In the old space that once housed Hatfield’s, then Eva Restaurant, is now an outpost of a successful Belmont Shores import. The new location of the Lebanese chainlet called Open Sesame is admirably strategic; it’s well north of other Mediterranean haunts on Pico but south of those in The Valley. It adds to the diversity of dining options on Beverly Boulevard, and from my experience a couple weeks ago, a viable choice for flavorful food which also doubles as healthful. Those seeking vegetarian, vegan or Halal compliant will be happy that this popped up in the neighborhood.
Something special is coming up on Sunday – it’s so special it’s “to die for,” and luckily there are a few tickets left, so grab them quick. Yet again, there’s something brewing down in Long Beach – but for this 11th installment of Dionicess, you can forget it being holiday themed, and instead Walking Dead themed. Zombie themed. What-have-you.
To match, the series has been temporarily renamed as “Die”-nisis and will be serving food to accommodate their vision, including food and beer inspired by corpses, skeletons, brains and all of the above. Though they say it’s a 5-course dinner, if you’re familiar at all with their events, you know there will be some extras.
Long Beach is that sister city, south of Los Angeles. If you are one who truly loves being an Angeleno – without the irony, that is – you accept The LBC as the L.A. away from L.A. Each block is potentially completely different from the next, and it’s one vast county hosting a cornucopia of cultures and backgrounds.
And then there’s Long Beach-Belmont Shore. At Simmzy’s second location, their corner on the block is bustling with flip-flops, beer and pub food. It’s a true pub without having bowed to the recent “gastro-” trends as of late. Besides, Simmzy’s are beachy places without the beachfront. People sometimes just want good weather, good beer (offered up by two dozen taps), a good time and good food – not groundbreaking culinary trends.
While I tend to think the Manhattan Beach location is a tad small, the Long Beach one also has no problems filling its space to the gills. They’ve got day-of-the-week special, which happened to be the Short Rib & Chocolate Porter Chili on Saturdays – a sweet, tangy treat. Though their crust is not a lot to write home about, their pizzas showcase some original topping combinations, such as a smoked Bacon & Date Marscapone, made with garlic, mozzarella, sage and balsalmic syrup for a slightly sweet treat.
And while I know that Brussels sprouts are a bit of a shoe-in for many places, I can’t say that I’ve had many executed so impressively as their carmelized rendition, with butter, garlic, lemon, anchovies, capers and bruschetta for a succulent yet zesty combination.
Whatever the case, it’s time to get (re-)acquainted for the tenth installment of pairing sessions, because the boys are about to bring you an extravaganza of aged beers and foods for your enjoyment.
Yes, you’ll have to venture to Long Beach for this special event, but let’s be honest: There’s really no better reason to do so than Beachwood BBQ. At an all-inclusive $80 with 5 pairings and the proceeds going to Real Medicine Foundation, you know this particular summer Sunday will be more than worth it.
Some intel to get you excited:
The base beer by Julian of Beachwood BBQ is high-gravity and contains Green Cardamom and was fermented with a bunch of Blackstrap Molasses. Jeff Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab was given a sample of this base beer in order to craft a coffee that would lend the beer an “Armenian coffee” note. These beans were then placed in the beer a few days ago. Soon, oak chips that have been soaked in 25-year-old Armenia Cognac will be used to age the beer in time for the event. And the resulting product, dubbed “System of a Stout,” will be an exclusive to Dionicess X for the series’ tenth anniversary and for your tasting pleasure.
You’ll have Gev Kazanchyan, a public health professor; Randy Clemens of Sriracha Cookbook fame; Dave Watrous, “The Guezehound” of Beachwood BBQ; Gabe Gordon, Executive Chef of Beachwood and Julian Shrago, Brewmaster of Beachwood to guide the way. Because you’d expect nothing short of the experts to impart knowledge and tastes to your palate, now wouldn’t you?
Basically, everything you’ll be enjoying on this evening will have undergone an aging process of some sort – whether beer or food. And there will be a couple goodies to take home with you, such as a specially-bottled, limited edition Bourbon Barrel Aged Chile Sauce. Talk about swag.
Tickets are almost sold out, so it’d be a good idea not to sleep on this one and reserve your seats now… I’ll see you there.
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 dishesÂ offered for the holiday, there are plenty of options all around town. Though I tried finding spots to represent the LA neighborhoods equally, apparently theÂ 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 likeÂ myself.
Take a look below for your Sunday feast of choiceÂ 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…
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
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
110 Navy Street
Venice, CA 90291
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 Farmerâ€™s Market Berry Compote
- Grilled Free-Range Chicken Breast with Apple & Fourme dâ€™Ambert.
11 AM – 3 PM
$35 prix fixe incl. bottomless mimosas
Chaya Brasserie Beverly Hills
8741 Alden Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90048