Food

Brunch at The District by Hannah An

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

The District by Hannah An

The District by Hannah An

Debuting on Easter Sunday, April 5, The District by Hannah An will be launching Sunday brunch service, offering a refreshing alternative to the often staid midday options of pancakes and fried eggs that are so ubiquitous in our city. As with all of the restaurant’s culinary offerings, Hannah’s new menu offers a taste of the districts of Vietnam as seen through the eyes of a contemporary Angeleno, for whom seasonal ingredients are paramount.

The District by Hannah An interior

The flavors of her homeland can be seen in new brunch dishes such as:

Sunrise Chao—roasted chicken and sweet potato porridge, Brussels sprout pesto, fried quinoa

Saigon Summer Salad—sweet potato purée, poached egg, roasted beets, kale, bacon, crispy quinoa

Smoked Bacon Banh Mi—bacon, eggs, pâté, pickled vegetables

Yellowtail Poki—baked taro chips, lemongrass, nori dust

Morning Star—oatmeal, starfruit, mango, papaya, avocado, wild honey, Vietnamese cinnamon

Breakfast Flatbread—scrambled eggs, burrata, avocado, pickled jalapeño, pomelo

Traditional Shaken Beef & Eggs—cubed filet mignon, scrambled eggs, peewee potatoes, kai lan

Bánh Xèo Crepe—chicken, shrimp, red leaf lettuce, mint sprigs, District fish sauce

Brunch will be served from 11am to 4pm, Sundays
The District by Hannah An
8722 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
310.278.2345


Patina’s “Wine After Work” Series

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

PATINA RESTAURANT GROUP’S “WINE AFTER WORK” SERIES continues… with award-winning Sommelier Silvestre Fernandes. Additionally, the restaurant’s bi-monthly “Inside the Kitchen with Patina” 2015 Cooking Class Series has resumed!

Patina's Silvestre Fernandes

Patina’s Silvestre Fernandes

Building on the popularity of Patina’s sold-out cooking classes, which resumed on February 1, downtown Los Angeles’ bastion of fine dining has added a new monthly wine series to its 2015 lineup. Aptly named “Wine After Work,” classes are structured for the busy entrepreneur as well as the budding oenophile. Award-winning Sommelier Silvestre Fernandes will guide guests through essential tips, etiquette, and international drinking customs for impressing clients and colleagues when dining out for business. Fernandes has worked with Patina since 2000, and over the course of over a decade, has curated its extensive and award-winning international wine list.

These intimate classes for ten people offer an opportunity for one-on-one instruction, and will be held on the second Wednesday evenings in April and May 2015. Classes are $50 per person (excluding tax) and feature five wine pours and selections from Patina’s lauded artisanal cheese cart. Guests who stay for dinner immediately following the class will also enjoy one complimentary glass of any of the five wines they previously tasted.

During each beginner-intermediate level session, Fernandes will educate students on:

· Basic tips for demystifying wines from celebrated French regions – April 8 the focus is on Bordeaux, and May 13 on Provence

· Go-to food pairing tricks

· Top questions to ask a sommelier when selecting a wine and how to choose impressive wines to suit any expense account

· How to properly sip and swirl a wine when presented with that first tableside taste, and when to send a bad wine back

Cooking classes, “Inside the Kitchen with Patina” is held the first Saturday morning of every other month, indulging ten guests with the luxury of cooking an extravagant three-course meal in the restaurant’s kitchen while learning fundamental French techniques from the celebrated culinary team. Classes are $95 per person, and the February menu begins with Seared Scallops with lentils du Puy and cauliflower velouté; followed by the main course of Braised Short-Rib with creamy polenta, cipollini onion, and asparagus—a classic Patina dish; and ending with Olive Oil Cake with orange sherbet.

Reservations for each series can be made by calling the restaurant at 213.972.3331.

Wine After Work – Classes are from 6-7 p.m. on April 8 and May 13, 2015

Inside the Kitchen with Patina – Classes are from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on April 4, June 6, August 1, October 3, and December 5, 2015

Wine After Work – $50 per person (excludes tax)
Inside the Kitchen with Patina – $95 per person

Patina
141 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

About Patina Restaurant:

Located in the spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the flagship restaurant of Patina Restaurant Group expresses the highest culinary ideals of Chef and Founder Joachim Splichal. This Relais & Châteaux property pampers its guests with multi-course tasting menus, gourmet cheeses, and an award-winning wine list. Patina features a private dining room, stylish late-night cocktail bar, and impeccable service, and defines luxury dining on the West Coast. Patina offers complimentary valet parking to all guests dining after 8 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant directly at 213.972.3331, or via Open Table. Find Patina on Facebook and follow on Twitter.


Leatherby’s Café Rouge celebrates Broadway Dinners

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Leatherby’s Café Rouge celebrates Broadway Dinners

Leatherby's Cafe Rouge
Leatherby’s Café Rouge is the premiere dining spot at the beautiful Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County. An artistic and dining destination, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts boasts some of the world’s top talents including an internationally acclaimed dance series, jazz and caberet, leading classical music artists, indie-bands, and top Broadway shows.
Leatherby's Cafe Rouge restaurant
To celebrate this season’s Broadway shows, Leatherby’s Café Rouge presents the Broadway Dinner series by Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan. Beginning in February and running monthly through the end of June 2015, guests can enjoy specialty menus honoring the famed performances of the Broadway shows at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Leatherby's Broadway Dinner menus

Dirty Dancing

February 3rd – 15th

Hey! Baby

Little gem, red endive, goat cheese, walnuts, poached pear, beets, petite herbs and flowers, champagne dressing

Leatherby's Act IV CAB Boneless Beef Short Rib

Leatherby’s CAB Boneless Beef Short Rib

Hungry Eyes

CAB boneless beef short rib, Yukon gold potato pave, king trumpet mushrooms, cipollini, herb tempura, natural jus

Will you love me tomorrow

Raspberry macaroon, chocolate cake, raspberry sorbet, Port air and pate du fruit

Nice Work If You Can Get It

March 17th – March 22nd

400 Cases of Gin

House smoked trout, Gin and dill crème fraiche, pickled cucumber, fennel, potato chips

Leatherby's Braised Rabbit

Leatherby’s Braised Rabbit

Will You Remember Me?

Rabbit braised in local beer and grainy mustard, orichette pasta, peas, bacon, carrot, pearl onion

Demon Rum

Warm crepes, caramelized pineapple, salted rum caramel, vanilla bean ice cream

Guys and Dolls

April 14th – April 19th

A Bushel and a Peck

West coast oyster cocktail, spicy ponzu, citrus caviar, cucumber, sake, wasabi tobiko, avocado sorbet

Leatherby's Oyster Cocktail with Avocado Sorbet

Leatherby’s Oyster Cocktail with Avocado Sorbet

Luck Be a Lady

Free range chicken “saltimbocca” prosciutto, sage, potato fonduta, broccoli rabe, lemon chicken jus

Havana

Coconut rice pudding, exotic sauce and fruit, sugar brulee

Annie

May 13th – May 24th

It’s the Hard Knock Life

Pea and kaffir lime soup, fried artichokes, green onions

N.Y.C.

Bacon wrapped East Coast monkfish, apple-celery puree, tomato-onion tart, buerre rouge

Bacon Wrapped East Coast Monkfish at Leatherby's

Bacon Wrapped East Coast Monkfish at Leatherby’s

Tomorrow

Apple and chocolate chip cookie cobbler, vanilla ice cream

Annie Kids Menu

Annie

American grilled cheese sandwich with house made tomato soup OR, “Easy Street” – Spaghetti and house made meatballs

Tomorrow

Apple and chocolate chip cookie cobbler with vanilla ice cream

Motown

June 16th – June 28th

The Supremes

Chopped salad, fennel salami, garbanzo, bocconcini, heirloom tomato, radish, crispy shallots, red wine buttermilk vinaigrette

Motown Sound

Smoked and grilled pork porterhouse, lobster mac and cheese, roasted vegetables, rosemary jus

Leatherby's Chilled Berry Soup

Leatherby’s Chilled Berry Soup

Berry Gordy

Chilled “berry” soup, pistachio panna cotta, waffle cookie

Enjoy a serene, light-infused setting as whimsical culinary artistry becomes an integral part of the cultural experience at Leatherby’s Café Rouge. A Patina Group Restaurant with warm, minimalist interiors creates an ideal backdrop for artful presentations serving up exceptional modern American dishes with a focus on seasonal ingredients. Perfect for pre-theater dining,  after work cocktails, or a special night out!

Leatherby's bar

Leatherby’s Café Rouge

SEGERSTROM CENTER FOR THE ARTS
615 TOWN CENTER DR.
COSTA MESA 92626
RESERVATIONS (714)429-7640

Leatherby's Foie Gras amuse

Leatherby’s Foie Gras amuse


Kendall’s Brasserie and Bar : Culinary Tour of France

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Kendall's Brasserie and Bar
Kendall’s Brasserie and Bar : Culinary Tour of France – Enjoy France in Los Angeles! Kendall’s Brasserie and Bar presents “NO LUGGAGE REQUIRED: A CULINARY TOUR OF FRANCE AT KENDALL’S BRASSERIE & BAR”.

Beginning February 3, 2015, guests can experience the distinct flavors of Basque, Provence, and Lyon regions with the “Passport to France” monthly dinner series – specialty dinners nightly in February, March and October with each of these three months highlighting a different region of France. How delightful is that?!!

Chef Jean Pierre Bosc

Chef Jean Pierre Bosc

Lyon-raised Executive Chef Jean Pierre Bosc is proud to present menus that salute his native country that are robust with the authenticity of each region. Join Chef as you explore the varied tastes and flavors of Basque, Provence, and Lyon, France.

Kendall's Brasserie and Bar

The first dinner theme begins on February 3, 2015. Guests travel to the Basque region with dishes such as the Baked Sea Bass Persillade with Bell Pepper Basquaise, and Coco Beans Ragout with Chorizo capture the fresh seafood found in plenty throughout the northern area.
Kendall's Brasserie and Bar dining room
In March, Bosc tempts the palate with Provencal fare with Roasted Lamb Loin with Basted Tapenade, Artichokes Barigoule, and Fava Beans. Then, concluding the culinary journey through France in October, patrons return to Bosc’s home with a taste of the cuisine from Lyon. The featured item from the Lyonnais menu is a personal favorite of Bosc, the Volaille Demi-Deuil “Mere Brazier”, Poached Alf Chicken, truffled under the skin, with a Broth of Poached Vegetables, and Sauce Supreme. Each meal, inspired by the specific region, will include the choice of two appetizers, entrees and desserts options.

Kendall's Brasserie and Bar entree

Basque Region
February 3rd – 28th, 2015

Provencal
March 3rd – March 31st, 2015

Lyonnais
October 1st – October 31st, 2015
Dinner only, 7:00 p.m. – close

KENDALL’S BRASSERIE AND BAR
135 North Grand St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.972.7322

www.patinagroup.com/kendallsbrasserie

PARKING: Special Twilight Parking Special:
Complimentary parking available when entering The Los Angeles Music Center lot between 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


ABOUT KENDALL’S BRASSERIE AND BAR:

Located on the street level of the Los Angeles Music Center, Kendall’s brings a fresh approach to brasserie cuisine with inspired seafood dishes and updated French favorites. The classic brasserie with contemporary flourishes features a dynamic central bar and lounge serving superb wines and cocktails with cooked dishes and hand-selected raw bar delicacies. A dog-friendly outdoor patio space further enhances the Parisian atmosphere of the downtown Los Angeles cultural dining destination. Additionally, convenient parking at the Los Angeles Music Center is available on a complimentary basis when entering the lot between 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


Orange County Restaurant Week 2015!

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Fig and Olive Tuna Tartare

Fig and Olive Tuna Tartare

Orange County Restaurant Week 2015 – one of my favorite events each year is Orange County Restaurant Week, the week that celebrates fine dining in the Orange County area with premiere restaurants offering pre-fixe menus at special prices enticing locals and newcomers to enjoy a night out.
Maro Menu
Set to run the week of March 1, 2015 through March 7, 2015, Orange County Restaurant Week (often referred to as OC Restaurant Week), hosted a sneak preview tasting event at the beautiful Sub-Zero Wolf Showroom in Costa Mesa. Participating restaurants and dessert specialties included Fig and Olive Newport Beach, Maro, Slapfish, Blue C Sushi, Valenza Chocolatier and Casey’s Cupcakes.

Starmont Wines

Starmont Wines

Wines from Starmont vineyards were enjoyed by the guests at this well-attended event that featured Tuna Tartare atop Crispy Potato and sushi from Blue C Sushi, Spinach pastry puffs from Maro, Fig and Olive signature crostini of Zucchini with shaved parmesan, Tuna Tartare, and Shortbread Crostini with Mascarpone cheese and wild berries.
Fig and Olive dessert Shortbread

During restaurant week, March 1 through 7, participating restaurants will offer pre-fixe menus for lunch at $10, $15, or $20 per person and dinner pre-fixe menus from $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person. A delicious opportunity for locals and visitors to try new cuisines at affordable prices or visit restaurant faves with new friends, OC Restaurant Week is one of Orange County’s most treasured events.
Valenza Chocolatier

For full details, sponsors and participating restaurants, visit OCRestaurantWeek.com
Casey's Cupcakes

Also, mark your calendars for the annual Golden Foodie Awards, Sunday, September 27, 2015 at the Fairmont Hotel Newport Beach. Presented by the Orange County Restaurant Association, this year’s gala event welcomes Master of Ceremonies, Simon Majumdar. The red carpet affair unveils Orange County’s finest chefs and restaurants unveiling winners in over 25 categories including Golden Chef, Golden Pastry Chef, Best New Restaurant and more. For tickets and more information, visit goldenfoodieawards.com


Hollywood Christmas Parade and Hollywood Hotel

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

 

Hollywood Christmas Parade

Walk the world’s longest Red Carpet on Sunday, November 30, 2014 with The Hollywood Hotel.  For the first time in the hotel’s history, the team at Hollywood Hotel is inviting guests to walk with them on the world’s longest red carpet.  The 3.5 mile long red carpet takes you along the historic LA streets of Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd, and Vine in the 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade.

Hollywood Hotel

In this exclusive package, this year the Hollywood Hotel team will be “wrangling” a giant The Elf on the Shelf balloon character accompanied by the beloved books’ co-creator Carole Aebersold.

Benefitting Toys for Tots, this year’s Grand Marshal is Stevie Wonder and guest co-hosts include Erik Estrada, Dean Cain, travel expert Laura McKenzie, and Montel Williams. Check out more details here http://thehollywoodchristmasparade.org/

The exclusive Hollywood Hotel’s Hollywood Christmas Parade Package: Reserve your room at the Hollywood Hotel over November 30, 2014 and guests can walk the parade route, help “wrangle” The Elf balloon, all while representing Hollywood Hotel. Room rates start at $154 per night/double occupancy (2 night minimum) and includes overnight stay, hot buffet breakfast, Wifi, Hollywood Hotel t-shirt and holiday hat to wear in the parade and, of course, walking in the parade.  PROMO CODE: XMAS.
Hollywood Hotel - Hollywood Christmas Parade - Official Photo

Hotel guests do not have to walk in the parade.  If you prefer to view the parade, the hotel is offering a 30% discount on Grand Stand seats for guests staying at the hotel.

For more information or reservations, call 1-800-800-9733 or local, (323) 315-1800. Or, visit hollywoodhotel.net or the Hollywood Hotel Facebook page.

About Hollywood Hotel
The original Hollywood Hotel was established in 1903 on Hollywood Boulevard, owned by H.J. Whitley, the tycoon credited with establishing Hollywood. It was known as “the” Hollywood hotel as the city began to grow with the advent of the silent film era. Rudolph Valentino, who lived in room 264; met and married his first wife, Jean Acker, there, and spent their honeymoon in his room. In 1967 Hollywood Hotel, was reestablished on Vermont Avenue and since then has become an icon in its own right. International athletes and dignitaries have stayed, to American celebrities such as Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Aidan Quinn, Jessica Biel, to John Krasinski and BJ Novak and Jason Rittter, all of whom have attended or performed at the hotel’s comedy club open mic nights.

The 130-room Hollywood Hotel is “where all the action begins in Hollywood.” Located in the center of the entertainment capital, the vibe of this intimate hotel is a comfortable, cosmopolitan meets vintage Hollywood glamour and steps away from shopping, world-class dining and cutting edge culture.

Hollywood Hotel is one of the most reasonably priced hotels in the city and offers incredible value in a central location. Guests start their day with a complimentary hot breakfast buffet, can later bask by the pool surrounded by gardens and sip a cocktail in the stylish outdoor bar and lounge after a day of sightseeing or shopping.

Hollywood Hotel
1160 Vermont Ave
Hollywood, CA 90029
(800) 800-9733
(323) 315-1800


Zimzala Restaurant and Bar – Deliciously Free-Spirited

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Zimzala  entrance

Zimzala Restaurant and Bar – Deliciously Free-Spirited

Huntington Beach is home to the swanky boutique hotel, The Shorebreak Hotel. A delightful place to relax and revive for stay-cay locals and worldwide travelers alike, The Shorebreak Hotel is just steps from the beach.
Chef  Brian Drosenos

On a recent visit, I had the pleasure of dining at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Zimzala Restaurant and Bar, which represents everything free-spirited and that “sand between the toes” feeling which I will call “whimsical”. Helmed by Executive Chef Brian Drosenos, Zimzala offers much more than just “comfortable California cuisine”. Chef Drosenos brings a rich and flavorful culinary history to Zimzala having earned his chops at restaurants such as LA Live’s JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, Noble House and The Ventana Inn and Spa. When I asked Chef what Zimzala-like element he brought to the menu, he replied, “I enjoy a free-spirited presentation of the foods.” Yet, I found the dishes themselves to be of equally delicious, creative whimsy.
Zimzala tasting  menu
For starters, a soup of roasted cauliflower with crispy Brussels, finely chopped Marcona almonds, golden raisins, and focaccia croutons was presented in an artful white bowl. And, when served, a whimsical swirl of lemon oil graced the top to add that perk of tartness that pleases the palate. Make this delicious soup at home, view my version of the recipe here: Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with  Lemon Oil drizzle
Quite possibly my favorite dish of the day was the Marinated Pepper Salad which was a finely chopped array of yumminess of marinated baby bell peppers, kale tossed with roasted pistachios, roasted garlic, feta cheese and a sherry vinaigrette. Refreshing and light, I could eat this salad everyday as it is not only delicious, it is filled with food healing ingredients – bell peppers, kale, garlic, and pistachios.
Marinated  Pepper Salad
Have you ever had charred octopus? Neither had I. Giving way to that Zimzala “sand between the toes” whimsical experience, the whimsy here was not only enjoyed in Chef’s presentation but in the food, too! Chef Drosenos explained the baby octopus is braised first and then charred with paprika giving it a tenderness that is not often found when eating octopus. The char totally works in this earthy dish that gets another flavor boost from espilite chili peppers from Spain, smoked potatoes, kalamata olives, lightly fried capers, and a housemade romesco sauce that has nuts, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Smokey is the flavor here as the peppers from Spain are naturally smokey and the potatoes are smoked. I give this dish a smoking hot two bikinis up for the whimsy alone… the flavor, a bonus.
Paprika Charred  Octopus
You would think I would be full by now and on most days I would but today’s tasting menu had me curious so I continued with the Porcini Mushroom Spaghetti. House made spaghetti noodles get their porcini-ness from porcini powder. I must get some. Then, the noodles are cooked al dente and tossed with an incredible medley of mushrooms that include brown beech and pink trumpet – I love everything pink. Also in the mix, a medley of herbs among them chervil, chives, tarragon, and dill. Finish with fresh lemon, grana padano, and a cured egg yolk, Chef fully got his whimsy on here.

Porcini Mushroom  Pasta
Being a ocean view restaurant, fish is an integral part of the menu. I was delighted when salmon arrived. Pan Roasted Salmon with eggplant purée, bloomsdale spinach, roasted fennel, roasted tomato, and black olive caramel made with burnt sugar. Wow! That pretty much sums it up.
Pan Roasted  Salmon
Now, normally I would skip dessert but the Chef insisted by surprising me – and the other guests – with a Persimmon Panna Cotta. The highlighted ingredient, persimmon, was served with an abundance of flavors and textures. Date and walnut bread whipped cream. Toasted pepitas and pecans. A hint of micro basil completed the dish and what a whimsically divine dining experience.
Persimmon  Panna Cotta
To say Chef Drosenos’ cuisine and Zimzala was a surprisingly palate pleasing experience is an understatement. Although I have been a fan of The Shorebreak Hotel since it opened, I had never had the pleasure of dining at their premiere restaurant. I half anticipated just another beachy restaurant experience which is not all bad but not whimsically amazing. To my surprise, Zimzala, under the direction of Chef Drosenos, is far better and beyond being a beachy restaurant. Producing high quality, delicious food that is artfully presented in a free-spirited style, Chef Drosenos brings a bit of gourmand and then some.
kitchen at Zimzala
In Huntington Beach and SO Cal, make Zimzala a “must dine” location. Visiting? Worth the stop!
the outdoor patio  at Zimzala

Bottom line for your bikini: 2 bikinis up!
Zimzala  decor

Zimzala Restaurant and Bar
The Shorebreak Hotel – a Joie de Vivre Hotel
500 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 960-5050

RestaurantZimzala.com


Sofitel and Trimbach Wines – The Perfect Pairing

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Trimbach Winemaker dinner

Sofitel and Trimbach Wines : The Perfect Pairing

Sofitel Wine Days

As Sofitel closed out another successful celebration of wine and food during Sofitel Wine Days, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the premiere featured winemakers at the Trimbach Winemaker dinner. Trimbach wines are harvested and bottled in the Alsace region of France, which is located along the fartherest eastern border of France. Situated along the Wine Route, the Ribeauville village is sheltered between the Vosges Mountains and the vineyards and has been home to the Trimbach family wines and neighboring vineyards since 1626.
Trimbach wines

Now, that’s what you call vintage wines! Twelve generations of winemakers have put their passion into producing these highly acclaimed wines just as their family founder, Frederic Emile Trimbach, received the highest distinction at the International Wine Fair in Brussels in 1898.  And on this night in 2014, these highly acclaimed wines were to be selectively paired with the cuisine of Chef Marius Blini of Softel.

Champagne beginnings

I was invited to dine by Nilou Rahmani, the Esterel Restaurant Manager and a woman very engaged in working with the culinary and wine team to bring the freshest foods prepared in the highest quality and pairing with fine wines. To my delight and in true French fashion, I began my evening with a social chat with friends over a glass of champagne in the Sofitel lounge preparing my tastebuds for the delectable dinner ahead. With Executive Chef Marius Blin and Trimbach wines at the helm for the evening, I knew I was in good hands.
Chef Marius Blin

Upon entering the elegant Esterel restaurant, I was greeted by another Frederic ~ Frederic Zemmour, the Sofitel Los Angeles’ Food and Beverage Manager who seated me and my guest in a luxurious booth with a Chef’s table-like view of the kitchen. Perfectly poised to see the Chef at work. Frederic shared that the Trimbach wine Ambassador, Anne Trimbach, would be arriving shortly and I gleened in anticipation. And thus, dinner began.

Chanterelle Mushrooms stuffed bone marrow
The first course was a Roasted Marrow Bone “stuffed” with chanterelle mushrooms and garlic puree served with persillade toast and paired with Trimbach Pinot Noir. Persillade is a seasoned mixture of fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and customarily some seasonings all finely chopped together to create a delicious paste of sorts which, in this case, has been paired with chanterelle mushrooms. YUM! The Trimbach Pinot Noir features red fruit and blackberry aromas and comes from the best terroirs and is only produced “in the very best years”.

Anne Trimbach and Chef Marius Blin

About this time, I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Trimbach. As mentioned above, Anne is the Trimbach family wine ambassador and the grand niece to family founder, Frederic. “Does the Trimbach family use steel casks to age the wines?” I ask. “Never, never,” replies Anne. “We use nearly ancient oak barrels – some dating back to 1717 – that are so old they have neutral flavors.” Anne went on to explain that she grew up at the winery, what fun that must have been, and that they keep a close track on the measure of sugar in the grapes to determine when to harvest. Curious, I inquire, “When harvesting, do you use machines to pick the grapes or hand harvest?” Anne proudly exclaims, “Trimbach grapes are hand-picked, hand-harvested lending to the quality of the harvesting process.” Oooooh, I’m intrigued. Next course, please.

Chef Blin preparing the branzino

Chef Marius Blin chose Seared Branzino for the entree. Branzino, if you are not aware, is a white fish that is usually grilled or pan seared whole or fileted with the skin on. Chef Marius opted for pan seared white fish filets served with braised leek and fennel, California sunchoke puree, and yet Chef took the dish to a whole new dimension by adding a poached oyster and local caviar polished with his classic beurre blanc sauce.
Plating the branzino and Esterel

Wow, talk about a dance party in your mouth. The piece de resistance? A wine pairing of Trimbach Riesling. Well balanced subtle flavors and fruit, this elegant wine was perfectly paired with Chef Marius’ Branzino and Anne also recommends pairing with other fish such as smoked, grilled, or fried fish and white meats such as pork.

Branzino with oysters, caviar and tomatoes

The Cheese course arrived with a delicious pairing of Trimbach Pinot Gris. Let’s start with the wine first… one of the most remarkable Alsace grape varieties, the pinot gris combines full-bodied, dry fruitiness with a hint of smokiness that appropriately pairs with foods that possess depth of flavor. You can’t get anymore depth of flavor than an array of flavor-forward cheeses. When it came to cheese, Chef chose the Schloss Marin Farm cow’s milk cheese, Bay Blue Pointe Reyes Farmstead (cow), San Andreas Bellwether Farm sheep’s milk cheese accompanied by roasted red grapes, chocolate macadamia tuiles, and fresh honeycomb. Ummmmm, we could stop here and my tastebuds would be thriving in happiness. But, there was one more course to come. Dessert.

The Cheese plate

Strawberry Basil Sorbet highlighted the end of a savory evening and was accentuated by almond meringue, hibiscus flower, micro mint, a macaron shell and one of the most revered Trimbach wines – the Trimbach Gewurztraminer “Reserve”. Pair with spicy dishes, Asian-inspired cuisines, strong cheeses and featured here, fruit-based desserts.
Sorbet

If “the accidity of a reisling keeps you alive”, as Anne Trimbach states. Then, we shall all be alive indeed. Cheers!

For reservations at Esterel restaurant at Sofitel LA, visit SofitelLA

For more information about Trimbach wines, visit Trimbach.com


Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach Opens…

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Ceviche

Fast becoming a restaurant scene to contend with, Laguna Beach welcomes Tortilla Republic’s newest location. In an inviting, luxuriously comfortable beach style, Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach celebrates its highly recognized contemporary Mexican fare with the culinary team of Executive Chef Chris Tzorin and consulting Chef Cathy Shyne.
Emapanadas
Having known Chef Tzorin’s uniquely delicious culinary style, you can imagine my delight when I discovered he was on board. I have been a fan of his signature mole’ creations since first meeting him while judging the chef competition at The Chocolate Event about four or five years ago. Since then, Chef Tzorin has been succeeding in the kitchen and on the television airwaves. It comes as no surprise that Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach draws inspiration from the coastal community as well as beautiful Southern California.
Chicken Mole
Utilizing seasonal fresh ingredients and often organic ingredients, signature dishes include Sweet Potato and Beef Empanadas with chimichurri sauce, and cilantro; Shrimp Zarandeado Salad with sautéed shrimp zarandeado style, mixed greens, romaine, melon, jicama, tomato, roasted almonds, queso fresco, and kiwi vinaigrette; Torta de Carnitas with pulled pork, cabbage, candied oranges, pickled jalapeños, black beans, monterey jack cheese, tomatoes, guacamole, and torta bun, with your choice of soup or mixed green salad; Pescado a la Parrilla Taco with tequila passion fruit slaw, pico de gallo, avocado, salsa de mesa, and cilantro crema; and Short Rib Chile Verde Burrito with prime all natural short rib, slow roasted tomatillo & jalapeño chile verde sauce, monterey jack cheese, house rice, and black beans.
Shrimp Salad
The restaurant also features imaginative brunch dishes, such as Huevos Rancheros with two eggs sunny side up, roasted peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, Monterey jack cheese, black been purée, ranchero sauce, crema, and avocado; Egg White Mole Burrito with egg whites, spinach, cheddar cheese, mole de poblano, pico de gallo, and avocado; Seared Albacore Tuna & Sweet Potato Hash with two poached eggs, wilted micro greens, caramelized onions, and jalapeños; and Fresh Roasted Corn & Blueberry Pancakes with whipped salted butter, and maple syrup.
Tacos
From the bar, guest can enjoy Prickly Pear Bellini, Spicy Bloody Mary, Michelada, and Tomato Fresca, while taking in the unobstructed beach views. Open-air dining is a highlight here with two outdoor open-air dining terraces and a courtyard patio boasting a retractable roof.

Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach officially opens Wednesday, October 8, 2014 with a special open-to-the-public ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at 5pm.

Tortilla Republic
480 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.393.4888
www.tortillarepublic.com

www.facebook.com/TortillaRepublicLagunaBeach
www.twitter.com/iloveTRLB

Open for lunch: 11am to 3pm Tuesday-Friday
Brunch: 10am to 3pm Saturday-Sunday

Beef Rib Burrito

ABOUT TORTILLA REPUBLIC
Tortilla Republic in Laguna Beach features modern Mexican cuisine in a sophisticated setting. From the owners of Taste on Melrose and Taste in Pacific Palisades, John Halter, Morten Kaag and Mina Azami, the Laguna Beach location is the newest Tortilla Republic in the portfolio for the restaurant group—the first opened in August 2011 in Poipu, Kauai, and the second location opened in West Hollywood, CA in March 2012. In conjunction with renowned interior designer Kirk Pereira, Halter, Kaag and Azami designed Tortilla Republic to reflect a polished aesthetic including custom furniture inspired by their travels to Mexico. Consulting Chef Cathy Shyne and Executive Chef Brandon Warren have created a farm-to-table menu using fresh ingredients and organic produce.


Ment’or Young Chef Competition Series

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Ment’or Young Chef Competition Series… the inaugural Ment’or Young Chef Competition series comes to Los Angeles on Thursday, October 30, 2014. Presented by Chef Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse, and Daniel Boulud, this rigorous cooking competition is designed to recognize outstanding young professionals in America and give them the opportunity to earn stagiaires at some of the nation’s most well-respected restaurants.
Bouchon BH

The public is invited to purchase tickets to attend this exciting culinary event to be held at the beautiful Bouchon restaurant in Beverly Hills. Guests will enjoy champagne, canapes, caviar, and more while enjoying the young chef cooking competition.

Not only will guests be pampered with incredible food from Bouchon, they will enjoy fine wines from Galerie and Mt. Brave in Napa Valley, WindRacer and Maggy Hawk in Sonoma County and Anderson Valley, and they will be treated to a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the Bouchon kitchen, where competitors will be hard at work preparing their dishes for an esteemed panel of judges.

The judges for this inaugural young chef competition include: Chefs William Bradley (Addison), Josiah Citrin (Melisse), Timothy Hollingsworth (Broad), Roland Passot (La Folie), and Richard Rosendale. Chef Thomas Keller will be the host for the evening.

For VIP ticket holders, the evening begins at 6pm with an exclusive one-hour canapé and Champagne reception at Bar Bouchon.

Then, all ticket holders will be welcomed into the event at 7pm with specialty hors d’oeuvres and wine. Judges will lead guests on kitchen tours throughout the evening for a first-hand experience to see the competitors in action. After judging has ended, the winners will be announced during a live awards ceremony.

100% of the proceeds from the ticket price will benefit ment’or, and guests may purchase tickets online.

Menu for the evening:
Snake River Farms’ Steak Tartare with Potato Milles Feuilles
California Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar
Sea Urchin with Cucumber and Lemon Oil
Santa Barbara Spot Prawns
Applewood Smoked Petit Jambons with Maple Glaze
Mentor

The Los Angeles young chef competition is the second in the series of four Young Chef Competitions taking place across the country. Beginning at Emeril’s in New Orleans on October 19, the competition then comes to Los Angeles. Afterward, the third competition in the series will take place at Johnson & Wales in Miami on November 8, and the fourth and final competition in the seriesw will be held at the International Culinary Center in New York City on November 15. The first and second place winners of each city will receive a $15,000 and $10,000 award in the form of three and two month stagiaires.

Who is competing in Los Angeles…
Michael Dengelegi, Vallejo, CA
Sous Chef, Bouchon Bistro Yountville

Soleil Ho, New Orleans, LA
Line Cook, Bayona

Jason Sipe, Tacoma, WA
Line Cook, Pacific Lutheran University

Lyn Wells, Orem, UT
Line Cook, Canyon Park Café

This live event takes place October 30, 2014 with VIP at 6pm.

Bouchon Beverly Hills
235 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

COST: VIP: $100; Non-VIP $75
Purchase tickets here: Ment’or BKB