Monday, February 20, 2017

Philippe the original home of the French Dip Sandwich

It's hard to be ordinary, when in fact you're extraordinary...  and here's where Philippe steps "up to the plate!"
The oldest and best known restaurant in Southern California has been family owned and operated since 1908... and that's incredibly hard to beat.
Located in the heart of downtown at the crossroads of North Main, Alameda and Ord streets- a block from Union Station and walking distance to City Hall, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and Olvera Street.
Diners come to Philippe's for the nostalgia as much as for its famous French Dip Sandwiches. Its recipe and preparation has been passed on through four generations and today it is being overseen by dynamic great-great-great grandson Andrew Binder, who is at the helm as manager/partner.
Other famous menu Dip items include, lamb, turkey, pork, ham and pastrami. Tasty sides include potato and macaroni salad, coleslaw and kosher dill pickles.
Philippe is located at 1001 N. Alameda in L.A. Phone (213)628-3781 or
Open seven days a week from 6 a.m. (open for breakfast) to 10 p.m. except Thanksgiving and Christmas.. Phiippe sells about 2200 sandwiches on weekdays and 3800 on weekends, and 80 gallons of their famous hot mustard a week.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Loveblock and Wolf

What a delight to  be the lunch guest of the vivacious and knowledgeable Erica Crawford, founder and CEO of Loveblock Vintners in New Zealand. created along with her  husband and winemaker Kim, (both renowned veterans of the amazing New Zealand wine industry.) Along with an astonishing resume of accomplishments, they established Loveblock sustainable wines back in 2004, planting new vineyards in an untamed pasture where sheep used to graze. It brought back wonderful memories for me as I had the opportunity visit Marlborough Atwatere Valley on a recent visit to New Zealand, known for its pristine vineyards surrounded by jagged mountain peaks, brilliant blue skies, crystal clear inlets, and a long, cooling growing season.
The pairing of this wonderful experience took place at Wolf, replete with a contemporary vibe set at the eclectic crossroads of Melrose in Hollywood, an absolutely perfect  venue to present a culinary adventure inspired by the energy of Owner and Executive Chef Marcel Vigneron, along with manager Sean Perman, who joined forces and created the incredible menu to enhance Loveblock and complete the delicious and delightful experience.
Chef Marcel has dedicated his life to gastronomy and honing his skills as a chef. He is an artisan who has an affinity for culinary knowledge, who uses a knife as a extension of his hand, and the kitchen as a workshop, the earth as a grocery store. He works with small, local family farms committed to sustainable agriculture, responsible production and promotion of fruits and  vegetables.
We enjoyed Hamahi Crudo, nuoc cham,radish,herbs and puffed rice, along with a smooth Sauvignon Blanc; Mushroom Risotto with pine nut, sorrel, peas, pancetta accompanied by Pinto Gris;An amazing Braised Beef Cheek with jerusalem artichoke, endive, turmeric peppercorn sauce, present alongside an incredible Pinot Noir.  Blueberry Souffle with quince sorbet was the "icing on the cake!"
Wolf, adjacent to a restaurant named Beefsteak is located at 7661 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90446. They are open for dinner only, phone (323)424-7735 for hours and more information.