Show 379, June 27, 2020: Chef Avinash Kapoor, Kapoor’s Akbar, Downtown Los Angeles

Avi Kapoor of Kapoor's Akbar“Under the supervision of prominent executive chef Avi Kapoor, the latest incarnation of the Akbar restaurant family, Kapoor’s Akbar, offers diners an innovative Indian food experience on the edge of Downtown L.A. Relying on traditional recipes passed down through the family but updated with non-traditional techniques and ingredients, Kapoor’s Akbar serves freshly prepared dishes that are rich in taste, temptingly presented and always memorable.”

“Omnivores, vegetarians and vegans will find a wide range of selections to satisfy their hunger, joining the thousands of diners who have feasted over the years with generations of Kapoor Family restauranteurs.”

Chef Avi was one of the first accomplished Indian chefs in Los Angeles some two decades ago to pioneer the pairing of premium wines with Indian cuisine. Traditionally beer had been the suggested match.

We gently pull Chef Avi away from the tandoor oven for a visit.


Show 349, November 30, 2019: Executive Chef John Taube, The Hoxton DTLA Part One

John Taube of Sibling Rival at the Hoxton DTLANewly arrived in Downtown Los Angeles in a tastefully restored Beaux Arts building is The Hoxton with sister properties in Williamsburg, Portland, Chicago and International (London, Amsterdam and Paris.) Their 174 rooms are spread across four different size categories from Snug to Biggy, meaning there’s something to suit everyone.

Destination restaurants located at Hoxton properties are a trademark. The Hoxton DTLA has Sibling Rival, the elevated, all-day restaurant with an open kitchen located on the ground floor and Pilot (dinner only) on the rooftop (with eye-catching L.A. skyline views) which also includes the daytime Pilot Bar (daily Happy Hour specials) adjacent to the pool. Coming in 2020 is a Japanese concept located in the basement with a distinct bar program.

All rooms are cleverly designed to make the most of the space, and all come with the same Hox Perks including free fast WiFi, free daily calls to anywhere in the world, coffee, tea, water and milk, and a light breakfast bag delivered to your room.

We’ll meet Executive Chef John Taube, who oversees the ample, in-house culinary portfolio.


Show 349, November 30, 2019: Executive Chef John Taube, The Hoxton DTLA Part Two

John Taube of Sibling Rival at the Hoxton DTLADestination restaurants located at Hoxton properties are a trademark. The Hoxton DTLA has Sibling Rival, the elevated, all-day restaurant located on the ground floor (serving an already popular Weekend Brunch) and Pilot (dinner only) on the rooftop (with eye-catching L.A. skyline views) which also includes the separate daytime Pilot Bar adjacent to the pool featuring a daily Happy Hour from 3 to 6:00 p.m..

Sibling Rival brings to life the timeless rivalries of weekday vs. weekend diet and East Coast vs. West Coast through innovative takes on Californian classics, served in an all-day, elevated diner setting. From quinoa bowls and fresh-pressed juices to togarashi chicken sandwiches and innovative cocktails, Sibling Rival lets guests choose their own adventure and give into whichever voice on their shoulder is most tempting.” Happy Hour Daily from 3 to 6:00 p.m.

“Pilot is a rooftop restaurant and bar inspired by the coast of the Mediterranean, situated atop The Hoxton, Downtown L.A. The menu is centered around live-fire cooking and features fresh, locally sourced seafood, seasonal vegetables, and more. Led by Executive Chef John Taube IV, in partnership with Sunday Hospitality, the dining experience is interactive with fun takes on tableside preparation and multiple large format dishes meant to be shared like the whole wood-fired fish for two. A signature dish is the Grand Aioli — a platter of the guests’ choice of vegetables and raw bar selections paired with aioli prepared to-order. Cocktails are made for warm weather drinking and presented in Sunday Hospitality’s signature whimsical and playful style, featuring Gin and Tonic variations.”

“Pilot’s airy indoor/outdoor atmosphere, designed by Ennismore Design Studio, is punctuated by bright pops of color throughout and anchored by a large display of fresh seafood and vegetables presented over ice. The restaurant extends out to the pool deck where a separate food and drink menu can be enjoyed alongside views of the Los Angeles skyline.”

“Pilot is named in tribute to The Hoxton, Downtown L.A. rooftop’s cameo in the 1921 film “Stranger than Fiction” where it served as the launch pad from which stuntman Frank Clarke and pilot Wally Timm flew their plane.”


Show 325, May 25, 2019: Joshua Greene, Editor & Publisher, Wine & Sprits Magazine on WSLA Drink + Eat 2019

Joshua Greene of Wine and Spirits MagazineWine & Spirits Magazine is hosting the WSLA Drink + Eat 2019 event on the afternoon of June 2nd in DTLA at The Unique Space. Some 75 plus wineries from around the world will be pouring that afternoon, with food provided by a collection of Los Angeles’ most noteworthy restaurants (including Hippo, Maude, NoMad, 71 Above, Faith and Flower, E.R.B. and more).

“All of the participating wineries had a wine that earned a place in the magazine’s 30th Annual Restaurant Poll. Wine Directors from some of the country’s top restaurants responded to the query with their top sellers in the by-the-glass and full bottle categories. Not surprisingly, the results showcase a compelling lineup of wines that might be considered the most popular wines in the country. These wines encompass a broad range of grape varieties, winemaking styles, and places of origin.”

The WSLA Drink + Eat afternoon will celebrate not only the 30th annual publication of this list, but also the elevation of Los Angeles to its present status as a premier food destination city. Some of the area’s hottest restaurants will be serving dishes specially selected to pair with the wines. All of the invited restaurants were included in Patrick Comiskey’s recent Essential LA wine-and-food Experience piece in the magazine.

Wine & Spirits’ Editor/Publisher, Joshua Greene, uncorks all the event details for us.

Special Discount Offer: “SoCal Restaurant Show” listeners have been generously gifted with a 20 per cent off General Admission bonus ! On the ticketing website use Discount Code : WSLAANDY and receive a generous 20 per cent the General Admission ticket price of $85. (This reduces the GA price to $68!) The offer is limited…Also includes a year subscription to Wine & Spirits Magazine.


Show 319, April 13, 2019: Redbird’s Chef / Proprietor Neal Fraser and C-CAP L.A’s Director, Lisa Fontanesi

Neal Fraser of RedbirdThe Careers through Culinary Arts Program’s (C-CAP) 2nd Annual Full Circle Dinner Benefit at Downtown Los Angeles’ Redbird with guest celebrity chefs preparing the meal is set for Thursday evening, April 25th with the Cocktail Reception in the spacious lower gardens at 6:00 p.m. and the multi-course, premium wine-paired, seated Dinner and Live Auction at 7:30 p.m. Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird is the Host Chef.

“Celebrating our C-CAP students and the wonderful chefs who mentor and inspire them, giving them the tools and experience they need to succeed and come Full Circle.”

The evening is hosted and coordinated by Chef Neal Fraser and featuring celebrated chefs Monti Carlo (Food Network personality,) Josiah Citrin (Openaire and Charcoal Venice,) Sandra Cordero (Gasolina,) Duff Goldman (Charm City Cakes,) C-CAP alumnus Anthony Greco (Lukshon & Father’s Office,) Kyle Johnson (Bourbon Steak), Antonia Lofaso (Scopa, Black Market and Dama), Nicole Rucker (Fiona,) C-CAP alumnus Dustin Trani (J. Trani’s Ristorante,) and more.

C-CAP L.A’s Director Lisa Fontanesi and Chef Neal join us for the salivating preview.


Show 309, February 2, 2019: Preux & Proper’s Joshua Kopel and Chef Sammy Monsour, Downtown Los Angeles

Sammy MonsourBring on the Southern hospitality this “Big Game” Sunday at Preux & Proper in Downtown Los Angeles. Keeping the Southern theme, as Super Bowl LIII takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, there is perhaps no better place or a more Southern home on the West Coast to gather for this all-American tradition.

Featuring 4 TV’s, there is room for everyone to find a good seat and cheer on the two championing teams. We’re, of course, partial to our own L.A. Rams who played for 15 years at Angel Stadium before moving to Saint Louis.

Kickoff this Sunday Funday with Sunday Brunch served from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. and stay for the epic game. Begin with a Wakey Wakey Bloody Mary prepared with bacon-infused vodka, Smog City Little Bo’ Pils, Blackstrap Worcestershire, hickory smoked black salt, sharp cheddar, pepperoni, cherry tomato and house-pickled okra.

Contemplate Executive Chef Sammy Monsour’s sweet and savory Fried Chicken & Waffles brunch special made with Mary’s Free-Range Chicken breast, buttermilk cornbread waffle, honey, pecans, and butter of course, lots of butter.

Preux & Proper wants the fun to continue “all day long” so they will be offering Happy Hour from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Barroom and the upstairs Proper Dining Hall while also shucking and serving $1 Oysters, $1 Wings and Handcrafted Pitchers of Cocktails inspired by the two competing Big Game teams ($45 each) which serve up to four guests.

If guests are still hungry for more, they can indulge in Preux & Proper’s tantalizing Southern Barroom Eats such as the Dungeness Crab Hushpuppies served with house bourbon barrel-aged green hot sauce, boil spice and charred poblano butter, or make the entire team happy with a Deep Dish Biscuit Dough Pizza like the Paulie’s Pomegranate-Habanero B.B.Q. Pork with smoked red onions and Tillamook cheddar.

Preux & Proper will be open for The Big Game on Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 for Sunday Brunch from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., Happy Hour from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday Supper from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm; 840 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015; 213.896.0090.

Proprietor Joshua Kopel and Executive Chef Sammy Monsour kick off The Big Game festivities for us.


Show 307, January 19, 2019: Richard Binder, Proprietor, Philippe The Original

Richard BinderPhilippe the Original is doing it again (for the 9th year) with a special promotion. On Tuesday, January 22nd the first 500 people in line at 10:30 a.m. get a free 7 oz. cup of Los Angeles’ own Dolores Chili (a regular $3.25 menu item) with the purchase of a sandwich.

Each cup of chili comes just how you like it; with or without beans, and topped with shredded cheddar cheese, or onions.

The two companies have a relationship built upon time. The 1970’s is when it all began and Dolores Chili is still sold exclusively at Philippe’s. Both establishments have plenty in common being family-owned, Los Angeles-based companies. Dolores has been in business since 1954 and Philippe’s celebrated 110 years in October. Dolores and Philippe’s are run by third and fourth generation family members, respectively, and both are built on the foundation of hard work and core values that make them so enduring.

Dolores Chili is available at Philippe’s daily by the cup or bowl, with or without beans and all the fixings, and is served with a side of crackers. Some French Dip lovers even like to dip or top their sandwich with it.

Richard Binder, representing the 4th generation of Philippe’s family ownership, ladles out the meaty details for us.


Show 302, December 15, 2018: Chef / Restaurateur Steve Samson, Rossoblu

Steve Samson of Sotto and RossobluChef Steve Samson’s Rossoblu has been a big success since its opening Downtown mid-last year in the Fashion District. in a historic former produce warehouse. On Sept. 13th during service a small kitchen fire temporarily closed the establishment. The better news is that Rossoblu just reopened last week.

Don’t forget their comfortable outside patio for that special Holiday party.

Steve is a veteran of the kitchen at Valentino, Santa Monica which will close at year’s end. Proprietor Piero Selvaggio is a mentor. Steve shares a few memories of a staff reunion dinner there earlier in the month organized by Providence’s and Connie & Ted’s Donato Poto.

Congrats, also, to Chef Steve and Dina Samson for having both Rossoblu and Sotto Sotto (his other Century City adjacent restaurant) included in the closely watched Los Angeles Times’101 Restaurants We Love” list. Chef Steve is our guest.


Show 283, July 28, 2018: 5th Annual Stu and The Kids Benefit at Vibiana, DTLA

Stuart SkverskyThe 5th annual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser, an exceptional Thai-flavored Food & Wine Festival hosted by Chef Stuart Skversky (ex-Spago) with the help of his high-profile chef friends, returns to Vibiana in DTLA on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Proceeds will fund scholarships for Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai, Thailand. This is the 4th year we’ve proudly supported this significant Benefit.

In 2009, Stuart Skversky, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a rising-star chef, made a dramatic life change by giving up a promising chef career in Los Angeles to move to Chiang Mai, becoming a full-time volunteer at the Wat Dan Chan (a local Buddhist temple), teaching local children English, cooking and baking. Recognizing a need to help prepare these high-risk Hill Tribe kids following their graduation, he founded Stu and the Kids to better prepare them for adulthood, helping them get into a university or technical college and giving them the tools for an independent future.

Proceeds from this event go directly to the children’s education, school uniforms, supplies, housing, food and tuition for higher education. Now in their ninth year of fundraising throughout the world, Stu and The Kids has raised over $500,000 for the charity, including last year’s astounding record of $158,000 accumulated from the Los Angeles festival, fundraising on the east coast and online donations during 2017.

Stu and The Kids supervises 29 kids, including eleven that received scholarships in 2018 to support education and jobs in accounting, business management, in-home elder care, cooking and fashion and textiles. The charity hopes to increase the awards to twelve, four-year university scholarships in the coming year.

The Thai restaurant community in Los Angeles is embracing this Benefit. Sarintip “Jazz” Singsanong of Jitlada fame will be in attendance and cooking.

Tickets for advance general admission, VIP admission and kids may be purchased online. General Admission in advance is $125.

Executive Director & Founder, Stuart Skversky provides the preview.


Show 283, July 28, 2018: Chef Steve Samson, Superfine Pizza, DTLA

Chef Steve Samson at Superfine PizzaChef Steve Samson of Rossoblu (DTLA) and Sotto (Century City-adjacent) fame is no stranger to preparing premium pizza that generates deserved raves. The superb Neapolitan pizza he cooks at Sotto in a wood burning-oven imported from Italy and assembled on-site by Italian craftsmen is well-known.

Steps from Rossoblu he has just launched Superfine Pizza. It’s a thin-crust pizza with both Neapolitan and New York attributes. The mission is to use as many local, premium ingredients as possible. It’s by-the-slice or whole pies. Unusually the pizzas are cooked in an electric deck oven from Sweden. It gets up to temperature quickly and Chef Steve has found it to be more energy efficient than gas.

By-the-slice options include Tomato, Mozzarella, and Grana Padano ; Four Cheeses & Spinach; Escarole, Red Onion, Salt Cured Olives, Chilies, Fresh Mozzarella and Smoked Provolone; Pepperoni, Tomato, Mozzarella and Grana Padano; and Tomato, Garlic, Capers, Oregano, Chilies, Mint, Parsley, Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Vegan).

Chef Steve joins us with a finishing splash of California olive oil.

Delivery is on the horizon.