Show 432, July 3, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and Casino

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery which remains a genuine concern.

Chef Andrew gives us his insider’s perspective on how the restaurant business is bouncing back from the pandemic. What will change? Right now it’s a matter of trying to hang on to your existing staff.

He also reports on the progress of his new ambitious Save the Brave Burger” fundraiser to benefit Veterans with PTS. Participating SoCal Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Laguna, Tustin, Brea and Irvine.

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Show 428, June 5, 2021: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part One

Alex Adler of Puesto

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar launched its third Orange County location in late April at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. As the largest of the O.C. locations at 7,600 square feet, Puesto Bella Terra reflects the coastal community that it has joined by adopting elements of Huntington Beach culture in its design, with organic forms, raw materials, and earth tones of the Puesto color wheel.”

“Despite being a very challenging year for restaurants, in general, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support that the Orange County community has shown Puesto – so much so, that is has only gotten us more energized and excited to bring the community this beautiful location in the Bella Terra Center,” says Eric Adler, Tacoteur and Co-Founder of Puesto. “This will be our largest location, with extensive indoor and open-air seating and many unique features that provide a one of a kind experience for guests to enjoy.”

“Puesto is known for its tacos made from handmade, non-GMO, organic blue corn stone-ground tortillas, organic jidori chicken, sustainable meats, Baja and local line caught seafood, local produce and scratch salsas. Guests are encouraged to mix and match from an array of tacos, including Filet Mignon (crispy melted cheese, avocado, spicy pistachio serrano salsa), Chicken al Pastor (crispy melted cheese, braised Jidori chicken, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado, piña habanero pico), vegetarian options such as Verduras (crispy melted cheese, rajas, tatume squash, papas, corn& tomato, nopales, avocado, jalapeño, zucchini blossom) and Mushroom (crispy melted cheese, garlic braised seasonal mushrooms, pickled onions, stone fruit serrano salsa, hearts on fire). In addition to tacos, fresh ceviches and enchiladas highlight the menu.”

“Puesto is family-owned and operated by brothers Eric, Alan and Alex Adler, their cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo alongside Executive Chef Luisteen Gonzalez, a Mexico City native who accredits his passion for food to his grandmother and his fisherman father. The owners, first generation Mexican Americans, have been immersed in authentic, Mexican cooking since birth. While traveling around the United States, they became captivated by the local cuisine in each city, and how it reflected its people and culture. The family was inspired to bring their Mexican roots to the SoCal area, thus Puesto is a combination of authentic Mexican flavors and Southern California’s fresh, local ingredients.”

Puesto is also known for their extensive beverage program. A deep selection of Tequilas and Mezcals are available and they even brew their own Cervezas in their Mission Valley Cerveceria. All of their wines are unusually hand-selected from Mexico’s celebrated Baja California wine region. Nine variations of signature Margaritas are on the Puesto menu including the Cucumber Margarita.

Filet Mignon Taco (blue corn tortilla shell) in hand we’re joined by Puesto’s Alex Adler.

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Show 428, June 5, 2021: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part Two

Alex Adler of Puesto

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar launched its third Orange County location in late April at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. As the largest of the O.C. locations at 7,600 square feet, Puesto Bella Terra reflects the coastal community that it has joined by adopting elements of Huntington Beach culture in its design, with organic forms, raw materials, and earth tones of the Puesto color wheel.”

“Despite being a very challenging year for restaurants, in general, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support that the Orange County community has shown Puesto – so much so, that is has only gotten us more energized and excited to bring the community this beautiful location in the Bella Terra Center,” says Eric Adler, Tacoteur and Co-Founder of Puesto. “This will be our largest location, with extensive indoor and open-air seating and many unique features that provide a one of a kind experience for guests to enjoy.”

“Puesto is known for its tacos made from handmade, non-GMO, organic blue corn stone-ground tortillas, organic jidori chicken, sustainable meats, Baja and local line caught seafood, local produce and scratch salsas. Guests are encouraged to mix and match from an array of tacos, including Filet Mignon (crispy melted cheese, avocado, spicy pistachio serrano salsa), Chicken al Pastor (crispy melted cheese, braised Jidori chicken, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado, piña habanero pico), vegetarian options such as Verduras (crispy melted cheese, rajas, tatume squash, papas, corn& tomato, nopales, avocado, jalapeño, zucchini blossom) and Mushroom (crispy melted cheese, garlic braised seasonal mushrooms, pickled onions, stone fruit serrano salsa, hearts on fire). In addition to tacos, fresh ceviches and enchiladas highlight the menu.”

“Puesto is family-owned and operated by brothers Eric, Alan and Alex Adler, their cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo alongside Executive Chef Luisteen Gonzalez, a Mexico City native who accredits his passion for food to his grandmother and his fisherman father. The owners, first generation Mexican Americans, have been immersed in authentic, Mexican cooking since birth. While traveling around the United States, they became captivated by the local cuisine in each city, and how it reflected its people and culture. The family was inspired to bring their Mexican roots to the SoCal area, thus Puesto is a combination of authentic Mexican flavors and Southern California’s fresh, local ingredients.”

Puesto is also known for their extensive beverage program. A deep selection of Tequilas and Mezcals are available and they even brew their own Cervezas in their Mission Valley Cerveceria. All of their wines are unusually hand-selected from Mexico’s celebrated Baja California wine region. Nine variations of signature Margaritas are on the Puesto menu including the Cucumber Margarita.

With tacos (blue corn tortilla shells) in hand Puesto’s Alex Adler continues with us.

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Show 419, April 3, 2021: Restaurateur and Nightlife Impresario Brent Bolthouse, The Bungalow Kitchen

The Bungalow Kitchen is James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina’s and hospitality veteran Brent Bolthouse’s freshly debuted joint partnership in Southern and Northern California. The Bungalow Kitchen is a new social dining experience and community clubhouse with two waterfront locations, one in Long Beach, California at Belmont Shore (2nd & PCH) with its second location in Tiburon (5 Main Street), California. The Bungalow Kitchen brings a chic and bohemian atmosphere, and features creative California Cuisine heavily inspired by local, seasonal ingredients with a robust wine list and custom cocktails.”

“The Belmont Shore location is designed by local Venice, CA based design firm Studio Collective.

The 10,000 square foot venue has an eclectic, residential vibe rich in custom furnishings and layered with unique artwork. Designed with the intent to create an atmosphere of attending a fabulous dinner party, The Bungalow Kitchen Belmont Shore is unlike anything loyal fans of The Bungalow (Santa Monica and Huntington Beach) brand have seen previously.”

“This specific venue gives the nod to the rich architectural history and the punk-rock edge of the Long Beach community. It puts a unique and utterly contemporary spin on the traditional Craftsman bungalow, maintaining certain classic structural elements (wood plank ceilings, large fireplaces, a covered porch) while simultaneously taking a sledgehammer to others and exposing what remains (wood stud and plywood walls, concrete floors, select structural members) and adds the sort of hip, eclectic furnishings one might expect to find in a local musician’s home lend this location an ambiance that is at once comforting and industrial, with a rock-and-roll twist.”

Brent Bolthouse joins us.

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Show 413, February 20, 2021: Brewmaster Ian McCall, Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach Part One

Ian McCall of Riip Beer Company

Riip Beer Co. is located in Sunset Beach, a historic sub-district of Huntington Beach, California directly on Pacific Coast Highway across the street from the beach & the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. “Riip Beer Company started in 2014 as a Home Brew Operation on a 20 Gallon Brew Sculpture by More Beer in a small garage in Downtown Huntington Beach, California.”

The winning tradition of Riip has continued under the direction of Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Operations, Ian McCall who is a Huntington Beach resident. Ian joined Ripp Beer Co. (a bit over 2 years ago) from Beachwood Brewing where he was lead brewer of their Long Beach facility. At last year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Riip was in the highly exclusive category of most medaled breweries garnering a Gold and two Silvers! 

For this Weekend Riip has a pair of news brews on tap. Playa Nublada: Hazy IPA dry hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe. Old School Values: a modern take on a classic IPA. Riip “paired classic American hops, Amarillo, Centennial and Zythos with modern kettle and dry hopping processes and the result is rad!”

We’re tapping the keg with Brewmaster Ian McCall.

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Show 413, February 20, 2021: Brewmaster Ian McCall, Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach Part Two

Ian McCall of Riip Beer Company

Riip Beer Co. is located in Sunset Beach, a historic sub-district of Huntington Beach, California directly on Pacific Coast Highway across the street from the beach & the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. Riip Beer Company started in 2014 as a Home Brew Operation on a 20 Gallon Brew Sculpture by More Beer in a small garage in Downtown Huntington Beach, California.”

“Founded by two Brother-in-Laws in 2014, Riip Beer became one of Southern California’s first Nano Breweries to hit the rapid growing craft beer scene producing some of the best small batch, hand crafted ales in Orange County. Riip Beer was built organically from the ground up, the same way they craft their beers.”

“In 2016 Riip Beer Company for the first time ever entered the prestigious GABF (Great American Beer Festival) competition and received a Silver Medal for it’s Super Cali IPA in the uber competitive American IPA category. Brewed on their 3bbl system Riip Beer became the smallest brewery to ever win a GABF in the American IPA category with over 400 entries from around the globe.”

The winning tradition has continued under the direction of Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Operation, Ian McCall, who is a Huntington Beach resident. Ian joined Riip Beer Co. (a bit over 2 years ago) from Beachwood Brewing where he was lead brewer of their Long Beach facility. 

At last year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Riip was in the highly exclusive category of most medaled breweries. They were awarded Gold for their Belgian-Style Ale – Category 82 (Tangible Passion,) A Silver for Coffee Stout or Porter – Category 10 (The Riizzo,)  and a Silver for American-Style Black Ale or American-Style – Category 69 (Black the Ripper.)

At any given time the Riip Beer Co. Tasting Room in Huntington Beach offers an impressive selection of 19 craft beers on tap. Soon to be released to the Riip Tasting Room is their collaboration beer with MoonGoat Coffee Roasters, “Triip to the Moon.”

We’re continuing our tasting with Brewmaster Ian McCall.

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Show 405, December 26, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we’re in the all-important Holiday dining season.

Our thoughts turn to festive Holiday entertaining at home for New Year’s Eve. Chef Andrew to the rescue as he continues his series of genuinely useful Holiday cooking tips. How do you prepare and cook the ultimate Standing Rib Roast? Chef Andrew suggests the reverse sear resulting in a great crust on the roast. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

“Here are some basics on a reverse sear: Slow roast your meat at 250F in the oven (rub with butter and/or herbs if you want), then remove from the oven when it hits 120 degrees F. Pat it dry, then sear in a pan to finish and baste. Perfect crust. Let sit for 15 minutes before carving.”

“By slow roasting first at a low temp you are allowing the enzymes to break down the meat more. In addition, it reduces the moisture and allows the meat to sear harder and crispier at the end. Plus, it’s not as messy.”

Chef Andrew updates us on the early progress for the grass-roots, “86 Struggle” campaign to benefit local out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. It’s gaining significant attention nationally. As of this posting over $136,000 has been raised. This doesn’t include the sales of the Community Burger at Slapfish Huntington Beach where 100 percent of the receipts are donated to assist struggling restaurant workers. (No expenses to cover food costs are deducted from the donation. Expenses are underwritten by West Coast Prime Meats & Slapfish.)

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Show 403, December 12, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and growing) concern. New (controversial) restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for the balance of the year (and possibly longer) as we begin the all-important Holiday dining season.

Chef Andrew on Monday, December 14th is launching at the original Slapfish in Huntington Beach a sincere, grass-roots effort (86 Struggle) to assist out-of-work and struggling restaurant employees. Go to this Slapfish location on Beach Blvd. and order a big, fat & juicy “Community Burger.” The premium burger is free with a donation to “86 Struggle.” Every penny of the donation goes to benefit struggling and out-ot-work restaurant workers. All expenses are being underwritten by Slapfish and West Coast Prime Meats.

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Show 375, May 30, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-Host & Slapfish Restaurant Group

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants as dine-in now slowly returns. Take-out / delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

Takeout packaging is now of concern because its everywhere and used in much greater volume. Is it finally becoming more green and recyclable? How about affordability?

Slapfish is a fast- casual restaurant concept. Is the future installing take-out windows or drive-thrus?

Slapfish is hosting Doctors, Nurses, Medical Personnel, Police, Firefighters & EMT’s to a complimentary meal To-Go. Need to be in uniform or have appropriate ID to qualify. The participating Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Brea, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

Kids eat free at Slapfish, too, when their parents order Takeout.

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Show 374, May 23, 2020: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Take-out / delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

Chef Andrew will conclude his revealing commentary on 3rd Party Delivery Services for restaurants and explain why he suggests you tip the delivery driver in cash. The City of L.A. is going to cap 3rd Party Delivery fees until the Covid 19 crisis is abated. Is there an unexpected potential downside to this ?

It’s the start of the eagerly anticipated Summer Grilling Season. Chef Andrew has some meaty tips for the backyard master of the grill. How often should you clean the grill?

Slapfish is hosting Doctors, Nurses, Medical Personnel, Police, Firefighters & EMT’s to a complimentary meal To-Go. Need to be in uniform or have appropriate ID to qualify. The participating Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Brea, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

Kids eat free at Slapfish, too, when their parents order Takeout.

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