The Great White Truffle Round-up of Los Angeles

White Truffles at SAAM, The Bazaar

It’s that wonderful time of year when it’s time to indulge in one of the true delicacies of the world. Forget the artificial truffle oil (redundant) of the ’90s – the real thing has a season and the time to enjoy white truffles is now.

Of course, at two to three thousand dollars per pound, it’s quite easy to break the bank while partaking. Fortunately, I’ve got a lot of options in different forms (cocktails! tasting menus! burgers!) and price points that will ensure you’re able to get your fungi fix.

Let’s start out with a cocktail by Matty B, why don’t we?

Continue reading

Get Out the Vote: Election Day Food & Drink Specials Around Los Angeles

Tavern Red State Burger – Pork, pork, pork, Manchego, Romesco

As November 6th rolls up, we’re reminded, again and again, that the best reason to vote is to realize our civic duty. We, as a society, have been preparing for next Tuesday for a long time (Californians, with all our propositions, you know what I’m talking about). Decisions will be made as a collective whether or not we decide to personally participate, so why not embrace it?

Whether you take-away a savory dinner to enjoy at home or await the returns in camaraderie at one of the viewing parties, your “I Voted” sticker will score some points with your taste buds and your wallet anywhere around town. If you voted absentee, perhaps you’ll want to carry your stub or some other proof with you so you can make your case. Check below for a deal near you:

Continue reading

Los Angeles Food & Wine: Lunch By Iron Chef Morimoto and Sara Johannes at WP24

Peking Style Duck | Warm Chanterelle Salad, Duck Skin Cracklin, 10-Spice Confit Figs - Chef Sara Johannes

I’m always appreciative of opportunities to try visiting chefs’ food. A couple weeks ago, on the occasion of the Lexus-sponsored Los Angeles Food & Wine‘s 70-event extravaganza, I had the chance to do so at one of the Friday afternoon not-so-power lunches held all over town (Though in the case of Chef “star power,” yes – it was very powerful). It was held at WP24 in conjuction with Executive Chef Sara Johannes, who contributed half of the 4 courses served at the sold-out lunch.

Kin Medai Snapper w/Geoduck, Papaya, Peanuts & Coconut Foam - Chef Masaharu Morimoto

With his title as one of the winningest Iron Chefs no doubt contributing to the buzz, Chef Morimoto and Chef Johannes sent out passed appetizers, a couple of which I never got to try. I’ll have to return to try out those seared foie gras bao buns and steamed XO scallops with hot oil, scallions & ginger – but the spoonfuls of Parmesan “Tofu” and Lobster & Scallop Shiu Mais were tasty enough as starters.

The true standouts, though, were the four courses at the center of the lunch. Never had I had geoduck so tender and the snapper tasted nothing short of beautiful. The papaya and coconut foam were perfect touches to the seafood. It was a refreshing start, and I couldn’t wait for more.

The next course that came up was Sara Johannes’ (and WP24’s) masterpiece – a Peking Style Duck Breast. It came with Warm Chantrelle Salad, the frisee of which tasted like roasted mushrooms, and Ten-Spiced Confit Figs and Smoked Duck Cracklin’. The cracklin was indeed a very nice touch, making a hyperbole of the importance of a crispy duck skin. The figs really completed the platter, adding a tenderized, spice component to the perfectly-cooked richness of the duck. I have to say that this was probably the best dish I’ve had in a very long time.

Washugyu Flat Iron w/Veal Cheek Tempura, Compressed Apple & Chili Soy - Chef Masuharu Morimoto

The Washugyu (a hybrid between Japanese Black Wagyu and fine American Black Angus) flat iron steak was incredibly delicious thanks to its beautiful marbling, but what really floored me was the tenderness of the veal cheeks within their slight, tempura breading. The veal cheeks were probably twice as tender as the already soft beef. The sweet soy was subtle enough to really enhance the flavors of the meat and let the cuts sing on their own.

The dessert that concluded our afternoon was no less impressive than any of the other courses, thanks to brand-new-to-WP24 pastry chef Cassie Ballard. Sure, you couldn’t really tell it was edamame ice cream until you read the menu (after that, it all clicks), but that sesame crisp is so simple yet ingenius. And tasty. Coupled with a Caramel Roasted Apple tart and Butterscotch Miso, the dessert really comes together. It was light enough weight to elegantly close out the wonderful lunch yet left all our sweet teeth satisfied (hello, caramel!).

If the food at WP24 is anything like the refined courses I had during this particular Lexus-sponsored Los Angeles Food & Wine event, it’s clear that there is much, much more to a reservation there than its stellar, downtown views. And now, for that special occasion to make that return visit…

All food & wine were hosted.

Sun – Thur

5 – 10 PM

Fri – Sat

5 – 11 PM

Dining Room:
Mon – Thur

5:30 – 10 PM

Fri – Sat

5:30 – 10:30 PM

Closed Sunday

900 W Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

The Dine LA Chef Roundtable

Joachim Splichal, Josiah Citrin, Karen Hatfield, Susan Feniger, Wolfgang Puck, Mark Peel

At Redcat in downtown on June 8, 2010, there will be a discussion on the Los Angeles food scene by none other than chefs most responsible for shaping the city that we all know and love to eat in, today. Observe the heavyweights wax poetic about their start in the industry, their proteges, and where exactly they think LA’s culinary landscape is headed, next. The panel will take place from 7 – 8 PM with a Q&A by the audience to follow.

What’s more, Starry Kitchen will cater the event afterwards with their delicious home-cooked Thai/Vietnamese-influenced food as chefs and guests mingle. This event is free but space is limited.

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

7PM – 9PM


REDCAT Theater
631 W. 2nd Street,
Los Angeles CA 90012