Show 144, October 31, 2015: Executive Chef Nyesha Arrington, Leona, Venice Beach

Nyesha Arrington of LeonaVenice, CA. – based Chef Nyesha Arrington is no stranger to the show. You know her from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Esquire Channel’s “Knife Fight.”

We’ve chatted with her in the past when she was at The Wilshire and, more recently, about her pop-ups. She is now creating the menu at the new LEONA restaurant in Venice.

At LEONA Chef Nyesha is serving seasonally driven, ethically harvested and globally inspired Progressive Californian cuisine inspired by the mosaic of the Golden State. It’s dinner and weekend brunch for the moment with lunch debuting later this month.

“We want you to feel like you were hugged from the inside,” explains Arrington. “Our food is consciously prepared. For instance we may use ingredients with health benefits, like turmeric or ginger, but we’re not afraid to use butter, cream and other classic culinary styles when it is appropriate. We’re mindful of modern dietary preferences and create thoughtful dishes accordingly. We also strive to be progressive in creating sustainable sourcing and kitchen practices with little to no food waste.”

In the early 1900s “LEONA” was the original street name for what now is Washington Boulevard.

“We’re California natives and Venice residents,” comments proprietor Kristian Vallas, “We wanted this restaurant to represent why we love Venice and its tradition of avant-garde entrepreneurship. We’re approaching things differently operationally and creatively.”

Chef Nyesha is with us to provide all the tasty morsels.



Show 76, June 14, 2014: Guest Host Kedric Francis, Executive Editor, The Orange County Register Magazine, Coast Orange County Magazine

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineOur always debonair man about Orange County, Kedric Francis, did a little recent vacation swing down the Central Coast. The main destination was oceanfront The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Kedric spotlights the notable food and accommodations along the way. The report is family-friendly, too.

Also some breaking OC restaurant news including the tip that Venice’s Superba Snack Bar (Chef Jason Neroni) is on the way to a coastal Orange County City…


Show 71, May 3, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Multiple James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard is familiar to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her work-in-progress is the ambitious revival of the Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border with Culver City.

She will tell us all about her exciting new position as Corporate Vice President of the Culinary Division of iPic Theaters. Watching a movie on the big screen should be a deluxe experience with food to match!

There is a relatively new hidden gem of a very personal farm-to-table restaurant in Venice. That’s Barnyard Venice. Come hungry and prepare to be pleasantly surprised and also well-taken care of.

Nan Kohler, the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, is back for an encore. This time she’ll also be speaking about gluten-free and the milling process for flour.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for is back with us to share some inspired restaurant finds from her recent travels both in Europe and in The States.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin has a new location on the Bay in Newport Beach. It’s a “wow” of a spot!

All of this and lots more incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!


Show 71, May 3, 2014: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice

Jesse Barber of Barnyard VeniceBarnyard Venice (opened in 2012) is a bit of a find housed in an old cottage on Pacific Avenue. It’s rustic and comfortable.

Chef Jesse Barber, an alum of the kitchen at Tasting Kitchen, is the menu-maker. Earlier in his career he worked with Thomas Keller at both The French Laundry and Bouchon. He’s put together an ever changing menu with an emphasis on local ingredients. He’s a regular at the Santa Monica Farmers Markets and that’s the basis for his menu which changes almost daily.

His grilled octopus is a standout. Four-hour prep time! It’s steamed and marinated.

Ramen Tuesday is at the bar and on the patio.

Chef Jesse does significant outreach to the community so his guests better understand where the ingredients at Barnyard come from. On Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. he’ll usually do a butchering demo of a whole animal. The last Sunday of each month it is a cooking demo. It might be baking a fruit pie or even perhaps preparing extraordinary chicken wings.