Show 359, February 8, 2020: Napa Valley Grille in Westwood Village Part One

Brian Cousins of Napa Valley Grille“Combining local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products and an expansive selection of regional wine, Napa Valley Grille recreates the charm, bounty and palates distinctive of West Coast wine country in a sophisticated setting within Westwood Village.” Also available are several private dining rooms of varying sizes and attractive patio seating.

Napa Valley Grille serves lunch and dinner daily with Weekend Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Also known for their Daily Happy Hour with Bar Bites like Lamb Lollipops and Buttermilk Fried Chicken sliders. Chef Ben Diaz’s revamped menu will be launched in the coming weeks.

Veteran General Manager and Wine Director, Brian Cousins, and newly arrived Executive Chef Ben Diaz are our guests.


Show 357, January 25, 2020: Chef / Proprietor Arthur Gonzalez – Panxa Cocina, Long Beach – Part One

Arthur Gonzalez of Panxa CocinaLocated in Long Beach’s Belmont Heights, Panxa Cocina is a purveyor of modern Latin cuisine from the esteemed Chef / Proprietor Arthur Gonzalez. Panxa Cocina opened in December 2014 and is located on the corner of Broadway and Termino in the Belmont Heights neighborhood of Long Beach. Since opening, Chef Gonzalez has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.

Known for their Weekend Brunch featuring Blue Corn Pancakes. Brunch is now served seven days a week. Also popular for their Happy Hour.

We’re celebrating Panxa’s 5th Anniversary with Chef Art.


Show 333, July 20, 2019: Proprietor Rob Arellano, Descanso – A Modern Taqueria, Costa Mesa Part One

Rob Arellano of Descanso RestaurantDescanso is a modern taqueria in that it celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional plancha and prepared a la minute in front of you, in a full-service setting. Concept creator and proprietor Rob Arellano pulled from his own Mexican heritage to create a never-before-seen restaurant experience rooted in nostalgia and comfort, that speaks to how we live and eat today, You, our guest, will come face to face with the chef as Mexican classics are made to order in a lively setting that brings in the smells, sounds and energy of a busy Mexican town.” Descanso was recognized as one of Orange Coast Magazine’s 2019 Best New Restaurants.

“With Chef Sergio Ortega at the helm in the Kitchen, Descanso presents Classic Central Mexico street-inspired cuisine, rife with bold flavors and the freshest, seasonal ingredients in dishes that are complex and layered with history and flavor.”

Open Daily @ 11:00 a.m. for Lunch and Dinner. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3 to 5:00 p.m. Brunch (featuring Bottomless Mimosas and Brunch Cocktails) is Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Rob Arellano is our guest.


Show 311, February 16, 2019: Executive Chef Nick Shipp, The Upper West, Santa Monica, CA

Nick ShippLocally owned and operated, The Upper West opened its doors in 2010 and not long after it’s arrival on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica has emerged as a consistent local favorite. Upper West’s ever-changing menu draws inspiration from around the world while maintaining eclectic flavors of Chef Nick Shipp’s very own.

“Our bar offers a nightly happy hour from 5-7 p.m. as well an all -night happy hour every Monday that serves refreshing craft cocktails, handcrafted beer, and a unique array of small bites that can only be enjoyed during this time frame. Some of the local favorites happy small bites are braised pork belly lettuce wraps, sausage and goat cheese quesadilla and lamb nachitos.”

“Our lunch and dinner menu is always evolving and includes ingredients sourced locally from the Santa Monica Farmers Market as well as local farmers such as Weiser Farms, Niman Ranch, Jimenez Family Farm and Harries Berries. Our chef, Nick Shipp, has been described by food critics as a “mad scientist, where no two dining experiences are ever alike.”

Our wall decor changes regularly, as we host one local artist for each season of the year. Make sure you come and celebrate them at our quarterly art openings.”

“Every month, Chef Nick gets to show off his culinary talents with a special pairing dinner co-hosted by select liquor brands who will walk you through each of the individual tasting notes in accompaniment with each course. We offer whiskey, gin, and wine dinners, with a small intimate group, and we always have a great time!”

Their 6th Annual Oscar Fundraiser is Sunday evening, February 24th.

We pull Chef Nick away from his busy kitchen for a chat.


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 302, December 15, 2018: Anne Marie Panoringan, Freelance, Food, Libation & Travel Journalist

Anne Marie PanoringanFreelance food, libation and travel writer, Anne Marie Panoringan, is on the go, again, and with us in-studio. This time she is reporting for Coast Magazine (Orange County Register) and her travel destination is Healdsburg in picturesque Sonoma County wine country. Anne Marie will graciously share some worthy restaurant, winery, and lodging tips.

A highlight was her stay at River Belle Inn located at the Russian River. On the guest services menu there are Beer and Wine Happy Hour and daily, from-scratch breakfast pastries.


Show 302, December 15, 2018: Restaurateur Ed Lee and Chef / Partner John Park, Toast Kitchen + Bakery, Costa Mesa

John ParkThe new Toast Kitchen + Bakery in Costa Mesa (on the site of the revered Golden Truffle) is the creation of Chef / Partner John Park and restaurateur Ed Lee (Wahoo’s Fish Taco.) There is some incredible food, baked goods & desserts coming out of this kitchen. Closed on Monday and Sunday is Brunch service only.

Think Hot Chicken and Hawaiian Malasadas for Brunch.

Two other attractions are Happy Hour (specialty cocktails, beer and wine) with menu attractions including Thai Chili Chilaquiles and Taco Tuesday (Pumpkin Chorizo Taco & Street Tacos.)

Chef John modestly doesn’t make a big deal about it but a per cent of the restaurant’s profits go to local charities.

Next door to Toast Kitchen is Fill Bakery & Creamery, home of authentic Hawaiian malasadas and tantalizing craft ice cream flavors. Everything is made fresh, in-house. We’ll be talking about Fill on Saturday morning, December 29th. with Co-Proprietor James Mullis.

We’ll meet the creative team from Toast.


Show 285, August 11, 2018: Chef Tia Baker, The Federal Bar, Long Beach

Tia BakerEat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is on through August 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

The Federal Bar on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach is one of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC. We’ll meet new Chef Tia Baker (ex-Sol Cocina) and talk about the elevated fare at The Federal Bar. New Happy Hour menu, too.

“Passing through the double doors into the main hall of this 1920’s Beaux-arts style building is just the beginning of the Federal experience. Your gaze will draw up into our three-story restaurant that doubles as an event space that can accommodate up 600 patrons, featuring two full-service bars, hand-painted beamed ceilings, towering columns, high windows that provide grand natural lighting, and an attached outside patio.”

There is a new Happy Hour Menu (every day) in place at The Federal. You can get Bottomless Sangria plus one food item (like Mexican Street Corn Flat Bread) for $20.

The DINE LBC menu for $35 per person is three courses with choices for each course. Selections for the Mains include Pine Street Bouillabaisse, Meatloaf Sundae, Investors Pasta and Chefs Fish of the Day.


Show 267, March 31, 2018: Brendon Salisbury, 4th Generation Restaurateur, Coast Fish Co., Irvine

Brendon SalisburyCoast Fish Company is the relatively new brand and concept from the same family of restaurants (family owned and operated for 94 years) as El Cholo and The Cannery in Newport Beach. The fast-casual Coast located in the Los Olivos Marketplace in the Irvine Spectrum brings the best premium seafood from both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts to Orange County. The Salisburys’ prefer to brand it “fine casual.”

What’s a bit unusual is that the taco or entrée choices comes with the guest’s selection of fish. Seasonal options include Ahi Tuna, Barramundi, Catfish, Halibut, Mahi Mahi, Salmon, Swordfish, and Tilapia.

Sides include the expected chips & salsa and avocado but also feature mushroom risotto.

Happy Hour is new on the menu with $1.50 beers and half-price appetizers.

4th Generation restaurateur Brendon Salisbury is our guest.


Show 260, February 10, 2018: Restaurateur Michael McCarty, Michael’s Santa Monica & NYC

Michael McCartyRestaurateur Michael McCarty of Michael’s Santa Monica fame has been a larger-than-life fixture on the local dining scene (Manhattan, too) since 1979. He is a legendary discoverer of youthful culinary talent. In the summer of 2016 Michael reinvented Michael’s Santa Monica once again with the arrival of a hot young chef, Miles Thompson.

When Chef & Restaurateur Michael McCarty opened the landmark Michael’s in Santa Monica back in 1979 I’m not sure he even suspected that he would become one of the pioneers of what is known as California cuisine along with Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. He pioneered having museum quality art on the restaurant’s wall with not a hint of pretention. A Michael’s in New York came on the scene about a decade later serving breakfast, lunch & dinner to the media elite.

Michael is also known for mentoring rising, young culinary talent. This distinguished alumni club includes Jonathan Waxman, Nancy Silverton, Mark Peel, Ken Frank, and Sang Yoon.

McCarty still can be seen at The Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesday mornings with his culinary team. When he’s home in Santa Monica he’s at the restaurant nightly still touching tables and welcoming guests.

We’ll chat with Michael about the diminishing influence of high-profile restaurant critics over the years as well as Chef Miles’ new Winter Happy Hour menu. (Think pork ribs with Calabrian chili red hot and a daily cocktail special for $1.79.) How valuable is restaurant criticism to an established restaurant?