Posts Tagged ‘Top Chef’

Dine L.A. Restaurant Week Pick: GORGE

Beer Sausage

Beer sausage

There’s one more week left for Dine L.A. Restaurant Week, and if you’re going to go to one place, I suggest you try GORGE, a cozy house-made charcuterie and wine bar from Top Chef alumna Elia Aboumrad and pastry chef Uyen Nguyen (Le Cirque, Craftsteak, Restaurant Guy Savoy). GORGE is located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood just steps away from old-school rock hangouts the Roxy and Rainbow Room. Not exactly where one might expect to find such fine food, so all the more reason to patronize the place!

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01 2013

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.


05 2012

Where playing with your food is encouraged: Vodvil

Jar of Picklings at Vodvil

Jar of Picklings at Vodvil

Do you like to play with your food? And by playing with your food, I mean playing games while eating food. If your answer is yes, then Vodvil on Fairfax Avenue is the place for you. Part restaurant, part game show, Vodvil goes beyond the usual trivia night to include an upscale comfort food menu and bar with interactive games moderated by a cheesy-but-entertaining host.

I have to admit that I was skeptical of Vodvil’s concept. I thought it might be annoying to have dinner while being subjected to shouts from game players. However, on the particular night my dinner companion, Lindsay of LAist, and I visited Vodvil, it happened to be word games night, which was perfect for us writers. We won our share of rounds and cashed in our winnings at the restaurant’s prize machine, which is filled with nostalgic trinkets. (By the way, there’s a $4 charge per person to play the games. There’s a small sign at the host stand stating this, but I don’t remember seeing it on the menu, which would be a good place to let people know.)

The executive chef here is Jamie Lauren, formerly of Beechwood and also of “Top Chef” fame. We actually saw Lauren in the dining room chatting it up with fellow “Top Chef” alum Antonia Lofaso — it was a very L.A. food world moment.

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08 2011

Sneak peek of Stefan’s at L.A. Farm


Stefan Richter, last season’s Top Chef runner up, held a couple of sneak preview open houses over the weekend to show off his new restaurant, the redesigned L.A. Farm — now dubbed Stefan’s at L.A. Farm (no relation to The Farm of Beverly Hills). The restaurant officially opens this Thursday, Aug. 6.

The space, which is housed in an office complex off an industrial stretch of Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica, is sizable with a clean, classy look to it. I’m not familiar with the old L.A. Farm space — in fact, I never even knew it existed as it’s really easy to pass up on the street — so I can’t compare. But with a long bar, main dining room, outdoor patio area with fire pits and private dining room, there’s definitely a lot to work with.

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08 2009

Some stuff to look forward to

  • Annenberg Beach House. From the beach house's Flickr stream.

    Annenberg Beach House. From the beach house's Flickr stream.

    The Annenberg Beach House opens this weekend in Santa Monica. The former estate of William Randolph Hearst opens to the public after two years of renovation and includes a pool and event space. No membership is required, but there are fees for entry and parking. Reservations are recommended. More at CurbedLA.

  • Starting April 28, Dakota Chop House at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will be offering a weekly BLT night “featuring specialty bacons from artisanal smokehouses,” per the press release. You can build your own bacon creation or choose from the resto’s creations, which include pizza, pasta and burgers in addition to the traditional sandwich. Maybe Dakota is jumping on Animal’s popularity? A bacon chocolate bar doesn’t sound appetizing to me, but to each his own.
  • “Top Chef” season 5 contestants Fabio Viviani and Stefan Richter will be competing in a cook off at The Grove May 20. Grove restaurants will also be having their own cooking demonstrations and offering samples. The event is free, but you need to RSVP with Los Angeles magazine, which is co-hosting the event.
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04 2009