Show 256, January 13, 2018: Conner Watts, Founder, Los Muertos Brewery, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Conner WattsSurprisingly craft beer is still a bit of a novelty in Mexico due to some odd distribution regulations. Fortunately (due to very hard work among dedicated & patient beer aficionados) these archaic regulations have been relaxed in the last few years and local craft beers can now reach restaurants and bars. In Sunny Puerto Vallarta the first craft brewery and brewpub to gain traction is the growing Los Muertos Brewery.

“For years during the proliferation of tourism in Mexican beach destinations like Puerto Vallarta the beer scene was completely dominated by smooth drinking Mexican lagers. As demonstrated by every Corona commercial ever this is great for sitting on a beach. To this day many tourists think of a “local” Mexican beers as Corona, Pacifico, or Dos Equis XX. But as a growing number of beer drinkers are pushing craft tastes into the mainstream these standard macro beers definitely leave many connoisseurs wanting more. Upon relocating full time to Puerto Vallarta, the founders of Los Muertos could not have agreed more. Driven by the thirst for flavorful varieties of beer, bringing Vallarta its first craft brewery became their dream.”

Los Muertos Brewery has become a popular destination for locals, visitors from other parts of Mexico, South America and the US, as well as American ex-pats now living in Vallarta.

Expansion is on the way. A new building a few doors away from the existing brewery restaurant has been secured. It will be expanded brewing capacity alongside a different food concept. Stay tuned…

We’ll enjoy a cold one with founder & restaurateur Conner Watts.


Show 156, January 23, 2016: Steve Dickler, Founder & Co-Owner, Chefs’ Toys

Steve Dickler of Chefs ToysWe love entrepreneurial success stories on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” You’ve probably seen Chefs’ Toys fleet of distinctive trucks navigating the freeways in Southern California. It all started in 1985 as a modest, mobile knife-sharpening business.

Today, Chefs’ Toys with 6 massive, fully-stocked warehouse stores in Southern California, is the largest full-line supplier of foodservice equipment and smallwares in the West. At any given moment millions of dollars in equipment and supplies are in stock locally and ready for delivery.

Founder Steve Dickler, a working chef by background, is our guest.


Show 156, January 23, 2016: Steve Dickler, Founder & Co-Owner, Chefs’ Toys Continues…

Steve Dickler of Chefs ToysChefs’ Toys, the leading restaurant equipment and supplies company in Southern California, has recently acquired Michael Blackman & Associates. MBA, as the company is often referred to in the foodservice space, has been operating for over 30 years and is known as one of the top restaurant kitchen designers in southern California and nationally as well. With an impressive roster of customers, MBA has received numerous awards and accolades since its founding.

“Chefs’ Toys has provided commercial kitchen design services for many years. Michael Blackman & Associates has developed an exceptional reputation in the industry”, says Steve Dickler, President of Chefs’ Toys. “With their deep expertise in kitchen and bar design, restaurant interior design, tremendous knowledge and resources for restaurant fixtures, architecture, planning and construction, the MBA team will help take Chefs’ Toys to a whole new level”.

With its acquisition of Michael Blackman and Associates, Chefs’ Toys offers full professional services including design, planning, consulting, and project management services for restaurants, bars, and commercial kitchens.


Show 98, November 22, 2014: Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours / Wine Tours Santa Ynez Valley

Eric John ReynoldsThe primo attraction in California’s charmingly rural Santa Ynez Valley is the diversity of noteworthy wineries. The wine trail there includes Los Alamos, Buellton, Solvang, Ballard, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez. How do you navigate the Valley? The “SoCal Restaurant Show” recently left that in the expert hands of Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours, based right there.

All of their accommodating hosts have Level One sommelier training and are treated as VIPs at the carefully selected wineries included on the tour. As a Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours guest you are guaranteed a warm welcome at each of the four carefully selected winery stops. A picnic lunch is part of excursion and you get picked up at your hotel. Some of their personable hosts have actually managed winery tasting rooms.

“Just sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty and wonderful boutique wineries that Santa Barbara wine country has to offer.”

We’ll meet the proprietor and founder, Eric John Reynolds.


Show 79, July 12, 2014: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame

Open Sesame GrillOpen Sesame, a contemporary Lebanese restaurant serving authentic cuisine, recently opened its doors at 7458 Beverly Blvd. in the space that was the original Hatfield’s. The original Open Sesame launched in Belmont Shore in 1999 and has expanded three times in that location since then. There are still waits at lunch. It’s a true destination.

The restaurant offers an extensive menu, including Lunch Specials Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m. There are Weekend Specials on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The scratch kitchen features an array of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes along with beef, lamb and chicken specialties. Beverly Blvd. has a full bar.

Founder and Owner Ali Koblessi is our guest,