February 29: Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske Guest Chef at E.P. & L.P.

E.P. & L.P.

With this year being a leap year, I feel it calls for a special outing of sorts on February 29th. After all, it comes but once every four years, so you might as well make the most of it.

Continue reading

The Little Truffle Maker Cocktail Kicks Off 16-Course Black Truffle Dinner at SAAM, The Bazaar

The Little Truffle Maker: First Course in Saam’s Black Truffle Dinner

Starting tomorrow and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening only for a limited time (until March 2nd), you can taste a 16-course black truffle dinner at SAAM for the ultimate, seasonal private dining experience at José Andres’ The Bazaar. The masterminds behind the dinner are Think Food Group’s research and development Chef Aitor Lozano, Executive Chef Joshua Whigham and Sous Chef Holly Jivin.

Continue reading

Four Questions With Rob Samuels, COO of Maker’s Mark

Rob Samuels, COO of Maker’s Mark

We all know Maker’s Mark. So when I had a chance recently to catch up with Rob Samuels, I jumped at the chance. He’s the 8th generation bourbon maker of the Maker’s Mark family, and just succeeded his father last year in the position. Theirs is the only bourbon distillery designated as a National Historic Landmark. With the amount of history behind the company, there were a few things I had to know…

What’s your favorite cocktail to drink with Maker’s in it? And how do you feel about how Maker’s fits in with the ongoing cocktail scene?

I was just at a nice event at Morton’s, where the bartender made a great Manhattan – [a cocktail] which I really enjoy. More than anything that’s what I love. With the growth of premium spirits, handmade spirits, and that’s the history of my grandparent’s legacy, when they started in 1952. That was the beginning of the modern era of bourbon. To incorporate their craft, what they created with the handmade craft of a unique cocktail is really nice. I love just working with bartenders.

Continue reading

Afternoon Tea at Tres by José Andrés, SLS Hotel

Tea Time

There are ladies who lunch and ladies who have afternoon tea. My experience at Tres inside the SLS Hotel has convinced me that there need to be more of the latter.

TGT Green Teaist Blend

If you’re able to fit time in with your girlfriends sometime in between the slim, 2-hour daily window, you’re in for a real treat. Tres has beautiful tea selections to accompany your charming 3-tier pastry stand decorated with tiny titillations for your tongue.

Whether it’s a steamed bun filled with caviar and topped with crème fraîche, a peanut butter jelly sandwich made with (not only the best peanut butter I’ve ever had, but also) brioche flatbread or a foie gras sandwich with quince (swappable with a smoked salmon sandwich with coconut), each bite is a treat for the senses.

My favorite was one that my girlfriend Chris and I were instructed to eat right away, lest the delicate cookie melt - a beet macaron filled with goat cheese. Its sweet, savory and yet tart goodness simply melted in my mouth.

Guacamole Cone, Bagel & Lox Cone

The tea, of course, is an appropriate centerpiece. I chose a The Green Teaist Blend, a variety that is apparently drunk by much of the kitchen at Tres. It’s of a beautiful color and really elegant – much smoother than other green teas I’ve had. Our server came by often to fill our cups and make sure everything was up to par.

Definitively the most wallet-friendly way to experience the luxe Tres dining room (or SLS Hotel at all), the Phillip Starck-designed ambiance at tea is guaranteed to soothe. Travel and other books, fireplaces and translucent glass stag heads line the well-lit library-themed lounge adorned with light brown hues. The furniture has just-kitschy-enough details (silver AK47 standing lamps, anyone?) to pique intrigue; thankfully, they stop just short of gaudiness.

Afternoon tea at Tres is an elegant way to catch up with friends while enjoying some savory and sweet tastes. Sit back on the comfortable couches and enjoy tea inside the lovely space at Tres. As for me, I can’t wait until my out-of-town girlfriends come to visit LA again; Tres will be where we catch up.

Afternoon tea was hosted.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

3 – 5 PM daily

$32 per person ($36 with The Green Teaist tea selection)

Tres
inside SLS Hotel
465 S. La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310.246.5551

Thanksgiving In a Sandwich at simplethings

Thanksgiving Sandwich

Something special is coming to 3rd Street in Mid-City West, and it’s simplethings sandwich and pie shop. Third street is one of Mid-City West’s main treasures, and the store is a nice departure from the hustle and bustle of Joan’s on Third and the scene-y brunch hullabaloo of Toast.

3" Bourbon Pecan Cutie Pie ($2.50)

At simplethings, you’ll get to choose pies from three different sizes (3″, 5″ & 9″) in delicious varieties like Pumpkin, Key Lime, Banofee (banana + toffee = deliciousness), Bourbon Pecan, Orange Creamsicle, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Blueberry. Feelin’ like whoopie? They got plenty of varieties of whoopie pie for your hollerin’.

Or maybe you were feeling like a meal, first. They have specialty sandwiches like the Prime Rib sandwich, with their prime rib made in-house, and a Veggie Sandwich that tastes as hearty as a meat party. They also serve breakfast on the weekends until 2 PM and have fresh salads available all day.

But my favorite bite of the media preview had to be the Thanksgiving Sandwich, made with cranberry chutney and jalapeno stuffing. They also use chunks instead of slices of the bird, which helps keep the turkey meat tender. It’s seasonal, comprehensive and everything I could want since I’ll be on the plane on Thanksgiving Day. I’m celebrating early!

And if you’re craving pies and sandwiches now, today’s your lucky day since simplethings just opened at 11 AM. Call in your order or stop by – its simple decor is a charming set-up for the drop-in.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Open today (Monday, November 22, 2010) at 11 AM

Menu

simplethings
8310 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323-592-3390

Website

Summer Desserts Debut at Nobu

Cheesecake - $12 | Photo credit Craig Takahashi

Summer is upon us, and there’s no better time to introduce a new dessert menu. Nobu on La Cienega has you covered – with three new options from pastry chef Gabriele Riva. This ever delicate-yet-decadent, deconstructed cheese cake is made with Cheesecake mousse, sable breton, raspberry coulis, and sweet gorgonzola gelato. Yes – gorgonzola gelato! (Indeed, I am on a gorgonzola ice cream kick and cannot wait to try this one – especially after the phenomenal Pear-Gorgonzola-Walnut ice cream from Tai Kim of Scoops at the Eat My Blog Bake Sale over the weekend.)

Equilibrium - $11 | Photo credit Craig Takahashi

Further along the summer theme is Chef Riva’s Equilibrium ($11), which resembles a fresh green salad. The dessert is a mix of orange segments, light goat cheese cream, baby arugula, carmelized pecans and sorbet. I’m curious to try this one out; I can’t say that I’ve ever had a salad for dessert, before.

And don’t forget that there’s a fresh summer cocktail menu to lead into or even supplement your desserts…

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Nobu West Hollywood
903 N. La Cienega Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069-4709
310.657.5711

Bar and Lounge
Sun – Mon: 5 – 10:15 PM
Tue – Sat: 5 – 11:15 PM
Happy Hour 7 nights per week:
5 – 8 PM

Nobu Re-Introduces Daily Happy Hour With Summer Cocktails

Lounge Fixtures at Nobu West Hollywood

Nobu in West Hollywood may be the epitome of La Cienega swank, but one good thing about them is that they have happy hour every day. Make no mistake – these aren’t dive bar prices, but this isn’t dive bar food, either. Nobu’s imaginative bites do well to accompany you and titillate your taste buds while you take in (and exude) all the glamour in their lounge area.

Marcus Voglrieder recently updated their cocktail menu to match the warmer temperatures and while washing down your Wagyu Foie Gras Gyozas, Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno and Ginger Panko Encrusted Scallops. The original Happy Hour bites menu is still available, as is their $40 Omakase option.

During happy hour, the following drinks are $9:

  • Matsuhisa Martini 14
    Akvinta Vodka, Hokusetsu Sake, Ginger & garnished with Cucumbers
  • Spicy Acai Martini 14
    Veev Acai Spirit, Acai, Passion Fruit & Serrano Peppers
  • Bellini Martini 14
    Akvinta Vodka, Crème de Peche & White Peach puree
  • Piña Martini 14
    Pineapple Vodka, Fresh Pineapple & Fresh Lime
  • Lychee & Elderflower Martini 14
    Marani Vodka, St. Germain Liquor & Lychee Juice
  • Pink Canton 14
    Right Gin, Canton Ginger Liqueur, St Germain & Pink Grapefruit juice
  • Spring Punch 15
    Fresh Raspberries, Stoli Raspberry, Cassis & Champagne
  • Cucumber Martini 14
    Finlandia Grapefruit, Fresh Cucumber & Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Champagne 95 14
    Grand Marnier Liquor, Crème de Peche, Pineapple Juice & Champagne
  • Pisco Sour 14
    Pisco, Fresh Lime Juice & Sugar Cane
  • Japanese Caipirinha 14
    Leblon Cachaca, Fresh Lime, Shiso & Ginger Beer
  • Mia Margarita 14
    Corralejo Anejo, Passion Fruit, Shichimi & Fresh Lime Juice
  • Mango Martini 14
    Mango Infused Vodka, Passion Fruit & Fresh Lime Juice
  • Watermelon Shiso Martini 14
    Krome Vodka, Fresh Watermelon, Lemon & Shiso

The pricing on your other liquid options is as follows:

Martinis $9
Sapporo $4
Mixed Well Drinks $7
Specialty Wines by the Glass $6
Hot/Cold Jyunmai $9

Looks like Marcus has been hard at work. Can’t wait to try his new libations!

Happy Hour Daily
5 – 8 PM

Happy Hour Food Menu (unchanged)
Specialty cocktails $9 during Happy Hour

Nobu West Hollywood
903 N. La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
310.657.5711

Nobu Reinvents Tapas Menu With Omakase Option in Bar & Lounge

Lounge at Nobu West Hollywood

Perhaps you’re in the neighborhood but not in the mood to commit for the night. You want bites, not entrees – and were thinking something more elegant than bar food: The Nobu bar or lounge might be the perfect place to stop. They’ve recently made some additions to their already-popular menu – like Uni Dry Miso, Wagyu Dango Wasabi Saffron Aioli and Spanish Baby Octopus with Ginger Soy. Not to mention a brand new dessert menu. I will have to try that Suntory Whiskey Iced Cappuccino at least once!

And if you just want the best of what Chef Alex Becker has to offer you, you can always choose the 6-course omakase for $40. The first 3 courses are direct from the sushi bar followed by 2 dishes from the hot kitchen – and then dessert. Choices, choices…some of us are just more decisive than others.

Peep the new tapas menu below for the full range:

NOBU COLD TAPAS
Nobu Style Sashimi Tacos with Yellowfin Tuna, Lobster, or Crab 8
Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno 9
Whitefish Sashimi with Dried Miso 9
Yellowfin Tuna Tataki with Tosazu or Cilantro Dressing 9
Oysters with Nobu Sauces (Ponzu, Nobu, Maui) 10
Lobster Ceviche Butter Lettuce 12
Nobu New Style Sashimi – Salmon, Whitefish or Scallop 8
Uni Dry Miso 12
Tiradito – Whitefish, Scallop, or Octopus 8
Kanpachi Agua de Chile 12

SALADS
Baby Artichoke Salad with Crispy Leeks 7
Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing 10
Hearts of Palm Salad 7

NOBU HOT TAPAS
Wagyu and Foie Gras Gyozas 10
Scallop with Jalapeno Salsa 8

Continue reading

Gingerbread On The Rocks at Nobu

Looking for a holiday nightcap?

Marcus, a longtime mixologist in the Nobu family, will take care of exactly that with his holiday cocktail: Gingerbread on the Rocks. He starts out with crushed gingerbread cookie, which he mixes into a puree comprised of nutmeg, cinnamon and molasses. Double espresso Van Gogh gives it that rich coffee kick while Canton French ginger liqueur accentuates the root of the cocktail. It is then topped with more gingerbread crumbs. The result? A nostalgic look back at Christmases or holidays past. Gingerbread never tasted – or slurped – this good.

Available for $12 through December

Christmas Eve (12/24) hours: 6 – 10:15 PM
Christmas (12/25): Closed

Nobu West Hollywood
903 N La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069
310.657.5711

November Sweets at Nobu

Looking for a November nightcap?

I know what you’re thinking – November puts you in the mood for pumpkin pie & spice, and a sushi restaurant normally isn’t the place you’d go to get that. But for this month, only – Nobu West Hollywood is serving up a specially-made dessert that comes with a shot. Yes, the Japanese have pumpkins too! Peep below for the absolutely delicious dessert I tried last week:

Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) creme, vanilla caramel, caramelized Kabocha seeds, topped with coconut/caramel ice cream

The shot:

Finlandia grapefruit vodka, spicy pumpkin puree, condensed milk and garnished with nutmeg.

The coconut/caramel ice cream was so delicious with the Kabocha creme and the crispy carmelized seeds gave it good crunch. But the best part is actually the shot (have a little sip with each bite you take), which finishes off the dessert in a whole other way. Yes, it’s made with grapefruit vodka so there’s a nice, refreshing base while giving you that autumn, savory creaminess you’ve come to expect from pumpkin pie.

Oh, I’m sorry – did you want bites to eat before dessert? Nobu is notorious for some seriously delicious tapas – hot and cold. It’s pretty easy to pop in and sit down in the lounge area so you don’t have to mess with the stress of a reservation. I myself like to play it by ear. 😉

Hot tapas:

Wagyu and foie gras gyozas (3 pc) $10
Scallop with jalapeño salsa (2 pc) $8
Miso black cod with butter lettuce (2 pc) $8
Uni tempura $10
Rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy or butter ponzu sauce $7
“Fish ‘n Chips” Nobu style $8
Lamb anticucho $9
Squid pasta with light garlic sauce $9
Miso marinated grilled Black Tiger shrimp $9
Foie gras and crispy soba (2 pc) $9
Ginger panko encrusted scallops $10

Cold tapas:

Spicy taro chips with yellowfin tuna or scallop $10
Nobu style sashimi tacos with yellowfin tuna, lobster or crab (2 pc) $9
Yellowtail sashim with jalapeño $9
Whitefish sashimi with dried miso $9
Oysters with Nobu sauces (Ponzu, Nobu, Maui) $10
Lobster ceviche butter lettuce (2 pc) $12
Nobu new style sashimi – salmon, whitefish or scallop $8
Tiradito – whitefish, scallop or octopus $8
Kanpachi agua de chili $12

One thing’s for certain – I have my eye on the foie gras wagyu gyozas! I think I may just have to stop in – dessert’s just not enough.

Dessert available through November – $14

Hot and cold tapas available in lounge all day

Nobu
903 N. La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
310.657.5711