Show 355, January 11, 2020: Executive Chef Alejandra Padilla, Five Crowns & SideDoor Part One

Alejandra Padilla of Five Crowns and SidedoorThe iconic Five Crowns in Corona del Mar was established in 1965 and is a member of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants, which includes Lawry’s The Prime Rib with domestic locations in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and the historic Tam O’Shanter in Los Angeles. Lawry’s Carvery, with locations in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, and at L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles, represents the company’s unique quick-service concept.

SideDoor gastropub, recipient of Orange Coast Magazine’s “2010 Restaurant of the Year” Award and Corona del Mar’s first and only English gastropub, is also housed within the historic Five Crowns building; its primary entrance is on Poppy Street. They will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary in March.

We gently pull Executive Chef Alejandra Padilla away from her busy kitchen for a chat.


Show 355, January 11, 2020: Executive Chef Alejandra Padilla, Five Crowns & SideDoor Part Two

Alejandra Padilla of Five Crowns and SidedoorThe iconic Five Crowns in Corona del Mar was established in 1965 and is a member of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants, which includes Lawry’s The Prime Rib with domestic locations in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and the historic Tam O’Shanter in Los Angeles.

SideDoor gastropub, recipient of Orange Coast Magazine’s “2010 Restaurant of the Year” Award and Corona del Mar’s first and only English gastropub, is also housed within the historic Five Crowns building; its primary entrance is on Poppy Street. They will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary in March.

Five Crowns has a new seasonal Winter menu courtesy of Executive Chef Alejandra Padilla. Guests will experience the vibrant flavors of the season’s most inspiring ingredients to complement Five Crowns’ cherished classic dishes.

“SideDoor is soon presenting the next eagerly anticipated Ultimate Cheese & Charcuterie Party, culminating from another successful creamery takeover series, on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 from 6 to 9 p.m. with a special Cheese Education Class from 5:30-6 p.m. led by SideDoor’s own certified cheesemonger, sommelier and cicerone, Tracy Nelsen.”

“Known for its award-winning cheese and charcuterie offerings, SideDoor started the monthly series to highlight unique creameries, dedicating one evening a month to small batch cheesemakers and specialty cheeses. Twice a year the series reaches its pinnacle with the ultimate celebration of fromage. The indulgent evening will showcase the previous five months of creameries in the series including Haystack Creamery from Colorado (August), Boutique creameries from Sonoma County (September), Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese from Kentucky (October), River’s Edge Chevrè from Oregon (November), and Cowgirl Creamery from California (December).”


Show 276, June 2, 2018: Yuta Tsunoda, Chaya Modern Izakaya, Venice

Yudo Tsunoda of Chaya BrasserieAfter four centuries in Japan and almost four decades in the United States, CHAYA continues to transcend convention between Japanese and American dining, inviting guests to discover innovative Japanese-Californian cuisine along with an unprecedented new beverage program as the CHAYA Restaurant Group has now officially transitioned the 28-year-old Chaya Venice into CHAYA Modern Izakaya.

Comparable to the Western gastropub, a Japanese izakaya is traditionally a drinking establishment which serves small tapas-style plates intended to be shared amongst friends. CHAYA Modern Izakaya elevates the izakaya experience by introducing a present-day dining and drinking destination that invites guests to come discover a new Japanese-Californian cuisine with a modern izakaya approach, including handcrafted cocktails, premium spirits, Japanese Whisky selection, eclectic sake and wine collection, Japanese and local craft beers.

With roots deeply planted in over 400 years of Japanese history, CHAYA originally evolved from a beloved teahouse in Japan in the 17th century, then to an imperial summer villa in Japan in the 19th century. In the early 20th century CHAYA Japan became a landmark dining destination known for providing exquisite service and catering to the royal court and Japanese government officials, to then landing in Los Angeles in the 1980s, ultimately becoming a pioneer of fusion cuisine by introducing the revolutionary combination of French and Japanese ingredients and culinary techniques, while catering to many loyal guests for almost 40 years, including artists, actors, titans of industry, and foodists alike.

“CHAYA has existed in some incarnation or another for the last four-hundred plus years, as long as the earliest izakaya. Part of the essential CHAYA DNA is adaptability and fusion, and CHAYA Modern Izakaya bridges the past with the present, while allowing CHAYA to move forward into the future pioneering a marriage between Japanese and Western traditions, fresh ingredients, and contemporary culinary techniques,” says Owner and President Yuta Tsunoda.

Owner & President Yuta Tsunoda has all the intriguing details.


Show 276, June 2, 2018: Chefs Jess and JP Dowdell, Roaming Radish’s R2 Gastropub, Whidbey Island, WA

Jess and JP DowdellWould you believe a contemporary gastropub located on 5 landscaped acres hidden in the Porter District of Langley, Whidbey Island, WA in a magnificently converted and renovated airplane hanger serving Asian-inspired flavors? It actually exists in the form of Roaming Radish’s R2 Gastropub owned by Chefs Jess & JP Dowdell. It’s a one-of-a-kind dining experience that you simply won’t find elsewhere…

It’s only open for Dinner (by reservation only) on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. It’s an extension of the well-known Roaming Radish Catering.

Also on the expansive grounds is an English Tudor house available for special events and stays. Between the restaurant building and the adjacent air strip is one of the single engine planes previously housed inside. Chef JP is even taking flying lessons.


Show 256, January 13, 2018: Tracy Nelsen, Cheese Monger, SideDoor, Corona del Mar

Tracy NelsenIt’s the culmination of SideDoor’s current cheese series. On January 17th it’s the Ultimate Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party at Corona del Mar’s SideDoor.

SideDoor is known for its award-winning cheese and charcuterie offerings, and in 2017 began presenting a new series dedicating one evening a month to boutique creameries and specialty cheeses. A different creamery is featured at each event, and twice a year the series culminates in the ultimate celebration of fromage with the Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party – the next taking place on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

The evening will showcase the previous four creameries of the series including Jasper Hill (September 2017), Rogue (October 2017), French Theme (November 2017), and Andante (December 2017), and offer cheese, charcuterie, passed appetizers and beverage pairings. SideDoor’s own certified expert and cheese monger, Tracy Nelsen, will be on hand to educate guests on the various cheeses presented and to recommend the perfect pairings.

SideDoor is Corona del Mar’s first and only English gastropub. A red key hangs over the entryway on Poppy Street as an unspoken invitation to indulge in world-class spirits, craft beer and wine flights.

SideDoor’s resident certified expert cheese monger, Tracy Nelsen is our guest.


Show 222, May 6, 2017: Executive Consulting Chef Brendan Collins, Tower 12, Hermosa Beach

Brendan CollinsTower 12, located on Hermosa Beach’s Pier Avenue, is a new hang that throws it back for the local community. The new South Bay spot incorporates vintage artifacts, furnishings and artwork that rep the laidback surf, music and beach scene. Wanting to create a welcoming, truly unique space for friends and neighbors to kick back and enjoy incredible food and drink, the Tower 12 team called on Consulting Chef Brendan Collins (Birch in Hollywood) to create California-inspired, updated spins on American classics.

Tower 12’s food program is guided by Consulting Chef Brendan Collins, one of Los Angeles’ most distinguished culinary names, alongside Executive Chef Alex Granados. The Tower 12 team created a menu full of delights for the hungry surfer

Shareable starters include Woodfired Garlic Blue Shrimp with Whole Caledonian Shrimp, garlic butter & charred sourdough, Cheese Steak Poppers with Yorkshire popovers, ribeye, peppers, onion & cheese sauce and Chicken Lollipop Wings with green apple & bourbon chipotle hot sauce. Tower 12 also offers an assortment of chef selected charcuterie and artisan cheese boards. Signature salads include Roasted Heirloom Beets with Caña de Cabre Goat Cheese, baby greens, cherry tomato, Banyuls vinaigrette and Smoked Chicken Waldorf with house-smoked chicken, candied walnuts, green apple, bleu cheese, baby gem & cranberry balsamic vinaigrette.

Hand-tossed pizzas baked in Tower 12’s woodfired oven include the Banzai Pipeline Hawaiian Pizza with parma cotto ham, pineapple, Fresno chilis, mint & tomato sauce and Magic Mushroom Pizza with forest mushrooms, truffle gremolata, crème fraiche & arugula. Among the “between the bread” offerings are a House-Smoked Pastrami Sandwich with double-smoked, hand-cut pastrami, Emmental cheese, coleslaw & house Russian dressing on grilled marble rye and Ahi Tuna Banh Mi Burger with sushi grade tuna, cucumber, Vietnamese mint, nam sauce, roasted peanuts, cilantro, hoisin, pickled carrots & cucumbers on a sesame seed bun.

Hearty entrees include a 12-Hour Braised Short Rib with brown butter mashed potatoes & grilled broccolini and Organic Salmon on Cedar with a miso glaze, grilled broccolini & chile marmalade. Rounding out the menu are vegetable sides such as Grilled Broccolini with lemon, garlic, shallots, extra virgin olive oil & chili flakes and Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes with Yukon potato & caramelized brown butter.

Tower 12 houses two full-service bars specializing in handcrafted cocktails, wine and 30 local brews on tap. Located on a second story deck with beautiful ocean views, Tower 12 features a wraparound, wooden outdoor balcony and interconnected rooms that feel more like a kickback for friends than a public space.

Chef Brendan joins us with the highlights and the surf report.



Show 222, May 6, 2017: Tim Rooney, Proprietor, Rooney’s Irish Pub, Orcutt, CA

Tim RooneyRooney’s Irish Pub and Shanty Irish Brewing Co. are the pride of Orcutt, CA. Also famous (Orcutt) for “Old Maud,” a gusher of an oil well discovered there in 1904. With a superb culinary team, Rooney’s is recognized as a “gastropub,” known for its excellent gourmet pub fare.

Rooney’s is also a ‘brewpub,’ proudly introducing the area to freshly made craft beers. Rooney’s turns out some of the freshest ales; Ambers, Blonds, Porters, IPA’s and other seasonal specialty ales, lagers, and pilsners. Rooney’s also offers an extensive ‘cellar’ list of fine craft brews, sharing Tim’s love of some of his other favorite breweries.

“Being of Irish heritage, I have always loved everything Irish. Much of our inspiration developed as our family traveled to Ireland where we toured much of the Emerald Isle. I’m not sure if we missed many Irish pubs along the way, but we loved the people, countryside, and “craic,” as they say. “

“Our love for craft beer began in the early 1980’s where finding anything beyond the basic lagers was difficult. Finally discovering Sierra Nevada, Anchor Brewing, and Sam Adams it opened a new world of freshly made, hoppy greatness.

“For as many Irish pubs we have visited, we have probably discovered more craft breweries, brewpubs, and micro brews throughout California and beyond. Our love for both had us filling a need in the Santa Maria Valley; an Irish Brewpub! Although the original vision was that of a small humble establishment, Rooney’s opened in July of 2010, and has been recognized as one of the most beautiful and authentic Irish pubs on the Central Coast. “

There is no better place to eat well, drink deep, and celebrate every good day than at Rooney’s Irish Pub, where “There are no strangers, only friends we’ve never met.”

Proprietor Tim Rooney moves out from behind the long bar and is our guest.


Show 165, March 26, 2016: Executive Chef Gerry Kent, PUBlic 74, San Juan Capistrano

Gerry KentPUBlic 74 opened quietly in San Juan Capistrano last year. On the menu are unusual libations and substantial pub food presented in a rustic gastropub setting. This is from the same team who created the popular PUBlic House in Old Town Temecula in 2008. They are pioneers in pairing menu items with distinctive, food-friendly craft beers.

With ambiance designed to be industrial, relaxing, and rustic, PUBlic 74 features Edison light bulbs, reclaimed wood, and corrugated metal ceilings. The dining area and bar are full of varied details to offer patrons a true gastropub feel and experience. With two flatscreen televisions and private seating arrangements for up to 30 individuals, PUBlic 74 welcomes a wide variety of clientele. Its family friendly focus can be seen in its menu “For the Littles.”

They also offer select tables and booths to offer patrons the chance to enjoy the ambience of the dining room in close proximity to the bar and kitchen.

House specialties include the Destructed Chicken Pot Pie. It’s an herb grilled chicken breast atop sautéed Spring vegetables.

Partner, Founder and Executive Chef Gerry Kent is our guest.


Show 88, September 13, 2014: Sip LBC Long Beach Wine, Beer & Spirits Week

Sip LBCReady to be Shaken and Stirred? Sip LBC Long Beach Wine, Beer & Spirits Week is on tap for September 21st to 27th.

One week. Seven Days of Sipping in 30 plus restaurants, lounges, wine bars and gastro pubs.

Sip LBC is a chance to toast Long Beach’s best restaurants, wine bars, gastro pubs and lounges. Cheers…


Show 86, August 30, 2014: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Continues…

Nadia GiosiaCooking Channel’s breakout star Nadia G. (chef-comedienne) continues for a second segment.

“Nadia G. rocked your kitchen, now it’s time to rock your city! We’re hitting the road, G-style.” The first city visited for Bite This was Los Angeles.

“First up : Badmaash – An outrageous Indian-fusion Poutine with Chicken Tikka at this downright bad ass downtown gastropub.”

“Next up, the freshest and tastiest Lobster Roll you can find West of the Rockies at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica.”

“Finally, the G and the crew is off to Father’s Office where they’ll meet Chef Sang Yoon and taste the Office Burger – a burger so good that it was names “best burger in the world.” Just don’t make the mistake of asking Chef Sang for ketchup with your Office Burger.

PSST. Insider info : They’ll also unveil for the first time EVER Sang Yoon’s latest tasty creation : The Patricia Melt.”