Show 374, May 23, 2020: Chef / Proprietor Ross Pangilinan, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, Terrace by Mix Mix & ReMix Kitchen Bar

Ross Pangilinan of Mix Mix Kitchen BarWhen accomplished fine dining chef Ross Pangilinan left the Patina Group’s Leatherby’s Café Rouge (Segerstrom Center for the Arts) to venture out on his own he wanted to create a more personal, chef-driven concept. His vision came to be as Mix Mix Kitchen Bar located in a bit of an unlikely location in Santa Ana. In normal times it’s a globally inspired dining concept presenting dishes which see influence from traditional French and Italian to modern Filipino cuisines.

During the ban on dine-in Chef Ross has shifted to preparing Tapas Family Kits (for 2 or 4 guests) for curbside pick-up. Also in Chef Ross’ family of restaurants is Terrace by Mix Mix at South Coast Plaza and the newly opened ReMix Kitchen Bar in the Long Beach Exchange.

For Friday, Saturday and Sunday Terrace by Mix Mix is serving Share Plates (for 1 to 10 guests) for curbside pick-up. For Friday, Saturday and Sunday Remix Kitchen Bar offers a Tasting Menu for 2 or 4 guests for curbside pick-up.

Chef Ross joins us with the enticing cuisine overview.

Play

Show 372, May 9, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Happy Mother’s Day to all the greatly valued Mom’s out there. We anxiously look forward to the return of properly celebratory Mother’s Day Brunches at your favorite restaurants in 2021!

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the ever-changing range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat and diverting…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

“Jean Hagan, Principal of KROST CPAs & Consultants has owned, operated, and consulted in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. During that time, she worked with a well-known national chain; owned a food and beverage company that operated multiple restaurants, bars, and event spaces in the Squaw Valley area; and became the president, CEO, CFO, and shareholder of one of the highest-grossing restaurants in California. Today Jean is Principal and leads the restaurant operations consulting practice at KROST.” We’ll take an informed look at the future of dining out with Jean.

The Krewe of Red Beans in New Orleans was set to hold their annual “Bean Madness” competition for the fourth straight year when COVID 19 shut down most public gatherings. Restaurants and chefs, used to competing in the tournament for the title of Best Red Beans in the city, were instead facing another challenge: the prospect of shutting down altogether for an indefinite amount of time. Devin De Wulf, organizer of the event and founder of the Krewe of Red Beans, shifted his focus on how to help the struggling restaurants with an assist from his wife, an ER doctor at local University Medical Center. Devin began ordering food for the hospital staff with lingering funds from the cancelled fundraiser. Over the progressive several weeks, based on donations and logistical support from Krewe members, this grew to supporting over 49 restaurants while feeding front line medical workers in all 15 of New Orleans major hospitals. Emphasis has now shifted to their newly organized sister effort, Feed the Second Line, which pairs older, more vulnerable musicians and artists with their younger counterparts to assist them with shopping for their groceries and household needs. New Orleans food writer and cookbook author Mark C. Stevens joins us with the inspirational details of these grass-roots efforts.

Certified Cicerone and raconteur Tom Kelley is the Vice President of Sales and Hospitality for the El Segundo Brewing Co. He misses being in the tasting room and at the ESBC Slice & Pint engaging with guests and discussing the joys of craft beer. Tom has initiated a fun, virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday nights under the banner of Lonely Hearts Pub with guests. Gratuities are politely suggested for Restaurants Care, part of the CRA Foundation. Tom Kelley hospitably taps the keg for us on the details of Lonely Hearts Pub.

Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Currently Redbird is offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu and Redbird at Home Family Style Dinner. An added option is Wine Director’s Josh’s Hunker Down Wine List (with 40 per cent off Redbird’s list prices.) The Fraser’s also operate the adjacent Vibiana Events Center. Executive Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

When it comes to restaurant take-out in Orange County don’t forget the numerous appealing and varied restaurant options available at South Coast Plaza. “During these trying times and shelter-at-home, South Coast Plaza restaurants have adapted to take-out and curbside pick-up with success. Thirteen restaurants offer abbreviated and family-style menus ranging from Japanese cuisine (who isn’t craving sushi), prime steaks, contemporary cuisine and more.” South Coast Plaza’s long-time restaurant marketing consultant, Lee Healy, joins us with the specifics.

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 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. Pizza is always a popular snack and now that we’re cooking more at home it’s time to elevate your pizza game. Growing up in New Jersey Chef Andrew has a special affinity for the savory pie with all the variations. It all starts with the dough. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Play

Show 372, May 9, 2020: South Coast Plaza’s Dining Options with Lee Healy

Lee Healy representing South Coast PlazaWhen it comes to fashionable restaurant take-out in Orange County don’t forget the numerous appealing and varied restaurant options available at South Coast Plaza. “During these trying times and shelter-at-home, South Coast Plaza restaurants have adapted to take-out and curbside pick-up with success. Thirteen restaurants offer abbreviated and family-style menus ranging from Japanese cuisine (who isn’t craving sushi), prime steaks, contemporary cuisine and more.”

Chef Amar Santana‘s take-out at VACA has been lauded by restaurant critics Bill Addison with the Los Angeles Times and Brad Johnson of the Orange County Register. Their recommendations: Paella Valenciana family-menu with Vaca Tonics to go! Water Grill has a dazzling pop-up market three days a week (premium seafood and live lobster to prepare at home). Din Tai Fung has been busy and check out Royal Khyber‘s special three-course curbside menu for two for $30. Award-winning chef Ross Pangilinan has just begun take-out at TERRACE by Mix Mix.”

South Coast Plaza’s long-time restaurant marketing consultant, Lee Healy, joins us with the specifics.

Play

May 9: Krost CPAs, Mark C. Stevens, El Segundo Brewing Co., Neal Fraser, South Coast Plaza

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part One
Segment Three: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part Two
Segment Four: Mark C. Stevens – Spokesperson for Krewe of Red Bean’s Feed the Second Line
Segment Five: Tom Kelley, Certified Cicerone and VP of Sales & Hospitality, El Segundo Brewing Co.
Segment Six: Executive Chef & Proprietor Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: South Coast Plaza’s Dining Options with Lee Healy
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

It’s a time of great concern for all of us and our “SoCal Restaurant Show” mission, until the Covid-19 crisis is fully abated, is to provide reliable and genuinely useful information on how the restaurant business is coping with the rapidly evolving events. With an emphasis on the health, safety and well-being of our listeners we’ll be detailing what the ever-changing range of services restaurants can now provide to their guests. Creativity and adaptability are at the forefront. We’re doing our level best to keep it upbeat…

Chefs and restaurateurs are honestly the most generous people we know. In times of need they are always the very first in generously giving back and meaningfully supporting their communities. Truly remarkable…Right now restaurants urgently need our support to stay afloat. Kindly keep this in mind and please do what you possibly can (as you can afford) to support a community-focused, local restaurant….

As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience. Truly couldn’t do it without the enthusiastic encouragement of the foodie community.

“Jean Hagan, Principal of KROST CPAs & Consultants has owned, operated, and consulted in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. During that time, she worked with a well-known national chain; owned a food and beverage company that operated multiple restaurants, bars, and event spaces in the Squaw Valley area; and became the president, CEO, CFO, and shareholder of one of the highest-grossing restaurants in California. Today Jean is Principal and leads the restaurant operations consulting practice at KROST.” We’ll take an informed look at the future of dining out with Jean.

The Krewe of Redbeans in New Orleans was set to hold their annual “Bean Madness” competition for the fourth straight year when COVID 19 shut down most public gatherings. Restaurants and chefs, used to competing in the tournament for the title of Best Red Beans in the city, were instead facing another challenge: the prospect of shutting down altogether for an indefinite amount of time. Devin De Wulf, organizer of the event and founder of the Krewe of Red Beans, shifted his focus on how to help the struggling restaurants with an assist from his wife, an ER doctor at local University Medical Center. Devin began ordering food for the hospital staff with lingering funds from the cancelled fundraiser. Over the progressive several weeks, based on donations and logistical support from Krewe members, this grew to supporting over 34 restaurants while feeding front line medical workers in all 15 of New Orleans major hospitals. New Orleans food writer and cookbook author Mark C. Stevens joins us with the inspirational details of this grass-roots effort.

Certified Cicerone and raconteur Tom Kelley is the Vice President of Sales and Hospitality for the El Segundo Brewing Co. He misses being in the tasting room and at the ESBC Slice & Pint engaging with guests and discussing the joys of craft beer. Tom has initiated a fun, virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday nights under the banner of Lonely Hearts Pub with guests. Gratuities are politely suggested for Restaurants Care, part of the CRA Foundation. Tom Kelley politely taps the keg for us on the details of Lonely Hearts Pub.

Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Currently Redbird is offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu and Redbird at Home Family Style Dinner. An added option is Wine Director’s Josh’s Hunker Down Wine List (with 40 per cent off Redbird’s list prices.) Executive Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

When it comes to restaurant take-out in Orange County don’t forget the numerous appealing and varied restaurant options available at South Coast Plaza. “During these trying times and shelter-at-home, South Coast Plaza restaurants have adapted to take-out and curbside pick-up with success. Thirteen restaurants offer abbreviated and family-style menus ranging from Japanese cuisine (who isn’t craving sushi), prime steaks, contemporary cuisine and more.” South Coast Plaza’s long-time restaurant marketing consultant, Lee Healy, joins us with the specifics.

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 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. Take-out/delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first. Pizza is always a popular snack and now that we’re cooking more at home it’s time to elevate your pizza game. Growing up in New Jersey Chef Andrew has a special affinity for the savory pie with all the variations. It all starts with the dough. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

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

Jean Hagan of Krost CPAs and ConsultantsJean Hagan, Principal of KROST CPAs & Consultants has owned, operated, and consulted in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. During that time, she worked with a well-known national chain; owned a food and beverage company that operated multiple restaurants, bars, and event spaces in the Squaw Valley area; and became the president, CEO, CFO, and shareholder of one of the highest-grossing restaurants in California. Today Jean is Principal and leads the restaurant operations consulting practice at KROST. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Restaurant Operations and Management Strategies at the Culinary Institute of America.

“As discussions about the success of flattening the curve of the pandemic are encouraging everyone that we will get through this eventually, now the page turns to how do we get reopened and get our businesses back up and operating. The first thing everyone has to do is recognize that the restaurant industry after this pandemic is not going to be anywhere close to what we left off in March. Everything is going to be different for a very long time, possibly forever. The restaurant industry is a perfect filter to see all other businesses through. We are a true indicator of the overall economy, consumer confidence, and disposable income figures.”

“The general assumption is that the restaurant industry will not get back to full capacity until a year from now. Assuming that travel will be back to normal by December 2020, we could assume that restaurants will be about 80% of their previous years’ sales by that time. Travel transportation has to get back to normal and travel reservations have to catch up as well; late December 2020 seems like a realistic goal to be at 80% of 2019 sales. We also do not know what the restrictions of the various city and county health departments will be for relaunching, but it is not a stretch to assume that they will want the six feet of separation, meaning that your capacity will be reduced.” – Jean Hagan

We’ll take an informed look at the future of dining out with Jean and receive sound advice on how restaurants should prepare for the return of table service.

Author Mark C. StevensThe Krewe of Redbeans in New Orleans was set to hold their annual “Bean Madness” competition for the fourth straight year when COVID 19 shut down most public gatherings. Restaurants and chefs, used to competing in the tournament for the title of Best Red Beans in the city, were instead facing another challenge: the prospect of shutting down altogether for an indefinite amount of time.

Devin De Wulf, organizer of the event and founder of the Krewe of Red Beans, shifted his focus on how to help the struggling restaurants with an assist from his wife, an ER doctor at local University Medical Center. Using as inspiration the story of how a batch of cookies boosted the morale of her entire department, Devin began ordering food for the hospital staff with lingering funds from the cancelled fundraiser.

Over the progressive several weeks, based on donations and logistical support from Krewe members, this grew to supporting over 34 restaurants while feeding front line medical workers in all 15 of New Orleans major hospitals.

New Orleans food writer and cookbook author Mark C. Stevens joins us with the inspirational details of this grass-roots effort.

Thomas Kelley of El Segundo Brewing and ESBC Slice and PintCertified Cicerone and raconteur Tom Kelley is the Vice President of Sales and Hospitality for the El Segundo Brewing Co. He misses being in the tasting room and at the nearby ESBC Slice & Pint restaurant engaging with guests and discussing the joys of craft beer. Tom has creatively initiated a fun, virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday nights under the banner of Lonely Hearts Pub with special guests. “Gratuities” are politely suggested for Restaurants Care, part of the CRA Foundation.

Greg Bechtel will be joining Tom for the next iteration of the Lonely Hearts Pub – Cicerone style on Wednesday evening, May 13th from 6 to 8:00 p.m..

“Greg was El Segundo’s first official sales rep that I hired, and for a time we were an all Cicerone Certified sales staff. We had the awesome experience of studying for our Advanced Cicerone exams together, and we hope to bring you some beer knowledge.”

“Greg will be selecting a few beers for me, and I for Greg. We will take turns doing a blind tasting of each trying to call out the style in under 3 minutes. Call out the brand and you get extra credit!”

“After that, who knows where the conversation and the drinks may lead us. Though I know Greg has been known to throw a cocktail or two together…”

“Looking forward to sharing some more beers with you all!” – Tom Kelley

Tom Kelley politely taps the keg for us on the details of Lonely Hearts Pub at El Segundo Brewing Co.

Neal and Amy Knoll FraserChef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. Wine Director Josh Wibbenmeyer’s wine list is well rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Currently Redbird is offering contactless curbside pickup with an a la carte menu and Redbird at Home Family Style Dinner. An added option is Wine Director’s Josh’s Hunker Down Wine List (with 40 per cent off Redbird’s list prices.)

Redbird also has been preparing meals for LA Family Housing and raising money for displaced staff.

Executive Chef Neal Fraser is our guest.

Lee Healy representing South Coast PlazaWhen it comes to fashionable restaurant take-out in Orange County don’t forget the numerous appealing and varied restaurant options available at South Coast Plaza. “During these trying times and shelter-at-home, South Coast Plaza restaurants have adapted to take-out and curbside pick-up with success. Thirteen restaurants offer abbreviated and family-style menus ranging from Japanese cuisine (who isn’t craving sushi), prime steaks, contemporary cuisine and more.”

Chef Amar Santana‘s take-out at VACA has been lauded by restaurant critics Bill Addison with the Los Angeles Times and Brad Johnson of the Orange County Register. Their recommendations: Paella Valenciana family-menu with Vaca Tonics to go!  Water Grill has a dazzling pop-up market three days a week (premium seafood and live lobster to prepare at home).  Din Tai Fung has been busy and check out Royal Khyber‘s special three-course curbside menu for two for $30.  Award-winning chef Ross Pangilinan has just begun take-out at TERRACE by Mix Mix.”

South Coast Plaza’s long-time restaurant marketing consultant, Lee Healy, joins us with the specifics.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant GroupOur 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 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. Take-out / delivery when you can surely helps…Of course, the safety of restaurant employees and guests comes first.

Pizza is always a popular snack and now that we’re cooking more at home it’s time to elevate your pizza game. Growing up in New Jersey Chef Andrew has a special affinity for the pie with all the variations. It all starts with the dough. We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Slapfish is hosting Doctors, Nurses, Medical Personnel, Police, Firefighters & EMT’s to a complimentary meal To-Go. Need to be in uniform or have appropriate ID to qualify. The participating Slapfish locations are Huntington Beach, Brea, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

Kids eat free at Slapfish, too, when their parents order Takeout.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part One
Segment Three: Jean Hagan, Principal, Restaurants Operations Consulting for KROST CPA’s & Consultants Part Two
Segment Four: Mark C. Stevens – Spokesperson for Krewe of Red Bean’s Feed the Second Line
Segment Five: Tom Kelley, Certified Cicerone and VP of Sales & Hospitality, El Segundo Brewing Co.
Segment Six: Executive Chef & Proprietor Neal Fraser, Redbird & Vibiana, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: South Coast Plaza’s Dining Options with Lee Healy
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Show 354, January 4, 2020: Executive Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat at South Coast Plaza Part One

Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmadi of Knife PleatKnife Pleat in South Coast Plaza’s Penthouse, Level 3, was one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant launches of last year. It’s an elegant and approachable French restaurant with an appealing (and unusual) garden patio helmed by Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, who are well-known from the Los Angeles culinary scene with Church & State and Spring. The couple’s chic new restaurant at lunch and dinner showcases modern, seasonal interpretations of classic French techniques by Esnault, one of California’s best French chefs.

“The husband-and-wife team is regarded as a powerful force in Southern California’s culinary scene, having partnered on their previous Los Angeles-based French restaurants, Spring and Church & State. Spring mesmerized critics by using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to create a cultured tasting tour of the south of France. Church & State, under Sarmadi’s ownership, was named as one of the inaugural Michelin Guide California’s 2019 Bib Gourmand establishments.”

We’ll meet the dynamic husband-and-wife couple of both Chef Tony & Restaurateur Yassmin.

Play

Show 354, January 4, 2020: Executive Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat at South Coast Plaza Part Two

Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmadi of Knife PleatKnife Pleat in South Coast Plaza’s Penthouse, Level 3, was one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant launches of last year. It’s an elegant and approachable French restaurant with an unusual garden patio helmed by Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, who are well-known from the Los Angeles culinary scene with Church & State and Spring. The couple’s chic new restaurant showcases modern, seasonal interpretations of classic French techniques by Esnault, one of California’s best French chefs.

“For Knife Pleat, Esnault has created an elegant menu that features highlights such as Escargot Ravioli with a filling of wild burgundy snails in a mushroom broth with celery, garlic and watercress; chilled Langoustine with radish, green papaya, coconut espuma and lemongrass; Crescent Duck featuring breast and leg confit with Swiss chard, Tokyo turnip and pickled rhubarb. Esnault shows his appreciation for California’s incredible produce with a Vegetable Mosaic starter composed of tomato, zucchini, watermelon radish, kohlrabi and fresh chickpea.”

“Knife Pleat’s beverage program features craft cocktails that pay homage to designers who also call South Coast Plaza home. The Oscar de la Renta, for example, plays on the late fashion icon’s Dominican Republic roots with Brugal Añejo Rum, chinola, passion fruit and lemon.”

“The cuisine is set in a dramatic 5,000-square-foot space that has 80 seats and two dining areas – an airy dining room wrapped with floor-to-ceiling translucent windows and a plein air patio accented with greenery. A seven-seat bar provides views of the striking exhibition kitchen where Esnault and his team can be observed in action. The refined architecture and interiors by Johnson Fain – in collaboration with Sarmadi and Esnault – is decidedly understated, with a high fashion aesthetic and a soft palette.”

Knife Pleat serves lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily; dinner 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and Afternoon Tea from 3 to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.

We continue our conversation with the dynamic husband & wife couple of both Chef Tony & Restaurateur Yassmin.

Play

January 4, Knife Pleat, Selanne Steak Tavern, Buono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host & Executive Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat at South Coast Plaza Part One
Segment Three: Executive Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat at South Coast Plaza Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Vince Terusa, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Vince Terusa, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Frank Buono, Buono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana, San Pedro & Long Beach Part One
Segment Seven: Frank Buono, Buono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana, San Pedro & Long Beach Part Two

Happy New Year!

Now a provocative preview of this Saturday’s mouthwatering show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will hopefully 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. Truly couldn’t do it without you.

Knife Pleat in South Coast Plaza’s Penthouse, Level 3, was one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant launches of last year. It’s an elegant and approachable French restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, who are well-known from the Los Angeles culinary scene with Church & State and Spring. The couple’s chic new restaurant showcases modern, seasonal interpretations of classic French techniques by Esnault, one of California’s best French chefs. We’ll meet the dynamic couple of both Chef Tony & Restaurateur Yassmin.

Selanne Steak Tavern, an upscale tavern and steak house, is located in a historic 1934 converted residence on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach serving modern American fare, a stellar wine collection, artisan cocktails and a range of beers in a light and airy ambiance. The various dining rooms include a warm tavern-style bar, a bistro-style wine room, a more formal upstairs and beautiful outdoor dining. The ownership team includes NHL Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne – also known as The Finnish Flash – a 2007 Stanley Cup winner, former star player for the Anaheim Ducks, and six-time Olympian. Executive Chef Vince Terusa, who has been there since the beginning, is our guest.

Buono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana is a proudly family owned Italian pizzeria and restaurant with three locations in the San Pedro and Long Beach areas. Buono’s prides itself on offering authentic Italian fare like hand-kneaded pizza dough made fresh daily to homemade sausages and sauces, all served up with warm hospitality and great service. Open for lunch and dinner, craft beer and wine complement the menu.

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

Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmadi of Knife PleatKnife Pleat in South Coast Plaza’s Penthouse, Level 3, was one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant launches of last year. It’s an elegant and approachable French restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, who are well-known from the Los Angeles culinary scene with Church & State and Spring.

The couple’s chic new restaurant at lunch and dinner showcases modern, seasonal interpretations of classic French techniques by Esnault, one of California’s best French chefs.

“The husband-and-wife team is regarded as a powerful force in Southern California’s culinary scene, having partnered on their previous Los Angeles-based French restaurants, Spring and Church & State. Spring mesmerized critics by using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to create a cultured tasting tour of the south of France. Church & State, under Sarmadi’s ownership, was named as one of the inaugural Michelin Guide California’s 2019 Bib Gourmand establishments.”

“For Knife Pleat, Esnault has created an elegant menu that features highlights such as Escargot Ravioli with a filling of wild burgundy snails in a mushroom broth with celery, garlic and watercress; chilled Langoustine with radish, green papaya, coconut espuma and lemongrass; Crescent Duck featuring breast and leg confit with Swiss chard, Tokyo turnip and pickled rhubarb. Esnault shows his appreciation for California’s incredible produce with a Vegetable Mosaic starter composed of tomato, zucchini, watermelon radish, kohlrabi and fresh chickpea.”

“Knife Pleat’s beverage program features craft cocktails that pay homage to designers who also call South Coast Plaza home. The Oscar de la Renta, for example, plays on the late fashion icon’s Dominican Republic roots with Brugal Añejo Rum, chinola, passion fruit and lemon.”

“The cuisine is set in a dramatic 5,000-square-foot space that has 80 seats and two dining areas – an airy dining room wrapped with floor-to-ceiling translucent windows and a plein air patio accented with greenery. A seven-seat bar provides views of the striking exhibition kitchen where Esnault and his team can be observed in action. The refined architecture and interiors by Johnson Fain – in collaboration with Sarmadi and Esnault – is decidedly understated, with a high fashion aesthetic and a soft palette.”

Knife Pleat serves lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily; dinner 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and Afternoon Tea from 3 to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.

We’ll meet the dynamic husband-and-wife couple of both Chef Tony & Restaurateur Yassmin.

Vince Terusa of Selanne Steak TavernSelanne Steak Tavern, an upscale tavern and steak house, is located in a historic 1934 converted residence on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach serving modern American fare, a stellar wine collection, artisan cocktails and a range of beers in a light and airy ambiance. The various dining rooms include a warm tavern-style bar, a bistro-style wine room, a more formal upstairs and beautiful outdoor dining. The ownership team includes NHL Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne – also known as The Finnish Flash – a 2007 Stanley Cup winner, former star player for the Anaheim Ducks, and six-time Olympian.

“Selanne Steak Tavern supports local farms and fisheries that practice sustainability, humane, steroid-free raising techniques and pesticide-free growing environments. Choices of First Courses include Farmers Market Soup, Beet “Ravioli” with artisanal goat cheese and hazelnut, Wagyu Beef Tartare with chips, and Pacific Diver Scallops. There’s a selection of tempting Greens and Sides like Selanne’s Mac and Cheese – a five cheese fondue with a brioche crumb topping that pleases carnivores and vegetarians alike.”

“At dinner nightly, entrees feature succulent Steaks and Chops: Angus Filet Mignon 8 or 12 ounces, Flat Iron 8-ounce Wagyu, Rib Eye 14-ounce Prime, the signature Lord Stanley Cut 38-ounce Wagyu and more – all served with seasonal marrow butter, as well as a variety of sauces on the side. Poultry, Game and Fish tempt with dishes such as Jidori Chicken with truffle jus poulet and trumpets, and Skuna Bay Salmon with farro and celery root. Executive Chef Vince Terusa makes use of the restaurant’s well-stocked herb garden, which includes parsley, thyme, lavender, rosemary, chives and more.”

“Selanne Steak Tavern, located at 1464 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, opened in November 2013 and is owned by Hockey Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne and local Orange County businessman Kevin Pratt.”

“The discerning wine list is primarily focused on Napa cult wines as well as wines from other California vineyards, including chardonnays, cabernets, cabernet blends and pinot noirs. The list is also recognized for its collection of wines from Burgundy, France. Many of the list’s wines are highly allocated, low production, big-scoring selections. The list has wines by the glass, half bottles and large format selections for special celebratory meals. In addition, the champagne and sparkling list offers distinctive choices, many at guest-friendly prices.”

Selanne Steak Tavern was awarded the Golden Foodie Award for Best Wine Program 2019 for the second consecutive year at Orange County’s Golden Foodie Awards gala held September 29, 2019 at the Newport Beach Marriott.

“Offering a fresh interpretation of classic design, the restaurant is residential in style – infused with an element of whimsy. Materials throughout are influenced by the history and the beachfront appeal of Laguna Beach, with highlights such as slightly distressed wide planked oak wood floors, a color palette of muted grays, whites and cognacs and a rich mix of textures and materials to blend the old and new.”

Executive Chef Vince Terusa, who has been there since the beginning, is our guest.

Frank Buono of Buono''s P{izzeria in Long BeachBuono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana is a proudly family owned Italian pizzeria with three locations in the San Pedro and Long Beach areas. Buono’s prides itself on offering authentic Italian fare like hand-kneaded pizza dough made fresh daily to homemade sausages and sauces, all served up with warm hospitality and great service. Open for lunch and dinner, craft beer and wine complement the menu.

After 54 years the original San Pedro Bruno’s Market & Deli (the predecessor to Buono’s Pizzeria) relocated late last year to a new, modern expanded space in San Pedro’s Little Italy at 222 W. 6th Street.

“While the paint may be fresh and the décor contemporary, Buono’s Pizzeria in San Pedro’s Little Italy will remain true to its origins.  The scratch kitchen will continue to prepare authentic Italian pizza coupled with fresh pasta and zesty sauces.  What will be new is the addition of wine and beer, an amenity not available at the original Buono’s Pizzeria.”

“The Little Italy location spans nearly 3,000 square-feet and boasts alfresco dining available with an expansive wraparound patio. The exhibition kitchen reveals a display of culinary excellence with a gas-fired brick oven as well as an 800-degree oven where Neapolitan-style pizzas bake for a quick 90 seconds.”

The flagship Buono’s Pizzeria in San Pedro just relocated to San Pedro’s Little Italy (222 W. 6th Street) in an expanded, and modern, restaurant space with patio seating and a craft beer & wine bar.

“We (Buono Family) consider our family history an essential ingredient in our tasty menu at all three of our restaurants. Those who have already dined ay any of them know how vital that legacy is to the Buono Family.”

“In 1965 Francesco and Teresa Buono opened Buono’s Market & Deli in San Pedro which became famous for their Torpedo Sandwiches, House-Made Italian Sausage, and Nonna Teresa’s Meat Sauce. In 1967 their son, Nicolaniello came from Italy and joined them here carrying a small suitcase also filled with huge hopes and dreams. And he, too, made those dreams come true when in 1973 he transformed the market and deli into the original Buono’s Pizzeria.”

Today his wife Antonia and their four children, Frank, George, Oreste and Teresa, continue to share their love of Italy and its cuisine by offering a menu that beautifully reflects the Buono Family roots. Those who are discovering this treasure for the first time are in for a wonderous experience, highlighted by Buono Family memories dating back more than half a century. Those who have joined us before eagerly anticipate what they know is a delicious meal to come!”

The Buono Family’s managing partner, Frank Buono, simmers the meat sauce for us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host & Executive Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat at South Coast Plaza Part One
Segment Three: Executive Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat at South Coast Plaza Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Vince Terusa, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Vince Terusa, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Frank Buono, Buono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana, San Pedro & Long Beach Part One
Segment Seven: Frank Buono, Buono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana, San Pedro & Long Beach Part Two

Show 298, November 17, 2018: Chef / Proprietor Ross Pangilinan, TERRACE by Mix Mix (South Coast Plaza) and Mix Mix Kitchen Bar

Ross PangilinanChef / Proprietor Ross Pangilinan (Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, Santa Ana) launched Terrace by Mix Mix in South Coast Plaza in late September. Located on level 3 of the Crate and Barrel / Macy’s Home Store Wing, TERRACE by Mix Mix concentrates on well-priced, market-driven small plates.

The cuisine showcases Pangilinan’s eclectic style, which is influenced by French, Italian, and modern Filipino flavors, as well as his refined technique. An approachable wine list offers varietals by the glass and bottle as well as rotating craft beers.

True to its name, the restaurant features full-service evening dining (and Weekend Brunch) in a beautifully designed covered terrace off the west end of Bridge of Gardens. A small wine bar, additional seating, an open kitchen and a counter offering a weekday lunch quick-service menu is inside.

Pangilinan opened his first restaurant, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, in downtown Santa Ana in 2016. The name “Mix Mix” is inspired by the English translation of the Filipino dessert Halo-Halo and is also a play on Pangilinan’s culinary style and Filipino-American identity. The restaurant has been an unqualified success since opening, garnering accolades as best new restaurant from Orange Coast Magazine and earning the chef critical praise. Chef Ross was honored as “Rising Star Chef of The Year” at the 2018 Golden Foodie Awards.

Pangilinan’s culinary journey began upon graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. He traveled to France to work in the Michelin-starred Les Trois Marches in Versailles. Back in the U.S., he was hired as sous chef to open the critically acclaimed, fine dining Sinatra restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. Returning to Southern California, Pangilinan worked as sous chef at the Patina flagship and became a protégé of founder chef Joachim Splichal. The Patina Group recognized his talent and named him executive chef at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, which is part of South Coast Plaza’s fine dining collection.

Chef Ross pops out of the kitchen for a chat.

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Show 255, January 6, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Happy New Year.

Now an abundant preview of Saturday’s salivating 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, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout the new year.

No leftovers here.

It’s the beginning of another year of enticing food & beverage festivals in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Upcoming is the 5th edition of the popular Ceviche and Aguachile Festival on Sunday afternoon, January 28th. Festival Producer Edgar Cisneros has the tempting preview.

Restaurateur Ray Lasher surprised the Long Beach dining community when he closed the original Lasher’s in 2012 after a 15-year run. He’s now back in Belmont Shore on E. 2nd Street with a revised concept, Lasher’s Kitchen. Executive Chef & Partner Raquel Jubran has returned to create the refreshed menu. She joins us.

We last spoke with Chef Brendan Collins when he was running the underappreciated Birch located on a side street just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. He is now back on the Westside creating the rejuvenated menu at The Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. Guests have already noticed the new energy there along with the refreshed commitment to service. The Roast has moved there too, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Just before year’s end Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula opened their doors to guests for the first phase of their ambitious $285 million expansion, including 568 new hotel rooms & suites. In the new atrium is The Lobby Bar restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also launched on Thursday nights is the all-you-can enjoy Lobster & Seafood Extravaganza at the Pechanga Buffet. We entice Pechanga’s Executive Chef Duane Owen out of his busy kitchens for the details.

Chef Amar Santana and his business partner, Ahmed Labatte (Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca in Costa Mesa) had an incredible 2017. Among other notable achievements they hosted one of the premier events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of South Coast Plaza at Vaca. It was a lavish, multi-course dinner matched with outstanding wines to benefit The James Beard Foundation. For late 2018 their new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

Our always dynamic Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is back in-studio from his adventures in Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. Where is fine-dining headed? This is Part 3 of his conversation continued from the previous two weeks.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

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Show 255, January 6, 2018: Ahmed Labatte, Partner, Vaca Restaurant Group

Ahmed LabatteChef Amar Santana and his business partner, Ahmed Labatte (Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca in Costa Mesa) had an incredible 2017. Among other notable achievements they hosted one of the premier events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of South Coast Plaza at Vaca. It was a lavish, multi-course dinner matched with outstanding wines to benefit The James Beard Foundation.

For late 2018 their ambitious new project will be The Hall Global Eatery in South Coast Plaza. Early advance info is that it will be a Global Marketplace with multiple food counters and an exhibition kitchen.

There will be a grab-and-go market area with freshly prepared salads and sandwiches. Everything else will be prepared to order. Expect Mediterranean kebabs and Shawarma.  The location is the expansive former Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill space.

Ahmed joins us with a tantalizing sneak preview.

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