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Five Crowns Has A New Look!

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

FIVE CROWNS HAS A NEW LOOK! 

Five Crowns

Five Crowns bold new look

An Orange County landmark for over 50 years, Five Crowns restaurant and bar recently unveiled bold, new interior and exterior renovations.
 Five Crowns is pleased to unveil the completion of the interior, exterior renovations and new Cooper’s Bar.  The renovations began in 2015 as part of the landmark restaurant’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration.  The major revitalization, which includes the addition of the new Cooper’s Bar, honors the Five Crowns legacy while opening a new door to a bright future.
Coopers Bar at Five Crowns

Cooper’s Bar at Five Crowns

“We’ve invigorated the Five Crowns experience,” said Ryan O’Melveny Wilson, Executive Chef and Vice President. “From our updated sign out front, to refreshed dining rooms, the new bar and a menu that honors our classics and highlights seasonality, we’re setting the table for the next 50 years.”

Five Crowns collaborated on the renovation plans with Hatch Design Group, YYES Design Studio, Robertson Hill Architecture and Roger’s Gardens.

The first phase of changes focused on a new landscape design, re-imagined branding and the traditional façade. A second renovation phase included dramatic changes to the interior.

Five Crowns new dining room

Five Crowns new dining room

Lush landscaping by Roger’s Gardens highlights the historic building’s English theme. Topiaries and boxwood hedges surround the property. A large, raised vegetable bed and aromatics including lavender, rosemary and sage embellish the front. Citrus trees enhance the back garden for outdoor dining and special events.

The eye-catching sign on Pacific Coast Highway features a bold new Five Crowns logo. While the iconic red telephone booth remains, the building’s exterior now showcases a multicolor palette, including a distinctive red stripe with metallic gold lettering painted above the windows and doorway.

The relocated entrance, with a larger front door, opens to a redecorated reception area that offers a direct sightline to the restaurant’s most striking addition: its vibrant new showpiece, Cooper’s Bar in the Greenhouse. Named for Chris Cooper, much loved co-worker and Lead Service Bartender for 42 years, this handsome, inviting bar features a stunning copper beer tower with rotating taps. Lively plaid barstools provide comfortable seating around a grand communal table whose surface is covered with thousands of authentic English shillings.

Custom designed, oversized glossy red benches add a touch of whimsy to the Greenhouse dining space enhanced with new chandeliers and side chairs. The sky lit room’s once green metal framework has been painted a deep, rich gray.

Five Crowns new greenhouse

Five Crowns’ Greenhouse

Vivid paint colors, eclectic wallpapers and fabrics as well as new flooring refresh the Main, Nelson and Crown dining rooms. Notably, custom hardwood tabletops replace the traditional white tablecloths. Cozy fireside nooks and antique British artifacts continue to be central to Five Crowns’ unique atmosphere.

Complementing the renovation, Five Crowns’ forward-looking menu balances innovative seasonality with the classic dishes that have made the restaurant a landmark. Guests can now enjoy greater flexibility by pairing seasonal small plates with a shared main dish or a heritage entrée from the Crown Classics section.

“The new menu offers favorites from our 50-year menu archives in addition to a daily selection of fresh fish, hand cut pasta and interesting wines,” commented Wilson. “There is something for every discerning palate, long-time guest or first time Five Crowns diner.”

Five Crowns' duo of salmon

Duo Of Salmon

Since opening more than a half century ago, Five Crowns has welcomed its guests to a world apart, a place of warm hospitality, the finest food and drink, a truly one-of-a-kind Southern California dining experience. Today’s changes — inside and out — signal an exciting future.

About Five Crowns

Five Crowns was established in 1965 and is a member of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants, which includes Lawry’s The Prime Rib with locations in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong, Osaka and Seoul and the Tam O’Shanter in Los Angeles. Lawry’s Carvery, with locations in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, and at L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles, represents the company’s unique quick-service concept. SideDoor gastropub, recipient of Orange Coast Magazine’s “2010 Restaurant of the Year” Award, is also housed within the historic Five Crowns building; its primary entrance is on Poppy Street.

Five Crowns and SideDoor
3801 East Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA, 92625
Open daily 5pm – 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 10pm
Valet parking is available
For reservations or more information, visit http://lawrysonline.com/five-crowns


Capri, Italy Comes to Warwick Los Angeles

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in News

Capri, Italy Comes to Warwick Los Angeles
Warwick LA

Warwick, the chic after-bar and night club in Hollywood celebrates its Summer re-design by bringing the beautiful and playful island of Capri to Los Angeles. The Italian-inspired décor and cocktail menu debuted at the beginning of the Summer season and will continue til Fall.
Welcome to Warwick

Seen at the Summer launch event were LA fashionistas, top LA media such as KTTV FOX 11’s Susan Hirasuna and the quintessential Summer Diva herself, Donna Summer. Guests enjoyed small bites such as Raspberry Tarts, Petit Chocolate Eclairs, and an Ice Cream cart.

Ice cream girls at the Warwick LA

Ice cream cart and “Capri” girls at the Warwick LA

Warwick, the season-themed after dark bar and lounge transforms its décor several times a year and offers delightfully attentive service with a smile from some of LA’s most chic and savvy hostesses.

Service Capri style at the Warwick LA

Service Capri style at the Warwick LA

This Summer’s Capri theme creates an inviting, sultry Amalfi Coast vibe with shades of oceanic blue, limoncello yellow, fresh pink florals so luscious one is easily transported to the romantic, luxury destination. Patterned canopies, true-to-life lemon trees, twinkle lights and delicate swaying lanterns surround the lower level which boasts two enchanting fireplaces and spacious, comfy seating where guests can enjoy bottle service of some of the finest wines, champagnes, and spirits or sip on refreshing craft cocktails made in the spirit of Capri.

Warwick Summer 2015 Capri

Fresh menu additions include the Cocchi Sangria made with Cocchi Americano, strawberry, vanilla, lemon, and soda; Raspberry Poloma with tequila, raspberry, grapefruit, lime, vanilla sea salt, soda, and agave; and Limoncello Slushy to lighten the palate with Capri’s staple liqueur.
the bar at the Warwick

Upstairs, the loft-type room has been transformed into the Rose’ Room. Ensconced in flirty shades of pink amongst the pearl white walls and décor, the Rose’ Room is accented with alluring fresh roses and serves everything rose’. From prosecco to champagne, the Rose’ Room has sumptuous wines and bubbly including Dom Perignon Rose’.
The Rose Room at the Warwick LA

Since its opening in 2013, Warwick has become an ever-evolving gathering place for Los Angeles nightlife. Its seasonal, thematic redesigns are crafted to keep guests on their toes and transport them to different cultural experiences around the world. Past incarnations at Warwick include a playful nautical motif in Spring 2014 and a nod to 1940s Hollywood through Film Noir in Fall 2014. With this summer’s total remodel, guests can expect to be swept away to Southern Italy where they will experience the flirtatious lure of a bright and whimsical Summer hideaway.

the Warwick LA

Warwick
6507 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
warwickla.com323.460.6667
Open Wednesdays through Saturday, 9pm to 2am
Reservations, email reservations@warwickla.com or call (323) 460-6667
www.Facebook.com/WarwickLA
Twitter: @Warwick_LA
Instagram: @Warwick_LA

Capri style at the Warwick this summer


Spring Events at Hotel Irvine

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Spring Events at Hotel Irvine
Hotel Irvine

From Easter to Backyard Block Parties, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day through to Memorial Day, Hotel Irvine has a new look, a new vibe and a hot new restaurant and lounge scene you don’t want to miss.

Spring brings Red Letter Days at the Hotel Irvine’s Red Bar and Lounge with special celebrations for all ages all season long.  See full details below but here are some of the highlights of the season: Arts n’ Crafts Cocktails, MLB Sunday Night Game of the Week, Putt-Putt, Pimentos & Palmers, BYO Red Solo Cup and Game Show Night.
Hotel Irvine

Save the Date!  Sunday, April 26, Hotel Irvine welcomes the Irvine community to its very first Backyard Block Party – great food, drinks, live musical performances and outdoor game competitions.

Here’s what not to miss at the newly revived Hotel Irvine:

Arts n’ Craft Cocktails at Red Bar and Lounge

Saturdays in April from 5pm to 7pm

Learn from the pros… become your own mixologist at a professional bar. Guests pick their favorite cocktails and the experts let them try their hands at muddling, shaking, straining and garnishing, while they explain it all with the latest behind-the-bar lingo.  FUN!

Red Bar and Lounge Lobster Tacos

Red Bar and Lounge Lobster Tacos

MLB Sunday Night Game of the Week at Red Bar and Lounge

Every Sunday, April through September

Baseball fans… catch the hottest MLB matchups with ESPN’s Sunday Night Game of the Week – view all the action on the bar’s 10-foot flat screen.

Fans who sport their favorite team jersey or other fan gear can enjoy tasty sliders and a draft beer for only $5. Limit one per fan and pricing excludes tax and gratuities.

 

Sliders from Red Bar and Lounge
Sliders

 

Easter Picnic in The Backyard at Hotel Irvine

Sunday, April 5 from 10am to 2pm

Families and friends… spend leisure time on the lawn feasting on personalized culinary creations like build-your-own waffles, made-to-order breakfast burritos, fresh tossed ceviche, build-your-own donuts, and A Kid’s Corner.  Mom, Dad and friends, treat yourself to a Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar.

The real fun for everyone at this Picnic in The Backyard are the Easter egg hunt, photo booth, magician trickery, the Lizard Wizard and special appearances by the Easter Bunny himself.

$49 per adult, $15 per child ages five through 12. Pricing excludes tax and service charge.

Visit HotelIrvine.com/easter for complete menu and additional details.
Reservations and tickets can be purchased online. Advanced payment required.

 

Adult Easter Egg Hunt at Red Bar and Lounge after 3

Sunday, April 5; after 3pm 

Easter fans who don’t want the Easter celebration to end with just a terrific Sunday brunch, are invited to Red Bar and Lounge to take part in a grown-up Easter Egg Hunt – while sipping on specialty drinks like the White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and Bunny Broiler.

Red Bar and Lounge’s Putt-Putt, Pimentos & Palmers

Thursday, April 9 through Sunday, April 12

While the professional golfers vie at Augusta National, putt-putt aficionados can test their prowess in Red Bar’s own putt-putt competition. Chef Jason will be serving his twist on the classic pimento and cheese sandwich, along with a sweet tea Arnold Palmer for just $5. Limit one per golfer and pricing excludes tax and gratuities.

Hotel Irvine’s First Backyard Block Party

Sunday, April 26, 3pm to 6pm 

This jam-packed event is designed around a sense of camaraderie and Sunday fun under the sun with friends, family and neighbors. The setting is the hotel’s expansive Backyard and the afternoon offerings include food and drinks from EATS Kitchen & Bar and Red Bar and Lounge, along with grub from some of Irvine’s top restaurants like Shirley Chung’s Twenty Eight, Mizu Sushi Bar and STAX Cookie Bar.

Party-goers will sip local craft beers and wines as they take in the sounds of local Irvine music groups like The Brevet, Yellow Red Sparks and Armors. And there will be game competitions such as cornhole, ping pong and lawn bowling.

$30 for adults age 21 and over (increases to $40 after April 4); $10 for child/student ages six to 20; VIP tickets $50 ages 21 and over (increases to $75 on April 4).

Advanced ticket purchase required. Reservations and tickets can be purchased online. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Irvine Public Schools Foundation.

The Fifth of May at Red Bar and Lounge

Tuesday, May 5, starting at 3 p.m.

Olé! Cinco de Mayo meets up with Taco Tuesday this year and brings Chef Jason’s Taco Bar creations to Red Bar and Lounge. This celebration includes $2.50 Mexican beers and all-day specialty cocktails like the Mexican Lollipop, Tequila at Dawn and Mexican Mule.

BYO Red Solo Cup at Red Bar and Lounge

Saturdays in May starting at 3 p.m.

Beer lovers who bring their own cup to BYO Red Solo Cup Saturdays in May will get fill-ups of $2 draft beers.

 

Your Mom Rocks Mother’s Day Party

Sunday, May 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

An outdoor Sunday brunch fete created to show Mom a great time and to celebrate how awesome she really is. Families will dig in to favorites that could be straight from mom’s own recipe book – Brioche French Toast, Eggs in a Basket, Quiche Lorraine, Chicken Pot Pie, Make- Your-Own Mac n’ Cheese, and there are a Scone Bar and more. Toasting with endless mimosas is part of the party, and guests can capture in-the-moment memories by using the hotel’s selfie sticks. Moms take home a Mother’s Day gift created just for them.

$49 per adult, $15 per child ages 5 – 12. Pricing excludes tax and service charge. Call 888-230-4452 or visit online at HotelIrvine.com for more information. Reservations and tickets can be purchased online. Advanced payment required.

Game Show Night at Red Bar and Lounge

Saturdays in June; 5pm to 7pm

These challenging evenings offer casual Saturday night competitions with friends while enjoying favorite drinks and trying to best your pals at “Jeopardy,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Trivial Pursuit” – all shown on Red Bar’s 10-foot screen. It’s ultimate trivia drinking game time.

Red Bar and Lounge

Red Bar and Lounge

ON-GOING FOOD & BEVERAGE OFFERINGS AT RED BAR AND LOUNGE:

 

Happy Hour at Red Bar and Lounge

Monday through Thursday from 3pm to 7pm and Friday from 2pm to 7pm

50% off all food, wines by the glass, draft beers and cocktails.
Red Bar and Lounge

Leave the Night On

Every Friday and Saturday night from 9pm to 1am, dance to DJs spinning tunes in Red Bar and Lounge. Marketplace offers a Late Night Menu from 11pm to 1am featuring pizzas, street tacos and hot sandwiches.

 

Hotel Irvine
17900 Jamboree Rd.
Irvine, CA 92614
For hotel: 888-230-4452
For EATS Kitchen & Bar: 949-225-6780
For Red Bar and Lounge: 949-225-6757
www.HotelIrvine.com
www.EATSKitchen.com
www.RedBarandLounge.com

Photos courtesy of Hotel Irvine


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

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

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


Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach Opens…

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

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


The Palm West Hollywood Closes Its Doors…

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

The Palm West Hollywood Closes Its Doors… but don’t fear, it will re-open soon in Beverly Hills. Here’s my story. Bar beginnings at The Palm West Hollywood

The time is New York City, 1926. Two Italians from Parma, Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi, opened their first restaurant at 837 Second Avenue in Manhattan. Immediately, The Palm restaurant was a hit with the New York elite attracting journalists and cartoonists from the New York Daily Mirror, Hearst and King Features, among others. It was the cartoonists who set the stage for the caricatures on the walls as Bozzi and Ganzi had no money to decorate their new restaurant. In exchange for meals, cartoonists would draw cartoons and caricatures of the restaurant regulars and successful cartoons such as Popeye, Batman, and Beetle-Bailey. It wasn’t long before the caricatures became tradition at every Palm restaurant to follow.

Caricatures at The Palm West Hollywood

The original menu featured crowd-pleasing Italian meals and fine cocktails, yet staying true to their philosophy – treat guests like family, serve great food, and always exceed expectations – just as family would do. Bozzi and Ganzi added steak and in later years, lobster, to the menu by request. The restaurant was such a huge success the duo decided to expand. First to D.C. and then to the west – West Hollywood that is. Opening October 1975, Hollywood stars and studio execs embraced the beloved dining establishment. The walls began to fill up with caracitures of celebrities, studio executives, and loyal patrons alike, which has served as a tribute to stories of Hollywood past and present.

Everybody is welcome at The Palm

It was these esteemed Hollywood drawings that first intrigued me upon my inaugural visit in the mid-90’s. As a new arrival to Los Angeles, I had never heard of The Palm restaurant nor sunk my teeth into the now famous three-pound lobster, my favorite dish, of course. Dimly lit with a modest and welcoming bar, I felt like I had stepped into someone’s home drawing room or library. Dining with friends had never been more spectacular. The food was some of the finest I had ever eaten. I sat in a booth absorbing the ambiance like a neophyte Angeleno. It was exciting and comfortable, all at the same time. That’s the way The Palm in West Hollywood will always be remembered, even as the restaurant served its final meals on Tuesday, September 30th.

The Palm Established 1926

I recently stopped in to enjoy my final meal at what will go down in my personal culinary history as one of my favorite restaurants of all time. It’s not just that my friend, the former good-looking leading guest-star actor of the 70’s, Dennis Cole, and I shared chardonnays and filet mignon there together and that his caricature is right in the front of the restaurant next to his former wife and Charlie’s Angel, Jacquelyn Smith. Nor is it the memories of eating 4 of the three-pound lobsters and enjoying 2 bottles of champagne with my second husband (and luckily neither having to drive). Nor the dinners with clients and friends and nightcaps after a local play. It’s more than just those memories. It’s the hospitality, the inviting personalities that greet you when you walk in the door no matter if you are an A-list celebrity or the guy or gal who loves LA and chooses to live there. It’s the servers that have been a part of The Palm family some for 10, 20 or 30 years. It’s the way they aim to please and welcome special requests like extra char on a filet, and asking the chef just how does he get those lobsters grilled to perfection yet not overdone? What a thrill to be invited into the kitchen — pre-professional-culinary-expert-days — to view his technique firsthand. It’s not just those memories; it’s the feeling of being in a place where you belong with perhaps a hundred other diners you don’t know. Those are the memories I will treasure.

I miss my friend, Dennis Cole

On my last visit, I sat down, in true Palm fashion, with my friend, Genevieve Morrill of the West Hollywood (WeHo) Chamber of Commerce and asked her to share what The Palm in West Hollywood has meant to her and to the City of WeHo. Right out of the gate she blared, “they are making a huge mistake, huge!” which I immediately flashed on another icon, Julia Roberts, in the film “Pretty Woman”. You know the scene. “The Palm is such an institution,” shares Genevieve. “All this nostalgia is going away.” I agree. Even though generations will be able to enjoy the new Palm in Beverly Hills, there is no re-creating the nostalgia experienced in West Hollywood. “This is the Melrose Triangle”, states Genevieve. The Melrose Triangle, she explains, is one of the most significant gateway developments between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, both signature cities within the Los Angeles community, and both well loved by celebrities, visitors from around the world, and locals alike. “The Palm West Hollywood has been a relevant part of that era,” states Genevieve. “It will surely be missed.”
Crabcakes at The Palm

“But I don’t expect West Hollywood to crumble when The Palm closes,” Genevieve continued. “There is a big demand for locations here. West Hollywood is exploding with notable stars like Oprah, Drew Barrymore, and Will Ferrell establishing offices and more.” Add to the celebrity factor, high pedestrian traffic, spurring economic growth, and more parking development makes WeHo a community to contend with. West Hollywood is not just holding its own among dining and retail establishments but making its mark as a true destination for everything hip, tasty, and fun.”

The Three Pound Lobster at The Palm

While we will miss The Palm in West Hollywood, we will look forward to crossing through the Melrose Gateway into Beverly Hills to make new nostalgic moments at their new location. But, for Genevieve and others like me, we will hold dear to our hearts our memories of the first “west” palm location – The Palm West Hollywood. When I asked Genevieve what her favorite meal was at The Palm WeHo, a broad smile came across her adorable face as she replied, “lobster, of course! And the waiters – their professional career is to be your server! Where can you get service like that?!” And so, The Palm has closed and yet, lives on.

Bar beginnings at The Palm West Hollywood

Visit the new The Palm restaurant in Beverly Hills opening November 2014. >> ThePalm.com


Sofitel Wine Days : A Month of French Wines

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

SOFITEL WINE DAYS: A MONTH OF FRENCH WINES |FOUR REGIONS IN FOUR WEEKS began Monday, September 29th and runs through Thursday, October 30th, 2014.

French champagne being served at Sofitel for Wine Month

During #SoWineDays, guests and everyone can visit the Sofitel L.A. at Beverly Hills to celebrate French elegance, wine and food. Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, the French brand’s flagship west coast property participates with more than 120 other Sofitel hotels in a global celebration of French vintners. The program is dedicated to the wine harvest that takes place in the Northern Hemisphere each year, a French tradition called “vendanges.” The month-long celebration showcases French “Art de Vivre”, “Wine Down Wednesdays,” weekly wine pairing restaurant menus, wine-based cocktails in the bar, and a culminating a winemaker dinner. Each day from Monday to Sunday, a Sofitel sommelier will be on hand to guide visitors on a journey through the featured wine-producing regions.

Sofitel Wine Days will feature an exclusive sampling of wines, a tour of some of France’s best known wine regions, in “WINE DOWN WEDNESDAYS” occurring each week (Oct. 8, 15, 22 and 29) from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., with Sofitel’s
Sommelier in the hotel lobby.

In the lush Riviera 31, guests are invited to visit the lounge|bar for wine tastings and wine based cocktails from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

French wine month at Sofitel

The gorgeous Estérel restaurant offers a modern French offering menu from Chef Blin. Chef will be highlighting new menus each week during #SoWineDAys to complement the wines which will cover numerous regions and locales beginning on October 5th with Burgundy, then Alsace, Champagne, and closing in the last week with Bordeaux. Some of the wines include Roederer/Maisons Marques, Domaines, USA, Palm Bay/Esprit du Vin, and Trimbach.

Menu pairings with the weekly wines feature a diverse offering of appetizers to desserts:

Burgundy – week of October 5th

• Sweet bread bourguignon, pearl onion, button mushroom, brioche
• Roasted duck breast, truffle celery puree, Weiser farm fingerling potato, golden parsnip, tiny carrots
• Red wine poached pear, pear sorbet, raspberry almond croquant

Alsace – week of October 12th

• Seared diver scallops, cannellini beans, shaved heirloom carrots, brussel sprouts leaves, garden coriander
• Espelette shrimp white asparagus risotto, ricotta salata, green pea shoot
• Warm Laura chenel goat cheese salad, frisee, grapes, fennel, caramelized walnut

Champagne – week October 19th

• Half dozen California oysters, champagne apple mignonette
• Crispy skin Loup de mer, fondant potato leek, tomato concasse, local caviar
• Strawberry basil sorbet, almond meringue, hibiscus flower, micro mint, macaroon shell

Bordeaux – week of October 26th

• Roasted marrow bone, chanterelles, garlic puree, persillade toast
• Ribeye bone in (for 2), truffle mashed potato, grilled asparagus, bordelaise sauce
• California cheese platter, Schloss Marin farm (cow), Bay blue Pointe Reyes farmstead (cow), San Andreas Bellwether farm, honeycomb and more

The grande finale will occur on Monday, October 27th in Estérel restaurant with a Robert Parker Winemaker’s Dinner. For costs, menu and other details, please contact Esterel restaurant at 310.358.3979.

Christophe Bouskela, Director of Food & Beverage, has meticulously choreographed with Executive Chef Marius Blin a masterful matrix of unique and exclusive wines to this area. Bouskela says, “We welcome guests to an interactive week to learn, taste and experience wine not available elsewhere in Los Angeles. The Sofitel Wine Week is designed to accommodate the most discriminating connoisseurs palate while simultaneously providing a sensory awakening for the novice.”

For more info on Sofitel go to www.sofitellosangeles.com and for more info on Sofitel Wine Days, #SoWineDays.


The Wild Blueberries of Maine

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Travel

Wild Blueberries in the barrens
The Wild Blueberries of MaineGeologists state that nearly one-third of the world was covered by ice. During the last ice age, roughly 20,000 years ago, much of North America was covered by glaciers creating a barren land of ice. As the glaciers moved when the ice receded, they carried huge rocks that were worn down creating smaller rocks, gravel, dirt, and sand leaving a very complex, layered, mineral rich soil combination. The melting ice gave birth to newly formed streams and rivers thereby nurturing a foundation for new vegetation, including wild blueberries.
In the wild blueberry fields of Maine

Recently, the Wild Blueberry Association of North America invited a group of registered dietitians and food bloggers, myself included, to visit the massive wild blueberry barrens of Maine. The beautiful state of Maine, in fact, is the largest producer of wild blueberries representing nearly 40 percent of the world’s total wild blueberry production.
David Yarborough, right, with one of the lead growers
It is here, in Maine, that I learned to admire the wild blueberry. Most of us have admired them for their vitamins and antioxidant properties. We’ve heard that eating blueberries helps fight cancer, many refer to them as a superfood, and of course, we all know they taste delicious. But what is it about the wild blueberries of Maine that sets them apart from the patch?
Layers of glacial soil

Native to North America, wild blueberries have been thriving in the glacial soil referred to above for thousands of years but it was the Native Americans who first encouraged the growth of the wild blueberry by burning the fields, called barrens. The burning process actually stimulates the growth of the wild blueberry which grows up from the ground through their natural roots called rhizomes. One single rhizome can produce an entire field of wild blueberries and it is natural for several varieties of rhizomes to rise up in the fields producing deep blue wild blueberries, some more red in color, or even lush purple colored wild blueberries. Not only does this naturally occurring variety of berries make for a savory product for you to enjoy, but it also makes the fields so inviting I chose to lie down in them – see photograph below taken by writer and public relations executive, Betta Stothart.
Absorbing blueberries in the field

It is important to note that most people visualize blueberries as growing way above ground on a tall bush. These tall bushes are called the “high bush” blueberries and although all blueberries are derived from the wild blueberry, the high bush blueberries are cultivated. They do not grow wild and were thereby given the official name of “tame” by the US Department of Agriculture.
Wyman's Wild Blueberry processing plant
It’s pretty remarkable that the wild blueberry began growing naturally through the incredibly dense glacial soil, right? These must be some pretty strong plants. This strength just may prove my theory as to why the wild blueberry claims 2x’s the antioxidants as their tame cousins. The wild blueberry is also a bit smaller and more concentrated than the tame cultivated berries, however, this year’s harvest showcased some of the most plump, lush, and flavorful wild blueberries ever. According to David Yarborough, wild blueberry specialist with the Cooperative Extension and professor of horticulture in the School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine, good buds in the winter, the high amount of pollination by honey bees and bumblebees, adequate rainfall, and good weather during the harvest season have led to the success of this year’s crop and helped the blueberries thrive in their wild environment.
hand-raking the wild blueberries on Merrill Farms
Hand-raked wild blueberries
When the wild blueberries are ready for harvest, usually in late July or early August, 500 growers, of which 50 are certified organic, pick the berries by either hand-raking or mechanical harvestings. Our group had the opportunity to view both harvest techniques and actually experience hand-raking “first hand” at Merrill Blueberry Farms. Owner, Todd Merrill was kind enough to teach us the process which uses a fairly large metal rake that you hold by hand and scoop and shake the blueberries off the vines. Then you politely dump them into a bin and repeat the process for about 8 hours. What a workout! And, Merrill Farms is one of the top organic wild blueberry producers in the region. However, another important aspect to point out is that even non-organic farmed wild blueberries are grown with limited pesticides due to their emphasis on natural pests and insect control.
Merrill Blueberry Farms of Maine
After the field harvest, whether mechanical or hand-raking, blueberries are taken to the processing plants where they are handled with kid gloves and processed from fresh to individually quick frozen in 24 hours. A triple washing and air drying process that is so proprietary we were not allowed to photograph, the blueberries are then individually frozen. True! The IQF (individually quick frozen) process is so specialized that the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavor of each blueberry is locked in providing you with the highest quality for your family. As Thomas Gardner, VP of Wyman & Son, a family owned company since 1874, says, “the IQF process is nature’s pause button.” Wyman & Son, a proven leader in the wild blueberry market, processes on average 1 million pounds of wild blueberries per day. WOW!
Mechanical harvesting of wild blueberries
Giving a new perspective to fresh frozen fruits, fresh cultivated berries found it most grocery stores are often picked early and travel long distances thereby depleting vital nutrients and flavor. The IQF wild blueberries which, in my opinion, fought their way out of the ground to produce the antioxidant rich blueberry, provide you and your family with the highest quality fruit year round. Locally, in Maine, fresh wild blueberries can be purchased at Farmer’s Markets, shops and grocers. As for the rest of us, buy these specially frozen flavor dense berries in the freezer section of your grocery store. Your grocery retailer does not carry them? Don’t be shy! Request they bring them in. Most of the time, store managers are thrilled to do so. Chances are if you are looking for them, others are too.
Chef Lou Keifer in his restaurant garden at the Bar Harbor Inn
A few more reasons to love Maine Wild Blueberries… chefs love them! Bar Harbor Inn Executive Chef Louis Kiefer grows them in his own backyard. He brings in what he calls this “versatile ingredient” to serve with dishes like Wild Blueberry & Tomato Salsa, Taste of Brie with Pear, Wild Blueberry and Basil, and Wild Blueberry Sorbet.
Wild blueberry cocktail at Havana

Maine Diver Scallops with Wild Blueberry Sauce
At Havana Restaurant, where we dined “with” Martha Stewart – she just happened to dine at the table adjacent to us, wild blueberries were the feature of the evening with selections of Wild Blueberry cocktails, Seared Scallops with wild Maine blueberry vinaigrette, Beef Tenderloin Skewers with a wild Maine blueberry chimichurri, and Goat Cheese Cheesecake with wild Maine blueberry compote.
Captain Dan
Dining didn’t stop there. The next night we were whisked away in a power boat steered by Captain Dan which took us across waters filled with lobster pots to the quaint island of Little Cranberry Island where we dined at Islesford Dock Restaurant “with” again, Martha Stewart! Yep, who would have believed but the Queen of culinary walked in again – for the second night in a row – while we were dining. We dine in good taste, wouldn’t you say, Martha? Our Islesford Dock dining experience had most of us diving in to the truly fresh Maine lobsters. Lobster so tender the butter didn’t stand a chance. And, Little Cranberry Island couldn’t keep the wild blueberries away. We finished dinner with one of the best Wild Blueberry Crisps ever to touch my lips.
Islesford Dock on Little Cranberry Island
A few antics in the kitchen at Islesford Lobster Pot
As the chefs will agree, wild blueberries are a versatile ingredient. From savory dishes to sweet, nearly every recipe can be made with blueberries year round. Look for fresh frozen wild blueberries in your grocer’s freezer section. You won’t be disappointed.
Bar Harbor Inn Housemade Moon Pies with Wild Blueberries
A final note, I am a Certified Food Healer. My trip to the Wild Blueberry barrens supports the food healing properties of the berries in that they are filled with vital phytochemicals like anthocyanins which help repair cell damage (ie, help you age better), decrease inflammation in the brain (ie, help you think better), slow memory loss in adults (ie, help you remember better), and are linked to increasing memory and attention in both adults and kids. Bottom line for your top of the line superfood wild blueberry – eat up!
Eating wild blueberries directly from the field
Wild blueberries for your skin? Wild blueberries are abundantly found in everything from soaps,
Wild Blueberry soap
to jams and syrups,
Wild blueberry syrup and jam
to pancake mix,
Wild blueberry pancake mix
and honored on coffee mugs, ceramics, and all kinds of gifts.

Wild blueberry soaps and mugs
Walking in Bar Harbor, you’ll find wild blueberries on every menu.
Wild blueberry pie and tea
Even the local lobster loves wild blueberry ice cream. 🙂 There are an abundance of ways to celebrate the wild blueberry…

There's a lobster loose in Bar Harbor

A few links for your enjoyment:

Wild Blueberry Association of North America

MerrillWildBlueberries.com

Wymans.com

BarHarborInn.com

IslesfordDock.com

HavanaRestaurant

Wild Blueberries everywhere!