Show 263, March 3, 2018: The Sky Room’s Coquelicot Wines Benefit for Food Finders

Jonathan RosensonThe Sky Room, an iconic restaurant in downtown Long Beach, will be hosting an afternoon wine tasting fundraising event featuring their signature Coquelicot wines, on Saturday, March 10th from 1-3pm. Organized by Dine LBC, funds raised will benefit Food Finders food rescue program.

For this unique social event, guests will be invited to sample up to twenty Coquelicot wines while enjoying light appetizers provided by The Sky Room. The Sky Room is located at 40 S.Locust Avenue in downtown Long Beach.

Tickets are $35 per guest and are available for purchase right here. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Food Finders to support their ongoing food rescue program.

“The team at The Sky Room has always been supportive of the important work that Food Finders does in working to eliminate food insecurity in Long Beach and beyond,” said Jonathan Rosenson, proprietor and sommelier of The Sky Room, “We’re excited to have this chance to invite guests to spend a fun afternoon tasting our Coquelicot wines and support Food Finders at the same time.”

Wines by the bottle will also be available for sale for guests to take home during the event, with all proceeds also going to Food Finders.

Jonathan uncorks the needed 411 for us.


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Art Gonzalez, Chef / Proprietor, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach

Arthur GonzalezRecognized as a warm and welcoming neighborhood eatery for creative modern New Mexican cuisine, lively happy hours, and communal gatherings, Long Beach’s Panxa Cocina solidifies its standing as a go-to staple for food and fun with the launch of “Mimosas & Mutts,” which started on February 17, 2018.

This monthly brunch gathering features a special invite to our four-legged friends as Executive Chef and Owner Arthur Gonzalez welcomes brunch-goers to bring their canine companions to the sunny patio at Panxa Cocina located in the buzzing Belmont Heights neighborhood on the third Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The convivial brunch event launched on the first weekend of the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Lunar calendar, with much fanfare and Instagram-worthy local dogs. The monthly gathering provides a dog-friendly menu of Southwestern staples like rice and beans for the slobbery set, as well as a free juice flight to accompany bottles of champagne for thirsty dog moms and dads.

“Panxa Cocina encourages all dog-owners to enjoy favorites from the New Mexican-inspired brunch menu, including Blue Corn Piñon Pancakes, Chilaquilas Roja, Smothered Breakfast Burrito, and Stacked Enchiladas, as well as classic and new-fangled brunch libations from accomplished Bar Manager Greg Goins. Guests are also encouraged to use the hashtag: #pupsatpanxa to share their experiences on social media.”

Chef Proprietor Art Gonzalez puts on the dog just for us. (He has three Boxer charges in his own household.)


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Laurie Porter, Smog City Brewing Co. & President, L.A. County Brewers Guild

Laurie Porter“In October 2011, Smog City Brewing Co. began brewing beer at the Tustin Brewing Co. (TBC) brewpub. By utilizing TBC’s excess fermentation capacity, Smog City was able to brew well-crafted beers, and personally distribute to restaurants and bars throughout Los Angeles County. We worked to create a presence in the craft brewing community and brewed and distributed 240 barrels in the first year.”

“By 2012, we’d grown faster than ever expected. After the purchase of our own full-scale brewing equipment, we formalized plans for our new brewery and taproom in Torrance, CA. In 2013, we received final building and license approvals and began brewing and opened our brewery taproom in May of 2013. Our Taproom in Torrance has become an amazing home for locals and visitors alike.”

“In January of 2017, we had an opportunity to join a unique and progressive project called SteelCraft in Long Beach. SteelCraft is a re-purposed outdoor food hall made entirely out of recycled shipping containers. This gorgeous outdoor beer garden has plenty of flavorful food options to choose from while you drink a delicious Smog City Beer.”

“Stop in and see us for a taste of our proven and experimental beers in Long Beach or a tour of our brewery & taproom in Torrance.”

Co-founder Laurie Porter taps the keg for us. She is also the President of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild.


Show 262, February 24, 2018: Kerstin Kansteiner, Proprietress, Berlin Bistro, Long Beach

Kerstin KansteinerEver think much about the seemingly innocuous plastic straw? Ultimately plastic doesn’t belong in the ocean yet that’s where millions of straws end up poisoning the ocean with a non-biodegradable item and harmful to sea creatures.

Long Beach’s Berlin Bistro’s community-minded proprietress, Kerstin Kansteiner, is now taking the lead on making plastic straws “request only’ in a concerted effort to reduce straw pollution and “auto strawing.”

When a straw is really needed for a takeout beverage with a lid consider using one of the new versions of the improved biodegradable straws. There are also reusable metal straws available.

  • Americans go through 500 million plastic straws a day!
  • The USA can fill up 127 school buses with the straws we use every single day in this country

Kerstin joins us.


Show 255, January 6, 2018: Chef-Partner Raquel Jubran, Lasher’s Kitchen, Long Beach

Raquel JubranRestaurateur Ray Lasher surprised the Long Beach dining community when he closed the original Lasher’s in 2012 after a 15-year run. He’s now back in Belmont Shore on E. 2nd Street with a refreshed concept, Lasher’s Kitchen.

“It feels good to be in front-of-the-house again,” said Lasher. “The original restaurant was open for 15 years, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I continued working in the restaurant industry as a consultant. Then this location came along and it was a game changer.”

Lasher’s Kitchen, which opened last April, is a more casual concept than the original Lasher’s.  The 45-seat restaurant offers a contemporary design with a color palette of warm hues and wood accents, original artwork, and an intimate wine bar.  The restaurant also features a pet-friendly sidewalk patio and a communal table positioned front and center.

The menu has a few dishes, such as the clam chowder, fried green tomatoes, and glazed meatloaf, from the original restaurant, but Chef-Partner Raquel Jubran, better known as Chef Roq, is constantly creating new dishes often dictated by season.   The menu is divided into four categories:

  • Shareables
  • Journeys
  • Sidetracks
  • Sweet Destinations

Chef Roq’s signature dishes include Crispy Yuca Fries with banana ketchup and Aji Amarillo salsa, the pastry-filled Savory French Cigar with chicken and bacon ragout, Fleet Street Meat Pie made with braised short rib and root vegetables with a pastry crust, Braised Pork Belly with Cherry Cola Demi-Glace served on a crispy potato cake with tobacco onions, and Asiago and Cheddar Grilled Cheese.

Lasher’s Kitchen opens at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for weekend brunch, which features an array of morning and mid-day favorites.  Social Hour, which takes place weekdays from 2-6pm, features a menu of shareable plates and $5 pours of selected red and white wines.  Every Wednesday Lasher’s Kitchen caters to oenophiles with its “no corkage fee” followed by Prime Rib Thursday for carnivores.  Fresh fish also plays a prominent role on the menu.

“It feels great to be back doing what I love,” said Lasher.  “And with the people I love – my wife, who is also a partner – as well as our daughters who help out at the restaurant after school and on weekends.  Having our former guests experience our new concept feels great, and we’re happy to be part of the Long Beach restaurant community once again.”

Executive Chef & Partner Raquel Jubran has returned to create the refreshed menu. She joins us.


Show 250, December 2, 2017: Cambodia Town’s (Long Beach) Chef “T” Visoth Ouk

Rithy Hahn, and Chef T Visoth OukOn Friday, December 8th, starting at 6:30pm, Long Beach’s own Chef “T” Visoth Ouk (a spokeschef for Cambodia Town) will offer his second in a series of pop-up dinners featuring Cambodian favorites with a contemporary twist. The A Stroll Through Phnom Penh pop-up and Toy Drive will feature passed appetizers and a four-course sit-down dinner, and also includes a glass of wine. The pop-up location is Legend Seafood Restaurant located at 1350 E. Anaheim Street in Long Beach.

Chef “T” requests guests bring an unwrapped toy valued at $15 or more for distribution and to brighten the holidays for local underserved children in the Long Beach community.

“My goal since becoming a chef has been to give back to the community that I came from,” said Chef “T”. “For this pop-up, combining my life’s passion of cooking with a holiday toy drive seemed like a natural fit for this time of year.”

Chef “T” made the announcement on the show that in 2018 he will be departing Federal Bar and opening a restaurant of his own in Long Beach. We’ll keep you posted…

Chef “T’ pops out of the kitchen with the details.



Show 241, September 16, 2017: 4th Annual CANstruction Long Beach, Landmark Square Building Lobby

Canstruction Long BeachOne of the most visually stunning demonstrations of talent and creativity within the architectural and engineering communities will provide a much-needed source of food for Food Finders to help eliminate hunger in the Long Beach community. The fourth annual CANstruction® Long Beach competition benefiting Food Finders will be held in the Landmark Square Building lobby on September 21st starting at 8am. CANstruction® participants will design and build unique structures made entirely out of canned goods. This year’s theme is “Rock-CAN-Roll”, and participating teams may depict music in any way they want.

The completed structures will be on display to the public from September 21st through October 1st. Visitors are encouraged to bring canned goods to the Landmark Square Building lobby to be used as “votes” for their favorite structure by placing the cans in Food Finders supplied bins next to each structure resulting in a “People’s Choice” award. Additional awards including “Structural Ingenuity”, “Best Use of Labels”, “Most Cans”, “Best Meal” and “Juror’s Favorite”, will be chosen by a panel of local judges following the exhibition.

“Food Finders is excited to be the beneficiary of the fourth annual Long Beach CANstruction”, said Patti Larson, Executive Director of Food Finders. “Last year’s event generated a 28,000 pound donation of canned goods, and this unique event will continue to heighten awareness of food insecurity in our community and will play an important role in helping to feed those in need in our own backyard.”

“Our five talented teams have spent months designing their entries and are allowed only 12 hours to meticulously stack and color-coordinate their cans into ingenious feats of design”, added Terri Henry of terri henry marketing LLC, who organizes the event. “The ultimate donation of thousands of cans of food to feed the hungry in our community makes it all worthwhile to the teams.”

Chandra Johnston, representing 2nd time Long Beach CANstruction® participant Kamus + Keller Interiors / Architecture, provides the 411.

They had a spectacular winning entry last year with Wonder Woman.


Show 239, September 2, 2017: Chef AC Boral, RICE & SHINE Brunch Series

AC BoralPresented by Long Beach Chef AC Boral, RICE & SHINE (an eight- course, family-style brunch experience) prides itself in being a completely unique brunch. Guests even leave with an edible care package. Sit at Chef AC’s long table for a great time blending food, family, culture, and, of course, mimosas. It’s Filipino family favorites with a contemporary twist.

Filipino hospitality means that guests eat well, always leaving the table busog (full) and with even MORE food to take home. Everyone is treated like family and becomes family.

“RICE & SHINE takes traditional Filipino dishes and blends them with American brunch. We want to share the culture and history of Filipino cuisine with those who are unfamiliar while offering something fresh for those who grew up eating it. “If ya don’t know, now ya know.”

At its core, Filipino cuisine is food for the soul. The spirit behind RICE & SHINE is to pay tribute to Filipino food tradition.

The next RICE & SHINE is set for Sunday, September 10th at 11:30 a.m. in a secret location in Downtown Long Beach.

We’ll meet Chef AC.


Show 236, August 12, 2017: Anita Lau, diary of a Mad Hungry Woman Blogger. Travels in Hong Kong

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanOut regular contributor, Anita Lau, diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” blogger, is just back from a visit to the ever-evolving Hong Kong. She will share a pair of her memorable Hong Kong dining experiences, Haku and Ju Xing Home.

First we’re in Long Beach highlighting two recommendations (from her Top 10 List) for the last Weekend of DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week. Think Aji Peruvian and Sura Korean BBQ and Tofu House.

On to Hong Kong…

“Haku is a French concept using predominantly Japanese ingredients. The restaurant is a collaboration between Chef Hideaki Matsuo of Kashiwaya in Osaka, Japan, and Chef Agustin Balbi, who is Argentinian. Chef Balbi has spent many years in Japan and his menu is a reflection of the aesthetically stunning cuisine, but is also, well thought out and exquisitely executed.”

Ju Xing Home is where Michelin-starred chefs go when they’re off duty, and wanting a bite before heading home for the night. “Chef/Owner Mr. Ng is a humble man who takes immense pride in preparing dishes for his customers. He is in the kitchen, personally cooking every single dish which hits the table.”

Here’s a lagniappe from Anita’s Hong Kong adventures that we didn’t get a chance to chat about…”Bamboo Noodles (竹昇麵) is a dying art-form, so rare that even in Hong Kong, it is getting extremely difficult to find. Lau Sum Kee in Sham Shui Po is one of the last eateries which still makes these bamboo noodles, a skill passed down by current owner, Lau Fat-Cheong’s grandfather, who brought this tradition from Guangzhou.”


Show 235, August 5, 2017: Chef / Proprietor Guy DuPlantier, Crazy Creole Café, Long Beach

Guy DuPlantierNew to the DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is Chef Guy’s Crazy Creole Café – “Straight From The Heart and Soul of New Orleans.”

“We offer authentic Creole and Cajun food, with most of our products being shipped in weekly from New Orleans like our crawfish, Lake Pontchartrain blue crab, fresh alligator meat, farm-raised catfish, wild caught gulf shrimp. Also, the Blue Plate Mayonnaise we use on our Po’ Boys and ya’ll know it’s not a Po’ Boy unless you use bread from home. We use the famous Leidenheimers French bread. Come and try our Boudin & Boudin Balls made in house along with my wife Chef Aliza’s Asian Cajun Boudin Egg Rolls. We only use the best ingredients. Created by the fusion of African, Native American and the European ancestry, Louisiana cuisine is at the heart and soul of our unique culture.”

“You are guaranteed to enjoy the great flavors of New Orleans and we will show you what Southern hospitality is all about. In New Orleans we have a saying, Laissez les bons temps rouler, which means Let the good times roll. That is what Crazy Creole Cafe is all about, good food, good music and good times. We’ll do our best to put a big smile on your face and make you stomp your feet. So what are you waiting for? Come on and laissez les bons temps rouler with the Crazy Creole Cafe.”

They have a really tempting 3-course Cajun/Creole menu for DINE LBC valued priced @ $25. It’s 3-courses with an entrée choice of either Red Beans & Rice, Jambalaya, Chicken Creole or Southern Fried Pork Chops (plus two sides.)

We’ll meet proprietor Chef Guy DuPlantier, a.k.a. “The Crazy Cajun.” It’s a real taste of The Crescent City right there on Long Beach Blvd.