Posts Tagged ‘Mexican food’

Taste Los Angeles at the Taste of Mexico

Mini sea urchin tostada with chicharron and esquites (Mexican street corn) from Cacao Mexicatessen

Mini sea urchin tostada with chicharron and esquites (Mexican street corn) from Cacao Mexicatessen

People always ask me what’s the best Mexican food in Los Angeles. Well, now those people — it could be you! — can find out for themselves at the 2nd Annual Taste of Mexico on Nov. 30 at Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles. Some of the best Mexican food in the city will be represented, including Playa, La Monarca Bakery, Guelaguetza, Cacao Mexicatessen and Guisados. I was recently invited to try some of these eateries’ offerings, and every single bite of food I had was delicious, especially the sea urchin tostada with chicharron and esquites (Mexican street corn off the cob) from Cacao Mexicatessen (above) and the Oaxacan mole negro pollo tamal from Guelaguetza (below). You won’t go wrong at Taste of Mexico.

Mole negro tamal from Guelaguetza

Mole negro chicken tamal from Guelaguetza

The event, which promises to be a veritable party judging by the hosts, will also feature Mexican beer, Baja wines, mezcal and tequila in addition to unlimited samplings from the participating restaurants. For even more fun, you’ll also find live music, mariachi and DJs. A portion of every ticket sold will benefit Los Angeles’ Downtown Art Walk.

Tickets cost $50 for general admission and $70 for VIP, which includes the uber-pricey Casa Dragones tequila and early admission to the event.

18

11 2012

Food and fun at Border Grill cooking classes

Chefs Susan Feniger (left) and Mary Sue Milliken teach a cooking class at Border Grill in downtown Los Angeles

Chefs Susan Feniger (left) and Mary Sue Milliken teach a cooking class at Border Grill in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Rory Owen Delaney.

Have you been to a cooking class at Border Grill? If you haven’t, then you’re missing out on a truly fun and informative time. Remedy your situation by attending Salsa 101 taught by none of that than chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, the original Two Hot Tamales and two Top Chef Masters contestants.

While enjoying a multi-course lunch with signature cocktails, you’ll learn the essentials of creating salsas that you can incorporate into a variety of dishes, including soups, salads, barbecue and even dessert. You’ll learn lots of cooking tips from Milliken and Feniger, such as how the ends of cucumbers are bitter; how you should sharpen a knife at a 15 degree angle and always wipe it off immediately after cutting citrus; how you should cut fish against the grain just like beef; how onions have the most sugar of all vegetables, which means they will oxidize immediately if put in a food processor; and much more.

You’ll also get to take a recipe booklet home so you can recreate what you learned at home. Good food, good company, good take-aways — what more can you ask for?

Salsa 101 & Beyond with Mary Sue and Susan

Saturday, June 2, 2012
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Border Grill Downtown LA
445 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Call (213) 486-5171 for reservations.
$75 per person

Note: I attended a similar class as a guest of Border Grill.

11

05 2012

Fun, delicious, with dash of social commentary: brunch at Playa Rivera

Huevos Polenta

Huevos Polenta at Playa Rivera

When I first heard that Chef John Rivera Sedlar was opening Playa Rivera restaurant in the old Grace space on Beverly Boulevard, I jumped for joy. I love Sedlar’s food (and Julian Cox’s cocktails) at Rivera downtown, so having one of his eateries closer in proximity to where I live is really a treat.

Elegant, hearty and delicious, Playa Rivera’s brunch is a great choice for a casual-but-elevated meal. I had the pleasure of having brunch here with Fiona of Gourmet Pigs, Lindsay of LAist and Esther of estarLA, and we had a well-rounded meal complete with cocktails and a chat with Sedlar himself, who happened to walk in just as we were leaving.

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09

09 2011

Travelogue: California’s Central Coast, Part 2

The Lone Cypress in Carmel

The second part of our drive up the California coast started with a stop in Cambria. After a beautiful drive on Highway 46 from Paso Robles, we came upon the cutest little town and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean in Cambria. We found a kind-of-crappy-but-good-enough-for-one-night motel called Mariners Inn for about $80 — a price that couldn’t be beat considering the place practically sat right on the water. Listening to the waves crash at night was delightful.

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13

06 2011

Not your momma’s mall food: La Sandia and Zengo at Santa Monica Place

The opening of the new Santa Monica Place mall has been exciting for those of us who knew the old, tired mall that stood in its place years ago. Perhaps some of the most exciting parts have been the new food options, some of which are entirely new to Los Angeles. La Sandia and Zengo from chef Richard Sandoval are two of those new restaurants.

I was invited to try out the food and drink at both places last week, and I came away from the experience pleasantly surprised. These restaurants — the Mexican La Sandia and the Latin-Asian fusion Zengo — are nicer than your usual mall joints, with some pretty respectable cocktails, too.

We started out with cocktails and appetizers at La Sandia. My favorite drink was the cucumber-serrano martini made with mezcal, cucumber, serrano chili, citrus and chili piquin salt on the rim. I love spicy hotness as well as cucumber in my drinks, so this was the prefect combination. I also really enjoyed the shrimp quesadillas made with shrimp, Mexican cheeses, black bean puree, chipotle aioli and topped with crema and avocado. So tasty!

La Sandia cocktails

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30

08 2010

Oaxacan me crazy: Guelaguetza


I’ve been into Oaxacan Mexican food lately, so when I was invited to dinner at Guelaguetza with owner Bricia Lopez, who also owns the uber-tasty Cemitas y Clayudas Pal Cabron, I jumped at the chance. I had been to Guelaguetza once before, and mostly what I remembered was the awesome band that played that night in the restaurant. So I was glad to have someone who knew her way around the menu to guide me through dinner.

Oaxacan-style Mexican food is different from the kind of Mexican food most people are used to, i.e., tacos and burritos served with salsa and refried beans. Oaxacan food is all about the mole, that thick sauce made from chilis, bread, chocolate and all kinds of other good stuff, and Guelaguetza serves all kinds. My favorite was a lighter one made with almonds (sorry, didn’t catch the name).

There are three locations of the restaurant, the original on 8th Street in Koreatown, one on Olympic Boulevard also in K-Town and one in Lynwood. We ate at the one on Olympic, which is a large space complete with larder area up front, a fountain in the middle and two areas for live music. Your meals here start with an appetizer of tortilla chips topped with mole and queso fresco.

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13

05 2010

Ortega 120 in Redondo Beach worth the trek

Cocktails and the Taco de Atun Crudo

Cocktails and the Taco de Atun Crudo

I rarely go to the South Bay. I can count the number of times I’ve been there on one hand. So when Mexican restaurant Ortega 120 invited me and a bunch of food writers, including fellow blogger e*starla, down to Redondo Beach for a meal and tequila pairing, I was a little skeptical. I mean, it just seemed so far (melodramatic, I know). But far be it from me to turn down free food and tequila, right? I’m not gainfully employed at the moment, after all.

So when we arrived at the homey-yet-stylish restaurant via chartered passenger van (tequila pairings, remember) and I saw the extensive menu, I was immediately excited. And co-owners Demi Stevens (mixologist) and Tommy Ortega (chef) didn’t disappoint. Neither did the night’s tequila sponsor, Partida. Let me tell you why.

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17

06 2009