Show 477, June 4, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

“Farmer and chef Nathan Peitso of Los Angeles-originated restaurant brand, Farmhouse (formerly located at the Beverly Center,) is now owner/executive chef at Solvang’s Sear Steakhouse. The Santa Barbara County wine country steakhouse, which initially opened in March 2021 under previous ownership, is located in the heart of the Danish-settled village (adjacent to the Landsby Inn) along California’s Central Coast.

Peitso’s plans for the restaurant include a rebrand and name change in the coming months to “Crawford’s Steakhouse,” in honor of his family name, and a variety of menu and service additions and expansions. Sear will also see an elevated Santa Barbara seafood presence on its dinner menu and an increase in vegetable-based dishes, in addition to multiple steak cuts and other proteins. As a second-generation, Californian farmer – and now, a Santa Ynez Valley resident – Peitso intends to keep menu pricing accessible, relying on his close network of fellow farmers, fisherman, and ranchers.” Chef / Proprietor Nathan Peitso is our guest.

Casa Vega is an iconic Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles for over 65 years. Casa Vega is located on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest continuously family-owned restaurants in all of greater Los Angeles. Casa Vega’s roots go back to famous Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which operated on Olvera Street throughout the 1930s. Casa Vega serves authentic, delicious food and drinks in a warm and festive atmosphere.

Founder Ray passed away in January of 2021. Today the Vega Family keeps the family legacy alive with Christina (Christy) Vega at the helm. Christina worked side-by-side with her father for over 15 years. Nothing made Ray prouder than knowing his family legacy would continue.” Christy Vega is our guest with a signature Casa Vega Margarita in hand.

Amy Dixon’s The Baker’s Table in Santa Ynez is an artisan bakery (serving Breakfast and Lunch) feeding the body and soul through the time-honored craft of baking. They hold quality ingredients to heart and incorporate them into the way we live. The Baker’s Table is dedicated to combining organic, local and fair-trade ingredients to honor the earth and the hands that cultivate it. Thoughtfully choosing fair-trade, local and organic ingredients when possible, Amy Dixon tends to each recipe with the passion of an artist, persistence of a chemist, and patience of a mother.” Baker Amy Dixon joins us with rolling pin in hand.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. It’s National Cheese Day. Chef Andrew explains that seafood and cheese can be friends. We’re all looking to save some money on our food purchases. Chef Andrew shares his wisdom on lesser known varieties of fish that represent good value and are also delicious.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 477, June 4, 2022: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part One

Christy Vega of Casa Vega

Casa Vega is an iconic Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles for over 65 years. Casa Vega is located on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest continuously family-owned restaurants in all of greater Los Angeles. Casa Vega’s roots go back to famous Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which operated on Olvera Street throughout the 1930s. Casa Vega serves authentic, delicious food and drinks in a warm and festive atmosphere.

Founder Ray passed away in January 2021.”

“Today the Vega Family keeps the family legacy alive with Christina (Christy) Vega at the helm. Christina worked side-by-side with her father for over 15 years. Nothing made Ray prouder than knowing his family legacy would continue.”

This year The James Beard Foundation bestowed to Casa Vega, The America’s Classics Award. Each year since 1998 the James Beard Foundation Awards Committee has recognized our nation’s beloved regional restaurants as America’s Classics. Distinguished by their timeless appeal, they serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities. Casa Vega now joins the exclusive collection of L.A. area America’s Classics including Guelaguetza, Langer’s Delicatessen and Philippe the Original. Christy will be in Chicago on the evening of Monday, June 13th to accept the America’s Classics honors for Casa Vega at the 2022 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony.

Play

Show 477, June 4, 2022: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part Two

Christy Vega of Casa Vega

Casa Vega is an iconic Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles for over 65 years. Casa Vega is located on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest continuously family-owned restaurants in all of greater Los Angeles. Casa Vega’s roots go back to famous Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which operated on Olvera Street throughout the 1930s. Casa Vega serves authentic, delicious food and drinks in a warm and festive atmosphere. Founder Ray passed away in January 2021.”

“Today the Vega Family keeps the family legacy alive with Christina (Christy) Vega at the helm. Christina worked side-by-side with her father for over 15 years. Nothing made Ray prouder than knowing his family legacy would continue.”

This year The James Beard Foundation bestowed to Casa Vega, The America’s Classics Award. Each year since 1998 the James Beard Foundation Awards Committee has recognized our nation’s beloved regional restaurants as America’s Classics. Distinguished by their timeless appeal, they serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities. Casa Vega now joins the exclusive collection of L.A. area America’s Classics including Guelaguetza, Langer’s Delicatessen and Philippe the Original. Christy will be in Chicago on the evening of Monday, June 13th to accept the America’s Classics honors for Casa Vega at the 2022 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony

Christy Vega continues as our guest with Table-Side Guacamole at the ready.

Play

June 4: Sear Steakhouse, “America’s Classic” Casa Vega, The Baker’s Table

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Proprietor & Executive Chef Nathan Peitso, Sear Steakhouse, Solvang, CA Part One
Segment Three: Proprietor & Executive Chef Nathan Peitso, Sear Steakhouse, Solvang, CA Part Two
Segment Four: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part One
Segment Five: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part Two
Segment Six: Baker Amy Dixon, Proprietress. The Baker’s Table, Santa Ynez, CA Part One
Segment Seven: Baker Amy Dixon, Proprietress. The Baker’s Table, Santa Ynez, CA Part Two
Segment Eight: “Ask the Chef” with Co-host Chef Andrew Gruel

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

“Farmer and chef Nathan Peitso of Los Angeles-originated restaurant brand, Farmhouse (formerly located at The Beverly Center,) is now owner/executive chef at Solvang’s Sear Steakhouse. The Santa Barbara County wine country steakhouse, which initially opened in March 2021 under previous ownership, is located in the heart of the Danish-settled village (adjacent to the Landsby Inn) along California’s Central Coast.

Peitso’s plans for the restaurant include a rebrand and name change in the coming months to “Crawford’s Steakhouse,” in honor of his family name, and a variety of menu and service additions and expansions. Sear will also see an elevated Santa Barbara seafood presence on its dinner menu and an increase in vegetable-based dishes, in addition to multiple steak cuts and other proteins. As a second-generation, Californian farmer – and now, a Santa Ynez Valley resident – Peitso intends to keep menu pricing accessible, relying on his close network of fellow farmers, fisherman, and ranchers.” Chef/Proprietor Nathan Peitso is our guest.

“Casa Vega is a Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles for over 65 years. Casa Vega is located on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest continuously family-owned restaurants in all of greater Los Angeles. Casa Vega’s roots go back to famous Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which operated on Olvera Street throughout the 1930s. Casa Vega serves authentic, delicious food and drinks in a warm and festive atmosphere.

Founder Ray passed away in January of 2021. Today the Vega Family keeps the family legacy alive with Christina (Christy) Vega at the helm. Christina worked side-by-side with her father for over 15 years. Nothing made Ray prouder than knowing his family legacy would continue.” Christy Vega is our guest with a signature Casa Vega Margarita in hand.

Amy Dixon’s The Baker’s Table in Santa Ynez is an artisan bakery feeding the body and soul through the time-honored craft of baking. They hold quality ingredients to heart and incorporate them into the way we live. The Baker’s Table is dedicated to combining organic, local and fair-trade ingredients to honor the earth and the hands that cultivate it.

Thoughtfully choosing fair-trade, local and organic ingredients when possible, Amy Dixon tends to each recipe with the passion of an artist, persistence of a chemist, and patience of a mother.” Baker Amy Dixon joins us with rolling pin in hand.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. We’re all looking to save some money on our food purchases. Chef Andrew shares his wisdom on lesser known varieties of fish that represent good value and are also delicious. He also provides tips on buying fresh fish and seafood.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Nathan Peitso of Sear Steakhouse

“Farmer and chef Nathan Peitso of Los Angeles-originated restaurant brand, Farmhouse (formerly located at the Beverly Center,) is now owner/executive chef at Solvang’s Sear Steakhouse. The Santa Barbara County wine country steakhouse, which initially opened in March 2021 under previous ownership, is located in the heart of the Danish-settled village (adjacent to the Landsby Inn) along California’s Central Coast.”

“Peitso’s plans for the restaurant include a rebrand and name change in the coming months to “Crawford’s Steakhouse,” in honor of his family name, and a variety of menu and service additions and expansions. Sear’s local farm relationships will continue to play a major role in the kitchen, as Peitso sources from Santa Ynez Valley farms in addition to his family’s Southern California-based Kenter Canyon Farms. Roan Mills, to which Peitso also has family ties, will supply all bread products bound for the steakhouse, which will also see an elevated Santa Barbara seafood presence on its dinner menu and an increase in vegetable-based dishes, in addition to multiple steak cuts and other proteins.”

“As a second-generation, Californian farmer – and now, a Santa Ynez Valley resident – Peitso intends to keep menu pricing accessible, relying on his close network of fellow farmers, fisherman, and ranchers.” Serving Dinner nightly except on Monday.

Chef / Proprietor Nathan Peitso is our guest.

Christy Vega of Casa Vega

Casa Vega is an iconic Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles for over 65 years. Casa Vega is located on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest continuously family-owned restaurants in all of greater Los Angeles. Casa Vega’s roots go back to famous Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which operated on Olvera Street throughout the 1930s. Casa Vega serves authentic, delicious food and drinks in a warm and festive atmosphere.

Founder Ray passed away in January 2021.”

“Today the Vega Family keeps the family legacy alive with Christina (Christy) Vega at the helm. Christina worked side-by-side with her father for over 15 years. Nothing made Ray prouder than knowing his family legacy would continue.”

This year The James Beard Foundation bestowed to Casa Vega, The America’s Classics Award. Each year since 1998 the James Beard Foundation Awards Committee has recognized our nation’s beloved regional restaurants as America’s Classics. Distinguished by their timeless appeal, they serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities. Casa Vega now joins the exclusive collection of L.A. area America’s Classics including Guelaguetza, Langer’s Delicatessen and Philippe the Original.

Christy Vega is our guest with a Casa Vega Margarita in hand.

Amy Dixon of The Baker's Table

Amy Dixon’s The Baker’s Table in Santa Ynez is an artisan bakery feeding the body and soul through the time-honored craft of baking. They hold quality ingredients to heart and incorporate them into the way we live. The Baker’s Table is dedicated to combining organic, local and fair-trade ingredients to honor the earth and the hands that cultivate it.”

“Thoughtfully choosing fair-trade, local and organic ingredients when possible, Amy Dixon tends to each recipe with the passion of an artist, persistence of a chemist, and patience of a mother. At home in the Santa Ynez Valley since 1998, Amy keeps answering her driving call to pursue excellence through baking. Through kneading bread or crafting desserts for local restaurants, she continues to find joy in a flaky, buttery apple galette or in the delightful textures of a French macaron.”

“If you’re searching for a full, hand-crafted breakfast or a steaming cup of coffee and a luscious pastry, The Baker’s Table can satisfy your craving. Delectable offerings include everything from savory quiches to scones jam-packed with berries galore. If it’s lunch you prefer, their menu features salads with pristine ingredients fresh from the farm, as well as delicious sandwiches on their famous variety of hearth-baked breads.”

“Bread is the backbone of The Baker’s Table. They use artisan flour, all baked on a radiant, stone hearth. The Baker’s Table lovingly creates each and every loaf by hand, and carefully tend to them from mixing to slicing. You will see, smell and taste the stellar quality of their mouth-watering breads.”

Baker Amy Dixon joins us with rolling pin in hand.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

With inflation on the rise all around us we’re looking to save some money on our food purchases. Chef Andrew shares his wisdom on lesser known varieties of fish that represent good value and are also delicious. He also provides tips on buying fresh fish and seafood.

Show 417, March 20, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks under the watchful eye of 2nd generation restaurateur Christy Vega has reopened again for full-service dining. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2021 there will be a year of festivities honoring the late founder, Ray Vega, who passed away earlier in the year. Also new is a changing series of $5.00 Margarita Mondays served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Monday. Christy Vega is our guest with a Los Lucadores Foo in hand.
 
Barbara Fairchild, a past inductee in the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who in American Food & Beverage,” is the former, long-time Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine. She currently serves at the Chair of the Los Angeles Council for C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program and also is a member of the National Board of Directors for C-CAP. In normal times Barbara dines out frequently at a wide variety of restaurants. For the past pandemic year Barbara has stayed safely at home with restaurant dining on the far back burner. Barbara recently broke the fast with a celebratory birthday meal on the original patio of Spago Beverly Hills (with proper social distancing of the tables.) Barbara shares the memorable experience with us.

Mayfield Restaurant & Market is an ambitious, glowingly reviewed, modern California restaurant and market located in Downtown San Juan Capistrano in an extensively refurbished historic building. It’s on two levels and includes a comfortable covered patio. The menu has a distinctive Mediterranean and Levant flair and there is also an extensive cocktail list along with an ample selection of craft beers and natural wines. The operating days, and hours, have just been extended. All seating on the 2nd level patio and in the main dining room is properly socially distanced. Proprietor George Barker and Executive Chef Jayro Martinez join us.

“The international dining scene is a vast, ever-shifting landscape, and Today’s Special – 20 Leading Chefs Choose 100 Emerging Chefs (Phaidon) is perfectly positioned to help readers navigate it. Twenty of the globe’s leading chef-curators — 10 men and 10 women — have each selected five emerging chefs from around the world, showcasing a variety of styles of food, restaurants, and personalities. Each of the 100 selected chefs is profiled, with recipes, photographs, and menus, plus original commissioned essays that shed light on what makes a standout star in today’s culinary realm.” An L.A. area featured “Emerging Chef” in Today’s Special is Dave Beran of Pasjoli in Santa Monica and the now departed, Dialogue (up to a 20-course nightly tasting Menu,) which was highly praised. He was nominated for Today’s Special by New York-based Chef Daniel Boulud (Daniel.) We’ll meet Chef Dave Beran.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” As if restaurants didn’t have enough to contend with right now the insidious Dine & Dash” scheme to defraud restaurants is, unfortunately, a growing trend with a pair of awful variations. Chef Andrew explains…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 417, March 20, 2021: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part One

Christy Vega of Casa Vega

Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks under the watchful eye of 2nd generation restaurateur Christy Vega has reopened again for full-service dining. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2021 there will be a year of festivities honoring the late founder, Rafael “Ray” Vega, who passed away earlier in the year. Also new is a changing series of $5.00 Margarita Mondays served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Monday.

“The Foo Fighters taco has returned to Casa Vega through the end of April. Originally launched in December 2020 as the second installment of the restaurant’s charity band tacos (following the initial launch with Fall Out Boy in October), the special collaboration was cut short when the restaurant temporarily closed that month in response to new COVID restrictions. Now that Casa Vega has reopened for dine-in and take-out, the taco has returned as a special combo plate (Foo Fighters Especial) created by Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl—inspired by his passion for smoking meat—as well as a cocktail.” The libation is the Los Lucadores Foo with a shot of La Gritona resposado, fresh lime juice and Modelo Especial.

“The profits from each taco are donated to No Us Without You, a charity providing food security for undocumented back of house staff and their families created by Va’La Hospitality in the early weeks of the pandemic. As Casa Vega celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, expect more taco collabs and programming to be announced soon.”

Christy Vega is our guest with a Los Lucadores Foo in hand.

Play

Show 417, March 20, 2021: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part Two

Christy Vega of Casa Vega

Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks under the watchful eye of 2nd generation restaurateur Christy Vega has reopened again for full-service dining. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2021 there will be a year of festivities honoring the late founder, Ray Vega, who passed away earlier in the year. Also new is a changing series of $5.00 Margarita Mondays served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Monday.

“The Foo Fighters taco has returned to Casa Vega through the end of April. Originally launched in December 2020 as the second installment of the restaurant’s charity band tacos (following the initial launch with Fall Out Boy in October), the special collaboration was cut short when the restaurant temporarily closed that month in response to new COVID restrictions. Now that Casa Vega has reopened for dine-in and take-out, the taco has returned as a special combo plate (Foo Fighters Especial) created by Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl—inspired by his passion for smoking meat—as well as a cocktail.” The libation is the Los Lucadores Foo with a shot of La Gritona resposado, fresh lime juice and Modelo Especial.

“The profits from each taco are donated to No Us Without You, a charity providing food security for undocumented back of house staff and their families created by Va’La Hospitality in the early weeks of the pandemic. As Casa Vega celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, expect more taco collabs and programming to be announced soon.”

Christy Vega continues the conversation now with “The Tarantino” Margarita in hand. (It’s a festive salute to the Oscar-winning, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”)

Play

March 20: Casa Vega, Barbara Fairchild, Mayfield Restaurant & Market, Dave Beran

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part Two
Segment Four: Food & Travel Journalist Barbara Fairchild (former Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine)
Segment Five: Restaurateur George Barker an Executive Chef Jayro Martinez, Mayfield, San Juan Capistrano Part One
Segment Six: Restaurateur George Barker an Executive Chef Jayro Martinez, Mayfield, San Juan Capistrano Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Dave Beran, Pasjoli, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks under the watchful eye of 2nd generation restaurateur Christy Vega has reopened again for full-service dining. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2021 there will be a year of festivities honoring the late founder, Ray Vega, who passed away earlier in the year. Also new is a changing series of $5.00 Margarita Mondays served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Monday. Christy Vega is our guest with a Los Lucadores Foo in hand.

Barbara Fairchild, a past inductee in the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who in American Food & Beverage,” is the former, long-time Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine. She currently serves at the Chair of the L.A. Council for C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) and also is a member of the National Board of Directors for C-CAP. In normal times Barbara dines out frequently at a wide variety of restaurants. For the past pandemic year Barbara has stayed safely at home with restaurant dining on the far back burner. Barbara recently broke the fast with a celebratory birthday meal on the original patio of Spago Beverly Hills (with proper social distancing of the tables.) Barbara shares the memorable experience with us.

Mayfield Restaurant & Market is an ambitious, glowingly reviewed, modern California restaurant and market located in Downtown San Juan Capistrano in an extensively refurbished historic building. It’s on two levels and includes a comfortable covered patio. The menu has a distinctive Mediterranean and Levant flair and there is also an extensive cocktail list along with an ample selection of craft beers and natural wines. The operating days, and hours, have just been extended. Proprietor George Barker and Executive Chef Jayro Martinez join us.

“The international dining scene is a vast, ever-shifting landscape, and Today’s Special – 20 Leading Chefs Choose 100 Emerging Chefs (Phaidon) is perfectly positioned to help readers navigate it. Twenty of the globe’s leading chef-curators — 10 men and 10 women — have each selected five emerging chefs from around the world, showcasing a variety of styles of food, restaurants, and personalities. Each of the 100 selected chefs is profiled, with recipes, photographs, and menus, plus original commissioned essays that shed light on what makes a standout star in today’s culinary realm.” An L.A. area featured “Emerging Chef” in Today’s Special is Dave Beran of Pasjoli in Santa Monica and the now departed, Dialogue (up to a 20-course nightly tasting Menu,) which was highly praised. He was nominated for Today’s Special by New York-based Chef Daniel Boulud (Daniel.) We’ll meet Chef Dave Beran.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.” As if restaurants didn’t have enough to contend with right now the insidious “Dine & Dash” scheme to defraud restaurants is, unfortunately, a growing trend with a pair of awful variations. Chef Andrew explains…

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Christy Vega of Casa Vega

Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks under the watchful eye of 2nd generation restaurateur Christy Vega has reopened again for full-service dining. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2021 there will be a year of festivities honoring the late founder, Ray Vega, who passed away earlier in the year. Also new is a changing series of $5.00 Margarita Mondays served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Monday.

“The Foo Fighters taco has returned to Casa Vega through the end of April. Originally launched in December 2020 as the second installment of the restaurant’s charity band tacos (following the initial launch with Fall Out Boy in October), the special collaboration was cut short when the restaurant temporarily closed that month in response to new COVID restrictions. Now that Casa Vega has reopened for dine-in and take-out, the taco has returned as a special combo plate (Foo Fighters Especial) created by Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl—inspired by his passion for smoking meat—as well as a cocktail.” The libation is the Los Lucadores Foo with a shot of La Gritona resposado, fresh lime juice and Modelo Especial.

“The profits from each taco are donated to No Us Without You, a charity providing food security for undocumented back of house staff and their families created by Va’La Hospitality in the early weeks of the pandemic. As Casa Vega celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, expect more taco collabs and programming to be announced soon.”

Christy Vega is our guest with a Los Lucadores Foo in hand.

Journalist Barbara Fairchild

Barbara Fairchild, a past inductee in the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who in American Food & Beverage,” is the former, long-time Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine. She currently serves at the Chair of the L.A. Council for C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) and also is a member of the National Board of Directors for C-CAP.

In normal times Barbara dines out frequently at a wide variety of restaurants. For the past pandemic year Barbara has stayed safely at home with restaurant dining on the far back burner. Barbara recently broke the fast with a celebratory birthday meal on the original patio of Spago Beverly Hills (with proper social distancing of the tables.) Barbara shares the memorable experience with us. She also provides us with an overview of C-CAP and the upcoming virtual culinary fundraising event they are presenting nationally on Thursday evening, April 29th with culinary celebrity Carla Hall as the honoree (and hosted by Marcus Samuelsson.)

George Barker of Mayfield Restaurant and Market

Mayfield Restaurant & Market is an ambitious, glowingly reviewed modern California restaurant and market located in Downtown San Juan Capistrano in an extensively refurbished historic building. It’s on two levels and includes a comfortable covered patio. The menu has a distinctive Mediterranean and Levant flair and there is also an extensive cocktail list along with an ample selection of craft beers and natural wines.

The operating days, and hours, have just been extended.

Friday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. until late is their Supper Club menu. It’s served family-style. The menu categories (with choices in each area) include Rip and Dip, Small Plates, Large Plates and Desserts. Especially popular is the Za’atar Fried Chicken with hot honey, house ranch and house pickles.

An a la carte Dinner menu is offered Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5:00 p.m. until late.

The daytime, a la carte menu is served Tuesday (newly added) to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It offers menu categories of Dips, Breakfast Bits and Lunch Dishes. Dishes are designed to be shared.

The newly extended Happy Hour is Tuesdays (all day) and Wednesday & Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Mayfield Market is stocked with premium food products Chef Jayro makes in-house and items Mayfield uses and loves. They carry anything to do with eating and drinking well, including pantry items, natural wines, homeware, cookbooks and more.

Proprietor George Barker and Executive Chef Jayro Martinez join us.

Chef Dave Beran

“The international dining scene is a vast, ever-shifting landscape, and Today’s Special – 20 Leading Chefs Choose 100 Emerging Chefs (Phaidon) is perfectly positioned to help readers navigate it. Twenty of the globe’s leading chef-curators — 10 men and 10 women — have each selected five emerging chefs from around the world, showcasing a variety of styles of food, restaurants, and personalities. Each of the 100 selected chefs is profiled, with recipes, photographs, and menus, plus original commissioned essays that shed light on what makes a standout star in today’s culinary realm.” An L.A. area featured “Emerging Chef” in Today’s Special is Dave Beran of Pasjoli in Santa Monica and the now departed, Dialogue (up to a 20-course, seasonally changing nightly Tasting Menu) which was highly praised. He was nominated for Today’s Special by New York-based Chef Daniel Boulud (Daniel.)

“Pasjoli is an elevated French bistro from award-winning chef Dave Beran. The restaurant pays homage to French cuisine utilizing the bounty of produce available in Southern California. Rooted in classic French cuisine and inspired by Parisian markets, Pasjoli reflects Beran’s thoughtful cooking style, showcasing his creative touches on bistro fare.”

Prior to moving to California, Beran was the chef de cuisine at Alinea and executive chef at Next in Chicago where he received a James Beard Award for Best Chef Great Lakes and was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2014.

We’ll meet Chef Dave Beran.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to again operate for outside/patio dining and limited inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

As if struggling restaurants didn’t have enough to contend with right now the regrettable Dine & Dash” scheme to defraud restaurants is, unfortunately, a growing trend with a pair of awful variations. Chef Andrew explains…

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks Part Two
Segment Four: Food & Travel Journalist Barbara Fairchild (former Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine)
Segment Five: Restaurateur George Barker an Executive Chef Jayro Martinez, Mayfield, San Juan Capistrano Part One
Segment Six: Restaurateur George Barker an Executive Chef Jayro Martinez, Mayfield, San Juan Capistrano Part Two
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Dave Beran, Pasjoli, Santa Monica
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 410, January 30, 2021: Restaurateur Sylvie Gabriele, Love & Salt, Manhattan Beach

Sylvie Gabriele of Love and Salt

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, featuring 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicked off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through Saturday, January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.”

Restaurateur Sylvie Gabriele (a 2nd generation Restaurateur) of Manhattan Beach’s Love & Salt is one of the organizers of the Festival as well as serves on the active RE:Her board. Sylvie takes a break from her restaurant to recap the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she and her team were part of. 

A highlight if the ten days for Sylvie was her participation in the virtual conversation, “The Next Generation and Rewriting our Family Legacy.” “The prominent panelists were female restaurateurs who are now running their family restaurants and more. It featured Christy Vega (Casa Vega), Vanda Asapahu (Ayara Thai), Sylvie Gabriele (Love & Salt), Sara Gabriele (Gabi James) and was hosted by Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza).”

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Show 373, May 16, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the ever-changing range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim. The Tustin and Newport Coast locations are now serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the details and looks to the future.

The enduring Casa Vega is a landmark Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley for almost 64 years. It’s located on the familiar Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest running, continuously family-owned restaurants in greater Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which was on Olvera St. and operated throughout the 1930’s. Casa Vega has recently reopened for take-out via advance order online or by telephone.

Proprietress Christy Vega (a 3rd generation restaurateur) pours the Classic Margaritas for us.

Led by chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson as national board co-chair, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP,) celebrating its 30th Anniversary, transforms the lives of underserved high school students and young people locally by helping them pursue their culinary dreams. C-CAP prepares these talented young adults for college, and for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. This year Los Angeles awarded $430,131 in scholarships to 34 deserving high school students. Joining us are Food TV’s Chef Monti Carlo (a “Friend of C-CAP”,) college scholarship recipient Emerson Majano, a member of the Senior Class at Santee Education Complex and college scholarship recipient Morena Hernandez, a Senior at Los Angeles High School.

Newport Beach’s highly praised, Fable & Spirit, has reopened in the Via Lido Plaza for takeout service. The public, once again, is able to partake in Chef Executive Chef David Shofner’s imaginative, globally inspired dishes. In addition, Sommelier Ali Coyle presents a curated list of wines offered at exceptional prices, and Director of Spirits Drew Coyle offers a selection of signature cocktails to go. Sommelier & Coyle Family member, Ali, gently pulls the cork for us.

After honing his skills at some of the most influential restaurants in Southern California –including The Eveleigh, Father’s Office, and Umami Restaurant Group—Chef & Proprietor Ted Hopson now brings his diverse experience and curious palate to The Bellwether in Studio City, incorporating Italian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors for a culinary spread that proudly crashes borders and challenges convention. His Partner at The Bellwether is Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi. At The Bellwether (in normal times,) Verdi creates a beverage program that pleases all palates through both contemporary and classic selections. Chef Ted is our guest to discuss how The Bellwether is coping with the ban on dine-in.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative <strong>“Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. 3rd party delivery services seem convenient but they are costly to both consumers and restaurants. A lot more here to explain and better understand. We’ll again “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

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