Show 471, April 23, 2022: Chef / Proprietor Wes Avila of Angry Egret Dinette and Ka’Teen Part One

Chef Wes Avila

Chef Wes Avila with a fine-dining background founded Guerrilla Tacos as a street cart in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles in August 2012. A year later he opened Guerrilla Tacos as a food truck and then as a brick -and -mortar restaurant in 2018, earning a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide to California in 2019.

In 2020 Chef Wes stepped away from Guerrilla Tacos and later that year founded the Angry Egret Dinette in L.A.’s Chinatown at Mandarin Plaza. It’s a James Beard Award nominee this year for “Best New Restaurant.” This fast casual service restaurant boasts a tranquil outdoor atrium patio and you order at the window for Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner (Friday and Saturday only) is full-service with an expanded menu. Reservations are strongly encouraged. “The seasonal Alta California style menu includes favorites such as the wild Mexican shrimp tacos, chilaquiles, mariscos, ceviches, hearty tortas, burritos, and whatever else Chef Wes and his inspired team create.”

This month Eater LA honored Angry Egret Dinette as one of their “38 Essential Restaurants” along with select highly regarded, fine-dining establishments.

KA’TEEN, Chef Wes’ latest and most ambitious restaurant, is an adventure to the lush jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula, nestled in the bustling heart of Hollywood at the Tommie Hotel. This new restaurant and Mezcal bar serves up discovery within every dish. The name KA’TEEN means “afresh” in Mayan, perfectly describing Chef Avila’s vibrant interpretation of the region’s rich and diverse culinary traditions. Immersed in 5,000 square feet of tropical garden space, guests can expand their palettes and broaden their horizons through creative tequila cocktails, bold Latin-American plates, and DJ sets that recall the rhythm of the rainforests.” For the moment it’s Dinner service only.

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Show 471, April 23, 2022: Chef / Proprietor Wes Avila of Angry Egret Dinette and Ka’Teen Part Two

Chef Wes Avila

Chef Wes Avila with a fine-dining background founded Guerrilla Tacos as a street cart in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles in August 2012. A year later he opened Guerrilla Tacos as a food truck and then as a brick -and -mortar restaurant in 2018, earning a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide to California in 2019.

In 2020 Chef Wes stepped away from Guerrilla Tacos and later that year founded the Angry Egret Dinette in L.A.’s Chinatown at Mandarin Plaza. It’s a James Beard Award nominee this year for “Best New Restaurant.” This fast casual service restaurant boasts a tranquil outdoor atrium patio and you order at the window for Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner (Friday and Saturday only) is full-service with an expanded menu. Reservations are strongly encouraged. “The seasonal Alta California style menu includes favorites such as the wild Mexican shrimp tacos, chilaquiles, mariscos, ceviches, hearty tortas, burritos, and whatever else Chef Wes and his inspired team create.”

This month Eater LA honored Angry Egret Dinette as one of their “38 Essential Restaurants” along with select highly regarded, fine-dining establishments.

KA’TEEN, Chef Wes’ latest and most ambitious restaurant, is an adventure to the lush jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula, nestled in the bustling heart of Hollywood at the Tommie Hotel. This new restaurant and Mezcal bar serves up discovery within every dish. The name KA’TEEN means “afresh” in Mayan, perfectly describing Chef Avila’s vibrant interpretation of the region’s rich and diverse culinary traditions. Immersed in 5,000 square feet of tropical garden space, guests can expand their palettes and broaden their horizons through creative tequila cocktails, bold Latin-American plates, and DJ sets that recall the rhythm of the rainforests.” For the moment it’s Dinner service only.

Chef Wes Avila continues as our guest.

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Show 421, April 17, 2021: Donald Contursi of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours, Las Vegas

Donald Contursi of Lipsmacking Foodie Tours

Donald Contursi is the founder of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours based in Las Vegas. In a few short years they have earned the reputation as the premier food walking tour operator in Las Vegas. They offer both fully escorted as well as self -guides foodie tours of the most significant dining areas in Las Vegas both on and off The Strip. Downtown and the neighboring Arts District are now a huge dining destination known for a variety of ethnic cuisines.

“Lady Luck may be a necessity at the gaming tables in Vegas, but not at the dining ones. Not with Lip Smacking Foodie Tours ensuring you the ultimate payoff with the best bites this exciting city has to offer. Our award-winning culinary walking tour company was founded by veteran restaurant industry professionals with years of experience and exclusive connections, who have made it their mission to introduce visitors and locals alike to the best signature dishes, unique preparations, and exciting tastes in Vegas, complete with superlative VIP service.”

The range of fully escorted VIP Lip Smacking Foodie Tours includes “Savors of The Strip,” “Savory Bites & Neon Lights,” “Downtown Lip Smacking Tour” and “Arts District Lip Smacking Tour.” Finger Licking Foodie Tours self-guided options are “Downtown,” “Arts District,” “Chinatown,” And ARIA Resort & Casino.”

Founder Donald Contursi hospitably leads us on the tour of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours and Finger Licking Foodie Tours.

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Show 402, December 5, 2020: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part One

Stir Fry Queen Grace Young“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.”

“Grace Young has partnered with the James Beard Foundation on an Instagram campaign to support Chinese restaurants all across the country. All independent restaurants are in danger of closing, and Chinese Americans have faced additional hardship as racism connected to COVID-19 rhetoric has threatened businesses even further.”

Grace is on an important mission to spread the word that Chinese restaurants are integral to America’s food culture and need our support right now. She is our guest.

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Show 402, December 5, 2020: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part Two

Stir Fry Queen Grace Young“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.”

“Grace Young has partnered with the James Beard Foundation on an Instagram campaign to support Chinese restaurants all across the country. All independent restaurants are in danger of closing, and Chinese Americans have faced additional hardship as racism connected to COVID-19 rhetoric has threatened businesses even further.”

“Help spread the word that Chinese restaurants are integral to America’s food culture and need our support now.”

How to participate:

  • Post a photo of your favorite dish from your local Chinese restaurant (takeout or dine-in) on Instagram with the hashtag #SaveChineseRestaurants and nominate your friends and followers to do the same.
  • Tag @beardfoundation and The James Beard Foundation will repost some of their favorites.

“In New York and San Francisco’s Chinatowns, the pandemic wiped out a steady customer base of both tourism and walk-in traffic from office workers. Now facing back rent and mounting bills, and with the onset of cold weather and limited indoor dining, barely surviving establishments are hanging on by sheer grit. We urgently need the #SaveChineseRestaurants campaign, launched together with the James Beard Foundation, which asks each of us—including family and friends—to support these restaurants just by showing up, either for takeout or dining in. This is a crisis and without steady patronage, these businesses will not survive. I truly believe if we all pitch in we can save these eateries and treasured ethnic neighborhoods everywhere.” — Grace Young

Grace Young continues with us.

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Show 316, March 23, 2019: Phoenix Bakery with 2nd Generation Baker, Youlen Chan, L.A.’s Chinatown Part One

Youlen Chan at the AM830 KLAA StudiosFamous for their fresh strawberry whipped cream cake, almond and butterfly cookies and the unusual watermelon pastries, Phoenix Bakery has been artfully creating delectable cakes and pastries since 1938.

Founded by, and still operated by the Chan Family, their little Chinese bakery serves families and celebrities alike for all occasions. It’s one of the five-original business operating in L.A.’s historic Chinatown. They celebrated their 80th Anniversary last August.

Baker (and Family Member) Youlen Chan frosts the cake for us.

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Show 316, March 23, 2019: Phoenix Bakery with 2nd Generation Baker, Youlen Chan, L.A.’s Chinatown Part Two

Youlen Chan“Founded in 1938, the idea behind Chinatown’s landmark Phoenix Bakery was to create a gathering place for the community producing traditional Chinese pastries and cookies not found locally. At the time, Chinatown was truly the place where Chinese immigrants came together and the iconic architecture and plazas were opening.”

“Using generation-old recipes, the Chan family’s first bakery highlighted their almond cookies. Founders, F.C. Chan and his wife were proud to offer the treats to everyone. Soon thereafter, F.C.’s brother, Lun joined the bakery and their trademark fresh strawberry whipped cream cake became part of the offerings.”

“It wasn’t until the 1970s, however that Phoenix Bakery became famous throughout Los Angeles for being a little Chinese bakery making a “not so Chinese” cake. With business flourishing, in 1977, the Chan family moved from Chinatown’s Central Plaza to a custom-built bakery on Broadway that remains their current location today.”

“Catering both to the local population celebrating birthdays and to the thriving businesses operating downtown, Phoenix Bakery cakes started becoming traditions. Lun’s son, Youlen eventually took over production and Phoenix Bakery continued to thrive as he expanded the offerings of sweets and confections.”

Youlen Chan continues…

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Show 251, December 9, 2017: Chef / Owner Brian Howard, Sparrow + Wolf, Chinatown, Las Vegas

Brian Howard of Comme Ca in Las VegasChef Brian Howard developed a loyal following during his tenure at Comme Ca located in The Cosmopolitan. He’s now branched out on his own with Sparrow + Wolf located in Las Vegas’s bustling Chinatown just Off The Strip on Spring Mountain Road. Chef Brian refers to his establishment as “Neighborhood Cookery & Libations.”

Chef Brian Howard’ Sparrow + Wolf boasts cuisine from the heart using a modern hand. It features American cookery influenced by the culturally diverse neighborhoods of Chef Brian’s travels, classic training and Midwestern roots. The centerpiece of the open kitchen is a wood-burning grill. It’s also already a hospitality industry hangout. Chefs and restaurateurs frequent the place.

Throughout his 17-year culinary career in Las Vegas, star Chef Brian Howard earned his stripes working with some of the most popular restaurants on The Strip. He has gained the utmost respect from his colleagues and the city’s most prestigious food writers, including one who referred to Howard as “The Most Ambitious Chef in Las Vegas.” The culinary field is known as a profession of passion, and Howard is a bold example of that premise, having believed since he was 10 years old that cooking is in his blood.

Chef Brian attributes his varied influences to being surrounded by talented people, childhood memories, and his continuous hunger for learning new things every day. “I’ve always had a fight and desire in me to never give up, no matter how rocky the road,” says Howard.  “Perseverance has gotten me to where I am today and now I just want to create something for the people of Las Vegas, a city that has been good to me. I want to create food that I’d like to eat.”

Chef Brian joins us to talk about his first seven months of operations.

 

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Show 104, January 3, 2015: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman, is one of the most widely read food bloggers covering Southern California. She concentrates on dining finds in Orange County and San Diego with an occasional side of L.A. eating. Lau’s approach is interactive with her readers as they frequently have the opportunity to win meals at the restaurants she profiles.

Coming in 2015 is an expanded version of her popular e-newsletter that now will be published monthly.

Anita will graciously share with us her “5 Favorite Asian Restaurants of 2014.” Her top pick is Rakiraki Ramen and Tsukemen located in San Diego’s Chinatown. There are also Orange County options as well as an L.A. Pick (Pine and Crane.)

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Show 83, August 9, 2014: Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show

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!

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