Eat | Drink

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Herringbone by Brian Malarkey

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The moment you pull in to the parking lot, raw ornate panels of wood adorn the entry, a branched fish hangs happily to the left of the main door and a patio with ease and warmth lines the sidewalk. As you enter inside, to your right are two Moroccan style chairs designed in bright colors directly across from the tiled fireplace emitting just the right amount of heat. With glass orbs listlessly leaning to light the way, a subtle and secret disco ball looms above it all. Soon you find your legs walking through the restaurant, the wooden floors cushioning your steps, your eyes bewildered and overcome with a tranquility that doesn’t in any way obstruct the anticipation of a hearty prospect of fare.

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The Playground DTSA

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I noticed a small touch: a glass of Szigeti Sparkling Gruner Veltliner was waiting at my place setting. Opening a dinner with a nice glass of bubbles does wonders to not only clean the palate, but it allows one to relax before the Amuse Bouche, our first course. We were presented with an extremely interesting, but amazing, choice for the Amuse Bouche: a green chile Mexican chocolate milk with a crispy tortilla lavash topped with age cheddar cheese foam. The warm chocolate milk with a slight hint of acidity perked the taste buds, while the quesadilla soothed them, as if foreshadowing the flavors to come; at the same time, telling the taste buds, “Relax. There is plenty more where that came from.”

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Holiday Recipe No. 2 Alice d’Antoni Phillips

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I have watched as Chef Alice d’Antoni Phillips (aka Ally) takes readers and fans through the grocery store, her culinary explorations around the world, and the many beautiful recipes she shares through her Facebook Page and Website. Her charisma and genuine enthusiasm for cooking and sharing color and life of food is contagious.

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A Winter Menu Southwestern Style

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As we try to make room on the table and rearrange our plates in order from lunch to dinner, we decide that our first conquest on the lunch menu will be the Winter Arugula Salad—a peak of arugula drizzled with Champagne vinaigrette and topped with creamy goat cheese crumbles, roasted golden beets, pickled leeks, shaved roasted fennel, crunchy noodles, and crisp gala apples. The salad is simple—but not to a fault. The Champagne dressing and goat cheese meld together delightfully and the added crunch of the Asian noodles, bell peppers and apple frolic with the taste buds, never feeling overwrought by an overuse of contrasting flavors and textures.

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Fig & Olive The Music Collection Release Event

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nvited to attend the Fig & Olive Music Collection Release Event on Wednesday, December 4th I was beyond elated to be heading to the pristine Melrose Place restaurant where Chef Pascal Lorange creates truly delightful Mediterranean inspired cuisine. The space has been home to Grammy Events, Oscar Events, celebrity parties and the like but it’s not because it is pretentious. In fact it boasts a truly wonderful airy feel, spacious rooms, earthy envelopment’s, crisp clean dècor with rich hues of color to warm you.

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Estado Puro Madrid

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I’m looking at a glass, filled with a rich, creamy foam. It looks and feels to the touch like an expensive coffee. Only I know it is filled with eggs. And caramelised onions. And liquidised potato. If ever there was such a thing as a post-modern tortilla español, this is definitely it. I plunge in and to my relief – and despite still definitely looking like a coffee – it tastes like the best omelette I’ve ever had.
Estado Puro is full of little surprises like that. This is Madrid tapas culture Kubrick style, a culinary Odyssey which keeps all the tradition and rich historic flavour of old Spain and playfully tips it on its head. It should be said that if there was ever a Spanish-themed space station, it would probably look like this.

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Wine and Wagyu

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The “Dairyman”, in my opinion, had much more character than the Silver Oak, and certainly complimented the intricate blueprint of the Wagyu. Rather than compounding the flavors into a long-after-finished linger as its Cabernet counterpart, this Pinot Noir serves more as a brief, albeit refreshing, clearing of the palate between bites. However, being the glutton that I am, my love affair with the smoother and prolonged effect of the Silver Oak’s constitution was almost a given before I’d sat down to enjoy the meal.

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David Arthur + Laura Long of David Arthur Vineyards

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Soon after that event, I ran into David at the Pacific Wine Food & Wine Festival. The one thing you should know about David is he is one of the nicest men you’ll meet and he is a sheer pleasure to talk to. He has this uncanny magnetic draw that makes you want to stay and talk about wine, life, and really, anything as long as possible! He invited me to join him and his group of travelers and friends at Newport Beach’s 3Thirty3 and I happily did. I arrived and was sat inside with David and Antonello’s Sommelier Steve Ebol, a familiar face, Thaddeus Forret, and a group of David’s friends and colleagues. We all enjoyed wines that David graciously brought and poured because to him, what is the point of being around friends if you don’t enjoy wine, share stories and just live in the moment?!

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Summer 2013 Wine Club Shipment

Chronic Cellars Masquerade Ball

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The room is dimly lit with hues of reds and blacks, tables adorned with black linens, subtle lighting, stacks and stacks of barrels aged with time and fastened with story, a couple of couches strategically placed on the cold concrete floor, a photo booth for secrets and fun, and a V-shaped bar. Bottles of Chronic’s Bubbles – Spritz & Giggles, Reds – 2011 Ricardo Grande, late harvest Tranquilo, 2011 The Unteachables, and what I think is their bottle of 2012 Stone Fox line the bar top. At the pivoted corner? A neon lit Sangria fountain. Behind that, the man in the green mask (and bartenders) but him – well, HE is JOSEPH! I am elated!

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Porktoberfest

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It is Halloween’s Eve, a little before 7 P.M. I pull into the parking lot outside of Five Crowns Restaurant and Steakhouse and immediately start to panic—valet parking. Suddenly I’m extremely nervous, not because I fear strangers driving my car, but because my car is literally beginning to disintegrate—rendering it almost inoperable. After three broken door handles inside and outside, getting in and out of my car has proven to be a difficult and ridiculous affair: I have to roll down my window and open it from the outside door handle (fortunately only halfway broken) to get out.

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QUICK TIPS For A Spontaneous Journey Up The Central Coast

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At the beginning of this summer, I decided to do something rather spontaneous. I figured of all of the many topics I’ve covered, the food I’ve enjoyed, and the cities I’ve been to – everything I’ve written about or gone to has been fairly planned out. I figured it was time to be totally off-the-cuff, get in the car and just drive up the California Coast – during one of the busiest holiday weeks of the year no less: the 4th of July. I wanted to see what was possible if and when any one of my readers decided to take a last minute trip during a nationally busy time. And so, the journey began.

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ATOD Staff WRITERS TheRanch

The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon

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I had the great pleasure of sending my 3 writers and photographer: Cord Montgomery, Greg Barraza, Tyler Dean and Clarence Alford to experience the new launch of a phenomenal menu and a beautiful venue this past week. While I was unable to make it myself, I was proud to send in my exceptional staff to experience what I had hoped was an unforgettable venue. Turns out, it was. Thanks to Nancy Zwart for the invitation and to Chefs Michael and David Rossi for creating something these fellas won’t soon forget. I look forward to coming in myself. For now, enjoy three very different perspectives of one unforgettable evening.

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Supperclub + Wine Tasting

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On August 2nd and 3rd, ATOD Magazine™ partnered with Los Angeles’ premier venue and nightclub, Supperclub in Hollywood to do a dinner + wine tasting with D’Alfonso Curran Winery. Wines created by Bruno D’Alfonso and Kris Curran, the lineup of wines expands well into any palate with a passion and love that can appeal to just about anyone. Below is a video of how the evening went. Thanks to Supperclub, the 4-Course dinner pairing was sublime.

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Five0Four HOLLYWOOD

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The evening begins with a plethora of tastings. A throw back to the streets of New Orleans, the ostentatious melody of flavor and combination, and a wetting of ones appetite. It must be told that Five0Four is a restaurant and bar that has that open-air appeal with a subtle familiarity you’ve been there before. A testament to the environment they create and while it’s located right off of the infamous Hollywood Boulevard, you can sit outside, feast your eyes on the passersby, the tourists, the entertaining factor of life in real time.

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The OC Fair: A Summertime Treat

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So, as many of you know, I am a full-grown man. I chop wood, wear flannel, play a contact sport, drink beer, do dumb things with my friends, and eat an excessive amount of meat. I like to pride myself on my carnivore-like nature. Walking through the welcome gates at the OC fair, I experienced the beginning stages of a meat stroke. Then proceeding further through the smoke and smells of my paradise, I came to behold Juicy’s World Famous BBQ … They had an eighteen wheeler truck BBQ station, with over 300 turkey legs in sight, a brisket bigger than my torso, giant western sausages that could overflow an Olympic sized pool, and onions and peppers for days.

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Horchata Ale

The Bruery Brew Dinner at The Crow Bar – Prying Flavors with Pairings

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Our plates are cleared, and the second beer arrives, Or Xata, a horchata ale—something we’ve never had or heard of—and anticipation swells in our tongues; both of us spending many nights running to 24-hour Mexican restaurants to satisfy our cravings for the milky, cinnamon drink after 2am. Upon smelling the beer, it evokes images of a creamsicle on a hot summer day, and as it touches your lips, the cinnamon and creamy body takes over, weaving to a vanilla conclusion. We discuss how you often read about eccentric billionaires who have enough money to fly out their favorite chili cheese burger from a Ma and Pa restaurant in the Midwest. This beer would be our eccentric billionaire fly-out.

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FASHION: A Night of Old Hollywood Cool

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It was sticky night as the moisture of the heat and the primal desires began to surface. It was Thursday night and the muck of the air rested on my dampened flesh this June evening. Tonight is the big event and it’s the night I get to slip into a dress made by Laura Byrnes and the Designers of PinUp Girl Clothing. Black material cut for bodies like mine, a velvet upper bodice draping my shoulders, binding my neck, and accentuating my bountiful decolletage with amplified elegance. A caterpillar green cymbidium orchid lined with sexuality nestled in my ginger hair. Everything is about how you feel in your own skin and tonight, in this dress, I planned on being ready … for any urge that beckoned.

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SEARSUCKER SD RESERVATIONS

Searsucker San Diego

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In the mood for beer, I ordered the Malarkey Hunter Ale. It was slightly hoppy with a mellow finish, refreshing and complimentary to our food, rather than competing with it. My stepbrother Danny ordered the Coyote, made with Cinnamon Bourbon, lime, ginger beer, and bitters. Between the spice of cinnamon and ginger, it had an almost apple cider like flavor, which made it very smooth and almost dangerously easy to drink. My stepfather Will ordered a Skinny Ginny, which tasted like a lighter Moscow Mule, and my mother Renee and friend Whitney ordered a Snake in the Grass, a “better” mojito, made with Cucumber gin, fresh bruised mint, lime and soda.

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