Show 286, August 18, 2018: Josh Kopel and Executive Chef Sammy Monsour, South City Fried Chicken, Los Angeles

Sammy MonsourNewly arrived in DTLA is South City Fried Chicken, where not one, but eight great Southern cities are uniquely represented via the most delicious mother cluckin’ Fried Chicken Sandwiches this side of the Rio Grande! Guests have the opportunity to get lost in their nuanced mouth-watering, finger-lickin’ Fried Chicken Sandwiches prepared with the highest-quality ingredients and packed with the finest flavors the South has to offer.

“After a year on the road getting in touch with their roots and cultivating the essence of Southern cuisine, South City Fried Chicken Co-Owners Joshua Kopel and Chef Sammy Monsour returned to Los Angeles with the innovation and grit to tackle their second venture together. “South City Fried Chicken is the canvas on which to experience a story that is important to Josh and I,” says Monsour. “Our food honors Southern culture, the people we come from, and connects us with our guests.””

“Setting out with the intent to not only create the most delectable Fried Chicken Sandwiches in the West, but as an homage to the people of the South, Chef Sammy set his standards high from the get-go with an adamant motto: No heat lamps, no freezers, no excuses. Everything on the South City Fried Chicken menu is made-to-order, maintaining farm-to-table concepts by utilizing the same local vendors as fine dining big sister restaurant Preux & Proper. No detail is too small, from the homemade pepper mixes and sauces, to the employment of Jidori chicken, an artisan-take on poultry farming by utilizing hand-pulled methods over machines, and brioche buns from La Brea Bakery.”

Each Fried Chicken Sandwich begins with succulent Jidori chicken in marinade and buttermilk brine, marinating together for a minimum of 24 hours. When it is finally ready to go, the last step is dredging the chicken in the “stay crispy batter” before getting fried to perfection and seasoned according to each sandwiches destination. Described by Chef Sammy as “A love letter to the South written in flavor,” the South City Fried Chicken Sandwich Menu highlights nine crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside offerings, eight of which feature namesake cities that are major players in Southern cuisine.

Owner Joshua Kopel and Partner & Executive Chef Sammy Monsour join us to crow about the opening.


Show 171, May 14, 2016: Executive Pastry Chef Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza & Pizzeria Mozza

Dahlia Narvaez at the James Beard AwardsCongratulations to native Angeleno, Chef Dahlia Narvaez, the Executive Pastry Chef of both Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Hollywood. Chef Dahlia was presented with the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in Chicago at Lyric Opera on May 2nd. She is our special guest.

Dahlia Narvaez developed a love for food when cooking for her family after school in Highland Park. Trading the classroom for the kitchen, Narvaez left school for a job at the Conga Room at the age of 22.

Looking to take the next step in her career, Dahlia confidently strode through the doors of La Brea Bakery and asked for a counter job. But she never worked a minute behind the counter, vaulting immediately to the kitchen at Nancy Silverton’s Campanile where, in 2003, she was name Executive Pastry Chef.

Dahlia left Campanile in 2006 to assume the role of Executive Pastry Chef for what was to soon become Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza. Dahlia developed the menus and pastry departments for all of Mozza’s LA restaurants and oversees the department in Newport Beach and Singapore.

As a side project Chef Dahlia also created the distinctive dessert menu at Chef Chris Feldmeier’s Moruno located in the Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax. We enthusiastically recommend the Fried Biscuits with tangerine thyme marmalade and vanilla bean ice cream. It’s really all in the Family as Chef Dahlia and Chef Chris are married.


Show 53, December 21, 2013: Troy Johnson, Editor-at-Large & Food Critic of San Diego Magazine

Troy JohnsonTroy Johnson, the Food Critic of San Diego Magazine, represents the enthusiastic new breed of youthful restaurant journalists with a point-of-view.

You perhaps remember him on Food TV from his Cooking Channel series, “Crave.” He’s also one of the regular judges on Food Network’s new Sunday evening “Guy’s (Fieri) Grocery Games.”

There is a lot happening on the San Diego restaurant scene. The big noise is that chef and restaurateur Richard Blais is leaving his base in Atlanta to open Juniper & Ivy in the Little Italy area of San Diego. It will seat 200 when open so this is an ambitious project! Chef Blais is probably best known nationally for his multiple seasons on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

In addition to his reviews in San Diego Magazine, Troy also writes about restaurant comings and goings in San Diego County.