Show 214, March 11, 2017: Grant Tondro, Co-Founder, Urge Gastropub & Whiskey Bar, Oceanside

Grant TondroThe “SoCal Restaurant Show” was recently in Oceanside, CA on a focused 24-hour marathon food & libation discovery tour coordinated by Visit Oceanside. Our overall observation is that a lot of energetic young chefs are now on the scene there doing very creative things. Access to local farms is an incredible resource and inspiration. In the coming weeks we’ll be highlighting some of our best discoveries.

Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank (including a production microbrewery and hidden Prohibition-era Speakeasy) is new on the scene in Oceanside.

Founded in 2015 Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank is one of Oceanside’s creative takes on the Modern American locals’ hangout. Satisfying comfort foods, wines and an extensive beer list (including house-brewed styles) are accompanied with an enormous and eclectic selection of the world’s finest Whisk(e)ys. Urge Oceanside is also the home of Mason Ale Works, a production craft brewery.

We’ll savor one of the 250 whiskey options available with Co-Owner Grant Tondro of 3LocalBrothers.

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Show 115, March 21, 2015: General Manager Jim Colombo and Mad Bar Scientist Amber, Five Crowns

Jim ColomboLook who is turning 50 this year! 2015 marks the 50-year legacy of dining at Five Crowns in Corona del Mar.

To celebrate, the Lawry’s family and newly promoted Executive Chef Steve Kling have unveiled a brand new menu and beverage program unlike any other menu this fabled establishment has offered in its 50-year history. It’s not your Grandparents’ Five Crowns anymore (although they are still most welcome.)

The refreshed menu presents nearly three times the culinary selections of past menus including a broad array of starters, main dishes, new family-style options and seafood selections. It breaks guests out of the expected course structure of fine dining. The fare pays homage to some of the Five Crowns heritage items, but with a modern twist. The new menu and beverage program are only the beginning of exciting Five Crowns at 50 announcements expected throughout the year.

There is also some quiet conversation about a “rediscovered” hidden speakeasy.

General Manager Jim Colombo (who is also a chef by training) and resident “Mad Bar Scientist Amber” join us with a tempting overview of the creative enhancements.

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Show 89, September 20, 2014: David Valiante, Mixologist – Roxanne’s Lounge

David VallanteDavid Valiante is the Bar Program Director at Roxanne’s Lounge and The Exhibition Room speakeasy in Long Beach. He’s been a master bartender for 14 years including a stretch as a Flair Bartender.

“I began my bartending career about 14 years ago, and learned a lot about wine and food pairings. Started at The Market Broiler in Huntington Beach, moved to other restaurants and then to a jazz club in Hollywood. I eventually moved back to restaurants.

He’s part of Sip LBC Long Beach Wine, Beer & Spirits Week taking place from September 21st to 27th

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September 20: Terri Henry, Barbara Fairchild, Cafe del Rey, David Vallante, Cucina Enoteca, LA Beer Week

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Terri Henry and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Terri Henry, Terri Henry Marketing LLC
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, Food, Restaurant and Libation Journalist
Segment Four: Executive Chef Chuck Abair, Café del Rey
Segment Five: David Valiante, Mixologist – Roxanne’s Lounge
Segment Six: Ed Manetta, Wine Director – Cucina Enoteca
Segment Seven: 6th Annual LA Brewers Beer Week Part One
Segment Eight: 6th Annual LA Brewers Beer Week Part Two

Guest Host Terri Henry of Terri Henry Marketing LLC in Long Beach and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

If you’ve ever eaten at Norm’s, Chipotle, or Public School 612 then you’ve probably been influenced by the marketing strategies of Terri Henry. Before going out on her own Ms. Henry was the long-time Vice President of Marketing for Grill Concepts, Inc. whose iconic brands include The Grill on The Alley, Daily Grill and Public School 310.

Barbara Fairchild is the former long-time editor of Bon Appetit Magazine. In addition to teaching, consulting, and speaking Barbara is now the Travel and Restaurant Editor for GrapeCollective.com. Barbara recently was in Nashville and has some restaurant finds for us.

Executive Chef Chuck Abair (mentored by Providence’s and Connie & Ted’s Chef Michael Cimarusti) is now behind the stoves at the venerable Café del Rey in Martina del Rey.“For me, it’s about exceeding guests’ expectations, making as much in-house as possible, and providing a dining experience that suits the spectacular location.”

David Valiante is the Bar Program Director at Roxanne’s Lounge and The Exhibition Room speakeasy in Long Beach. He’s been a master bartender for 14 years including a stretch as a Flair Bartender. He’s part of Sip LBC Long Beach Wine, Beer & Spirits Week taking place from September 21st to 27th

Cucina Enoteca, a lively California-inspired Italian Kitchen & Wine Shop, just launched a 8,300-square-foot restaurant and wine shop located at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Wine Director Ed Manetta created a balanced, highly edited, and ever-changing wine list. Ed is with us to discuss their highly unusual wine program that’s already making waves.

The 6th Annual L.A. Beer Week taps its first keg September 20th. It’s best described as an epic annual craft beer fest. New this year is that it’s under the management of the L.A. Brewer’s Guild (headed by Jeremy Raub of the award-winning Eagle Rock Brewery.) It’s special beer tastings, food events, and informative panels all over the city.

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

Terri HenryIf you’ve ever eaten at Norm’s, Chipotle, or Public School 612 then you’ve probably been influenced by the marketing strategies of Terri Henry. Before going out on her own (Terri Henry Marketing LLC) Ms. Henry was the long-time Vice President of Marketing for Grill Concepts, Inc. whose iconic brands include The Grill on The Alley, Daily Grill and Public School 310.

Her clients range from national restaurant brands to local restaurateurs and packaged premium food firms.

She is the co-founder and co-producer of both Eat LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week and Sip LBC Long Beach Wine, Beer & Spirits Week.

Barbara FairchildJournalist Barbara Fairchild spent over 30 years with Bon Appetit Magazine. She was their long-time Editor. Barbara is a member of The James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

She is the Travel and Restaurant Editor for GrapeCollective.com

Barbara was just in Nashville and, of course, partook of the local dining scene. We’ll get her report on what’s of note, morsel by tasty morsel. She will also highlight Jonathan Waxman’s (NY’s Barbuto) new restaurant there, Adele’s.

Chuck Abair of Cafe del ReyExecutive Chef Chuck Abair (mentored by Providence’s and Connie & Ted’s Chef Michael Cimarusti) is now behind the stoves at the venerable Café del Rey in Martina del Rey.

“For me, it’s about exceeding guests’ expectations, making as much in-house as possible, and providing a dining experience that suits the spectacular location.”

On Saturday, October 4th, Café del Rey will host the Fall installment of “Permission to Come Aboard,” a sports fishing package for seafood enthusiasts and adventurous diners in Los Angeles. Guests are invited to join Executive Chef Chuck Abair on a half-day fishing expedition from 7:00 a.m. to 12 Noon along the Marina del Rey coastline followed by a barbeque-style outdoor lunch at Café del Rey featuring the guests’ catch of the day.

David VallanteDavid Valiante is the Bar Program Director at Roxanne’s Lounge and The Exhibition Room speakeasy in Long Beach. He’s been a master bartender for 14 years including a stretch as a Flair Bartender.

“I began my bartending career about 14 years ago, and learned a lot about wine and food pairings. Started at The Market Broiler in Huntington Beach, moved to other restaurants and then to a jazz club in Hollywood. I eventually moved back to restaurants.

He’s part of Sip LBC Long Beach Wine, Beer & Spirits Week taking place from September 21st to 27th

Ed ManettaCucina Enoteca, a lively California-inspired Italian Kitchen & Wine Shop, just launched a 8,300-square-foot restaurant and wine shop located at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Wine Director Ed Manetta created a balanced, highly edited, and ever-changing wine list. Comprising over 250 familiar names and rare, small-batch gems from the Americas and Europe, Cucina presents an emphasis on Italian varietals. Wine veteran Manetta is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and has 15 years of industry experience.

Ed is with us to discuss their highly unusual retail wine program that’s already making waves.

LA Beer WeekThe 6th Annual L.A. Brewers Beer Week taps its first keg September 20th. It’s best described as an annual epic craft beer fest. New this year is that it’s under the management of the L.A. Brewer’s Guild (headed by Jeremy Raub of Eagle Rock Brewery.) It’s special beer tastings, food events, and informative panels all over the city.

Jeremy Raub and international craft beer authority, Beer Judge, and journalist Tomm Carroll join us with all the hoppy details. Tomm has been involved in organizing all the previous L.A. Beer Weeks.

Tomm is moderating a number of panels during beer week including one on the history of beer and brewing in Los Angeles as well as an informational panel on judging beer, featuring high-ranking beer judges. He’s also part of the cask ale fest at the new MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. (cask only brewery) in Van Nuys.

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Terri Henry and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Terri Henry, Terri Henry Marketing LLC
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, Food, Restaurant and Libation Journalist
Segment Four: Executive Chef Chuck Abair, Café del Rey
Segment Five: David Valiante, Mixologist – Roxanne’s Lounge
Segment Six: Ed Manetta, Wine Director – Cucina Enoteca
Segment Seven: 6th Annual LA Brewers Beer Week Part One
Segment Eight: 6th Annual LA Brewers Beer Week Part Two

Show 83, August 9, 2014: Food Historian & Author Richard Foss

Dry with a Twist: A Liquid Lesson in How Prohibition Changed AmericaThe Exhibition Room at Roxanne’s Cocktail Lounge & Latin Grill, Long Beach’s “hidden speakeasy,” hosts the next edition of Touring the Cocktail: MOTAC Los Angeles, a liquid lesson in how Prohibition changed America. Come out for an evening of culture and cocktails, costumes and music! Dress as a flapper, bootlegger, moonshiner, or temperance crusader (no hatchets please, ladies). There will be prizes for the best costume, giveaways, and more!

Whether you were a regular tippler or never let a drop of alcohol past your lips, Prohibition affected every American’s life. Dining options, dating habits, vacation choices, and perhaps most infamously, the attitude of citizens toward law enforcement, were forever altered by the temperance movement’s short-lived crowning achievement. Even so, most Americans don’t really understand who we were before that great experiment, how Prohibition came to pass, and the ways in which the period reverberates to this day.

Historian Richard Foss, author of “Rum: A Global History,” transports participants to a world of temperance terrorists and flappers, moonshiners and smugglers, and ordinary citizens who just wanted a drink and would get it by any means necessary. Drinkmaster David Valiante executes a menu of five period cocktails, illustrating the ways in which America’s palate for drinks has changed. (Don’t worry, bathtub gin will not appear on the menu, but some delightful and largely forgotten beverages will make a glorious reappearance.) A light dinner of savory specialties from Roxanne’s Latin Grill is included in the price of admission.

Tickets are $40 in advance, $35 for members of SoFAB/MOTAC and the USBG. Tickets at the door are $50 (subject to availability.)

Play

Show 83, August 9, 2014: The 12 Bottle Bar

David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson“A new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar, distills the craft cocktail movement for the home bar. Irresistibly uncomplicated, just 12 bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails.”

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the husband-and-wife authors (and noted cocktail enthusiasts) are with us.

“We’re living in the midst of a cocktail renaissance – artisanal cocktails. Celebrity mixologists, drink menus that outshine wine lists and feature ingredients as fresh and complex as the most sought after meals. Just as home cooks have looked to popular restaurants and chefs for new recipes, imbibers want to bring the magic of a local speakeasy straight to the living room.”

Play

August 9: Jimmy Shaw, FoodGPS, Richard Foss, AlXimia Vino Elemental Winery, CremaCafe, David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Golden Foodies

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill and The Torta Co.
Segment Three: Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival, Chinatown
Segment Four: Food Historian & Author Richard Foss
Segment Five: Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental Winery
Segment Six: Tarit Tanjasiri of CremaCafe & Bakery
Segment Seven: The 12 Bottle Bar
Segment Eight: The Golden Foodies

Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill restaurants and Producer Andy preview the show.

Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill is with us. He brought the rich Mexican Street Food of his native Mexico City to Los Angeles. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is the 2nd largest Mexican City in the World. It all started in 2002 with a modest stand in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles.

Chef Jimmy Shaw educates us on the ample Mexican sandwich, The Torta. He also talks about stocking Mexican ingredients in your home pantry.

Josh Lurie of Food GPS is at it again with delectable food and beverage events. The 3rd Annual Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival is set for Sunday afternoon, August 17th in Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza.

The Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum) is presenting an evening of cocktails, food, and entertainment featuring (the always entertaining) culinary historian and author Richard Foss on August 18th at 6:30 p.m. at Roxanne’s Lounge in Long Beach. The presentation is : “Dry With a Twist: A Liquid Lesson in How Prohibition Changed America.”

One of the most important wine regions in Mexico is the Valle de Guadalupe located about an hour and one-half South of Tijuana. The best of these wines are slowly finding their way North to Southern California. Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental winery joins us from the Valle de Guadalupe with his Family’s story.

Tarit Tanjasiri is the baker/proprietor of the revered CremaCafe in Seal Beach. It started as a small breakfast and lunch spot. Tarit couldn’t source a bread for his sandwiches that satisfied him so he added an adjacent production bakery. We’ll meet him.

“A new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar, distills the craft cocktail movement for the home bar. Irresistibly uncomplicated, just 12 bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails.” The husband-and-wife authors are with us.

Orange County’s answer to the prestigious, red carpet awards shows is The Golden Foodies. Voting has started for this year in the first group of categories and the public is invited to vote for their favorite restaurants and related categories. Good luck to all…

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

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill is with us. He brought the rich Mexican Street Food of his native Mexico City to Los Angeles. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is the 2nd largest Mexican City in the World. It all started in 2002 with a modest stand in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles.

There are now Loteria! Grill restaurants in Hollywood, Studio, City, Westlake Village, Santa Monica and Downtown at Fig at 7th.

“Lotería! Grill has grown from the open-air stall at the Farmers Market to become a nationally renowned group of restaurants that offer a casually elegant, fun and relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy everything from a refreshing agua fresca or margarita to award-winning, delicious regional specialties and slowly cooked guisos served with handmade corn tortillas.  Favorites like the Chicharrón de Queso, and the Probaditas, a mini-taco sampler of our signature guisos, have their guests coming back frequently for more.”

Chef Jimmy Shaw educates us on the ample Mexican sandwich, the Torta. He also talks about stocking Mexican ingredients as part of your regular home pantry.

Joshua Lurie of Food GPSJosh Lurie of Food GPS is at it again with delectable food and beverage events. The 3rd Annual Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival Presented by Bolthouse Farms is set for Sunday afternoon, August 17th in Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza. Hours are 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

This all-inclusive, chef-focused event includes some of L.A.’s best chefs preparing unique fried chicken dishes and complimentary sides. Additionally, there are an array of delicious desserts (Valerie Confections) and beverages.

Participating chef Jesse Furman (Free Range LA) and Josh Lurie of Food GPS preview the Festival.

Dry with a Twist: A Liquid Lesson in How Prohibition Changed AmericaThe Exhibition Room at Roxanne’s Cocktail Lounge & Latin Grill, Long Beach’s “hidden speakeasy,” hosts the next edition of Touring the Cocktail: MOTAC Los Angeles, a liquid lesson in how Prohibition changed America. Come out for an evening of culture and cocktails, costumes and music! Dress as a flapper, bootlegger, moonshiner, or temperance crusader (no hatchets please, ladies). There will be prizes for the best costume, giveaways, and more!

Whether you were a regular tippler or never let a drop of alcohol past your lips, Prohibition affected every American’s life. Dining options, dating habits, vacation choices, and perhaps most infamously, the attitude of citizens toward law enforcement, were forever altered by the temperance movement’s short-lived crowning achievement. Even so, most Americans don’t really understand who we were before that great experiment, how Prohibition came to pass, and the ways in which the period reverberates to this day.

Historian Richard Foss, author of “Rum: A Global History,” transports participants to a world of temperance terrorists and flappers, moonshiners and smugglers, and ordinary citizens who just wanted a drink and would get it by any means necessary. Drinkmaster David Valiante executes a menu of five period cocktails, illustrating the ways in which America’s palate for drinks has changed.  (Don’t worry, bathtub gin will not appear on the menu, but some delightful and largely forgotten beverages will make a glorious reappearance.) A light dinner of savory specialties from Roxanne’s Latin Grill is included in the price of admission.

Tickets are $40 in advance, $35 for members of SoFAB/MOTAC and the USBG. Tickets at the door are $50 (subject to availability.)

Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino ElementalOne of the most important (and historic) wine regions in Mexico is the Valle de Guadalupe located about an hour and one-half South of Tijuana. The best of these wines are slowly finding their way North to Southern California. Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental winery joins us from the Valle de Guadalupe with his Family’s story.

Wine tasting and tours are available to visitors at this architecturally significant winery.

“AlXimia is a wine-making project born from the meeting of the senses and the world, with special attention to the earth, the plant, the fruit and its benefits. We are trying to understand, use and preserve nature.

Baja California is wine country, and wines are, in our view, the product of the transmutation of the four natural elements:

  • the earth that nourishes and gives rise to the vineyards
  • the scarce water that is vital in the Valle de Guadalupe
  • the fresh air that comes from the sea and
  • the fire in the form of the heat from the sun, providing the freshness and warmth needed to ripen the grapes and give them the adequate acidity, while at the same time generating the energy needed for the process
  • When you assemble these 4 elements, the space (or ether) becomes the fifth element that makes possible their existence.

AlXimia is a family business focused on the work of the sensible. It is a group born at home, amidst the respect for the environment, in the tradition of teaching and knowledge transfer. AlXimia travels through the wine trail manifested in a free and existential thinking against the structured and accurate scientific thought process, daring to innovate.  Started by a mathematician turned winemaker, this amazing winery was built by an innovative architect, the mathematician-winemaker and his astronomer father.”

Tarit TanjasiriTarit Tanjasiri is the consumed baker/proprietor of the revered CremaCafe & Artisan Bakery in Seal Beach. It started eight years ago as a small breakfast and lunch spot. Tarit couldn’t source a bread for his sandwiches that satisfied him so two years ago he added an adjacent production bakery. It’s the café on one side and the bakery on the other. We’ll meet him.

Tarit’s Kouign Amann was one of the OC Weekly’s “100 Favorite Dishes of 2014.”

According to Anne Marie Panoringan of the OC Weekly : “Per Tarit, a Kouign Amann is a pastry from the Brittany region of France. It’s often considered more of a cake than a pastry, although Crema utilizes croissant dough for their version. Layers of butter, dough, sugar and a bit of sea salt are formed. Shaped to resemble a blooming rose, it is then placed in the deck oven to bake. Sweetness and density are much higher in France, and they come in many more sizes, shapes and filling flavors.”

David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson“A new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar, distills the craft cocktail movement for the home bar. Irresistibly uncomplicated, just 12 bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails.”

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the husband-and-wife authors (and noted cocktail enthusiasts) are with us.

“We’re living in the midst of a cocktail renaissance – artisanal cocktails. Celebrity mixologists, drink menus that outshine wine lists and feature ingredients as fresh and complex as the most sought after meals. Just as home cooks have looked to popular restaurants and chefs for new recipes, imbibers want to bring the magic of a local speakeasy straight to the living room.”

Golden Foodie AwardsOrange County’s answer to the prestigious, red carpet awards shows is The Golden Foodies. Voting has started for this year in the first group of categories and the public is invited to vote for their favorite restaurants and related categories. There are two more weeks of voting cycles…

Winners are chosen by the people. It’s a People’s Choice Food Awards. The Golden Foodie Awards Gala at The Fairmont in Newport Beach is Saturday evening, September 28th. Good luck to all…

Voting concludes on August 9th for the categories of : Mexican, Vegetarian, Pizza, Beer, American Cuisine, Burger, Cocktail, and Best Food Talk Radio Show.

The Founder of The Golden Foodies, Pamela Waitt, and J.C. Clow of The Winery Newport Beach join us. It’s been announced that J.C.’s The Winery Newport Beach has been nominated (one of three nominees in the category) for Best New Restaurant.

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill and The Torta Co.
Segment Three: Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival, Chinatown
Segment Four: Food Historian & Author Richard Foss
Segment Five: Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental Winery
Segment Six: Tarit Tanjasiri of CremaCafe & Bakery
Segment Seven: The 12 Bottle Bar
Segment Eight: The Golden Foodies