Meet Britt, one of our resident foodies:
From a small farm town in So Cal to the big city of Los Angeles, Britt is living the life (on a budget but it's fabulous). You can catch her shopping her life away at Buffalo Exchange or Instagramming the latest trendy cafe in town. Not to mention a sucker for a killer Chai Tea Latte!
Meet Julie, our Vineal Vixen:
Julie Gauvin, accredited Junior Wine Expert and current serving Spokeswoman and Retail Director of Vine Winery, will be here to lend her expertise regarding all things wine. But most importantly, she’ll keep it interesting, light and fun for your drinking pleasure. Stay tuned as she helps you figure out what you like, where to find it, and what to pair it with. This newfound knowledge will give you that extra edge at the dinner table with friends, family or even on that hot date you have tonight. Check back every Wednesday to see what's new!
Meet Kasey, our LA Food Blogger:
This East Coast girl has recently traded in her New England Clam Chowda for California Rolls! Kasey has been whipping up delectable dishes in her kitchen since she was 10 years old. Combining ingredients and trying new concoctions became her favorite hobby. Kasey is a fabulous food blogger representing Kasey's Kitchen, her self-proclaimed food blog! Kasey attends a ton of fun food events around town and she is sharing her fun, healthy recipes with us every week!
I may be biased but I have to say, RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen is still one of my favorite spots in LA. You see, RockSugar was actually my first job in Los Angeles when I came out here for a summer back in 2008. The restaurant hadn't even opened yet and I was hired to be the "Reservationist", sounds fancy huh? During the opening weeks of the restaurant, we were slammed! We had A-List celebs coming in and out, an hour long wait-list, and even if you pulled the "Don't you know who I am?" card, you still weren't getting in!
So obviously when I moved back to the area I was excited to see how the restaurant was doing! With restaurant masterminds David Overton and Chef Mohan Ismail behind the wheel, clearly RockSugar was destined for success.
I was lucky enough to be invited into the stunning restaurant to try the menu out once again, this time as a critic rather than a nervous employee!
Every meal at Rock Sugar starts with a basket of Black Sesame Rice Cakes and their house made dip, it's almost like an Asian Salsa. As addictive as these are, I tried not to fill up, there was plenty more on its way!
Our server was kind enough to point out some of the most popular appetizers for us to start with. We opted for the Spicy Ahi Rolls with jicama, pickled carrots, and Thai basil. These were so fresh and tasty! Then, Chef Mohan surprised us with a few little tastebud teasers, Flash Fried Anchovies and Fried Pig's Ears. I know, I know, it sounds pretty insane but I have to tell you, those pig's ears were outstanding. I could totally snack on those all day!
We were also treated the Honoi Snapper. Now this is a dish that I wouldn’t normally order on my own however I am SO glad that we tried it! This was seriously a flavor explosion! The fish is lightly pan-fried and then served on a bed of rice noodles with cilantro, dill and peanuts. The real magic happens when you pour the Nuoc Cham sauce over the dish and give it a toss. This will blow your mind. I had to forcefully keep my chopsticks from going back to that dish numerous times.
Just before the food coma was about to set in we treated ourselves to the Caramelized Banana Custard Cake. This dessert is so original and delicious, no wonder it's their most popular. Brulee topping, nut brittle, and milk chocolate ice cream on the side. How can you go wrong?
This is just a small taste of my experience at RockSugar! Click here to see even more of the delicious dishes we tried!
Photo Credit: Viva Los Cupcakes
I recently discovered these really cool cupcakes that take the flavors of Mexican recipes and kick it up a notch by being transformed into one of the best desserts I have ever had. There are so many flavors to choose from and I am such a strong believer that anyone who has the chance to taste these bad boys will instantly become hooked. Karina Jimenez is the genius behind these delectable bites and she gave me the inside scoop on how Viva Los Cupcakes took off and what is next to come for these yummy treats.
How did the idea for the cupcakes first come about?
The idea for Viva Los Cupcakes really stemmed from my need to be creative. I had a boring desk job so I started baking the typical cupcake favorites like chocolate and red velvet for friends and co-workers. But then I thought if I was going to seriously create a business then I should do something to stand out from all the other cupcakes out there. I thought to myself “What do I know? …I know Mexican food!”
What flavor cupcake has received the best response?
Definitely the “Tamal con Mole” cupcake. Which for the same reason it is the featured cupcake. It is the one everyone is amazed by, confused by, intrigued by, and blown away by! I get the most amazing reactions from people with this cupcake. I especially love the curious skeptics. They snub it and then come back raving about it after tasting it from their friends. Those are some of the best responses from customers. I love it.
How important for you is it to include the Mexican heritage within your creations?
It is very important. The Mexican culture is the essence of Viva Los Cupcakes. It is my pride and passion to share the flavors of
Where can people find your cupcakes?
People can call, message, or text me for cup-catering services as well as come visit our booth at any of the many events I attend throughout the city which are also listed on the Facebook page. I am also very excited for Viva Los Cupcakes to soon be available at Dinosaur Coffee Shop, which is a new specialty coffee shop opening this fall in the LA area, so stay tuned for the details.
Will you be introducing new flavors anytime soon?
Not to the standard menu yet. But, I am working on a fun secret menu with more of a wild Mexican twist. Shhhhhhh! It’s a secret. You’ll have to stay tuned to our social pages to catch those!
For More Information:
Main Website: Coming Soon
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Happy National Coffee Day!
All of us at The Dish can't go a day without our cup of joe, so today we raise our mugs to the wonderful bean that helps us wake up every morning!
To celebrate the wonderful beverage the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf invite you to come out to Angels Stadium in Anaheim to trade in your old coffee maker for a new CBTL single serve coffee maker for FREE today from 8a-2p.
CLICK HERE for more info on the event.
This Sunday marks the first-annual Thai Food Festival in
The event is organized by the
Throughout the event, guests are invited to join feature discussions and demos with prominent Thai and American culinary personalities including:
- Jet Tila (Thai Culinary Ambassador)
- Evan Kleiman (KCRW’s “Good Food”)
- Andy Ricker (Pok Pok)
- Susan Feniger (Street)
- Sang Yang (Lukshon)
- David LeFevre (MB Post, Fishing with Dynamite)
- Kris Yenbamroong (Night + Market)
ABOUT JET TILA:
Known for having set three Guinness World Records—for creating the world’s largest stir fry (4,010 pounds); the largest seafood stew (6,500 pounds); and the longest California roll (440 feet)—and his appearances on Iron Chef America, Chopped, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Jet Tila is nationally recognized for his culinary expertise in Modern Asian Cuisine. Celebrated as a culinary luminary, Jet was recently appointed as the inaugural Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine by the Royal Thai Consul-General, Los Angeles and is the first-ever chef to represent his country’s culture and cuisine in the United States. Although Tila’s culinary curiosity has allowed him to experience multiple endeavors from opening Wazuzu at the Wynn Las Vegas to partnering with Compass Group—the world’s largest food-service company—he has always remained deeply rooted to his Thai-Chinese culture which is prevalent in his cooking. Jet continues to share his culture and culinary expertise through conducting intimate “Melting Pot Tours” of
Chef Jet was gracious enough to share one of his favorite Thai recipes exclusively with Kasey’s Kitchen and The Dish! See his recipe for Drunken Noodles below!
Drunken Noodles by Chef Jet Tila
1 tbsp. Mushroom Soy Sauce
2 tbsp. Sweet Soy Sauce
1 tbsp. Oyster Sauce
1.5 tbsp. Fish Sauce
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 tbsp. Sriracha Sauce
2 tsp. Garlic, minced
6-8 Thai Basil Leaves, chiffonade
3 tbsp. Canola or Peanut Oil
2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1-2 Serrano Chiles, sliced thin
1/3 lbs. Beef, Pork, or Chicken, thin sliced against the grain
1/2 Medium White Onion, sliced
3-4 cups Fresh Rice Noodles, separated
1/4 cup Chinese Rice Wine
1 cup Thai Basil Leaves, loosely packed
1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Heat oil to medium high in a medium sauté pan and sauté garlic until light brown.
3. Add eggs in and lightly scramble until barely set.
4. Add meat and onions folding constantly until the meat is half cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Add fresh rice noodles, sauce, tomatoes and basil; toss to combine for about 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure the noodles are cooked until the edges are slightly crisp.
6. Deglaze Pan with rice wine, and then add basil and tomatoes. Serve hot and enjoy!
A few weeks ago I was invited to dine at NINETHIRTY, one of the restaurants nestled inside of the W Los Angeles. Now, I know there is a certain stigma that comes with "hotel restaurants". They tend to be overpriced and underwhelming. I must say that NINETHIRTY is as far from that as you can get.
Chef Dakota Weiss is the mastermind behind the eclectic menu. Sourcing ingredients and inspiration from local farms Weiss has created a culinary carnival with dishes that range from innovative to nostalgic.
The parade of dishes started off with a fresh Cousa Squash Carpaccio (pictured above) dressed with a yuzu-pumpkin vinaigrette as well as a warm white corn bisque that had a hint of smoked queso fresco and jalepeno for an extra kick. My favorite starter that was presented to us was the Beet Cured Diver Scallops. After reading a few of my restaurant reviews, you may have figured out by now that I'm a bit of a scallop lover. This dish seriously blew my mind. The ceviche-like scallops were sliced thin and boasted a fuchsia stained trim. Paired with cantaloupe creme fraiche and mint made this dish unlike anything I have had before.
Next up was a delightful Grilled Abalone, a first for me. The presentation alone was a stand-out! Served in it's naturally gorgeous shell, the charred abalone was meaty yet delicate. Chef Dakota added a habanero vinaigrette to bring in some acidity to the dish which in my opinion was an excellent touch.
As the array of dishes continued to hit our table, two things became clear, NINETHIRTY was without a doubt the hidden gem of Westwood, and I should have worn stretchier pants.
Before closing out the night, we sampled pretty much the whole dessert menu. I seriously felt like Belle during "Be Our Guest" with all the sweets that were being presented. We tried the Stout Sticky Toffee Pudding, the Bittersweet Warm Chocolate Cake, and a dish called "Oops! I Dropped My Ice Cream Cone". The stand-out dessert for me though was the Salted Hazelnut Pot de Creme. This tasted like the best grown-up PB&J in the world. It was smooth and sweet where it needed to be a tart just where you wanted it to be. If you happen to be staying in the hotel, this is the perfect way to finish off a night on the town before hitting the hay.
Visit NINETHIRTY for yourself
930 Hilgard Ave
Don't forget to get social with Kasey’s Kitchen!
*Photos Courtesy of W Hotel -