Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Frontiers: Plan Check Kitchen & Bar

Chef Ernesto Uchimura made a name for himself at the original Sawtelle location of this innovative Americana-inspired gastropub, and his creative cuisine - which includes hallmarks like "ketchup leather" and enormous burgers that have become some of the most popular in town - developed a following quickly, leading to the recent opening of a second location on Fairfax in what used to be Vodvil.

New dishes introduced at this location include the salmon "pastrami", but you should also go for signature plates like the pastrami poutine of fries with gravy and melted Swiss, and the Plan Check Burger with dashi cheese, caramelized schmaltz onions, mixed pickles and ketchup leather.

For more on the restaurant and my favorite dishes, check out my article: Plan Check - Comfy Cuisine and Cocktails.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Jetsetter: Four Seasons Hualalai Hawaii

I love Hawaii. I used to travel there all the time as a kid, but then my family and I traveled to other parts of the world for about two decades. It's only been recently that I've fallen back in love with the islands, and the island of Hawaii itself in particular - and that's thanks in part to this gorgeous hotel.

The Four Seasons Hualalai is on the Kohala coast and has beautiful rooms, an array of pools to choose from, great restaurants, and pretty much everything you'd want from a tropical luxury hotel.

Read about all my favorite aspects of the resort and what you should get up to in my latest Jetsetter article: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Los Angeles Confidential Magazine: Abalone Dishes in LA

As a native Californian, one of the dishes that always intrigued me was abalone. It was forbidden to fish or serve on a menu when I was a kid, but lately I've been noticing it popping up on menus not just in LA, but all over the world on my travels.

There are abalone farms and foraging grounds here in California, but also in Hawaii, Japan and Australia, and this hearty mollusk is making a comeback in a big way.

So for this springtime LA Confidential article, I talked to chefs Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Josiah Citrin of Melisse about how they use this pelagic palate-pleaser on their menus.

For more on abalone's fascinating back-from-the-brink story and where you can taste it in LA, check out my article: Abalone Enjoys a Comeback in LA Eateries.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Frontiers: Food2Know Los Angeles' Best Oysters

It's not a secret that I'm not a huge fan of oysters, but there's not denying the allure of these briny little bivalves, and reading an oyster menu these days is like a geography lesson on the oceans of the world.

Interested in slurping down a few of these delicious mollusks? Here's where you can find some of the best in Los Angeles: Food2Know LA's Best Oysters.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Frontiers: Los Angeles' Best Hamburgers

Food trends might come and go, but one thing that remains is the popularity of that (arguably) most American of dishes, the humble hamburger.

You take a bun, some meat, slather on some sauces, maybe add some veggies and cheese, and voila - you've got a hearty meal you can enjoy pretty much anywhere.

But just because you can get a hamburger anywhere doesn't mean you should. Hence this list of LA's best hamburgers including some mainstays like Umami, Father's Office and 25 Degrees.

For my picks on some of the best burgers in LA (remember this is just a short list, there are plenty others out there that I would include in a longer version!), check out my recent Frontiers article: Food2Know LA's Best Burgers.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jetsetter: Ritz-Carlton Istanbul

When I traveled to Istanbul a couple years ago, I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, which is in a great central location close to both the old city and the waterfront districts.

And did I mention the beautiful Bosphorus views? I've covered in a few other places, but for a full write-up on the property, check out my most recent Jetsetter article: Ritz-Carlton Istanbul.

Los Angeles Confidential: Ray's & Stark Bar's Water Sommelier

When you hear the word sommelier, you think wine. But here in health-conscious LA, we've got a water sommelier who knows his H20.

Martin Riese is the man behind the water menu at Ray's & Stark Bar, and he's curated a luxury liquid list ranging from New Zealand to Greenland of some of the earth's best water for LA patrons.

Want to learn more about what you should be quaffing? Check out my article: H20 Goes Haute at Ray's & Stark Bar.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Los Angeles Confidential Magazine: Vegan and Eco-Friendly Wines

It's a new year, which means time to get healthy and fit, cutting down on the red meat and booze...or does it?

Though you might think going vegan includes only your diet, when it comes to wine, there are choices to be made as well, and many wineries are starting to preclude animal products from their wines as well in an effort to enhance the true expression of character.

Hence the idea behind this article on vegan and eco-friendly wines in the January issue of LA Confidential. You might be surprised at who's on this list, but it includes big names like Veuve Clicquot and Tablas Creek as well as a few little places you might not have heard about.

Read my full article here: Vegan and Eco-Friendly Wines.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Los Angeles Confidential Magazine: Best Dumpling Restaurants in Los Angeles

It's dim sum delirium here in Los Angeles. It seems like all the hot new spots in town are serving delectable dumplings as the opening salvo or even the main attraction of their menus.

Covering this delicious new trend in Los Angeles Confidential magazine, I round up some of the hottest new spots in town purveying these potstickers including Church Key, Din Tai Fung, Hakkasan and more.

Check out my full article here: Best Los Angeles Dumpling Restaurants.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Jetsetter: Diamant Hotel Sydney

For my next Jetsetter article, I cover a hip little hotel in Sydney called the Diamant, where I stayed a couple years ago.

Though it's right at the border of King's Cross, the hotel is a quick walk to Darlinghurst and Surry Hills as well as to trendy Potts Point and the CBD, so it makes a good choice for travelers who need a central location to explore the city without getting thronged by tourist hordes.

Read my full write-up here: The Diamant Boutique Hotel Sydney.