Show 293, October 6, 2018: Marianna Gatto, Executive Director, Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, Taste of Italy Benefit

Marianna GattoOn Saturday, Oct. 13th from 5 to 10:00 p.m. in Downtown Los Angeles the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles is presenting the 10th Annual Taste of Italy showcasing fine restaurants, world-class wines, live entertainment and celebrated chefs. Proceeds from Taste of Italy support educational programming and other initiatives related to the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles’ mission.

General Admission ($60) and Premier tickets ($125) are still available but the event does sell out before October 13th. Capacity is thoughtfully limited to ensure the comfort of all guests. Listen to the segment to learn how to get $5 off General Admission or $20 off Premier tickets.

Executive Director of IAMLA, Marianna Gatto, joins us with all the tempting details. Mangia, mangia…


Show 292, September 29, 2018: Philippe the Original’s 110th Anniversary Celebration

Richard Binder2018 marks a major milestone for both Philippe the Original in Downtown Los Angeles and its famous French Dip Sandwich. The classic French Dip will celebrate its centennial and the restaurant will celebrate 110 years in business. There’s an epic Monday, October 1st celebration planned, including $1.10 French Dips, live entertainment, the USC Trojan Marching Band and a whole lot more.

Today, Philippe’s boasts over 75 employees, serves about 20,000 sandwiches per week, more when the Dodgers are in town, and prepares about 100 gallons of its famous Hot Mustard (no horseradish used) every week. Unusually, the company has some employees who have been with the restaurant for over 30 years.

The Binder / Martin family has strived to keep the restaurant as original as possible throughout the years; sawdust floors, décor, payphone booths and some of the cheapest coffee in town at 45 cents a cup. It wasn’t until 2014 that the restaurant took down the cash only sign and began accepting credit cards. The Pastrami French Dip Sandwich is the most recent menu addition.

General Manager and proud 3rd generation Family proprietor, Richard Binder is at our service with what’s on the menu.


Show 291, September 22, 2018: Executive Chef Antonia Lofaso, DAMA, City Market South, Downtown Los Angeles

Antonio Lofaso of Black Market Liquor Bar and Scopa Italian RootsDAMA is a Latin-inspired restaurant just launched (9 weeks ago) in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles in City Market South featuring culinary dishes from Executive Chef Antonia Lofaso (Venice’s Scopa Italian Roots) and standout cocktails from Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni.

“Chef Antonia Lofaso’s menu draws from her time spent in Mexico City, Spain, Colombia and the Caribbean. The cocktail menu, from Pablo Moix, features long-forgotten classics and spectacular blended drinks like pina coladas and daiquiris. A sprawling, multi-level outdoor patio establishes Dama as a go-to spot for taking in LA’s flawless weather.”

Think Whole Soft Shell Crab Taco with hot pickled onions, radish, Persian cucumbers and cilantro. Also for a “Large Plate” the standout is the Crispy Pork Shank with lettuce cups, house-made warm tortillas, hot pickled vegetables and avocado crema. On the cocktail side look for Sandia y Mezcal with mezcal, watermelon, citrus and salt and pepper.

Chef Antonia takes a break from her busy kitchens to join us.



Show 282, July 21, 2018: Train-to-Table Farmers Market at Union Station DTLA

Ken PrattEvery Thursday from Noon to 6:00 p.m. Downtown Los Angeles’ historic Union Station’s South Patio is transformed into a bustling marketplace showcasing a diverse selection of SoCal’s farmers, artisans, crafters and culinary creations. The just launched Train-to-Table Farmers Market serves as an idyllic location for lunchtime small bites and drop-in shopping in the heart of this iconic landmark.

Union Station has partnered with California Certified Farmers Markets to bring the Train-to-Table Farmers Market to the historic venue, serving thousands of Metro travelers, downtown workers and residents every week.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique shopping experience in one of the most historic locations in Los Angeles,” said Ken Pratt, deputy executive officer real estate, Union Station Operations and Management. “Union Station has emerged as the gateway to the extraordinary renaissance in downtown Los Angeles, and the launch of the Train-to-Table Farmers Market is aligned with our ongoing efforts to deliver distinctive, new experiences in this remarkable public space.”

Playing to the strengths of the California climate, the historic South Patio opened in 1939 and was designed as a formal garden through which travelers (and often celebrities) exited the station. The expansive patio, featuring towering palm trees and an iconic 100-foot-tall clock tower, has evolved into a vibrant meeting place for Angelenos.

Also previewed is the long-in-the-works project to reopen the spectacular Art Deco restaurant space (known as the Harvey House Restaurant in the heyday of Union Station.) It’s on-track for a launch later this year as a full-service restaurant, bar & brewery from Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman (Seven Grand.)

Our conductor is Ken Pratt, deputy executive officer real estate, Union Station Operations and Management.



Show 281, July 14, 2018: Zach Brooks, Market Manager, Smorgasburg LA

Zach BrooksWe’re celebrating National Ice Cream Day (July 15th) with Zach Brooks, the Market Manager for DTLA’s Sunday Smorgasburg LA. July 15th marks the return of Ice Cream Alley at Smorgasaburg LA. It runs every Sunday through Labor Day weekend.

“Prepare that sweet tooth! National Ice Cream Day happens once a year, and at Smorgasburg LA, we celebrate all summer long with the launch of Ice Cream Alley featuring over 10 popups from the best ice cream vendors that LA has to offer. Ice cream alley runs July 15 through Labor Day weekend, so don’t miss out on your chance to indulge in scoops, ice cream sandwiches, pops and more.”

Smorgasburg LA is open every Sunday on the five-acre site of the weekday Alameda Produce Market in Downtown Los Angeles, which is part of a larger, new development called ROW DTLA.

Each Sunday, find dozens of exciting food vendors at Smorgasburg LA, plus sophisticated shopping from the realms of design, craft, style, vintage, wellness, and more. Cultural events, pop-ups, and other surprises transform the vast site into a new node in Downtown LA’s burgeoning scene, and a unique destination for the region.


Show 277, June 16, 2018: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times

Noelle CarterThe iconic Test Kitchen located at the historic Los Angeles Times building in Downtown Los Angeles is truly a wonder. It was built, state-of-the-art, in 2000 when that floor was extensively remodeled after the paper’s printing presses were moved to a new production facility on Olympic Blvd. It’s a space steeped in local history.

With the consolidation in the media over the years very few newspapers or magazines maintain Test Kitchens. They are costly to operate. Fortunately the Times’ Test Kitchen endures.

Every recipe appearing on the Times’ Website or in print has been thoroughly tested to work in a home kitchen. The accompanying photos always show the finished result of that actual recipe. That’s their unqualified promise!

The Test Kitchen Director, Noelle Carter, is our enthusiastic guide.


Show 277, June 16, 2018: Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director, Los Angeles Times Continues…

Noelle CarterThe iconic Test Kitchen located at the historic Los Angeles Times building in Downtown Los Angeles is truly a wonder. It was built, state-of-the-art, in 2000 when that floor was extensively remodeled after the paper’s printing presses were moved to a new production facility on Olympic Blvd. It’s a space steeped in local history.

Every recipe appearing in The Los Angeles Times is thoroughly tested on home equipment in the Test Kitchen. Famous chefs ranging from Thomas Keller to Nancy Silverton have spent time in there. You’ve also seen the Test Kitchen on the KTLA 5 Morning News during the time Russ Parsons (the previous, long-serving Food Editor) did weekly segments from the facility.

All the details are not finalized yet but the current Test Kitchen is about to be phased out. The Times will soon be moving to new, modern quarters in El Segundo. We have it on good authority that a new Test Kitchen will soon be on the way that will be state-of-the-art for 2018! When Noelle has all the exciting specifics she will be back to share them with us!


Show 247, November 11, 2017: Executive Chef Todd Sicolo, InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel

Todd SicoloExecutive Chef Todd Sicolo supervises all of the varied dining options at the new InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel at Wilshire Grand with 889 rooms. This is all located on the top floors of the tallest building West of Chicago. Dining options range from Spire 73, a rooftop lounge with breathtaking views, to La Boucherie on 71, an elegant steakhouse with a French accent.

The dining options :
-Spire 73 – Perched atop InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown’s 73rd floor is Spire 73, the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere. This rooftop lounge offers breathtaking views of the entire City, chic fire pits, signature cocktails and a wide selection of whiskey. Culinary expressions are on the menu rivaling the view.

-La Boucherie on 71 – An elegant steakhouse with a French accent, featuring discreet, intimate private dining and VIP booths with floor to ceiling privacy screens that offer panoramic views of the L.A. skyline to accommodate discerning guests.

-Lobby Lounge – Located on the 70th floor of the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, the Lobby Lounge offers guests an upscale lounge experience with a vodka bar at night, serving light snacks, burgers and sandwiches.

-Dekkadance – Located on the 69th floor, it offers a unique farm-to-fork international marketplace. It’s a well-thought-out, contemporary adaptation of the traditional buffet. Dekkadance is an eclectic dining experience for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner featuring interactive cooking stations where guests can consult the chefs and watch their selection being prepared. On the expansive menu are Mediterranean style pizzas, paninis and an impressive array of tempting desserts.

-Sora – Sora is an intimate sushi and omakase restaurant offering a refined menu of fresh cut sushi and prepared dishes presented on the unusual sky view conveyor belt. Also located on the 69th floor, Sora features an extensive selection of the finest Japanese whiskies.

Chef Todd Sicolo is our guest.


Show 229, June 24, 2017: Executive Chef / Proprietor Steve Samson, Rossoblu, City Market South

Steve Samson of SottoChef Steve Samson is well-known to lovers of regional Italian cuisine in Southern California. He first came into local prominence as the Executive Chef at Piero Selvaggio’s classic Valentino in Santa Monica. From there he was the opening chef at Pizzeria Ortica in South Coast Plaza. Next was branching out with his own establishment, Sotto, located near Century City. The distinctive wood-burning pizza oven there was imported from Italy and assembled inside the restaurant by skilled Italian artisans.

His newest project with his wife, Dina, is the ambitious Rossoblu in the emerging City Market South development in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles. The complex of buildings was the first wholesale produce market in Los Angeles. The menu is influenced by Chef Steve’s summers in Bologna and Emilia- Romagna while he was growing up.

We’ll pull Chef Steve away from his wood-fired grill in the open kitchen for a full briefing.


Show 168, April 23, 2016: Sean Brennan, CEO & Co-Founder, The Pie Hole, Los Angeles & Pasadena

Sean Brennan and the Pie HoleSince The Pie Hole launched in The Arts District of Downtown L.A. in 2011 it’s been a word-of-mouth and social media sensation. The Pie Hole offers fresh baked sweet pie by the slice, individual savory pies, and their own premium coffee. Soon joining the second location in Pasadena will be cafes in Old Town Orange and Hollywood. All outlets are, unusually, located in distinctive, historic buildings.

“The Pie Hole is a family run organization hatched out of the dreams of a mother and son, Becky Grasley and Matthew Heffner who long dreamed of opening a place where they can share their family secret: pie is love. They roped Sean Brennan in to be their business partner and literally tied Matty’s fiancé, Lindsay Hollister, to the cash register and set out to leverage every favor and free hand to build what is now The Pie Hole (thanks friends!)”

“Matty and Becky hold the largest pie recipe book you have ever laid eyes on, and is in a safety deposit box in Switzerland. Matty learned pie-making as a youngster and part of the family tradition but is a tradesman at heart: there is nothing he can’t build from scratch. He is a science fiction nerd, just ask to see his newest ink. Sean is lactose intolerant and likes pie partly because it isn’t a cupcake but mostly because it has an authentic story and is what he calls ‘real food’.”

“Sean has been in the service industry for over a hundred years as a bar tender, wine director, consultant, and general manager, and is passionate about food, fine wine, hip hop, and the Green Bay Packers. We all love to chat, come on in and say hi!”

“The process of opening an LA’s first authentic pie shop was a daunting one, with thousands of hours of building, testing pie, tasting coffee, and bringing together an amazing team to provide the greatest possible pie experience known to man. We are fun, don’t take ourselves too seriously (the pie and coffee is very serious), and love to have a chat with all our customers, who inevitably become regulars.”

Co-owner Sean Brennan joins us with his piping hot, out-of-the-oven recipe for sweet success.