Show 453, November 27, 2021: Roxy’z Eat & Drink by Zov’s, Anaheim, with Armen Karamardian Part One

Armen Karamardian of Zovs

Roxy’z Eat & Drink by Zov’s is a new concept with a full patio in the space at the corner of E. Katella Ave. and S. State College Blvd. in Anaheim that originally opened as a Zov’s. The establishment just debuted at the start of the month. It’s a bit more casual than Zov’s. Perfect for a business lunch, a group gathering or a quick bite with a craft beer before heading off to Angel Stadium or Honda Center. Everything is scratch-made including the bar mixers. Roxy was Zov’s astute Mother and the restaurant is a loving tribute to her. Ample free parking is on-site.

On tap there is a serious bar program at Roxy’z. There are a rotating selection of Signature Cocktails and ten craft beers on tap plus a hand-selected assortment of distinctive bottled brews. Signature Cocktails include the Cucumber Greenie which is Tito’s Vodka, fresh-pressed cucumber and lime juice with pineapple/habanero shrub and house-made ginger beer. A complimentary selection of wines by the glass and bottle, too.

Naturally there is an assortment of hand-crafted pizzas on the menu. A standout is the Spicy Lamb Sausage with house-made lamb sausage, caramelized onions, pickled fresno chile, harissa, feta and organic tomato sauce. A signature is the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with crispy buttermilk fried chicken, kale and napa cabbage slaw, a fresh pickle spear, chipotle and served on a toasted brioche bun. An appealing starter is the Pork Belly Hummus with slow-braised Duroc pork belly, house hummus, sumac, harissa and served with warm pita. An eye-catching dessert is the Apple Pie Pizza which is perfect for sharing.

Happy Hour is from 3 to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. $9.95 cocktails including Roxy’z House Margarita and Tito’s Moscow Mule with snacks like Eggplant Fries ($7.95) and Two Shrimp Tostados ($9.95.)

Roxy’z is part of the long-running and still growing Zov’s restaurant collection. “Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution and a locals favorite. The restaurants feature her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment.”

Second generation restaurateur Armen Karamardian is our guest with a Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich at the ready.

Show 453, November 27, 2021: Roxy’z Eat & Drink by Zov’s, Anaheim, with Armen Karamardian Part Two

Armen Karamardian of Zovs

Roxy’z Eat & Drink by Zov’s is a new concept with a full patio in the space at the corner of E. Katella Ave. and S. State College Blvd. in Anaheim that originally opened as a Zov’s. The establishment just debuted at the start of the month. It’s a bit more casual than Zov’s. Perfect for a business lunch, a group gathering or a quick bite with a craft beer before heading off to Angel Stadium or Honda Center. Everything is scratch-made including the bar mixers. Roxy was Zov’s astute Mother and the restaurant is a loving tribute to her. Ample free parking is on-site.

On tap there is a serious bar program at Roxy’z. There are a rotating selection of Signature Cocktails and ten craft beers on tap plus a hand-selected assortment of distinctive bottled brews. Signature Cocktails include the Cucumber Greenie which is Tito’s Vodka, fresh-pressed cucumber and lime juice with pineapple/habanero shrub and house-made ginger beer. A complimentary selection of wines by the glass and bottle, too.

Naturally there is an assortment of hand-crafted pizzas on the menu. A standout is the Spicy Lamb Sausage with house-made lamb sausage, caramelized onions, pickled fresno chile, harissa, feta and organic tomato sauce. A signature is the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with crispy buttermilk fried chicken, kale and napa cabbage slaw, a fresh pickle spear, chipotle and served on a toasted brioche bun. An appealing starter is the Pork Belly Hummus with slow-braised Duroc pork belly, house hummus, sumac, harissa and served with warm pita. An eye-catching dessert is the Apple Pie Pizza which is perfect for sharing.

Happy Hour is from 3 to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. $9.95 cocktails including Roxy’z House Margarita and Tito’s Moscow Mule with snacks like Eggplant Fries ($7.95) and Two Shrimp Tostados ($9.95.)

Roxy’z is part of the long-running and still growing Zov’s restaurant collection. “Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution and a locals favorite. The restaurants feature her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment.”

Second generation restaurateur Armen Karamardian continues as our guest with a Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich at the ready.

Show 391, September 19, 2020: Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin (and Irvine & Newport Coast)

Armen Karamardian of ZovsFounded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim (temporarily on hiatus.) The Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast locations are currently serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Also serving guests again for dine-in at 25 per cent capacity.

Tailgating in Tustin (in the parking lot) with live music on the Café patio returns for Happy Hour and Dinner (twice a month) on Saturday, September 19th. Guests can also dine under the stars on the Café patio. Guests can order ahead from Zov’s take-out menu along with the wine and cocktail list. Because of space limitations and safety requirements reservations are required.

New from Zov’s Catering are value-priced, individual meals that are table-ready. Sealed utensils are included.

“Family support has constantly been Zov’s foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Zov, in addition to her husband, Gary, her son Armen, and her daughter Taleene, have created a rare family business recipe that has taken comforting creations of the family kitchen blended with Chef Zov’s culinary artistry.”

2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the updates and looks to the future.

Show 373, May 16, 2020: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

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.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim. The Tustin and Newport Coast locations are now serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the details and looks to the future.

The enduring Casa Vega is a landmark Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley for almost 64 years. It’s located on the familiar Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest running, continuously family-owned restaurants in greater Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which was on Olvera St. and operated throughout the 1930’s. Casa Vega has recently reopened for take-out via advance order online or by telephone.

Proprietress Christy Vega (a 3rd generation restaurateur) pours the Classic Margaritas for us.

Led by chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson as national board co-chair, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP,) celebrating its 30th Anniversary, transforms the lives of underserved high school students and young people locally by helping them pursue their culinary dreams. C-CAP prepares these talented young adults for college, and for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. This year Los Angeles awarded $430,131 in scholarships to 34 deserving high school students. Joining us are Food TV’s Chef Monti Carlo (a “Friend of C-CAP”,) college scholarship recipient Emerson Majano, a member of the Senior Class at Santee Education Complex and college scholarship recipient Morena Hernandez, a Senior at Los Angeles High School.

Newport Beach’s highly praised, Fable & Spirit, has reopened in the Via Lido Plaza for takeout service. The public, once again, is able to partake in Chef Executive Chef David Shofner’s imaginative, globally inspired dishes. In addition, Sommelier Ali Coyle presents a curated list of wines offered at exceptional prices, and Director of Spirits Drew Coyle offers a selection of signature cocktails to go. Sommelier & Coyle Family member, Ali, gently pulls the cork for us.

After honing his skills at some of the most influential restaurants in Southern California –including The Eveleigh, Father’s Office, and Umami Restaurant Group—Chef & Proprietor Ted Hopson now brings his diverse experience and curious palate to The Bellwether in Studio City, incorporating Italian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors for a culinary spread that proudly crashes borders and challenges convention. His Partner at The Bellwether is Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi. At The Bellwether (in normal times,) Verdi creates a beverage program that pleases all palates through both contemporary and classic selections. Chef Ted is our guest to discuss how The Bellwether is coping with the ban on dine-in.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative <strong>“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. 3rd party delivery services seem convenient but they are costly to both consumers and restaurants. A lot more here to explain and better understand. We’ll again “Ask the Chef.”

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

Show 373, May 16, 2020: Restaurateur Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro & Bakery

Armen Karamardian of ZovsFounded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale, chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim. Irvine, currently, is undergoing a needed major refreshening.

The Tustin and Newport Coast locations are serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Zov’s General Store at the Tustin location offers a selection of gourmet groceries for curbside pickup.

“Family support has constantly been Zov’s foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Zov, in addition to her husband, Gary, her son Armen, and her daughter Taleene, have created a rare family business recipe that has taken comforting creations of the family kitchen blended with Chef Zov’s culinary artistry.”

“Over the years, the Bistro in Tustin has greatly expanded into 14,000 sq. ft., encompassing an award-winning bakery, acclaimed Bistro, a luxurious private dining room, specialty foods gourmet market, cooking classes and a busy catering division that brings Zov’s culinary style to homes and special events throughout Southern California.”

2nd Generation Karamardian Family member & restaurateur, Armen, joins us with the details and looks to the future.

May 16: Zov’s Bistro and Bakery, Casa Vega, C-CAP with Monti Carlo, Fable & Spirit, Ted Hopson

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro & Bakery
Segment Three: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks
Segment Four: Chef Monti Carlo with C-CAP Scholarship Recipient Emerson Majano
Segment Five: Chef Monti Carlo with C-CAP Scholarship Recipient Morena Hernandez
Segment Six: Sommelier Ali Coyle, Fable & Spirit, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Chef & Partner Ted Hopson, The Bellwether, Studio City
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.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim. The Tustin and Newport Coast locations are now serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. 2nd generation Karamardian Family member, Armen, joins us with the details and looks to the future.

The enduring Casa Vega is a landmark Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley for almost 64 years. It’s located on the familiar Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest running, continuously family-owned restaurants in greater Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which was on Olvera St. and operated throughout the 1930’s. Casa Vega has recently reopened for take-out via advance order online or by telephone.

Proprietress Christy Vega pours the Classic Margaritas for us.

Led by chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson as national board co-chair, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP,) celebrating its 30th Anniversary, transforms the lives of underserved high school students and young people locally by helping them pursue their culinary dreams. C-CAP prepares these talented young adults for college, and for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. This year Los Angeles awarded $430,131 in scholarships to 34 deserving high school students. Joining us are Food TV’s Chef Monti Carlo (a “Friend of C-CAP”,) college scholarship recipient Emerson Majano, a member of the Senior Class at Santee Education Complex and college scholarship recipient Morena Hernandez, a Senior at Los Angeles High School.

Newport Beach’s highly praised, Fable & Spirit, has reopened in the Via Lido Plaza for takeout service. The public, once again, is able to partake in Chef Executive Chef David Shofner’s imaginative, globally inspired dishes. In addition, Sommelier Ali Coyle presents a curated list of wines offered at exceptional prices, and Director of Spirits Drew Coyle offers a selection of signature cocktails to go. Sommelier & Coyle Family member, Ali, gently pulls the cork for us.

After honing his skills at some of the most influential restaurants in Southern California –including The Eveleigh, Father’s Office, and Umami Restaurant Group—Chef & Proprietor Ted Hopson now brings his diverse experience and curious palate to The Bellwether in Studio City, incorporating Italian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors for a culinary spread that proudly crashes borders and challenges convention. His Partner at The Bellwether is Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi. At The Bellwether (in normal times,) Verdi creates a beverage program that pleases all palates through both contemporary and classic selections. Chef Ted is our guest to discuss how The Bellwether is coping with the ban on dine-in.

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. 3rd party delivery services seem convenient but they are costly to both consumers and restaurants. A lot more here to explain and better understand. We’ll again “Ask the Chef.”

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

Armen Karamardian of ZovsFounded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Serving her unique cuisine that blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean influences, in an upscale, chic environment. There are now also Zov’s restaurants in Newport Coast, Irvine and Anaheim.

The Tustin and Newport Coast locations are serving Family Meals and Takeout Menu items curbside. Zov’s General Store at the Tustin location offers a selection of gourmet groceries for curbside pickup.

“Family support has constantly been Zov’s foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Zov, in addition to her husband, Gary, her son Armen, and her daughter Taleene, have created a rare family business recipe that has taken comforting creations of the family kitchen blended with Chef Zov’s culinary artistry.”

“Over the years, the Bistro in Tustin has greatly expanded into 14,000 sq. ft., encompassing an award-winning bakery, acclaimed Bistro, a luxurious private dining room, specialty foods gourmet market, cooking classes and a busy catering division that brings Zov’s culinary style to homes and special events throughout Southern California.”

2nd Generation Karamardian Family member & restaurateur, Armen, joins us with the details and looks to the future.

Christy Vega of Casa VegaThe enduring Casa Vega is a landmark Mexican restaurant that has been operating in the San Fernando Valley for almost 64 years. It’s located on the familiar Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks and is one of the longest running, continuously family-owned restaurants in greater Los Angeles. Rafael “Ray” Vega opened Casa Vega in 1956 after being inspired by the success of his parents’ earlier restaurant, Café Caliente, which was on Olvera St. and operated throughout the 1930’s. Casa Vega has recently reopened for take-out via advance order online or by telephone.

Casa Vega is now open from 12 Noon – 8 p.m. daily. Initially, guests can order directly by phone (818-788-4868) or online via the Casa Vega website. Guests can pick up from their cars – Casa Vega staff will place orders in the trunk or backseat as they wait in the restaurant’s driveway off Ventura Blvd.

Favorites on the take-out menu include Combination Plates and Street Tacos, both served with rice and beans, Taquitos de Juan (chicken flautas), Burritos, four different Family Trays, Chips, Guacamole, Salsa, Kids Meals, and more. In addition to beer and wine, Casa Vega offers its Classic Margarita in a single serving mason jar with ice, ready to drink for $7. Other margarita variations are available for $7-9. The Classic Margarita is also available in a half gallon size for $30.

“Over the years, Casa Vega has remained, at its core, much the same as my father’s original vision,” says Christy Vega. “The menu continues to reflect the offerings originally presented some 64 years ago with slight alterations that speak to today’s culinary tastes. From the menu, to the dim ambiance of the dining room, to the staff—many of which have been with our team for decades—Casa Vega is a testament to my father and the wonderful history he has created. I look forward to continuing to uphold his legacy of service, authentic traditions, and most of all, the love and adoration that emanates throughout every corner of the restaurant and inspires our clients to return time and time again.

Proprietress Christy Vega pours the Classic Margaritas for us.

The Monti Carlo of Everyday FoodLed by chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson as national board co-chair, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP,) celebrating its 30th Anniversary, transforms the lives of underserved high school students and young people locally by helping them pursue their culinary dreams. C-CAP prepares these talented young adults for college, and for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

This year Los Angeles awarded $430,131 in scholarships to 34 deserving high school students. Joining us is Food TV’s Chef Monti Carlo (a “Friend of C-CAP”) and college scholarship recipients Emerson Majano, a member of the Senior Class at Santee Education Complex and Morena Hernandez, a distinguished Senior at Los Angeles High School.

Founded in 1990 by culinary educator and cookbook author Richard Grausman, C-CAP impacts over 17,500 students a year nationally. Countless C-CAP alumni work throughout the country and are guiding the future leaders of the culinary and hospitality industry.

Sommelier Ali CoyleNewport Beach’s highly praised, Fable & Spirit, has reopened in the Via Lido Plaza for takeout service. The public, once again, is able to partake in Chef Executive Chef David Shofner’s imaginative, globally inspired dishes. In addition, Sommelier Ali Coyle presents a curated list of wines offered at exceptional prices, and Director of Spirits Drew Coyle offers a selection of signature cocktails to go.

Guests will be able to order by phone or online Tuesday through Sunday. Menu, hours and online ordering will be updated on Fable & Spirit’s website. Orders may be placed between Noon and 6 p.m., for pick-up between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The restaurant will be closed Monday. Contactless curbside pick-up can be requested when placing orders.

“Ours are neighborhood restaurants that have achieved success because of the communities that support them, and we are grateful to reopen to see the reassuring smiles of our friends during this time of uncertainty,” comments Darren Coyle, who owns Fable & Spirit, Dublin 4 Gastropub, and Wineworks for Everyone with his wife, Jean. “We look forward to when we can welcome guests into our dining room again for food, drink and good times, but for now, we will limit service to takeout and strive to share some of the spirit and magic of our family with yours.”

Sommelier & Coyle Family member, Ali, gently pulls the cork for us.

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the Bellwether“After honing his skills at some of the most influential restaurants in Southern California –including The Eveleigh, Father’s Office, and Umami Restaurant Group—Chef & Proprietor Ted Hopson now brings his diverse experience and curious palate to The Bellwether in Studio City, incorporating Italian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors for a culinary spread that proudly crashes borders and challenges convention.”

His Partner at The Bellwether is Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi. At The Bellwether (in normal times,) Verdi creates a beverage program that pleases all palates through both contemporary and classic selections.

The Bellwether reopened briefly for nighttime curbside pick-up but found it impractical to sustain. Their focus has shifted to preparing wholesome meals for frontline workers and charity groups.

Chef Ted brings us up-to-date.

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur 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.

On the surface 3rd party delivery services (Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates) seem really convenient but they are costly to both consumers and restaurants. A lot more here to explain and better understand. We’ll again, “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: Restaurateur Armen Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro & Bakery
Segment Three: Restaurateur Christy Vega, Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks
Segment Four: Chef Monti Carlo with C-CAP Scholarship Recipient Emerson Majano
Segment Five: Chef Monti Carlo with C-CAP Scholarship Recipient Morena Hernandez
Segment Six: Sommelier Ali Coyle, Fable & Spirit, Newport Beach
Segment Seven: Chef & Partner Ted Hopson, The Bellwether, Studio City
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Show 265, March 17, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a tantalizing preview of Saturday’s decadent show. No blarney or four-leaf clovers here…but plenty of fresh Irish Soda Bread. 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 always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

The 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again. Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Chef Zov Karamardian, founder of Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th. Chef Zov and Anne Grey, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association, join us.

From the Arabian Sea to the peaks of the Himalayas, cuisine in Karachi is as diverse as its inhabitants and draws influences from across South, Central, and West Asia. Acclaimed Pakistani chef, culinary educator, humanitarian, and food stylist, Kausar Ahmed, has curated and created mouth-watering recipes in her first cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan. Chef Kausar is unusually in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 25th presenting a multi-course Pakistan feast from The Karachi Kitchen to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chef Kausar is our guest.

Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner / chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature motion picture “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray Hartley. Frank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant. Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot.

Figueroa Philly, arguably Los Angeles’ number one destination for the most authentic Cheese Steaks and Hoagies, is celebrating its favorite holiday, National Philly Cheese Steak Day, on Saturday, March 24, with a delicious giveaway. The first 100 fans on line next Saturday morning will receive a signature Classic Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich absolutely free of charge ($8.85 value). Rocky would be proud. Proprietor Danny Hizami slathers on the processed Cheez Whiz.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. Tilapia is one of those better-for-you fish that just doesn’t get enough deserved respect or visibility. It’s slowly changing. Tilapia can be successfully farm-raised in a healthy, pristine environment. It’s mild tasting and versatile for use in a lot of satisfying recipes. The fish is also hugely affordable. Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

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

March 17: FIrkFest, Zov Karamardian, Kausar Ahmed, Hitching Post Wines, Figueroa Philly

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Greg Nagel, Founder & Producer, Firkfest Castaway Tiki Cask Beer Festival
Segment Three: Chef Zov Karmardian, Zov’s & Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association
Segment Four: Chef Kausar Ahmed, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan
Segment Five: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part One
Segment Six: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part Two
Segment Seven: National Philly Cheese Steak Day with Figueroa Philly
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Now a tantalizing preview of this Saturday’s decadent show. No blarney or four-leaf clovers here…but plenty of fresh Irish Soda Bread. 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 always here with you live every Saturday morning with a fresh show.

The 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again. Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Chef Zov Karamardian, founder of Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th. Chef Zov and Anne Grey, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association join us.

From the Arabian Sea to the peaks of the Himalayas, cuisine in Karachi is as diverse as its inhabitants and draws influences from across South, Central, and West Asia. Acclaimed Pakistani chef, culinary educator, humanitarian, and food stylist, Kausar Ahmed, has curated and created mouth-watering recipes in her first cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan. Chef Kausar is unusually in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 25th presenting a multi-course Pakistan feast from The Karachi Kitchen to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Chef Kausar is our guest.

Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner/chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray Hartley. Frank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant. Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot.

Figueroa Philly, arguably Los Angeles’ number one destination for the most authentic Cheese Steaks and Hoagies, is celebrating its favorite holiday, National Philly Cheese Steak Day, on Saturday, March 24, with a delicious giveaway. The first 100 fans on line next Saturday morning will receive a signature Famous Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich absolutely free of charge ($9.85 value). Rocky would be proud. Proprietor Danny Hizami slathers on the processed Cheez Whiz.

Our always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his “Ask the Chef” series. Tilapia is one of those better-for-you fish that just doesn’t get enough deserved respect or visibility. It’s slowly changing. Tilapia can be successfully farm-raised in a healthy, pristine environment. It’s mild tasting and versatile for use in a lot of recipes. The fish is also hugely affordable. Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

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

Greg NagelThe 5th Annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival is back on March 24th at the Anaheim Packing District Farmers Park. This year, again, it’s a Tiki theme. All the cask beers served are made specifically for the event. They may never be brewed again.

“Of the hundreds of different flavors of beer, a large portion can be described as “tropical”. Whether it be IPAs bursting with mango, pineapple, or passion fruit hoppy notes; stouts with Pina Colada and Mai Tai vibes, or even Belgian-style beers with Zombie cocktail overtones…don’t be surprised to see this year’s Firkfest beers to include “aged in rum barrel” or have actual barbecued pineapple making up the event’s beers.”

New this year is the well-respected OC Bartenders Cabinet will be shaking up actual Tiki cocktails for demonstration and sampling. Several bartenders are teaming up with breweries to also collaborate on tropical/tiki-style cask beers.

“Looking at the previous Firkfest events, I saw a common denominator: tropical-style beers seemed to stand out. As a huge cocktail nerd that loves Tiki culture, it’s time for the area’s craft brewers to come together, throw on some grass skirts, and make something truly unique,” says founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel, @OCBeerBlog.

Tickets are $50 including fees, all profits supporting the historic Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade, an event that celebrates a 95-year history. Event tickets are by-design, limited, as the producer keeps things intimate. “It’s a park-like atmosphere, where people chill on beach blankets and chairs,” says fest-man Nagel.

Founder, organizer, and local beer writer Greg Nagel taps the cask for us.

Zov Karamardian or Zov's in TustinChef Zov Karamardian, founder of the long-running and popular Zov’s Restaurants, will receive the Epicenter Award honoring her passion and commitment for creating a strong and healthy community from the Alzheimer’s Association at their Women #ENDALZ Luncheon (from 12 Noon to 2:00 p.m.) at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach on April 13th.

“WOMEN #ENDALZ celebrates the power and influence of women. By using our collective voices, we can create awareness of the impact Alzheimer’s on our health, our families and our nation. Women are disproportionally affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Almost two-thirds of Americans with the disease are women and 65 percent of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s are women. THE RISK IS REAL FOR WOMEN A woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6.”

“A woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6. As real a concern as breast cancer is to women’s health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as they are to develop breast cancer. Not only are women more likely to have Alzheimer’s, they are also more likely to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

$200 per ticket includes valet parking, champagne reception and lunch with wine.

Kausar AhmedFrom the Arabian Sea to the peaks of the Himalayas, cuisine in Karachi is as diverse as its inhabitants and draws influences from across South, Central, and West Asia. Acclaimed Pakistani chef, culinary educator, humanitarian, and food stylist, Kausar Ahmed, has curated and created mouth-watering recipes in her first cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan.

Chef Kausar is unusually in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 25th presenting a multi-course Pakistan feast from The Karachi Kitchen to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP.) Think Champagne Reception with passed appetizers (Mini Shaami Kababs & Green Coconut Chutney) and dual entrees of Murgh Hara Masala (Green Chicken) Lentil and Rice Pilaf (meatless) paired with premium wines and local craft beers.

Each guest also receives a personally signed copy of Chef Kausar’s The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan.

100 per cent of the $175 ticket price goes to C-CAP to support their programming with local, at-risk high school students. Limited to 18 guests.

Chef Kausar is our guest.

Gray HartleyHartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner / chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray HartleyFrank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant.

Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot named Gen Red. They also produce a dry barrel fermented rose named Pinks.

Hitching Post Wines strives to create handcrafted, flavorful wines that possess poise and balance so that they may complement the food at Frank Ostini’s wildly popular Hitching Post Restaurant.

Co-Winemaker & Partner, Gray Hartley pulls the cork for us.

Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley of Hitching Post Wines believe that great wines are made in the vineyard. Their winemaking philosophy is that they are caretakers who guide the wine into the bottle. As the wine matures it is simply left to gently age in the barrel. This minimalist approach allows Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines to reflect the character of the vineyard and the vintage, preserving the essence of the grape for you to enjoy when you open the bottle.

Hitching Post Wines are admired by those who appreciate Santa Barbara wines for their fresh fruit, spice, earthy complexities, and refreshing acidity. Their goal is to put a “slice of Santa Barbara County in each bottle and a piece of their soul in every glass of Hitching Post Wine.”

“Highliner is the “Best fisherman in the fleet” and our flagship Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. Each vintage is crafted from our best vineyards and best barrels.”

Highliner was featured in the 2014 Oscar-winning film, “Sideways” that brought international attention to the Hitching Post brand.

“We shaped this cuvee to include mostly Bien Nacido, Sanford & Benedict, and Fiddlestix Vineyards grapes. Delicious today with flavors of red cherry, plum, mint, white pepper sand blood orange, this Highliner (2014) is destined to give pleasure for many years.”

Danny HizamiFigueroa Philly, arguably Los Angeles’ number one destination for the most authentic Cheese Steaks and Hoagies, on Saturday, March 24, with a delicious giveaway. The first 100 fans on line next Saturday morning will receive a signature Famous Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich absolutely free of charge ($8.95 value). Rocky would be proud.

Proprietor Danny Hizami slathers on the processed Cheez Whiz.

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at the Fifth Anniversary of the SoCal Restaurant ShowOur always informed Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, encores with his Ask the Chef series. Tilapia is one of those better-for-you fish that just doesn’t get enough deserved respect or visibility. It’s slowly changing. Tilapia can be successfully farm-raised in a healthy, pristine environment.

Tilapia is mild tasting and versatile for use in a lot of satisfying recipes. The fish is also hugely affordable. Chef Andrew reels the specifics in for us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Greg Nagel, Founder & Producer, Firkfest Castaway Tiki Cask Beer Festival
Segment Three: Chef Zov Karmardian, Zov’s & Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association
Segment Four: Chef Kausar Ahmed, The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan
Segment Five: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part One
Segment Six: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Part Two
Segment Seven: National Philly Cheese Steak Day with Figueroa Philly
Segment Eight: Chef Andrew Gruel’s “Ask the Chef”

Show 212, February 25, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Zovs at the Anaheim White House benefit at the Highway 39 Event CenterThanks to all our listeners for so generously supporting the Feb. 20th Benefit at the Highway 39 Event Center in Anaheim for Chef Bruno’s displaced employees at The Anaheim White House and his charity, Caterina’s Club (feeding at-risk, hungry motel kids.) If you missed it please take a look at Grub Tribe’s video presenting a brief overview of the inspiring evening.

Now a tempting preview of this Saturday’s over-stuffed 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 that’s actually a pretty good thing…

Thirty years ago Chef Zov Karamardian (now known for her unique Middle Eastern-fusion cuisine) opened her modest Bistro in the Enderle Center in Tustin. Today Zov’s is the largest food tenant in the Enderle Center with additional busy locations in Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Coast and John Wayne Orange County Airport. We’ll celebrate with her…

For the 23rd consecutive year the celebrity chef to the stars Wolfgang Puck will set the stage for the Oscars’ Governors Ball menu pairing classic Hollywood glamour with culinary whimsy. Working alongside Chef Puck is Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary, Eric Klein (formerly Executive Chef & Partner of Spago Las Vegas.) We’ll have an exclusive kitchen chat with Chef Eric.

Here’s one for you. There really are two brothers (Adam and Chef Scott Goldberg) at Fresh Brothers Pizza with 19 locations in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. It’s really all about “Fresh” as even the dough is made fresh daily. We’ll meet the Brothers Goldberg.

We all know the experts suggest we get more heart-healthy seafood into our regular diet. How do you dine out and find quality seafood at affordable prices? That’s been the goal of California Fish Grill since the first location opened in 1998. Chef Louie Jocson, Vice President, Food & Beverage for California Fish Grill, joins us with all the details.

Illumination Foundation (IF) will host the 2nd Annual OC Chef’s Table 2017 on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, to raise funds for the construction of a second emergency home for homeless families with children. Host Chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian is our guest with a tempting preview.

If you’re a wine enthusiast then the Paso Robles AVA is surely on your mind. It’s located in the northern reaches of California’s San Luis Obispo County. Actually different districts there have distinct characteristics. One of our resident wine experts, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with a basic guide to appreciating this much talked about area.

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

Show 212, February 25, 2017: Zov Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro, Tustin

Zov Karamardian or Zov's in TustinThirty years ago Chef Zov Karamardian (now known for her unique Middle Eastern-fusion cuisine) opened her modest Bistro in 1,200 square feet in the Enderle Center in Tustin. Today Zov’s is the largest food tenant in the Enderle Center (12,000 square feet) with additional busy locations in Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Coast and John Wayne Orange County Airport. We celebrate with her…

Zov is celebrating by offering popular menu items at throwback prices. During the last week of each month (through November 4th.) Zov’s locations in Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Coast and Tustin will feature one dish at its original menu price.

“These flavors represent the foundation of my cooking,” Chef Zov said. “Over the years some of these dishes may have come and gone, but seemingly they have not been forgotten. We’re excited to share these special menu items in celebration with our longtime guests.”

Golden Lentil Soup from Zovs BistroFebruary 26th to March 4th is Golden Lentil Soup.

Happy to note The Orange County Register’s long-time Food Editor, Cathy Thomas, is back (after a year’s absence) contributing to the paper. This week’s feature is Orange County chefs talk about – and share recipes for – the dishes they just can’t ditch.” One of these highlighted recipes is Zov’s creation of Sauteed Calamari with shallots, lemon, fresh herbs and chardonnay butter sauce.

Inspired by (and later a friend to) Julia Child, Zov has authored 2 popular cookbooks while growing her restaurant group to locations in Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Coast, Tustin and John Wayne Airport. San Clemente will debut next.

Zov’s was awarded the 2015 Small Business Award by the State of California, and Zov had the honor of cooking at the James Beard Foundation in Manhattan for the third time in late 2015. She was honored as the 2016 Golden Foodies Chef of the Year by the Orange County Restaurant Association.