Show 429, June 12, 2021: Restaurateur and Hotelier Karina Castaneda, Los Arboles Hotel & El Mirasol Restaurants Part One

Karina Castenda of Los Arboles Hotel

Hotelier and restaurateur Karina Castenda represents the 2nd generation of the founding family who owns Los Arboles Hotel (a Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel) and the pair of El Mirasol Mexican restaurants. The original (and still operating) El Mirasol (South, located on E. Palm Canyon Dr.) opened in 1985. The 2nd El Mirasol restaurant (North) with a spacious patio and pool-side dining is located adjacent to Los Arboles Hotel.

El Mirasol makes their corn tortillas on-site and is known for their wide variety of potent Margaritas. The signature Guacamole is prepared from chunks of fresh Haas avocado hand-blended with chopped tomatoes, scallions and cilantro. The El Mirasol restaurants are closed on Monday & Tuesday. Mirasol North hosts Breakfast, Lunch and then, Dinner, from 9:00 a.m. on Weekends. (Otherwise opening at 11:00 a.m.) The E. Palm Canyon Dr. location (South) serves from 11:00 a.m. Wednesday thru Sunday.

“A charming, historic boutique Palm Springs resort and home to the iconic El Mirasol Mexican Restaurant and bar, Los Arboles Hotel features 21 well-appointed rooms, heated pool, Jacuzzi, room service and is located walking distance from downtown shopping, dining, and nightlife.”

Karina Castenada joins us with a classic De La Casa Margarita in hand.

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Show 429, June 12, 2021: Restaurateur and Hotelier Karina Castaneda, Los Arboles Hotel & El Mirasol Restaurants Part Two

Karina Castenda of Los Arboles Hotel

Hotelier and restaurateur Karina Castaneda represents the 2nd generation of the founding family who owns Los Arboles Hotel (a Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel) and the pair of El Mirasol Mexican restaurants. The original (and still operating) El Mirasol (South) opened in 1985. The 2nd El Mirasol restaurant (North) with a spacious patio is located adjacent to Los Arboles Hotel.

El Mirasol makes their corn tortillas on-site and is known for their wide variety of potent Margaritas. The signature Guacamole is prepared from chunks of fresh Haas avocado hand-blended with chopped tomatoes, scallions and cilantro. The El Mirasol restaurants are closed on Monday & Tuesday. Mirasol North hosts Breakfast, Lunch and the, Dinner, from 9:00 a.m. on Weekends. (Otherwise opening at 11:00 a.m.) The E. Palm Canyon Dr. location (South) serves from 11:00 a.m. Wednesday thru Sunday.

“A charming, historic boutique Palm Springs resort and home to the iconic El Mirasol Mexican Restaurant and bar, Los Arboles Hotel features 21 well-appointed rooms, heated pool, Jacuzzi, room service and is located walking distance from downtown shopping, dining, and nightlife.” The look is mission / hacienda style architecture.

Karina Castaneda continues with us piping hot corn tortillas in-hand.

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Show 376, June 6, 2020: Santa Fe’s La Fonda On the Plaza with Ed Pulsifer and Chef de Cuisine Randy Tapia Part One

Ed Pulsifer of La Fonda on the PlazaSince 2012 Edward (Ed) T. Pulsifer has been Santa Fe’s La Fonda On the Plaza’s high-profile Director of Sales. He also enthusiastically functions as the unofficial resident historian of the storied Hotel established in 1922. It’s one of the key leadership positions for the property. In 2016 the New Mexico Hospitality Association recognized Ed as the Hospitality Professional of the Year. Pulsifer joined La Fonda from Heritage Hotels and Resorts, where he oversaw sales and marketing for seven boutique hotels in the Southwest. La Fonda continued to safely welcome guests during the COVID 19 crisis and all their popular restaurants have now reopened for dine-in.

La Plazuela is La Fonda’s signature restaurant serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with a New Mexico flair. New is The Terrace Rooftop Garden Patio serving daily from 3 to 9:00 p.m. (weather permitting.) The Bell Tower Bar (seasonal) has reopened known for their signature Bell Ringer Margaritas and unrivaled Sunset views.

We’ll revisit 35-year Hospitality veteran, Ed Pulsifer and meet new Chef de Cuisine Randy Tapia.

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Show 376, June 6, 2020: Santa Fe’s La Fonda On the Plaza with Ed Pulsifer and Chef de Cuisine Randy Tapia Part Two

Chef Randy TapiaSince 2012 Edward (Ed) T. Pulsifer has been Santa Fe’s La Fonda On the Plaza’s high-profile Director of Sales. He also enthusiastically functions as the unofficial resident historian of the storied Hotel established in 1922. It’s one of the key leadership positions for the property. In 2016 the New Mexico Hospitality Association recognized Ed as the Hospitality Professional of the Year.

La Fonda continued to safely welcome guests during the COVID 19 crisis and all their popular restaurants under the direction of long-time Executive Chef Lane Warner Chef de Cuisine Randy Tapia have now reopened for dine-in. Newly added is The Terrace Rooftop Garden Patio serving late afternoons and evenings with specialties including Red Snapper Mini Tacos and the Mana Margarita.

“Step into the past and experience the splendor of the American Southwest at La Fonda on the PlazaTM, the only hotel situated on the historic Santa Fe Plaza. Start your vacation in Santa Fe and experience the allure of old -world charm at one of the best Santa Fe hotels, where tasteful, modern conveniences blend with the warmth of authentic New Mexican style.”

We resume the conversation with La Fonda’s Ed Pulsifer and Chef de Cuisine Randy Tapia.

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Show 373, May 16, 2020: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks

Christy Vega of Casa VegaThe enduring Casa Vega is a landmark Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley for almost 64 years. It’s located on the familiar Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest running, continuously family-owned restaurants in greater Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which was on Olvera St. and operated throughout the 1930’s. Casa Vega has recently reopened for take-out via advance order online or by telephone.

Casa Vega is now open from 12 Noon – 8 p.m. daily. Initially, guests can order directly by phone (818-788-4868) or online via the Casa Vega website. Guests can pick up from their cars – Casa Vega staff will place orders in the trunk or backseat as they wait in the restaurant’s driveway off Ventura Blvd.

Favorites on the take-out menu include Combination Plates and Street Tacos, both served with rice and beans, Taquitos de Juan (chicken flautas), Burritos, four different Family Trays, Chips, Guacamole, Salsa, Kids Meals, and more. In addition to beer and wine, Casa Vega offers its Classic Margarita in a single serving mason jar with ice, ready to drink for $7. Other margarita variations are available for $7-9. The Classic Margarita is also available in a half gallon size for $30.

“Over the years, Casa Vega has remained, at its core, much the same as my father’s original vision,” says Christy Vega. “The menu continues to reflect the offerings originally presented some 64 years ago with slight alterations that speak to today’s culinary tastes. From the menu, to the dim ambiance of the dining room, to the staff—many of which have been with our team for decades—Casa Vega is a testament to my father and the wonderful history he has created. I look forward to continuing to uphold his legacy of service, authentic traditions, and most of all, the love and adoration that emanates throughout every corner of the restaurant and inspires our clients to return time and time again.

Proprietress Christy Vega pours the Classic Margaritas for us.

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Show 290, September 15, 2018: Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Rosa, 6th Annual Battle of the Tequileros

Ivan CalderonTaco Rosa, Chef Ivan Calderon’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, will host its 6th Annual “Battle of the Tequileros” on Sunday, September 23rd from 4-8 p.m. Bringing together 26+ different tequila and mezcal brands, the celebratory event will benefit Operation of Hope Worldwide, a local non-profit providing free, life-changing surgeries and health care for children and adults in under-served areas of the world, while creating a self-sustaining program of hope through education.

As the most diverse tequila tasting in Southern California, the event gives guests an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique nuances between a variety of tequilas and mezcals. Guests can also enjoy tray-passed tapas-style bites from the Taco Rosa kitchen, exciting giveaways, and a silent auction. A panel of esteemed judges will determine winners in three categories: Best Añejo and Best Reposado; while guests will have the opportunity to cast votes for Best Margarita and Best Booth Presentation.

“Over the past six years, we have seen tremendous growth with Battle of the Tequileros and this year, we are proud to partner with Operation of Hope Worldwide an organization whose global reach has impacted, and even saved the lives of thousands of people throughout the developing world,” comments Chef Ivan Calderon of Taco Rosa.

Tickets for the 21-and-over event are priced at $75 and offer guests all-inclusive access to tequila and mezcal cocktails and samples. Tickets can be purchased by calling 949.720.0980 or online here.

Please imbibe responsibly.

Chef Ivan pulls the cork on the designer Tequila bottle with all the tempting details for us.

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Show 169, April 30, 2016: El Chavo’s (Silver Lake) Cinco De Mayo Celebration

Matt LandesCinco de Mayo is pretty much a non-event in Mexico but it’s now a huge celebration in the United States. Might possibly have something to do with all the Mexican beer and tequila sold for the festivities.

One of the bigger Cinco de Mayo fiestas in Los Angeles will be staged at Silver Lake’s El Chavo on May 5th from 4:00 p.m. to close.

Lots of satisfying food and drink including Mezcal and Mexican cerveza. Look for the street tacos and corn.

Matt Landes from Cocktail Academy (one of the event organizers) is with us to provide all the festive details.

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Show 143, October 24, 2015: Latin Twist – Traditional and Modern Cocktails

Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack and Vianney RodriguezThe award-winning food bloggers from MuyBuenoCookbook.com (Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack) and SweetLifeBake.com (Vianney Rodriguez) have teamed up to create Latin Twist – Traditional & Modern Cocktails, an all-new collection of Latin-American cocktails.

Yvette and Vianney are known for Mexican and Latin–fusion recipes made with easy-to-find ingredients. Their cocktails – featuring fresh-squeezed juices and homemade mixers – have been so popular that the authors decided to devote a whole book to them.

Latin Twist! is the first book to celebrate the signature cocktails of 18 Latin American countries and Spain in one volume. It delves into the history of each country’s special ingredients, wines and liquors, and includes traditional drinks as well as the authors’ original recipes.

There are also helpful chapters on “Setting the Bar” and using and creating the Mixers.

Whether you are hosting a backyard fiesta or just entertaining a few friends, there is a drink in this book for every occasion. Try a luscious Passion Fruit Caipirinha from Brazil, Chile’s fruity Borgona, or Argentina’s national drink, the deceptively simple Fernet con Cola.

There is a creative section on Mexico. Vianney and Yvette explain many other hidden creations using Tequila other than in a Margarita. Have you considered Serrano-Infused Tequila?

Yvette and Vianney are our guests.

 

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Show 83, August 9, 2014: Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill and The Torta Co.

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill and the Torta Co. is with us. He brought the rich Mexican Street Food of his native Mexico City to Los Angeles. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is the 2nd largest Mexican City in the World. It all started in 2002 with a modest stand in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles.

There are now Loteria! Grill restaurants in Hollywood, Studio, City, Westlake Village, Santa Monica and Downtown at Fig at 7th.

“Lotería! Grill has grown from the open-air stall at the Farmers Market to become a nationally renowned group of restaurants that offer a casually elegant, fun and relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy everything from a refreshing agua fresca or margarita to award-winning, delicious regional specialties and slowly cooked guisos served with handmade corn tortillas. Favorites like the Chicharrón de Queso, and the Probaditas, a mini-taco sampler of our signature guisos, have their guests coming back frequently for more.”

Chef Jimmy Shaw educates us on the ample Mexican sandwich, the Torta. The bread is the key. It needs to be crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the interior. He also talks about the rising popularity of stocking Mexican ingredients as regular part of your home pantry.

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August 9: Jimmy Shaw, FoodGPS, Richard Foss, AlXimia Vino Elemental Winery, CremaCafe, David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Golden Foodies

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill and The Torta Co.
Segment Three: Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival, Chinatown
Segment Four: Food Historian & Author Richard Foss
Segment Five: Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental Winery
Segment Six: Tarit Tanjasiri of CremaCafe & Bakery
Segment Seven: The 12 Bottle Bar
Segment Eight: The Golden Foodies

Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill restaurants and Producer Andy preview the show.

Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill is with us. He brought the rich Mexican Street Food of his native Mexico City to Los Angeles. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is the 2nd largest Mexican City in the World. It all started in 2002 with a modest stand in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles.

Chef Jimmy Shaw educates us on the ample Mexican sandwich, The Torta. He also talks about stocking Mexican ingredients in your home pantry.

Josh Lurie of Food GPS is at it again with delectable food and beverage events. The 3rd Annual Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival is set for Sunday afternoon, August 17th in Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza.

The Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum) is presenting an evening of cocktails, food, and entertainment featuring (the always entertaining) culinary historian and author Richard Foss on August 18th at 6:30 p.m. at Roxanne’s Lounge in Long Beach. The presentation is : “Dry With a Twist: A Liquid Lesson in How Prohibition Changed America.”

One of the most important wine regions in Mexico is the Valle de Guadalupe located about an hour and one-half South of Tijuana. The best of these wines are slowly finding their way North to Southern California. Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental winery joins us from the Valle de Guadalupe with his Family’s story.

Tarit Tanjasiri is the baker/proprietor of the revered CremaCafe in Seal Beach. It started as a small breakfast and lunch spot. Tarit couldn’t source a bread for his sandwiches that satisfied him so he added an adjacent production bakery. We’ll meet him.

“A new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar, distills the craft cocktail movement for the home bar. Irresistibly uncomplicated, just 12 bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails.” The husband-and-wife authors are with us.

Orange County’s answer to the prestigious, red carpet awards shows is The Golden Foodies. Voting has started for this year in the first group of categories and the public is invited to vote for their favorite restaurants and related categories. Good luck to all…

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

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill and Torta CompanyChef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill is with us. He brought the rich Mexican Street Food of his native Mexico City to Los Angeles. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is the 2nd largest Mexican City in the World. It all started in 2002 with a modest stand in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles.

There are now Loteria! Grill restaurants in Hollywood, Studio, City, Westlake Village, Santa Monica and Downtown at Fig at 7th.

“Lotería! Grill has grown from the open-air stall at the Farmers Market to become a nationally renowned group of restaurants that offer a casually elegant, fun and relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy everything from a refreshing agua fresca or margarita to award-winning, delicious regional specialties and slowly cooked guisos served with handmade corn tortillas.  Favorites like the Chicharrón de Queso, and the Probaditas, a mini-taco sampler of our signature guisos, have their guests coming back frequently for more.”

Chef Jimmy Shaw educates us on the ample Mexican sandwich, the Torta. He also talks about stocking Mexican ingredients as part of your regular home pantry.

Joshua Lurie of Food GPSJosh Lurie of Food GPS is at it again with delectable food and beverage events. The 3rd Annual Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival Presented by Bolthouse Farms is set for Sunday afternoon, August 17th in Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza. Hours are 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

This all-inclusive, chef-focused event includes some of L.A.’s best chefs preparing unique fried chicken dishes and complimentary sides. Additionally, there are an array of delicious desserts (Valerie Confections) and beverages.

Participating chef Jesse Furman (Free Range LA) and Josh Lurie of Food GPS preview the Festival.

Dry with a Twist: A Liquid Lesson in How Prohibition Changed AmericaThe Exhibition Room at Roxanne’s Cocktail Lounge & Latin Grill, Long Beach’s “hidden speakeasy,” hosts the next edition of Touring the Cocktail: MOTAC Los Angeles, a liquid lesson in how Prohibition changed America. Come out for an evening of culture and cocktails, costumes and music! Dress as a flapper, bootlegger, moonshiner, or temperance crusader (no hatchets please, ladies). There will be prizes for the best costume, giveaways, and more!

Whether you were a regular tippler or never let a drop of alcohol past your lips, Prohibition affected every American’s life. Dining options, dating habits, vacation choices, and perhaps most infamously, the attitude of citizens toward law enforcement, were forever altered by the temperance movement’s short-lived crowning achievement. Even so, most Americans don’t really understand who we were before that great experiment, how Prohibition came to pass, and the ways in which the period reverberates to this day.

Historian Richard Foss, author of “Rum: A Global History,” transports participants to a world of temperance terrorists and flappers, moonshiners and smugglers, and ordinary citizens who just wanted a drink and would get it by any means necessary. Drinkmaster David Valiante executes a menu of five period cocktails, illustrating the ways in which America’s palate for drinks has changed.  (Don’t worry, bathtub gin will not appear on the menu, but some delightful and largely forgotten beverages will make a glorious reappearance.) A light dinner of savory specialties from Roxanne’s Latin Grill is included in the price of admission.

Tickets are $40 in advance, $35 for members of SoFAB/MOTAC and the USBG. Tickets at the door are $50 (subject to availability.)

Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino ElementalOne of the most important (and historic) wine regions in Mexico is the Valle de Guadalupe located about an hour and one-half South of Tijuana. The best of these wines are slowly finding their way North to Southern California. Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental winery joins us from the Valle de Guadalupe with his Family’s story.

Wine tasting and tours are available to visitors at this architecturally significant winery.

“AlXimia is a wine-making project born from the meeting of the senses and the world, with special attention to the earth, the plant, the fruit and its benefits. We are trying to understand, use and preserve nature.

Baja California is wine country, and wines are, in our view, the product of the transmutation of the four natural elements:

  • the earth that nourishes and gives rise to the vineyards
  • the scarce water that is vital in the Valle de Guadalupe
  • the fresh air that comes from the sea and
  • the fire in the form of the heat from the sun, providing the freshness and warmth needed to ripen the grapes and give them the adequate acidity, while at the same time generating the energy needed for the process
  • When you assemble these 4 elements, the space (or ether) becomes the fifth element that makes possible their existence.

AlXimia is a family business focused on the work of the sensible. It is a group born at home, amidst the respect for the environment, in the tradition of teaching and knowledge transfer. AlXimia travels through the wine trail manifested in a free and existential thinking against the structured and accurate scientific thought process, daring to innovate.  Started by a mathematician turned winemaker, this amazing winery was built by an innovative architect, the mathematician-winemaker and his astronomer father.”

Tarit TanjasiriTarit Tanjasiri is the consumed baker/proprietor of the revered CremaCafe & Artisan Bakery in Seal Beach. It started eight years ago as a small breakfast and lunch spot. Tarit couldn’t source a bread for his sandwiches that satisfied him so two years ago he added an adjacent production bakery. It’s the café on one side and the bakery on the other. We’ll meet him.

Tarit’s Kouign Amann was one of the OC Weekly’s “100 Favorite Dishes of 2014.”

According to Anne Marie Panoringan of the OC Weekly : “Per Tarit, a Kouign Amann is a pastry from the Brittany region of France. It’s often considered more of a cake than a pastry, although Crema utilizes croissant dough for their version. Layers of butter, dough, sugar and a bit of sea salt are formed. Shaped to resemble a blooming rose, it is then placed in the deck oven to bake. Sweetness and density are much higher in France, and they come in many more sizes, shapes and filling flavors.”

David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson“A new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar, distills the craft cocktail movement for the home bar. Irresistibly uncomplicated, just 12 bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails.”

David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the husband-and-wife authors (and noted cocktail enthusiasts) are with us.

“We’re living in the midst of a cocktail renaissance – artisanal cocktails. Celebrity mixologists, drink menus that outshine wine lists and feature ingredients as fresh and complex as the most sought after meals. Just as home cooks have looked to popular restaurants and chefs for new recipes, imbibers want to bring the magic of a local speakeasy straight to the living room.”

Golden Foodie AwardsOrange County’s answer to the prestigious, red carpet awards shows is The Golden Foodies. Voting has started for this year in the first group of categories and the public is invited to vote for their favorite restaurants and related categories. There are two more weeks of voting cycles…

Winners are chosen by the people. It’s a People’s Choice Food Awards. The Golden Foodie Awards Gala at The Fairmont in Newport Beach is Saturday evening, September 28th. Good luck to all…

Voting concludes on August 9th for the categories of : Mexican, Vegetarian, Pizza, Beer, American Cuisine, Burger, Cocktail, and Best Food Talk Radio Show.

The Founder of The Golden Foodies, Pamela Waitt, and J.C. Clow of The Winery Newport Beach join us. It’s been announced that J.C.’s The Winery Newport Beach has been nominated (one of three nominees in the category) for Best New Restaurant.

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Chef Jimmy Shaw and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria! Grill and The Torta Co.
Segment Three: Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival, Chinatown
Segment Four: Food Historian & Author Richard Foss
Segment Five: Manuel Alvarez of AlXimia Vino Elemental Winery
Segment Six: Tarit Tanjasiri of CremaCafe & Bakery
Segment Seven: The 12 Bottle Bar
Segment Eight: The Golden Foodies