The 2014 Eat+Drink Supper Club 

A Curated Dining Experience

I can’t believe it’s been an entire year already and here we are with our second Eat+Drink Supper Club season - yes, that’s what I’m calling summer now, the supper club season.  We had so much fun last year with our chefs that we’re bringing a few of them back.  We’ve also paired many of them with amazing winemakers and other local culinary entrepreneurs to completely blow your minds.  I can’t wait to spend the summer eating and drinking with you!  

Our first dinner is April 26th with Chef Clark Staub of Full of Life Flatbread and J.Brix Wines (the full summer list is below). Chef Staub’s menu is to die for and the husband+wife team of Emily & Jody Brix Towe will regale you with why their wines are about to become your new best friends.

1st Course: Morro Bay Oysters with Mignonette & Spring Pea Soup 
Wine: 2012 j. brix “The Augur” Riesling, Kick On Ranch Vineyard

2nd Course: Burrata-stuffed Artichoke wrapped in Prosciutto & Spring-Greens Salad
Wine: 2012 j. brix “Audire” Pinot Noir, Kick On Ranch Vineyard

3rd Course: House-made Chorizo-stuffed Santa Barbara Squid w/Beans and Aioli & Shaman’s Flatbread 
Wine: 2011 j. brix “La Belle Rêveuse” Syrah, Alamo Creek Vineyard

4th Course: Smoked Goat-Milk Ice Cream, Cajeta, Pistachio Cake

Saturday, April 26th
7:00p Cocktails & 8:00p Dinner: $100

40 seats are available and $100 per person includes EVERYTHING (all beverages are complimentary), all you have to do is bring your hungry, thirsty self.  GET IN!

Eat+Drink + Olabisi Wines
Olabisi Wines just sent out their Spring Wine Club details and I wanted to share them with you immediately for two reasons:  1) Ted Osborne has created a magnificent wine he’s calling the Black Pearl.  I had the luxury of tasting this wine straight from the barrel in January and I was blown away (check out Ted in the barrel room below!).  You need this in your mouth now!  2) Ted and his amazing wines are coming directly to YOU via the Eat+Drink Supper Club on May 31st.  Sign up for this dinner immediately!Olabisi makes incredibly small quantities of wine so the best way to know about them is to Sign Up for the Olabisi Newsletter.  If you’re a wine freak, like me, check out their Wine Club options that ship in April & November and Email them to get IN.  
Joy3: 3 Bottles of each Wine / 6 Bottles per Shipment 
Joy6: 6 Bottles of each Wine / 12 Bottles per Shipment
Joy Infinity: One Case of each Wine / Two Cases per Shipment
OLABISI Cabernet Sauvignon “Black Pearl Vineyard” 2010 ($90)Wine Notes: Undisclosed hillside vineyard. Bright and dark black-red in color, this wine truly shines in the glass. Smell and taste black and red cherries, cassis, blueberry pie and a hint of mocha spice. There’s just enough luxurious French oak to frame all of the perfectly ripe and gorgeous fruit. Moderate tannin structure is evident on the soaring 60+ second finish that begs for sip after sip of this texturally sublime wine. Simply put, this is seamless, quintessential Napa Valley luxury Cabernet.Drink now through 2035.Only 96 cases.OLABISI Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2011 ($38)Wine Notes: The blend of this wine is top secret (Ted won’t even tell me what’s in it), but after tasting it a few times, I place it stylistically somewhere between a Pinot Noir and a Zinfandel. Drink it with roasted chicken, drink it with BBQ ribs, drink it for Tuesday dinner and drink it for Sunday brunch. Your table will be happy no matter what. Only 74 cases. High-res

Eat+Drink + Olabisi Wines

Olabisi Wines just sent out their Spring Wine Club details and I wanted to share them with you immediately for two reasons:  1) Ted Osborne has created a magnificent wine he’s calling the Black Pearl.  I had the luxury of tasting this wine straight from the barrel in January and I was blown away (check out Ted in the barrel room below!).  You need this in your mouth now!  2) Ted and his amazing wines are coming directly to YOU via the Eat+Drink Supper Club on May 31st.  Sign up for this dinner immediately!

Olabisi makes incredibly small quantities of wine so the best way to know about them is to Sign Up for the Olabisi Newsletter.  If you’re a wine freak, like me, check out their Wine Club options that ship in April & November and Email them to get IN.  

  • Joy3: 3 Bottles of each Wine / 6 Bottles per Shipment 
  • Joy6: 6 Bottles of each Wine / 12 Bottles per Shipment
  • Joy Infinity: One Case of each Wine / Two Cases per Shipment
OLABISI Cabernet Sauvignon “Black Pearl Vineyard” 2010 ($90)
Wine Notes: Undisclosed hillside vineyard. Bright and dark black-red in color, this wine truly shines in the glass. Smell and taste black and red cherries, cassis, blueberry pie and a hint of mocha spice. There’s just enough luxurious French oak to frame all of the perfectly ripe and gorgeous fruit. Moderate tannin structure is evident on the soaring 60+ second finish that begs for sip after sip of this texturally sublime wine. Simply put, this is seamless, quintessential Napa Valley luxury Cabernet.Drink now through 2035.Only 96 cases.

OLABISI Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2011 ($38)
Wine Notes: The blend of this wine is top secret (Ted won’t even tell me what’s in it), but after tasting it a few times, I place it stylistically somewhere between a Pinot Noir and a Zinfandel. Drink it with roasted chicken, drink it with BBQ ribs, drink it for Tuesday dinner and drink it for Sunday brunch. Your table will be happy no matter what. Only 74 cases.

The 2014 Eat+Drink Supper Club: A Curated Dining Experience

I can’t believe it’s been an entire year already and here we are with our second Eat+Drink Supper Club season - yes, that’s what I’m calling summer now, the supper club season.  We had so much fun last year with our chefs that we’re bringing a few of them back.  We’ve also paired many of them with amazing winemakers and other local culinary entrepreneurs to completely blow your minds.  I can’t wait to spend the summer eating and drinking with you!  

Our first dinner is April 26th with Chef Clark Staub of Full of Life Flatbread and J.Brix Wines (the full summer list is below). Chef Staub’s menu is to die for and the husband+wife team of Emily & Jody Brix Towe will regale you with why their wines are about to become your new best friends.

1st Course: Morro Bay Oysters with Mignonette & Spring Pea Soup 
Wine: 2012 j. brix “The Augur” Riesling, Kick On Ranch Vineyard

2nd Course: Burrata-stuffed Artichoke wrapped in Prosciutto & Spring-Greens Salad
Wine: 2012 j. brix “Audire” Pinot Noir, Kick On Ranch Vineyard

3rd Course: House-made Chorizo-stuffed Santa Barbara Squid w/Beans and Aioli & Shaman’s Flatbread 
Wine: 2011 j. brix “La Belle Rêveuse” Syrah, Alamo Creek Vineyard

4th Course: Smoked Goat-Milk Ice Cream, Cajeta, Pistachio Cake

I could go on and on about each of our 2014 supper clubs and why every single one of them is going to leave you dreamy and excited for the next but leave it to say that each of these dates needs to be seared in to your calendar as must-haves.  Don’t even think about booking yourself to do anything else!

April 26J.Brix Wines & Chef Clark Staub, Full of Life Flatbread
May 31Olabisis Wines & Chef Josef Morphis*, Mastro’s Ocean Club
June 21Phifer Pavitt Wines
July 26Chef David Feau*
August 23: Something amazing yet to be determined.
September 20: Something even more amazing coming your way soon.
October 11Chef Eric Nelson Brown*

*Returning from stellar dinners you remember from last summer!
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Sriracha!!!!

The American condiment world has long been dominated by two heavyweights: Ketchup and Mustard. Thanks to a hipster rebellion, Sriracha has become the darling challenger to these titans (sorry, mayo). Griffin Hammond decided to dig deeper into the story and love affair with the hot sauce and has now put out this documentary. Watch the trailer and then pay five bucks to see it in its entirety.

If this isn’t the best/handiest list for schmucks like me, I don’t know what is!!!  :)
A Handy Guide to Private Dining Rooms in Los Angeles
The holidays are always a time when big groups like to get together and enjoy a festive meal, which is why private dining isn’t just popular, it’s essential. Many restaurants take special care to have a part of the restaurant reserved for office parties and communal gatherings, often with special menus to streamline service, and customized beverage pairings. Here below, just in time for Christmas and New Year’s, a compilation of some of the best private dining rooms in Los Angeles.
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If this isn’t the best/handiest list for schmucks like me, I don’t know what is!!!  :)

A Handy Guide to Private Dining Rooms in Los Angeles

The holidays are always a time when big groups like to get together and enjoy a festive meal, which is why private dining isn’t just popular, it’s essential. Many restaurants take special care to have a part of the restaurant reserved for office parties and communal gatherings, often with special menus to streamline service, and customized beverage pairings. Here below, just in time for Christmas and New Year’s, a compilation of some of the best private dining rooms in Los Angeles.

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Eat+Drink Gang of 12

Our next VERY amazing Gang of 12 dinner will be January 7th 2014 at Hakkasan Beverly Hills.  The menu is AMAZING and I mean that, AMAZING!  If you’ve been living under a rock here in Los Angeles for the past few months, you might not know about the celebrity haven that Hakkasan immediately became upon it’s opening in September.  The food is high-end and the star sighting chances are likely so the cost is priced accordingly at $200 per person (all inclusive).  If you want to attend, I have a “few” seats left so let me know soon!

Oh it is ON tonight for the very first Eat+Drink Gang of 12 Dinner at Mercado Santa Monica.  The menu is out of control!  I’m so looking forward to spending some time with my fellow Eat+Drink-ers tonight.  Keep an eye out for our posts all over social media.  :)
Small Plates: Dos Gringas, Fish Tacos & Dip Duo (Guacamole and Choriqueso) 
Vegetables: Grilled Corn & Santa Monica Vegetables
Large Plates: Chef Jose’s Carnitas, Shrimp Skewers & Skirt Steak  
Dessert: Flan
 

Mercado co-owner, Jesse Gomez, has quite literally grown up in the restaurant business. The first in his collection of Mexican cuisine restaurants, El Arco Iris, was introduced in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1964, by his grandparents Gustavo and Irene Montes, and today still serves as the cornerstone of his brand. 
In 2006, Gomez redesigned and reintroduced El Arco Iris, fusing a progressive new look with signature classic dishes passed down for generations, to create a restaurant that is both a neighborhood staple and a culinary destination. 
In 2009, Gomez introduced Yxta Cocina Mexicana, in the emerging Industrial District of Downtown Los Angeles and quickly earned acclaim for its inventive menu, artisan cocktails, design and impressive art collection. “The food at Yxta is contemplative, with each dish turned out with an eye toward presentation.” Los Angeles Times April 28, 2011.  Mercado serves as his third installation, which he co-created with long-time friend and revered chef, Jose Acevedo.
 

Mercado co-owner and executive chef, Jose Acevedo, began his extensive career training in the kitchens of Wolfgang Puck and the Hillstone Restaurant Group, before taking the helm at Irvine’s Taleo Grill in 2004. Hailing from Guanajuato, Mexico, Chef Jose’s early years were spent learning and perfecting the art of his native culture’s cuisine, which over the years, he has transformed into culinary creations that are as much artisan and contemporary as they are a classic homage to his roots. 
In 2010, Chef Acevedo began working with longtime friend, Jesse Gomez, at Yxta Cocina Mexicana, where he oversaw the creation of signature dishes and specials that would become the inspiration for Mercado’s menu. 
The OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano named Chef Acevedo’s signature dessert the “Best Flan in the Universe” in 2007, echoing the starry praise of Yelpers who have called his carnitas “the single best [they’ve tasted at a] commercial restaurant” and “as good as the best homemade [they’ve ever had].” Westways revered Chef Jose’s work, noting that “Taleo Grill might just be the best upscale Mexican restaurant in the region.” 

With a culinary style that is grounded in the finest Mexican tradition, fused with current sensibility, Chef Acevedo’s signature creations apply uniquely flavorful techniques to create incredibly inventive dishes time and time again.

Oh it is ON tonight for the very first Eat+Drink Gang of 12 Dinner at Mercado Santa Monica.  The menu is out of control!  I’m so looking forward to spending some time with my fellow Eat+Drink-ers tonight.  Keep an eye out for our posts all over social media.  :)

Small Plates: Dos Gringas, Fish Tacos & Dip Duo (Guacamole and Choriqueso) 

Vegetables: Grilled Corn & Santa Monica Vegetables

Large PlatesChef Jose’s Carnitas, Shrimp Skewers & Skirt Steak  

Dessert: Flan

 

Mercado co-owner, Jesse Gomez, has quite literally grown up in the restaurant business. The first in his collection of Mexican cuisine restaurants, El Arco Iris, was introduced in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1964, by his grandparents Gustavo and Irene Montes, and today still serves as the cornerstone of his brand. 

In 2006, Gomez redesigned and reintroduced El Arco Iris, fusing a progressive new look with signature classic dishes passed down for generations, to create a restaurant that is both a neighborhood staple and a culinary destination. 

In 2009, Gomez introduced Yxta Cocina Mexicana, in the emerging Industrial District of Downtown Los Angeles and quickly earned acclaim for its inventive menu, artisan cocktails, design and impressive art collection. “The food at Yxta is contemplative, with each dish turned out with an eye toward presentation.” Los Angeles Times April 28, 2011.  Mercado serves as his third installation, which he co-created with long-time friend and revered chef, Jose Acevedo.

 

Mercado co-owner and executive chef, Jose Acevedo, began his extensive career training in the kitchens of Wolfgang Puck and the Hillstone Restaurant Group, before taking the helm at Irvine’s Taleo Grill in 2004. Hailing from Guanajuato, Mexico, Chef Jose’s early years were spent learning and perfecting the art of his native culture’s cuisine, which over the years, he has transformed into culinary creations that are as much artisan and contemporary as they are a classic homage to his roots. 

In 2010, Chef Acevedo began working with longtime friend, Jesse Gomez, at Yxta Cocina Mexicana, where he oversaw the creation of signature dishes and specials that would become the inspiration for Mercado’s menu. 

The OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano named Chef Acevedo’s signature dessert the “Best Flan in the Universe” in 2007, echoing the starry praise of Yelpers who have called his carnitas “the single best [they’ve tasted at a] commercial restaurant” and “as good as the best homemade [they’ve ever had].” Westways revered Chef Jose’s work, noting that “Taleo Grill might just be the best upscale Mexican restaurant in the region.” 

With a culinary style that is grounded in the finest Mexican tradition, fused with current sensibility, Chef Acevedo’s signature creations apply uniquely flavorful techniques to create incredibly inventive dishes time and time again.

Lovin’ this….oysters on the westside!

Classic Tables: Water Grill  

A downtown institution for seafood comes to Santa Monica  

Long before a fascination with retro seafood dishes rolled over the city like a salty wave, Downtown’s Water Grill was the hands-down favorite for elegant surf-and-turf: chilled shrimp Louie salad ($26), bowls of garlicky cioppino ($32) brimming with shellfish and an impeccably fried plate of fish and chips ($26).

It’s no coincidence that L.A.’s two most prominent seafood chefs, Michael Cimarusti and David LeFevre, both spent time running Water Grill’s kitchen over the years before opening their own projects (Damon Gordon is currently at the helm).

Twenty-four years after its original debut, Water Grill has added a ritzy second location along Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue, complete with panoramic seaside views, a burnished copper raw bar, puffy leather booths and schooner-inspired wall hangings.

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