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.

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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