Posts Tagged ‘short rib’

Black Friday hangover cures: happy hour at The Backyard, afternoon tea at BLVD 16

Sausage, sauerkraut and mustards at the W Los Angeles' The Backyard

Sausage, sauerkraut and mustards at the W Los Angeles’ The Backyard

After all that Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, consider kicking back with some brews and bites at W Los Angeles‘ new happy hour at The Backyard, or cocktails and afternoon tea at BLVD 16 at Hotel Palomar.

Featuring beers from L.A.’s own Angel City Brewery and Bavarian-inspired comfort food from Executive Chef Dakota Weiss, The Backyard’s happy hour — offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. — is set poolside in a cozy, heated tent at the W hotel in Westwood, creating a winter beer garden for us Angelenos.

Waffle with short rib

Waffle with short rib

Here’s the menu:

*Beer nuts ($3)

*Potato pancakes with sour cream, chives and sweet mustard ($5)

–With Kobe hot dogs ($8)

*Waffle bites ‘n stout herbed gravy ($6)

–With duck confit ($7)

–With short rib ($8)

*Daily sausage with trio of mustards ($6)

*Housemade pickles ($3)

Everything is made in-house, including the mustards. Make sure to try the sausage special (the house made mustards are great), waffle with one of the tender meats, and potato pancakes with the Kobe beef hot dogs.

Potato pancakes with Kobe beef hot dogs

Potato pancakes with Kobe beef hot dogs

At BLVD 16, also in Westwood, take an afternoon break with some tea, mini sandwiches and sweets, available from 3 to 5 p.m. with 24 hour notice ($27 per person).

Afternoon tea at BLVD 16

Afternoon tea at BLVD 16

*Sweet & savory sandwiches

–Cucumber: cream cheese dill aioli, watercress salad, lemon vinaigrette

–Prosciutto: sliced red onion, avocado, fig aioli

–Peanut butter: house marmalade, banana

*Pastries and sweets

–House seasonal scones with clotted cream, fruit preserves

–Butter tea cookies with house marmalade

–Chocolate covered strawberries

*Selection of Mighty Leaf teas

*Choice of bubbly ($10)

The scones are nice with clotted cream, and the prosciutto sandwich offers a nice savory balance to the sweetness of the cookies and marmalade.

Afternoon tea snacks

Afternoon tea snacks

If you’re here on a Tuesday, check out the Trees on Tuesdays cocktail menu ($9 each) featuring Greenbar distillery spirits. For every drink sold off this menu, Greenbar will plant a tree.

*Sittin’ Pretty: Tru vodka, Fair goji berry liqueur, Marie Brizard triple sec, fresh lime juice

*Barbados Winter: Crusoe spiced rum, Velvet Falernum, Aperol, fresh lemon juice, pineapple juice, clove syrup

*Herbal Remedy: Tru gin, green Chartreuse, Bar Keep lavender bitters, lavender flowers, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup

Barbados Winter

Barbados Winter

Note: These tastings were hosted.


12 2013

Elevated food at Santa Barbara’s El Encanto

El Encanto tableI imagine The Dining Room and Terrace at El Encanto hotel — high up on a hill overlooking the city of Santa Barbara — is a lovely place to enjoy an expertly crafted meal. The hotel, which opened in March and is the first West Coast location for Orient-Express Hotels, offers what look like spectacular views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean. I wouldn’t really know because I haven’t actually been there. But I have had Chef Patrice Martineau’s nicely executed and delicious food.

Martineau and the El Encanto team recently hosted a tasting in Los Angeles (now that’s what I call service), and it was so impressive that I now have a trip to Santa Barbara on my list so I can enjoy one of Martineau’s meals in its native environment. We tasted some of the regular menu dishes, as well as some special bites, including some aged cheddar made from the milk of El Encanto’s own Holstein cow, Ellie.

We started off with a crab salad, which was served alongside cranberry gelée, chilled ginger verbena hollandaise sauce and a raspberry vinegar glaze. The sweet crab meat was tempered with the tartness and acid in its accompaniments, creating a perfect balance.

Crab salad

Crab salad

Next up was the slow-baked organic Scottish salmon in a yuzukosho crust served with baby vegetables and glazed gnocchi in a smoked bonito orange broth. The yuzukosho, a fermented Japanese seasoning made from chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt, gave the salmon an interesting Asian twist complemented by the bonito broth.

Scottish salmon

Scottish salmon

We also had Martineau’s braised short ribs, which are braised in white wine instead of the more common red wine, which lightened the flavor of the meat up — a nice touch, given the heaviness of short ribs. Roasted fennel, crushed celery root, basil, tomatoes and roasted tombolina carrots rounded out the dish.

Braised short rib

Braised short rib

Ellie’s Silver Mountain aged cheddar, served with fresh figs and cream of balsamic vinegar on a bed of edible wheatgrass, was a tasty was for us to get ready for the sweeter desserts, which included chocolate truffles and little almond berry tea cakes. But the main event was the Manjari Chocolate “Florentine,” a classic chocolate mousse topped with almond and hazelnut nougatine. While the dessert wasn’t really a florentine, it contained the flavors of the classic Italian dessert (I guess that’s why its name has quotation marks in it), and with the chocolate mousse made for a rich ending to a lovely meal.

Ellie's Silver Mountain cheese

Ellie’s Silver Mountain cheese

Tea cakes and truffles

Tea cakes and truffles

Manjari Chocolate "Florentine"

Manjari Chocolate “Florentine”

Note: The meal was hosted.


11 2013

Standout sips and bites from The Churchill, plus holiday meals

10 Hour Beef Short Rib

10 Hour Beef Short Rib

The Churchill, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, has become a staple of West Third Street eating. And with Chef Bruce Kalman and mixologist Mia Sarazen now on board, both of whom launched new menus in the last few months, The Churchill is poised to make a lasting impression.

Kalman (The Misfit, Urbano Pizza Bar) is passionate about his food. On a recent visit, he insisted we try the 10 Hour Beef Short Rib (pictured above), which we were initially going to pass on as short rib has become ubiquitous on L.A. menus, but I’m glad we listened to the chef. This is a must-get dish. It’s super tender, and the braised carrots and apple lend just the right amount of sweetness.

Over at the bar, Sarazen (Harvard & Stone, Black Market, The Tasting Kitchen) has created a cocktail menu that showcases classics as well as twists. My personal favorite is the Thirsty in LA, named after blogger (and friend) Daniel Djang’s blog. It’s a well-balanced mix of Correlejo reposado tequila, Aperol and Amaro Ciociaro with a mezcal rinse. This isn’t a drink I would have normally ordered for myself, but turns out it’s now one of my new go-to drinks. It’s serious without being too serious. I could drink these all day (but I won’t)!

Thirsty in LA

Thirsty in LA

In addition to these standouts, The Churchill is offering special Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners for the holidays.

On Christmas Day, Kalman (The Misfit, Urbano Pizza Bar) will offer a three-course menu for $35 per person that includes choices of carrot, apple and ginger soup; glazed ham with figs and basil; cauliflower mashed potatoes; and Fuyu persimmon cake.

For New Year’s Eve, get a prix fixe dinner for $55 per person that includes a champagne toast, amuse bouche and three-course meal with choices including black truffle risotto and lobster thermidor. Starting at 10 p.m., The Churchill will hold a party featuring an open bar, snack buffet and champagne toast. (Regular tickets $95 for first 100 sold; $115 after that. $150 at the door. VIP packages available for groups; contact or call (323) 655-8384.)

Note: This meal was hosted.

Further reading:

The Churchill Ups The Game: New Cocktails By Mia Sarazen And Menu By Bruce Kalman by Gourmet Pigs

The Churchill’s New Cocktail Menu: Choose Your Own Drink Adventure by Caroline on Crack

Chef Bruce Kalman Takes Breakfast at The Churchill to New Heights by estarLA


12 2012

Happy hour report: Public School 612

PS 612

Recess happy hour at Public School 612

If you’ve been to the downtown L.A. Daily Grill lately, you may have noticed a separate bar space just past the host stand. That’s Public School 612 (AKA PS 612), a new gastropub concept from the owners of the Daily Grill restaurants. This is the first of what the owners hope will be many PS 612 locations.

The bar opens every day at 4:00 p.m. and features food and drink, including a nicely edited beer list. There’s also a Recess happy hour on weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a bar bites menu that tops out at $4. The drink specials don’t include the bar’s cocktails, but there’s a $4 handle of beer (that’s actually available all night long), a $5 Skinny Margarita and a $10 carafe of wine.

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08 2011

Where California cuisine meets Southern comfort: L.A. Market

L.A. Market, Chef Kerry Simon’s restaurant at the JW Marriott hotel at L.A. Live, is now being helmed by Chef de Cuisine Nona Sivley of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” fame. The restaurant’s menu reflects Sivley’s Southern roots with a California flair, ending up with mixed results. There were some dishes here that I loved, but there were also some that missed its mark.

What I loved:

This gnocchi and lump crab appetizer was unique and absolutely delicious. The gnocchi was pillowy, and the addition of kumquat and micro basil was a pleasant surprise and nicely complemented the truffle parmesan cream sauce.


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04 2011

So much food, under the sun: Great Chefs of Los Angeles

Produce from Crows Pass Farm

Produce from Crows Pass Farm

I spent yesterday afternoon on the CBS lot in Studio City, eating and drinking my way through more than 30 of Los Angeles’ chefs’ food at the 23rd annual Great Chefs of Los Angeles event, which benefited the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California. OK, I didn’t taste everything — I’m not a black hole of food — but I did taste a lot of good stuff.

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