Epicurean Scene | Test Kitchen LA

Some people like to roll with celebrities, we would rather hang with chefs. Simply put, they make great food and we are huge on food.

As part of our involvement with St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, we were involved in putting together an all-star cast of chefs to cook an amazing 5-course meal this past Tuesday night. We reached out to 5 chef pals we’ve worked with in the past on Cart For A Cause.

Alex Becker – Nobu Weho

Sal Marino – Il Grano

Ilan Hall – The Gorbals

Ray Garcia – FIG

Sherry Yard – Spago

All proceeds from the packed night went directly to SVMOW to help them in their mission to prepare, deliver and serve over 4,700 meals daily to LA’s homebound seniors.

A huge thank you goes out to all 5 of our talented friends who donated their time and talent to this great cause.

Our Favorite LA Food Indulgence | Cart For A Cause

One of the things we love about our city is the varied food culture that has been cultivated over generations of immigration.

One of our favorite things right now is the readily available onslaught of food trucks waiting to serve your every whim on almost every corner. Most specifically, we love Cart For A Cause (For full disclosure, GENTRY is part of the Advisory Board for St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, which Cart For A Cause benefits).

Cart For A Cause is a cuisine lunch truck that hosts a new celebrity chef every week with all proceeds going directly to Meals on Wheels. Past chefs/restaurants include Nobu, STREET, The Gorbals, Church & State, Animal, Il Grano, Comme Ca, The Foundry, etc.

This week one of LA’s treasures, Suzanne Goin of A.O.C., Lucques, and Tavern jumped on board.

Make sure to follow CFAC to see if they’ll be rolling by your place of business every Tuesday.

Chef Ilan Hall's Sacrilegious Bacon-Wrapped Matzoh Balls

Food is another passion of ours and we’ve been lucky enough to befriend some of the best chefs in the city. Los Angeles is fast becoming a food capital where renowned chefs come to open shop and call The City of Angels home.

Today, we were fortunate enough to work with our good friend Chef Ilan Hall of The Gorbals LA who cooked up a sacrilegious dish, bacon-wrapped matzoh balls. Despite its complete disrespect for his Jewish background, the dish was the biggest draw at The LA Times Celebration of Food & Wine where over 8,000 guests wined and dined all day.

We love The Gorbals and are proud to call Ilan family.

Be sure to check out his restaurant in the lobby of the old Alexandria Hotel on 5th & Spring in the former banking district downtown where the menu changes daily. It feels just like you were in New York.

Tne Gorbals – 501 South Spring St.

Bottega Louie

lWhen Bottega Louie opened in April of 2009, downtown instantly became an even better place to be. Though this may not be the timeliest of posts, we’re such huge fans of this palatial restaurant/gourmet market/patisserie that boasts a dazzling melange of white marble, brass trim and floor-to-ceiling windows, that we had to write about it.

This 10,000 square foot restaurant sits at the corner of 7th & Grand, a neighborhood that is quickly experiencing a renaissance. Early on it was beset by some setbacks with the 11 story condo complex above filing for Chapter 11. Despite this, the first floor, which was formerly the home of Brooks Brothers, forged on and became Bottega Louie, one of the standout new restaurants in Los Angeles in 2009.

Since its opening, we’ve become regulars here. We recommend the osso buto, kurobuta pork chops and bowl or mussels and clams steamed in white wine.

Bottega Louie

700 South Grand Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90017

www.bottegalouie.com

The Los Angeles Epicurean Experience in 2009

2396707The city of Los Angeles had a great year in their quest to redefine the epicurean experience of this city as one that is nationally recognized as a top dining destination.

From world-renowned chefs such as Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, Nobu Matsuhisa and Tom Colicchio all opening up new restaurants to the advent of the roach coaches, our dining takes its cues from the melting pot of people it serves.

Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Weekly, Jonathan Gold has a nice little commentary in the LA Times about the year in food in Los Angeles. Read it HERE.

Also, be on the lookout for the 2nd Annual LA Weekly Gold Standard Food Event taking place February 28th at the Peterson Automotive Museum. Jonathan Gold personally curates all the restaurants himself, bringing to life his writings on our food scene. They have yet to announce anything formal, but LA Weekly gave us a sneak preview of the line-up and it’s definitely worth taking note of.

The New York Times Sommelier, Eric Asimov

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Eric Asimov serves as the Chief Wine Critic for The New York Times. He graciously lends his delightfully refined palate to help those of us less inclined navigate the oft times convoluted pleasures of the culture of wine, beers and spirits.

In addition to his printed pieces, Eric has one of the most thorough, thought-provoking and credible wine and spirits blog called The Pour. More than a blog, he really exemplifies an acute understanding of the intricacies of this culture and dexterously quips on everything from the business aspects to the overall culture of wines and spirits. Aside from being someone I would blindly follow into any wine country in any part of the globe, he’s also quite the entertaining writer. To find someone who can engage on such a specific culture is indeed a rarity.

Bookmark him now.

Mark Peel Opens Up The Tar Pit

the-tar-pit-barthe-tar-pit-boothFor the past several years we’ve seen an influx of major world renowned chefs open up shop here in Los Angeles. Mario Batali, Thomas Keller, Jose Andres are just some of the few who have finally realized that Los Angeles is indeed an American epicurean center  rivaling New York and Chicago.

But what we’re most proud of are those chefs that are born and raised in this city. Those chefs who have stayed true to their heritage and dug their culinary roots deep into this city.

Mark Peel is one of those gentlemen. Mark is best known for Campanile, the extraordinary pillar of Angeleno dining with Italian dishes built around wine.

Just this week Chef Peel had the soft opening for The Tar Pit, a restaurant with a menu built around cocktails. Among Chef Peel’s cohorts at the pit are noted bartenders Chad Solomon and Christy Pope and Manhattan cocktail impresario Audrey Saunders from Pegu Club.

LA Mag reporter Lesley Bargar Suter writes: “The cream-and-gold color scheme makes the space feel light and airy. There are banquettes and snug booths galore as well as plenty of art-deco flourishes inspired by, Peel says, the Coconut Grove and the 1940s film My Man Godfrey. “At the very end, they’re in this fabulous bar owned by William Powell’s character, Godfrey, and it’s called the Dump because it was built right on top of the dump where they found him.” And such is the story behind the name The Tar Pit—after all, that’s exactly what lies beneath a majority of the mid-city area.”

Make sure to check out The Tar Pit at 609 N. La Brea Avenue or online at www.tarpitbar.com