Archive for the ‘Food’Category

Spend this Halloween week with Rooftop Film Club

Rooftop Film Club

Rooftop Film Club

UK import Rooftop Film Club is screening a bunch of Halloween-appropriate movies for its last week this season. Set atop the roof of The Montalban theater in Hollywood, Rooftop Film Club offers a classier outdoor film experience than your typical picnic-style one so you can enjoy Halloween week in style.

Here’s the schedule:

~Tuesday, Oct. 27: The Thing
~Wednesday, Oct. 28: A Nightmare on Elm Street
~Thursday, Oct. 29: Psycho
~Friday, Oct. 30: Friday the 13th
~Saturday, Oct. 31: Beetlejuice

Tickets are $15, and all screenings start at 8 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Get there early to save a seat — yes, there are actual seats — and grab a drink from the bar and a burger from Silver Lake’s own Haché LA (there’s frozen custard, too). If you get cold, there are blankets for you to use, and you’ll listen to the movie through your own personal headset, so you can block out most of the noise around you.

Hache LA's Karma Burger

Hache LA’s Karma Burger

Want even more fun? Sip on one of guest barman Brady Weise’s themed cocktails, which feature different combinations made with beer, wine and vermouth, as the Club lacks a liquor license. No matter: The Hockey Mask, made for the screening of Friday the 13th, with Chenin Blanc, lemonade, dry vermouth and fresh seasonal fruit still sounds perfectly appropriate for an outdoor movie.

A screening with Rooftop Film Club is one of the more fun outdoor film experiences I’ve had in Los Angeles. Seating is limited, so there aren’t hordes of people to contend with, and the ambiance on a Hollywood rooftop can’t be beat. It’s sure to make for a fun, low-key Halloween (my favorite kind).

Rooftop Film Club

Rooftop Film Club

Note: Seats to a screening were hosted.

25

10 2015

A light lunch at Fogo de Chao? It’s possible.

Market Table plate with feijoada

Market Table plate with feijoada

Until recently, I hadn’t eaten at Fogo de Chao, the upscale Brazilian churrasco chain that offers unlimited grilled meats. Why? Because I didn’t think I would ever get my money’s worth. I can’t eat a lot of meat at once, so I thought Fogo de Chao was just not a place I would ever go.

Then, Fogo de Chao in downtown Los Angeles introduced a $15 Gaucho Lunch, which includes unlimited trips to the Market Table and feijoada bar. While the Market Table includes cheeses, charcuterie, seasonal salads, fruits and vegetables, and the feijoada bar gives you the Portuguese bean, beef and pork stew that you’d expect, you might want to supplement that with some meat (but not too much, right?). For an additional charge, you can get your choice of one meat. And they’re all tasty, even the chicken (especially the chicken). If you want all the meats, it’s $36.95 at lunch, so these lunch specials really are a deal.

The side dishes are not to be missed, either. The fried polenta, caramelized bananas and pao de queijo cheese rolls are my favorite. And don’t forget dessert. The Papaya Cream, a simple-yet-delicious combination of papaya fruit blended with vanilla ice cream topped with creme de cassis blackcurrant liqueur, is like a milkshake without the milk…and with booze. The Caramelized Pineapple with vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle is another unique dessert.

Potatoes, bananas and fried polenta

Potatoes, bananas and fried polenta

Caramelized Pineapple

Caramelized Pineapple

Bottom line: there are a lot of options at Fogo de Chao, and they don’t all have to break the bank. (Not all locations offer the Gaucho Lunch, so check before you go.)

Note: This meal was hosted.

18

10 2015

The Arthur J offers fun twist on classic steakhouse

Arthur J table
Steakhouse The Arthur J rounds out Chef David LeFevre’s mini restaurant row in Manhattan Beach, adding a meat-focused eatery to seafood restaurant Fishing With Dynamite and small plates place MB Post. What makes The Arthur J special is not just its quality meats but its take on additions and sides. LeFevre has created a fun spin on the classic steakhouse while maintaining its elegance.

That mentality extends to The Arthur J’s cocktail list, too. My favorite is The Long Goodbye made with Oxley gin, lime, tumeric, honey, carrot and cardamom. Based on the ingredients, I didn’t think I would like this. But one sip — and one look at its vibrant color — changed my mind completely. It’s sweet and savory, giving a nice balance for someone who can’t decide what kind of drink to order (which is often me).

The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye

And then we turn to the menu. Yes, the Parker House rolls with deviled ham spread are delicious. Get them. And the Emmental popovers with strawberry preserves are the stuff of dreams. Get them, too. Get all the bread.

Parker House rolls

Parker House rolls

Emmental popovers

Emmental popovers

However, I didn’t love the roasted bone marrow toast. I think it was the focaccia bread that threw me off; the oiliness was too much paired with the already rich marrow. For a lighter starter, the hamachi tartare offers sweet and spicy notes, but in the end it’s just a nice raw fish-and-avocado dish and nothing groundbreaking.

Bone marrow toast

Bone marrow toast

But nevermind that. You could order the bone-in ribeye Tomahawk chop for two (or three or four, since it’s so large) or the Japanese Wagyu ribeye cap and be happy. But you’ll be happier when you start adding sauces and toppings.

Arthur J steaks table

The Sauces & Butters menu has all the usual suspects plus chimichurri, Vietnamese caramel, black truffle butter, yuzu koshu butter and foie maple butter. The toppings menu includes a sunny side up egg, lump blue crab, foie gras and a steamed half lobster.

Foie-topped steak

Foie-topped steak

If you get one side, get the potato gratin. Lefevre’s version is like nothing I’ve had before: a brick of layered potato, cheese and sauce that could stand on its own as a meal.

Potato gratin

Potato gratin

Desserts at The Arthur J are legit, too. The kitchen turns out solid versions of classics such as cheesecake and a chocolate bar, but it’s the strawberry shortcake that stood out for me. Not only do you get the fruit with the cream and a sugar-dusted biscuit, but the dessert comes with strawberry sorbet to boot, providing another dimension to an otherwise standard dish.

Strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake

Note: This meal was hosted.

03

10 2015

Don’t miss the final days of Little Next Door’s summer menu

Little Next Door's peach Country Crouton

Little Next Door’s peach Country Crouton

Though we’re nearing the end of summer, it doesn’t mean summer menus are done just yet. French brasserie Little Next Door on West Third Street is still serving peaches, corn, eggplant and other warm-weather foods on its current dinner menu.

Here are my favorite dishes from Little Next Door’s summer menu.

The Country Crouton with burrata cheese, white balsamic vinegar, grilled peaches and candied walnuts on crusty bread. The delicate smoothness of the burrata and peaches pairs nicely with the tangy balsamic and crunchy nuts.

The Summer Ravioli made with corn pudding, chanterelle mushrooms, chive blossoms and butter nage is summer personified. Sure, you can find a corn ravioli on lots of summer menus across Los Angeles, but that’s because corn is delicious and should be consumed whenever possible, especially when it’s in season.

Summer corn ravioli

Summer corn ravioli

Spring for the classic Steak Frites, a large portion of marinated skirt steak with a green peppercorn reduction and shoestring French fries on the side.

Steak Frites

Steak Frites

For dessert, I’d recommend two options: the lemon tart if you want something light, and the chocolate and salted caramel pot de creme if you want something rich.

Macarons, lemon tarts and pot de cremes

Macarons, lemon tarts and pot de cremes

Summer ends in just a couple of weeks, so head over to the Little Next Door before fall arrives, when stone fruit and corn are nowhere to be found only to be replaced by sadness. (That’s not true; I love persimmons and Brussels sprouts!)

Note: This meal was hosted.

07

09 2015

Eating good in the Larchmont neighborhood with Vernetti restaurant

Vernetti salumi platter

Vernetti salumi platter

Larchmont Village isn’t a Los Angeles neighborhood that I frequent. It’s small and never really held a big draw for me, despite its cute, small-town feel. But now I know about Vernetti restaurant (and having Portland-based ice cream shop Salt & Straw nearby isn’t too shabby, either).

Chef Steve Vernetti and his wife, Joanna, took over the old Girasole space on Larchmont Boulevard a couple of years ago before reopening as Vernetti earlier this year. They’ve done their best to keep a neighborhood feel at the Italian restaurant while making some upgrades, including some gorgeous brass light fixtures and a better restroom situation (customers used to have to walk through the kitchen to use the toilet!).

When it comes to the food, start with some crostini — the deviled egg version with white anchovy is my favorite — and a salumi platter featuring prosciutto, porchetta, bresaola, spicy calabrese salami and house-made giardiniera pickled vegetables.

Crostini: deviled egg (front), ceci bean and roasted beet

Crostini: deviled egg (front), ceci bean and roasted beet

Then move on to pasta. The preparations are straightforward and satisfying: pappardelle con funghi (sautéed wild mushrooms, cream, parmigiano), rigatoni spuntature (braised short rib ragu, marrow, crispy greens, roasted tomatoes, breadcrumbs) and linguine alla vongole (manila clams, white wine, garlic, crushed red pepper).

Pasta: mushroom pappardelle (top), rigatoni and linguine

Pasta: mushroom pappardelle (top), rigatoni and linguine

The one savory dish I really didn’t take to was the seared yam and sage polenta cake, which is offered as a side dish. I didn’t understand how it was supposed to complement the other food, and it was kind of boring on its own.

But the desserts made me smile. Panna cotta with strawberry compote, cannoli and tiramisu. All classic and well-executed.

Cannoli

Cannoli

So next time you’re driving through Mid-City, consider stopping at Vernetti restaurant. You’ll get a satisfying meal of classic Italian dishes.

Note: This meal was hosted. 

22

08 2015

Eat well with Freshly home delivery, get 50% off

Freshly salmon packagingI haven’t paid much attention to home-delivery meals. I usually associate them with high-priced diets, neither of which I do (high-priced or diets). But then I discovered Freshly, a mail-order meal service that provides healthful food without breaking the bank.

Freshly meals are not explicitly designed for weight loss, though they are made with ingredients that produce high-protein, low-carb meals that are gluten-free to boot.

These were the meals my husband and I tried:

~ Garden Omelette: Huge breakfast for me. Lots of baked egg, but not much you can do when it has been precooked. Kept me full for hours.

Garden Omlette

Garden Omlette

~ Carnitas Bowl: Tasted just like a burrito without the tortilla. Could have used more beans, but overall it had lots of flavor.
~ Turkey Chili: Hubs added rice to this because that’s how he likes to eat chili, but at least doing so was still gluten-free, right?
~ Chicken Stir Fry: Hubs gave this two thumbs up.
~ Steak Peppercorn: Beef tasted high-quality. Carrots retained nice al dente bite.
~ Lemon Garlic Salmon: Fish and vegetables tasted fresh with bright flavors.

Lemon Garlic Salmon

Lemon Garlic Salmon

Everything tasted really fresh. Between my husband and I, we enjoyed every one. These meals are also super filling! I even made two meals out of the salmon dinner. And the meals are really easy to prepare — just pop one in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and you’re ready to go.

The smallest meal plan gets you six meals for $69 per week. That’s $11.50 per meal, including shipping, which is free on the West Coast (more regions to come soon). The price goes down to $10.90 per meal if you sign up for the largest delivery of 21 meals per week, which also includes access to a meal coach. Considering the ingredients, labor and delivery, Freshly is a definite deal.

Curious? Get 50 percent off your first order of a six-pack of Freshly meals with the code SES3FREE. These Freshly meals would be great if you want to stick to a low-carb diet or even for a shorter period of time, such as if you know you’re going to have a busy week. I know I’ll be keeping Freshly in mind.

Note: These six meals were complimentary.

16

08 2015

Downtown gets a treat with Broken Spanish restaurant

Rebanada

Rebanada

Ever since Chef Ray Garcia left Fig restaurant in Santa Monica, I’ve been waiting for him to find a new home. So when news came that Garcia was taking over the old Rivera space in downtown Los Angeles to open Broken Spanish restaurant, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

While Rivera’s loss was mourned, Broken Spanish has more than filled the void with inventive food and drink. This is contemporary Mexican food turned up to 10. And Garcia’s team has opened up the space so it feels lighter and more festive. (Bonus: It’s just a few blocks from my office!)

For smaller bites, the requeson cheese accompanied by snap peas, black sesame, agave and sea beans is a light way to start before moving on to the esquites, or Mexican street corn salad. Garcia’s version uses Kewpie mayo, manzano pepper and parmesan, changing up the classic.

Requeson

Requeson

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27

07 2015

ArcLight Culver City adds entertainment value to downtown

ArcLight Culver City

ArcLight Culver City

Out with the old, and in with the new. ArcLight Culver City has arrived.

The Pacific Theatres in downtown Culver City is now an ArcLight Cinemas movie theater, which means your night out just got a little more interesting. Complete with a full-service bar serving movie-themed cocktails and craft beer, alongside real food from a real kitchen, ArcLight Culver City is now a one-stop experience for food, drink and entertainment.

Johnny's Drama, an "Entourage"-themed cocktail

Johnny’s Drama, an “Entourage”-themed cocktail

Everything has been upgraded here, from the snack bar to the theaters themselves, which now feature ArcLight’s “black box” viewing experience for minimal distractions. As with other ArcLight theaters, seating is reserved, and you can bring your bar drink with you to screenings. Unfortunately, ArcLight Culver City doesn’t have the room for a seated dining area like ArcLight Hollywood does, but you can comfortably eat at the bar from a menu that offers tasty bar bites. The chicken wings with sweet Thai chili sauce, popcorn chicken, and tomato bruschetta with burrata are among my favorite dishes here.

Chicken wings

Chicken wings

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

With the opening of ArcLight Culver City, there are now two such theaters on the westside, including ArcLight Beach Cities in El Segundo, and a Santa Monica location is in the works.

Note: A menu tasting and movie viewing were hosted by ArcLight.

06

07 2015

Head to The Corner Door for new bites, solid drinks

Lobster and shrimp bolognese. Photo by acuna-hansen.

Lobster and shrimp bolognese. Photo by acuna-hansen.

The Corner Door, which has become a Culver City food and drink mainstay, has gone through its fair share of chefs, with varying success. The latest to helm the kitchen, Executive Chef Brendan Collins and Chef de Cuisine Ali Haji, bring a new dinner menu that has something for everyone.

Collins, who is also heading up the kitchen at Birch and previously worked at Waterloo & City, Melisse, Anisette and Palihouse, brought on Haji, who has worked with Collins for the last eight years, to create a diverse menu that reflects his upbringing in Southern California by Indian parents who were raised in Africa. Talk about the proverbial melting pot!

While not every dish I tried worked for me, many did, and others pleasantly surprised me.

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26

06 2015

Broadway Bites returns to NYC—just in time for summer

Red Hook Lobster Pound's lobster roll

Red Hook Lobster Pound’s lobster roll

This post is written by ShopEatSleep contributor Deanna Ting, a New York-based writer and editor who hails from Los Angeles. She is a seasoned travel, lifestyle and fashion writer, having written for publications such as TravelAge West, Luxury Travel Advisor, Los Angeles magazine and WSAToday (a magazine that was entirely devoted to shoes). These days, you can find her working as a managing editor/senior editor for Incentive and Successful Meetings magazines, as well as scouring New York–and the globe–for her next favorite meal. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @deanna421.

One of the best things about living in New York is there’s always plenty to choose from—especially when it comes to food. Sometimes, though, all that choice can be a little overwhelming—as are a lot of different facets of life here. (Let’s not even talk about winter; I’m still in recovery.)

That’s why it’s great when outdoor food pop-up events like Broadway Bites roll back into town when the sun comes back out. Let’s be clear—there are A LOT of great choices at Broadway Bites. But what makes Broadway Bites so great is they’ve done a lot of the legwork for you by curating a carefully selected collection of some of the city’s best food and drink vendors.

If you happen to be near Herald Square and hunger pangs strike, you should definitely head here. Taking over Greeley Square, which stretches from 32nd to 34th streets on Broadway, this summer’s rendition of Broadway Bites has 28 vendors serving up plenty of satisfying, delicious things.

From no-frills grilled cheese and savory empanadas to innovative tacos and classic lobster rolls, you can find them all—and much more. Here’s a closer look at a few of those choices for whatever you might be craving.

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22

06 2015