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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Show 234, July 29, 2017: Restaurateur / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Roe Seafood & Panxa Cocina. DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week

Arthur GonzalezDINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices.

Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Panxa Cocina opened in December 2014 and is located on the corner of Broadway and Termino in the Belmont Heights neighborhood of Long Beach. Since opening, Chef Gonzalez has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.

Panxa’s interior reflects the hip sensibilities of the surrounding area while also paying tribute to its Latin and New Mexican roots. This ground-floor restaurant offers the choice to observe passers-by from many tables throughout the restaurant, or enjoy the full menu at the bar.

Roe Seafood is the new home for seafood fanatics in Belmont Shore. Roe offers inspired, handcrafted, mouth-watering seafood dishes that blend both seasonal and local ingredients with bold flavors and exciting tastes.

“All ingredients are fresh and in season. If you’d like to know where we source our fish, shellfish, vegetables, or breads, please ask.

Join us for lunch or dinner 7 days a week for the freshest and most delicious seafood you’ve ever tasted. You can always call us and order take-out, because everything on the menu at Roe is always ready to go.”

Roe Seafood just earned a 3-Star Review in the Long Beach Press-Telegram from veteran restaurant critic, Merrill Shindler.

 

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Show 224, May 20, 2017: Eric Samaniego, Executive Chef, Michael’s on Naples, Long Beach

Eric SamaniegoExecutive Chef Eric Samaniego (ex-Little Sparrow) is hosting an unusual 5-course collaboration dinner with Taco Maria’s (SoCo in Costa Mesa) acclaimed chef/proprietor Carlos Salgado on May 24th at Michael’s on Naples in Long Beach. This is part of Michael’s on Naples ongoing monthly “Guest Chef’ing” series.

Among the many accomplishments of Chef Salgado is being named one of Food & Wine’s Best Chefs of 2015. Taco Maria is known for Alta California cuisine, an intriguing fusion of Mexican and American flavors and cultures.

Chef Samaniego never reveals in advance what he and his guest chef will prepare simply because he’s not quite sure himself. The evening tends to be spontaneous, much like going to a friend’s home for dinner and leaving the menu up to the host. Both chefs will shop the local farmers’ markets and visit Farm Lot 59, the local urban farm, for ingredients just days before, which will drive the creativity of their five-course dinner.

“I really like collaborating with other chefs,” said Samaniego. “I love to try new techniques and experiment with new ideas in the kitchen. It’s even more fun when you’re cooking with someone you have tremendous respect for and consider a friend. I’m looking forward to having Chef Salgado join me on May 24.”

Chefs Samaniego joins us for an enticing preview.

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Show 216, March 25, 2017: “Mayor” Rithy Hahn, Chef “T” Visoth Ouk, Long Beach’s Cambodia Town

Rithy Hahn, and Chef T Visoth OukLong Beach has its own officially designated Little Cambodia Town. It’s known as the Cambodian capital of the United States. Some 20,000 residents of Long Beach are of Cambodian descent. Long Beach is thought to have the second largest population of Cambodian immigrants outside of Southeast Asia.

The Cambodia Town Culture Festival with lots of food & fun for the whole Family is Sunday, April 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cambodian Restaurants we visited (that the locals frequent) in Long Beach include Crystal, Monorom Cambodian Restaurant, Dara Restaurant and Sophy’s – Cambodia Town Food & Music. Some are located just outside of the “official” boundaries of Cambodia Town. All have on-site parking.

Standout dishes to look for range from deep fried whole catfish to salmon salad and lemongrass soup.

Where do you find “real deal” Cambodian food there?

Little Cambodia Town’s Honorary Mayor, Rithy Hahn, and Chef “T” Visoth Ouk of The Federal Bar are our knowledgeable guides.

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Show 215, March 18, 2017: Rick Reich, Proprietor, W.I.N.O, Brix at The Shore, Long Beach

Rick ReichWhen it comes to personable characters with their own sense of style on the Long Beach dining scene, Rick Reich of Brix at The Shore in Belmont Shore wears the befitting crown. It’s a taste of the Big Apple with its iconic, piled-high pastrami sandwiches, intimate wine bar ambiance and a standout rotating selection of craft beer. It’s all of 65-seats.

Brix at The Shore offers something the area is lacking: a place that caters to Generation X and Baby Boomers where these forty to sixtysomethings can make their own hangout with music from their era, everything from ‘80s alternative to Sinatra; a rotating wine list with an impressive and thoughtful selection of vintages; a collection of taps that pour craft beer; and an intimate environment that provokes casual conversation among its guests.

“I call Brix at The Shore an adult amusement park,” says owner Rick Reich, who also doubles as the restaurant’s sommelier. “Belmont Shore has plenty of places that appeal to college kids, but what the area was lacking was a hangout for a more established crowd who needed a place to unwind after work, enjoy a good glass of wine or beer, grab a bite to eat, and occasionally break out into song – trust me, it’s happens. We’ve had the entire restaurant singing to Dean Martin on a Saturday night. And that’s what makes Brix so appealing.”

The menu features an array of shareable plates, flatbread sandwiches, salads, deli sandwiches, artisan pizza, burgers and entrees.

We pull W.I.N.O Rick out of the kitchen (and from behind the well-stocked bar) to tell us all about it.

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