Tillamook Love Loaf Tour Wraps Up Metro LA

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler With Tillamook Cheddar at Akasha

You may have heard the Tillamook name being touted around food news lately – more specifically as a result of their recent Love Loaf Tour, which actually wraps up their Metro L.A. leg of good will and free cheddar goodness today. Well, that is with exception to the Grilled Cheese Invitational, which they are the official cheese sponsor of.

Tillamook Baby Loaf (yes, they really are small!)

A couple weeks ago I joined the ranks of a few other food bloggers, writers and all-out cheese lovers at the Baby Loaf’s stop at Akasha Restaurant in Culver City. We enjoyed platters of triangle-sliced Tillamook as well as Chef Akasha Richmond’s creative genius in incorporating the cheddar into her recipes. We garnished toasts with her mango chutney and fig-avocado spreads, enjoyed her baked mac ‘n cheese and gobbled up half-baked fingerling potatoes. My favorite bite, however, was definitely the pulled pork sliders which came encased in biscuits and sandwiched with coleslaw. The hands-down most creative usage of Tillamook was the White Tillamook Cheddar melted atop Chef Akasha’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler! It gave the otherwise sweet dessert a nice cheesy tang and made the dish quite savory. Truly, you can do anything with cheese.

Good thing Angelenos can still get their free samples of Tillamook … today, only. Check out the locations below for the Baby Loaves’ stops for today, only. Looks like if you’re in Mid-City, South L.A. and Century City today, you’ve lucked out.

Food at Akasha Restaurant-Tillamook media event was hosted; pictures of Chef Akasha Richmond’s and my cats were shared.

Further reading:

My Life-Long “Loaf” Affair With Tillamook Cheese – Diana Takes a Bite

Akasha Means “Enlightening One’s Tongue With Joy” – My Last Bite

My Tillamook – Charles at 1HundredMiles

Love Loaf Tour LA concludes today (Monday, April 12, 2010) at:

Food 4 Less
1717 S. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90019
12 – 7 PM

Food 4 Less
1091 S. Hoover Street
Los Angeles, CA 90037
12 – 7 PM

Ralph’s
10309 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
11 AM – 6 PM

@TillamookCheese
@AkashaCC

The 2010 Easter Sunday Brunch & Dinner Round-Up

Photo credit to algo on Flickr

Where are you eating on Sunday? Hopefully you’re looking for a spot to brunch or dine at, because this particular round-up is one I can’t take advantage of myself since I’ll be in Mammoth. Whether you’re looking for bottomless bubbly, a buffet, a prix fixe menu or simply special dishes offered for the holiday, there are plenty of options all around town. Though I tried finding spots to represent the LA neighborhoods equally, apparently the Christians live on the westside as most of the specials I’ve found skew toward that side of town. It’s a curious thing, especially to an adoptive eastsider like myself.

Take a look below for your Sunday feast of choice on April 4, 2010:

Santa Monica: Whist at The Viceroy

Spend Easter by the beach. Whist at The Viceroy’s Executive Chef Tony DiSalvo (formerly of NYC’s Jean Georges) will be procuring an Easter feast to extend throughout the day but offered as two separate buffet menus: Brunch and dinner. Expect a shellfish station as well as a leg of lamb/prime rib station whether you do afternoon or night, but omelettes and grits in the first half and a risotto station in the second. The best part? The price includes access to the bellini station and house wine. Not bad for a such a snazzy place like Whist…

Whist Brunch & Dinner Menu

Brunch Buffet: 11 AM – 3 PM – $55

Dinner Buffet: 3 PM – 7 PM – $55

Children’s Buffet: $18

11 AM – 7 PM

$55 buffet incl. Bellini station, house wine

Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica
1819 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.260.7511

Venice, Beverly Hills & Downtown: Chaya

From 11 AM – 3 PM, Chaya’s all over Los Angeles will be offering a 3-course prix-fixe Easter Brunch menu. It will cost $35 for adults and $15 for young adults (12 and under), who have their own menu. For the adults, though, bottomless mimosas are included – so I’d highly recommend making a reservation right away to secure your slot. You can do this through Open Table.

At Chaya Venice (full menu), who will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in April 2010, guests can enjoy unique selections such as:

  • Spring Jumbo Crispy Asparagus with Romesco Salsa
  • Roasted Beet Wedge Salad with Bacon, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes

11 AM – 3 PM

$35 prix fixe incl. bottomless mimosas

Chaya Venice
110 Navy Street
Venice, CA 90291
310.396.1179

Chaya Brasserie Beverly Hills (full menu), pick from an assortment of fresh brasserie-style fare including:

  • The CHAYA Classic Tuna Tartare
  • Cinnamon Roll French Toast with Farmer’s Market Berry Compote
  • Grilled Free-Range Chicken Breast with Apple & Fourme d’Ambert.

11 AM – 3 PM

$35 prix fixe incl. bottomless mimosas

Chaya Brasserie Beverly Hills
8741 Alden Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310.859.8833

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Ludo’s Lucious Fried Chicken Balls

Ludo Fried Chicken (Lemon Aioli, Collard Greens & Smashed Potatoes)

Oh, balls. I say such with adulation, not lamentation – since I was lucky enough to squeeze into Sam and Zach‘s reservation for a special Monday night. Ludo Lefebvre’s latest one-off collaboration took place at Akasha Restaurant in Culver City earlier this week – and the foodies were out in full force. This time, it wasn’t so much a showdown as it was an opportunity for LudoBites fanatics to get a taste of his famed chicken - juicy, fried goodness to which reservations were fully booked 12 hours (or less) after the reservation line went live.

Akasha Onion Rings (Garlic Aioli, Ketchup)

Akasha has not one but two deep fryers - and Ludo’s chicken certainly benefitted from the tools. We were each provisioned three rosemary chicken balls, this time furnished with a lemon aioli (as opposed to the sweet chili sauce provided at The Foundry). Rounding out each order were two side dishes – coleslaw, collard greens, sweet potato fries or smashed potatoes. There was a more lucrative $18 price point to match the chicken’s popularity (at The Foundry, the two pieces of chicken were just $6 – without sides). The sides at Akasha were delicious, but of course we couldn’t forget Akasha’s own specialty, their perfectly-breaded-and-fried onion rings. Not too greasy or bready, the rings – with their side of ketchup and garlic aioli – actually had me wishing more came per side order.

Sour Orange Pie (Key Lime Style) With Whipped Cream & Preserved Kumquat

Focus now! The chicken! As per usual, the chicken was perfect – a tad darker in mere color than I remember – but I was glad that there was an extra helping of breadding on my plate. It was seasoned with rosemary which was contrasted well by the citrus tang of lemon aioli; the juicy texture enabled each round nugget to fall at my fork. Before I was finished, I heard on my left, “If you leave that on your plate, you’ll never hear the end of it.” Yes, it was recent NYC ex-pat Zach of Midtown Lunch, the fan of all things greasy and succulent. He spoke too soon, as I savored each bite – including the extra skin – and washed it down with Syrah. Each intonation from the jazz trio that played nearby was lost on me as I concentrated on my palate. Thankfully, the movement the music provided to the already-cool, bustling and somewhat industrial-yet-well-lit (great for us food photographers) atmosphere of Akasha was not.

We finished off with dessert. It was perfectly tangy and sweet – I would come back to Akasha for this pie alone. The crust was perfectly buttery – and Ludo and I joked that we could replace the crumbs on top of the pie with chicken breadding! And as always, the Ludo event had food bloggers and others in the scene crawling out of the woodwork – with out-of-town visitors and @thejgold himself to boot. Foursquare check-ins (“with 19 other people”) were at an all-time high. Krissy and Ludo made their warm, welcoming rounds. It’s always a party – and I’m lucky to be a wallflower. Did I mention Ludo ran the LA Marathon the day before?! How is that for star power?

If you don’t have your LudoBites 4.0 reservation, be sure to stay tuned for the wait list queue – which begins March 28.

Further reading:

Ludo Lefebvre Reveals International Location, Gram & Papa’s Menu and More – Eater LA

Akasha Restaurant
9543 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA‎ 90232
310.845.1700
@akashacc

LudoBites

@chefludo
@frenchchefwife‎