Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wine Bar in West LA

And for your non-beer buzz, Chic Wine Bar (5545 W. Pico Blvd.) will host a tasting event featuring a flight of five wines from the South of France, paired with seasonal hors d'oeuvres tomorrow night. Cool Haus ice cream and the musical stylings of "bici" will be on hand to ensure the Chic event is also cool. Entrance is $25, all inclusive.


Hello Kitty, the imported Japanese icon of pencil boxes and cell phone tassles, will celebrate her 35th anniversary with an enormous "multi-dimensional" art exhibition and three weeks of special events at Culver City's Royal/T Cafe (8910 Washington Blvd.). The exhibition, titled "Three Apples," in reference to Hello Kitty's precise weight, kicks off on Saturday, October 24 at 10 a.m. with a fan appreciation party featuring live DJs, artists-signings, karaoke, and a brunch menu inspired by the Sanrio starlett: Hello Kitty's Kawaii High Tea includes an assortment of sweets, savory canapés, mini sandwiches, and a pot of tea ($25); various kitty-embossed tramezzini with names like "Say Hello" and "School is Fun" ($8); and kitty-shaped waffles and pancakes ($7). Advanced registration is required for the Hello Kitty-inspired sushi & bento box workshop, which will happen later in the day. But the Kitty happy hour, featuring Hello Kitty cocktails, is open to all fans 21 and over. Also, the first 100 guests to Saturday's party, as well as the many other quirky events lined up for the celebration, will receive a free goodie bag. More details are available on their website.

Happenings Around LA

Wilshire (2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica) has extended their double deal happy hours. From 5 -7 p.m., and again from 10 p.m. - midnight, now on Monday through Saturday, cocktails, wine by the glass, well drinks and draft beers at happy hour prices. Chef Andrew Kirschner’s bar menu will also be served at reduced pricing: kobe beef sliders with truffled chips, and coriander crusted chicken kabobs tamarind dipping sauce ($8); chimay ale marinated skirt steak, and oysters with horseradish sauce ($13).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

hummm,,,,NYC Cannolis

With Halloween coming into range, now would be a good time to treat yourself to two new artisanal dessert destinations: Melt Gelato and Stuffed Artisan Cannolis. In one corner, the brand new Melt' is serving up tantalizing gelato flavors, like Dark Rum White Raisin and Banana Caramel Praline. In the other corner, the just opened Stuffed' is solidifying itself as the king of cannolis with flavors like Candy Corn, Pumpkin Pie, and Red Licorice. Choices, choices...

Melt Cafe & Gelato Bar, 1053 Second Avenue (between 55th & 56th Streets), (646) 329-6445,, and Stuffed Artisan Cannolis, 176 Stanton Street (between Clinton & Attorney Streets, Lower East Side, (212) 995-2266,

Friday, October 9, 2009

Underground Supper Club in San Fran!

Underground supper clubs with champagne-rich secret limo service: Now we're talking.

Welcome The Phoenix Supper Club's Loretto Dinner, the new roaming supper club's first nine-course pop-up affair brought to you by chef Tommy Halvorson (Bix, Gary Danko), taking reservations for an October 24 dinner now.

Unlike most covert dinners, this one is set up more like a restaurant than a dinner party. So you'll have your own table instead of having to make small talk with the usual assortment of randoms like the Russian acupuncturist and retired dog-sitter from Modesto.

Even though we've been sworn to secrecy on where it's all going down, we can say that you'll be chauffeured to your confidential rendezvous via limo. And that champagne is involved.

Once you make your reservation, you'll receive an email confirmation that includes the street corner where your limo will await. En route to the secret hideaway dinner location—anywhere from an art gallery to a Pac Heights mansion—you'll mingle with fellow diners over bubbly. Then, as you settle in, expect unique creations like a Seared Rack of Lamb in an Absinthe/Balsamic Reduction.

Each course is paired with wine, but you're free to bring your own.

That's what limos are for.

The Phoenix Supper Club, taking reservations here, 415-971-8655

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Weekend Fun for LA, and NYC


philippe west hollywood, to open any minute.

this 5,000-square-foot chinese eatery is decked out in candy red furnishings with bamboo accents. imagine sleek, theatrical flair with room for 175 of your nearest and dearest. start by dipping some satay (chicken, beef, maine lobster, or shrimp) into chow's famous cream sauce. then, try the glazed and crispy peking duck with house made pancakes. if you're game for peking turkey, make sure to allow 45 minutes, or call ahead. fish out the sig nine seasons spicy prawns in sweet and sour sauce or, the pan crispy salmon. you won't get tipsy on the drunken sea bass, but a sinful twist on the martini, the white chocolate bliss (navan vanilla and white godiva liqueur), is another story. dining tete a tete? philippe's surf and turf (mignon and south african lobster tails) is made for two. an intimate wine cellar seats 14 for private events, but for an everyday kind of taste stop in for the three course lunch special; at $20.10, it's a tribute to the fast approaching new year. sure, you can order take out, but with obama, clinton, clooney, diddy, lebron, and denzel as loyal clients, you're not going to want to miss the celeb fest.

chow down. philippe west hollywood. 8284 melrose avenue. at sweetzer. west hollywood. 323.951.1100. opens

Umami Burger East
Truffle, Manly, Hatch, and the other bun buddies’ new Asian-inspired home with Japanese beer bar Salaryman right next door.
Why: Your two sense — plus three more.
When: Daily, 11 a.m.-midnight.
Where: 4655 Hollywood Blvd., b/t Vermont Ave. & Rodney Dr., Los Feliz (323-669-3922). Map It

BLT Steak Cookout
Build your own $35 plates of grilled meats (smoky ribs, burgers), classic sides (cornbread, grilled asparagus), chopped salad, and dessert (blueberry pie, strawberry sundae).
Why: Hit the deck.
When: Thurs., 6-10 p.m.
Where: 8720 Sunset Blvd., at Sherbourne Dr., Sunset Plaza (310-360-1950).Map It

Today, Thursday, October 8, is the grand opening and dedication of the Farmer's Kitchen (Suite 119, Sunset +Vine Building), a community kitchen, café and retail space that serves as a permanent addition to the Hollywood Farmers' Market. The Kitchen is operated by the Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA), the non-profit organization that also runs the farmers market. L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti will be on hand for opening remarks. And there will be food at the reception following the niceties.

n.y. & c. pizza
1120 Wilshire Blvd
(E. of 11th)
Santa Monica, CA 90403
official website

Culver City Kimchee: Gyenari Beer Garden opens
Upscale restaurant debuts a traditional Korean beer garden with an exclusive outdoor menu of skewers and snacks priced under $12.
Menu master: Chef Debbie Lee was a finalist on The Next Food Network Star.
Opens tonight. 9540 Washington Blvd. (310-838-3131). Nearby: Honor Fraser gallery; Rush Street; Honey's Kettle Chicken

Five to Nine Happy Hour at Cameo Bar
Nine to five—you know the deal. But five to nine—that's when you hit the Viceroy pool's new happy hour for food and drink priced from $5 (beer called Mama's Little Yella Pils) to $9 (Halibut Tacos). Thursdays go until closing, thereby revising your Friday workday—maybe 11ish to five.

Mon-Fri, 5-9pm (until 1am Thurs), Cameo Bar, 1819 Ocean Ave, 310-260-7500

Flight Club at Rustic Canyon
Each Monday at Rustic Canyon's Flight Club, the night's special comes paired with a whole wine flight instead of just one glass. This week it's Coq au Vin with four gems from the Rhône Valley, which obviously is just as badass as beating the hell out of a stranger in some basement.

Mondays, Rustic Canyon, 1119 Wilshire Blvd (E. of 11th), 310-393-7050

Thyme Café and Market Opens
On a barren patch of Santa Monica road, a pristine new café and market (by which we mean respectable lunch spot) awaits you—featuring goods like a Steak Sandwich With Horseradish Aioli and a Grilled Cheese With Tomato, Bacon and Avocado. And if you want dinner, you can take it home in a box.

Opens Oct 13, 7am-7pm daily, 1630 Ocean Park Ave (E. of 16th), 310-399-8800


After weeks of teasing, the buzz-worthy Abe & Arthur's is finally open to the public. Sporting two levels, a zinc bar for cocktails, and a refined comfort food menu (preview the menu), the MPD's newest hot spot is all that and then some. Plus with the nightlife comforts of Simyone Lounge beckoning below...

Abe & Arthur's, 409 West 14th Street at Ninth Avenue, Meatpacking District, (646) 289-3930,

It's not often you use the words "beer" and "confessional box" in the same sentence but that's what's brewing at Galway Hooker's new West Village location. The midtown Irish pub has set up shop on 7th Avenue South in a big way. Think four levels studded with a fireplace, billiard table and, yes, a confessional box imported from Ireland. Oh, and the international beer list is pretty awesome.

Downtown Galway Hooker, 133 Seventh Ave South (between Charles & West 10th Streets), West Village, (212) 675-6220,

To help take the edge of the work week (and introduce you to a new premium spirit or two), the crew at Macao are throwing a new weekly shindig called Drunken Dragon Mondays. To achieve drunken dragon status, simply arrive between 10pm and midnight on Mondays, work your magic on the good bartenders, and presto - free drinks. You're welcome.

Macao Trading Co., 311 Church Street (between Walker & Lispenard Streets), Tribeca, (212) 431-8750,

Queens Cuisine: Discover Queens Restaurant Week
Check out ethnic spots you've always wanted to hit, from Astoria to Flushing, now with special $25 prix fixe menus.
Clueless Cuisine: Alicia Silverstone shows off her culinary skills as part of the NYC Wine & Food Festival on Saturday.
Thru Oct 15. Various locations. (718-263-0546).

Sausages, Steins and a Striptease
If Oktoberfest needs one thing, it's a looser attitude toward décolletage. So the fine folks at the Bell House are correcting the error with a night of gourmet sausages, strip tease from the girls of Wasabassco Burlesque and truly massive steins of beer. Fair warning: there may be polka music. But also, heaving bosoms.

7:30pm, Oct 8, The Bell House, 149 7th St (at 2nd Ave), Brooklyn

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eat Cape Cod-style at SaMo's BP Oysterette

Catch casual seafood between the Pier and the Promenade at Santa Monica’s BP Oysterette.

It’s a bustling scene all day long, with an open kitchen and small marble bar facing a virtual Endless Summer tribute (wicker chairs, surfing videos and a faux thatch wall).

Skip LA-style concessions like Kobe hot dogs in favor of traditional New England-style beach fare. A light, creamy chowder is hearty without being wintry. Steamers are East Coast-authentic, served with broth and butter. Oysters from all over come with standard fixings.

For entrees, keep it simple with the fresh fish. Today’s catch is scrawled on a chalkboard behind the counter. They’ll cook it any way you like, with sauces from pesto to black bean ginger chutney.

A high-end wine and draft beer list is prerequisite for the neighborhood but you’re on your own with pairings: the staff’s enthusiastic, but they’re not sommeliers.
BP Oysterette
1355 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica
(310) 260-8877

Price: 3 (out of 4) Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Parking: $7 valet after 5p, or multiple public parking garages along 2nd St.
Scene: Hungry westsiders and adventurous tourists
Best bets: Steamers; New England clam chowder; butter lettuce salad with Gorgonzola and crispy shallot vinaigrette
Hot seat: If you get there before 6p, snag one of the few outside tables for a view of the ocean.
Long lines: Leave your cell number and have a beer at Boa while you’re waiting.
Nearby: Bar Pintxo; Boa; Ye Olde King’s Head Tavern

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Happy Hours to be had in LA

$1 Cocktails at Katsuya
To keep the party going strong, the good bartenders at Katsuya are offering your second round of drinks for only $1. Just show up on Thursdays or Fridays during Happy Hour, between 7pm and 10pm, and you're in. Cheers.

Visit Katsuya's swanky site.
$2 Oysters at Comme Ca
Speaking of Happy Hour, Comme Ca is also offering a sweet deal. Saunter in between 4pm and 6pm during the week, and you can sample small plates for $7, fresh oysters for $2, and "aphrodisiac" themed cocktails for $7. They call it the "Défaire" menu, inspired by the late siesta taken by businessman back in the day. You can call it a steal.

Comme Ca, 8479 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, (323) 782-1104,

Happy Hour at Essex
Yes, another great Happy Hour deal. This one at Essex. Hit the popular Hollywood watering hole after work, where draft beers are $4 and appetizers are either $4 or $7. Plus, specials on the weekend too. Daily, from 4pm to 7pm.

Essex Public House, 6683 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, (323) 460-6608,

Your New Neighborhood Japanese-Beer Bar

Times like these, you crave an intimate den where you can slink in, sit down and drown yourself in Japanese beer. Welcome to Salaryman, now open on Hollywood Boulevard.

It's a sliver of a spot, fits maybe 20 people total—so this isn't the place for raging bouts of table-dancing debauchery. The name is Eastern slang for a working stiff, so think of it more like an illicit drown-your-sorrows watering hole, where you can pull up a stool starting at 11am for an oversized bottle of Echigo Rice Lager, a Coedo Sweet Potato Beer or a Hitachino.

If you prefer your Japanese-beer bars to be well-versed in what's coming out of Maine these days, they've also got Allagash White on tap. And if you're hungry, this bar's a sidecar to the newest Umami Burger restaurant—before you blinked, you knew this bigger and better-looking sequel to the La Brea sensation as Cobras & Matadors, and the bar was Sgt. Recruiter.

You've always thought sequels got a bad rap.

at Umami Burger
4655 Hollywood Blvd
(E. of Vermont)
Los Feliz
Los Angeles, CA 90027
official website

Sunday, October 4, 2009


It's that time of the week again! Monday is just around the corner and this week we are flying to the Côte de Nuits. The Côte de Nuits is the northern part of the Cote d'Or, the limestone ridge that is home to the great names of Burgundy wine. Join us this Monday for a north to south tour of this legendary wine region paired with regional cuisine.

monday, october 5th: côte de nuitsflight 1...frédéric magnien

2007 bourgogne pinot noir
2007 “croix viollette”, côte du nuits-villages
2005 fixin

flight 2...marsannay

2006 charles audoin, marsannay blanc
2007 regis bouvier, “clos du roy”, marsannay rouge
$12 each
*** bitesa selection of regional cuisine

$8 each***We look forward to seeing you.
Upcoming flights: October 12: Willamette Valley
October 19: Provence
October 26: Central Europe

*Flights & Bites will be available from 6 till 10 p.m.
*All flights subject to change

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday night in Santa Monica

Thursday Tastings at Bar Pintxo
And over at your favorite compact beachside wine bar, Thursday brings a new way to taste the Spanish goods—fifty bucks gets you a four-course tasting (it'll change every week) with four matching wines. Now you just have to find a seat.

Thursdays, Bar Pintxo, 109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, 310-458-2012

Comme Ca Happy Hour in West Hollywood

Or Monday through Friday from 4-6:00 p.m., Comme Ca's (8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood) new “Défaire” menu, inspired by the traditional French businessmen's break. Small plates for $7, oysters are $2 each and seven "aphrodisiac" themed cocktails are available for $7. Sample a "Cuba Liberato" (white rum, ginger, lime, egg white, Coca Cola), or a "Live to Love" (cachaca, St Germaine Elderflower liqueur, raspberry and champagne) and mange tartares (steak or salmon), tarte flambee, crab cake, shrimp cocktail, croque monsieur, snapper escabeche and a fromage de jour. You'll feel very Don Draper, only French.

This Saturday in LA

Saturday, October 3, the annual American Wine and Food Festival returns to the Universal Studios Backlot for its 27th year benefitting Meals on Wheels. Though $300 tickets sound steep in any economy, if you've never been before, the festival offers a truly unrivaled culinary experience; with dozens of world-renouned chefs serving their signature dishes against a backdrop of live music and dancing. Few would argue that it is worth every penny. Visit their website for complete details including a list of participating chefs and pre and post festival events. Also, buy your tickets online, they cost $50 more at the door.

Shake Shack in NYC

Shacktoberfest Begins
Just in time for the end of the actual Oktoberfest, Shake Shack is busting out a menu full of bratwurst, German beer and apple strudel. Normally we'd predict longer lines, but we're not actually sure that's possible.

Oct 2-11, Madison Square Park (23rd at Madison), 212-889-6600; 366 Columbus Ave, 646-747-8770

Alcohol Sno Cones in NYC This weekend

Carnival Debuts the Boozy Snow Cone
If you always wished Coney Island was a little closer, filled with stilt walkers and served alcoholic snow cones, welcome to the splendor of Carnival, a new bar on top of a bowling alley with carnival-themed food, drink and merriment. Yes, it's as crazy as it sounds.

Soft-open tonight, grand open Oct 8, 110 University Pl (at 12th St), 3rd Flr, 212-255-8188

NYC Bloody Marys

Bloody Mary's Birthday Party
The St. Regis Hotel is celebrating the diamond anniversary of its fabled brunch cocktail creation with tomato/vodka concoctions from Charlie Palmer, the Spotted Pig and WD50 (among others), with ingredients including everything from onion brine to clam juice. Mimosas, while delicious, will be strictly forbidden.

Starting Oct 5, in the King Cole Bar, St. Regis Hotel, 2 E. 55th St, 212-753-4500, see the menu here