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 96, November 8, 2014: Chef Seth Nelson, Root 246, Solvang

Seth NelsonThe “SoCal Restaurant Show” was on assignment in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley this past week. One of standout restaurants in the area, and it’s tasteful and elegant, is Root 246 in Solvang. The menu has been totally redone in the last year under the direction of newly arrived Chef Seth Nelson. He’s spent time locally cooking in the kitchens of Melisse and Ford’s Filling Station.

It’s craft based American food utilizing as much of the local bounty as possible. Even the desserts are something special without being fussy. They make their own flavored vinegars. There is an intimate 4-seat chef’s table in the kitchen with a full view of all the action on the line.

There is also a serious libation program. Available at Root 246 is one of the most extensive collections of local wines available in the area. They also pride themselves on the whiskey labels and choices for craft beers. It’s a standout cocktail program.

Root 246 is owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians but the spacious restaurant with outside patios (cigar smoking allowed) is not on reservation land.

We’ll talk with Chef Seth.

Show 90, September 27, 2014: Anepalco in Orange

Anepalco's CafeHidden, in plain sight, just South of Angel Stadium at the corner of State College and West Chapman Ave. in Orange is Chef Daniel Godinez’s Anepalco. Anepalco is best characterized as a modern Mexican-French restaurant with a refreshing cocktail program. It also has a shaded patio.

Anepalco takes authentic Mexican ingredients with their bold flavors and infuses them creatively with traditional French techniques. The result is a fusion of creams and chiles with the cuisine served in a gourmet manner. Chef Godinez’s kitchen only uses the freshest of ingredients.

In addition to the lunch menu available daily, Anepalco serves brunch seven days from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Show 45, October 26, 2013: Rick Moonen, owner/chef of Rx Boiler Room and rm seafood at the Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasAn acclaimed former New York chef, known as a seafood master, has really taken to living in Las Vegas. We’re talking about Chef Rick Moonen.

His latest creation is Rx Boiler Room in the Shoppes at Mandalay Place (on the upper level.) The decor is over the top but our Las Vegas food expert, Brock Radke, Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, recommends the menu. Highlights include bacon-wrapped pork belly and “fish tacos” which are actually kampachi tartare presented in crunchy/crisp taro root shells. There is a serious cocktail program at Rx.

Chef Rick also revealed what he’s doing on both Saturday and Sunday at “Life is Beautiful.” His famous Moon’N Doggie (shrimp hot dog) was a big hit in the Culinary Village.