Tag Archives: food

Afternoon Delight

Why should tourists have all the fun? Santa Monica hotels have mastered the art of fine dining in settings that’ll make you fall in love with Southern California all over again. By sea, sky or pool, here are four great places to sit back, relax and feel like a sightseer in your own backyard — all without breaking the bank.


FIG at Five’s charred octopus. Photo by Matthew Christopher Miller

FIG at Five at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel

FIG Restaurant, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica | (310) 319-3111 | figsantamonica.com

FIG at Five is one of the more happening happy hours in Santa Monica. There might be a wait for a seat, but it’s worth it. And not just for the relaxing view of the pool and palm trees. From 5 to 6 p.m. seven days a week, most of the food and drinks on the menu are half-off — except the pizzas, bread balloon and last six items on the menu. Since the dishes are from the dinner menu, the selection is rather fancy: charred octopus served with butter beans, pickled onions and Fresno chilies ($8.50); albacore tuna crudo with fennel rub ($6.50); tomato and radish salad with mint, French feta and zinfandel vinaigrette ($8.50); and wood-smoked manila clams with fresh thyme and pepper relish ($8.50). Choose indoor or outdoor patio seating — most seats have a view of the rustling trees. …

Read the full article at The Argonaut.

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The 5 Best Foods to Eat on Your Ojai Road Trip

ojaitortillahouse-1The city’s reputation precedes it: Most people’s eyes light up when you mention Ojai, that magical land less than 90 miles from Los Angeles. Sprinkled with hiking trails, olive and orange orchards, natural springs and wellness spas, (in some ways) it’s like a European vacation without the long flight and pricey plane ticket.

Nicely paired with the long list of every-kind-of-activity imaginable in Ojai is good food. Whether you’re heading to an outdoor summer concert (maybe Michael McDonald or The Zombies) at Libbey Bowl or the Ojai Playwrights Conference in August, these five Ojai eateries are particular treasures in a land of food gold.

Knead Baking Company
The most important details to know about this family-run artisan bakery is it has limited hours (closed on Monday and Tuesday and at 2 p.m. on all other days), and that it does not accept credit cards. Once you’re in the know, it’s sweet sailing….

Read the full article at LA Weekly.

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3 New Chefs Worth a Road Trip

Chef Vincent Lesage, Bacara Resort & Spa

Chef Vincent Lesage, Bacara Resort & Spa

Southern California has it all: the best produce, great wine, vinegars, oils and cheeses. That sums up the way many top chefs feel about the culinary paradise we call home — among them Cale Falk, the new executive chef of the Purple Palm Restaurant at Colony Palms Hotel in Palms Springs. The native Californian has worked in Arizona and Florida, but, in his opinion, “Southern California has it made.”

Falk is just one of several newly installed chefs who are turning SoCal’s most road-trippable cities into culinary destinations. Chef Vincent Lesage, who was born and raised in Paris, and Diego Felix, who still maintains a home in Buenos Aires, are happy to have put down roots in Santa Barbara and Ojai, respectively. Lesage recently was named executive chef at Santa Barbara’s Bacara Resort & Spa, where he calls the kitchen shots for a handful of eating experiences, and Felix and his wife orchestrate “Culinary Troubador” performances in New York, San Francisco, Ojai and Los Angeles.

The edible creations these three chefs are whipping up are worth their weight in gas. So fuel up the tank, leave your stomach on empty and make a meal the destination.

Read the full article at LA Weekly.

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How an Underground Supper Club Built a Growing Food Empire

Robert Kronfli with chef Lior Hillel (center) and his brother Danny.

Robert Kronfli with chef Lior Hillel (center) and his brother Danny.

What started during 27-year-old Robert Kronfli’s sophomore year at USC as a weekly dinner party for friends in an off-campus apartment has blossomed into a mini-hospitality empire: the small plates hotspot Bacaro L.A. near the USC campus, Nature’s Brew café and coffeehouse located two doors down, Kronfli Brothers line of sauces and now Bacari PDR, which opened last month on the hill overlooking the ocean in the Playa del Rey spot where the bright yellow Bistro Du Soleil once stood.

Kronfli, who was named in the Zagat “30 Under 30” list just last month, owns all of these ventures with his older brother Daniel, who’s also a USC alum. Entrepreneurship is in their blood. Growing up, their Lebanese father ran a business with his brother. In fact, everyone on their father’s side of the family — up to Kronfli’s great, great, grandfather — owned their own business, and many of them worked closely with one or more of their brothers.

“The positives far outweigh the negatives,” Robert Kronfli, the youngest of three boys, says about working with family. “You don’t have to hold any emotion back, or worry about being polite, or overly thoughtful. …

Read the full article at LA Weekly.

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