Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The idea of visiting Italy could hardly have presented better than what we experienced last evening at the Italian Cultural Institute in west Los Angeles.  For what was presented was a preview of Expo Milano 2015 which will take place starting May 1 and continuing to October 31, 2015. 
The theme of the Universal Exposition is "Feeding the planet, Energy for Life" and it is expected to draw over 20 million visitors from all over the world.
A film showed other places to visit as well as the Expo including Naples and Rome.  The scenes were a mix of the modern as well as classic Italian countryside and yes,  some of those tempting culinary favorites that have earned international fame.
The Expo Milano site is huge and filled with over 60 pavilions, with many countries represented.
Following the presentation there was a buffet of classic Italian dishes identified by a  particular region or district accompanied by a choice of Italian vintages.
For more information about Expo Milano 2015 check the web

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The wines of Bordeaux have enjoyed prestige for centuries thanks to the quality associated with the vintages, in an earlier era called clarets.
Today this prestige is still present.  A chateau wine from Pomerol adds luster to any dining experience, not least since  they are famous for their aroma and flavors.
So it made a perfect combination to conduct a tasting called 'Grand Cercle des vins de Bordeaux with  location at the highly rated Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.
We attended this elegant affair which included chateau wineries from both the right and left bank of the Gironol River.
Wines from such famous districts as Fronsac, Saint Emilion, Pomerol, Medoc, Margaux  and Saint Estepe were all represented at this tasting which was well attended by the media, restaurateurs, and beverage retailers.
Served al fresco on the patio was a buffet with both sandwiches and French cheeses as well as tasty pasta entrees.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

If we are anywhere near downtown Los Angeles and it is close to lunch time we head for Ocean Seafood in Chinatown.
The reason is their Dum Sum which has been one of my culinary favorites for decades.
It had been while since we had been at Ocean Seafood and on our visit last week we noticed a new look and decor.  An excellent renovation had taken place and we loved the new ambiance and bright look to the large dining room.
We stayed with Dim Sum on our visit with steamed Shrimp Har Gow, Pork Siu Mai,, Chui Chow Fun Gor and steamed BBQ Pork Bun.
The wait staff has new uniforms and the carts with dim sum moved continually through the dining room.
Ocean Seafood is located at 747 N. Broadway with parking below the restaurant.  Telephone 213 687-3088.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Our visit to Pacific Dining Car proved that fine dining is still alive and well in downtown Los Angeles.  This was really no surprise since this restaurant has been serving the best of American cuisine for 93 years.  And through all those decades Pacific Dining Car has continued to prosper with its policy of providing the very best quality foods with a large menu.  It has been in the same ownership for four generations.
It has always been the gathering place for the best known and famous people of not only Los Angeles but many other places as well.
The list of things that make Pacific Dining Car stand out beside its cuisine include its gracious decor and ambiance and especially the well trained kitchen and service staff.
 It is the only fine dining restaurant that we know of  open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  It has four menus, breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as Late Night menu from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Pacific Dining Car is located at 1310 West 6th Street with valet parking.  For reservations call 213 483-6000.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The current Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at the California Science Museum offers a look back at writings of two millennium distance. Remarkably they are as meaningful today as they were when first written in 215 b.c.  The scrolls  not only relate to the Hebrew Bible but offer glimpses of people and their way of life two thousand  years ago.
At the Science Museum, besides exhibits of the scrolls, over 600 artifacts display a march through history including the creation of writing and adoption of a written language
The current exhibition at the California Science Center is the largest of the dead sea scrolls ever mounted outside Israel and was created with the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition will continue at the California Science Museum until September 7, 2015.  It is highly recommended  that tickets be ordered in advance since the exhibition has already been a block buster success with tickets often sold out for a given day.
For more information call 213 744-2019.  The California Science Museum is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive in Los Angeles and open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

We took part yesterday in Marina Del Rey's 50th Birthday Bash which will continue through the weekend and includes L.A."s Marinafest Boat Show.
The outdoor patio of Marina Del Rey Hotel's Salt Restaurant was where we enjoyed cocktails and tasty appetizers while watching two tall sailing ships engaged in a mock sea battle with cannons roaring.
Executive Chef Mark Gold of the newly opened Salt Restaurant at the hotel provided the excellent appetizers.
We also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Erique Castillo, food and beverage manager at the Salt Restaurant which features a contemporary decor and ambiance with menu to match.
The 50th anniversary bash included participation by many of the hotels and restaurants of the area as well as a boat parade and classic car show.
The weatherman cooperated with perfect weather as we socialized on the lawn of the Marina Del Rey Hotel which recently enjoyed a complete renovation.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Last evening we journeyed to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica to meet with Kerry Morrissey who has the enviable task of representing the Opal Collection of resort hotels stretching from Bar Harbor, Maine to Key Largo, Florida.
Over cocktails and appetizers Kerry displayed the handsome magazine, also called Opal, which is now distributed at all the properties.
The magazine, loaded with picturesque photographs, also included some interesting stories. The issue we received included a illustrated story  about a West Palm Beach photographer named Tony Arruza who views surfboards as art and has made a collection of them. 
The collection will be called the Surfboard Art Project.  We are ahead of Tony,  our garage is loaded with surfboards since my second son, Brian, started making them at the age of 13.  Now he has a line of boards called Fineline and can be found on the web.
Getting back to Opal we thought that Kerry had a very fine job indeed.
It was a delightful evening until we had to return to the 405 freeway.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Learning about Greek wines can take one back through about six thousand years of both history and mythology.  This was evident to us when we attended a wine tasting this week at Republikque LA in West Los Angeles.
There are seven wine producing regions in Greece that stretch from Macedonia to the Aegean and Ionian Islands.
The region of Naoussa in western Macedonia demonstrates this long association with both wine and history.
Greek mythology tells us that Semele, mother of Dionysus, god of vine and wine was born there.  History tells us that it was here that Aristotle taught Alexander the Great as a youth.
This region also produces one of Greece's best red wines, Xinomavro.  Greek vintners have continued to make wines from native varietals, some dating back to ancient times.
The result is that tasting these wines proves to be a learning experience and  a most pleasant one.
All the white and red wines we tasted that day were made from native grapes.  And the wines often proved superior in quality and showed variety when grown in the different regions.
Some of the varietals are distinct to just one of the seven regions, like Xinomavro from western Macedonia.
We had the opportunity to speak with some of the Greek winemakers at this event and sample a good many of the wines.
We also enjoyed the Greek snacks served by the Republikque staff.