Cliff’s Edge: Great Food & Drink on Silver Lake’s Top Patio

Corn Agnolotti

Silver Lake is an anomaly of sorts. It’s known as one of the hippest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, though some easter-siders might argue that its time has past and has already gone by way of the tourist. Take, for example, that there are many movie settings that tout Silver Lake, but not Echo Park, Mt. Washington or Boyle Heights.

Sunset Junction, to be specific, is the site of the Los Angeles coffee resurgence, but the quality of Silver Lake’s new restaurants haven’t really kept the pace of the other burgeoning neighborhood’s eateries. Instead, it continues to be stocked with local favorites in lieu of destination restaurants with nearby residents regularly filling covers – and Silver Lake definitely prefers it that way.

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Bartenders Gather Their Talents for a Cause at Art Beyond the Glass II

Invention at the LAAC

As we all well know, cocktails are an art. But that doesn’t mean that many of the Los Angeles bartenders aren’t multi-talented, with abilities that reach far beyond the bar.

And for the second time this June 30th, dozens of LA’s top bartenders will gather for Art Beyond the Glass II, a fundraising event with, of course, cocktails, but also art, music and more – all entirely created and performed by bartenders. This year’s event will be at the exclusive, members-only Los Angeles Athletic Club’s new bar, Invention.

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Food Trend: Grapefruit Is All the Rage

Michael Voltaggio’s Ink: Hamachi with Oroblanco, Smoked Buttermilk Curds, Buttermilk Whey Kombu Bonito, Fried Onions

With all the different places I eat at from week to week – or more accurately, day to day – I can’t help but take note of the restaurant trends that follow the seasons. Of course, depending on your tastes, this could either be a welcomed opportunity or a temporary annoyance. (Though if you’ve never fallen for the Brussels sprouts or cupcake crazes, then you’re pretty much screwed since it doesn’t seem like either of them will be going anywhere, anytime soon.)

Sgroppino Variation

Recently, I came upon a few meals in a row where there was grapefruit in at least one dish. Since grapefruits are in season, and thus tasting especially fantastic right now, I had a fun time seeing and tasting what everyone did with the ingredient. And it’s not just in salads, anymore (though Tortilla Republic does a good job of it in their Ensalada de la Casa).

It was the acidic component in a sophisticated deli-style trout salad (Sadie Kitchen & Lounge). A complement to Vartan Abgaryan’s fantastic octopus-fennel salad as well as the shining star (along with Passion Fruit) in Matt Biancaniello’s Italian Greyhoud (Cliff’s Edge).

I ended up conducting the bulk of my really fun research time at Michael Voltaggio‘s Ink – thanks to both he and Gabriella Mlynarczykx – the latter of whom ended up with 5 pounds of grapefruit behind her bar, while the citrus abundance became inspiration for the former. Truth be told, Ink was the perfect site to explore the utmost creativity in both the kitchen and behind the stick with that singular ingredient. And the night before I conducted more fun research at Ink, Michael had actually just added a dish meant to be a riff on the dressed sashimi appetizer you’ve most likely seen at every Japanese restaurant. But this was, oh, so inspired.

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Dionicess IX is Craft Cubed: Beer & Booze Pairing

Randy Clemens, Dave Watrous, Gev Kazanchyan and Matt Biancaniello | Photo credit to FoodGPS.com

We’re about due for another Dionicess event. Of course, these guys won’t stop outdoing themselves as they’ve brought a beer & booze pairing to fruition.

Matt Biancaniello of The Roosevelt Hotel’s Library Bar is brought into the fold with Randy Clemens, Dave Watrous and Gev Kazachyan as they pair five craft beers with five craft spirits. Prepare for a boozy evening in late October at Steingarten LA to benefit the Real Medicine Foundation for an all-inclusive $65 entrance fee.

And if you know anything about Matt or the Dionicess crew, you’ll automatically know this is something unique they have up their sleeves. Expect garden-fresh ingredients a la Matt with your spirits and beer pairings.

Better start arranging that taxi… See you there.

Friday, October 21, 2011

7 PM

$65 per person, all-inclusive tickets

Steingarten LA
10543 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064