Sponsored Giveaway: Four One Year-Long L.A. Blackboard Eats Subscriptions

Credit to Mike Lanzetta on Flickr

Hallelujah!! Packers won Super Bowl XLV!!

In celebration and in collaboration with Blackboard Eats, I’m happy to be giving out four one year-long Los Angeles area Blackboard Eats subscriptions (valued at $20 each) to four lucky winners. The winners will be chosen at random from a pool of commenters who correctly answer this question:

What kind of car do I drive?

Whether you know me or not, the correct answer to this question is very easily found somewhere on this blog.

If you’re not familiar with Blackboard Eats, it’s only one of my favorite websites for discounts at restaurants around Los Angeles. Unlike pay-ahead services where the failure to show up is built into the business model, Blackboard Eats will give its subscribers a straight 30% off for using their code – just be sure to tell your server before you close out (and tip based on the pre-discount amount of the check). 

Recently, they started charging $1 per code (or $20 for unlimited codes for a full year, which is what you can win here) to recoop their administrative costs and to encourage those who rush to get the limited-in-supply codes to actually use them. Be sure to check out the upcoming specials on their website.

So, back to my giveaway. In order to be entered to win, put your answer to the above question in comments, while making sure to correctly fill in your email in the comment form (or sign-in via Twitter/Facebook accordingly and check those accounts on Friday) so I can notify you in the case you’ve won! The contest will close on Friday afternoon (February 11, 2011) at 4 PM, when I’ll pick the four winners at random. You must respond to me within the 36 hours thereafter or I will have to pick a runner-up.

Good luck!!

House of An Noodle-Off Kicks Off With $0.89 Garlic Noodles Today Only

House of An Garlic Noodles

Today is National Noodle Day, so the home of LA’s famous garlic noodles will be kicking off the entry period of their first Noodle-Off.

Do you have a noodle recipe you’re particularly proud of? Submit it via this form to [email protected] or regular mail to:

Noodle-Off Recipe Competition
c/o RFPR, Inc.
5225 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 718
Los Angeles, CA 90036

…and four finalists (based on recipes) will get to compete head-to-head at the finals on Monday, November 22, 2010 at Tiato Garden Market Cafe in Santa Monica. A fifth finalist will be selected at the Orange County Noodle-Off Semi Finals held at AnQi Gourmet Bistro on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 so you Orange County entrants are in the running, too.

What, exactly, will you be judged on? Four categories, to be exact:

Taste
Visual presentation
Creativity
Cooking practicality (ease of preparation and execution)

And the judges that will be present are: Garlic Noodles Chef Helene An, House of An CEO Elizabeth An, Lesley Bargar Suter of Los Angeles Magazine, Carole Dixon of NBC’s Feast LA, Senior Editor Mar Yvette of CitySearch Los Angeles, Krista Simmons of Los Angeles Times “Brand X” and Jeff Miller of Thrillist Los Angeles.

Not a cook? Keep reading: The House of An – home of Crustacean Beverly Hills, Tiato Garden Market Café, and AnQi Gourmet Bistro – is celebrating their 30th anniversary today. To commemorate, they will be offering garlic noodles at these locations for $0.89 for today only. And how fitting, since it’s the same price a bowl of their famous noodles cost back in 1980.

So go submit your recipes and get your $0.89 noodles. There’s no better day to celebrate noodles than today.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

$0.89 garlic noodles, all House of An locations

Noodle-Off Finals: Monday, November 22, 2010

Entry form

Tiato
2700 Colorado Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310.866.5228

Crustacean Beverly Hills
9646 Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-4402
310.205.8990

AnQi Gourmet Bistro
3333 S. Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714.557.5679

Another Dine LA Quickfire Challenge: Starry Kitchen Hosts Cold Noodle Challenge

Starry Kitchen's Japanese Garlic Noodles | Credit to TheHungryHungryHungryHippo on Flickr

Today marks another Dine LA Quickfire Challenge – this time, featuring cold noodles. Starry Kitchen, one of the hot spots to hit for Pan-Asian dishes will be hosting, and it’ll be Chef Octavio Beccera from Palate Food & Wine and Chef Brendan Collins from Waterloo & City going head-to-head.

Of course, there will be a surprise ingredient the chefs will have to incorporate in their dish. It’s Starry Kitchen so it’s only fitting that that ingredient will be either Oyster Sauce, Hoisin Sauce or Coconut Milk. Judging this Quickfire will be Thi Tran, Starry Kitchen Executive Chef, Jeff Miller of Thrillst and Krista Simmons from L.A. Times’ Brand X. And, as a prize, the winning dish will be featured on Starry Kitchen’s regular menu throughout Fall 2010 dineLA Restaurant Week.

During the challenge, $5 bites will allow attendees to preview Starry Kitchen’s Dine LA menu:

  • Crispy Tofu Balls
  • Chicken Wings
  • Egg Rolls
  • Pandan Flan
  • Young Banana and Tapioca in Caramel Coconut Milk

And if you’re still up for more, the official after-party is just across the plaza at CASA Cocina y Cantina with complimentary passed appetizers to preview their own Dine LA menu, including Turduckenizo Albondigas, Tamale de Elote, and Mini Tacos de Camarones Fritos. Drink specials will also be offered.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

6 – 8 PM

Starry Kitchen (judging) & CASA Cocina y Cantina (afterparty)
350 S Grand Ave. (in California Plaza)
Los Angeles, CA 90071
213.617.3474

Dine LA Quickfire Challenge at Petrossian West Hollywood

Borscht at Petrossian

Quickfire Challenges don’t only happen on Top Chef. And in celebration of the upcoming Dine LA weeks, there are themed challenges happening all over the city. Yesterday, Mark Peel of Tar Pit and Campanile defeated Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station) and David LeFevre (Water Grill) with a Guinea Hen dish. Fortunately, there are three more challenges and I will have the honor of being a judge of the “cold soup” Quickfire Challenge to take place tomorrow at Petrossian – the caviar boutique and restaurant in West Hollywood on Robertson. The other judges will be Chef Ben Bailly, Petrossian’s chef and Josh Lurie of Food GPS.

In this challenge, we’ll see Chef Akira Hirose, Maison Akira Owner/Executive Chef go up against Chef Celestino Drago, Chef Drago Restaurant Group Owner/Executive Chef. The winner will go up against the other three winners of the other challenges in early October in a finale (TBD).

Of course, it’s not good enough to just watch. You’ll get to participate, too, by taking advantage of some great happy hour prices of Petrossian specialties:

Caviartinis $10
Beers $5
Chips & Dip $10
Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Caviar $8
Borsht Shooters $2
Shrimp Papillotes $8
Salmon Rillettes $10

Absolutely delicious!

So I hope you can come and attend what promises to be a very exciting challenge. It’s going to be fun, exciting and a close contest, for sure. …Now where is my cold soup?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

6 – 8 PM

Petrossian West Hollywood
321 N. Robertson Blvd. (one block north of Beverly Blvd.)
West Hollywood, CA 90048
310.271.6300

Tequila Mixology Contest at Ortega 120

Tequila Cocktails at Ortega 120

Ortega 120 in Redondo Beach, where you can order LA Weekly’s Best Classic Margarita of 2009, will also be the site for an inaugural “Toma Tequila” Mixology Contest. Amateurs will compete for the grand prize of a $250 gift certificate to the restaurant, an editorial feature in Mutineer Magazine and, of course, have their winning recipe on Ortega 120’s cocktail menu alongside Chef Thomas Ortega’s imaginative dishes.

No professionals allowed – only amateurs are eligible to compete. To enter, submit your best tequila-infused recipe. Judges will narrow it down to a final three, which will have been chosen on a set criteria: taste, creativity, visual presentation and mixology practicality. And you should be excited (or intimidated) to find out who the judges are, including Ortega 120’s Demi Stevens, Mutineer Magazine Editor-in-Chief Alan Kropf, Carole Dixon of FEAST LA, Hadley Tomicky of Grub Street LA and Josh Lurie of Food GPS. Selected finalists will compete live at the restaurant on the evening of May 3rd.

Other events going on at Ortega 120 for that week include:

Sunday, May 2 – Sister Cities International Charity Fundraiser
Monday, May 3 – Ortega 120 “Toma Tequila” Mixology Competition Finals
Tuesday, May 4 – Tequila University
Wednesday, May 5 – Cinco de Mayo Grand Fiesta with folklorico dancers

May the best tequila cocktail win!

Finals: Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Entry form

Submit to ortega120contest [dot] com.

Ortega 120
1814 Pacific Coast Highway
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
310.792.4120

@Ortega120

Coral Tree Cafe Panini-Off Gives Top Honors To Vegan Entry

First published as a special to LAist.com on January 26, 2010

The stage was set and the pressers positioned. After countless entries were submitted last December, five finalists emerged to go head to head at The Coral Tree Café Panini-Off last Tuesday, January 19. Brentwood would be the setting to determine just who makes the best panini in town. A rainy January night would prove to be the perfect backdrop, as few things are more comforting than hot-pressed sandwiches.

Cecilia Fabulich’s fusion-esque Shanghai Spice Pork Loin Panini was the sweet-spicy selection of the night and came with a topping of pickled onions. Michael Haddad’s Breakfast Panini with Egg, Prosciutto, Gruyere and Chive Oil was a perfect morning hangover solution. Firefighters crowded around Tsz Chan and her comforting Holiday Ham Panini to ask for seconds (and thirds and fourths – but who’s counting?).

But there would be crowned winners of the night. Nico Juber’s Perfect Panini with goat cheese and turkey bacon was the “People’s Choice” – the results of which were reached by tallying everyone-but-the-judges’ single favorite panini. But it was Chloe Coscarelli’s unique Mango Masala Panini recipe that won the judges’ favor. The Gourmet Institute student, whose recipe included spiced chickpea masala, roasted cauliflower curry and tamarind mango chutney, went home with a $250 gift certificate to Coral Tree.

The judges on hand for the ultimate sammich show-down were Robert Niksefat, Coral Tree Café co-founder, Senior Editor Mar Yvette of Citysearch Los Angeles, Founder of FoodGPS.com Joshua Lurie, Co-editor of LAist Lindsay William-Ross and CEO/Founder of Chefmakers Cooking Academy Richard Klein. In all, $700 was raised for the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund which is part of the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association and will go towards support for family members of firefighters injured or killed in the line of duty.

Coral Tree Cafe Brentwood
11645 San Vicente Blvd
Brentwood, CA 90049
310.979.8733

@coraltreecafe

Coral Tree Cafe Panini-Off: The Finals

Steak Panini at Coral Tree Cafe

Photo credit to The Delicious Life

As previously reported, Coral Tree Cafe will be hosting their first-ever Panini-off tomorrow (Tuesday, January 19) evening. After thorough review through all the submissions, five finalists and their named recipes have been chosen to go head-to-head, each of which will be at his/her own station:

Tsz Chan (Temple City) – Holiday Ham Panini
Chloe Coscarelli (Los Angeles) – Mango Masala Panini
Cecilia Fabulich (Marina del Rey) – Shanghai Spice Pork Loin Panini
Michael Haddad (Burbank) – Breakfast Panini with Egg
Nico Juber (Los Angeles) – Nico’s Perfect Panini

So head on over to Brentwood tomorrow to witness this sammich-off, 10% of the proceeds of which benefit the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund, part of the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association. I’ll see you – and the who’s who in LA food as judges – there!

Tuesday, January 19, 2009

8 – 10:30 PM

Coral Tree Cafe Brentwood
11645 San Vicente Blvd
Brentwood, CA 90049
310.979.8733

@coraltreecafe

Pepsi Natural Giveaway

pepsi_natural_giveaway

Those of you who were at Blogger Prom got a glass bottle of Pepsi Natural in your goodie bag. Mine’s already gone! What I liked the most about it is that it doesn’t leave that sticky residue on my teeth that regular Pepsi does. Real cane sugar and natural caramel – no corn syrup.

Fortunately, I’m giving away another chance to try Pepsi Natural along with a few other “natural” goodies:

  • Re-usable canvas bag made with 100% organic cotton
  • Yoga mat
  • Yoga mat tote
  • Canvas hat made from 100% organic cotton
  • Includes a 4-pack of Pepsi Natural

To enter, just leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll email you to notify that you’ve won and to get your shipping address – so make sure you enter your email correctly in the commenting field (it won’t be displayed publicly). The giveaway will ship free directly to you! Sorry – only U.S. participants and contest is closed at noon Monday, August 3rd 2009! Winner will be notified Monday afternoon.