Show 419, April 3, 2021: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part One

Street Gourmet Bill Esparza

The Street Gourmet, Bill Esparza, (a James Beard Award-winner for excellence in journalism,) 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.

Next up is the unusual return of John Rivera Sedler’s (Eloisa in Santa Fe) lauded Rivera. It’s 6 nights only over 2 weeks on April 15th to 17th and then April 22nd to 24th.

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.

Play

Show 419, April 3, 2021: “The Street Gourmet’s” Bill Esparza Part Two

Street Gourmet Bill Esparza

The Street Gourmet, Bill Esparza, (a James Beard Award-winner for excellence in journalism,) 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.

Next up is the return of John Rivera Sedler’s (Eloisa in Santa Fe) lauded Rivera. It’s 6 nights only on April 15th to 17th and April 22nd to 24th.

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.

Play

Show 35, July 13, 2013: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait

Bill ChaitIf you’re Southern California-based and not familiar with Bill Chait’s name you certainly know the high profile restaurants with prominent chefs in the kitchen he’s behind. In the last few years these include Rivera and Bestia in Downtown L.A., and Sotto, Picca, Short Order and Short Cake (in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax) with more standout ventures on the way.

Bill started in the mid-80’s with the purchase of the original Louise’s in Brentwood. Bill (with partners) upscaled and branched it into a casual Italian trattoria, multiple-unit operation. He generously credits his later association with the late Mauro Vincenti (Rex) as his platform to his current success. Before the purchase of Louise’s his only experience in the business was as a nighttime pizza delivery guy for Jacopo’s in Beverly Hills.

Bill Chait’s business philosophy is best summed up by a quote he gave to the Los Angeles Times in a prior interview. “The concept of being in business is that you learn much more from your failures than your successes. People have said that, but I’ve lived it.

Play

July 13: Mary Sue Milliken, Bill Chait, Anita Lau, Jet Tila on Sushi

Podcasts

Segment One: Dining discoveries of the week with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part One
Segment Three: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part Two
Segment Four: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill
Segment Five: Anita Lau, creator of the Mad Hungry Woman Blog
Segment Six: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”

Previews of potential dining adventures…

Khao Soi at Spicy Thai BBQChef Jet somewhat reluctantly shares his recommendation for Northern Thai food in Los Angeles. It’s a small place with 15 seats but worth seeking out. Their signature dish is khao soi.

Producer Andy highlights Marche Moderne’s (Penthouse @ South Coast Plaza) annual Bouillabaisse festival running nightly until July 18th. It’s an authentic Marseillaise-bouillabaisse with all the fish flown in from the South of France. Spoil yourself with the very best and a glass of Rose! Reservations are a must…

If you dine-out in Los Angeles you’ve no doubt heard of Rivera and Bestia in Downtown Los Angeles. You probably also know the Italian favorite Sotto and the Peruvian-flavored, Picca located just East of Century City. How about Short Order and Short Cake at the Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax?

Bill ChaitWhat you probably don’t know is that all of these popular, chef-driven restaurants are ventures put together by low key restaurant impresario, Bill Chait. Bill joins us to discuss how he has created a string of successful, and enduring, restaurants (done on a budget) with talented celebrity chefs in a very tough business environment.

In the pipeline for Chait are Chef Walter Manzke’s Republique in the former Campanile space on La Brea Avenue and Neal Fraser’s Redbird in the former Vibiana Cathedral space in Downtown Los Angeles.

Mary Sue Milliken of Border GrillOn Monday, July 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Border Grill Las Vegas Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, and Border Grill Executive Chef Mike Minor are teaming up with Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood and Chefs Collaborative to host a Trash Fish Dinner. The cocktail reception and dinner will feature tasty alternatives to the seafood we love and, unfortunately, eat too much of. Understand the fish is delicious…

Mary Sue Milliken joins us to preview the fun evening with a purpose.

Time for Fair Food!

Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe from Chicken CharliesThe OC Fair is on through August 11th! Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, is with us to discuss what extreme foods are new at the Fair for 2013. She will actually be judging some Fair food contests during the event.

Fair food vendor, Chicken Charlie’s, always is always out there with fab fried food items. Eagerly anticipated is his new Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe’s and Bacon A-Fair’s Wild Boar on a stick (an OC Fair exclusive.)

According to the Orange County Register’s Nancy Luna, Chicken Charlie sold 50,000 deep-fried Twinkies last year at the Fair!

Other Chicken Charlie highlights are a deep-fried bacon pickle and a waffle dog.

SushiDo you crave sushi but feel somewhat compromised about proper manners and ordering technique in a sushi restaurant? When do you use the ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi? Is omakase (“trust the chef”) the best way to go? If you sit at the sushi bar how do you convey respect to the sushi chefs?

Listeners to the “SoCal Restaurant Show” are in luck. When he was helming Wazuzu at Encore Las Vegas, Jet had some of the most highly regarded sushi in Las Vegas on his menu. Backing it all up was in-house master sushi chef (and his highly trained team.) He will give us the 411 on ordering, and enjoying, sushi.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dining discoveries of the week with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part One
Segment Three: Restaurant Impresario Bill Chait Part Two
Segment Four: Mary Sue Milliken, Executive Chef & Partner of Border Grill
Segment Five: Anita Lau, creator of the Mad Hungry Woman Blog
Segment Six: Chef Jet Tila with “Sushi 411.”