Show 297, November 10, 2018: Winemaker Anthony King, General Manager, The Carlton Winemakers Studio, Willamette Valley

Anthony KingLocated in the heart of the Willamette Valley in the charming wine-village of Carlton, the Carlton Winemakers Studio is a cooperative winery where numerous winemakers (currently 15) craft premium Oregon wines in one shared space. It has a storied history as a home and launchpad for some of the most groundbreaking wines in the Pacific Northwest.

It was the vision of its founding partners, Eric Hamacher (Hamacher Wines,) Luisa Ponzi (Ponzi Vineyards,) and Ned & Kristen Lumpkin (Lazy River Vineyard) to provide a location for high-quality winemaking in an efficient, economical and highly collaborative environment.

Guests can visit their state-of-the-art tasting room where you can taste (and buy) a representative sampling of the Carlton Winemakers Studio wines and learn about the unique and charming stories behind each label.

GM Anthony King came to the Carlton Winemakers Studio in 2015, after eight years as winemaker at Lemelson Vineyards, with the express intent to continue to learn his craft. “The Studio offers a rare opportunity to continue to challenge your own assumptions, see fruit from across the Valley and beyond, and work alongside some of the best winemakers in the world.” he explains.

“Ratio is not intended for growth. It is small and will continue to remain so. It is a conduit for King’s ongoing attempt to understand and hone his ability to express the place and make wines that are both individual and worthy of praise within the context of wines from anywhere in the world.”

Winemaker Anthony King (Ratio:Wines) is also the General Manager for Carlton. He pulls the cork for us.


Show 292, September 29, 2018: Philippe the Original’s 110th Anniversary Celebration

Richard Binder2018 marks a major milestone for both Philippe the Original in Downtown Los Angeles and its famous French Dip Sandwich. The classic French Dip will celebrate its centennial and the restaurant will celebrate 110 years in business. There’s an epic Monday, October 1st celebration planned, including $1.10 French Dips, live entertainment, the USC Trojan Marching Band and a whole lot more.

Today, Philippe’s boasts over 75 employees, serves about 20,000 sandwiches per week, more when the Dodgers are in town, and prepares about 100 gallons of its famous Hot Mustard (no horseradish used) every week. Unusually, the company has some employees who have been with the restaurant for over 30 years.

The Binder / Martin family has strived to keep the restaurant as original as possible throughout the years; sawdust floors, décor, payphone booths and some of the cheapest coffee in town at 45 cents a cup. It wasn’t until 2014 that the restaurant took down the cash only sign and began accepting credit cards. The Pastrami French Dip Sandwich is the most recent menu addition.

General Manager and proud 3rd generation Family proprietor, Richard Binder is at our service with what’s on the menu.


Show 283, July 28, 2018: DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week, King’s Fish House, Pine Ave.

John MontorioEat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns August 4 to 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

The original location of King’s Fish House(1988) on Pine Avenue is one of the participating restaurants with a special 3-course dinner menu with choices for each course for Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts. It’s priced at a value-oriented $45 per guest (plus tax and tip.)

“A long time ago, we embarked on a road trip in search of the ultimate seafood experience. We traveled down the highways and byways, pulled up a seat, put on bibs, and soaked up the seafood experience: The no-name dishes with unforgettable flavor, the fresh-caught oysters and clams piled high, the hand-lettered specials on ancient chalkboards, and the savory simmer of every combination of spices imaginable….”

“The pleasure of preparing and sharing seafood was simple and genuine, and it brought out the best in everyone. Often we felt as if we’d been welcomed into somebody’s home. That’s what King’s Fish House is all about- and we’ve tried to bring all of these ideas together into one single, spectacular place, filled with camaraderie and celebration, and the things we love best!”

We’ll meet General Manager John Montorio.


Show 273, May 12, 2018: Lou Hirsch, General Manager, Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at The Palazzo Resort

Lou HirschMorels French Steakhouse & Bistro at The Palazzo skillfully merges classic steakhouse with innovative and unique culinary techniques. Highlights include an iced seafood bar and a cheese and charcuterie bar with more than 60 farmhouse and artisanal cheeses from around the world with handmade salamis and meats.

It’s all enhanced by more than 60 wines-by-the-glass and more than 400 varieties of French and California wine-by-the-bottle.

With both wet-and dry-aged steaks as well as a sinful array of desserts, the Las Vegas steakhouse menu also includes a myriad of tasty and colorful handcrafted cocktails that Thrillist says distinguishes Morels as one of the “40 best steak restaurants in Las Vegas.” Outdoor patio seating provides stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip.

Because they don’t have a “Celebrity Chef” in the kitchen they work extra hard to welcome their guests. It’s a discovery “hidden” in plain sight by the Front Desk at The Palazzo.

Our guest is Lou Hirsch, the General Manager, known for in Vegas gracious hospitality.


Show 273, May 12, 2018: Aaron Pannell, General Manager, Bouchon Las Vegas and Bouchon Bakery

Aaron PannellThomas Keller’s Bouchon Las Vegas is a truly special dining experience. General Manager Aaron Pannell who is responsible for managing all aspects of the restaurant and related Bouchon Bakery joins us.

It’s a spectacular location for Weekend Brunch on the lushly landscaped patio looking over the rooftop pool in the Venezia Tower.

Known for its artisanal breads and traditional French desserts, Bouchon Bakery (3 locations at The Venetian) offers handmade viennoiserie, confections, pastries, tarts and cookies, as well as sandwiches and salads made in-house daily. The flagship location is right off the busy main ground floor elevator lobby at The Venetian. Talk about incredible food traffic…!

Espresso drinks and coffee custom-blended by Chef Keller’s longtime partner Equator Coffees & Teas, are offered year-round.


Show 226, June 3, 2017: Bella Lantsman, General Manager & Partner, Chinois on Main, Santa Monica

Belle LantsmanLongevity for a restaurant in the highly competitive Los Angeles restaurant arena isn’t an easy thing. Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Pucks 2nd fine-dining restaurant in the Los Angeles area after Spago was Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. It launched in 1983 and is still a landmark dining destination in Santa Monica that consistently delivers with memorable food and polished service. Many of the professional servers have, unusually, been there for years.

Chinois on Main boldly combines Chinese tradition and fresh California ingredients with contemporary French techniques. The restaurant pioneered Asian fusion cuisine in the United States. Today, Chinois remains a culinary icon with its timeless interior design by (Partner) Barbara Lazaroff, an open kitchen, full-service bar, and extensive (and expertly crafted) wine list.

The Executive Chef is Rene Mata. He started at Chinois on Main as a line cook in 1987.

GM & Partner Bella Lantsman has, extraordinarily, been there since almost the beginning. We’ll meet her.


Show 226, June 3, 2017: Bella Lantsman, General Manager & Partner, Chinois on Main, Santa Monica Continues…

Belle LantsmanLongevity for a restaurant in the highly competitive Los Angeles restaurant arena isn’t an easy thing. Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Pucks 2nd fine-dining restaurant in the Los Angeles area after Spago was Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. It launched in 1983 and is still a landmark dining destination in Santa Monica that consistently delivers with memorable food and polished service. Many of the professional servers have, unusually, been there for years.

There is a hidden (and very exclusive) private dining room with all the amenities at Chinois accommodating up to 40 seated guests. It even has its own kitchen.



Show 202, December 17, 2016: Claudia Ludlow, General Manager, Glorietta Bay Inn, Coronado

Claudia LudlowCoronado is “a bridge apart” from San Diego and is an incorporated City with a rich heritage and small town charm that is a great getaway. Longtime resident Claudia Ludlow is the General Manager of the historic Glorietta Bay Inn located across the street from the iconic Hotel Del Coronado. We’ll meet her.

“Overlooking the bay, Glorietta Bay Inn is located in the heart of Coronado one block from the Beach, shops, restaurants and world famous Hotel Del. With 11 Mansion Rooms and 89 Contemporary Rooms and Suites, Glorietta Bay Inn takes you back to a world of historic beauty with all the modern amenities. All rooms include complimentary continental breakfast. Prices starting at $179.”

“An island vacation awaits you at Glorietta Bay Inn. This boutique hotel is a historic landmark in Coronado and famous for its grandeur architecture, built in 1908 as the home of sugar baron John D. Spreckels (an early owner of the landmark Hotel Del Coronado).

Glorietta Bay Inn sits across the street from the famous white-sandy Coronado Beach, steps away from boutique shopping and restaurants, minutes from America’s Finest City’s best attractions, and just 8-miles from the San Diego International Airport.”


Show 164, March 19, 2016: Brian Cousins, General Manager, Café Del Rey

Brian CousinsHow do you keep a fine-dining establishment with an incredible Marina-view fresh after 25 years? We’ll chat with Brian Cousins, the seasoned General Manager of Café Del Rey, about how he has accomplished this impressive feat at a well-known, wine-centric destination restaurant in Marina del Rey.

Executive Chef David Vilchez is new to the kitchen at Café Del Rey. He moved South to the Marina from sister establishment, Napa Valley Grille in Westwood.

Fortunately, this contemporary, marina-view establishment defies the convention that having a great view is an excuse for serving mediocre food. Although owned by a restaurant group based in Florida their fine-dining restaurants are run autonomously. The feel is that Café Del Rey is locally owned by hands-on management.

“Cuisine inspired by the coastal towns of the Mediterranean. Intuitive service and a beautiful seaside setting. The food is about discovery: the freshest fish, fire grilled steaks, roasted free-range poultry, citrus, olives and market fresh vegetables all bursting with flavor. The luscious desserts, sophisticated cocktails and wine complete your journey.”

Their wine dinners are out of the ordinary. Coming in April is an unusual salute to the wines of Portugal.



Show 141, October 10, 2015: Bracero Cocina de Raiz and General Manager JM Woody van Horn Continues…

Chef Javier Plasencia’s General Manager and Sommelier at the new Bracero Cocina de Raiz in San Diego’s Little Italy, JM Woody van Horn continues…

The restaurant is on two levels. Reservations are taken, and the lower level is left for walk-ins. Also check Open Table. A few reservations typically become available “day of.

Of his new restaurant, Chef Javier says, “The traditional Mexican kitchen is a central gathering place, where lively talk resonates and generations of home-crafted meals are envisioned, created and enjoyed. So it is at Bracero Cocina de Raiz. We celebrate memorable dishes and specialty cocktails, and raise a toast to the heart and soul of those who have nurtured each and every plant that has produced what goes into recipes that are both reminiscent, and perfected in a way that has never tasted quite so good.”