kyle Meyer, Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Great Wines of The Andes

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeWine Exchange in Santa Ana has partnered with wine connoisseur James Suckling to bring the guest Great Wines of the Andes. This wine tasting extravaganza on September 30 showcases 50 of the top wineries from Argentina and Chile at the esteemed Mr. C Restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Producers will show their top two wines, all selected and rated by internationally acclaimed wine critic James Suckling with 90 points or more.

Join James Suckling for this walk-around tasting featuring a delicious selection of cheese, charcutiere and empanadas, as well as a cool ambience with music from award-winning recording artist Surhan Sidhu, formerly of Empire of the Sun and an impressive DJ in his own right. He is flying-in from Australia for the event and will deliver “fun Cuban funk and regional rarities,” as he puts it.

Tickets include a free Lalique events glass – a $75 value – plus a complete guidebook to the event and to this year’s top wines from the Andes. James tasted close to 2,000 wines from Chile and Argentina to curate the event and the guide.

Wine Exchange’s Kyle Meyer (Great Wines of the Andes Co-Host) proudly pulls the cork for us on this one.

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Show 164, March 19, 2016: Chef de Cuisine David Hands & Katie Hagan-Whelchel, Executive Sous Chef, Bouchon Beverly Hills Part One

David HandsIn November 2009, Chef Thomas Keller returned to Southern California after almost 20 years to bring his renowned Bouchon Bistro cuisine from Yountville to the City of Beverly Hills. Chef Keller’s accomplished culinary team also has a sense of humor. Chef Keller’s casual restaurant in Yountville, Ad Hoc, is known for their fried chicken. By guest demand Monday nights at Bouchon Beverly Hills are now Ad Hoc Fried Chicken nights.

The restaurant, located just two blocks from the famed Rodeo Drive and situated adjacent to the beautiful Beverly Canon Gardens, offers guests both the grandeur of a soaring interior space designed by the award-winning firm of Adam D. Tihany or the tranquility of an urban oasis with its second floor terrace overlooking the gardens. Like Chef Keller’s earlier incarnations of classic French dining, Bouchon Bistro features a classic mosaic floor, a magnificent pewter bar, antique light fixtures and hand-painted murals by renowned French artist Paulin Paris throughout the restaurant.

Chef de Cuisine David Hands and Executive Sous Chef Katie Hagan-Whelchel (ex-Ad Hoc) join us for a look behind-the-scenes.

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Show 164, March 19, 2016: Chef de Cuisine David Hands & Katie Hagan-Whelchel, Executive Sous Chef, Bouchon Beverly Hills Part Two

Katie HaganWhelchelBouchon’s quintessential bistro fare changes with the seasons but though their presentation may change, some of Chef Keller’s favorite dishes remain as fixtures on the menu throughout the year: roast chicken, steak frites, croque madame, pot de crème and lemon tart as well as an extensive raw bar.

In addition to a comprehensive wine list and range of hand-crafted cocktails, Bouchon Bistro presents a unique “Vin de Carafe” program that highlights one-of-a-kind wines from some of southern California’s outstanding wine producers.

Monday nights, by popular demand, are now ad hoc Fried Chicken nights. The chicken is brined for 12 hours in an herb-lemon brine.

The incredible sides like braised collard greens and cornbread with honey butter change with the seasons. Chef Katie is from the South and was the Chef de Cuisine at ad hoc in Yountville where the recipe originated so the signature Buttermilk Fried Chicken is a preparation that’s second nature to her. On Monday nights in addition to table service a lot of fried chicken leaves the restaurant in special packaging “To-Go.”

For the last three years Bouchon has been part of the high profile Vanity Fair Post Oscar bash in Beverly Hills. Of all the edibles Bouchon serves at the exclusive, by-invitation-only affair the ad hoc Buttermilk Fried Chicken is the single most popular.

Chef de Cuisine David Hands and Executive Sous Chef Katie Hagan-Whelchel (ex-Ad Hoc) continue with us for a deeper look behind-the-scenes.

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Show 154, January 9, 2016: Executive Chef Michael Hung, Viviane Restaurant, Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills

Michael Hung“Welcome to Viviane Restaurant, a collaboration between Bombet Hospitality Group and Proper Hospitality, located in the iconic Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills. Viviane features award-winning chef Michael Hung’s (Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurant) modern California interpretation of classic European and American cuisine.

Chef Michael’s menu is paired with a curated wine list of boutique vineyards and 1950’s inspired seasonal cocktails. Join us daily for lunch and dinner, weekdays for breakfast, and weekends for brunch. Experience food, drink, and festivity indoors or poolside in our Kelly Wearstler-designed space, a mid-century modern oasis sequestered away from the hurried pace of Los Angeles.”

“We love classic American and European cuisine. Dishes as simple as a properly roasted chicken or decadent as lobster cloaked in cognac and cream speak to us. At Viviane, we revive these flavors with a sense of California freshness. We present them to you with care. We hope a conversation begins with you.”

Chef Hung and Viviane Restaurant go out of their way to create special menus (with a sense of humor) for the Holidays. Christmas Day was a tribute to the feature film, “A Christmas Story,” and highlighted Chef Michael’s take on dinner at Chop Suey Palace. Check into their upcoming Valentine’s Day menu for added inspiration.

Tucked in a secluded residential neighborhood adjacent to Los Angeles’ most famous restaurants, shopping and cultural attractions, Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills was originally built in 1949 as the Beverly Carlton. Once a home-away-from-home for mid-century celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the hotel got a second life and its current name when it was revamped by The Kor Group and Kelly Wearstler Interior Designs in 1999. Today, the property comprises three unique structures – the Olympic Building, Beverly Tower and Cañon Building – and offers 84 guestrooms, a full-service wellness studio, an hourglass pool and patio with outdoor dining.

Chef Michael Hung (ex-Faith & Flower) is our guest.

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Show 153, January 2, 2016: Elika Sadeghi, ESPNU’s “College Football Daily” – Post Game on Lawry’s Beef Bowl

Elika SadeghiThe 60th Lawry’s Beef Bowl is in the record books. The 2 collegiate gridiron competitors this year were The University of Iowa and Stanford University. It’s staged over two nights at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills with great red carpet fanfare. The 98th Rose Queen (Queen Erika Winter) and her royal court are escorted into the dining room on the arms of uniformed California Highway Patrolmen. “KTLA Morning News” weather guy, Mark Kriski was the MC.

ESPNU personality, Elika Sadeghi (College Football Daily), joins us with her opinionated take on Lawry’s Beef Bowl. She was there on the sidelines for this celebrated pre-Rose Bowl game tradition. She even has a time-lapse video of her meal posted on YouTube.

It’s not a competition per se but rumor has it that the University of Iowa edged out Stanford University in the dining room. Different outcome, of course, on the field for the Rose Bowl Game. Ouch…! Elika also shares some musings on the results of The Rose Bowl.

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Show 152, December 26, 2015: Lawry’s Beef Bowl – a 60 Year Tradition

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Rose-Bowl-Years-Lawrys/dp/1596370343The Rose Bowl arguably has the richest history of all the college bowl games. It is affectionately known as “The Granddaddy of Them All” for good reason. Celebrating its 60th year as part of The Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl Game is the famous Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated pre-game bowl tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl bound team for their gridiron achievements. This year’s events feature the University of Iowa and Stanford University.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl was the inspired creation of Richard N. Frank, Chairman of Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. and 2005 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Inductee. Mr. Frank passed away earlier this year. He was a huge college football fan attending his first Rose Bowl in 1931. Over the many years since he only missed attending a mere handful of games.

Our guests are the long time organizer (24 years) of the two companion events for Lawry’s, Colleen Donatucci, and Todd Erickson, the author of Road to the Rose Bowl – 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl. Bring on the silver cart and the carvers…

 

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Show 126, June 13, 2015: Executive Chef and Restaurateur Giacomino Drago

Giacomino DragoBeverly Hills is one of the toughest, and most unforgiving, markets for sophisticated dining in Los Angeles County. It’s hard to imagine thinking about quality Italian cuisine in Beverly Hills without mentioning il Pastaio, the celebrated Italian restaurant in the city’s center. For 21 years now, il Pastaio has served as an important gathering spot for locals as well as a place for celebrities to be seen. And for all of these years, one man has run the kitchen with an extraordinary eye for detail : Owner/Chef Giacomino Drago.

In Beverly Hills with its fickle clientele, it’s never easy to keep patrons happy. That Giacomino has consistently pleased his demanding customers for over two decades is a feat to be lauded. It’s clear something special is happening in the kitchen. Daily fresh-made pastas, traditional risottos, salads with Italian staples like artichokes, lentils and aged Parmesean, and entrees, including whole Branzino prepared simply with lemon, butter and capers. These are just a few of the fresh flavors that emerge from Giacomino’s kitchen.

Building upon the immediate success of il Pastaio, Giacomino opened the charming boutique trattoria Piccolo Paradiso in Beverly Hills. He also founded Panzanella in Sherman Oaks, il Segreto in the Bel Air hills, Via Alloro and il Buco, both in Beverly Hills, and Celestinio in Pasadena. In addition, Giacomino owns two fine dining sushi restaurants, SHU Sushi House Unico just a few doors away from his il Segreto in Bel Air, and Yojisan, a unique concept marrying Japanese and Italian cuisines into one. Here, albacore sashimi meets olive oil and persimmon for flavors never before considered. Taste the food you’ll agree it’s delicious.

Chef Giacomino is our guest.

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