Show 414, February 27, 2021: Loquita Santa Barbara with General Manager Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins of Loquita

Loquita in Santa Barbara showcases authentic Spanish food including hot and cold tapas, wood-fired grilled seafood and meats, and seasonal paella. The Mediterranean climate and terroir of Santa Barbara County mirror that of Spain, making the translation of locally sourced produce, meats and seafood an ideal match. The wine list is comprised almost entirely of Spanish wines with exceptional local wines that pair well with the cuisine. Loquita’s cocktail list showcases Spanish vermouths, farmers’ market Sangria, hand-crafted cocktails and a rotating selection of Spain’s king of cocktails, the Gin Tonic.” 

A favorite Tapa is the Almejas. It’s little neck clams with cantimpalo chorizo, salsa verde, can sumoi with grilled ciabatta.

Loquita has reopened for socially distanced patio and outdoor dining nightly at 5:00 p.m. and for takeaway. 

General Manager Stephanie Perkins is our amiable guide.


Show 413, February 20, 2021: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden, Long Beach & Mar Vista

Bjoern Risse of Rasslebock Kitchen and Beer Garden

Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden with locations in Long Beach (2018) and the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles is a German restaurant and pub specializing in contemporary German fare with a modern twist. They also specialize in freshly tapped German and Belgian beers. Rasselbock features 35 German and Belgian beers, homemade sangrias and a selection of German and California wines.

The Rasselbock menu includes multiple versions of schnitzel, sausages, Bavarian pretzels and their signature apple strudel for dessert. The offerings also include multiple vegetarian and vegan options plus kid-friendly dishes.

Both Rasselbocks have reopened for outside, patio dining nightly with proper distancing between tables. On weekends the restaurants open at 12 Noon. Takeout is available, too.

Is Rasselbock on the menu? Proprietor Bjoern Risse joins us with the explanation.


Show 391, September 19, 2020: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)

Armen Karamardian of ZovsFounded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are currently serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Also serving guests again for dine-in at 25 per cent capacity.

Tailgating in Tustin (in the parking lot) with live music on the Café patio returns for Happy Hour and Dinner (twice a month) on Saturday, September 19th. Guests can also dine under the stars on the Café patio. Guests can order ahead from Zov’s take-out menu along with the wine and cocktail list. Because of space limitations and safety requirements reservations are required.

New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. Sealed utensils are included.

“Family support has constantly been Zov’s foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Zov, in addition to her husband, Gary, her son Armen, and her daughter Taleene, have created a rare family business recipe that has taken comforting creations of the family kitchen blended with Chef Zov’s culinary artistry.”

2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.


Show 383, July 25, 2020: Executive Chef & Partner, Mark McDonald, Old Vine Kitchen & Bar, Costa Mesa

Mark McDonald of Old Vine Kitchen and Bar“The award-winning Old Vine Kitchen & Bar in Costa Mesa at THE CAMP has returned to the Orange County culinary scene by reopening on-premise dining with an emphasis on staff and guest safety and an expansion of its intimate dining experience. In addition to Old Vine’s popular backyard patio, guests can now spend evenings enjoying two newly-acquired outdoor dining spaces: The Roof and The Stairway Patio.”

“We’re excited to extend our signature Old Vine experience to two new beautiful outdoor spaces, The Roof and The Stairway Patio, which give our restaurant the space needed for social distancing and ensuring our guests’ safety,” said Old Vine Kitchen & Bar’s proprietor and Chef Mark McDonald. “We are proud to welcome our customers back, knowing that our restaurant has fully implemented all city, county, and state safety protocols, and trained our excellent staff accordingly. Guest and staff well-being is always our first priority.”

“Returning diners will be delighted to find brand new bar and dinner menus from Chef McDonald, who has helmed Old Vine’s kitchen for more than 13 years. From revamped old favorites, such as Old Vine’s Caprese of Burrata, to soon-to-be classics, such as a new, four course cocktail pairing tasting menu, guests are sure to savor his fresh takes on Old Vine’s signature regional cuisine, always crafted with top quality food products and now a totally scratch kitchen.”

“Our whole team took advantage of this quieter time, and we all found new inspiration, whether in the kitchen, with the wine list, or behind the bar,” co-owner Kate Perry said. “The result is updated bar and dinner menus, a range of new vegan and vegetarian options, and as always, a commitment to serving and building our Old Vine family.”

Chef Mark McDonald joins us.


Show 380, July 4, 2020: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Socalo Santa Monica and Border Grill DTLA & Las Vegas Part One

Susan Feniger wearing a mask at Socalo in Santa MonicaCelebrity chef and restaurateur Susan Feniger is best known for creating Border Grill (Los Angeles & Las Vegas) with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken. She was also one of the first stars on Food Network. The partners have made their return to Santa Monica with the launch of Socalo in the Gateway Hotel which has just reopened for expanded patio dining for lunch, dinner & Happy Hour on Tuesday through Saturday.

Curbside pickup is available, too. A range of Family Meals are available by Tock. Also Margarita Kits, Wines by the Bottle, and Craft Beers.

Complimentary on-site parking is available.

We corral Chef Susan for a chat on what’s currently available at Socalo Santa Monica.