Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jaunted: Sydney's Qantas Business Lounge

Of course, I couldn't do all the flying on my recent month-long Australian odyssey without checking out a few Qantas lounges for Jaunted.

So here is a quick look at the final lounge I spent time in: the Qantas Business Lounge at the Sydney Airport, where I spent several hours between a flight from Cairns and the big one across the Pacific back home to Los Angeles.

I took a self-guided tour, flipped through some magazines, got some work done, taste-tested all the snacks (and wines--hey, it turned noon while I was there!), and even took a shower and got all nice and groomed before my main flight, so it was a morning well spent.

Take a look at my photo gallery and the inside info at the link below.

Link: http://www.jaunted.com/story/2011/5/30/173218/671/travel/Inside+the+Qantas+Business+Lounge+at+Sydney+Airport

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

MadeMan: Weird BBQ!

Here comes another MadeMan article, and this one is just in time for Memorial Day because it takes as its subject...BBQ!

Not just any barbecue, though. I went on the hunt for the randomest, weirdest, wildest barbecue stories I could find. And I came up with everything from barbecued rattlesnake to a steak that you cook on your classic Cadillac's radiator contributed by chefs and pitmasters from around the country including Frank Ostini at Hitching Post II in Santa Barbara wine country (Buellton, to be exact), Ember Room's Ian Chalermkittichai , Jon Bonnell of Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine in Houston, and Morgan Murphy, an editor at Southern Living.

Now, I'll eat just about anything, and I've seen some pretty odd stuff, but some of these sound too bizarre to be true. You decide. Then fire up the grill!

Link: http://www.mademan.com/things-you-didnt-know-you-could-bbq/

Monday, May 23, 2011

JustLuxe: Taste of the Nation

Just a quick JustLuxe post this time with a more newsy angle since I wanted to write about two events taking place this week in Los Angeles for Taste of the Nation.

One takes place at one of my favorite restaurants in town, Hatfield's, and the other is at the cool new bowling-tchotchke-hipster bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Spare Room.

Whether your thing is more rarefied fine dining, or artisanal cocktails accompanied by ironic pastimes, there's something for you here. And best of all, they're for a good cause: ending childhood hunger in the U.S.

So get your tickets (Wednesday's the first one!) and get ready to do (and eat) some good!

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/travel/news/feature-1586825.php

Friday, May 20, 2011

Frontiers: Ray's and Stark Bar

I wrote up a little JustLuxe piece on Ray's and Stark Bar, the newest Patina Group restaurant, which is located in the Renzo Piano-designed Resnick Pavilion at LACMA, when it announced a special Elizabeth Taylor tribute menu.

Now it's time for a good old-fashioned Frontiers review of Kris Morningstar's menu and the design-driven space that's already drawing in the artsy audience as well as the after-work crowd, and everyone in between.

Check out some of my favorite dishes and moments at the link below.

Link: http://www.frontiersweb.com/Nightlife/Restaurants/Story.aspx?ID=1415503

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

JustLuxe: 48 Hours in Hong Kong

I'm actually writing this on a misty fall morning in Chile, but don't forget, that one of the big trips I took recently was to the gateway to the Far East and one of my favorite cities, Hong Kong.

I was there for three nights, but I took the experience and condensed it down into a whirlwind 48-hour getaway, including only my very favorite activities and sights (and meals!).

So take a look and see what you should be doing on your next visit to one of the world's most dynamic, exciting cities--fabulous hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, world-class shopping, and more!

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/travel/luxury-vacations/feature-1581442.php

Friday, May 13, 2011

JustLuxe: LA's Single Spirit Bars

Nightlife might be part of my usual restaurant and dining mandate, but it's still a separate sphere of activity unto itself, so you won't often find me hanging out around LA's bars--despite any reports you might have heard to the contrary!

That's why it was a fun change of pace for me to do this little roundup for JustLuxe about a trend I've been noticing for a while around Los Angeles: single-spirit bars.

That might sound confusing, but what I mean is, bars that are devoted to a single liquor like rum or whiskey. A preponderance of them have popped up in the past couple of years, so here I talk about 3 old favorites and a soon-comer to downtown LA.

I cover The Thirsty Crow in Silverlake, which specializes in whiskey and bourbon, rum mecca La Descarga in Los Feliz, the tequila- and mescal-fueled party at downtown's Las Perlas, and finally, a new soon-to-open vodka bar also in DTLA called Silo.

They don't just serve up premium shots, though. Each has an accomplished cocktail menu of tasty classics and intriguing new experiments. So pick your poison, and your decision where to drink this weekend will be made!

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/travel/news/feature-1576340.php

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

JustLuxe: J Hilburn Custom Menswear

For my next JustLuxe piece, I branch out from my usual passions of food and travel to the twin metiers of style and fashion with this article on a recent experience I had with a new bespoke menswear clothier, J Hilburn.

One day while I was at a work lunch with a friend of mine who edits a publication here in LA, I noticed that he was dressed nicer than usual, so I asked him where he got his clothes, and he told me that they came from J Hilburn. The company doesn't have any stores, but operates sort of like an old-timey bespoke haberdashery with a network of ladies across the country who come to your home or office, take your measurements, walk you through the company's clothing catalog and help you pick out a new wardrobe. The best part is, since the company has very little overhead, the clothes you get are of comparable quality to those you'll find at Nieman's or Brooks Brothers and from the same mills that make Zegna and Ralph Lauren, but at a fraction of the cost both of department store and especially of the usual custom-clothing price tag.

I scheduled my own appointment and settled on a shirt and a pair of trousers, which have since been made exactly to my specifications and shipped to me, and which I've been wearing out to social engagements all over LA and getting tons of great compliments on.

Needless to say, I'm a happy guy at the moment. So I wanted to talk about the experience on JustLuxe, so take a look, and think about getting your dad something special from here on father's day!

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/fine-living/fashion/feature-1576245.php

LA Confidential: San Diego

I'm often asked to write about my hometown, San Diego, so if you picked up the April/May issue of Los Angeles Confidential, you might also have seen another of my articles in the Insider Escape section. This one is about some of the best places to hit on a weekend getaway down to the city. There's no link to it on the magazine's web site, so I wanted to include the text below since it's got so many of my favorite places to eat, stay and play. Enjoy!

REDISCOVER SAN DIEGO

America's Finest City has everything you need for your next weekend getaway. By Eric Rosen

HOTELS

Green Scene: Beach casual meets tribal chic at the Hotel Solamar (hotelsolamar.com) It’s got all the amenities of the business-friendly Kimpton brand, plus eco-friendly policies, a fourth-floor pool and bar, and the gourmet J6 restaurant.

Business and Baseball: The Omni’s (omnihotels.com) elegant tower across from the Convention Center is the perfect setting for downtown business, and for quick access to Petco Park via a pedestrian bridge for Padres fans.

Urban Resort: It’s all about sunshine and the city at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort (loewshotels.com), a sprawling luxury property with perfect downtown views from across the Coronado Bridge.

Party Pad: Everyone comes to play hard at the Hard Rock San Diego (hardrockhotelsd.com), and the hotel even has a Vibe Manager who keeps things rockin’ on the sound system. There’s also a Nobu for when you need to refuel.

Designer Boutique: Housed in a building dating from 1890, the exclusive Keating (thekeating.com) has just 35 bright red, open floor-plan rooms designed by the firm behind Maserati and Ferrari, and the popular subterranean Sway Lounge.

RESTAURANTS

Steakhouses: Locals frequent George’s on Fifth (georgesonfifth.com) for prime cuts, swanky scenesters gravitate toward Suite & Tender (suiteandtender.com) at the Sé San Diego (sesandiego.com), and control freaks settle in at Strip Club (cohnrestaurants.com)to grill their own.

Little Italy: Mangia bone-in Sicilian rib eye with parmesan truffle fries at Po Pazzo (popazzo.com), or the al dente house-made pasta dishes at Zia’s Bistro (ziasbistro.com).

The New Kid: Top Chef favorite Brian Malarkey has brought his brand of ingredient-driven cooking (and crowds of fashionable foodies) to Searsucker (searsucker.com).

Speakeasy Sips: Sneak into Prohibition (prohibitionsd.com)through a hidden Fifth Avenue door for clandestine classic cocktails. Nearby, whimsical Syrah Wine Parlor (syrahwineparlor.com) feels like a cross between a wine bar and the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

Just Desserts: The mouthwatering pastries at Extraordinary Desserts (extraordinary desserts.com) make a sweet end to any evening.

Brunch Spot: Locals throng Hillcrest’s Hash House A Go Go (hashhouseagogo.com) for its “twisted farm food” like the fried chicken Benedict.

ACTIVITIES

Family Fun: Go wild at the world-famous San Diego Zoo sandiegozoo.org), or its North County safari-experience annex, the Wild Animal Park. For the more aquatically inclined, Sea World (seaworld.com)has special exhibits like Shark Encounter and Manatee Rescue.

Museum Meanderings: With over a dozen museums, theaters and gardens, Balboa Park (balboapark.org) is the largest cultural city park in the country.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jaunted: 5 Things NOT to do at Uluru

I did a quick Jaunted piece last week based on one of the experiences of my recent Australian adventure. You might remember my piece from over the summer about What NOT to do at Machu Picchu. Well, this is basically the same thing, only it's for Australia's top mystical landmark: Uluru.

Now you can learn why you should call it Uluru and not Ayers Rock (and why you shouldn't climb it), what to expect when you get there, and how long you should consider staying, all in one place. It's a succinct, handy guide for what not to do and what not to miss on your next visit to The Rock.

Link: http://www.jaunted.com/story/2011/5/4/123030/5564/travel/What+Not+To+Do+At+Uluru:+The+Top+5+Tourist+Mistakes

Monday, May 9, 2011

JustLuxe: Getting Carried Away in San Francisco

Though I'm the Los Angeles Editor for JustLuxe, I also contribute to their travel section (and food and wine!), so for my latest article, I decided to talk about one of my favorite touring companies ever, Carried Away in San Francisco.

The two ladies who run it (and are now friends of mine), Vikki Garrod and Dianne Admire, are fabulous ambassadors to their adopted city, and took me to all kinds of wonderful hidden gems throughout San Francisco when I visited this past fall.

I cannot recommend their custom-tailored tours highly enough. Find out more about what I did, and what the ladies can do for you during your next visit to the city by the Bay when you read my article at the link below!

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/travel/news/feature-1561904.php

Friday, May 6, 2011

Frontiers: Fig + Olive

My next Frontiers restaurant review I took on what had to be the biggest restaurant opening all spring in Los Angeles, Fig + Olive. This restaurant, which comes to us by way of New York (where there are already four locations), though this has to be the biggest, at a whopping 8,000 square feet on Melrose Place. Not only that, but there were three, yes three, opening parties on three consecutive nights, with several Michelin-starred chefs from the south of France helping out in the kitchen. I guess the way to describe it all is: over-the-top.

I went back a couple weeks later to try out the regular menu myself on a normal night (I was lucky to get in--reservations have been full every night for weeks), so you can take a sneak peek at what I enjoyed while I was there, and if you pick up a copy of the magazine itself, you can read about where I love to go for lamb chops (it was just in time for Easter) around town--some surprising choices like A Frame from the Kogi guys, the newly revamped Cafe del Rey, and Craig's.

So check out my "night in Provence" at the link below.

Link: http://www.frontiersweb.com/Nightlife/Restaurants/Story.aspx?ID=1404903

Thursday, May 5, 2011

UrbanDaddy: Going Crocodile Dundee

I don't know about you, but I personally subscribe to UrbanDaddy. They definitely get the scoop on all kinds of awesome things to do in Los Angeles, and I usually skim their national travel Jetset edition on Sundays when it comes as well. That's why I was excited to pitch my first property to them based on my recent Australia travels.

You might have already seen my recent HotelChatter piece on this property, but it's just so new and special and singular, and it fits right into UrbanDaddy's ethos (upwardly mobile, young, professional, style-conscious dudes with presumably limitless disposable income) that I couldn't help but pitch Wildman Wilderness Lodge.

It's short, sweet and sexy (if you want the nitty gritty details, go to my HotelChatter piece), so take a quick peek at my UrbanDaddy Jetset piece on "Going Crocodile Dundee in the Outback"!

Link: http://www.urbandaddy.com/jt/adventures/13091/Wildman_Wilderness_Lodge_Going_Crocodile_Dundee_in_the_Outback_Jetset_JT_Hotel

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

JustLuxe: Unionmade Goods

I've been writing a lot about hotels and restaurants lately on JustLuxe, so between that, and the fact that I've been dreaming about a new summer wardrobe, I decided to switch things up and write about a new men's clothing store called Unionmade Goods that just opened their first LA location at the Brentwood Country Mart (their original is in San Francisco).

It's the kind of place Wills and Harry would do their shopping for everything from mandals to wear beachside on the French Riviera, to a nice scarf and windbreaker for bundling up while hiking glaciers in Patagonia, to backyard barbecue wear.

All in all, it sounds like a little shopping spree is in order for yours truly!

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/travel/news/feature-1543286.php