Show 313, March 2, 2019: Owner / Chef Craig Strong, Ocean at Main, Laguna Beach

Craig StrongOwner/ Chef Craig Strong (Ex-Studio at Montage Laguna Beach) has just debuted his new Weekend Brunch Menu at Laguna Beach’s Ocean at Main. Bottomless mimosas and specialty cocktails are featured, too.

“Ocean at Main’s Weekend Brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Chef Craig Strong draws inspiration from culinary experiences – both personal and professional – to create a menu of sweet & savory brunch classics presented with his signature style and plated with panache.”

“Enjoy savory brunch classics like Chilaquiles made with Chef Strong’s salsa fuerte and sweet selections like Scarlet’s Favorite Five-Spice Pancakes. Toast to the weekend with bottle service, bottomless mimosas, or specialty brunch cocktails.”

Chef Craig cooks up all the mouthwatering details for us.


Show 307, January 19, 2019: James Trees, Executive Chef / Proprietor, Esther’s Kitchen, Las Vegas

James TreesJames Trees is a chef in the best, old school meaning of the word. Currently he’s the chef/proprietor of Las Vegas acclaimed Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District adjacent to Downtown. Previously Chef James spent some time in L.A. cooking at high profile establishments. He serves up his own blend of elegant Italian comfort food. Recently added is Weekend Brunch.

“While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. My mom was always working and didn’t have time to make dinner, so whenever we were hungry we went to Alfio’s house. They’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.” “

Who is Esther? “Great-aunt Esther was a tough, smart, no-nonsense type who cared about people and gave good advice. “She was a big support to my mom when I was growing up, and that was huge,” says Trees. “She was always there for us.””

“Esther wrote the check that sent Chef Trees off to the CIA (after all, someone had to get him out of Alfio’s kitchen). When she passed in 2016 she left James a nest egg – the money he needed to finally open his own restaurant.”


Show 282, July 21, 2018: Steve Massis, Proprietor, The Attic, Long Beach

Steve and Calvin MassisEat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns August 4 to 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

The Attic on Broadway (with a distinct Southern flair and ample libations) is one of the participating restaurants.

“Enjoy fresh Southern cuisine with a Southern California twist!”

It’s Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 7 days plus Weekend Brunch. Dog-friendly and seating inside the restored Craftsman bungalow or on 2 shaded patios.

We’ll meet hands-on proprietor Steve Massis.


Show 278, June 23, 2018: Brett Karas, Operating Partner / General Manager, Lido Bottle Works, Newport Beach

Breet KarasLido Bottle Works is a craft beer, wine, bottle shop and public house owned by Newport Beach natives located at Newport Beach’s Lido Marina Village. Enjoy a wide array of carefully collected and selected small batch beers, wines by the bottle and glass, and a tapas style menu of small bites, tasty offerings and delicious California coastal cuisine from Chef Amy Lebrun.

Lido Bottle Works is focused on offering locally sourced and sustainable ingredients in a stylish yet casual environment for locals and visitors alike. On the menu are winemaker and brewer events, an art gallery, live music, and more.

Lido also serves a Saturday and Sunday Brunch. A house specialty is Chorizo Hash with fingerling potato, a poached egg and Poblano Hollandaise. Indoor and covered patio seating with a bay view available.

“Join us for a revelatory culinary experience of cooking, eating, and adventure. At Lido Bottle Works we believe people, food, and drink should be ‘Genuinely Good Together.’ Our unique dishes are prepared for our friends and family using local and sustainable ingredients perfectly paired with specialty craft beer, wine, and cocktails.”

Brett Karas, Operating Partner/General Manager is our guest.


Show 273, May 12, 2018: Aaron Pannell, General Manager, Bouchon Las Vegas and Bouchon Bakery

Aaron PannellThomas Keller’s Bouchon Las Vegas is a truly special dining experience. General Manager Aaron Pannell who is responsible for managing all aspects of the restaurant and related Bouchon Bakery joins us.

It’s a spectacular location for Weekend Brunch on the lushly landscaped patio looking over the rooftop pool in the Venezia Tower.

Known for its artisanal breads and traditional French desserts, Bouchon Bakery (3 locations at The Venetian) offers handmade viennoiserie, confections, pastries, tarts and cookies, as well as sandwiches and salads made in-house daily. The flagship location is right off the busy main ground floor elevator lobby at The Venetian. Talk about incredible food traffic…!

Espresso drinks and coffee custom-blended by Chef Keller’s longtime partner Equator Coffees & Teas, are offered year-round.


Show 251, December 9, 2017: Chef Mike Minor, Border Grill Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Mike Minor of Border Grill in Las VegasMike Minor is back as the Executive Chef of Mary Sue Milliken’s and Susan Feniger’s original Border Grill Las Vegas (launched in 1999) located by the lazy river adjacent to Mandalay Beach at the Mandalay Bay Resort on The Strip. Chef Mike grew up in Las Vegas and has a huge locals’ following. We’ll meet him.

This Border Grill is known for their incredible Weekend, all-you-can-enjoy brunch with everything cooked to order. There is also bottomless sparkling wine. Talk about indulgent…It’s Vegas, baby !

Ironically, it was a French restaurant where Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger first tasted authentic Latin flavors. While guests were dining on escargot out front, in the back of the house Mary Sue and Susan were discovering the home cooking of Oaxaca and the Yucatan at staff meals prepared by their fellow cooks from Mexico. Unlike anything they had ever tasted in Mexican restaurants in the United States, the dishes were as varied and complex as the French fare the chefs were serving out front.

In 1985, Mary Sue and Susan packed a VW bug and took a road trip far south of the Mexican border. Never setting foot in a “fine restaurant,” they learned the recipes and techniques of market vendors and home cooks, from street corners in downtown Mexico City to back road family barbecues and taco stands along the beach. When they returned they opened Border Grill and “applied the same intelligence,” noted Los Angeles Magazine, “to green corn tamales and cactus-paddle tacos that other chefs might to a lobe of foie gras.” Border Grill quickly established a new standard for gourmet Mexican fare.


Show 230, July 1, 2017: Proprietress Juliette Chung & Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt, Juliette Kitchen & Bar, Newport Beach

Juliette Chung and Chef Daniel HyattThe ownership and culinary team behind Newport Beach’s Juliette Kitchen + Bar present a philosophy based on the exploration of diverse flavors and the commitment to employing only the best ingredients. This all adds up to a continually evolving experience.

“Juliette Kitchen & Bar is where seasonal and local ingredients come together in vibrant, modern and balanced dishes. Always, rustic, warm and inviting, Juliette Owners Juliette Chung and John Hughes, along with Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt, welcome the community to indulge in good conversation and great food.”

Juliette Kitchen & Bar is now serving Weekend Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Executive Daniel Hyatt’s menu draws inspiration from locally sourced ingredients, so guests can look forward to enjoying seasonal brunch dishes with a modern American twist. Lending her own touch to the menu, restaurant co-owner Juliette Chung has added her own house-made granola and fresh biscuits to the menu, which also features housemade juices and brunchtime cocktails, such as the Mimosa Lisa and Top of the Morning Irish Coffee.

Proprietor Juliette Chung and Executive Chef Daniel Hyatt are our guests.


Show 216, March 25, 2017: Post & Beam, Los Angeles’ Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

Govind Armstrong and Brad JohnsonBrad Johnson’s & Chef Govind Armstrong’s Post & Beam officially opened in early 2012 on the West side of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (across the parking lot from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy) in an extensively remodeled, free-standing building with patio which had previously been a Golden Bird Fried Chicken stand.

There is a fairly extensive on-site herb garden on the patio with raised beds. One entire wall of the patio is covered with trailing passion fruit vines. The highly perishable fruit is creatively used there seasonally in salad dressings and desserts.

“No stranger to the dining scene in Los Angeles, Brad Johnson’s and Chef Govind Armstrong’s venture, Post & Beam, is intended to bring warm hospitality, exciting, yet approachable cuisine and good times to the surrounding neighborhoods of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Brad has created memorable places since relocating to California from NYC in 1989. Remember Georgia on Melrose Ave.? That was him, minus some of the gray hair.”

Among Chef Govind’s numerous local credits of note are the fondly remembered Chadwick (Co-Executive Chef) in Beverly Hills and Melrose’s Table 8. He started in the kitchen at Spago at the tender age of 13.

Dinner nightly and Weekend Brunch. Brad is pretty partial to their pancakes. “The SoCal Restaurant Show” is a fan of the buttermilk waffles. Decide for yourself…

It’s 5 successful years later and we’ll get updates from the principals themselves, Brad & Chef Govind.


Show 213, March 4, 2017: Laurel Tavern, Hermosa Beach

Roger HayotLaurel Tavern, an American Gastropub, is new in Hermosa Beach. It’s a promising addition to the Hermosa Beach dining scene.

The menu maker is Chef Roger Hayot who is known to local foodies for his pioneering work as Owner/Chef at Los Angeles’ (now departed) Authentic Café. GM Lee Farrell is the architect of the civilized libation program there including an ambitious selection of 24 rotating craft beers on tap.

It’s a youthful vibe with moderate prices. You order at The Bar and a friendly server brings you your libations and food.

Weekend Brunch includes specialties like Lemon Ricotta Stuffed French Toast and Mohawk Smoked Bacon.

Dinner specialties are the Sausage Board with bratwurst, apple & smoked gouda sausage, andouille sausage and accompaniments, and Smoked Chicken Salad with mahon cheese, marcona almonds, piquillio peppers, mushrooms, chickpeas and pickled red onion.

Even the French Fries are standouts with seasoned, and garlic parmesan variations.

The ample bar program includes an international “Build Your Own Mule” option.

We’ll meet both Chef Roger and GM Lee.



Show 174, June 4, 2016: Chef Greg Bernhardt, Paley Restaurant, Hollywood

Greg BernhardtPaley restaurant is located in the restored Columbia Square, the birthplace of the Golden Age of Hollywood. During its heyday, the restaurant at Columbia Square was home to the celebrities, executives and others working in the area.

Paley reimagines that creative culture for the modern age. Chef Greg Bernhardt (ex-Church & State), at the forefront of the California farm to table movement, serves a dynamic menu of seasonal and local ingredients in classic dishes with a modern twist. He joins us.

Paley is named in celebration of the artistic and innovative era shaped by Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) CEO and progressive visionary William S. Paley. Chef Greg Bernhardt serves a menu of dynamic and modern California cuisine with influences from L.A.’s multicultural heritage matched with unobtrusive service and a spirit of warmth and respect.

Owned and operated by worldwide hospitality group Plan Do See, Paley is named in celebration of the artistic and innovative era shaped by CBS visionary William S. Paley and his wife, Babe.

With the opening of Columbia Square in 1939, William S. Paley ushered in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Paley strives to reintroduce the glamour and excitement of Hollywood’s glory days.

Paley is now open for lunch, dinner and Weekend Brunch. Breakfast is coming soon…Paley features distinct dining areas. Inside, guests are greeted by the elegant bar with lounge seating, an intimate dining area at the core and a chef’s counter and table overlooking the open kitchen. An inviting shaded, landscaped outside patio located in the Courtyard of the former Columbia Square is another appealing dining area of Paley.