Show 247, November 11, 2017: Executive Chef Todd Sicolo, InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel

Todd SicoloExecutive Chef Todd Sicolo supervises all of the varied dining options at the new InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel at Wilshire Grand with 889 rooms. This is all located on the top floors of the tallest building West of Chicago. Dining options range from Spire 73, a rooftop lounge with breathtaking views, to La Boucherie on 71, an elegant steakhouse with a French accent.

The dining options :
-Spire 73 – Perched atop InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown’s 73rd floor is Spire 73, the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere. This rooftop lounge offers breathtaking views of the entire City, chic fire pits, signature cocktails and a wide selection of whiskey. Culinary expressions are on the menu rivaling the view.

-La Boucherie on 71 – An elegant steakhouse with a French accent, featuring discreet, intimate private dining and VIP booths with floor to ceiling privacy screens that offer panoramic views of the L.A. skyline to accommodate discerning guests.

-Lobby Lounge – Located on the 70th floor of the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, the Lobby Lounge offers guests an upscale lounge experience with a vodka bar at night, serving light snacks, burgers and sandwiches.

-Dekkadance – Located on the 69th floor, it offers a unique farm-to-fork international marketplace. It’s a well-thought-out, contemporary adaptation of the traditional buffet. Dekkadance is an eclectic dining experience for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner featuring interactive cooking stations where guests can consult the chefs and watch their selection being prepared. On the expansive menu are Mediterranean style pizzas, paninis and an impressive array of tempting desserts.

-Sora – Sora is an intimate sushi and omakase restaurant offering a refined menu of fresh cut sushi and prepared dishes presented on the unusual sky view conveyor belt. Also located on the 69th floor, Sora features an extensive selection of the finest Japanese whiskies.

Chef Todd Sicolo is our guest.


Show 229, June 24, 2017: Executive Chef / Proprietor Steve Samson, Rossoblu, City Market South

Steve Samson of SottoChef Steve Samson is well-known to lovers of regional Italian cuisine in Southern California. He first came into local prominence as the Executive Chef at Piero Selvaggio’s classic Valentino in Santa Monica. From there he was the opening chef at Pizzeria Ortica in South Coast Plaza. Next was branching out with his own establishment, Sotto, located near Century City. The distinctive wood-burning pizza oven there was imported from Italy and assembled inside the restaurant by skilled Italian artisans.

His newest project with his wife, Dina, is the ambitious Rossoblu in the emerging City Market South development in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles. The complex of buildings was the first wholesale produce market in Los Angeles. The menu is influenced by Chef Steve’s summers in Bologna and Emilia- Romagna while he was growing up.

We’ll pull Chef Steve away from his wood-fired grill in the open kitchen for a full briefing.


Show 168, April 23, 2016: Sean Brennan, CEO & Co-Founder, The Pie Hole, Los Angeles & Pasadena

Sean Brennan and the Pie HoleSince The Pie Hole launched in The Arts District of Downtown L.A. in 2011 it’s been a word-of-mouth and social media sensation. The Pie Hole offers fresh baked sweet pie by the slice, individual savory pies, and their own premium coffee. Soon joining the second location in Pasadena will be cafes in Old Town Orange and Hollywood. All outlets are, unusually, located in distinctive, historic buildings.

“The Pie Hole is a family run organization hatched out of the dreams of a mother and son, Becky Grasley and Matthew Heffner who long dreamed of opening a place where they can share their family secret: pie is love. They roped Sean Brennan in to be their business partner and literally tied Matty’s fiancé, Lindsay Hollister, to the cash register and set out to leverage every favor and free hand to build what is now The Pie Hole (thanks friends!)”

“Matty and Becky hold the largest pie recipe book you have ever laid eyes on, and is in a safety deposit box in Switzerland. Matty learned pie-making as a youngster and part of the family tradition but is a tradesman at heart: there is nothing he can’t build from scratch. He is a science fiction nerd, just ask to see his newest ink. Sean is lactose intolerant and likes pie partly because it isn’t a cupcake but mostly because it has an authentic story and is what he calls ‘real food’.”

“Sean has been in the service industry for over a hundred years as a bar tender, wine director, consultant, and general manager, and is passionate about food, fine wine, hip hop, and the Green Bay Packers. We all love to chat, come on in and say hi!”

“The process of opening an LA’s first authentic pie shop was a daunting one, with thousands of hours of building, testing pie, tasting coffee, and bringing together an amazing team to provide the greatest possible pie experience known to man. We are fun, don’t take ourselves too seriously (the pie and coffee is very serious), and love to have a chat with all our customers, who inevitably become regulars.”

Co-owner Sean Brennan joins us with his piping hot, out-of-the-oven recipe for sweet success.


Show 160, February 20, 2016: Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas

Mary Sue MillikenLeave it to our local celebrity chefs and Food Network favorites, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, to have some real fun with Leap Day on February 29th at Border Grill Downtown Los Angeles. For one night only on Leap Day, Mary Sue’s and Susan’s fondly remembered CITY will return for an encore.

“One giant leap for restaurateurs. The year was 1981 when two newly minted chefs named Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger opened a 39-seat restaurant off Melrose Avenue with a worldview that would catapult their careers – CITY. Now 35 years later, the “Too Hot Tamales” are throwing it back to host the return of CITY Night on Leap Day, Monday, February 29th at 6:00 p.m.”

“For one night Border Grill Downtown Los Angeles warps to the 1980’s with a prix-fixe selection from the CITY menu repertoire that introduced Los Angeles eaters to radical flavors and signature dishes from Thailand, India, Italy, France and Greece with French-inspired technique. Nostalgic new wave diners and the uninitiated curious can enjoy the limited engagement at $125 per person.”

Mary Sue Milliken takes us back to the beginning in 1981.


Show 160, February 20, 2016: Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas Continues…

Mary Sue MillikenLeave it to our local celebrity chefs and Food Network favorites, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, to have some real fun with Leap Day on February 29th at Border Grill Downtown Los Angeles. For one night only on Leap Day, Mary Sue’s and Susan’s fondly remembered CITY will return for an encore.

James Beard Award-winner Mary Sue Milliken is well-know to the audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She is a pioneer in Food TV and also the co-founder and co-executive chef of the hugely successful Border Grill restaurants (and truck) in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Santa Monica. She is also an active volunteer for The James Beard Foundation in her prominent position on the Board of Trustees as a Board Member.

The 10th Annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit is coming up the Weekend of April 29th. As they have been for each previous year Mary Sue and Susan are involved in a lot of the culinary events, including a Tequila tasting dinner at Border Grill in the Forum Shops on Saturday, April 30th.

For the 2nd year Mary Sue Milliken is riding in the Chefs Cycle California event to raise funds for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry effort. Last year her participation raised $14,000 and the goal for 2016 is $20,000. Go Mary Sue…!



Show 159, February 13, 2016: Executive Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser, Fritzi at Arts District Brewing Co.

Neal FraserChef Neal Fraser is well-known to Angelenos for BLD, Fritzi Dog at the Original Farmers Market and Redbird at Vibiana Events Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Chef Neal and the Vibiana Events Center were even part of the recent Beefsteak episode of Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Fritzi is now Downtown, too, sharing space in The Arts District with the Arts District Brewing Co. It’s lunch and dinner for elevated pub-grub. It’s early in the going but the wood- fired rotisserie chicken and the potato waffle are already signature menu items. Nothing on the menu is over $19.

“The industrial chic restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and handcrafted cocktails from its full bar, which is stocked with bubbles, wines, brews from the Arts District Brewing Co., and Ketel One pours. With an occupancy of 60 diners, Fritzi is a seamless addition to L.A.’s historic arts district with its modern wood and metal elements and intimate atmosphere.”

“Fritzi’s menu features handcrafted epic dishes and small plates such as Charred Brussels Sprout, Forbidden Rice & Quinoa Salad, Spit Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Shrimp Balls, Fritzi Burger, Wood Fried Rotisserie Half Chicken, Steak Frites, Santa Barbara White Fish, and more, with Fries, Tots, and Potato Waffle to accompany.”

Chef Neal Fraser joins us with the 411 on Fritzi.


Show 156, January 23, 2016: Executive Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Partner, Otium, Downtown Los Angeles

Timothy HollingsworthShortly after leaving his post as Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry in 2013, Chef Timothy Hollingsworth moved to Los Angeles and opened Barrel & Ashes in Studio City in 2014. It’s an updated take on traditional BBQ that pays homage to the food of Hollingsworth’s youth growing up in Texas.

Late last month he debuted his first solo project, Otium. Located on Grand Ave. adjacent to The Broad – L.A.’s New Contemporary Art Museum in the Historic Bunker Hill neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, Otium strips away the formalities of fine dining while focusing on quality food and service. Chef Tim is our guest.

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s 13- year history in Napa Valley, blended with his present roots as an Angeleno living in downtown Los Angeles, sets the stage for an environment of sophisticated rusticity with highly eclectic, vibrant, and seasonal flavors.

While working at The French Laundry under Chef Thomas Keller in 2008, Hollingsworth competed in the Bocuse d’Or USA, where he was awarded the opportunity to represent the United States at the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest—the biennial global cooking competition first envisioned in 1987 by revered French chef Paul Bocuse.

Hollingsworth subsequently completed a rigorous training process, during which he worked with some of the industry’s most influential figures. In early 2009, Hollingsworth traveled to Lyon, France to compete in the prestigious event, where he placed sixth out of 24 prominent chef teams from around the world.

In his current role and first solo project at Otium, he looks to be a mentor to the next generation of aspiring chefs. Hollingsworth has been awarded Rising Star Chef Award from The San Francisco Chronicle as well as the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award presented by the James Beard Foundation.


Show 156, January 23, 2016: Executive Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Partner, Otium, Downtown Los Angeles Continues…

Timothy HollingsworthOtium is a contemporary restaurant that draws from the rich culinary heritage of Chef Timothy Hollingsworth. It is designed to be a social restaurant with an open kitchen merging indoor and outdoor spaces. The restaurant’s name, Otium, has its roots in Latin, a word that is meant to emphasize a place where time can be spent on leisurely social activities.

Adjacent to one of Los Angeles’ most important cultural corridors — Grand Avenue — and next to its newest, most vibrant addition, the contemporary art museum, The Broad, Otium strips away the rigid formalities of dining while focusing on the quality of food, warm service, and relaxed casual ambience, paralleling the true essence of its name. The restaurant draws inspiration from the 100-year-old olive trees planted in The Broad’s adjacent Plaza by utilizing rustic cooking with wood fire and sustainable ingredients grown in the garden of the restaurant’s mezzanine.

“Walk through the beautiful Plaza that sits between Otium and The Broad. Face Otium’s front patio. Walk left towards our far exterior wall. Turn your head right. Admire. Yes, THAT IS a Damien Hirst mural (“Isolated Elements”) adorning the outside of the restaurant.”

Opening next door to the Broad presents many exciting opportunities for Otium to identify itself first and foremost as a place for artistic expression in all its forms, and this has given me an amazing blank canvas to craft a very unique and exciting restaurant for Los Angeles,” –Timothy Hollingsworth

I’ve always been a great admirer of Damien Hirst’s work, so we were thrilled when we had the opportunity to include a mural of his as part of the restaurant’s design.” -Timothy Hollingsworth


Show 153, January 2, 2016: MOTAC’s Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonOur thirsty friends at The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) are ringing in the New Year with an upcoming evening program at Greenbar Craft Distillery in Downtown Los Angeles, American Spirits New & Old: From Applejack to Prickly Pear on Tuesday, January 12th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Admission includes gourmet appetizers.

The American “can do” attitude has held sway for as long as the country has been settled. This is particularly true of our ability to press indigenous products into service as…booze. From the apples historically employed in applejack to the flourishing rye crops used in making whiskey, enterprising Americans know how to distill. Today, with the craft cocktail renaissance in full swing, we are once again exploring new, and rediscovering defunct, spirits, from modern takes on gin to prickly pear liqueur.

Leading the spirited evening is Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Senior Editor at CHILLED Magazine and co-author of The 12 Bottle Bar who is our guest.


Show 131, July 18, 2015: Marnie Clarke, Co-Founder, Cheese Cave, Claremont

Marnie ClarkeCheese Cave is a full-service, cut-to-order cheese shop in Claremont, California. It’s probably the finest in the Inland Empire and was founded in 2010. It’s proudly family-owned and operated by two sisters. Their Family has been in the dairy business for generations. You can also find boutique wines, handmade local beers, artisan salumi, chocolates, honey, olives, and crackers. Cheese Cave also creates custom cheese platters for your party!

Sisters Marnie and Lydia Clarke have created many things inside The Cheese Cave; architecture, passion, information, advocates, and a beautifully curated selection of the most treasured cheeses from around the world. Give yourself the opportunity of discovering a cheese that has remained unchanged for generations.

The art of pairing cheese with beer and wine was discussed. The consensus is that craft beer is a bit easier to match with various different cheese types. Wine can be a bit more challenging.

DTLA CHEESE in the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles is the more recent, sister operation. They also serve food there.

Co-Founder Marnie Clarke is with us.