Show 334, July 27, 2019: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Show 334, July 27, 2019: Beach City Food Tour’s (Long Beach) Founder, Layla Ali-AhmadNow an appealing preview of Saturday’s delectable show.

It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always 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. Couldn’t do it without you.

Dine LBC Long Beach Restaurant WeekIt’s a special morning as we’re broadcasting from the newly renovated Westin Long Beach at the kickoff party for DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week. It launches Saturday, August 3rd running through Sunday, August 11th. Two Weekends of dining goodness! It’s a prime time to dine in a possible new restaurant discovery in Long Beach.

Navy Proof Food & Spirits, located in the Westin Long Beach, is their newly debuted destination restaurant. A concept created by Howe & Brown Hospitality, the restaurant offers locals and travelers alike new-American fare and craft cocktails with bold flavors. Inspired by the history of maritime traditions and the sea, the cuisine emphasizes technique and texture to highlight the versatility of seasonal ingredients and locally-sourced seafood and meat. We gently pull executive Chef Chris Garasic out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Executive Chef Eric Samaniego and Michael’s on Naples on Naples Island are part of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week. Chef Eric celebrated his 3rd Anniversary with Michael’s a few months back.

We’ll get updated on Michael’s on Naples with Chef Eric and preview their DINE LBC menu.

For the 2nd year the nifty Kynbo App is available as a genuinely useful tool for effortlessly navigating DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week. Kynbo is the direct access for getting up-to-date menu info and photos for DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week. It’s available to download for free on either smart phone platform or via their Website. Co-Founder Thao Doan joins us with the intriguing specifics.

Terri Henry is the Founder and Organizer of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week which debuted in 2014. Participating restaurants offer value-oriented dining menus during the nine days of the event from Saturday, August 3rd through Sunday, August 11th. We’ll meet Terri Henry.

San Pedro’s Crazy Fish Grill and Market in Garden Village center is new to DINE LBC. Crazy Fish was founded by a group of five guys who share a “crazy” passion for fresh seafood. We’ve reeled in partner Dannesh Alam to explain more…

The Westin Long Beach is celebrating the completion of an ambitious $23 million renovation which includes the debut of their destination restaurant, Navy Proof Food & Spirits. The refreshing includes a spacious lobby and revitalized guest rooms. Managing Director John Thompson (J.T.) is our hospitable guide.

A great way to be introduced to the foods of a new area is to partake of the highest rated food walking tour of that neighborhood. Beach City Food Tours has been doing that very successfully in Long Beach for the last couple of years with their flagship tour, Downtown Long Beach Walking Tour. Last year they added the irresistible East Village Craft Cocktail Tour. Proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad joins us with all the tempting details of what’s on the menu.

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

Play

Show 334, July 27, 2019: Beach City Food Tour’s (Long Beach) Founder, Layla Ali-Ahmad

Layla Ali Ahmad of Beach City Food ToursA great way to be introduced to the foods of a new area is to partake of the highest rated food walking tour of that neighborhood. Beach City Food Tours has been doing that very successfully in Long Beach for the last couple of years with their flagship tour, Downtown Long BeachWalking Tour. Last year they added the irresistible East Village Craft Cocktail Tour.

Proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad joins us with all the details of what’s on the menu.

Play

July 27: Live from the Dine LBC Launch Party

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Chris Garasic, Navy Proof Food and Spirits and The Westin Long Beach
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Michael’s on Naples, Long Beach
Segment Four: Kynbo App for Foodies with Co-Creator Thao Doan
Segment Five: Terri Henry, Founder, DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Six: Crazy Fish Grill and Market, San Pedro
Segment Seven: John (J.T.) Thompson, Managing Director, The Westin Long Beach
Segment Eight: Beach City Food Tour’s (Long Beach) Founder, Layla Ali-Ahmad

Now an appealing preview of this Saturday’s delectable show.

It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always 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. Couldn’t do it without you.

Dine LBC Long Beach Restaurant WeekIt’s a special morning as we’re broadcasting from the newly renovated Westin Long Beach at the kickoff party for DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week. It launches Saturday, August 3rd running through Sunday, August 11th. It’s a prime time to dine in a possible new restaurant discovery in Long Beach.

Navy Proof Food & Spirits, located in the Westin Long Beach, is their newly debuted destination restaurant. A concept created by Howe & Brown Hospitality, the restaurant offers locals and travelers alike new-American fare and craft cocktails with bold flavors. Inspired by the history of maritime traditions and the sea, the cuisine emphasizes technique and texture to highlight the versatility of seasonal ingredients and locally-sourced seafood and meat. We gently pull executive Chef Chris Garasic out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Executive Chef Eric Samaniego and Michael’s on Naples on Naples Island are part of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week. Chef Eric celebrated his 3rd Anniversary with Michael’s a few months back.

We’ll get updated on Michael’s on Naples with Chef Eric and preview their DINE LBC menu.

For the 2nd year the nifty KYNBO App is available as a genuinely useful tool for effortlessly navigating DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week. KYNBO is the direct access for getting up-to-date menu info and photos for DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week. It’s available to download for free on either smart phone platform or via their Website. Founders Thao Doan and John Doolan join us with the intriguing specifics.

Terri Henry is the Founder and Organizer of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week which debuted in 2014. Participating restaurants offer value-oriented dining menus during the nine days of the event from Saturday, August 3rd through Sunday, August 11th. We’ll meet Terri Henry.

San Pedro’s Crazy Fish Grill and Market in Garden Village center is new to DINE LBC. Crazy Fish was founded by a group of five guys who share a “crazy” passion for fresh seafood. We’ve reeled in partner Dannesh Alam to explain more…

The Westin Long Beach is celebrating the completion of an ambitious $23 million renovation which includes the debut of their destination restaurant, Navy Proof Food & Spirits. The refreshing includes a spacious lobby and revitalized guest rooms. Managing Director John Thompson (J.T.) is our hospitable guide.

A great way to be introduced to the foods of a new area is to partake of the highest rated food walking tour of that neighborhood. Beach City Food Tours has been doing that very successfully in Long Beach for the last couple of years with their flagship tour, Downtown Long Beach Walking Tour. Last year they added the irresistible East Village Craft Cocktail Tour. Proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad joins us with all the tempting details of what’s on the menu.

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

Chef Chris GarasicNavy Proof Food & Spirits, located in the Westin Long Beach, is their newly debuted destination restaurant. A concept created by Howe & Brown Hospitality, the restaurant offers locals and travelers alike new-American fare and craft cocktails with bold flavors. Inspired by the history of maritime traditions and the sea, the cuisine emphasizes technique and texture to highlight the versatility of seasonal ingredients and locally-sourced seafood and meat.

“Executive Chef Chris Garasic has combined the resilient spirit, sense of adventure and love with the sea, with local ingredients and modern techniques to create his beautifully plated and flavorful dishes. Highlights of the menu include Smoked and Crispy Fried Chicken, served with honey & green goddess dressing; Duck Confit Banh Mi, piled high with duck pate, pickled vegetables, and spicy aioli; and Fried Green Tomato with burrata & roasted beets for lunch.”

“Guests may enjoy a variety of entrees from the land or sea for dinner, including Dry Aged Organic Ribeye with potato rosti, black kale, and porcini jus; Roasted Zucchini Cavatelli topped with harissa, lemon, mint and creme fraiche; and Grilled Spanish Octopus accompanied by potato salad and green romesco.”

“As a graduate of Western Culinary School in Portland, Oregon, Executive Chef Chris Garasic joined Navy Proof after previously leading kitchens at Mucho Ultima, The Shade Hotel, and Malibu Farm Lido, and consulting for Rock’N Fish. Using his finely tuned culinary skills to develop menus that are both simple and unique, Chef Chris has continued to leave a lasting impression on the culinary industry for more than two decades.”

We gently pull executive Chef Chris Garasic out of his busy kitchen (Breakfast service is on…) for a chat.

Eric Samaniego of Michael's on NaplesExecutive Chef Eric Samaniego and Michael’s on Naples on Naples Island are part of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week. Chef Eric celebrated his 3rd Anniversary of success with Michael’s a few months back.

“Our highest priority is providing you with an unforgettable dining experience. We partner with local farms to source fresh, seasonal produce. We believe in making everything from scratch—pasta to sauces, mozzarella to gelato.”

“We know where everything on your plate came from, and we believe it’s your right to know as well. Quality is our highest priority; we don’t cut corners, and it shows. We invite you to dine with us so you can see—and taste—for yourself.”

We’ll get updated on Michael’s on Naples with Chef Eric and preview their DINE LBC menu.

John Dolan and Thao Dian of the Kynbo AppFor the 2nd year the nifty KYNBO App is available as a genuinely useful tool for effortlessly navigating DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week.  

KYNBO is the direct access for getting up-to-date menu info and photos for DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week participating restaurants. It’s available to download for free on either smart phone platform or via their Website.

“We are parents, high-tech professionals, and active community members with a passion for food, especially when shared with family and friends. We believe in simplicity and getting to the point as quickly as possible, and within context. Kynbo™ means “vicinity” in Japanese.”

“We built the Kynbo™ app for diners mainly for us. We want to see menus from nearby restaurants with one-click and not five. We want the ability to find exactly what we want to eat and drink way beyond Cuisine. We also want restaurants to let us know of any Specials, Events, or Rewards in real time to help us decide where to eat. Restaurants can now do this with the Kynbo™ restaurant portal.”

“Our goal is for Kynbo™ to be helpful and accessible by anyone, anywhere, and at any time. The Kynbo™ app for diners is free, and it is also free for restaurants to be on Kynbo™. We want diners to search and find whatever food or drink they crave at any price point. As food lovers, we love the hole in the wall Pho place as much as the French Laundry. Kynbo™ will forever change how diners and restaurants interact, for the better. We hope you join us in this needed disruptive change.”

Founders Thao Doan and John Doolan join us with the intriguing specifics.

Terri Henry of Dine LBC and Terri Henry MarketingTerri Henry is the Founder and Organizer of DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week which debuted in 2014. Participating restaurants offer value-oriented dining menus during the nine days of the event from Saturday, August 3rd through Sunday, August 11th.

“Experience the diverse 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 located in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the City.”

Each participating restaurant offers a three-course menu priced at $15, $25, $35, $45, $55 or $65 per guest with wine pairing options at select fine dining locations OR dinner for two priced at $25, $35, $45, $55 or $65, where diners share an appetizer, each enjoy their own entree, then share a dessert at more casual establishments.”

“The only meal planning you’ll need to worry about during Dine LBC week is which restaurant to try every night of the week.”

We’ll meet Terri Henry.

Dannesh Alam of Crazy Fish Grill and MarketSan Pedro’s Crazy Fish Grill and Market in Garden Village center is new to DINE LBC. Crazy Fish was founded by a group of five guys who share a “crazy” passion for fresh seafood.

“We decided to take our passion for seafood and provide a fast casual restaurant that promotes sustainability without reducing affordability. We know that the City of San Pedro (Los Angeles) shares this passion with us, so we look forward to serving you fresh fish daily for years to come.”

We’ve reeled in partner Dannesh Alam to explain more…

John Thompson of the Westin Long BeachThe Westin Long Beach is celebrating the completion of an ambitious $23 million renovation which includes the launch of their destination restaurant, Navy Proof Food & Spirits. The refreshing includes a spacious lobby and revitalized guest rooms. The refurbished spaces reflect a modern, sophisticated style reflecting the property’s vibrant California coastline setting.

“This is such an exciting time to be in Long Beach. There is an abundance of growth as well as an overall elevation of our city, and we are thrilled to be able to contribute by offering Long Beach a chic and welcoming revamped destination in the heart of downtown,” said John Thompson, Westin Long Beach Managing Director. “Transformations like the one we are currently going through bring a new, fresh dynamic to the overall cityscape of Long Beach but also instill a sense of pride for our loyal team members who have been with us from the beginning. For the community and guests alike, the Westin’s new spaces will set the tone for an innovative way to gather, interact and connect.”

Managing Director John Thompson is our hospitable guide.

Layla Ali Ahmad of Beach City Food ToursA great way to be introduced to the foods of a new area is to partake of the highest rated food walking tour of that neighborhood. Beach City Food Tours has been doing that very successfully in Long Beach for the last couple of years with their flagship tour, Downtown Long Beach Walking Tour. Last year they added the irresistible East Village Craft Cocktail Tour.

Proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad joins us with all the details of what’s on the menu.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Chris Garasic, Navy Proof Food and Spirits and The Westin Long Beach
Segment Three: Executive Chef Eric Samaniego, Michael’s on Naples, Long Beach
Segment Four: Kynbo App for Foodies with Co-Creator Thao Doan
Segment Five: Terri Henry, Founder, DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Six: Crazy Fish Grill and Market, San Pedro
Segment Seven: John (J.T.) Thompson, Managing Director, The Westin Long Beach
Segment Eight: Beach City Food Tour’s (Long Beach) Founder, Layla Ali-Ahmad

Show 301, December 8, 2018: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Beach City Food Tours’ East Village Cocktail Tour

Layla Ali Ahmad

A great way to be introduced to the foods of a new area is to partake of the highest rated food walking tour of that neighborhood. Beach City Food Tours has been doing that very successfully in Long Beach for the last couple of years.

They have just added the irresistible East Village Craft Cocktail Tour highlighting five thirst-quenching stops over the three-hour guided expedition.

It’s a carefully selected mélange of farm-to-table libations, Whiskey-centric craft cocktails, cider & mead and tequila and mezcal creations. There are also tasty small bar bites on the menu to be enjoyed along the way.

“Sip your way through Downtown Long Beach’s favorite watering holes, while learning about the City’s growing craft cocktail movement.”

One of the tour highlights is a stop at Great Society Cider & Mead, a one-of-a-kind establishment in Southern California. The entertaining Proprietor or General Manager there engagingly explains the flavor profiles of the four tasters of Cider each guest samples. There is also a food tasting there, too. On our tour they were serving a tasty Sausage & Pepper Penne Pasta creation.

This is a great Holiday Gift for that special someone who appreciates a well-crafted libation.

Proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad joins us with all the details of what’s on the menu.

Play

Show 204, December 31, 2016: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer

Happy Holidays and the happiest of Happy New Year’s to all our loyal listeners. Where did 2016 go? Thanks so much for making us part of your Saturday morning throughout the year. We have an over-stuffed year-end show for you.

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s busting-out at the seams show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Food tours are a great way of discovering the cuisine of a city. It’s even better when you can explore on foot. One of the area’s newest food walking tours is Beach City Food Tours offering a well-planned, highly informative and incredibly tasty Downtown Long Beach food and beverage tasting experience. We’ll meet proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad.

The Union Square Hospitality Group in New York initiated a policy of “no tipping” (Hospitality Included) earlier last year. The gratuity is included in the menu pricing. The concept is an effort to resolve the inequality in the compensation of the Front of the House Staff versus the hard-working kitchen staff who are not tipped. The DirtytSexyHappiness Hospitality Group tried this in ARC and Restaurant Marin at SoCo in Costa Mesa. We’ll chat with proprietors Chef Noah and Marin Blom to see how this innovation has worked out in their properties.

We know award-winning food journalist Cathy Thomas as the former long-time Food Editor of The Orange County Register. She now has a new monthly, on-line feature in Orange Coast Magazine of a chef profile and accompanying cooking video recipe. We’ll catch up with her.

We conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

The Ritz Prime Seafood launched late last year in Newport Beach. It was a bit of a misfire initially as long-time guests of the departed The Ritz in Newport Center (famous for elegant Continental dining) were expecting a reworking of that legendary establishment and this was, instead, an entirely new, contemporary concept. Now let’s meet the totally fresh, The Ritz Prime Seafood “2.0”. Partner Ben Sabourui, a hospitality veteran, joins us with the details of the revitalized restaurant.

Executive Chef Sherry Yard, a multiple James Beard award-winner for culinary excellence, is the culinary goddess for the luxe iPic Theaters. Her latest creation is The Tuck Room Tavern destination restaurants located in new iPic theater complexes in Westwood, New York City at The South Street Seaport, North Miami and Houston. Chef Sherry is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our in-house hospitality industry expert. He’s now looking ahead at possible significant Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. Breakfast, for instance, is hot. Also, what’s up with no cook menus and beer bars ?

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Play

Show 204, December 31, 2016: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Proprietress, Beach City Food Tours, Long Beach

Layla Ali AhmadFood tours are a great way of discovering the cuisine of a city. It’s even better when you can explore on foot. One of the area’s newest food walking tours is Beach City Food Tours offering a well-planned, highly informative and incredibly tasty Downtown Long Beach food and beverage tasting experience.

Beach City Food Tours has launched the first of its kind in Long Beach, a guided walking tour that offers residents and tourists alike the opportunity to taste and sip offerings from some of the city’s most popular eateries and food shops. Attendees experience Long Beach, a growing food lover’s city, through a unique sensory journey while learning about the city’s history, art and culture along the way. The tour is currently available for Downtown Long Beach, but will eventually expand to other parts of the city.

Founded by Long Beach resident Layla Ali-Ahmad, the idea was born from a mutual love of food and travel – and Long Beach, a city she proudly calls home. “Our goal is to introduce the amazing food culture we have in Long Beach to both locals and travelers alike” says Ali-Ahmad. “Long Beach is becoming known for its great food shops and delicious restaurants, but many people are unsure where to venture first, or they simply want to try new things. Our tour is designed to give the food lover a unique and delicious view of the city, and we look forward to adding more of the unique neighborhoods to the tour options soon.”

We’ll meet proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad.

Special Discount Offer:

Layla is graciously offering a 10 per cent discount on any bookings made in January as a perk to our Listeners.

This includes future tours and gift cards.

Use the “Discount Code” KLAA (all caps) at checkout.

We recommend Layla and the Tour based on personal experience. Please know this is not an advertisement but pure editorial support.

Play

December 31: Beach City Food Tours, DirtySexyHappiness. Cathy Thomas, Wine Exchange, Ritz Prime Seafood, Sherry Yard

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Proprietress, Beach City Food Tours, Long Beach
Segment Three: Marin & Executive Chef Noah von Blom, DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group, Costa Mesa
Segment Four: Food Journalist and Author, Cathy Thomas
Segment Five: Tristen Beamon, Proprietor, Wine Exchange & BW Direct, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Ben Sabouri, Partner, The Ritz Prime Seafood, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Sherry Yard, The Tuck Room Tavern
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Happy Holidays and the happiest of Happy New Year’s to all our loyal listeners. Where did 2016 go? Thanks for making us part of your Saturday morning this festive Holiday Weekend and throughout the year. We have an over-stuffed show for you.

Now a tempting preview of Saturday’s busting-out at the seams show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Food tours are a great way of discovering the cuisine of a city. It’s even better when you can explore on foot. One of the area’s newest food walking tours is Beach City Food Tours offering a well-planned, highly informative and incredibly tasty Downtown Long Beach food and beverage tasting experience. We’ll meet proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad.

The Union Square Hospitality Group in New York initiated a policy of “no tipping” (Hospitality Included) earlier last year. The gratuity is included in the menu pricing. The concept is an effort to resolve the inequality in the compensation of the Front of the House Staff versus the hard-working kitchen staff who are not tipped. The DirtytSexyHappiness Hospitality Group tried this in ARC and Restaurant Marin at SoCo in Costa Mesa. We’ll chat with proprietors Chef Noah and Marin Blom to see how this innovation has worked out in their properties.

We know award-winning food journalist Cathy Thomas as the former long-time Food Editor of The Orange County Register. She now has a new monthly, on-line feature in Orange Coast Magazine of a chef profile and accompanying cooking video recipe. We’ll catch up with her.

We conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

The Ritz Prime Seafood launched late last year in Newport Beach. It was a bit of a misfire as long-time guests of the departed The Ritz in Newport Center (famous for elegant Continental dining) were expecting a reworking of that legendary establishment and this was, instead, an entirely new, contemporary concept. Now let’s meet the totally fresh, The Ritz Prime Seafood 2.0. Partner Ben Sabourui, a hospitality veteran, joins us with the details.

Chef Sherry Yard, a multiple James Beard award-winner for culinary excellence, is the culinary goddess for the luxe iPic Theaters. Her latest creation is the Tuck Room Tavern destination restaurants located in new iPic theater complexes in Westwood, New York City at The South Street Seaport, North Miami and Houston. Chef Sherry is our guest.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident hospitality industry expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible significant Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. Breakfast, for instance, is hot. Also, what’s up with no cook menus and beer bars?

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Layla Ali AhmadFood tours are a great way of discovering the cuisine of a city. It’s even better when you can explore on foot. One of the area’s newest food walking tours is Beach City Food Tours offering a well-planned, highly informative and incredibly tasty Downtown Long Beach food and beverage tasting experience.

Beach City Food Tours has launched the first of its kind in Long Beach, a guided walking tour that offers residents and tourists alike the opportunity to taste and sip offerings from some of the city’s most popular eateries and food shops. Attendees experience Long Beach, a growing food lover’s city, through a unique sensory journey while learning about the city’s history, art and culture along the way. The tour is currently available for Downtown Long Beach, but will eventually expand to other parts of the city.

Founded by Long Beach resident Layla Ali-Ahmad, the idea was born from a mutual love of food and travel – and Long Beach, a city she proudly calls home.  “Our goal is to introduce the amazing food culture we have in Long Beach to both locals and travelers alike” says Ali-Ahmad. “Long Beach is becoming known for its great food shops and delicious restaurants, but many people are unsure where to venture first, or they simply want to try new things. Our tour is designed to give the food lover a unique and delicious view of the city, and we look forward to adding more of the unique neighborhoods to the tour options soon.”

We’ll meet proprietress Layla Ali-Ahmad.

Marin Howarth and Executive Chef Noah BlomThe (greatly respected and always trendsetting) Union Square Hospitality Group (Union Square Café, the Modern, North End Grill…) in New York initiated a policy of “no tipping” earlier last year. The gratuity is included in the menu pricing. The concept is an effort to resolve the inequality in the compensation of the Front of the House Staff versus the hard-working kitchen staff who are not tipped.

The DirtytSexyHappiness Hospitality Group tried this in ARC and Restaurant Marin at SoCo in Costa Mesa. We’ll chat with proprietors Chef Noah and Marin Blom to see how this innovation has worked out in their properties.

They are also about to open their 3rd concept at SoCo, The Guild Club. We’ll get a preview.

Cathy ThomasWe know award-winning food journalist Cathy Thomas as the former long-time Food Editor of The Orange County Register and the author of 3 well-received cookbooks. She now has a new monthly, on-line feature in Orange Coast Magazine of a chef profile and accompanying cooking video recipe. The feature with the video for December is “Making Scrumptious Salmon with Herb-Spiked Soffrito with Chef Michael Doctulero” (Waterman’s Harbor in Dana Point.)

She has also recently been a part of the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival in Orlando and journeyed to France.

Look for her helpful e-Newsletter, Cathy Thomas Cooks!

We’ll catch up with her.

Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon of Best Wines OnlineWe conclude the year with one of our resident wine experts, Tristen Beamon, of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. Wine Exchange is also in the import and distribution sector with BW Direct – Bordeaux and Beyond. They specialize in finding great values in Bordeaux wines from this legendary grape growing region in Southwestern France considered the pinnacle of global wine areas.

“Like Wine Exchange, BW Direct has the best prices, best selection, and best service. Our fantastic wines will wow your guests and increase your profits.”“Welcome to BW Direct, the wholesale arm of Wine Exchange.”

“We pride ourselves on the strong relationships Tristen, Kyle, Eddie and the entire team have formed over their collective 50+ years in the wine industry. These relationships have helped us secure some of the world’s best wines at the most competitive prices in the business. Our business model differs from other distributors:

  • We have a unique, and often exclusive, selection of wines at some of the lowest prices in the country.
  • We are proud to carry a wide selection of Chateau-direct Bordeaux inventory, as well as cutting edge selections from the Languedoc.
  • We don’t charge any broken case fees when orders are picked up from our Orange County showroom.
  • We encourage buyers to come shop our showroom, at their leisure, for a complete buying experience.
  • We have no “quota” obligations to our suppliers, allowing us to create a stress free and no pressure environment.
  • We love what we do and we’re here to help!”

Ben SabouriThe Ritz Prime Seafood launched late last year in Newport Beach. The $5 million update to the previous Chart House location was lavish.

It was a bit of a misfire as long-time guests of the departed The Ritz in Newport Center (famous for elegant Continental dining) were expecting a refreshening of that legendary and venerable establishment and this was actually an entirely new, contemporary concept. Oops…Now let’s meet the totally fresh The Ritz Prime Seafood 2.0.

“Located along Newport’s scenic Mariner’s Mile, The Ritz Prime Seafood offers a fine dining experience harbor side, with a globally influenced menu featuring sustainable fish and seafood flown in daily, as well as dry-aged steaks, chops and Jidori chicken. It’s a reconceived, all new and different incarnation of the past three-decade-old The Ritz. This chic, upscale restaurant has new culinary offerings and its own look, social buzz and vibe – already becoming a Southern California “modern legend” with its own distinctive personality.”

“Dinner is served nightly and highlighted by entrees, including from the Sea: Branzino with sunchoke, pistachio, couscous and sultana; Sea Scallop with cauliflower, pomegranate and hazelnut brown butter; and Alaskan Halibut with red bell pepper, eggplant puree and confit tomatoes. From the Land are Lamb Rack with zucchini mint puree and Israeli couscous; 16oz Tomahawk Steak with bone marrow butter, broccoli potato au gratin and marsala jus; Jidori Chicken; and other entrees.”

Partner Ben Sabourui, a hospitality veteran, joins us with the details.

Sherry YardChef Sherry Yard, a multiple James Beard award-winner for culinary excellence, is the culinary goddess for the luxe iPic Theaters. Her latest creation is the Tuck Room Tavern destination restaurants located in new iPic theater complexes in Westwood, New York City at The South Street Seaport, North Miami and Houston.

There is a cocktail countdown and DJ in Westwood for New Year’s Eve. Limited availabilities remain for the 2nd seating with a Midnight Champagne Toast.

Weekend Brunch includes the Brunch Box (with multiple entrée choices) and alcoholic beverage for $19.99.

For the last night of Hanukkah enjoy Chef Sherry’s Crispy Latke Fries with apple sauce and sour cream.

Sherry Yard is our guest.

Andrew and William GruelChef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group is our resident hospitality industry expert. He’ll be looking ahead at possible Restaurant Industry Trends for 2017. Breakfast, for instance, is hot. Also, what’s up with no cook menus and beer bars?

Chef Andrew opens the newest Slapfish in the Outlets at San Clemente in San Clemente next week. In later January look for his new concepts, Two Birds and Butterleaf, to debut in Trade in Irvine.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer
Segment Two: Layla Ali-Ahmad, Proprietress, Beach City Food Tours, Long Beach
Segment Three: Marin & Executive Chef Noah von Blom, DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group, Costa Mesa
Segment Four: Food Journalist and Author, Cathy Thomas
Segment Five: Tristen Beamon, Proprietor, Wine Exchange & BW Direct, Santa Ana
Segment Six: Ben Sabouri, Partner, The Ritz Prime Seafood, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Sherry Yard, The Tuck Room Tavern
Segment Eight: Executive Chef & Founder Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group