Cuisine

Threads of Thailand Los Angeles

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Hollywood

Threads of Thailand Los Angeles

Threads of Thailand Grand Entryway

Recently, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hosted the spectacular “Threads of Thailand” event in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by the Royal Thai Consulate-General and introduced special guest and Thai Ambassador, actress Elisabeth Rohm whose credits include Law & Order, American Hustle.

Thailand Distinguished Hosts and Guests

The invitation-only event was held at the Los Angeles residence of the Consulate-General where celebrities, guests and media were greeted by a stunning red carpet entryway lined with elegant Thai art and paintings. Media on-hand included OK! TV’s Jaymes Vaughn who interviewed celebrity Thai Ambassador Elisabeth Rohm, model and actress Beverly Johnson, Thai designer Aksarapak (Yaya) Bondu, host and producer Val Kahl and more star guests and attendees.

Thai art and decor lining the red carpet entryway

“Threads of Thailand” was a celebration as part of the TAT 2015 Discover Thainess campaign to highlight Thai cuisine, culture, life, art and industry. Honoring the extensive heritage of Thai silks, the event captivated guests with an informal modeling show showcasing Thai silks and the Thai silk exhibition. Her Majesty Queen Sirikirt’s Thai silk initiative to preserve and nurture Thai woven fabrics as one of the country’s cultural treasures was elegantly demonstrated by elegant fabric displays of silk elephants, fabrics, and explanations of the extensive detail that is given to make Thai fine silks.

Thai Ambassador Elisabeth Rohm with designer Yaya Bondu

Thai Ambassador Elisabeth Rohm with designer Yaya Bondu

Chef Vanda of Ayara Thai Cuisine showcased Thai culinary specialties such as Spicy Thai Salad with Soft Shell Crab, Thai Chicken with Quail Egg, and delicious Thai dessert selections which were served with Changi Beer and craft cocktails such as the Lychee Martini.

Spicy Thai Salad topped with Soft Shell Crab

Spicy Thai Salad topped with Soft Shell Crab

Thai sweets

Thai sweets

The sounds of traditional Thai music flowed through the air as artists made Thai art gifts and flower lei bracelet for guests to take home.

Beautiful handmade Thai art

Beautiful handmade Thai art

For more information on Thailand Tourism, visit Tourism Thailand

Thai silks and flower lei

Thai silks and flower lei

The event was produced in part by Steve Valentine of Valentine Group PR in Los Angeles.


Sushi Roku Fashion Island Now Open!

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Sushi Roku Fashion Island Now Open!
Sushi Roku NB entrance

Innovative Dining Group (IDG) brings its iconic sushi restaurant to Newport Beach Fashion Island. Now open, Sushi Roku is pleasing palates with one-of-a-kind dishes including fish, chicken, pork, beef, and vegetarian options. The well-rounded menu unites traditional Japanese cuisine with southern California seasonal ingredients prepared in a deliciously fashionable way.

Sushi Roku NB front dining area

Says Lee Maen, Partner at Innovative Dining Group, “We’ve been looking forward to making our debut in Orange County’s vibrant dining scene for quite some time.” Adding that “we are excited to share our modern approach to Japanese cuisine as well as Roku’s outstanding level of hospitality at this stunning location in Fashion Island.”

Sushi Roku NB sushi bar and seating

Stunning it is! The restaurant features a spacious and comfortable front patio that is perfect for people watching and the spaciousness spills into the interior of the restaurant with seating for 129 in the front dining room, a 16-seat sushi bar, and a 15-seat bar which features flat screen televisions to catch the latest news or sports events.

Sushi Roku NB sushi case

Helmed by Executive Sushi Chef Hiroshi Shima, Chef Shima has designated Head Chef Shin Toyoda to oversee the kitchen at Sushi Roku Fashion Island. Chef Toyoda is a native of Tokyo and has trained under Master Chefs at Kanda Muromachi, Tokyo.
Sushi Roku NB bar

On the cocktail side, Executive General Manager and Sake Sommelier Eiji Mori curates a selective sake menu that embodies the complex flavors and aromas of craft sake. The bar menu at Sushi Roku Fashion Island also extends to a full bar with Sushi Roku’s famous specialty cocktails (see more below), and signature wine list offering crisp white wines, champagne and full-bodied red wines each pairing well with Japanese cuisine.

Golden Boy cocktail from Sushi Roku

Golden Boy cocktail from Sushi Roku

A few menu highlights:
Golden Boy cocktail
Cazadores blanco, citrus juices, cucumber, mint, club soda and sherry float
(pictured above)

Ginger Lychee Mojito
Bacardi rum, ginger, lychee fruit, mint, vanilla, lime juice
Ginger Lychee Mojito from Sushi Roku

Tuna Tartare with Yuzu Guacamole and Tamari Soy Truffle
Tuna Tartare with Yuzu Guacamole and Tamari Soy Truffle

Yellowtail Diced Chilies with Olive Oil and Garlic Ponzu
Yellowtail Diced Chilies with Olive Oil Garlic Ponzu

Roku Sashimi (more selections available)
RokuSashimi

Signature Sushi Roku Rolls
Making sushi rolls at Sushi Roku NB

Tuna and Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Yuzu Miso
Tuna and Beet Carpacio with Goat Cheese and Yuzu Miso

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Baked Lobster Roll with Creamy Miso Sauce
Baked Lobster Roll with Creamy Miso Sauce

Chilean Sea Bass, Chicken and Beef Skewers at Sushi Roku NB
Chilean Sea Bass, Chicken and Beef Skewers at Sushi Roku NB

Deconstructed s’mores from Sushi Roku
Deconstructed s'mores from Sushi Roku

Sushi Roku Fashion Island
327 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(adjacent to Macy’s across from True Food Kitchen)
Lunch:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Friday: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am – 3:00pm

Dinner:
Sunday – Thursday: 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday: 3:00pm – 12:00am
Saturday: 3:00pm – 12:00am

Happy Hour menu:
$3 to $6 bites, including edamame with truffle butter, seared Albacore sashimi with crispy onions, and pork kakuni sliders
$3 beers and $4 to $7 cocktails and wines


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


Sofitel and Trimbach Wines – The Perfect Pairing

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

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…

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.


ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen… Where It’s National Tequila Day Everyday

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen… Where It’s National Tequila Day Everyday
Don Myers
National Tequila Day is July 24 but you don’t have to wait until then to celebrate… just head to Brea, California where ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen is tops in tequila and cuisine. Created by culinary mastermind, Don Myers, ChaCha’s takes “Mexican food” to a whole ‘nother level. You see, Don has been in the culinary world for decades. Not to make him seem old, Don is far from old, but he’s been honing his culinary chops since 1972! As Don says, “that’s BC!” and I am sure that he means that is bc – before I moved to California. With one successful restaurant after another, Don knows his way around a kitchen and a restaurant. And, a bar.

ChaChasMiracleMargarita ChaChasMiracleMargarita

Speaking of bar, let’s start there. ChaCha’s features nearly 50 different tequilas ranked by drinkability which translates to “your favorite”. Signature seasonal cocktails: Watermelon Margarita, Miracle Margarita, and the ChaCha’s award-winning Sangria Tradicional. Naturally, ChaCha’s has beer, wine, and can make virtually any cocktail you can dream of but these signature classics are a great place to start.

Sangria Tradicional Sangria Tradicional

With Happy Hour everyday and happenings every week such as Monday Night Date Night, Tacos and Tequila Tuesdays, Enchilada and Wine Wednesday, Locals Night Thursdays, and Sunday Brunch, there’s a tasty reason to go to ChaCha’s every day of the week.

Aguachile Aguachile

With foods like Shrimp cured in cucumber, lemon and orange juice, red onion, Serrano chilies, cilantro and mint – otherwise referred to on the menu as “Aguachile” – you will WANT to dine here every day. Other menu highlights: Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad, Camarones Adobados which is Large Grilled Shrimp marinated in lime and cilantro and served with summer squash, roasted corn, jicama, and adobo sauce, Open-Faced Short Rib Enchiladas consisting of corn tortillas with Guajillo braised short ribs, pasilla chile, achiote onions, and Guajillo sauce.

Open Faced Enchiladas Open Faced Enchiladas

And, make sure to share the fresh Guacamole, a delicious combination of Haas avocado, Serrano chile, fresh lime juice, and tomatillo salsa – the final ingredient for guac perfection. To finish, Homemade Churros – chile spiced chocolate sauce, fresh seasonal berries and cream top the cinnamon sugar crusted fried sensation. ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen is worth the drive any day, even National Tequila Day next July.

Homemade Churros Homemade Churros

ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea, California
110 West Birch Street
Brea, CA 92821
714.255.1040
for more information, visit: ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen


Laguna Beach Oceanfront Dining at Driftwood Kitchen

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Laguna Beach Oceanfront Dining at Driftwood Kitchen
Driftwood Kitchen
Summer may have ended but the ocean views and summer weather sparkle nearly year round at the recently opened Driftwood Kichen, the newest oceanfront dining experience in Laguna Beach from well known Sentinel Restaurant and Hospitality Group. Sentinel is the team behind The Deck on Laguna Beach and Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa so it is no wonder the group chose Driftwood Kitchen to cozy up next door to The Deck.
The Deck at Driftwood Kitchen
Leading the team at Driftwood are restauranteur, John Nye, and Excutive Chef Rainer Schwarz who are also founders and partners, along with Colby Durnin, of Sentinel Restaurant & Hospitality Group. As you can see, before you even enter the rustic beachy oceanfront restaurant, you are in good hands. Chef Schwarz brings an extensive, acclaimed culinary experience to life at Driftwood. Having begun cooking at age 15 in an old Austrian castle, Chef Schwarz has cooked around the world in five-star hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, Germany and France. Interestingly, I discovered that Chef Schwarz’s culinary travels led him to work with the esteemed Chef Joachim Splichal at the Von Pfyffer in Switzerland and before long, Chef Schwarz waved goodbye to Europe and traveled to Carmel and then Los Angeles working with Chef Splichal at what has become Patina Restaurant Group. But Chef Schwarz achievements don’t stop there. He had much success in Vail, Colorado before returning to Los Angeles and launching Public Kitchen and Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. Now, Laguna Beach is thrilled to have his talent behind the fresh, delicious, inspiring coastal cuisine at Driftwood Kitchen.

Seared Ahi at Driftwood Kitchen Seared Ahi at Driftwood Kitchen

When I asked Chef Schwarz what influence his culinary journey brings to Driftwood Kitchen, he explained, “I draw inspiration from many places for this menu. Here, the menu features diversity and freshness the ocean provides.” Sounds good to me and I couldn’t wait to dive right in to sample some seafood and steak selections. To my delight, fish is prevalent on the menu which includes Whole Fried Branzino, Soft Shell Crab, Surf and Turf with Maine Lobster Tail and Petit Tenderloin that features a Bearnaise sauce, Zuckerman Farms jumbo asparagus, and Yukan Gold mashed potatoes, and a mouth-watering New York Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and homemade French Fries.

Seabass with Tomato Halibut with Roasted Tomato

But this coastal cuisine inspired menu with a touch of “turf” is not all that will inspire you, the craft cocktails are bottoms-up some of the best I’ve tasted.

Tenderloin with Pepper Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce

Shares Director of Operations, John Nye, “Our Cocktail Program at Driftwood Kitchen pays homage to the location’s rich history. The Stateroom Bar presents a cocktail menu featuring classic libations reminiscent of the historic tenants.” And who were those tenants? One unforgettable Hollywood actor, Slim Summerville had his home library there and he may have enjoyed a fine whiskey or bourbon, too.

Cynar Town cocktail at Driftwood Kitchen Cynar Town cocktail at Driftwood Kitchen

Among the classic cocktails are selections such as “Cynar Town”, gin with sweet vermouth, cynar artichoke liqueur and orange bitters, “Salad Bar”, sage liquor, kale, sweet red pepper, and lemon sour – almost sounds like one of my cleanse drinks minus the liquor, of course, and “Rock My World”, your own customized Manhattan with a lunardo cherry that is worth the bite and the drink and they pair perfectly with culinary sensations such as Oysters on the Half Shell with Uni (shown below).
Uni Oysters at Driftwood Kitchen

Whether you opt for the mesmorizing oceanfront deck views or the cozy al fresco patio with oversized couches and firepits, Driftwood Kitchen is a Laguna dining experience unmatched by any other.
Deck view from Driftwood Kitchen
Driftwood Kitchen front patio
Driftwood Kitchen
619 Sleepy Hollow Lane
Laguna Beach, CA
Open daily: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
visit: driftwoodkitchen.com
(949) 715-7700

Mac 'n  Cheese at Driftwood Kitchen

SMores deconstructed at Driftwood Kitchen SMores deconstructed at Driftwood Kitchen


66th Primetime EMMY Awards

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Hollywood

66th Primetime EMMY Awards

66th Annual Primetime EMMY Awards 66th Primetime EMMY Awards

The premiere night for television stars, the 66th Primetime EMMY® Awards will be held Monday, August 25, 2014 at Nokia Theatre at LA LIVE in downtown Los Angeles and broadcast LIVE on NBC television with red carpet arrivals at 4pm and awards show at 5pm Pacific Standard Time. Host, Seth Myers and Executive Producer, Don Mischer will be joined by the EMMY winners, nominees and guests at the annual Governors Ball which takes place in the West Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center and will be catered for the 19th year by Patina Restaurant Group.

EMMYS Governors Ball Laser Light show EMMYS Governors Ball Laser Light show

In another stellar creation from Event Producer, Cheryl Cecchetto and her team at Sequoia Productions, and in their 17th year as producers for the EMMYS Governors Ball, this year, the convention center Hall will be transformed into a “kaleidoscope of color” complete with an awe-inspiring laser light show, dynamic dance performances choreographed to the laser lights, and live performances by recording artist, Judith Hill backed by high energy Top 40 band, The Red Hot Band all dramatized with media-enhanced Versa TUBES and lasers and wall-to-wall harp strings created by 2,400 feet of brass wire.

Table decor for "Kaleidoscope of Color" EMMY theme Table decor for “Kaleidoscope of Color” EMMY theme

Governors Ball Committee Chair Russ Patrick states, “This year’s theme and decor are metaphors for creative excellence, vibrancy, and richness of our industry and the television season.” Adds Event producer, Cheryl Cecchetto, “Our ultimate after party will be a sensory of delight offering sights, sounds, and cuisine and hospitality that cannot be found anywhere else.”

Chef Alec Lestr Chef Alec Lestr

Under the direction of Patina Restaurant Group founder, Joachim Splichal, Executive Chef Alec Lestr and his team of over 200 chefs will create a kitchen of grandeur behind the floor-to-ceiling drapery cooking a-la-minute for the near 4,000 guests. On the menu for this year’s ball, Grilled Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad, Filet of Beef with Artisan Grapes, Idaho “90” Potato “bone”, and Chocolate S’Mores.

Beaulieu Vineyard Maestro Collection Beaulieu Vineyard Maestro Collection

The decadent dinner will be paired with wines by Beaulieu Vineyard featuring their Maestro Collection Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2012 Maestro Collection Napa Valley Port and NV Muscat de Beaulieu. Highlighting the “kaleidoscope of color” table decor are floral designs by Kevin Lee of La Premier Florist now in his 10th year with the EMMYS.
LA PREMIERE FLORAL DESIGNS

Watch the video preview here: 66th Primetime EMMY Awards Governors Ball
EMMYS BAND MENU
WATCH THE 66TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS MONDAY, August 25 LIVE on NBC television at 5pm Pacific Standard Time.

AUDI AUDI

Audi® is the Official car for the 66th Primetime EMMY® Awards


Summer Cocktails at Tommy Bahama

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

450 Indigo

It’s officially summer, which means extended daylight, warm afternoons and some leeway to relax and take-it-easy. Tommy Bahama restaurants help in the pursuit to celebrate the season with three unique and refreshing cocktails to enjoy all summer long. These drinks feature the brightest flavors of the season, ranging from blueberries to white peaches to titillate taste buds.
The complex and sophisticated Tommy Bahama 450 Indigo offers a combination of exotic ingredients. Start with Reyka Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower, lemon juice and simple syrup, mixed with lightly pressed blueberries to give the drink its vibrant indigo color. But the real secret however is the Giffard Crème de Violette Liqueur which adds a hint of violet and lavender. The drink is finished when it’s poured into a glass rinsed in absinthe.

South Shore Sipper South Shore Sipper

The Tommy Bahama South Shore Sipper is a nice update to rum cocktails mixing Flor De Cana Four year with Scratch Sour mix, Passion Perfect Puree, Orgeat, and two dashes of Cherry Bitters. One sip of this tangy blend of flavors and it’s like you’ve escaped on a summer getaway. This is sure to become a classic among rum drinks.

White Peach Bellini White Peach Bellini

For something “easy like Sunday morning” and ideal for brunch, the Tommy Bahama White Peach Bellini hits the spot. It’s light, tasty and simple to make at home for friends and family. Start with some White Peach Perfect Puree and add peach liqueur. Shake it up and strain into a champagne glass and top with sparkling wine. The result is a fragrant and mouthwatering cocktail that is best enjoyed on a balmy summer day. Enjoy the recipe here:  White Peach Bellini 
These creative cocktails along with a full menu of other signature drinks and island-inspired cuisine are available at the 13 Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar locations across the country.


5th Anniversary Party of The Bikini Lifestyles Show

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in News, Press

Purse Baby presents The 5th Anniversary Party of The Bikini Lifestyles Show on Talk Radio 790 KABC benefitting the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women’s Cancer Research

The Bikini Lifestyles Show with Susan Irby The Bikini Chef  790 KABC Talk Radio

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
9pm to 11pm

at Nic’s Beverly Hills
453 N Cañon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 550-5707

We invite you to celebrate on the Red Carpet and help raise funds for women’s cancer research

Enjoy a night at Nic’s Beverly Hills:
*Bikini and Martini* food and cocktail specials
*Sneak Preview – new TV show, “Wine, Dine and Workout”
*Celebrity appearances
*Introducing The Bikini Chef Diet Plan
*Introducing Skinny Cuisine by Artisan Bistro Pro tastings
*Surfing “bikini” tunes
Donations will be accepted at the door. Each donation will place you in the drawing for one of many Marika Yoga Sets, Purse Baby products, and Skinny Cuisine fresh frozen meal packs delivered to your door!

The event is FREE but donations are encouraged and will be accepted for the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women’s Cancer Research. The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Make a difference in the Fight Against Women’s Cancers! And, celebrate 5 years of The Bikini Lifestyles Show on Talk Radio 790 KABC.

Our team (Melons and Moobs) will be participating in the Annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women on May 10th in Los Angeles, CA. An inspiring and motivating day, from the confetti start to the emotional crossing of the finish line!

If you can’t join us in the walk, join us in the fight by making a donation on behalf of one of our team members. Your donation will help fund important research into the cause and cure of women’s cancers, prevention, education, and support service programs for those women battling cancer and their families.

RSVP for this event is appreciated. Electronic tickets accepted here: 5th Anniversary Party

Nic's Beverly HillsEIF Revlon Run Walk

skinny cuisine turquoise final

The Bikini Lifestyles Show is proudly sponsored by Fladeboe Automotive Group of Irvine

“If you need a car, you gotta go to Fladeboe”
Fladeboe Automotive Group
Irvine Auto Center
Irvine, CA
www.fladeboe.com

*Girls in bikinis get free martinis