Category Archives: Restaurants

the whole animal

Slow roasted porchetta at Michael's Pizzeria is served on a pizza or as an entree.

Slow roasted porchetta at Michael’s Pizzeria is served on a pizza or as an entree.

This summer Michael’s Restaurant Group in Long Beach is featuring the “whole animal” menu at all three of its restaurants: Michael’s Pizzeria, Michael’s On Naples, and Chianina. The whole animal concept involves utilizing the entire animal in a variety of menu options. I was lucky enough to sample many of these delicious offerings. Here’s what you have to look forward to –

Chef loads a pizza into the wood burning pizza oven at Michael's Pizzeria.

Chef loads a pizza into the wood burning pizza oven at Michael’s Pizzeria.

Housemade fennel sausage with rapine and garlic pizza.

Housemade fennel sausage with rapine and garlic pizza.

Duck prosciutto, goat cheese mousse, mission fig and aged balsamic at Michael's On Naples.

Duck prosciutto, goat cheese mousse, mission fig and aged balsamic at Michael’s On Naples.

Chef David Coleman carves a whole duck at Michael's Of Naples.

Chef David Coleman carves a whole duck at Michael’s Of Naples.

Whole Liberty Farm duck with lavender and local honey.

Whole Liberty Farm duck with lavender and local honey.

Smoked duck neck with homemade cavatelli pasta.

Smoked duck neck with homemade cavatelli pasta.

Corned beef tongue, pickled ramps, rye bread crostini and mustard seed vinaigrette. Truly great!

Corned beef tongue, pickled ramps, rye bread crostini and mustard seed vinaigrette at Chianina. Truly great!

Bacon gelato at Chianina -  this actually works!

Bacon gelato at Chianina – this actually works!

I love the emphasis of the whole animal menu. It forces you to try things you may not have considered gourmet in past. Chef David Coleman’s menu is successful at all three restaurants. Cheers to new food experiences in Long Beach!

tart at farmer’s daughter

Tart

Tart, located within the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in Los Angeles recently showcased its new summer menu as spring comes to an end. The menu emphasizes fresh seasonal ingredients with creative riffs inspired by the diverse heritage of Angelinos . Chef Nick Erven has an unfair advantage over the competiion because Tart is located a stones throw away from the historic LA Farmer’s Market. The vegetables were as fresh as they come and the pork belly melted my heart and in my mouth.

Black Ballin' Punch. It'll get you and a few friends happy!

Black Ballin’ Punch. It’ll get you and a few friends happy!

Yummy pickled summer squash with lavender.

Yummy pickled summer squash with lavender.

Tart_summer_menu

Outdoor seating and fireplace!

Outdoor seating and fireplace!

Fresh pea tendrils make this grilled peach and burrata salad so unique.

Fresh pea tendrils make this grilled peach and burrata salad so unique.

Heirloom tomato salad.

Heirloom tomato salad.

Scotch Egg Tartare.

Scotch Egg Tartare.

Tart at Farmer’s Daughter
115 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

sip at the renaissance

Seasonally inspired cocktails at Sip Lounge.

Seasonally inspired cocktails at Sip Lounge.

Janine Falvo of Top Chef season 9 is the new executive chef for Sip Lounge at the newly remodeled Renaissance Hotel in downtown Long Beach. Chef Falvo’s creativity along with her ocean-to-table focus make this an exciting spot to keep your eye on!

Try the Ahi poke with watermelon and jicama tacos - super refreshing!

Try the Ahi poke with watermelon and jicama tacos – super refreshing!

My favorite dish of the evening = grilled octopus with fava beans. Love the sardine cans she uses for presentation!

My favorite dish of the evening = grilled octopus with fava beans. Love the sardine cans she uses for presentation!

Sip is located at 111 East Ocean Boulevard. Long Beach, California 90802. Phone: 562-437-5900. Hours: 11am – 12am. HAPPY HOUR is everyday from 5-7pm!

ciboteca

Ciboteca is a unique Italian marketplace in Santa Monica.

Ciboteca is a unique Italian marketplace in Santa Monica.

Ciboteca is a gourmet market, bakery and fast-casual restaurant now open in Santa Monica. Robert Ivan or “Bobo” is co-owner and executive chef this modern Italian marketplace. The menu includes an array of panini as well as deli items, pasta dishes, salads, charcuterie and rotisserie chicken. The food here is good but the rotisserie chicken steals the show! If you like slow cooked fresh herb crusted bird this is for you! If you are in the area it is not to be missed! Perhaps most intriguing is the patisserie which features an amazing selection of cakes, tarts and cookies. Yakari Kamiya lovingly creates  Japanese/Italian fusion desserts that provide a insightful glimpse of Ciboteca’s potential. Also, not to be missed is the espresso (which I’m told Bobo roasts himself). One of the best espressos I’ve had stateside!

yakiri yamita segments a grapefruit for one of his creative fusion desserts.

Yakiri Kamiya segments a grapefruit for one of his creative fusion desserts.

Japanese/Italian fusion leads to unique desserts such as sesame cheesecake.

Japanese/Italian fusion leads to unique desserts such as sesame cheesecake.

Ciboteca
606 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-3366

blue c sushi

BlueC-4

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.

bluec

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