Show 485, July 30, 2022: Executive Chef Lincoln Carson, Mes Amis, Hollywood, CA Part One

Lincoln Carson of Mes Amis

Mes Amis, a new generation French-inspired brasserie from celebrated chef Lincoln Carson (Coast Range and Vaquero Bar, Solvang) and Ten Five Hospitality is now open at Thompson Hotel – A Hyatt Hotel in Hollywood’s Vinyl District, an emerging culinary destination. The restaurant draws inspiration from the golden era of Hollywood and is evocative of the neighborhood spirit of bustling cafes, bistros, and brasseries from Paris to Lyon. Decidedly approachable in its ethos, Carson and Ten Five created Mes Amis out of a desire to offer guests an effortlessly chic yet relaxed neighborhood atmosphere, where close friends and family can gather to enjoy great cooking, cocktails, and wine for any occasion or no occasion at all.” Executive Chef Lincoln Carson takes a break from the kitchen and is our guest.

“Rooted in French style and technique and brought to life through local ingredients and purveyors from around the world, Carson’s broad menu is an invitation for any occasion. Carson’s contemporary take on classic brasserie fare encourages guests to convene for a casual weeknight bite, while large format entrees inspire group gatherings. Pristine offerings from an expansive raw bar include East and West Coast Oysters and Maine Scallop Crudo, with plates such as Chicory Salad with fourme d’ambert, citrus, walnut, and Steak Tartare with “everything lavash” showcasing California interpretations of traditional French dishes.”

“Entrees include Steak Frites, French Onion Burger with raclette and caramelized onions, Smoked Liberty Duck, and Niman Ranch Country Pork Chop with crispy brussels sprouts. Large format presentations such as 45-Day Dry Aged Prime Ribeye with potato-onion rolls and Whole Roasted Pasture Chicken further nod to everyday French favorites. Carson’s pastry expertise is revealed in whimsical renditions of classic French desserts including Chocolate Soufflé with chartreuse verte; Pavlova with rose geranium and Harry’s Berries strawberries; and Gateaux St. Honoré with pecan mousseline, puff pastry and caramel.”

“Designed to complement Carson’s menu, the beverage program features a comprehensive wine list of predominantly French and Californian producers, along with thoughtfully selected wines by the glass. Cocktail offerings named in honor of Mes Amis’ photography collection of Old Hollywood scenes and icons include the Safari Party with London dry gin, Lillet Blanc, Gran Classico Bitter, bubbles, lemon and thyme, as well as Happy Birthday No. 35 with rye whiskey, Dubonnet Rouge, herbs de Provence and bitters. An extensive range of classic and eclectic champagne offerings lends further levity to the Mes Amis experience with nightly selections presented tableside on a roving champagne cart.”

“Mes Amis is open for dinner service with plans to debut brunch in the months ahead. Being open 7 nights is also in the future plans. The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with reservations available 7 days in advance on Resy.”

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Show 485, July 30, 2022: Executive Chef Lincoln Carson, Mes Amis, Hollywood, CA Part Two

Lincoln Carson of Mes Amis

Mes Amis, a new generation French-inspired brasserie from celebrated chef Lincoln Carson (Coast Range and Vaquero Bar, Solvang) and Ten Five Hospitality is now open at Thompson Hotel – A Hyatt Hotel in Hollywood’s Vinyl District, an emerging culinary destination. The restaurant draws inspiration from the golden era of Hollywood and is evocative of the neighborhood spirit of bustling cafes, bistros, and brasseries from Paris to Lyon. Decidedly approachable in its ethos, Carson and Ten Five created Mes Amis out of a desire to offer guests an effortlessly chic yet relaxed neighborhood atmosphere, where close friends and family can gather to enjoy great cooking, cocktails, and wine for any occasion or no occasion at all.” Executive Chef Lincoln Carson continues as our guest.

“Rooted in French style and technique and brought to life through local ingredients and purveyors from around the world, Carson’s broad menu is an invitation for any occasion. Carson’s contemporary take on classic brasserie fare encourages guests to convene for a casual weeknight bite, while large format entrees inspire group gatherings. Pristine offerings from an expansive raw bar include East and West Coast Oysters and Maine Scallop Crudo, with plates such as Chicory Salad with fourme d’ambert, citrus, walnut, and Steak Tartare with “everything lavash” showcasing California interpretations of traditional French dishes.”

“Entrees include Steak Frites, French Onion Burger with raclette and caramelized onions, Smoked Liberty Duck, and Niman Ranch Country Pork Chop with crispy brussels sprouts. Large format presentations such as 45-Day Dry Aged Prime Ribeye with potato-onion rolls and Whole Roasted Pasture Chicken further nod to everyday French favorites. Carson’s pastry expertise is revealed in whimsical renditions of classic French desserts including Chocolate Soufflé with chartreuse verte; Pavlova with rose geranium and Harry’s Berries strawberries; and Gateaux St. Honoré with pecan mousseline, puff pastry and caramel.”

“Mes Amis is open for dinner service with plans to debut brunch in the months ahead. The eventual goal of 7 nights for dinner is also in the plans. The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with reservations available 7 days in advance on Resy.”

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Show 428, June 5, 2021: Liz Ostoich, Owner, Farm, La Plaza, Palm Springs Part One

Liz Ostoich of Farm and Tac/Quila in Palm Springs

FARM (reconceived in 2016 under new ownership) is a traditional Provencial-style restaurant in downtown Palm Springs in the historic Plaza, tucked away from traffic. The culinary team has taken care to create a menu comprised of traditional European dishes, brimming with locally sourced produce and artisanal meats. In true Provencial-style, the weekly changing prix fixe dinner menu (available Friday through Tuesday) is served at a relaxed pace so you may enjoy your evening at Farm.” It’s three courses (with selections in each course) plus an Amuse Bouche and a refreshing Palate Cleanser presented before the Entree. Reservations are needed for Dinner.

Breakfast and Lunch with an a la care menu are offered daily on a walk-in basis. Think an extensive selection of Sweet & Savory Crepes, Omelettes, Brioche French Toast, Greenery and Sandwiches.

“The experience at Farm is like being transported to the South of France. When you come and dine with us, you can expect an extraordinary sensory experience; from our garden-like patio seating, our beautiful bouquet of floral landscaping, to our incredible authentic menu comprised of the freshest ingredients, you will be wowed at every turn.”

“Enjoy a meal on our patio and take in the ambiance of being out of the city. We prepare all our items as you order. No freezers, no microwave, and our kitchen staff works hard to prepare each dish with the utmost care!”

Owner Liz Ostoich typically journeys to France twice a year for menu inspiration.

Owner Liz Ostoich joins us.

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Show 428, June 5, 2021: Liz Ostoich, Owner, Farm, La Plaza, Palm Springs Part Two

Liz Ostoich of Farm and Tac/Quila in Palm Springs

FARM (reconceived in 2016 under new ownership) is a traditional Provencial-style restaurant in downtown Palm Springs in the historic Plaza, tucked away from traffic. The culinary team has taken care to create a menu comprised of traditional European dishes, brimming with locally sourced produce and artisanal meats. In true Provencial-style, the weekly changing prix fixe dinner menu (available Friday through Tuesday) is served at a relaxed pace so you may enjoy your evening at Farm.” It’s three courses (with selections in each course) plus an Amuse Bouche and a refreshing Palate Cleanser presented before the Entree. Reservations are needed for Dinner.

Breakfast and Lunch with an a la care menu are offered daily on a walk-in basis. Think an extensive selection of Sweet & Savory Crepes, Omelettes, Brioche French Toast, Greenery and Sandwiches.

“The experience at Farm is like being transported to the South of France. When you come and dine with us, you can expect an extraordinary sensory experience; from our garden-like patio seating, our beautiful bouquet of floral landscaping, to our incredible authentic menu comprised of the freshest ingredients, you will be wowed at every turn.”

“Enjoy a meal on our patio and take in the ambiance of being out of the city. We prepare all our items as you order. No freezers, no microwave, and our kitchen staff works hard to prepare each dish with the utmost care!”

Owner Liz Ostoich typically journeys to France twice a year for menu inspiration.

Liz also owns (with her husband Mark) the nearby Tac/Quila. It’s their take on elevated Jalisco style cuisine with specialty tequilas and mezcals.

Owner Liz Ostoich continues with us.

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Show 414, February 27, 2021: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part One

Jordan Ogron of Tesse

Tesse in West Hollywood is a French restaurant featuring the dynamic, continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller (currently on maternity leave,) served in a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. An extensive wine program from Jordan Ogron (Principal) is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. A French-leaning craft cocktail program designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox is offered at the bar.”

“The restaurant’s name is a contraction of the French delicatesse, meaning ‘delicacy’ or ‘thoughtfulness’ — it’s also used across France as a colloquial term for charcuterie. And while the iconic pâtés, terrines, rillettes and saucisses of his homeland are central to the menu, Chef Raphael also features a broad and finessed take on French classics, with meats and fish prepared on the wood-fired hearth that anchors the kitchen and lighter fare inspired by near-daily trips to LA’s outstanding Farmers Markets.” 

“Tesse’s menu is designed with wine in mind. The food pairs beautifully with a vast, interactive wine program designed by Jordan Ogron, which features nearly thirty wines by the glass and a list of more than three thousand selections. For those who prefer something a bit stronger, the craft cocktail program was designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox, the duo behind many of the most notable bar programs in Los Angeles.”

Tesse is open nightly for dinner with brunch on the weekends. Currently there are patio dining options available fronting Sunset Blvd. or on the south side of the building with the magnificent panoramic view of Los Angeles. Jordan’s popular, creative wine dinners will be resuming shortly.

Tesse’s Jordan Ogron provides us the overview.

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Show 414, February 27, 2021: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part Two

Jordan Ogron of Tesse

Tesse in West Hollywood is a French restaurant featuring the dynamic, continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller (currently on maternity leave,) served in a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. An extensive wine program from Jordan Ogron (Principal) is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. A French-leaning craft cocktail program designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox is offered at the bar.”

“The restaurant’s name is a contraction of the French delicatesse, meaning ‘delicacy’ or ‘thoughtfulness’ — it’s also used across France as a colloquial term for charcuterie. And while the iconic pâtés, terrines, rillettes and saucisses of his homeland are central to the menu, Chef Raphael also features a broad and finessed take on French classics, with meats and fish prepared on the wood-fired hearth that anchors the kitchen and lighter fare inspired by near-daily trips to LA’s outstanding Farmers Markets.” 

“Tesse’s menu is designed with wine in mind. The food pairs beautifully with a vast, interactive wine program designed by Jordan Ogron, which features nearly thirty wines by the glass and a list of more than three thousand selections. For those who prefer something a bit stronger, the craft cocktail program was designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox, the duo behind many of the most notable bar programs in Los Angeles.”

Tesse is open nightly for dinner with brunch on the weekends. Currently there are patio dining options available fronting Sunset Blvd. or on the south side of the building with the magnificent panoramic view of Los Angeles. Jordan’s popular, creative wine dinners will be resuming shortly.

Tesse’s Jordan Ogron continues with us.

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Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Recipe excerpt from:
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Serves 4 to 6
Equipment: large heavy skillet with a lid, tongs
Preparation Time: 10 minutes if the chicken is in pieces; 20 if not
Cooking Time: 40 minutes max
Difficulty Level: simple

This is a dish from a farm in the Dordogne, where the walnuts are sweet, fat, and buttery tasting, and they make a perfect complement to poultry. This is the kind of dish that you settle down to with comfort and anticipation, because it’s got all the right elements, from cloves of garlic bursting with their sweet flavor to the golden chicken and walnuts and the tang of lemon that lifts the dish out of the ordinary. Serve this with a lovely Chardonnay.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 3½- to 4-pound (1.8 to 2 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breast pieces, 2 wings with portion of breast attached, 2 legs, 2 thighs), giblets reserved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 ml) white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1¼ cups (140 g) walnut halves or large pieces
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chicken pieces, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper, until they are golden, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to turn the chicken pieces.
  2. Add the lemon juice, ½ cup (125 ml) of the wine, and the garlic cloves to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the chicken is nearly cooked through, about 15 minutes. Then stir the walnuts into the skillet, along with the giblets, cover, and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Remove the cover from the skillet and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan juices have evaporated and the chicken, walnuts, and garlic are golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Be sure to watch the walnuts, for they tend to brown easily. If they are getting too brown at any point in the cooking, remove and return them to the pan just before serving.
  3. Transfer the chicken, garlic, and walnuts to a warmed serving platter and deglaze the skillet with the remaining wine, scraping the bottom to loosen any caramelized bits. Begin by adding the smaller amount of wine; if you need more, top it up with the remaining wine and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Then pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley sprigs, and serve immediately.

Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Used with permission.

Curly Endive Salad with Hot Bacon and Goat Cheese

Curly Endive Salad with Hot Bacon and Goat Cheese

Recipe excerpt from:
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Serves 6
Equipment: large heatproof salad bowl, baking sheet, large heavy skillet
Preparation Time: 15 minutes max
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty Level: simple

There is no salad more classic nor more delicious than frisée aux lardons et chêvre, perhaps the most popular in the French retinue of composed salads that are served as plats du jour. This is certainly one of my favorites, because it offers everything—crunchy, fresh, salty, nourishing. Since frisée—curly endive—is a winter green and goat cheese is best in winter, this is a winter dish, to be eaten in a cozy environment, accompanied by a lightly chilled Sancerre Blanc.

For The Greens:
11 ounces (330 g) curly endive (about 12 cups, loosely packed) or escarole, rinsed, patted dry, and torn into small pieces
1 large shallot (2 ounces; 70 g), cut into paper-thin rounds
1 garlic clove, cut into tiny dice

For the Toasts:
12 small slices baguette or other fresh crusty bread
1 garlic clove
3 small goat cheeses (3.5 ounces; 105 g each), such as Crottin de Chavignol, each cut into 2 horizontal rounds, or six 1-inch (2.5 cm) rounds of goat cheese

For Serving:
8 ounces (250 g) slab bacon, rind removed, cut into 1-by-¼-by-¼-inch (2.5 cmby-6 mm-by-6 mm) pieces 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, if needed
3 tablespoons (45 ml) best quality red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt (optional)

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Prepare the greens: Place the curly endive, shallot, and garlic in a large heatproof salad bowl, and toss to mix.
  3. Prepare the toasts: Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them on one side about 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the heat element for about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and rub on both sides with the whole garlic clove. Place one round of cheese on the untoasted side of six toasted bread slices and place them, along with the remaining pieces of bread, untoasted side up, under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is golden and bubbling and the bread is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Place the bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, just until it is golden, about 5 minutes. Depending upon how much fat is rendered from the bacon, add up to 3 tablespoons oil because you want 4 tablespoons (60 ml) total of fat. Add the vinegar, standing back as it gives off steam. Stir, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then pour over the salad. Toss thoroughly, seasoning generously with pepper and salt if necessary, and toss again.
  5. Divide the salad among six warmed salad plates. Place a cheese-topped toast atop each salad, and one piece of plain toast on the side of the plate. Serve immediately.

Astuces:

 • French bacon, and some American brands, are notably lean, so your bacon may need oil for cooking. Have oil at the ready if you need it. If you don’t and wind up with more than 4 tablespoons in the pan, simply drain any excess.

• Note that I ask you to cut the garlic into tiny dice rather than mince it. This is because the “bite” of a piece of garlic is necessary, and if it’s minced, it tends to disappear into the salad.

Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Used with permission.

Show 381, July 11, 2020: Dana Slatkin, Proprietress, Violet Bistro, School & Shop, Westwood Village

Dana Slatkin of Violet BistroViolet Los Angeles, newly opened, is a vibrant Cali-French bistro, full bar, cooking school and shop in the heart of Westwood Village. In the spirit of European cafés and cookery schools, Violet aims to bring together the community over memorable meals and culinary adventures.”

Featuring a romantic courtyard in a historic 1930’s brick building, Violet Bistro is a charming eatery currently serving Dinner and cocktails Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Seating is within the picturesque courtyard and reservations are needed to properly adhere to all the current outdoor dining and safety regulations.

“Violet Los Angeles founder Dana Slatkin always dreamed of opening a delightful neighborhood gathering place, like the ones where she spent so much time while studying and working in Italy and France. Born in Los Angeles, Dana is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and The Culinary Institute of America. She trained with chefs Georges Blanc and Michel Guèrard at their eponymous Michelin three-star restaurants in France, patissier Pierre Hermé at Fauchon in Paris, and David Bouley in New York City.”

“Dana moved back to Los Angeles to become General Manager at L’Orangerie. In 1994, she helped launch the Beverly Hills Farmers Market, later using the name and inspiration for her own line of snacks and baked goods, which she sold to airlines and supermarkets for a decade. Dana’s first cookbook, Summertime Anytime: Recipes From Shutters On The Beach, was published in 2008 by Clarkson Potter. As the Beverly Hills Farmgirl, she ran a cooking school and shop for twelve years. She is a mother of three, a board member of the Berkeley Food Institute, a classical pianist, and an avid crosswordist.”

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Show 359, February 8, 2020: Food Journalist Jamie Schler with Orange Appeal – Savory & Sweet

Cookbook Author Jamie SchlerJamie Schler is an award-winning writer specializing in food and culture, her stories inspired by her multicultural family and 35 years living between France and Italy, completely immersed in the culture. After years spent working in high-end gastronomic tourism and as an interpreter at a prestigious Parisian cooking school, and having married into a deeply traditional French family, Jamie has become an expert on French cuisine. Her writing focuses on more than just the recipes; she delves into the history of French cooking and individual dishes, the stories, traditions, and the daily family, cultural, and social rituals behind the food.”

“For her first cookbook, Orange Appeal – Savory & Sweet, Jamie returned to her native Florida and her lifelong passion for the most versatile fruit of the citrus family, the extraordinary orange.”

“Jamie’s lifelong connection to the orange runs deep: she grew up on Florida’s Space Coast, the narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, surrounded by the world-famous Indian River citrus groves. She grew up eating oranges daily, lots and lots of oranges; she sometimes feels like she has orange juice running through her veins. Devoting an entire cookbook to the orange allowed her to explore it in all of its forms, navels, juice, blood, bitter varieties, using the whole fruit, the flesh, the zest, juice, rind, the orange in powder form, marmalade, liqueur, orange flower water in innovative ways, from feature ingredient to essential flavoring.”:

“She has created a collection of more than 70 sunny, sophisticated, and comforting recipes, both savory and sweet, accessible to cooks of every level of experience and knowhow, offering the kind of recipes that she prepares for her own family and friends everyday, and drawing from the many cultures that fill her home and her kitchen.”

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