Sunday, September 24, 2017

Emporium Thai Cuisine in Westwood, CA

A hip spot right in the heart of Westwood, the Emporium Thai. a street front restaurant, has a chic designed dining room that is easy on the eye, with comfortable booths and tables, and the most pleasant soft background music.
This sets the delightful scene for their new seasonal collection of the finest flavor packed Southern Thai culinary treats to fire up your taste buds. Featuring signature delights, all with your choice of spicy or mild( on a scale of 0 to 10), many dishes that are designed for sharing Tapas style, and plenty of vegetarian, gluten free and peanut free options.
Owner John Sungkamee was happy to share his story of how his mother Supis (his total inspiration), won a lottery in Thailand to come to the United States, and brought John with her, the youngest of her 12 children. With the opening of Thai Emporium, many of the family began emigrating here, and now work alongside him, including his sister Gina who is the Executive Chef.
Family member Honey Bee (I love that name) walked us through the menu. We followed her suggestions that are featured in the new Thai Tapas Tasting Menu consisting of 4 courses, with an optional wine pairing available.
First Course: Southern Wings with 2016 Margerum Riviera Rose (Santa Barbara County. The hot chicken wings are cooked in Thai spices with Southern Thai curry flavors that beautifully meld together. Second Course: Papaya salad with 2016 Clos Henri Petitie Clos Sauvignon  Blanc (Marlborough NZ). It's an exotic papaya salad featuring duo dishes of Pad Kra Pow Gai Sab, Thai basil ground chicken and Panang curry served with crispy pork belly and Jasmine rice with 2015 Quipe Modern Red (Santa Barbara County). This dish is one of the most popular Thai street foods and it is delicious. The special thick and extremely flavorful Panang curry is prepared with crispy pork belly and Jasmine rice. Dessert: Mango sticky rice comes with slices of mango along the side making the rice sweet and sticky. Yummy!
A staple in the neighborhood of the renowned UCLA since 2000,  Emporium Thai's mission is to "create a memorable and wonderful Thai dining experience that you'll return to often and rave about  to your friends." In addition to capturing  many accolades and prestigious awards, it has also achieved the significant milestone of being the first Thai restaurant to partner with UberEats.
Emporium Thai  is open for lunch and dinner, Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday-11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
There is also a late afternoon Happy Hour, Monday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with fabulous prices on wine and Thai Tapas.
Located at: 1275 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles 90024 (310) 478-2838

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Los Angeles Paella, Wine & Beer Festival October 7

The Los Angeles Paella, Wine & Beer Festival is a celebration of Paella- a dish that comes to us from Spain, with origins dating back to the 18th century. A saffron-infused rice dish that marries bold flavors and delightful textures. Paella was originally a peasant's meal cooked over an open fire in the fields and eaten directly from the pan using wooden spoons. Today, paella recipes have become somewhat of an art form ranging from meats and seafoods to vegan and vegetarian.
The Festival will feature unlimited tasting paella, 50 acclaimed Paella chefs and their teams from across the globe,  (the winner will go to Spain to compete for the world title of  the best Paella Valenciana in Chueca Valencia Spain); dozens of acclaimed local and international wineries, breweries and tequilerias with unlimited wine & beer tasting, Sangria, spirits and Spanish tapas for sale.
Restaurateur and Chef Vicente Ortiz will be cooking the biggest Paella ever cooked in the USA.
The Festival will also feature Spanish and Mexican music and dance performers enhancing the festive atmosphere.
The Festival will be held on October 7, 2017 from 1-6 p.m. at Pershing Square (532 S. Olive Street)
For more information please visit  General admission tickets cost $50 and may be purchased online. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the festival's non-profit partner, CANICA USA Inc.
Join in for a delicious fun filled day.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Maestro in Old Town Pasadena

Maestro, a critically acclaimed modern Mexican eatery has amazing Chef Partner Elena Vega, celebrating her Mexican roots, at the helm. She singlehandedly crafted Maestro's brunch program, which has sold out tables every weekend since its inception. She specializes in fresh farmer's market fare, with produce, cheeses, spices and ingredients that are all incorporated into her superb menu. Her working partner Sergio Martinez Maestro is there to explain all the dishes she creates.
Chef Elena's Fall Menu offers such delights as Kumiai oyster shooters; heads cheese tostadita; kale orange salad; scallop, Huitlacoche rice and mushrooms; free range chicken mole; and carrot cake tres leches. On the regular menu, highlights include; bay boat scallops; short ribs; enchiladas; duck carnitas;octopus;esquite; enchiladas and ceviche.
Behind the incredibly lively, warm and friendly bar at Maestro are brothers Rodrigo and Ivan Fabian, whose craft drinks have become known as the best in town. With a beat all their own they design and serve their cocktails along with wine and beer,  creating a show that seems faster then the eye can see. Their specialties include: Maestro, watermelon, and Picosita margaritas; Mezcal campfire, and tea mule: aged old fashion, Cazuela, the La Elena, and Deovlet white wine (among many others). Bar and Beverage Manager Paul Gonzalez is nearby ready to answer any questions you might have.
. Enjoy dining indoors or on the lovely patio alongside the restaurant.
. Hours are 5-10 p.m. Closed Mondays, Saturday and Sunday Brunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Maestro is located at 110 E. Union Street in Old Pasadena, 91103 Phone (626) 787-1512 or

Saturday, August 19, 2017

800 Degrees Pizzeria Hollywood

Since its debut in 2012 in Los Angeles, 800 degrees, an authentic Neapolitan-style pizzeria founded by Corporate Executive Chef Anthony Carron has set itself apart from its competitors with their delicious Old World pizzas made with hand-stretched dough, premium-quality cheeses, produce and charcuterie. Now, Carron and 800 Degrees' new C.E.O. Tommy Lee are turning up the summer heat by introducing a New Look, New Menu with Rotisserie Chicken, Cocktails and more.
Carron and Lee introduce their Rotisserie Chicken as the longstanding tradition in Naples of pizza and rotisserie chicken. It is available on a plate with 2 sides or individually when ordered as whole with choices of sauce, and sides such as roasted fingerling potatoes, brussel sprouts, hummus, farm greens, and quinoa tabbouleh.
Enjoy,  the handcrafted classic  cocktails to accompany their current wine and beer offerings, along with their pizzas and salads.
Discover 800 Degrees Hollywood open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Located at 1521 Vine Street, Hollywood 90028 phone (323) 329-9659; or

Thursday, July 20, 2017

La Jolla's Marine Room

Think of a picture postcard village snuggling against a backdrop of lush rolling hills, where art,  delicious food and wine capture the essence, and you have La Jolla.
Here, set along the mesmerizing beauty of La Jolla's finest beach is the landmark Marine Room, which since 1941 continues to be a legendary chic coastal culinary delight. Ir's a special treat to enjoy a delicious meal here, while observing the joyful eye-level action along  both the sand and sea. In the evening get set to be awed by the romantic fiery Pacific sunset.
World-class Executive Chef, Bernard Guillas and Chef de Cuisine Ron Oliver present a dynamic and innovative menu of savory offerings. Their devotion to French fare begins with fresh seafood, local produce and ingredients, and sumptuous award-winning desserts.
Your choice of appetizers include: fennel roasted scallop with foie, cashew blue crab cake; rose petal Adrich coated wild prawns and the signature lobster bisque soup.
For entrees  there's the mouthwatering house specialty turf & surf-filet and lobster; Shetland Island open ocean salmon; center cut black Angus filet mignon; Cervena Farm elk loin; Imperial Stout braised Kobe beef cheek; and Maltese orange ginger glazed swordfish. among others.
Chef's Specials include Maine dive scallops and Baja prawn; Nebraska center cut prime Angus New York; and walnut crusted Alaskan halibut.Top it off with the signature spindrift cobblestone pie or the frosted Grand Marnier toffee nougat for the most memorable culinary experience.
An award winning wine and champagne menu is available by the stem or bottle.
Overlooking perfection as well as the great waitstaff is Restaurant Manager, Dexter Lacambacal.
The Marine Room is located at 2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla 92037  phone (866) 644-2351 or
.Valet parking is available.
. Chefs Bernard Guillas and Ron Oliver have autographed their Flying Pans Cookbook IACP  Best Cookbook USA "Two Chefs, One World"  "Two Chefs, One Catch" Culinary Exploration of Seafood., and it's available for purchase at the restaurant.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Laughlin, Nevada Welcomes You

Reveling in its own casino excitement, glitz, indulgence and joy, Laughlin sits on the banks of the shimmering crystal blue waters of the Colorado River, where Nevada, California and Arizona converge.
Just 90 miles south of Las Vegas, it's named for Don Laughlin, a gambling entrepreneur,hotelier and rancher who had the insight to create Laughlin.
Hop onboard a Celebration riverboat operated by Laughlin River Tours, set at the dock of the Aquarius hotel, for a scenic and informative guided tour to learn all about the area, hotels and the culinary delights that are offered from casual to fine dining.
The resorts are set close togeter, and water taxis are readily available and make it easy to go back and forth from one hotel dock to the other.
Among the most popular resorts are: Aquariius, Colorado Belle Casino Resort, Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino (featuring a bowling alley), Laughlin River Lodge, Edgewater Casino, Golden Nugget (home to the wonderful Landry's Restaurants: Bubba Gump, Claim Jumber and Saltgrass Steak House), Harrah's Laughlin (with a guest only soft sand beach), Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall, and Tropicana Laughlin.
Recreation opportunities:
The Colorado River that winds its way through the Mohave Valley provides lots of recreational opportunities. You can view the river from many of the resorts, or the more adventurous can cruise the river on kayaks, jet skis, wave runners, as well as hop onboard ferries and tour boats. Anglers are on the lookout for trout, catfish and striped bass.
The Lake Mead National Recreation Area encompasses Lake Mohave, Katherine Landing, Davis Dam and camp area.
There are many Dam and Dirt Road Desert activities available.
Nearby Areas;
Oatman located on historic Route 66 is a  western ghost town and mining camp. It begas as a tent camp for mining in 1905 and thrived up until 1942. Today, drawn by its history, it lures many visitors. It's also the location where movies such as, "How the West Was Won," and "Edge of Eternity," were filmed. Have fun experiencing the staged gunfights, costumed dancers, gift shops, and be welcomed by the wild burros that roam freely throughout the town.
Hoover Dam, the highest concrete dam creating the Unitedx State's largest man made resevoir.
Bullhead City, AZ;
For additional information contact:  Southern Nevada Regional Office of the Visitors Bureau (800) 452-8445 or

Friday, May 19, 2017

CASA FINA Restaurant & Cantina

In a  city filled with culinary outposts that honor cuisines from all across the world,CASA FINA stands out for offering a unique authentic and heartfelt representation of Mexican food from taste to presentation... in an energized and festive atmosphere. Vibrant colors and art give way to a warm and friendly ambience and welcoming staff.
Josefina Lopez, the award winning playwright and screenwriter, the creator of of the pop culture play and film, "Real Women Have Curves, and Founding Artistic Director of CASA 0101 in Boyle Heights, celebrated her 30th anniversary as a writer with the opening of the restaurant.
She joined forces with three other business partners and immigrants like herself, Executive Chef Augustin Alvarez, and Restaurant Owners, Alonzo Ricardo and Emmanuel Deleage (Josefina's husband) to oversee CASA F INA Restaurant & Cantina.
Chef Alvarez presents the cuisine of Mexico with his unique twist on traditional dishes.
Like the grand opening of an award winning play, CASA FINA dramatically plays out their menu.
Act One is breakfast, both Mexican and American dishes; Act Two  features appetizers; Act Three is the entrees; Climax includes Fajitas, Milanesa plate and the signature Emmanuel's Favorite Flank Steak; Resolution features  burger combo; chimichanga and Tortas. Dessert offerings are highlighted by flan;deep fried ice cream ;and strawberries dipped in chocolate.
To quench your thirst try the unique and refreshing Wine Margaritas,on the rocks or blended with lime, strawberry, peach or coconut.. or a selection of wines including sangria by the glass or pitcher, and draft beers also by the glass or pitcher.
Hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. for both lunch and dinner; Friday from 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 a..m. including breakfast, lunch and dinner and Sundays from 8 a.m.-10 p.m., including Sunday Brunch from 8 a.m.-12 noon.
CASA FINA's Cantina will be open from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with a limited Happy Hour Menu.
Valet parking is available behind the restaurant.
Located in the Art District in Boyle Heights at 1842 E. First Street, Los Angeles, 90033, phone (323) 604-9592...
Definitely worth the drive.