Show 507, January 14, 2023: Toran Grays, Proprietor, Extraordinary Banana Pudding, Participant, Long Beach Black Restaurant Week

Toran Grays of Extraordinary Banana Pudding

“The city-wide 2nd annual Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will take place January 22-29, 2023. Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will be an avenue to bring everyone to the table, from all walks of life, to showcase the city’s diverse Black food scene. Organized by Long Beach Food & Beverage, a California registered 501(c)3 non-profit, Long Black Restaurant Week is an eight day, city-wide event devoted to celebrating African, African American, and Caribbean fare in and around Long Beach. The event also seeks to highlight Black-owned food businesses as well as Black chefs and bartenders.”

One of the participating gourmet specialty food entities in Long Beach Black Restaurant Week is Extraordinary Banana Pudding founded by Toran Grays in La Mesa In 2020. The original recipe was created by Toran’s great-grandmother and passed down by the women in his Family. In October of 2021 Toran opened his 2nd Extraordinary Banana Pudding retail store on Long Beach Blvd. We’ll meet him.

Extraordinary Banana Pudding serves some 40 varieties of Banana Pudding along with Pudding Tacos, Pudding-Filled Cupcakes and even a Pudding Sandwich. Visitors to the store can sample any of the 40 varieties of Extraordinary Banana Pudding.

Special Offer: Guests who visit the Long Beach Extraordinary Banana Pudding during Long Beach Black Restaurant Week receive $2 off their order when they mention LB Black Restaurant Week. Enjoy.

Show 493, October 1, 2022: “Tito’s Fiesta Mexicana” with Tito’s Tacos (Culver City) Co-Owner Lynne Davidson Part One

Lynne Davidson of Tito's Tacos

Culver City’s classic Tito’s Tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka are teaming up for the fifth year in a row to host “Tito’s Fiesta Mexicana,” an annual event that celebrates National Taco Day and National Vodka Day while raising funds for the Culver City Arts Foundation. On October 4, which also happens to be Taco Tuesday, the highly-anticipated event returns, bringing together two iconic brands and an exciting roster of world-class performers on the same stage.”

“As part of the event, attendees will be able to enjoy delicious award-winning tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka specialty cocktails, along with seven hours of nonstop Mexican entertainment by traditional mariachi artists including Grammy Award-nominated Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez, all-female favorites Mariachi Reyna De Los Angeles, and Trio Chapala; folklorico dancers DanzArts / Sabor a Mexico Dance Company, and a special appearance by standup comic Jesus Trejo.”

“In the fifth year of hosting Tito’s Fiesta Mexicana, Tito’s Tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka are celebrating two very special milestones. This year’s event will take place on Tuesday, October 4, marking the first time National Taco Day has taken place on a Tuesday since 2016. With this year’s event falling on Taco Tuesday, it is sure to be one to remember.”

“Additionally, Tito’s Tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka will continue their philanthropic tradition, donating 100% of the proceeds from the event to the Culver City Arts Foundation. The event has raised over $50,000 over the past years, with this year’s donation expected to increase significantly.”

3rd Generation Proprietor Lynne Davidson joins us with cheese tacos, chips and fresh salsa at the ready.

Show 493, October 1, 2022: “Tito’s Fiesta Mexicana” with Tito’s Tacos (Culver City) Co-Owner Lynne Davidson Part Two

Lynne Davidson of Tito's Tacos

Culver City’s classic Tito’s Tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka are teaming up for the fifth year in a row to host “Tito’s Fiesta Mexicana,” an annual event that celebrates National Taco Day and National Vodka Day while raising funds for the Culver City Arts Foundation. On October 4, which also happens to be Taco Tuesday, the highly-anticipated event returns, bringing together two iconic brands and an exciting roster of world-class performers on the same stage.”

“In the fifth year of hosting Tito’s Fiesta Mexicana, Tito’s Tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka are celebrating two very special milestones. This year’s event will take place on Tuesday, October 4, marking the first time National Taco Day has taken place on a Tuesday since 2016. With this year’s event falling on Taco Tuesday, it is sure to be one to remember.”

“Additionally, Tito’s Tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka will continue their philanthropic tradition, donating 100% of the proceeds from the event to the Culver City Arts Foundation. The event has raised over $50,000 over the past years, with this year’s donation expected to increase significantly.”

“Founded in 1959 by Benjamin Davidson and now run by his granddaughter Lynne Davidson, Tito’s Tacos is an iconic Mexican fast casual restaurant in Culver City, CA. Known for its “folded” hard shell tacos and burritos beloved by celebrities, locals and visitors, Tito’s menu features crispy beef tacos, tamales, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas and guacamole, among other dishes. The cuisine is made from scratch daily using original recipes and served to thousands of loyal fans daily, often by employees who have been with Tito’s for decades.”

3rd Generation Proprietor Lynne Davidson continues with us with cheese tacos, chips and fresh house salsa at the ready.

Show 443, September 18, 2021: Chef Jenni Sklar, El Granjero Cantina, Original Farmers Market Part One

Jenni Sklar of El Granjero Cantina

El Granjero Cantina under the culinary direction of Chef Jenni Sklar, (ex-Lucques and Son of a Gun) celebrates Mexican cuisine at the historic Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. El Granjero’s bright and festive cantina including a spacious outdoor patio is a true neighborhood locale, built for local neighbors and visitors alike.”

“El Granjero offers guests a wide selection of options to choose from, including rice bowls, tacos, tlayuda, tacos dorados for a wide range of meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. Their bar program is dedicated to honoring traditional agave based spirits of Mexico with frozen margaritas and cocktails on tap.”

El Granjero serves Lunch (weekdays) and Dinner nightly and a newly introduced Weekend Brunch. Also Happy Hour on Weekdays from 3 to 6:00 p.m. with food and libations priced at $9.00.

Chef Jenni Sklar is our guest with fresh guacamole in hand.

Show 443, September 18, 2021: Chef Jenni Sklar, El Granjero Cantina, Original Farmers Market Part Two

Jenni Sklar of El Granjero Cantina

El Granjero Cantina under the culinary direction of Chef Jenni Sklar, celebrates Mexican cuisine at the historic Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. El Granjero’s bright and festive cantina including a spacious outdoor patio is a true neighborhood locale, built for local neighbors and visitors alike.”

“El Granjero offers guests a wide selection of options to choose from, including rice bowls, tacos, tlayuda, tacos dorados for a wide range of meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. Their bar program is dedicated to honoring traditional agave based spirits of Mexico with frozen margaritas and cocktails on tap.”

El Granjero serves Lunch (weekdays) and Dinner nightly and a newly introduced Weekend Brunch. Also Happy Hour on Weekdays from 3 to 6:00 p.m. with food and libations priced at $9.00.

Chef Jenni Sklar continues with a Chili Braised Beef Dorado in hand.

Show 428, June 5, 2021: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part One

Alex Adler of Puesto

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar launched its third Orange County location in late April at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. As the largest of the O.C. locations at 7,600 square feet, Puesto Bella Terra reflects the coastal community that it has joined by adopting elements of Huntington Beach culture in its design, with organic forms, raw materials, and earth tones of the Puesto color wheel.”

“Despite being a very challenging year for restaurants, in general, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support that the Orange County community has shown Puesto – so much so, that is has only gotten us more energized and excited to bring the community this beautiful location in the Bella Terra Center,” says Eric Adler, Tacoteur and Co-Founder of Puesto. “This will be our largest location, with extensive indoor and open-air seating and many unique features that provide a one of a kind experience for guests to enjoy.”

“Puesto is known for its tacos made from handmade, non-GMO, organic blue corn stone-ground tortillas, organic jidori chicken, sustainable meats, Baja and local line caught seafood, local produce and scratch salsas. Guests are encouraged to mix and match from an array of tacos, including Filet Mignon (crispy melted cheese, avocado, spicy pistachio serrano salsa), Chicken al Pastor (crispy melted cheese, braised Jidori chicken, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado, piña habanero pico), vegetarian options such as Verduras (crispy melted cheese, rajas, tatume squash, papas, corn& tomato, nopales, avocado, jalapeño, zucchini blossom) and Mushroom (crispy melted cheese, garlic braised seasonal mushrooms, pickled onions, stone fruit serrano salsa, hearts on fire). In addition to tacos, fresh ceviches and enchiladas highlight the menu.”

“Puesto is family-owned and operated by brothers Eric, Alan and Alex Adler, their cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo alongside Executive Chef Luisteen Gonzalez, a Mexico City native who accredits his passion for food to his grandmother and his fisherman father. The owners, first generation Mexican Americans, have been immersed in authentic, Mexican cooking since birth. While traveling around the United States, they became captivated by the local cuisine in each city, and how it reflected its people and culture. The family was inspired to bring their Mexican roots to the SoCal area, thus Puesto is a combination of authentic Mexican flavors and Southern California’s fresh, local ingredients.”

Puesto is also known for their extensive beverage program. A deep selection of Tequilas and Mezcals are available and they even brew their own Cervezas in their Mission Valley Cerveceria. All of their wines are unusually hand-selected from Mexico’s celebrated Baja California wine region. Nine variations of signature Margaritas are on the Puesto menu including the Cucumber Margarita.

Filet Mignon Taco (blue corn tortilla shell) in hand we’re joined by Puesto’s Alex Adler.

Show 428, June 5, 2021: Alex Adler, Co-Founder, Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar Part Two

Alex Adler of Puesto

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar launched its third Orange County location in late April at Huntington Beach’s Bella Terra Center. As the largest of the O.C. locations at 7,600 square feet, Puesto Bella Terra reflects the coastal community that it has joined by adopting elements of Huntington Beach culture in its design, with organic forms, raw materials, and earth tones of the Puesto color wheel.”

“Despite being a very challenging year for restaurants, in general, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support that the Orange County community has shown Puesto – so much so, that is has only gotten us more energized and excited to bring the community this beautiful location in the Bella Terra Center,” says Eric Adler, Tacoteur and Co-Founder of Puesto. “This will be our largest location, with extensive indoor and open-air seating and many unique features that provide a one of a kind experience for guests to enjoy.”

“Puesto is known for its tacos made from handmade, non-GMO, organic blue corn stone-ground tortillas, organic jidori chicken, sustainable meats, Baja and local line caught seafood, local produce and scratch salsas. Guests are encouraged to mix and match from an array of tacos, including Filet Mignon (crispy melted cheese, avocado, spicy pistachio serrano salsa), Chicken al Pastor (crispy melted cheese, braised Jidori chicken, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado, piña habanero pico), vegetarian options such as Verduras (crispy melted cheese, rajas, tatume squash, papas, corn& tomato, nopales, avocado, jalapeño, zucchini blossom) and Mushroom (crispy melted cheese, garlic braised seasonal mushrooms, pickled onions, stone fruit serrano salsa, hearts on fire). In addition to tacos, fresh ceviches and enchiladas highlight the menu.”

“Puesto is family-owned and operated by brothers Eric, Alan and Alex Adler, their cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo alongside Executive Chef Luisteen Gonzalez, a Mexico City native who accredits his passion for food to his grandmother and his fisherman father. The owners, first generation Mexican Americans, have been immersed in authentic, Mexican cooking since birth. While traveling around the United States, they became captivated by the local cuisine in each city, and how it reflected its people and culture. The family was inspired to bring their Mexican roots to the SoCal area, thus Puesto is a combination of authentic Mexican flavors and Southern California’s fresh, local ingredients.”

Puesto is also known for their extensive beverage program. A deep selection of Tequilas and Mezcals are available and they even brew their own Cervezas in their Mission Valley Cerveceria. All of their wines are unusually hand-selected from Mexico’s celebrated Baja California wine region. Nine variations of signature Margaritas are on the Puesto menu including the Cucumber Margarita.

With tacos (blue corn tortilla shells) in hand Puesto’s Alex Adler continues with us.

Show 374, May 23, 2020: Restaurateur Jesse Galvez, Sol Agave, Kaleidoscope Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano

Jess Galvez of Sol AgaveSol Agave, the popular elevated regional Mexican restaurant in South County, has the original location in San Juan Capistrano and the 2-year old branch in Mission Viejo in Kaleidoscope. San Juan Capistrano is open for to-go orders and Mission Viejo will reopen for curbside take out on June 1st.

Restaurateur Jesse Galvez and his partner Chef Manny Velasco, who was honored as the Golden Foodies 2017 Rising Star Chef of the Year, were at the forefront of the food truck trend when they started Sol Agave as a taco truck in 2015. They attracted such a loyal following for their elevated Mexican cuisine that they decided to open a restaurant in San Juan Capistrano in 2016. The success of that original location lead to moving into a larger space within the same retail center just a year later.

At Sol Agave the focus is on organic ingredients, fresh seafood, USDA Prime steak, and all-natural pork for its carnitas. Signature dishes include Our Famous Carnitas (Chef Manny’s famous Mexican braised pork, served with rice, refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, “trocka” sauce, and hand-made corn tortillas), Tacos de Hongo (skirt steak, portabello mushrooms, grilled onions, and cheese served on a hot skillet with salsa morita, rice, refried beans and hand-made tortillas), and Camarones Vallarta (jumbo breaded Mexican prawns, butterflied and stuffed with Dungeness crab, topped in a Creole tomato spicy sauce, and served with cilantro rice.)

Restaurateur Jesse Galvez shares the secrets of Sol Agave’s Famous Carnitas among other menu delights.

Show 363, March 7, 2020: Descanso’s Proprietor Rob Arellano and Executive Chef Sergio Ortega Previewing OC Restaurant Week

Sergio Ortega of Descanso Modern TaqueriaOrange County Restaurant Week, possibly the region’s most eagerly anticipated Restaurant Week for more than a decade, returns Sunday, March 8th through Saturday, March 14th. This year, nearly 150 restaurants will participant in OC Restaurant Week, offering diners a wide variety of options, from casual and family friendly establishments, to upscale and fine dining, which will once again allow for a “luxe experience” with a select group of menus priced at a $80 price point! For 2020 the Cocktails of Restaurant Week will be highlighted to complete dining experiences and many participating restaurants will offer a Spicy Food Lover option for the many flavor cravers out there!”

Executive Chef Sergio Ortega of Costa Mesa’s Descanso – A Modern Taqueria (along with Proprietor Rob Arellano) are participating in OC Restaurant Week. Descanso is featuring both a $15 Lunch menu as well as a $30 Dinner menu. Think special OC Restaurant Week cocktails, too. Chef Sergio also is highlighting a spicy food menu item, a pair of carnitas tacos with Habanero salsa.

Chef Ortega and Rob Arellano join us with a salivating menu preview.

Show 334, July 27, 2019: Crazy Fish Grill and Market, San Pedro

Dannesh Alam of Crazy Fish Grill and MarketSan Pedro’s Crazy Fish Grill and Market in Garden Village center is new to DINE LBC. Crazy Fish was founded by a group of five guys who share a “crazy” passion for fresh seafood. They just celebrated their one-year anniversary.

“We decided to take our passion for seafood and provide a fast casual restaurant that promotes sustainability without reducing affordability. We know that the City of San Pedro (Los Angeles) shares this passion with us, so we look forward to serving you fresh fish daily for years to come.”

Don’t miss the generously portioned Swordfish Sandwich with fries or the house-prepared Poke & Chips.

For Dine LBC they have a “Crazy” 3-course seafood meal for $25. Entrée selections include a choice of Swordfish Tacos, Local Halibut or Coconut Shrimp & Chips.

We’ve reeled in partner Dannesh Alam to explain more…