Show 154, January 9, 2016: Executive Chef Josiah Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Venice, CA

Josiah CitrinCharcoal Venice, the new inviting, neighborhood restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef and Proprietor Josiah Citrin (our guest), opened early last month on W. Washington Blvd., a burgeoning culinary destination in Venice, CA bordering Marina del Rey. A more casual concept than Citrin’s Melisse, Charcoal Venice upholds the chef’s philosophy “In Pursuit of Excellence,” with a simpler, more approachable menu.

As the name suggests, the daily menu features craveable comfort foods cooked over a live fire via a wood oven, over charcoal, in the coals, or in a Big Green Egg – imparting a smoky, backyard barbeque flavor with the use of premium oak and hickory lump coals. Adding to the communal atmosphere of the restaurant, these dishes are all large, family-style portions meant to be shared.

Citrin also offers starters, including a unique tartare selection, such as beef heart and lamb, alongside a selection of farmers’ market vegetables including a whole head of cabbage baked in the coals until it’s completely black on the outside and smoky on the inside. The Cabbage Baked in Embers (a nice variation on the standard grilled artichoke) is becoming a signature of the restaurant.

“This is the type of casual concept I’ve always wanted to open. It’s the food that I prepare for my friends and family in my backyard on the weekend. Not too fancy, just delicious food that you crave,” says Citrin. “Mélisse is your special occasion restaurant, while Charcoal Venice is an every night place for a refreshing beer and a perfectly grilled entrée.”


Show 135, August 22, 2015: Executive Chef Jesse Barber, The Dudley Market, Venice

Jesse Barber of Dudley MarketAs Executive Chef at Venice’s Barnyard, Jesse Barber was known for his simple, honest food and ingredient-driven menu. In his newest venture, Dudley Market, Barber looks to continue his practice of utilizing local, seasonally fresh ingredients, maintaining the strong relationships with the farmers and purveyors he has worked closely with over the past few years.

Barber is inspired by the unique and vibrant Venice community, “Food is one of the most important connections between people and I hope to create lasting relationships with neighbors, friends, farms and local vendors.”

“The idea is simple, bring the community we know and love the everyday luxury it deserves. Our motivation is rooted in our obsession for outstanding quality and ethics in everything we procure. Using the tastiest ingredients and through detailed preparation we strive to turn what could be a daily routine into an unforgettable experience. We’ve pulled-back the curtain by introducing our community to our growers, artisans, and wine makers, inviting everyone to participate in the conversation and enjoy the results of what we find to be a very gratifying process.”

Local is part of the intriguing wine program, too. The emphasis is on small, relatively unknown California producers of limited production organic wines.

Dudley Market is open for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner.



Show 124, May 30, 2015: Anne Marie Panoringan, OC Weekly Continues…

Anne Marie PanoringanWe’re continuing with OC Weekly’s Anne Marie Panoringan who just returned from Portland, a new foodie paradise.

On the national doughnut scene Portland’s Blue Star Donuts is a revered cult favorite. We’ll hear about “Doughnuts for grown-ups.”

Anne Marie’s timing is impeccable. Blue Star Donuts is coming to Venice’s Abbott Kinney Avenue later this summer. It’s their first U.S. expansion outside of Portland! Looking for that Hard Apple Cider Fritter…

PSU Farmers Market and the upscale bars at both The Ace Hotel and The Heathman Restaurant and Bar are also on the menu. It’s seems the luxe Heathman Hotel is a location in both the book and movie versions of 50 Shades of GrayCertainly a good excuse to create a signature cocktail around.

It’s definitely time for a food holiday escape in Portland.


Show 120, May 2, 2015: MOTAC’s Philip Dobard and Scopa’s Steve Livigni

Steve LivigniThe Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) announces its next Los Angeles seminar, “Vive l’Aperitif! An Invitation to Preprandial Drinking,” Monday, May 11th, 2015 at one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants, Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Sampling of classic aperitifs is on the menu. It’s all in celebration of National Aperitif Day.

Ever wonder what distinguishes an aperitif from a digestif? And what their culinary function is? Well, celebrate National Aperitif Day with The Museum of the American Cocktail and wonder no more. Celebrated mixologists and restaurateurs Steve Livigni & Pablo Moix lead participants on a tasting tour of aperitifs both common and rare, neat and cocktailed. Guests will learn what they need to know to select and appreciate a fine before-dinner drink and enjoy innovative takes on Italian classics from “Top Chef” star Chef Antonia Lofaso who is also one of three regular judges on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with Alton Brown.

For the record National Aperitif Day is actually May 18th. MOTAC is getting an early start on the festivities!

Scopa’s Steve Livigni and MOTAC’s Philip Dobard join us to explain what an aperitif is and how it fits into a contemporary cocktail program.


Show 99, November 29, 2014: Chef & Baker Hans Rockenwagner

Hans RockenwagnerIn Hans Rockenwagner’s (Rockenwagner Bakery) L.A. kitchen, German cooking takes on a whole new meaning. He starts with comforting, homey flavors of his childhood in Germany, looks to the bounty of the California farmers’ markets for ingredients and inspiration, and adds his creativity and droll wit. The resulting dishes have captivated Angelenos for many years.

Now his most beloved and accessible recipes are gathered in Das Cook Book – German Cooking…California Style, thoroughly adapted and tested for the home kitchen.

Rockenwagner was born and raised in Germany, trained as a chef in Germany and Switzerland, and at the mere age of twenty-two moved to the U.S. to run the kitchen at Chicago’s famed Le Perroquet. Three years later, he opened Rockenwagner in Venice, quickly winning national acclaim for his fresh, inventive California take on the German classics of his youth.

Today he is the proprietor of multiple L.A. area restaurants including Café Rockenwagner in Brentwood and 3 Square Café in Venice, as well as a large artisan commercial bakery serving the discriminating area restaurant and luxury hotel community.


Show 93, October 18, 2014: Chef Nick Liberato & Venice Whaler Part One

Nick LiberatoThe classic Venice Whaler (dating from 1944) located across from the beach in Venice has a new look and attitude. Specialty handcrafted cocktails are on the menu as well as “upscale dive-bar” cuisine created by Executive Chef Nick Liberato (Spike TV’s Bar Rescue.”)

“We source from local farms, bakeries, and our in-house Chef’s Garden.”

There is live music in the Crab Shell Bar.

“Absorbing culture and passing it on through food is part of Chef Nick Liberato’s heritage. Raised believing that every day is a holiday which should be celebrated with food, wine, great conversation, and loved ones, Chef Nick has been cooking professionally for 18 years and now calls the Southern California coast his home.”


Show 93, October 18, 2014: Chef Nick Liberato & Venice Whaler Part Two

Nick LiberatoExecutive Chef Nick Liberato of the Venice Whaler continues.

Chef Nick is also an accomplished mixologist. Part of the repositioning of the Venice Whaler is a new emphasis on specialty handcrafted cocktails made with fresh ingredients

The Bar Director is Anthony Settacase.

The signature “Crab Shell” Bloody Mary comes with a real crab claw instead of a celery stalk…

Weekend Brunch is now on the menu at the Venice Whaler. It’s 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. How about Short Rib Hash with roasted potatoes and a sunny side up egg ?


Show 76, June 14, 2014: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, did a little recent vacation swing down the Central Coast. The main destination was oceanfront The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Kedric spotlights the notable food and accommodations along the way. The report is family-friendly, too.

Also some breaking OC restaurant news including the tip that Venice’s Superba Snack Bar (Chef Jason Neroni) is on the way to a coastal Orange County City…


Show 71, May 3, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Multiple James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard is familiar to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her work-in-progress is the ambitious revival of the Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border with Culver City.

She will tell us all about her exciting new position as Corporate Vice President of the Culinary Division of iPic Theaters. Watching a movie on the big screen should be a deluxe experience with food to match!

There is a relatively new hidden gem of a very personal farm-to-table restaurant in Venice. That’s Barnyard Venice. Come hungry and prepare to be pleasantly surprised and also well-taken care of.

Nan Kohler, the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, is back for an encore. This time she’ll also be speaking about gluten-free and the milling process for flour.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for is back with us to share some inspired restaurant finds from her recent travels both in Europe and in The States.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin has a new location on the Bay in Newport Beach. It’s a “wow” of a spot!

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


Show 71, May 3, 2014: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice

Jesse Barber of Barnyard VeniceBarnyard Venice (opened in 2012) is a bit of a find housed in an old cottage on Pacific Avenue. It’s rustic and comfortable.

Chef Jesse Barber, an alum of the kitchen at Tasting Kitchen, is the menu-maker. Earlier in his career he worked with Thomas Keller at both The French Laundry and Bouchon. He’s put together an ever changing menu with an emphasis on local ingredients. He’s a regular at the Santa Monica Farmers Markets and that’s the basis for his menu which changes almost daily.

His grilled octopus is a standout. Four-hour prep time! It’s steamed and marinated.

Ramen Tuesday is at the bar and on the patio.

Chef Jesse does significant outreach to the community so his guests better understand where the ingredients at Barnyard come from. On Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. he’ll usually do a butchering demo of a whole animal. The last Sunday of each month it is a cooking demo. It might be baking a fruit pie or even perhaps preparing extraordinary chicken wings.