Southern CA

Feeling Ravenous

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In the heart of Downtown, an evening of live music, art, cocktails, food, and a crowd abundant in sophistication gathered. Celebrating the 1st official party of the year for the Magazine, I had the pleasure of curating my first official space. Working with brothers, Drew and Cory Jacobsen of Ebanos Crossing in the heart of DTLA, we began to plan an event that would allow me to feature art, bring in a phenomenal band, work with the best tequila brand around, offer tasty bites, and encourage every guests to tap into all of their senses.

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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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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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A Night of Magic and Wine with David Minkin

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David enters the room and situates himself no more than 2 feet away from the audience. He is up close and personal and without a beat, greets us all in his relaxed and warm way and voila! The magic begins. Literally. It muse be said – again – that I’m a cynic and an over-thinker. I pride myself on wanting to know how everything works.

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Taco Asylum

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Once in a while you come across a restaurant that takes food to an all new level. They take the ordinary and make it extraordinary, take a basic concept and get entirely creative. Allow me to introduce you to Taco Asylum. The name beckons a sense of total abandon, opening your mind, and asking your taste buds to take a trip on the wild side. This post is entirely different than the rest and in all honesty, it deserves it’s own originality. Before I even delve into walking you through a restaurant that lures you in with a notion of tasty insanity, take a look at the photographs below…

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Dolly’s Cotton Candy

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With a gourmet feel and a campy spark of retro, Dolly’s is nothing short of sugar-spun fun. I first came across Dolly’s at Sunday Funday at Rancho Las Lomas. Dressed in a cute white apron, pink shirt, and black shorts standing gleefully behind a very pink cart was Krista. The love she has for what she does is apparent from the jolly spirit she oozes to the sweet scent of sugary goodness you can’t help but be drawn to. She is just like her creations: Sweet and Fun.

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Paul Martin’s Irvine

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Recently, Paul Martin’s American Bistro opened a new location at the Irvine Spectrum in Southern California. I was invited by the wonderful and kind, Lee Healy who does Marketing for the restaurant, along with several other Food Writers and Bloggers to attend the “Soft Open” and test out their “Taste of Paul Martin’s Happy Hour” menu. I arrived with 30 minutes to spare but what I found has since kept me coming back for more.

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Nick’s Laguna Beach

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…The sauce with a hint of Saffron (I think), the perfect texture and moist divinity of the short ribs, the eggs cooked and prepared with care – honestly, this is my new favorite breakfast. The meat falls off of the fork; the taste – explosive. Now the true test, my modified omelet with Serrano chiles. I press the tips of my fork in and and layer by layer, beautiful color is revealed: the egg whites, the deep green of the spinach, the beckoning green of the chile, the melted cream of the chèvre cheese. Yes, I have found an omelet worth eating every last bite of. The generous cut of applewood smoked bacon cooked to perfection and the bowl of berries and apple is a happy culinary marriage.

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