Show 126, June 13, 2015: Chef Akasha Richmond, Sambar, Culver City Continues…

Akasha RichmondSambar is open for dinner to start with an announcement of lunch to follow. Richmond’s penchant for the lighter foods of the Southern region, as well as nourishing and curative ingredients will stand out at Sāmbār, such as the Pigeon Pea Fritters, Goan Chicken Xacuti, or Lemon Rice, as well as Curries and Vegetables including a Backwater Shrimp Stir-Fry and Punjabi Mama Greens, to name a few.

Exploring new techniques, the ever-evolving menu will showcase Richmond’s culinary prowess and ambition to try inventive dishes while striking a balance with approachable and crowd-pleasing items. “While there will be vegetarian options and we won’t have beef on the menu, we will have goat, lamb, and pork dishes, there will be something for everyone,” says Richmond. Additional entrées will include Tandoori-Style dishes such as a British Raj Chicken, Pistachio Lamp Chops, and Pork Shoulder roasted with vindaloo masala served with naan focaccia.

Think Indian food only pairs with beer? Nonsense! Sāmbār’s resident mixology team will be led by Clare Ward who, together with Richmond’s influence, inspired the cocktail program at Sāmbār. Ward also serves as the lead mixologist at AKASHA, Richmond’s landmark Culver City neighborhood eatery. Spice driven cocktails, housemade bitters, and rare and interesting spirits will be found on the drinks menu including “Last Train to Goa” ̶ a punch made with Arrack and rose syrup, or East Indian Pimms made with fresh curry leaves.

The most popular Spice Trade Cocktail thus far is “The Maharaja.” It’s rye, kummel combier, carrot syrup, beet shrub and lemon juice. It goes down way too easy…

The beverage program also incorporates housemade chai and organic Indian teas. Guests can enjoy cocktails at the bar or take a front-row seat just steps from the kitchen at the chefs’ counter and share Head on Prawns with Mango Powder Marinade and Turmeric Naan, or the Sāmbār Snack Mix and a drink.

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Show 96, November 8, 2014: The Mixing Glass

Gabrielle Dion of the Mixing GlassOrange County has been a hotbed of support for the craft cocktail movement for a few years now. Only recently has it offered its community and bartenders a place to find the highest quality bar tools found nowhere else in the OC, bitters, vintage glassware and classes taught by leaders in the craft cocktail movement. With the opening last year of Gabrielle Dion’s (Broadway by Amar Santana) The Mixing Glass at the OC Mix at SoCo that pressing need has been answered, all under one roof.

Gabrielle is the mastermind behind some of the most innovative and buzzed about cocktails in Orange County. The Mixing Glass offers the needed tools and education to make superb craft cocktails at home and for the trade.

The Mixing Glass also hosts regular classes ranging from how to make homemade ingredients for cocktails, as well as bar mechanics, and Mixology 101. Look for Holiday Cocktails 101 on Thursday, November 20th from 7 to 9:00 p.m. There is also a class in early December.

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Show 78, July 5, 2014: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part Two

At Oak Grill there are over fifty wines available by the glass. Hundreds more by the bottle. Oak Grill boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in the area, all curated by Miguel.

They offer a robust program of craft beers on tap. Most are local.

Aqua Lounge Newport BeachAqua Lounge
“Afternoon cocktails. After work drinks. An evening out, or a late night rendezvous. DJ’s and pop-up performances. A casual menu of gourmet shareable bites and late night delectables and trendy street foods. That’s what we are. What we do is bring a whole new take on nightlife to Newport Beach.”

“Tableside mixology reinvents traditional bottle service and is one feature of a truly imaginative and engaging approach to craft cocktails, guided by renowned mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim. Assemble your own mule, or sit back and enjoy a delicious summer punch bowl.”

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights Chef Marc offers a special late night street food menu in Aqua Lounge. It’s satisfying comfort foods ranging from street tacos to poutine. It even includes his signature Moki Breakfast Burrito. It starts at 11:00 p.m. and goes until 1:30 a.m.

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July 5: Tiffany Derry, FoodGPS Rib Fest, Oak Grill, Aqua Lounge, Tal Ronnen

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part One
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part Two
Segment Four: Food GPS’ Josh Lurie and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. and Escala
Segment Five: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part One
Segment Six: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part Two
Segment Seven: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Eight: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part Two

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

Food TV fans know upbeat, Dallas-based Chef Tiffany Derry from Season 7 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All–Stars.” She is back as co-host of FYI’s (formerly Bio) new series, “World Food Championships” which launches on July 10th.

Our friend food journalist Josh Lurie is at it again with the 1st Annual Food GPS Rib Festival on Sunday, July 13th in Chinatown. 12 of L.A’s best forward-thinking chefs will be there preparing unique rib preparations and tempting sides. Josh and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co., Escala, and Houston Hospitality preview the Festival.

The Island Hotel in Newport Beach has a rich history of offering highly regarded destination dining. As part of a major refreshening of the property The Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have just debuted. This is easily the most anticipated restaurant opening of the year in Orange County. You’ll hear why…

One mission of Chef Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Los Angeles is to bring tasty vegetarian fare to patrons who aren’t necessarily vegetarians or vegans. Our own Jet Tila just prepared a Sunday Supper at Crossroads serving plant-based versions of his signature pan Asian dishes.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Tiffany DerryFood TV fans know Dallas-based Chef Tiffany Derry from Season 7 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All–Stars.” She is back as co-host of FYI’s (formerly Bio) new series, “World Food Championships” which launches on July 10th.

Chef Tiffany is a graduate of The Art Institute of Houston and now serves as a national spokesperson for the Art Institute’s Culinary Arts Program.

World Food Championships on FYI“Hosted in Las Vegas, The World Food Championships is one of the most ambitious and authentic food competitions held annually. The series (6 one-hour episodes) follows talented home cooks and professional chefs from across America as they compete to create dishes mouth-wateringly creative enough to win their food category. From BBQ, to bacon to family recipes – there is a winner for each competition, culminating in a grand finale with a shot at winning a $50,000 prize. Co-hosted by Jeffrey Saad, chef, author and LA-based restaurant owner; and Dallas-based chef, Tiffany Derry. Produced by Sharp Entertainment.”

Chef Tiffany is performing a cooking demo at the Napa Valley Festival Del Sole on July 12th as part of that day’s “Taste of Napa.”

Chef Tiffany provides an overview of the dynamic Dallas dining scene. It’s about getting out to the neighborhoods…

Joshua Lurie of Food GPS“The inaugural Food GPS Rib Festival is taking place on Sunday, July 13th, from 4 to 7:00 p.m., at Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza. This chef-driven, all-inclusive event spotlights 12 of L.A.’s best chefs preparing unique rib preparations and sides. Guests will also enjoy desserts, craft beers, cocktails and soda.”

Food GPS Founder Josh Lurie and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co., Escala, and Houston Hospitality preview the Festival.

Marc JohnsonThe Island Hotel in Newport Beach has a history of offering distinctive destination dining. As part of a major refreshening of the property The Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have just debuted in the space that was previously the well-liked Palm Terrace. This was an over 5-month redo on a major budget…This is easily the most anticipated opening of the year in Orange County.

The Executive Chef is Marc Johnson and the seasoned General Manager is Miguel Rodriquez. Both moved over from the popular Mastro’s Ocean Club in the Crystal Cove Promenade on Newport Coast.

Chef Mark was previously with Studio’s (Montage Laguna Beach) opening executive chef, James Boyce for several years and then followed him to Huntsville, AL to help open Cotton Row, one of the most recognized restaurants in Alabama.

At Oak Grill there are over fifty wines available by the glass. Hundreds more by the bottle. Oak Grill boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in the area, all curated by Miguel.

They offer a robust program of craft beers on tap. Most are local.

Aqua Lounge Newport BeachAqua Lounge
“Afternoon cocktails. After work drinks. An evening out, or a late night rendezvous. DJ’s and pop-up performances. A casual menu of gourmet shareable bites and late night delectables and trendy street foods. That’s what we are. What we do is bring a whole new take on nightlife to Newport Beach.”

“Tableside mixology reinvents traditional bottle service and is one feature of a truly imaginative and engaging approach to craft cocktails, guided by renowned mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim. Assemble your own mule, or sit back and enjoy a delicious summer punch bowl.”

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenTal Ronnen, founder and chef of Crossroads and author of The New York Times Bestseller, The Conscious Cook, became known nationwide as the chef who prepared the meals for Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day cleanse. He made his culinary mark at a number of high-profile events, having catered Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s wedding, Arianna Huffington’s party at the Democratic National Convention, and a U.S. Senate Dinner.

A graduate of the National Gourmet Institute, Tal conducts master vegetarian workshops for students and staff at Le Cordon Bleu campuses nationwide. He is the collaborating chef at The Wynn and Encore hotels in Las Vegas.

One mission of Chef Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Los Angeles is to bring tasty vegetarian fare to patrons who aren’t necessarily vegetarians or vegans. Our own Jet Tila just prepared a Sunday Supper at Crossroads serving plant-based versions of his signature pan Asian dishes.

Jet Tila Sunday Supper at Crossroads KitchenJet’s plant-based menu started with Sew Mai Dumplings and concluded with Thai Tea Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Jet adapted his signature Drunken Noodles (Giada De Laurentiss’ favorite) for the evening substituting tofu for pork. The dish earned high praise from the guests.

The Featured Cocktail was Mekhong Smoke. It’s Mekhong rum, mescal, thai basil, tamari salt and blistered shishito pepper.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part One
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry of Dallas, Texas Part Two
Segment Four: Food GPS’ Josh Lurie and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. and Escala
Segment Five: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part One
Segment Six: Miguel Rodriguez, General Manager and Executive Chef Marc Johnson, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge, The Island Hotel, Newport Beach Part Two
Segment Seven: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part One
Segment Eight: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part Two

All Hands on Deck with Tony Abou-Ganim and Shellback Rum

SoCal Restaurant Show recently went to the Mark for Events in West LA to check out our past guest, The Modern Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim in a special mixology class called ‘All Hands on Deck’. Presented by Shellback Rum, we created three signature cocktail creation and had some great bites provided by the Mark of Events caterers. Great way to celebrate National Rum Day! As always, we’re all over Southern California to share more great events with our amazing audience. Where will we be next?

Show 33, June 29, 2013: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist Continued…

The Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-GanimOn our return Tony went through the steps in mixing the perfect Negrino.

He also emphasized the importance of the proper glassware and hard, clear ice in creating truly great cocktails. Ice is often overlooked and that ultimately creates problems with presentation and possible dilution.

On Tuesday, July 2nd Tony Abou-Ganim is a guest on NBC’s “Today Show.” He’s going to be sharing “do it yourself” cocktails for the 4th of July.

On August 16th, Abou-Ganim is going to be in Los Angeles for the “All Hands on Deck” cocktail tour for National Rum Day. Over the course of the evening’s program Abou-Ganim will explore with the guests the modern mixology applications of Shellback Caribbean Rum.

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Show 5: November 3, 2012: Daniel K. Nelson – Master Mixologist

Daniel Nelson, an accomplished master bartender, is a partner in The Writer’s Room in Hollywood located next door to the revered Musso & Frank Grill. Daniel discusses what went into creating the provocative specialty cocktail menu at the new Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing restaurant on the North end of Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice. The co-owners are Brad Johnson (Post & Beam) and John Mascarenhas.

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Oct 20: Zov Karamardian, Barbara Fairchild, Daniel Nelson, Melissa’s Produce Guru

Podcasts

Segment One: Zov Karamardian Part One
Segment Two: Zov Karamardian Part Two
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild Part One
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild Part Two
Segment Five: Mixologist Daniel Nelson of The Writer’s Room
Segment Six: Produce Guru Robert Schueller and Food Republic’s Jason Kessler

Zov Karamardian or Zov's in TustinIf there is a dynasty in the Orange County restaurant business it has to be Zov Karamardian and her hard-working Family. They took a small space in the Enderle Center in Tustin and over the years have grown the enterprise into the largest food tenant in the center at 12,000 sq. ft.. It’s a bakery, gourmet specialty food store, cafe, restaurant, and catering space under one large roof. Zov is just back from Istanbul, Turkey and will discuss the food scene there.

Barbara Fairchild is the long-serving Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine. She retired when the publisher abandoned their original Los Angeles base. Barbara will be highlighting her recent culinary adventures in Kauai, Hawaii’s Garden Isle. It’s the best in joints to fine dining!

Mixologist Daniel Nelson (The Writer’s Room) then joins the party. He’s part of Fog and Smog Films latest YouTube hit, “Mixologist.” He’ll be telling us about pairing cocktails with food and how a good master bartender can really enhance the dining experience for the guest.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceDo you wonder about what “organic” fruits and vegetables are all about? Produce guru Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce is with Jet to explain what it’s all about.

Finally the L.A. based and always opinionated Jason Kessler of Food Republic blog fame has the last word on an unexpected restaurant in Buena Park that he goes way out of his way to frequent. You’ll hear why…

Podcasts

Segment One: Zov Karamardian Part One
Segment Two: Zov Karamardian Part Two
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild Part One
Segment Four: Barbara Fairchild Part Two
Segment Five: Mixologist Daniel Nelson of The Writer’s Room
Segment Six: Produce Guru Robert Schueller and Food Republic’s Jason Kessler