Show 269, April 14, 2018: Joe Manzella, TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Brea

Joe Manzella of Taps Fish House and Brewery and the CatchAlmost 20 years ago restaurateur Joe Manzella (and his Family) debuted TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Downtown Brea. It was an expensive undertaking and a major risk at the time.

The popular locals’ favorite establishment recently reopened after a $1.5 -million remodeling. The comprehensive refresh comes as TAPS, one of the region’s most decorated breweries and a standout for its high-quality seafood, fine steaks, oyster bar and famous Las Vegas-style Sunday brunch, readies for its 20th anniversary next year.

“It’s a big-picture renovation that simply says that after close to 20 years of high-volume business, we’re ready for a major refresh,” said Manzella, who opened the original TAPS with his sister, Michele, and their late father, Fred.

“The basic bones of the building remain,” said Manzella, referring to the iconic building’s 85,000 bricks, bow-string trusses and cherry wood. “It’s a classic architectural beauty and will always be a welcome decor aesthetic.”

“This business is about intriguing the guests, be it with innovative food, spirits or ambiance,” Manzella said. “You can’t stand still. Our loyal following and new guests deserve the best, and our job is to be constantly reviewing everything and doing it better.”

The newest enterprise for the Manzella Restaurant GroupTAPS Brewery & Barrel Room, will open in Tustin by the Legacy development in late spring 2018.

Joe is with us in-studio.

 

Play

Show 265, March 17, 2018: Greg Nagel, Founder & Producer, Firkfest Castaway Tiki Cask Beer Festival

Greg NagelThe 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again.

“Of the hundreds of different flavors of beer, a large portion can be described as “tropical”. Whether it be IPAs bursting with mango, pineapple, or passion fruit hoppy notes; stouts with Pina Colada and Mai Tai vibes, or even Belgian-style beers with Zombie cocktail overtones…don’t be surprised to see this year’s Firkfest beers to include “aged in rum barrel” or have actual barbecued pineapple making up the event’s beers.”

New this year is the well-respected OC Bartenders Cabinet will be shaking up actual Tiki cocktails for demonstration and sampling. Several bartenders are teaming up with breweries to also collaborate on tropical/tiki-style cask beers.

“Looking at the previous Firkfest events, I saw a common denominator: tropical-style beers seemed to stand out. As a huge cocktail nerd that loves Tiki culture, it’s time for the area’s craft brewers to come together, throw on some grass skirts, and make something truly unique,” says founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel, @OCBeerBlog.

Tickets are $50 including fees, all profits supporting the historic Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade, an event that celebrates a 95-year history. Event tickets are by-design, limited, as the producer keeps things intimate. “It’s a park-like atmosphere, where people chill on beach blankets and chairs,” says fest-man Nagel.

Murrieta’s Inland Wharf Brewing Co. (previous guests on the show) will be there as well as El Segundo Brewing Co., Smog City Brewing Co. and TAPS.

Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Play

Show 158, February 6, 2016: Andrew Aoun, Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Taps Fish House & Brewery, The Catch and Lillie’s Q

Andrew AnunTAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea, Corona & Irvine) has always been known as a pioneer in brewing award-winning craft beer. Recently proprietor Joe Manzanella, not one to stand still, decided it was time to totally overhaul and elevate his bar program system-wide.

Corporate Wine & Spirits Manager, Andrew Aoun has done just that. We’ll chat with him about what it takes to totally revamp a successful bar program. The ambitious relaunch is in place at Taps Fish House & Brewery. The Catch, and Lillie’s Q.

Play

Show 103, December 27, 2014: Chef Charlie McKenna, Lillie’s Q

Charlie MckennaWhen Chef Charlie McKenna opened the original Lillie’s Q in 2010 in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago he brought award-winning competition BBQ and timeless Southern cooking to the City of Big Shoulders. Now Chef Charlie and partner Joe Manzella of TAPS Fish House & Brewery and The Catch have launched Lillie’s Q in Brea Downtown. The joint venture marks McKenna’s fourth location for his growing barbecue concept.

Lillie’s Q specializes in slow-smoked pork shoulder, tri-tip, baby back ribs, hot links, and chicken cooked in custom-built smokers over peach wood and lump charcoal. They are also known for their incredible array of award-winning sauces which are still prepared in small batches. The sauces themselves are so popular that they are sold-out until mid-January.

“I look forward to bringing my southern BBQ roots to the West Coast,”
McKenna said. “It’s approachable, and there is something on the menu for everyone to enjoy.”

Chef McKenna is our guest.

Play

Show 48, November 16, 2013: Joe Manzella, proprietor of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea and Corona, and The Catch in Anaheim

Joe Manzella of Taps Fish House and Brewery and the CatchJoe is also a lifelong sandwich fan and a history buff. He’s traveled the country researching regional favorites. Working with his executive chef he’s launched the “Famous 50” sandwich program. Each week a different regional favorite is showcased at both TAPS in Brea and The Catch in Anaheim. Thus far the Famous 50 has included favorites including lobster roll, Mama Manzella’s meatball sub, muffuletta, Chicago Italian Beef, and the Cubano.

According to Manzella to reach true sandwich nirvana five critical points must be met. He shares them with us on the show. One clue…All his bread comes from star baker Dean Kim at the OC Baking Co. in Orange.

Joe’s three personal classic American sandwiches (when pressed) are the Hoagie (Hero Sandwich,) Philadelphia Cheese Steak, and Patty or Tuna Melt.

Play

November 16: Seoul Sausage, Taps Fish House, Linda Burum, The Lobster, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, A Restaurant, Front Porch Pops

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Oh and Ted Kim of Seoul Sausage Co. in West Los Angeles
Segment Three: Joe Manzella, proprietor of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea and Corona, and The Catch in Anaheim
Segment Four: Linda Burum, food journalist & contributor to Los Angeles Magazine and L.A. Weekly
Segment Five: Collin Crannell, Executive Chef of The Lobster
Segment Six: Jay Isais, Senior Director of Coffee, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Segment Seven: Jon Blackford, Executive Chef of A Restaurant, Newport Beach
Segment Eight: Erin Whitcomb, POPrietor of Front Porch Pops

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

CBTL by the Coffee Bean and Tea LeafIt’s National Espresso Day on Saturday, November 23rd. To celebrate our friends at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be featuring a Black Friday promotion.

The CBTL, the single serve beverage system from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, will be part of a special promotion from November 29 through December 1, 2013. Enthusiasts can purchase one CBTL Single Serve Machine and get a second CBTL Single Serve Machine (of equal or lesser value) free!

Seoul SausageA little over a year ago those three wild & crazy, youthful Korean-Americans (Ted and Yong Kim and Chef Chris Oh) opened the Seoul Sausage Co. in Little Osaka, West Los Angeles. They are known for melding distinctive Korean flavors into American sausages. Their other signature item is the “flaming balls.” Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) with corn bread is another specialty.

Seoul Sausage Co. opened right after the three partners won Season 3 of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race. First prize was a cool $50,000 and the new food truck they took across the country on the series. It’s affectionately known as “Big Mama.” The “Flaming Balls” was a dish created by necessity in an intense competition on “Great Food Truck Race.”

The (always entertaining) Seoul Sausage Co. guys are with us to talk about the sweet ride that has been the last year. The lines are still out the door.

There’s more…Young, Ted, and Chef Chris also have some exciting news to share with the listening audience. It’s an exclusive…

Joe Manzella of Taps Fish House and Brewery and the CatchRestaurateur Joe Manzella is the proprietor of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea and Corona, and The Catch in Anaheim on Katella near Angel Stadium.

Joe is also a lifelong sandwich fan and a history buff. He’s traveled the country researching regional favorites. Working with his executive chef he’s launched the “Famous 50” sandwich program. Each week a different regional favorite is showcased at both TAPS in Brea and The Catch in Anaheim. Thus far the Famous 50 has included favorites including lobster roll, Mama Manzella’s meatball sub, muffuletta, Chicago Italian Beef, and the Cubano.

According to Manzella to reach true sandwich nirvana five critical points must be met. He shares them with us on the show. One clue…All his bread comes from star baker Dean Kim at the OC Baking Co. in Orange.

Linda BurumLinda Burum is a well-known food journalist who currently contributes to Los Angeles Magazine and LA Weekly.

Linda is just back from a trip to Taipei, Taiwan where she did a bit of restaurant research.

Linda reports on her dining adventures there and mentions where you can get some of these same signature dishes locally.

Executive Chef Colin Crannell of the Lobster in Santa MonicaThe guests still think of Executive Chef Collin Crannell of The Lobster in Santa Monica as the “new” chef even though he’s been there four years. He has serious fine dining background going back to Joachim Splichal’s Patina and luxury hotels.

Of course he’s a lobster specialist. There is even a lobster ravioli on the menu with Santa Monica farmer’s market vegetables. He also does some pretty wonderful thinks with steak.

Chef Crannell impresses with soup, too.

The Lobster is located at the top of the entrance to the historic Santa Monica Pier. It’s an incredible ocean view. The restaurant proudly defies the notion that if you offer a great view you can probably get away with serving mediocre food.

It’s National Espresso Day on Saturday, November 23rd.

Jay Isais of the Coffee Bean and Tea LeafJay Isais, Senior Director of Coffee for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf joins us to chat about creating the perfect cup of espresso. There is a lot more to this than you may imagine.

To get you into the Holiday Spirit our friends at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be featuring a Black Friday promotion.

The CBTL, the single serve beverage system from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, will be part of a special promotion from November 29 through December 1, 2013. Enthusiasts can purchase one CBTL Single Serve Machine and get a second CBTL Single Serve Machine (of equal or lesser value) free!

Jon Blackford of A RestaurantWhat is now the popular A Restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach is a classic dining spot dating back to 1926. A few years ago new, local ownership completely restored the place to its current ageless steakhouse atmosphere. It’s handsome with a very popular bar.

Jon Blackford is the executive chef. His charge is to continue to serve great steaks but also elevate the rest of the menu. Believe it or not he loves market fresh vegetables and amazes with beets.

He impresses with creative charcuterie and cheese plates and house-made grilled sausages.

Erin Whitcomb of Front Porch PopsErin Whitcomb’s Front Porch Pops were the hit of the Orange International Street Fair in Old Town Orange over Labor Day Weekend. They were being enjoyed everywhere on the Festival site. The pops are handmade in small batches.

Tangy Lemon Cream was the first frozen novelty sold back in 2010.

Erin’s Pop Philosophy:

  • We use real fruit and fresh dairy to make our pops.
  • Our pops are handcrafted by our staff using our own recipes.
  • You’ll never find artificial colors, flavors, or high–fructose corn syrup in our pops. Ever.
  • We use locally grown, organic produce whenever we can. We sell our pops at farmer’s markets and take great pride in saying, “The plums from that farmer over there are in this popsicle right here!”

New to the line (and just in time for the Holidays) are small batch pies. The crust is hand-rolled.

A colleague described him as “passionate, dedicated, creative, stubborn, tough, great vision, and healthy.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef Chris Oh and Ted Kim of Seoul Sausage Co. in West Los Angeles
Segment Three: Joe Manzella, proprietor of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea and Corona, and The Catch in Anaheim
Segment Four: Linda Burum, food journalist & contributor to Los Angeles Magazine and L.A. Weekly
Segment Five: Collin Crannell, Executive Chef of The Lobster
Segment Six: Jay Isais, Senior Director of Coffee, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Segment Seven: Jon Blackford, Executive Chef of A Restaurant, Newport Beach
Segment Eight: Erin Whitcomb, POPrietor of Front Porch Pops

Show 26, April 27, 2013: Brewmaster Victor Novak of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Downtown Brea

Victor Novak of Taps Fish House and Brewery in BreaOn Saturday, April 27th from Noon to 3:00 p.m. TAPS hosted their first Annual Craft Beer Festival benefit showcasing the brews of 34 of California’s finest craft breweries. The culinary team at TAPS created ample stations of international street food to pair with the beers.

Victor had over a decade of brewing experience before becoming part of the opening team at TAPS in 1999. He has recipes for some 50 to 55 European ales and lagers and annually TAPS brews up to 31 styles.

TAPS brews about 1,700 kegs annually and the craft beer is so popular that it’s served on tap at other fine restaurants in Southern California, too.

There is also a sister TAPS restaurant in Corona where on-site brewing is also on the menu.

Play

April 27: Victor Novak, Dean Simon, Nancy Zaslavsky, Wing Lam

Podcasts

Segment One: Brewmaster Victor Novak of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Downtown Brea
Segment Two: Dean Simon, Managing Partner of BRUXIE Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches Part One
Segment Three: Dean Simon, Managing Partner of BRUXIE Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches Part Two
Segment Four: Nancy Zaslavsky, “A Cook’s Tour to Mexico”
Segment Five: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Browne, co-founder of Kosta Browne Wines in Sebastopol, CA
Segment Six: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Cho, esq. of Palmieri, Tyler, Weiner, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP

We’re back…It’s a week of fascinating local success stories from  beverages to great food. There will be a slight detour to Mexico along the way to learn a bit about food tourism there. Please join us for the journey.

Victor Novak of Taps Fish House and Brewery in BreaBack in 1999 when veteran Brewmaster Victor Novak opened TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea the craft beer movement was in its infancy. Now it’s the fastest growing segment of the beer business and all the mega breweries are eagerly joining in the fray.

Today TAPS brews some 1,700 kegs annually representing an impressive portfolio of some 31 to 35 styles of European and American ales and lagers. Novak’s beers are so popular they are even featured on tap at other restaurants.

On Saturday, April 27th TAPS is hosting its First Annual Craft Beer Festival showcasing the brews of over 25 of Southern California’s finest craft breweries. There will also be international street food stations to pair with the beer. It’s from Noon to 3:00 p.m. on TAPS patio and bar.

Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney of BruxieBruxie is the fast-growing restaurant empire built on the recipe for a mouth-watering, authentic Belgian waffle. It started with a modest stand in Old Towne Orange in 2010 and the latest, most ambitious, store (the 5th) opened this week in downtown Huntington Beach.

Co-founder Dean Simon is with us to share his secrets for maintaining quality and guest satisfaction when you’re growing fast.

Nancy Zaslavsky is a well-traveled authority on the foods of Mexico, a cookbook author, cooking instructor, and accomplished culinary tour leader.

As Nancy says, “I’m not Mexican. I’m a blond gringa who loves Mexico, its culture, cuisine and people. One of my greatest joys is to share this enthusiasm with those who want to learn more about a fascinating country.”

Wing Lam of Wahoo's Fish TacosWing Lam, the co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco, needs no introduction to Southern Californians. Wing and his brothers Ed and Mingo are 2nd generation restaurateurs who parlayed a love for surfing into a successful restaurant empire which started in Costa Mesa. Incredibly the ever youthful Wing is celebrating Wahoo’s 25th Anniversary this year. Over the years Wahoo’s has strived to be a part of the communities they serve which now include California, Colorado, Texas, and Hawaii.

Wing also has an appreciation for quality libations including fine wine. He’ll share his wine adventures in Sonoma County from last weekend hanging with some of the legends of California Pinot Noir.

Wing will also provide his insights on keeping Wahoo’s popular when the large chain fast food restaurants are now also selling fish tacos. There is a difference…

Podcasts

Segment One: Brewmaster Victor Novak of TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Downtown Brea
Segment Two: Dean Simon, Managing Partner of BRUXIE Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches Part One
Segment Three: Dean Simon, Managing Partner of BRUXIE Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches Part Two
Segment Four: Nancy Zaslavsky, “A Cook’s Tour to Mexico”
Segment Five: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Browne, co-founder of Kosta Browne Wines in Sebastopol, CA
Segment Six: Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Michael Cho, esq. of Palmieri, Tyler, Weiner, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP