On Saturday, September 26, premium vodka brand Kástra Elión will welcome guests to a virtual event hosted by acclaimed actress Stephanie Beatriz. Guests are invited to tune in online to experience a full evening of fun, including a cocktail demonstration from Matthew Biancaniello of Eat Your Drink, a three course paired meal by celebrated caterer Jennifer Naylor, a sip and chat with the Kástra Elión founders, and a performance by alternative rock band Kongos. The special evening is presented in celebration of Kástra Elión’s launch of their new premium sipping vodka distilled from Greek olives
Family-owned, artisan crafted in Greece, and three generations in the making, Kástra Elión combines tradition, innovation, and a love for the flavors and heritage of the Mediterranean. While most vodkas are made with just grain, Kástra Elión is distilled from the finest hand-picked olives found in the Nafpaktos region of Greece, creating a profile with subtle notes of ripe olives refined with peppery undertones and a soft, battery finish.
Along with host Stephanie Beatriz and Kástra Elión founders Mike Camello and Brandon Cohen, guests will experience a cocktail demonstration on how to make the perfect cocktail using Kástra Elión. Chef partner Jennifer Naylor will also provide a walkthrough of her curated Meditteranean meal that includes a mezze platter, Greek salad, grilled marinated chicken and vegetables, plum and nectarine crisp, and much more for guests to enjoy pairing with the vodka. At the end of the presentation, the founders will open up the discussion for attendees to ask questions, engage, interact, and learn more about the brand. The evening will conclude with a special performance by Kongos.
Having launched just prior to the global pandemic, Kástra Elión understands the value of engaging and giving back to the community. Proceeds from ticket sales for this event will be donated to The Art of Elysium – a nonprofit artist organization built on the idea that through service, art becomes a catalyst for social change. Philanthropic efforts, especially during this time, are deeply rooted in Kástra Elión’s brand DNA, and they believe that we are stronger when we work together to make a difference.
Premium tickets purchased for the virtual event will include two meals prepared by Jennifer Naylor, a cocktail kit for two featuring Kástra Elión, and access to Kongo’s performance.
Tickets are available for purchase at https://kastraelion.eventbrite.com
Last month, The Habit Burger deployed its very own fleet of food trucks to host 27 “events” near hospitals throughout California to give back to health care professionals by providing over 8,000 complimentary meals. In order to maintain social distancing and the utmost safety and cleanliness for all, they are having a few representatives pick up meals from the truck every 15 minutes in lieu of accumulating a line of guests.
Locations include Santa Ana, Norwalk, Los Angeles, West Covina, Long Beach, Mission Hills, Anaheim and many more. Their schedule is as follows:
Dignity Health St. Mary, 1050 Linden Ave Long Beach, CA 90813
Providence Hospital Mission Hills; 11333 Sepulveda Blvd Mission Hills, CA 91345
Children’s Hospital LA; 4650 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles 90027
Second Harvest Food Bank; 2695 East Katella Ave. Anahiem, CA, 92806
Garfield Medical Center; 525 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, 91754
Keck Hospital USC; 1500 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles CA 90033
Pizza (and Italian cuisine) lovers unite! Monday, March 9th and Tuesday, March 10th are shaping up to be a couple of the hottest winter nights in Los Angeles. From 5:00 p.m. until midnight on both dates, the highly acclaimed Lucali will be taking over THE NICE GUY for an extremely limited-time-only run. The collaboration is the result of a longstanding friendship between John Terzian, co-owner of The h.wood Group (along with Brian Toll) and Lucali’s legendary owner and founder Mark Iacono.
In signature Lucali fashion, guests will be greeted by a classic 1975 Chevrolet Caprice convertible, which i’s a tell-tale sign you’ve arrived at the Brooklyn outpost. Once inside, Iacono will be slinging four of his signature 18” pies — margarita, pepperoni, hot pepper, and shallot straight from the oven. In addition, Iacono will be dishing out his celebrated homemade meatballs. And if you’re still not sold, classic Italian libations including a Campari spritz and Negroni will also be available.
No reservations are available and guests are encouraged to line up early for the first come, first serve NYC-meets-LA experience. THE NICE GUY is located at 401 North La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048.
Lucali first opened doors in Iacono’s own childhood neighborhood of Carroll Gardens in 2006 and has become a Brooklyn institution in the years since garnering accolades from Bloomberg, Forbes and The New York Times along the way. In 2012, Jay Z and Beyonce created headlines when they ditched the Grammy’s in favor of dinner at Lucali.
We recently delivered L.A.’s Best Spots for Valentine’s Day in 2020
, and the reality is that many of those restaurants are amazing for any time of year. Now, you can go ahead and add one more restaurant to that list: Winsome. Located in the Playa District, restaurateur duo Marc Rose and Med Abrous officially opened their all-day café concept, Winsome, easier this week at the 33-acre Playa District, which is owned by EQ Office and designed by RCH Studios.
As you may know, Marc and Med are behind the award-winning cocktail bar and gaming parlor, The Spare Room, and the iconic 35-year-old, NYC-style Chinese restaurant Genghis Cohen here in LA. Additionally, this past year they’ve expanded outside LA and opened Mountaineering Club and Poindexter at Graduate Seattle and they just opened Cross-Eyed Critters Watering Hole and Poindexter at the new Graduate Nashville. It was also recently announced that they will oversee all food and beverage operations for the forthcoming Graduate Roosevelt Island, opening in summer 2020.
Marc and Med have brought on Gabriella Mlynarczyk (formerly of Accomplice Bar in Mar Vista and The Fat Radish in NYC) as the general manager; and, she’ll be bringing her award-winning cocktail and beverage expertise.
Highlights of Winsome’s menu include market-driven options such as a prosciutto tartine with ricotta, pear, pepper jelly, saba and sourdough; grilled chicken salad with fennel, watermelon radish, avocado, basil, breadcrumbs, baby romaine and buttermilk-poppy seed dressing; and, the mushroom french dip with caramelized onions, young gruyere cheese, methi, mushroom au jus, and french bread. A robust selection of prepared items will be available in the case with offerings ranging from curry chicken salad with mango chutney, golden raisin, apple and almond to charred zucchini and squash with olive oil, sea salt and lemon. Grab-and-go options will soon launch with sandwiches, salads, and other prepared items also available for takeaway. Delivery and catering will also be available for nearby offices and events with the expansion of services coming in a few months.
Winsome guests can also select from an extensive variety of beverage choices including a range of coffee options from premier roaster La Colombe as well as infused teas such as bergamot and jasmine along with a specialty matcha coconut latte and turmeric chai latte. Kombucha, cold pressed juices and housemade agua frescas including a toasted coconut, almond, and five spice horchata round out the non-alcoholic beverage offerings. A mix of biodynamic, organic wines available by the glass or bottle along with craft beer options from Mikkeller and 21st Amendment, among others, are also available for those looking to imbibe. Mlynarczyk, winner of accolades from Thrillist, Time Out and Tales of the Cocktail, is also crafting a full list of non-alcoholic cocktails with spirit pairings that will launch in the coming months.
Winsome Playa District is located at 6080 Center Drive (Suite 180) and will be open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. with expanded hours to come.
Contributions: Anthony C. Stafford
Once again, it’s that lovely time of year when couples splurge and go out of their way to profess their deepest feelings for one another. While some individuals may have started planning for Valentine’s Day as early as last year, it’s unmistakable that there are probably many more who are still trying to get things figured out at this very moment. Wherever you stand on the spectrum of readiness, we’ve got a compilation of some of LA’s best spots to please your special (or spoiled) someone. Read on, make your choice, and get a look at the menus, because allergies are a thing. Every surprise is not a good surprise.
Details: A 5-course tasting menu with optional wine and champagne pairing.
About: Dining at the chef’s private table, Avec Nous’s vintage luxurious ambiance is perfect for couples in search of romance and intimacy in the heart of Beverly Hills. Dinner amongst the stars is probably the most sought after experience in LA. Where better to increase the odds?
Location: Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Price: $115/person, $40 additional for wine pairing; $65 additional for Moet Grand Vintage Rose 2009 pairing; $85 Dom Perignon Vintage 2008 pairing
Menu Highlights: Oyster with Regiis Ova Supreme Caviar with gold leaf, passionfruit mignonette, salmon charcoal roulade with salmon roe, Fresno chile, and cilantro, 6oz filet with black truffle, Pommes Anna, black garlic demi-glaze, Earl Grey Panna Cotta with jasmine honey, and pistachio biscotti.
Reservations recommended: https://www.opentable.com/avec-nous
Details: A 4-course luxurious special menu.
About: This swanky restaurant with a 1920’s vibe is perfect for couples who want to dine at the hottest and most sought after restaurant in LA. Imagine that! Traveling back in time, and impressing your valentine is surely a big brain move.
Price: $90 per person
Menu Highlights: Hamachi Crudo with crispy shallot, lemon oil, pomegranate, and shiso, scallops with gnocchi, roasted sweet potato, and salsa verde, Aspen Ridge filet mignon with short rib sugo, confit tomato petals, and brown butter mashed potatoes, pan-roasted duck with barley risotto, braised cabbage, duck confit, and caramelized pearl onions, white chocolate raspberry cheesecake with creme chantilly, and fresh berries
Location: 7969 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Reservations required: firstname.lastname@example.org
Details: A 4-course custom menu.
About: An intimate dining experience with classic dishes and an impressive wine list. Easy does it. Less is more. No matter how you put it, Mason will please even the most demanding Valentine.
Price: $90 per person
Menu Highlights: Hand-cut beef tartare with traditional garnishes, and cured egg yolk, blood orange salad with shaved winter vegetables and tangerine oil, grilled lobster with baked rice and herb salad, cauliflower steak with brown butter, capers, lemon, and fennel, pavlova with lemon curd, candied buddha’s hand and chantilly.
Location: 108 W. Channel Road, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Reservations required: Call 424-644-3034
The Nice Guy
Details: A 3-course special dinner menu.
About: Vintage marble and a brass bar provide a romantic atmosphere for couples looking to indulge in The Nice Guy’s Italian specialties. Make a statement this Valentine’s Day, and own the night.
Price: $90 per person
Menu Highlights: Hamachi crudo with charred grapefruit, pomegranate, frisee, and cress, meatballs with marinara, burrata, Grana Padana, basil, and focaccia, grilled seabass with a sunchoke puree, roasted sunchoke, Bloomsdale spinach, and beurre noisette, 10 oz Aspen Ridge Ribeye with rosemary roasted potato, thyme, and apple balsamic, Cacio E Pepe with ground black pepper and pecorino, chocolate budino with charred marshmallow and biscotti crumble.
Location: 401 North La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048
Reservations required: email@example.com
La Brea Bakery
Details: Long stem chocolate-covered strawberries from 2/14—2/16; and now serving dinner.
About: Whether you need a last minute treat for your significant other or are planning on treating yourself to some self-care this year, L.A. favorite La Brea Bakery has some sweet, easy options that are the perfect way to punctuate the evening. In addition, they recently extended their hours and are now serving dinner, making it a perfect place to swing by for a low-key, homestyle evening.
Price: $3 each (chocolate-covered strawberries); $15 – $28 (dinner)
Menu Highlights: Chitarra Amatriciana: fresh chitarra pasta with a tomato, onion and guanciale sauce with Pecorino Romano cheese; Cauliflower Strozzapretti: fresh strozzapretti pasta with roasted garlic and cauliflower puree, roasted tomatoes, peas and toasted ciabatta gremolata; Wild Salmon: pan roasted salmon with cauliflower puree, citrus & pea shoots fennel salad.
Location: 468 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90036