Show 419, April 3, 2021: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Passover and a blessed Holly Week / Easter.

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

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

“The Duchman Family Winery (duke-man) was founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman in a quest to bring world-class winemaking to Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties as well as similar weather patterns to Texas inspired them to work with viticultural consultants and growers in the Texas High Plains AVA to produce grapes that would allow their winemakers, Dave Reilly (current head winemaker) and Mark Penna (founding winemaker,) to experiment with making wines like Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto.” Penna mentored Reilly who was passed the wine thief at Duchman in 2008. Winemaker Dave Reilly is our guest wine thief securely in hand.

The Street Gourmet, Bill Esparza (a James Beard Award-winner for journalistic excellence,) revived the grand taco fest in Los Angeles in June of 2019 with Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, an all-you-could-eat taco lifestyle event, celebrating the best traditional and contemporary taqueros at Skylight ROW DTLA. Bill was previously the curator of LA Weekly’s Tacolandia from 2013-2017. Awaiting the ability to safely bring back Taqueando as an outdoor food festival, Bill has created a series of pop-up food events at the location of the former Church & State in Downtown Los Angeles under the name of Taqueando & Friends by Bill Esparza.” The residencies benefit struggling independent restaurateurs, chefs and their employees. Bill joins us with all the flavorful details.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is 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 during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the changing diet (for the better) of the farmed fish we’re enjoying both at The Family Table and in restaurants.

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

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Show 419, April 3, 2021: Chef & Restaurateur Michael Mina, The Bungalow Kitchen

Chef Michael Mina

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

“Menu highlights at The Bungalow Kitchen include pristine shellfish served either ice-cold or hot charcoal-grilled; garden “punch” bowl, featuring crunchy, ice-cold garden vegetables served with Gazpacho shooters and three dipping sauces: Green Goddess, romesco and lemon-poppyseed; a comforting Short Rib ‘Pop-Tart’ topped with crispy shallots and drizzled with sauce bordelaise; signature house-made pizzas such as the Carbonara Pizza white pie with Crispy Guanciale, Yukon Gold potatoes, Pecorino Romano and drizzled with a poached farm egg; and Chef Michael Mina’s signature decadent Lobster Pot Pie featuring a whole Maine lobster, truffle-lobster bisque and root vegetables.”

A personal favorite menu item for Chef Mina is the King Crab and Endive Caesar. It’s drizzled with caper dressing and generously covered in parmesan cheese and garlic streusel.

It’s Dinner nightly with Weekend Brunch and a Late Night Menu offered after 10:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

MINA, led by James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael Mina, is a San Francisco-based restaurant management company specializing in creating and operating innovative full-service and virtual concepts. Operating for nearly two decades, MINA currently manages over 40 virtual brands and brick and mortar outlets.” Chef Mina is also represented in Southern California with the Bourbon Steak restaurants in Glendale and at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point.

Chef Michael Mina joins us with kitchen tongs in hand.

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April 3: Michael Mina, Brent Bolthouse, Duchman Family Winery, Bill Esparza’s Taqueando

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur and Nightlife Impresario Brent Bolthouse, The Bungalow Kitchen
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Michael Mina, The Bungalow Kitchen
Segment Four: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part Two
Segment Six: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part One
Segment Seven: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Happy Passover and a blessed Easter.

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

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

“The Duchman Family Winery (duke-man) was founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman in a quest to bring world-class winemaking to Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties as well as similar weather patterns to Texas inspired them to work with viticultural consultants and growers in the Texas High Plains AVA to produce grapes that would allow their winemakers, Dave Reilly (current head winemaker) and Mark Penna (founding winemaker), to experiment with making wines like Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto.” Penna mentored Reilly who was passed the wine thief at Duchman in 2008. Winemaker Dave Reilly is our guest wine thief securely in hand.

The Street Gourmet, Bill Esparza, revived the grand taco fest in Los Angeles in June of 2019 with Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, an all-you-could-eat taco lifestyle event, celebrating the best traditional and contemporary taqueros at Skylight ROW DTLA. Bill was previously the curator of LA Weekly’s Tacolandia from 2013-2017. Awaiting the ability to safely bring back Taqueando as an outdoor food festival, Bill has created a series of pop-up food events at the location of the former Church & State in Downtown Los Angeles under the name of “Taqueando & Friends by Bill Esparza.” The residencies benefit struggling independent restaurateurs, chefs and their employees. Bill joins us with all the flavorful details.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is 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 during the early stages of recovery which remains a genuine concern. Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to operate for outside/patio dining and inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. Shifting the conversation to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the changing diet (for the better) of the farmed fish we’re enjoying both at The Family Table and in restaurants.

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

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

“The Belmont Shore location is designed by local Venice, CA based design firm Studio Collective. The 10,000 square foot venue has an eclectic, residential vibe rich in custom furnishings and layered with unique artwork. Designed with the intent to create an atmosphere of attending a fabulous dinner party, The Bungalow Kitchen Belmont Shore is unlike anything loyal fans of The Bungalow brand have seen previously.”

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

Chef Michael Mina

“Menu highlights at The Bungalow Kitchen include pristine shellfish served either ice-cold or hot charcoal-grilled; garden “punch” bowl, featuring crunchy, ice-cold garden vegetables served with Gazpacho shooters and three dipping sauces: Green Goddess, romesco and lemon-poppyseed; a comforting Short Rib ‘Pop-Tart’ topped with crispy shallots and drizzled with sauce bordelaise; signature house-made pizzas such as the Carbonara Pizza white pie with Crispy Guanciale, Yukon Gold potatoes, Pecorino Romano and drizzled with a poached farm egg; and Chef Michael Mina’s signature decadent Lobster Pot Pie featuring a whole Maine lobster, truffle-lobster bisque and root vegetables.”

It’s Dinner nightly with Weekend Brunch and a Late Night Menu offered after 10:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

“MINA, led by James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael Mina, is a San Francisco-based restaurant management company specializing in creating and operating innovative full-service and virtual concepts. Operating for nearly two decades, MINA currently manages over 40 virtual brands and brick and mortar outlets.”

Dave Reilly of Duchman Family Winery

“The Duchman Family Winery (duke-man) was founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman in a quest to bring world-class winemaking to Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties as well as similar weather patterns to Texas inspired them to work with viticultural consultants and growers in the Texas High Plains AVA to produce grapes that would allow their winemakers, Dave Reilly (current head winemaker) and Mark Penna (founding winemaker), to experiment with making wines like Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto.” Penna mentored Reilly who was passed the wine thief at Duchman in 2008.

Duchman (under the direction of Dave Reilly) is particularly known for Aglianico, Montepulciano, Trebbiano and Vermentino.

“The winery continues to source the majority of its fruit from the Texas High Plains AVA, where cooler temperatures and a more “continental” climate are ideal for the production of fine wine made from Italian grape varieties. As the winery grows, the Duchmans remain committed to their goal to produce food-friendly fine wine in Central Texas using Texas-grown fruit exclusively. With an eye on the future, Duchman Family Winery continues to develop innovative winemaking and grape growing techniques in order to provide wine that truly reflects a taste of Texas for years to come.”

“Duchman Family Winery remains one of the top wine destinations in Texas. The facility was recognized by HGTV as one of the 20 most picturesque wineries in the country. All of the winery’s current releases can be sampled and purchased at the winery’s Driftwood tasting room and the estate’s beautiful grounds are open to visitors. Visitors are invited to pick a spot at one of the oak shaded picnic tables, or grab a seat in the winery hallway with views of the production facilities and wine barrels.”

“The winery continues to source the majority of its fruit from the Texas High Plains AVA, where cooler temperatures and a more “continental” climate are ideal for the production of fine wine made from Italian grape varieties. As the winery grows, the Duchmans remain committed to their goal to produce food-friendly fine wine in Central Texas using Texas-grown fruit exclusively. With an eye on the future, Duchman Family Winery continues to develop innovative winemaking and grape growing techniques in order to provide wine that truly reflects a taste of Texas for years to come.”

“A native Texan, Dave Reilly’s career in wine started in 2000 when his overwhelming lack of sense lead him to plant a vineyard in the Texas Hill Country. With no formal education in viticulture, Reilly credits his success to hard work, a library of books and the guidance from Texas viticulture experts Jim Kamas and Penny Adams.”

“Completely consumed with the love of growing grapes and an intense desire to make wine, Dave was taken under the wing of veteran Texas winemaker Mark Penna in 2006. Dave worked as Cellar Rat, Lab Tech, Mechanic and Head Janitor to gain the necessary experience required to become a winemaker.”

“In 2008, Dave took the helm of the 20,000 case Duchman Family Winery. His wines have competed and won medals in some of the most prestigious (and not so prestigious) wine competitions in the United States. Reilly’s winemaking philosophy is succinct, “I strive to make wines that are true to their varietal character using the highest quality grapes grown only in Texas””.

Dave Reilly joins us to effortlessly pull the cork on Duchman Family Winery.

Street Gourmet Bill Esparza

The Street Gourmet, Bill Esparza, revived the grand taco fest in Los Angeles in June of 2019 with Bill Esparza’s Taqueando, an all-you-could-eat taco lifestyle event, celebrating the best traditional and contemporary taqueros at Skylight ROW DTLA. Bill was previously the curator of LA Weekly’s Tacolandia from 2013-2017. The inaugural Taqueando was a spirited gathering of the best taquerias in Los Angeles, Mexico, the state of California, and in the USA for a grand tasting of America’s favorite snack; the taco.

Awaiting the ability to safely bring back Taqueando as an outdoor food festival, Bill has created a series of pop-up food events at the location of the former Church & State in Downtown Los Angeles under the name of Taqueando & Friends by Bill Esparza.” The residencies benefit struggling independent restaurateurs, chefs and their employees. The current taco residency (thru April 25th) is Chef Priscilla Curiel of Tuetano Taqueria. Her food is available Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 10:00 p.m.

Also on the current menu is LA taco king, Ricky Pina of Ricky’s Fish Tacos. (He’s serving Thursday through Saturday only.) No reservations are required and it’s takeout, delivery and patio dining.

Bill is also a valued contributor to Eater LA. Last week he published an update to his Best Oaxacan Food in L.A.” guide. We’ll ask him about the list.

Senor Esparza is our well-traveled guide.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is 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 concern as recovery slowly starts to happen.

Restaurants in Southern California are finally again allowed to again operate for outside/patio dining and limited inside dining at reduced capacities with all the requisite COVID 19 safety precautions. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Shifting the conversation back to food we’ll ask Chef Andrew about the changing diet (for the better) of the farmed fish we’re enjoying both at The Family Table and in restaurants.

Chef Andrew also 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 $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Remember the juicy and delicious Community Burger (more than a mouthful) is available at all Southern California locations of Slapfish. The worthy burger is free with any donation to “86 Restaurant Struggle.” 100 per cent of that money goes to benefit struggling restaurant workers.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur and Nightlife Impresario Brent Bolthouse, The Bungalow Kitchen
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Michael Mina, The Bungalow Kitchen
Segment Four: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part One
Segment Five: Winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery, Driftwood, Texas Part Two
Segment Six: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part One
Segment Seven: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part Two
Segment Eight: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Show 387, August 22, 2020: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part One

Jason Paluska of the Lark“Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. For four years he worked under renowned chef Jason Berthold, formerly of the French Laundry & Per Se.”

“In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant for Acme Hospitality. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.”

“The Lark, named for the sleek overnight Pullman train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that serviced Santa Barbara from 1910 -1968, is situated in the heart of the Funk Zone, a vibrant arts and entertainment district near the Waterfront in downtown Santa Barbara. Our menus are locally sourced and responsibly grown, using the highest quality seasonal ingredients based on the abundant bounty of the Central Coast. Our food is served family style intended for sharing. Our space was designed with an urban style that integrates vintage and repurposed materials for a sophisticated yet casual sensibility with a nod to our neighborhood’s industrial past.”

“The Lark’s full bar features classic and modern craft cocktails using the finest in artisan spirits, mixers and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our wine list highlights small Santa Barbara County producers as well as artisan winemakers from afar.”

The menu changes often. Seasonal specialties include Southern Fried Quail with Calabrian chili aioli, bread & butter pickles, smoked date caramel and scallions. Patio dining is available nightly from 5:00 p.m. as well as Takeaway orders. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Executive Chef Jason Paluska is our guest.

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Show 387, August 22, 2020: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara Part Two

Jason Paluska of the Lark“Originally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006.”

“In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant for Acme Hospitality. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.”

“The Lark, named for the sleek overnight Pullman train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that serviced Santa Barbara from 1910 -1968, is situated in the heart of the Funk Zone, a vibrant arts and entertainment district near the Waterfront in downtown Santa Barbara. Our menus are locally sourced and responsibly grown, using the highest quality seasonal ingredients based on the abundant bounty of the Central Coast. Our food is served family style intended for sharing. Our space was designed with an urban style that integrates vintage and repurposed materials for a sophisticated yet casual sensibility with a nod to our neighborhood’s industrial past.”

“The Lark’s full bar features classic and modern craft cocktails using the finest in artisan spirits, mixers and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our wine list highlights small Santa Barbara County producers as well as artisan winemakers from afar.”

The menu changes often. Seasonal specialties include Southern Fried Quail with Calabrian chili aioli, bread & butter pickles, smoked date caramel and scallions. Patio dining is available nightly from 5:00 p.m. as well as Takeaway orders. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Executive Chef Jason Paluska takes a break from his busy kitchen and rejoins us.

 

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Show 364, March 14, 2020: Executive Chef Jason Paluska, The Lark, Santa Barbara

Jason Paluska of the LarkOriginally from Tomball, Texas, Jason Paluska, the Executive Chef of The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone (an Acme Hospitality property,) began his cooking career in San Francisco under chefs Mitch and Steve Rosenthal of Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope in 2006. Jason went on to became a sous chef at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. For four years he worked under renowned chef Jason Berthold, formerly of the French Laundry & Per Se.

In 2013 he left the Bay area and moved to Santa Barbara as the opening executive chef of The Lark restaurant for Acme Hospitality. Most recently Jason and his team at The Lark received the Michelin Plate award in June of 2019.

“The Lark, named for the sleek overnight Pullman train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that serviced Santa Barbara from 1910 -1968, is situated in the heart of the Funk Zone, a vibrant arts and entertainment district near the Waterfront in downtown Santa Barbara. Our menus are locally sourced and responsibly grown, using the highest quality seasonal ingredients based on the abundant bounty of the Central Coast. Our food is served family style intended for sharing. Our space was designed with an urban style that integrates vintage and repurposed materials for a sophisticated yet casual sensibility with a nod to our neighborhood’s industrial past.”

“The Lark’s full bar features classic and modern craft cocktails using the finest in artisan spirits, mixers and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our wine list highlights small Santa Barbara County producers as well as artisan winemakers from afar.”

We entice Chef Jason out of the busy Lark kitchen for a chat.

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Show 352, December 21, 2019: Journalist Al Mancini, Staff Writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal Part Two

Al Mancini of the Las Vegas Review JournalOne of our most reliable sources of 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 since 2003. He was one of the creators of the popular, and widely referenced, Eating Las Vegas restaurant guide series.

As we continue our conversation with Al we’ll look ahead for what’s on the culinary horizon in Vegas for new openings of note in early 2020. Al has already previewed Michael Mina’s upcoming International Smoke at the MGM Grand, a collaboration with Chef Ayesha Curry.

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Show 282, July 21, 2018: Executive Chef Kyle Johnson, Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak Los Angeles

Kyle JohnsonLocated in Glendale, BOURBON STEAK Los Angeles is Chef Michael Mina’s modern American steakhouse offering timeless dining experiences. At once classic and contemporary, the restaurant accomplishes all the traditions expected from a steakhouse with a flair of excitement.

“Discover the Piano Bar abuzz with newfound libations, and the glamorous dining room boasting tableside services including our signature Japanese Whisky Cart and Michael Mina’s signature Lobster Pot Pie.”

Kyle Johnson has worked his way through some of Las Vegas’s finest restaurants and is now at Chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak Los Angeles at The Americana at Brand as Executive Chef. With his food philosophy focused on sourcing the highest quality ingredients prepared with a strong technique, he looks forward to cultivating a connection to the community. Through relationships with local farms and purveyors, he surprises guests with a locally influenced menu of modern steakhouse fare that’s sophisticated and approachable all at once.

Chef Kyle proudly shops for his produce every week at both the Santa Monica Farmers Market and the Hollywood Farmers Market.

We’re firing up the broiler with Executive Chef Kyle Johnson.

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Show 192, October 9, 2016: Anne Marie Panoringan, Contributor, OC Weekly

Anne Marie PanoringanAnne Marie Panoringan of OC Weekly (regular contributor) is well-known to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Anne Marie followed the buzz about a new Downtown Los Angeles restaurant that’s billed as “The West Coast’s Highest Dining Destination” and is situated on the 71st floor of a renovated high-rise. She has now been there twice. Anne Marie will share her first impressions. Is the food (Chef Vartan Abgaryan, ex-Cliff’s Edge) and bar program at 71Above in the US Bank Tower worthy of the view? We’ll find out…

The menu offers “contemporary modern America cuisine that references the ethnic makeup and cultural traditions of the sprawling metropolis.” The pastry chef is Gregory Baumgartner (ex-Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak.) It’s lunch and dinner with Weekend Brunch.

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Show 64, March 8, 2014: Executive Chef Anthony Carron, co-founder, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

Anthony Carron of 800 Degrees PizzaChef Anthony Carron is the creative force behind 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria which is growing rapidly with a devoted following. His background is in fine-dining with Michael Mina. It started in Westwood in 2011. A “To-Go” branch was added in Westwood. Santa Monica and LAX recently opened. Las Vegas, Pasadena, Hollywood, and New York are on the horizon.

It’s thin crust pizza that follows the traditions established in Naples. What’s really different is that once you choose your toppings the pizza is then flash-cooked for about a minute in a wood-burning over at 800 degrees!

“800 Degrees strives to honor the tradition of classic Neapolitan pizza where the integrity of handcrafted ingredients is paramount. We use natural grown California tomatoes, our mozzarella is made for us every day right here in L.A., and our crust is crafted in house from only Italian flour, wild yeast, sea salt and filtered water.”

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