Show 571, March 30, 2024: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas & Creator of the Neon Feast App for Las Vegas Dining Part One

Al Mancini of Neon Feast

The 2nd year anniversary of notable Las Vegas-based food and entertainment journalist Al Mancini’s ambitious Neon Feast dining app has happened. Lots of new features have now been added to the updated App. “Available now on app stores for both Apple and Android (as well as on their website), Neon Feast solves the “where to eat” dilemma for both visitors and locals with listings curated by dozens of local and nationally prominent food & beverage experts, searchable through a unique combination of filters and capabilities.” To celebrate there is an exciting photo sweepstakes contest on right now with the lucky winner being hosted to an evening for two at Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand or a $300 Lip Smacking Foodie Tours gift certificate.

Al Mancini is our always in-the-know guest with highlights of what’s new on the Vegas dining scene and looking ahead to what’s notable on the horizon for the rest of 2024. Some of the current talk of the town on dining is about the high-end restaurants at the newly opened (and long-delayed) Fontainebleau on The Strip and the reopening of the new Esther’s Kitchen (relocated) in the Arts District with Executive Chef James Trees.

Al also has just launched with Gemini Stevens (his co-host of the Food & Loathing podcast) the NeonNews Website with current news (and breaking headline news) on the vibrant Vegas dining scene and lots more reported from his most reliable local sources.

Al takes a break from the Las Vegas dining action to join us.

Show 571, March 30, 2024: Food Journalist Al Mancini, Las Vegas & Creator of the Neon Feast App for Las Vegas Dining Part Two

Al Mancini of Neon Feast

The 2nd year anniversary of notable Las Vegas-based food and entertainment journalist Al Mancini’s ambitious Neon Feast dining app has happened. Lots of new features have now been added to the updated App. “Available now on app stores for both Apple and Android (as well as on their website), Neon Feast solves the “where to eat” dilemma for both visitors and locals with listings curated by dozens of local and nationally prominent food & beverage experts, searchable through a unique combination of filters and capabilities.” To celebrate there is an exciting photo sweepstakes contest on right now with the lucky winner being hosted to an evening for two at Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand or a $300 Lip Smacking Foodie Tours gift certificate.

Al Mancini is our always in-the-know guest with highlights of what’s new on the Vegas dining scene and looking ahead to what’s notable on the horizon for the rest of 2024. Some of the current talk of the town on dining is about the high-end restaurants at the newly opened (and long-delayed) Fontainebleau on The Strip and the reopening of the new Esther’s Kitchen (relocated) in the Arts District with Executive Chef James Trees.

Al also has just launched with Gemini Stevens (his co-host for the weekly “Food & Loathing” podcast) the NeonNews Website with current news (and breaking headline news) on the vibrant Vegas dining scene and lots more reported from his most reliable local sources.

Al takes another break from the Las Vegas dining action to continue with us.

Show 551, November 11, 2023: Al Mancini, Las Vegas Food & Entertainment Journalist. Creator of Neon Feast dining App for Las Vegas

Al Mancini of Neon Feast

The 2nd year anniversary of notable Las Vegas-based food and entertainment journalist Al Mancini’s ambitious Neon Feast dining app is on the horizon. Lots of new features have now been added to the updated App. “Available now on app stores for both Apple and Android (as well as on Neon Feast’s website), Neon Feast solves the “where to eat” dilemma for both visitors and locals with listings curated by dozens of local and nationally prominent food & beverage experts, searchable through a unique combination of filters and capabilities.”

“The weekly “Food and Loathing” podcast created by Al Mancini is a savage journey into the stomach of the Las Vegas restaurant and bar scene – with occasional detours to explore some of the valley’s other decadent offerings (edible and otherwise).” Each week, veteran food writer Al Mancini offers the lowdown on what’s new, what’s hot and what’s delicious in America’s most glamorous culinary city. Al invites you into his insider conversations with the chefs, bartenders, journalists, and other experts who know where to go – and what to order when you get there.”

Al Mancini is our guest with highlights of the Las Vegas dining scene including the high-end culinary aspects of the inaugural Las Vegas Formula 1 Grand Prix – Saturday November 18, 2023. Also, the incredible story of the new Winnie & Ethel’s coffee shop in Downtown which was a turn-key, million-dollar prize awarded to the co-owners from the Developer of the Center (Dapper Companies) they are in. The chef/owners are veterans of the greatly respected Esther’s Kitchen (James Trees.)

Show 543, September 16, 2023: Vegas Unstripped Chef Festival with Producer Eric Gladstone

Eric Gladstone of Feast of Friends

The Feast of Friends (Las Vegas) has announced the return of Vegas Unstripped, a unique food festival celebrating local Las Vegas chefs. This year, the event is planned to take place from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday October 14 at a location to be announced in the 18b Arts District. Thirty of the city’s most acclaimed and creative chefs will be brought together to present one-night-only original dishes, accompanied by cocktails from many of the city’s best bars, live local entertainers, art activations and more. Tickets for the event are now available via Vegas’ Unstripped’s website for $150 plus fees.” Attendees must be 21 and over.

“Each year, the message of Vegas Unstripped evolves a little bit, but really remains the same,” says Event Producer Eric Gladstone of The Feast of Friends: “To show Las Vegas locals the strength of our city-wide culinary scene, and to show visitors and the world that Vegas food means more than an outpost for celebrity chefs. We can’t say that Las Vegas is a great culinary city if we don’t build up our own heroes.”

“Created in 2018 as a reaction to the Strip-focused Vegas Uncork’d event (now defunct), Vegas Unstripped initially only invited chefs working off-Strip. This year, Unstripped is welcoming chefs regardless of where they cook, and offering open submissions. In past years (2018, 2019, 2021), the line up was curated by Gladstone and an informal panel of consulting chefs.”

Participating chefs represent the cutting edge of independent talent in Las Vegas, and are challenged to create unique dishes for the night reflecting their culinary passions. All necessary expenses of the independent chef / restaurateur are covered by event revenue to the extent possible, with net proceeds going to underserved local charities. To date, Vegas Unstripped has donated nearly $20,000.

Founder and Producer Eric Gladstone of The Feast of Friends joins us with all the tantalizing details.

Show 409, January 23, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

We know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. At Alfio’s they’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.”” Trees latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Summerlin’s Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

R6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Tap) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.” Distiller Rob Rubens is our spirited guest.

Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality, Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and, most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. He’s at it again on Tuesday, January 26th working with True Aussie Beef & Lamb as the online host of the interactive Aussie Dinner Hour” on Australia Day. On the line is an official attempt to best the current Guinness World Record for “Most Users in a Dinner Party Hangout.” Chef Jet is our guest.

In times of uncertainty it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. On January 12th a new, 25 percent tariff (with little warning) was placed on high-alcohol wines from Europe. In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the tariff situation with Kyle and how they ultimately negatively impact wine pricing.

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicked off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.” Chef Sandra Cordero of Gasolina Café in Woodland Hills is one of the organizers of the Festival and as well serves on the active RE:Her board. Sandra takes a break from her busy kitchen to preview the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she is part of.

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 updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit deserving out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed $300,000 to restaurant workers in dire need. The fried chicken sandwich is becoming an increasingly popular menu item at the major national burger places as well as at other fast casual outlets. Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Show 409, January 23, 2021: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasWe know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. My mom was always working and didn’t have time to make dinner, so whenever we were hungry we went to Alfio’s house. They’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.””

Trees’ latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

January 23: James Trees, R6 Distillery, Jet Tila, Wine Exchange, Gasolina Café

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part Two
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café on Woodland Hills
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

We know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. At Alfio’s they’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.”” Trees latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

R6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.” Distiller Rob Rubens is our spirited guest.

Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality, Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and, most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of the refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. He’s at it again on Tuesday, January 26th working with True Aussie Beef & Lamb as the online host of the interactive “Aussie Dinner Hour” on Australia Day. On the line is an official attempt to best the current Guinness World Record for “Most Users in a Dinner Party Hangout.” Chef Jet is our guest.

In times of uncertainty it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. On January 12th a 25 percent tariff was set to be placed on high-alcohol wines from France and Germany. It was then called back at the last hour. In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the tariff situation with Kyle and how they ultimately impact wine pricing. Kyle will also discuss his insights on the harvest and crush for 2020 in California.

“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicks off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.” Chef Sandra Cordero of Gasolina Café in Woodland Hills is one of the organizers of the Festival and as well serves on the active RE:Her board. Sandra takes a break from her busy kitchen to preview the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she is part of.

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 updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, “86 The Struggle” campaign to benefit deserving out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed $300,000 to restaurant workers in dire need. The fried chicken sandwich is becoming an increasingly popular menu item at the major national burger places as well as at other fast casual outlets. Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness (with proper Social Distancing) on this week’s not-to-miss show!

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasWe know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. My mom was always working and didn’t have time to make dinner, so whenever we were hungry we went to Alfio’s house. They’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.””

Trees’ latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

Rob Rubens of R6 DistilleryR6 is a family-owned distillery in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. Founder and Head Distiller Rob Rubens  fell in love with the art of distilling after his first (unplanned) trip to New Orleans Rum Distillery. He knew it was time for a change. After spending the better part of a decade in corporate America and realizing that was not his path, Rob visited distilleries and breweries and decided it was time to make waves. Coupling his experience with his desire to bring quality spirits to Los Angeles, Rob opened this speakeasy (Smoky Hollow Tasting & Tap) inspired distillery for everyone to enjoy in 2014.”

“Our process is quite different than most. We use only the purest form of our distillate when producing spirits. This is where most take short cuts and compromise the quality of the product. But we’re about quality – and our promise to you is just that. Each bottle of spirits will be crafted from the “hearts” of our distillate. We stick to doing what is right and what is authentic.”

New is the California Mule in a can and certified hand sanitizer originally created to help mitigate the initial shortage last March with the onset of the pandemic.

In the interests of safety and complying with all COVID 19 restrictions R6 Distillery is open exclusively (Friday through Sunday) for bottle purchases and cocktails & beer to go. The online store can ship R6 spirits to any California address.

Jet Tila at Cochon 555Celebrity Chef, Author and Food TV Personality, Jet Tila, needs no introduction to the listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” With his wife, Ali, he has written the best-selling 101 Asia Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die and, most recently, 101 Epic Dishes. On Food Network Chef Jet was one of the 3 regular judges for the entire run of “Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown” and the knowledgeable Floor Reporter on the most recent season of refreshed “Iron Chef America.” Earlier in his career he crossed knives with Iron Chef Masaharu Moromoto (an original Iron Chef from the predecessor Japanese version) on “Iron Chef America” in “Battle Seaweed.”

Chef Jet holds the most Guinness World Records for creating large format food. He’s at it again on Tuesday, January 26th working with True Aussie Beef & Lamb as the online host of the interactive Aussie Dinner Hour” on Australia Day. On the line is an official attempt to best the current Guinness World Record for “Most Users in a Dinner Party Hangout.”

“Join Host/Celebrity Chef Jet Tila, partner chefs, media members and influencers online for this interactive experience featuring loads of foodie entertainment, fun trivia and “aussome” prizes – including one-on-one virtual cooking classes with featured chef hosts. Anyone who wants to make history or simply loves everything food, art, travel, a free-t-shirt and prizes is invited to attend—and Make a Moment with True Aussie Beef & Lamb.”

Chef Jet joins us with all the details on how listeners can be part of this challenge. We’ll also get updated on Chef Jet’s current Food TV work, his lineup of virtual cooking tutorials and the “in the works” new cookbook.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIn times of crisis it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. 

On January 12th a 25 percent tariff was set to be placed on high-alcohol wines from France and Germany. It was then called back at the last hour. In late 2019 a 25 percent tariff was placed on lower-alcohol European wines. We’ll discuss the tariff situation with Kyle and how they impact wine pricing.

We’ll also ask Kyle about the current state of the wine business in California. How did the harvest and crush shape up for 2020? Will the fires in Northern California last year impact the quality and availability of premium California wines? What is smoke taint on wine?

Sandra Cordero“Women restaurateurs from across Los Angeles have created a new charitable organization called RE:Her. Its debut initiative, a food festival called 10 Days RE:Her, will feature 10 days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders. 10 Days RE:Her kicks off on January 21, the anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s March of 2017, and runs through January 30. Over 100 restaurants and collaborators are involved. Observing local dining restrictions, aspects of the festival will take place virtually and remotely.”

Chef Sandra Cordero of Gasolina Café in Woodland Hills is one of the organizers of the Festival as well as serves on the active RE:Her board. Sandra takes a break from her busy kitchen to preview the variety of “10 Days RE:Her” events that she is part of.

A highlight is “The Girls Got Taste,” a 3-course menu available to go (in Santa Monica and Woodland Hills) created by Socalo, Gasolina Café and Valerie Confections. Chef Sandra provides a Salad of Mussels in Escabeche with blood orange, fennel, celeriac, bocarones and olives.

Chef Sandra also has developed a Spanish-themed, bake-at-home pizza kit as part of Around The World with Superfine Pizza.” The 12-inch  pizza creation is LA-ES-PAN-OLA by GASOLINA Café with chorizo soria, manchego cheese, mushroom crema, cherry tomato, caramelized onion and topped with a sunny side up egg. Additionally the ES-CA-ROLE by Superfine Pizza is on the menu at Gasolina Café. Both are available by pre-order from January 21st to 30th.

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 increasingly growing) concern. Extended restrictions for restaurants are now in place for Southern California for at least the first 3 weeks of January.

Chef Andrew updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $300,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The need continues…

The fried chicken sandwich is becoming a popular menu item at the major burger places in addition to other fast casual outlets. Chef Andrew has a lot of hands-on experience with premium fried chicken at Two Birds in Irvine. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Rob Rubens, Founder & Head Distiller, R6 Distillery, El Segundo
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part One
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila with a Preview of “Aussie Dinner Hour” Part Two
Segment Six: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana
Segment Seven: Restaurateur & Chef Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café on Woodland Hills
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 404, December 19, 2020: Al Mancini, Food Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review JournalOne of our most reliable sources of accurate restaurant news in fabulous Las Vegas is Al Mancini, who is a staff writer for The Las Vegas Review- Journal covering food, restaurants and other aspects of entertainment. Al has been working the Vegas food scene for 19 years. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guidebook series.

Al joins us with his quarterly update on the Las Vegas dining scene. He’ll provides an insider’s overview on how Las Vegas restaurants are creatively coping with all the severe COVID 19 restrictions. Restaurateur and Chef James Trees of Esther’s Kitchen (Arts District) has resourcefully constructed 8 handsomely appointed dining tents on his back parking lot to accommodate guests. Al also comments on popular Vegas chef Mike Minor’s (known for ethereal barbecue, too) departure from Border Grill Las Vegas after a lengthy tenure with a pending move to San Diego and a new culinary challenge.

Al continues his dining report on Saturday, December 26th. He’ll be providing an overview of Jolene Mannina’s (a fixture on the independent Vegas dining scene) just-opened Vegas Test Kitchen on Fremont Street.

Show 360, February 15, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a decadent preview of Saturday’s tantalizing show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will hopefully leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without you.

Inspired by the spirit of legendary bar woman Ada Coleman of the Savoy Hotel, Ada’s (Las Vegas) is driven by the idea that hospitality begins with offering every guest the best ingredients, preparation, and service possible. With Italian-inspired fresh pastas, artisanal American style pizza, seafood, meat and vegan selections at lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Ada’s offers the best quality version of “something for everyone” in an elegant but casual setting amongst the Italianate streets of Las Vegas’ Tivoli Village. The Ada’s team is led by Chef/Owner James Trees (Esther’s Kitchen), who is our guest.

Powell & Son wines are sourced from various vineyard sites throughout Australia’s the Barossa and Eden Valleys. Dave and Callum Powell (father and son) employ traditional, minimalist winemaking techniques to produce a wine that speaks of the place that it was grown. Their inspiration for winemaking having its roots in France’s Rhone Valley, Powell & Son red wines are made from the classic Rhone varietals: Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro and its whites: Roussanne, Marsanne as well as Eden Valley Riesling. Dave Powell joins us to gently pull the cork on Powell & Son for us.

Leah Spielberg Adler was a fixture of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood (The Borscht Belt) in Los Angeles since 1977 until her passing in early 2017 at 97. She was the proprietress and heart of the kosher dairy restaurant, The Milky Way. In a loving tribute to her memory The Spielberg Family (Steven, Nancy, Anne and Sue) reimagined and reopened The Milky Way in February of 2019 with a new look and an updated, appealing and streamlined kosher menu. Sunday Brunch was then added right before Mother’s Day 2019. Executive Chef & Restaurant Consultant Phil Kastel of PK+J Hospitality Group is the Creative Chef at The Milky Way and is our guest for the update.

Valentine’s Day is a particularly difficult Holiday for restaurants to manage. Expectations are high on the part of couples and it’s all tables of two who want to linger. What are the operational and food preparation challenges of Valentine’s Day from the restaurant’s perspective? Executive Producer Andy Harris (who has a background in restaurant operations) talks about this with the show’s Producer/Engineer/Board Operator Aaron Fry who moonlights as a proficient bartender and server. Valentine’s Day extends into the Weekend this year.

It’s definitely time with the new year and decade for another effervescent installment of “Ask the Brewers” where we answer listeners’ intriguing questions about craft beer. There are finally some decent non-alcoholic beers on the market. How do you brew a premium non-alcoholic beer? Joining us with all the needed intel is Golden Road’s uber-accomplished Brewmaster, Victor Novak, and Anaheim Head Brewer Steven Torres.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Show 360, February 15, 2020: Executive Chef & Restaurateur James Trees – Las Vegas’ Ada’s and Esther’s Kitchen

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasInspired by the spirit of legendary bar woman Ada Coleman of the Savoy Hotel, Ada’s (Las Vegas) is driven by the idea that hospitality begins with offering every guest the best ingredients, preparation, and service possible. With Italian-inspired fresh pastas, artisanal American style pizza, seafood, meat and vegan selections at lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Ada’s offers the best quality version of “something for everyone” in an elegant but casual setting amongst the Italianate streets of Las Vegas’ Tivoli Village.

The Ada’s team is led by Chef/Owner James Trees, General Manager Sonia Stelea and Chef de Cuisine Dylan Jobsz.

Chef James original restaurant in Las Vegas is Esther’s Kitchen in the Downtown Arts District. He likes to describe it as “Seasonal Italian Soul Food.” Trees’ Great-aunt Esther (the namesake for the restaurant) was a tough, smart, no-nonsense type who cared about people and gave good advice. “She was a big support to my mom when I was growing up, and that was huge,” says Trees. “She was always there for us.”

Chef James is also one of the organizers of Vegas Unstripped, which is an energetic, locals’ food festival of impressive, off-the-Strip, chef-driven independent restaurants. It’s Saturday evening, May 2nd this year in Downtown Las Vegas.

We pull Chef James (also Esther’s Kitchen) away from his busy Ada’s kitchen Brunch line for a chat.