Friday, September 30, 2011

Frontiers: Gastropub Takeover

I'm all about the fine dining, but every now and then, all I want is a juicy burger and a great beer. Lucky for me, tons of fantastic new gastropubs have been opening around Los Angeles lately, and thanks to this story and one in LA Confidential, I've gotten to try a bunch of them.

Here is a quick roundup of some of the most exciting gastropubs to open around Los Angeles this past summer, and some of the dishes you should try at each.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Frontiers: Westside Dining

Still playing catchup with posting all my past Frontiers dining reviews from this summer. The next piece up is a roundup of Westside dining options meant for optimal summer dining. There were a ton of new openings on that side of town this past summer, and here were a few highlights, including the relaunch of the Malibu Inn, the gourmet sundry stores of the Market at Santa Monica Place, and True Food Kitchen.

Bon appetit!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Frontiers: Son of a Gun

You might have noticed the absence of Frontiers dining reviews from my blog for a while, but that's not because I haven't been busy eating and writing about new LA restaurants. The magazine has been revamping its web site for the past few months and the dining section has been slowly coming along.

Looks like most of my material is online now, though, so I wanted to share a few choice recent reviews, starting with this one of Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's new seafood restaurant on West 3rd Street, Son of a Gun.

Now you might recognize the chef-buddy duo's name from their first, wildly successful restaurant on Fairfax, Animal, but Son of a Gun is a completely different beast--one from the heart of the ocean.

Check out some of the most interesting menu items in my review at the link below:

LA Confidential Magazine: San Francisco and the Russian River Valley

Here's a travel article I wrote for the September issue of LA Confidential Magazine (just in time for harvest!) all about the wine-tasting experiences you can have in two of my favorite places in California--one town, one country--San Francisco and the nearby Russian River Valley.

In it, I include some of my favorite wine bars and tasting rooms, plus a host of other helpful details like where to stay, where to play, and where to gorge yourself on fabulous wine country cuisine. Cheers!

Here's a new link to the article, which you can also find in its full form below:


By Eric Rosen

Harvest season is the perfect time to visit San Francisco and wine country’s Russian River Valley to indulge in all things grape.

San Francisco is the gateway to California’s most famous wine regions, but you don’t need to leave the city to enjoy great tasting experiences, as even the hotels have gotten in on the action. The Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco ( is home to the Press Club (, a wine bar and lounge whose Visiting Vintners series rotates a selection of California wine, beer and sparkling wine. The InterContinental San Francisco’s ( Bar 888 houses an unrivaled collection of high-end grappas, while the superb city views from the Mandarin Oriental ( rooms are only outdone by the hotel’s specially created collaboration with Hirsch Vineyards, Ngima Cuvée Pinot Noir.

For an insightful and entertaining overview of the city’s wine scene, enlist the bespoke guided-tour services of Carried Away ( They’ll whisk you from cozy wine bars such as the Hayes Valley hole-in-the-wall Hôtel Biron ( to the saloonlike Fat Angel ( in lower Fillmore and SoMa’s boho-chic Terroir ( for its stellar cellar of natural wines.

Later, wander the historic Jackson Square area to sample private-label wines from the patented Cask Delivery System at Barrique ( before dining at one of the hottest tables in town at Cotogna (

One of Food & Wine’s seven Sommeliers of the Year, Rajat Parr of Mina Group (, will get your palate ready for the Russian River Valley through pairings like Freeman Ryo-fu Sonoma Coast Chardonnay with deconstructed butter-poached lobster pot pie.

Just 90 minutes north of San Francisco, the Russian River Valley—which takes up one-sixth of Sonoma County and is known for the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs it produces—just might be California’s most exciting up-and-coming wine region. Both the trendy Hotel Healdsburg ( and its LEED Gold-certified younger sibling, H2Hotel (, sit near Healdsburg’s picturesque, boutique-filled town square. Upscale rusticators might prefer the luxe suites and Michelin-starred restaurant at Forestville’s Farmhouse (

Spend your morning hiking to a picnic spot high above the Alexander Valley at Stonestreet Alexander Mountain Estate (, hop aboard Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves( Swiss Army Pinzgauer vehicle for a tour in the hills above Dry Creek, or wander the ancient redwood groves at Simi ( Next, taste a cross section of Sonoma vinos while perusing Terroirs Artisan Wines( art gallery in Geyserville.

In the evening, stop for a cocktail at Medlock Ames( speakeasy-ish new tasting room before an Italian feast back in town at Scopa (, or a dinner of farm-fresh delicacies in BarnDiva’s ( patio.

Spend the next day relaxing by the new pool at Francis Ford Coppola Winery ( park’s Pools & Cabines (pronounced “ka-beens,” they’re European-style changing rooms) or take a cooking class at Relish ( And once you’ve caught the Russian River Valley bug, travel back up November 5–6 to catch the 13th Annual Wine & Food Affair ( weekend with 80 participating wineries in northern Sonoma County.

Friday, September 23, 2011

LA Confidential Magazine: Gastropubs

My final piece in the September issue of LA Confidential is a foodie feature on a big trend at the moment in Los Angeles: gastropubs.

Sure, they've been around for a while, and yes, there are lots of microbreweries around the country, but I think I've put my finger on a few characteristics that distinguish LA's spate of recently opened gastropubs from their counterparts across the country, as well as why our brand of brewpub is going to be setting the trend for other parts.

Find out more, as well as what you can eat at local spots like 1321 Taproom in Torrance, Bru Haus, Black Market Liquor Bar, The Tripel, Rosewood Tavern, City Tavern and the Fat Dog. I'll give you one hint...lots of different burgers, and even more fabulous artisanal ales!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LA Confidential Magazine: Fall Restaurants in Los Angeles

The other main dining article in the September issue of LA Confidential is a roundup of five new restaurants to try out this fall if you happen to swing by the city.

These aren't just your average brief roundup blurbs, though. Each one is a mini review in and of itself, so take a good look.

I include Oscar's Cerveteca in Venice Beach (fresh grilled fish, nachos, ceviche!), True Food Kitchen and the Market at Santa Monica Place, and Sotto (wood-fired pizza) and Picca (more ceviche!) on Pico at the border of Beverly Hills.

Plenty to love...and eat here!


Monday, September 19, 2011

LA Confidential Magazine: MB Post

The lead restaurant review for the September issue of LA Confidential is a quick piece on a new restaurant in Manhattan Beach called MB Post.

As opposed to the scads of beach bars that populate the area, this restaurant manages to be upscale yet still maintain the casual nature of a beach town. Find out what I ate, why the chef loves strawberry shortcake, and why your next trip to the South Bay should include this gem in my article at the link below.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

JustLuxe: Dean & Deluca Wine Clubs

Continuing the wine theme of the week(s), I've written about an exciting announcement from one of my favorite gourmet grocers, Dean & Deluca, who have started a new series of wine clubs that highlight the fabulous wines from my native California.

Though the clubs focus on Napa releases, they also have some great offerings from Sonoma, Santa Barbara, and several other California appellations. Plus, they are available in different price levels and categories meant to appeal to the novice and the connoisseur alike.

Check them out in my JustLuxe article at the link below.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

JustLuxe: New LA Restaurants Roundup Part 2

For Part 2 in my JustLuxe roundup of new restaurants opening around Los Angeles, I tackle the second half of the alphabet, including a new sandwich shop called Marcona on Melrose, a new casual brewpub kind of place called Rascal, Roof on Wilshire, which is the poolside restaurant at the new Wilshire Hotel in the Miracle Mile with great views of LA and a delicious casual menu by chef Eric Greenspan, vegan-friendly Seed Bistro, SmithHouse Tap and Grill in Century City, and German-style beer garden Wirtshaus on Fairfax.

Lots to eat, drink and see around the city this month!


Friday, September 9, 2011

JustLuxe: New LA Restaurants Roundup Part 1

There are a lot of new restaurants opening up (or planning to open up imminently) around Los Angeles, so it seemed high time for a comprehensive JustLuxe roundup of where LA diners should plan on eating in the next couple of weeks.

In fact, there were so many, I split the roundup into two parts (alphabetically)--so in Part 1, you can learn more about my wine buddy David Haskell's new project with husband-wife chefs Farid Zadi and Susan Park called Eat.Good.Clean.Food, the new dinner service at Farmshop in Brentwood, Fat Spoon from the folks behind Lazy Ox Canteen, Larry's in Venice by chef Brendan Collins of Waterloo & City, the new restaurant concept at L'Ermitage called Livello, and Fonuts--a very special bakery from pastry chef Waylynn Lucas.

More to come, but for now:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

JustLuxe: A Wine Week in Chile

Continuing my wine writing jag, I drew up a lovely luxury wine-tasting itinerary based on the time I spent down there this past May, picking out experiences from my favorite wineries, and putting it together into one big trip.

It includes a day in Santiago, plus awesome activities like horseback riding through vineyards, hiking, cooking classes, star-gazing and more at wineries like Montes, MontGras, Viu Manent, Casa Lapostolle and Casa plenty of Carmenere, among other wine varietals, and a brief discussion of LAN's stellar wine program.

Take a look and start searching your local wine shop for Chilean vintages now!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

JustLuxe: Sequoia Grove Winery Cambium Release

With wine-tasting trips to Portugal, Napa and New Zealand coming up, I'm aiming to get back into writing about my main passion, wine, a bit more...starting with this quick JustLuxe post on a new premium wine release from Sequoia Grove up in Napa (which I'll be visiting come October!).

The winery has been working on this project for a while, and this is the inaugural release, made with grapes from the 2007 harvest.

Read more about the red blend and what makes it so special at the link below.