blue c sushi

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Washington based Blue C Sushi has arrived in the southland with it’s first CA location in Hollywood! Blue C Sushi is opening other locations in Newport Beach, San Francisco and Tarzana later this year. Their concept is based on Tokyo’s famous subway system. The result is a colorful, modern, vibrant and fun interior space which provides a truly unique environment to experience super fresh and affordable sushi.

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It’s a really great concept involving but not limited to Mawaru Gochisou which means “goodness going around”. Their conveyer belt system notifies chefs how long each item has been in the rotation so the chef is able to ensure that your sushi is super fresh. Dishes are reasonably priced according plate color.

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If you want something other then what you are seeing on the conveyer belt or if you want a refill on your beer or sake, simply press the blue button at your table and a waitress will come to your aid! Not only did we receive excellent service from our server Alex, we also had the opportunity to try a Sake flight along with a chef created sushi and sashimi platter. The Salmon Belly and the Kanpachi With Truffle Oil were AMAZING!

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Blue C Sushi prides itself on their unique creations, offering items such as, a Loaded Baked Potato Roll, Tuna Tostada and a Caesar Salad Roll. They also offer a variety of dessert goods not typically found in the sushi world, such as, brownies and cupcakes. I can’t wait to come back!

bluec3Super fresh sashimi platter that looks as gorgeous as a flower arrangement thanks to the talented chefs at Blue C Sushi!

Blue C Sushi
6374 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028

 

baleen kitchen

Lobster Slider!

Lobster sliders at Baleen Kitchen!

Recently, I was fortunate  to have the opportunity to preview the Valentine’s Day menu at Baleen Kitchen at The Portofino Hotel & Marina. Situated right on the water, the setting is as sexy as the restaurant’s interior. Spanish born Executive Chef, Richard Crespin has an affinity for tapas and is adept at creating balanced seasonal dishes which showcase super fresh ingredients. From appetizers to deserts, Chef Crespin is spot on. Baleen Kitchen is definitely one of Redondo Beach’s hidden gems.

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Duck carnitas and lobster mac & cheese at Baleen Kitchen located in The Portofino Hotel & Marina.

One of my favorite dishes, which, is available year round is the duck carnitas. When people ask me, “What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?” I keep saying, “Duck carnitas at Baleen Kitchen!” They are served with mini crepes, slaw and a blackberry compote. They are juicy, rich and slightly sweet. I want one right now!

These photos courtesy Allen Taylor Photography. Thanks Allen!

These photos courtesy Allen Taylor Photography. Thanks Allen!

The seafood is uber fresh and executed perfectly (not an easy task when serving 20 people). Everyone at the event raved about the roasted black sea bass. The deserts tasted as good as they look in the pictures. I will definitely be going back to Baleen Kitchen. Baleen also offers daily specials and special prefix holiday menus. The 6 course Valentine’s Day tasting menu looks fantastic so make your reservations today!

Baleen Kitchen
260 Portofino Way
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
877-BaleenLA OR (877-225-3365)

smashburger at la live

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Smashburger, adjacent to Live Basil Pizza at LA Live, offers its patrons awesome burger options along with some creative riffs on the traditional as well as the modern. They begin with a ball of 100% certified angus beef and smash it onto a buttered griddle where it is seared to perfection. This results in a great tasting burger for sure, but, what really impressed me were the creative toppings which elevated the burgers to the next level. My favorite is the Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger because the combination of the truffle oil, mushrooms, and swiss cheese creates an amazing umami flavor. This burger left a profound food imprint on my brain and I can’t help craving one right now! The owner, Tom Ryan, suggested that I order this burger with a fried egg on it next time. Eggs and truffles? Yes please! I think I will.

Truffle mushroom swiss burger at Smashburger!

Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger at Smashburger!

Aside from the burgers, Smashburger provides excellent sides as well. The Haystack onion strings are not to be missed. They even offer flash fried Veggie Frites for a “healthier” option. The salted caramel milkshake was a great way to finish! I had a great time previewing the Smashburger menu prior to the grand opening! I’m certain the next time I’m at this location there will be a line out the door.

Best onion strings I've ever experienced!

Best onion strings I’ve ever experienced!

Smashburger at LA Live
1011 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

 

live basil pizza

Live Basil Pizza at LA Live!

Live Basil Pizza at LA Live!

Denver based fast casual restaurants Live Basil Pizza and Smashburger open January 21, 2014 at LA Live near the Staples Center in Downtown LA. This endeavor to modernize old world Neapolitan pizza is headed by restauranteur Tom Ryan, Chef Andrew Sevaggio, Chef Jason Dowd and restaurant financier Rick Schaden. Their new concept finds a unique approach within the growing trend of fast-casual, customizable, gourmet pizzas by combining fast cooking crust with fresh locally sourced organic ingredients. In fact, they have included live growing basil plants to pick from right at the pizza assembly line. The two restaurants, which, share a conjoined open air space will eventually receive the addition of a third brainchild of Ryan’s aptly named Tom’s Urban. Recently, I was graciously invited to a tasting of their up and coming menu.

Tom Ryan - founder of Fresh  Basil Pizza

Tom Ryan – founder of Fresh Basil Pizza

Live Basil Pizza serves all natural ultrafast pizzas made fresh to order, topped with organic ingredients including baby arugula, spinach, Italian cheeses and it’s imported San Marzano Organic Tomato Sauce.

“From the time the customer orders to the time the pizza is served should take about 4 1/2 minutes,” says founder Tom Ryan. They boast a 150 second cook time on their pizzas and encourage customers to time them.

Tom Ryan passionately explains the concept along with my favorite pizza of the day.

Tom Ryan passionately explains the concept along with my favorite pizza of the day.

Chef Jason Dowd presenting the farm stand natural veggie pizza.

Chef Jason Dowd presenting the farm stand natural veggie pizza.

I found all of the pizzas yummy, modern and of course fresh. I especially liked the L.A. pizza, which, is a white pizza topped with wild arugula, imported Italian truffle oil, marinated wild mushrooms and Italian cheeses. The menu will offer a variety of Live Basil’s Chef creations, as well as, an extensive build your own selection of sauces, cheeses and toppings. The menu will also feature fresh salads and a beer/wine menu. I was especially delighted to hear that they will stay open as late as need be to satisfy hungry customers after sporting and concert events.

Live Basil Pizza at LA Live
1011 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213)746-5483