Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica

A Very Special Dinner Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica!

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“To receive a guest is to take charge of their happiness
during the entire time they are under your roof.”
– Fernand Point

SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR DINING! And a Birthday Party for my Mom!

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A fancy restaurant, a private dining room, 13 good friends and family, champagne, wine, great food, gifts, love, conversation and congratulation, and a good time was had by all!

Saturday evening, we had a 7:00pm reservation for a private dinner party at Melisse restaurant for my mother’s birthday. And it was “FABULOUS”!

We drove over the hill on the 405 freeway and down Wilshire boulevard to 11th Street in Santa Monica. Then we drove around for 15 minutes looking for a place to park before we finally gave up and valet parked in the lot behind the restaurant ($8.50 + tip).

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We were the last to arrive at 7:20pm, and because we were asked to take pictures, that was the first order of business after saying hello to everyone. The pictures of the party guests and the Guest of Honor, some pictures of the restaurant, and pictures of the excellent food came out pretty good. We were worried because it was dark in the private dining room and we chose to use the flash on our cheap LG phone even though we had brought our mini iPad camera.

“Melisse is both a two Michelin Star Award winning restaurant and the recipient of Zagats highly coveted top rated restaurant in Los Angeles since 2003.” – Open Table

“Simply superb in every way”, this “refined” “gastronomical wonder” in Santa Monica from Josiah Citrin “defines fine dining”with “inspired”“artful” French-American tasting menus and “spectacular” wine pairings – all “seamlessly” presented by an “intuitive”“world-class” staff in a “chic yet soothing” setting; prices are “not for the faint of heart”, but the “state of bliss” that ensues is “worth every penny.” – Zagat (4.8 out of 5)

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GOOGLE REVIEWS: 4.5 Stars! (141 reviews)
#38 on LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s 2017 “101 Best Restaurants” list.

Seasonal French-American cuisine!

We have eaten here before and it was one of the most amazing meals we have ever enjoyed! Read about in our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse” (see the link below). And we were very excited about dining here for Mom’s “Big Birthday” party!
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On The Menu: 1993 Dom Perignon champagne, crab amuse bouche, egg caviar, Maine lobster, dry aged prime New York steak or Spanish turbot (fish), choice of fresh baked bread & butter, red & white wine, chocolate L’Opéra cake, lemon soufflé with fruit & vanilla ice cream and 4 different petit fors:

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A Vintage Vintage! 1993 Dom Perignon Champagne – Cheers!

Let’s begin with a Dom Perignon 1993 Champagne to toast the Guest of Honor!

We began with a champagne toast! Found a bottle of Dom Perignon vintage 1993 tucked away recently. Didn’t know if it would still be good after 25 years. Opened it for the party and it was excellent! So we toasted the Guest of Honor and then we made everyone pose for the “toast picture” (as seen above) taken by our Host.

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“On the nose, this wine opens with notes of red-fleshed peaches, rapidly evolving into cashew nuts and dried herbs. The aromatic experience finishes on a note of lightly toasted brioche. On the palate, it offers a host of well-orchestrated, precise and full-bodied tastes. The initial density becomes creamy, while the long finish ends on a note of glazed citrus fruit.” – Winemaker notes

The unique Dom Perignon style: a rich creamy mousse, fine bubbles, a spirited, crisp opening leading into a broad palette of aromas and tastes, the delicacy of substance itself. Each Cuvee Dom Perignon is cellar-aged for 6 to 8 years.

And then a bottle of fine Chardonnay (white wine) for the egg caviar and lobster courses.

NOTE: Melisse has a fantastic, world-class wine list, however the “Good Stuff” is very expensive (repeat, very expensive), so we brought our own bottles of wine and champagne and paid the corkage fee for each one we opened.

BIG THANKS TO CHEF JOSIE AND THE ENTIRE STAFF AT MELISSE! Everything was excellent. The food was 5 star quality and cooked perfectly. And the service was done with professional precision and attention to detail not found in most restaurants.

NOTE: The red wine, a Pra’ Amarone della Valpolicella (aka Amarone) is a rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried Corvina Rondinella grapes and other red grape varieties. Valpolicella is located in the province of Verona, in the Veneto region near Venice. Italy.

“Dark ruby. Very refined nose offers aromas and flavors of spicy dark plum, chocolate-covered cherry and minerals, lifted by strong floral accents (especially lavender and peony). Multilayered and very suave, boasting a long and tactile finish, leaving behind a strong impression of grace and refinement. A very elegant, smooth Amarone of noteworthy depth and complexity but also impeccable balance (you can’t tell this clocks in at 16.5% alcohol).” – Ian D’Agata, Vinous (scored a rating of 94)

Read our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse”
(Right click and “Open in New Window”> https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/dinner-at-melisse/

Melisse Restaurant1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401 melisse.com

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Chef Josiah Citrin, in his Santa Monica restaurant Mélisse. Citrin is celebrating Mélisse’s 15 year anniversary in 2014 (photo by Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)

NOTE: A meal at Melisse is a real dining experience and it’s expensive! $$$$$
If you can afford it, we recommend this restaurant as a destination in Los Angeles. The menu changes constantly and they have different tasting and course menus available.

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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NOTE: The photo of Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines is a fantastic gift!

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405 Freeway north into the Sepulveda Pass at night

RFDTV BOYCOTT IS ON – SAY NO TO PAULA DEEN!

RFDTV BOYCOTT IS ON – SAY NO TO PAULA DEEN!

PAULA DEEN IS A RACIST!

TODAY in 2018, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST COMBAT RACISM, BIGOTRY, ANTI-SEMITISM & HATE EVERYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD!

BOYCOTT RFDTV, The Cowboy Channel, Rural Radio and Rural Media Group, Inc.

We are going to boycott your network and your advertisers. Paula Deen does not belong on television or in any public forum. She is an admitted racist and your network can really do much better. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THIS OK? We will not be watching or buying from your advertisers for as long as she is on your network. THAT IS ALL.

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TODAY in 2018, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST COMBAT RACISM, BIGOTRY, ANTI-SEMITISM & HATE EVERYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD!

Paula-Deen-Racism

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!
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“Nothing in the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

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“Man of the Year” TIME magazine 1963
(How Time has changed…)



 

 

READ MY BLOG POSTS! (PLEASE!)

READ MY BLOG POSTS! (PLEASE!)

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Shakespeare Doodle

As you can see we’ve been busy.*
We have always written this Blog for our own amusement.
We hope others will read the posts and be entertained and maybe educated).
Our pics and vids are posted (copyright 2010-2017 JoshWillTravel) for your visual stimulation and to better tell the stories. All other images (photos and youtube videos, etc.) are for educational purposes only and not used for any commercial gain.
*There is a lot of NEW and FUN stuff!   ENJOY!

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Read Our Blog Pages>

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Recent April 2017 Blog Posts> 

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Tasting Flight at Dancin Vineyards – Jacksonville, Oregon

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GBTA 2013! Read the Blog Post!

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS!

Blog Posts from January 2017!>

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Happy Puppies!

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POP!

It’s our Blog’s 4th Anniversary! READ THE BLOG!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/its-our-blogs-4-year-anniversary/

恭喜發財! Happy Chinese New Year 2017! 新年好呀!新年好呀!
THE YEAR OF THE RED FIRE ROOSTER! 祝贺大家新年好!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/happy-chinese-new-year-2017/

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS!

Blog Posts from Our Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon>

Ashland Creek 1

Ashland Creek in Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Master Blog! Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-35M
Seagulls! Moonstone Beach in Cambria> http://wp.me/s3dhVM-seagulls
The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria> 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi
Historic Downtown Cambria, California> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3yI
The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-4lQ
Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3ik

Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/moonstone-beach-cambria-california/

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More of Our Previous Blogs:

It’s Rex Manning Day 2017!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/its-rex-manning-day/

Return to Paramount Ranch Park in Agoura, California: Part 2 Hiking the Site>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/paramount-ranch-park-agoura-california-part-1/

Return to Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California: Part 1 Western Town>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/return-to-paramount-ranch-01-apr-13-part-1-western-town/

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Friends of Paramount Ranch 2017 – Agoura, California

The Wabash Cannonball!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/the-wabash-cannonball/

HAAPPY SAAINT PAATRICK’S DAAY!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/haappy-saaint-paatricks-daay/

SPRING FORWARD! HAPPY PURIM! FULL MOON!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/spring-forward-full-moon/

Let’s Go To Malibu Beach!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/lets-go-to-malibu-beach/

“This is what happens Larry!”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/this-is-what-happens-larry/

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“This is What Happens Larry!”

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Janis Joplin’s Psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356c Cabriolet

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Saturday Morning…>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/saturday-morning/

Procrastination (noun)
-the action of delaying or postponing something
-the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished
-the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones
-carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones
-putting off impending tasks to a later time

“PROCRASTINATION”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/procrastination/

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RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS!

REAL GOOD EATING in the San Fernando Valley!>

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20S

Sushi Time at Okumura> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Xm

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Pp

Dinner at the NoHo Diner in North Hollywood> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20z

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

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Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino>  http://wp.me/p3dhVM-13W

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-2Vc 

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

Pizza Time! Mulberry Street Pizza!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/pizza-time-mulberry-street-pizza/

AND THERE ARE MANY MORE! OVER 600 BLOG POSTS! HAVE FUN!

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IMPEACH TRUMP!

Seriously,
RIGHT CLICK “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW and then LIKE 
TELL THE USA TO DUMP TRUMP on facebook> 
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TREASON!



 

EVEN MORE FUN COOKING RECIPES!

EVEN MORE FUN COOKING RECIPES!

More Collected Recipes from Our Collected Recipe Books!

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SUPER BOWL DIPS AND OTHER FUN “GAMEDAY” RECIPES:

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Who Will Win Super Bowl 51?

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THE DENVER BRONCOS WON SUPERBOWL 50!

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RICE KRISPIES TREATS and OTHER SWEETS!

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AND EVEN MORE FUN RECIPES!

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Disney’s Secret Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Xo

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Fruit! Fruit! Fruit!
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/fruit/

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“Where’s The Beef?”
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/wheres-the-beef/

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Cooking With Kenny Rogers – DOLE Cookbook Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Yk

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FUN COOKING RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cooking-recipes/

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FUN COOKING RECIPES 2
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cooking-recipes-2/

FUN COOKING RECIPES 3
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cooking-recipes-3/

More Fun Recipes (and Food Infographics)!
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Y3
(with Olde Faire Recipes for Steak-On-A-Stake,
Fruit Ice, Butter Tarts and Manny’s Artichokes & Churros)

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FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/cocktails/

FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES 2
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cocktail-recipes-2/

 

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(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
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More Fun Recipes!

More Fun Recipes (and Food Infographics)!

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Here are collected recipes from my hard drive.

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Gazpacho (makes 6 servings – about 1 1/4 cups each)

Ingredients:
1 cup finely chopped unpared cucumber
1 avocado, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tblsp red wine vinegar
1 quart tomato juice
2 tblsp olive oil
Sour Cream

Directions:
1. Place cucumber, avocado, onion, salt, oregano and vinegar in large pitcher or serving bowl. Pour tomato juice over vegetable mixture; stir gently. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
2. Stir olive oil into juice mixture just before serving. Top with a dollop of sour cream.

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Chipotle’s Guacamole Recipe:

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JoshWillTravel’s Easy Fresh Made Guacamole

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JoshWillTravel’s Easy Fresh Made Guacamole

Ingredients:
1 large or 2 small ripe avocados. Skined and deseeded. (Save the pit!)
finely chopped onion (white, yellow or red, a thin slice diced)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 2 chrushed/chopped garlic cloves)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (adjust amount to taste)
1/2 tsp cayenne power (adjust amount to taste)
dash of red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 dashes of lime juice (fresh or bottled, to taste)

Optional Ingredients:
small amount of finely chopped jalapeño pepper (fresh or canned, to taste)
small amount of finely chopped fresh cilantro or dried cilantro flakes (to taste)

NOTE: Adjust the amount of spices depending on the size/ripeness of the avocado, the amount of “HEAT” you like in your guacamole and the food you are serving it with.
Don’t hide the flavor of the avocado! And if you over-spice, just add more avocado.
We do not like a lot of cilantro! (and sometimes we don’t want any at all)
Use other spices to add “Heat” instead of cilantro if you agree.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small-medium size bowl.
Use the back side of a fork to crush and mix the avocado, onion and spices.
DO NOT OVER MIX! Guacamole should be slightly lumpy.
Chill in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes, serve in small bowls or as a garnish.
(to prevent “browning” place the unwashed pit in the bowl with the guacamole)

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JoshWillTravel’s Easy Fresh Made Guacamole (ingredients)

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VINTAGE RECIPES:

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OTHER RECIPES:

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Manny’s Artichoke Recipe

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Manny’s Artichoke Recipe (from Manny’s Bistro in Westwood and the Renaissance Faire)

Manny’s Churros (makes 18-20)

Ingredients:
Vegetable Oil
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 tblsp butter (melted)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Heat oil (1-1/2 to 2 inches) to 375 degrees in a 12-inch skillet or fry pan
2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Beat in granulated sugar gradually. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk. Stir in butter and vanilla.
3. Fit a pastry tube with a large star tip.* Fill with dough. Squeeze dough into hot oil in 6-8 inch lengths, cutting off ends with a knife. Fry until golden brown, about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels; keep war. Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*Tip: A cookie press with the star plate can be used in place of the pastry tube.


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Steak-On-A-Stake (makes 6 servings)
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Steak-On-A-Stake (makes 6 servings)

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds of beef loin sirloin steak, boneless, 3/4″ thick
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tblsp honey
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp sesame or vegetable oil
2 tblsp dry sherry
Pineapple chunks
Black olives

Directions:
1.  Cut meat into strips about 3/4 inch wide and 2 inches long; place in shallow baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients except pineapple and olives; pour over meat. Cover; refrigerate  and marinade 1 to 2 hours, (turn meat over in marinade at the 1/2 way point).

2. Remove beef strips from marinade. Thread on a 9 or 10 inch bamboo (or metal) skewers, using about 5 pieces of meat for each. Grill 4 inches from medium-hot coals until meat is browned, 3 to 5 minutes on each side (or broil in oven 3-4 minutes on each side)

If desired, baste with separate marinade mix (do not use marinade used for raw beef). Garnish with pineapple chunks and black olives.

TIP: Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before prepping the meat to prevent them from burning.

NOTE: We used a London Broil, cut it into chunks and broiled the meat 3-4 mins on each side instead of grilling for these pics.


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“Sticky Chicken” Dry Rub and Directions for Baked Chicken
(add flour and egg wash for a Baked “Fried Chicken”):

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Citrus Cuban Garlic Chicken (just like Versailles Restaurant’s)

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Baked Buffalo Wings
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 mins, dip in butter & sauce, bake another 45 mins
(use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or your preferred brand):

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Orange Fruit Ice (makes about 3 pints before freezing)
or Strawberry, Lemon or any fruit flavor you wish!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water (CAUTION!)
3 cups orange juice (fresh squeezed is recommended)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated orange peel
Mint sprigs

Directions:
Dissolve sugar in water; cool. Stir in juices and grated peel. Pour mixture into freezer container or ice cream maker. Freeze until firm, stirring frequently. Serve in hollowed-out orange shell if desired.* Garnish with mint sprigs.
*Tip: The juice from the fresh oranges can be used as the juice in the recipe.
NOTE: For other fruits, use a blender/juicer/food processor and adjust the amount of sugar as necessary (less for berries, more for lemon).

Lemon Fruit Ice (makes about 3 pints before freezing)

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 cups boiling water (CAUTION)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon peel
Mint sprigs

Directions:
As above, use hollowed-out lemon shells if desired.


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“Fiesta” Ice Pops (makes 4 popsicles)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon/lime juice
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup honey-ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to combine.
Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze.

Honey-Ginger Simple Syrup (makes about 2 cups)

Ingredients:
2 cups water
1 cup honey (or agave syrup)
6-inch knob of ginger, chopped

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine water and honey (or agave syrup) on medium heat until the honey dissolves.  Add chopped ginger and simmer on very low heat for 20 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool slightly.  Strain and let cool completely to room temperature.
There will be usually be some syrup leftover. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week.

Homemade Ginger Ale

Ingredients:
1 cup club soda
3 Tbsp honey-ginger syrup
Ice

Directions:
Combine ingredients. Squeeze a lime over the top and enjoy!


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Marge’s CHOCOLATE CHIP PIE
(my friend Mark Teich’s Mom, pics below by Mark)

1. mix 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup flour
2. add 1 stick butter (melted and cooled a bit), 2 slightly beaten eggs,
1 cup semi -sweet chocolate chips and 1 tsp vanilla
3. pour into a unbaked pie shell
4. bake 1 hour at 325 (test with toothpick when done)
5. serve with whipped cream or cool whip (my fave)


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FOOD INFOGRAPHICS:

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Margaret’s Green Goddess Dressing:

Use equal parts of mayo and light sour cream, (about 1/3 cup each), add a few tablespoons of buttermilk, a TBLSP of lemon, 2 anchovies, 2 small garlic cloves, salt, pepper, about a TBLSP of parsley, it calls for a tsp of tarragon but Margaret prefers a tsp of dill. Mix it all in a food processor or blender, refrigerate and let chill for a couple of hrs to let flavors marry.


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Disney’s Secret Recipes
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Cooking With Kenny Rogers – DOLE Cookbook Recipes
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FUN COOKING RECIPES
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FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES
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MOZZA! Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

MOZZA!  Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

Tuesday evening and time for another Dinner Party!

At one of the finest restaurants in Los Angeles, California, the USA and the World!

101 Freeway to Hollywood. Exit Highland and down to Melrose. Valet Parking $12…

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

Nancy Silverton is a co-owner, with partners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, of Osteria Mozza Italian restaurant and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, San Diego and Singapore, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. She also founded the La Brea Bakery and the recently closed Campanile Restaurant before opening Pizzeria Mozza.

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Osteria Mozza Co-Owner Nancy Silverton (CherryBombMag)

Early in her career, Nancy was named Food and Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chef”. She was also awarded “Pastry Chef of the Year”, “Who’s Who of Cooking” and “Outstanding Restaurant” for Campanile by the James Beard Foundation. Bon Appetit awarded Silverton Best of Food & Entertaining “Food Artisan”. She recently received the James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Chef” and is listed as one of the Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink by Fortune and Food and Wine Magazine. She has authored eight cookbooks: Desserts (1986), Breads from the La Brea Bakery (1996), Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (2000), Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book (2005), Twist of the Wrist (2007) and the Mozza Cookbook (2011).

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

We’ve been to Osteria Mozza before and thoroughly enjoyed eating here previously, but we haven’t been back in a long time, and they have a new Executive Chef. The decision was made and once again we are happily just a passenger on a “foodie journey” to Hollywood.

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

We arrived early. The restaurant was pretty much empty, but they have a policy to not seat a table until the entire party arrives, so we waited at the bar and ordered cocktails. Our bartender was very friendly and very patient, and since we were the only customers she had time to explain the single malt scotch selection and suggest a tequila-rum punch drink with cucumber and jalapeño for the guest of honor. We declined a pre-dinner cocktail knowing that there would be a lot of great food and a little wine coming soon.

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The Bar at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

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The restaurant is a beautiful space. Osteria Mozza is next door to Pizzeria Mozza, and in addition to the alcohol bar, there is a mozzarella bar in the large front dining room. There is a smaller adjacent dining room and a larger dining room (often used for private events and parties) with a wine bar and many stored Italian wine bottles in the back.

At our request, the manager made an exception to the rules, and we were seated at a table in the “private” room before our remaining dinner guests arrived, and we were the only table seated in the back room for the entire length of our dinner! We didn’t have to wait very long before our party was complete and the food service began.

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Mozzarella Bar & Front Dining Room at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

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The Wine Bar in the “Private” Back Dining Room at Osteria Mozza

The Menu:

They have a very fancy and creative menu! Start with a nice selection from the Mozzarella Bar, then have an appetizer, followed by a first course (pasta), and then a second course (meat or fish) and finally dessert with coffee drinks and/or aperitifs. We chose to have only the appetizer and not the first course, instead eating bread and mozzarella before enjoying our entree choice and saving some room for their wonderful dessert.

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Wine, a Coke and the Menu at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

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NOTE: The menu changes daily depending on what fresh ingredients are available!

The Meal (Wednesday May 17, 2016):

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Mozzarella Tasting (3 Kinds), Burrata & Grilled Asparagus with Garlic Bread

On The Menu: Mozzarella tasting (3 kinds: bufala, smoked and burricotta) with salted garlic bread, Burrata and grilled asparagus in melted butter with toasted almonds and bread crumbs, Mozzarella with stewed zucchini sampler, Grilled Octopus appetizer, Porcini-rubbed Rib Eye Bistecca (charred & medium rare), Fried Potatoes with rosemary, Snap Peas & Romano Beans, bread & butter, a coke, Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008 red wine, espresso and Cannoli di Gelati (pistachio, caramel & espresso) for dessert. Yeah baby!

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Porcini-rubbed Rib Eye Steak, Fried Potatoes, Snap Peas & Romano Beans

Other members of our party ordered tequila-rum punch, single malt scotch, the rabbit con salsiccia, grilled yellowtail, roasted beets, squid ink pasta, another pasta, the grilled whole orata fish, cappuccino, coffee, chocolate cake and the sautéed strawberries.

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NOTE: As usual, we try to take quality pictures of our food quickly and without interfering with the service or disturbing other diners. We managed to get a lot of good pics without being annoying, but didn’t get pics of all the dishes due to the size of the table.

We also ordered a fine bottle of wine, an Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008 red that was recommended by the sommelier. She “primed” our wine glasses by lightly washing the inside with a small splash of the wine before bringing them to our table. It was “fruity”, “mellow” and complemented both the grilled octopus and steak very well.

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Pour the Wine! Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS DINNER!
EXCELLENT FOOD! TASTY WINE! SWEET DESSERT! GREAT SERVICE!

We really enjoyed the dining experience at Osteria Mozza. The only complaint we had about the food was that the octopus was a tad overcooked and a little too chewy (and it could have used more lemon). It was still good, but just a touch overdone. We shared the “market price” rib eye steak ($105.00) which was really delicious and cooked perfectly to order, but it’s also a lot of money for a plate of grilled meat for two. We realize how lucky we are and we are truly thankful for the privilege to enjoy such fine and expensive food!

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

BIG THANKS!!! Thank you to the Staff, Kitchen Crew, Managers, Hosts, Servers and Bussers who made this meal and party possible. Special thanks to our server Kelly, who did an excellent job and was extremely friendly and personable.

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Osteria Mozza Executive Chef Elizabeth Hong (Brian van der Brug/LA Times)

Elizabeth Hong’s family settled in Los Angeles and opened Park’s BBQ, a Korean barbecue restaurant in Koreatown in 2003. Hong enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and completed her cooking courses. Needing an externship to graduate, she applied to Osteria Mozza. Now Hong is 31 and has been at Mozza for as long as she has been cooking professionally: she first worked at the mozzarella bar, then moved to Pizzeria Mozza, where she became sous chef and then chef de cuisine. When longtime chef de cuisine Matt Molina left Osteria Mozza last year, Hong took over and she is now the Executive Chef.

From the Osteria Mozza website:
Hong’s first (paying) kitchen gig was alongside Nancy Silverton behind Osteria Mozza’s mozzarella bar. By quickly mastering each station in the kitchen, Hong worked her way to Chef de Cuisine at neighboring Pizzeria Mozza. As Executive Chef of the renowned and beloved Osteria Mozza, Chef Hong carefully adheres to Nancy’s words of wisdom: “Make it nice or make it twice.”

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Executive Pastry Chef Dahlia Narvaez (Mozza website)

NOTE: Big Congratulations to Executive Pastry Chef Dahlia Narvaez for recently winning a James Beard Award. The desserts were excellent! She has been thrice-nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Pastry Chef” Award. Her work has been celebrated in the LA Times, LA Weekly, New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, GQ and Metropolitan Home.

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Brooks Cherries al Forno, Perugian Tart, Yogurt Gelato & Dried Cherry Brittle

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Cannoli di Gelati: Pistachio w/cherries, Caramel w/marshmallow & Espresso w/chocolate

NOTE: Seriously, save some room for dessert!

After dinner we picked up our leftovers at the host desk and made it to the valet just in time! Three large parties exited just after we did and there was a sudden rush on the valet stand after we got there. Also, $12 is pretty steep for valet parking at a restaurant even in Los Angeles! There is street parking nearby, but it’s difficult to find a space and there have been some unpleasant “incidents” in the immediate neighborhood after dark, so we recommend valet or street parking on Highland or Melrose.

Osteria Mozza6602 Melrose Ave (at Highland) Hollywood, California
323-997-0100 http://www.osteriamozza.com
Open Mon-Fri 5:30-11pm and Sat & Sun 5-11pm

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We took a couple pics of the interior of Pizzeria Mozza through the window while we were waiting at the valet.

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(Recipe for a small spring-lock baking pan)

Graham Cracker Crust:
2 ½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 cup butter (melted)
4 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons White Sugar
½ teaspoon Cinnamon

Grease the small spring-lock cake pan all around with a stick of butter. Mix ingredients in large bowl and press on bottom and sides of spring-lock pan to form 1/4″ thick crust. (avoid loose crumbs if possible)

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

Cheesecake Filling:
4 ¾ packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (8oz. each)
1 small carton of Knudsen’s Sour Cream (8 oz. or ½ of a large carton, use other half for topping)
½ small carton of Half-and-Half
4 Eggs
1 cup White Sugar
Punch of Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Juice from a small lemon
½ Can of Comstock Cherries (use other ½ for topping)

Blend all ingredients except cherries (or mix by hand for thicker texture). Pour into crust. Spoon in cherries at various locations and depths. Bake in preheated oven at 300 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Cool. Note: butter in the crust will cook off, so make sure to use a drip pan, cookie sheet or tin foil to catch the melted butter.

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake! Chillin’ in the fridge.

Topping:
1 small carton of Knudsen’s Sour Cream (8oz. or other ½ of large carton)
½ cup of sifted Powdered Sugar
½ Can of Comstock Cherries

Beat together and top cake (once it is cool). Decorate with remaining cherries around the top of cake. Heat oven to 450 degrees and put topped cake in for 3 minutes only. Chill and serve when ready.

 

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Happy Birthday Dinner at Mario Batali’s Carnevino at the Palazzo Las Vegas!

Happy Birthday Dinner at Mario Batali’s Carnevino at the Palazzo Las Vegas!

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Friday night! We were celebrating in Las Vegas at the Palazzo Hotel and made a dinner reservation for 7:15pm. We arrived on time and were seated without having to wait.

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Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – The Carnevino Bar!

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – The Carnevino Bar!

We had a choice of the Dining Room or a table in the Carnevino Bar with a view of the casino. We chose the Dining Room which was almost full, so we were seated at a 4top in the back of the house by the service doors (more about this later) and the entrance to the “group” and private dining rooms.

The Dining Room has a large metal cow in the center. We were sitting in the back of the house with a nice view of the cow’s ass. The space has an “old-world” rustic Italian theme. There are bottles of wine used as window display, and there’s a nice view of the Wynn and Encore hotels.

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – View of the Wynn & Encore Hotels

The service was excellent and the large restaurant staff is very well trained and extremely well managed and monitored! There is a defined procedure for every step of the meal followed by the waiters, servers and bus people. The meal was perfectly timed, done to order and everything we ate was excellent!

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

White linen tablecloths, a great menu with lots of variety, tasting menus and an extensive wine list were on the table and available.  As I mentioned before, we were seated at a 4top in the back of the house by the service doors. There’s a very large staff and they move very quickly. They also have carving carts for table presentations and large group rooms beyond the Dining Room accessed through the back of the house. I know this because of the constant stream of traffic rushing by our table, and the carts trying to fit between the chairs. There was also a clown car length line of business people that walked past our table to get to their party in the group room, probably 50 or so people parading past our table. It was a little distracting, and almost annoying, but we were enjoying the food and this is really my only complaint about the dining experience. I would advise requesting a table away from the service doors and back of house to anyone eating here.

The food was terrific. Everything was cooked to order and prepared with care. The presentation and plating was clean and simple, the food being the focus. We made our choices and chose a glass of wine (rather than a bottle) from their extensive list. I really enjoyed each delicious dish, which is the sign of a great kitchen.

On The Menu:

Cheese puff appetizer starter, Grilled octopus appetizer, NY Strip steak (bone in, cooked medium), charred asparagus, mashed potato with poached egg & bacon, bread with butter & lardo, a glass of red wine and a coke.

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – Cheese puff appetizer starter course

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – Bread with butter & lardo (pork fat)

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – Grilled Octopus in Limoncello

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – NY Strip Steak (bone in, cooked medium)

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – Mashed potato with poached egg & bacon

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – Charred Asparagus

A fine wine: 2009 Ciacci Piccolomini d’ Aragona Brunello di Montalcino

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – Fine Wine!

ROSSO DI MONTALCINO DOC – Tuscany, Italy
The Grape varietal of this wine is 100% Sangiovese Grosso; fermented & refined in stainless steel & glass concrete vats w/temperature controlled through cooling plates & jackets, aged roughly 12 months in 20-85 Hl Slavonian oak barrels. Rosso di Montalcino fruit-forward, spicy & floral. Red berry fruits notes are enriched by slight floral & spicy hints. Warm, soft on the palate w/great structure & round tannins.

The wine was a wee bit tannic at first, but was great with the perfectly cooked meat.

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – a coke and a smile

For Dessert: Birthday tiramisu, peanut butter & chocolate torte with almond brittle and caramel sauce, an espresso and shortbread cookies with black currants to finish.

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – Happy Birthday Tiramisu and an iced espresso

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Double Down on Dessert at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – Peanut Butter & Chocolate Torte with Almond Brittle and Caramel Sauce! Like a Snickers on Crack!

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel – Shortbread Cookies with Black Currants to finish

Thank you Carnevino! Thank you for a wonderful birthday dinner! I really enjoyed the food and the service was terrific. I would definitely return and recommend it to my friends. It really is one of the best steaks in Las Vegas.

GOOD SHABBOS!

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Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

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Vegas Leftovers!

Vegas Leftovers!

Vegas Tip! (or tip for any hotel stay): Request an in-room mini-refrigerator for a “special diet” or “medical reasons”! They usually provide them without a charge (ask them to waive the fee if there is one) and you’ll have a place to store leftovers, food you bring/buy outside the hotel, and a place to keep beverages cold (much better than the ice bucket). My Vegas leftover breakfast: cold NY strip steak, cold boneless buffalo wings with ranch dressing, pineapple juice, tiramisu, slightly stale donuts & a banana (not pictured)

FOODGASM! OMG Dinner Party at n/naka!

FOODGASM! OMG Dinner Party at n/naka!

One of the most amazing meals I’ve ever eaten. We did the full 13 course dinner with wine and sake pairings. Each dish was a work of art both visually and culinary! BRAVA! BRAVA!

There’s no sign, just the address, on the front of the restaurant. Located on Overland between National and Palms, they have street parking (when available) and valet parking for $7 behind the building.

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N/Naka - 3455 Overland Ave, in Palms (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

n/naka – 3455 Overland Ave, Palms, L.A. (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Inside, the space is clean, quiet and intimate. The focus is all about the fine food and drink.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

The episodic documentary “Chef’s Table” recently released on Netflix features Chef Niki Nakayama “applying the artistic and technical notions of kaiseki to create an ever-evolving seasonal narrative within each meal.”

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Chef Niki Nakayama began her career at Takao. She previously owned Azami Sushi Cafe and Inaka, before opening n/naka four years ago.

“Through a meaningful balance of both traditional and modern techniques, Chef Niki Nakayama is committed to creating a meal that will engage your attention. It’s about enjoying the moment, the current offerings of the season, and ultimately, the food in front of you.”

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n/naka’s Sous Chef and Chef Niki Nakayama prepare fresh uni.

Modern Kaiseki ($165 thirteen course – $85 optional wine pairing) per person

A deep exploration of traditional Kaiseki service with modern accents in technique and flavor pairings. Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese multi-course meal consisting of a sequence of dishes, each often small and artistically arranged. It’s a type of art form that balances the taste, texture, appearance, and colors of food. It also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals.

There is also a vegetarian menu available for $150, but they are not vegan. Ingredients vary based on season and everything is organic and “farm to table” fresh.  Each menu is planned specifically. Guests are consulted on their “Likes & Dislikes” and the menu is confirmed a few days before the reservation.

I’ve been anticipating this dinner since the reservation was confirmed. I watched the “Chef’s Table” episode on Netflix and visited the restaurant’s website. I read the numerous rave reviews and recent interviews with Chef Nakayama regarding her philosophy, style, training and success. After all the hype, I was not disappointed in the least, it was a true “foodie experience”!

The reservation was for Saturday night at 5:30pm (the early seating) and I arrived early, found street parking and waited for the rest of the party to arrive and the restaurant door to open. We were the first guests of the evening and were seated immediately and offered the beer, wine, champagne and sake list.

We chose to add the wine and sake pairings with dinner. If you choose this option, do not plan on driving! Have a designated driver or Uber, Lyft, Taxi or Limosine your way home. In addition to the wine and sake pairings, I ordered a Sapporo beer to enjoy with my food.

Sapporo beer, still water and the “Zen” rock garden centerpiece and place settings:

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Philippe champagne to start the evening and toast the special occasion!

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

First appetizer: oyster with roe, uni, orange and foam sauce.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: Not everyone likes oysters, so a second appetizer was graciously substituted.

Second appetizer: Snow crab with roe and pea puree.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Paired with a 2013 white wine

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Seasonal Appetizer course: lobster tempura with spicy aoli, smoky cod on lemon, Tazmanian sea trout sashimi, stuffed squid with crab, quail egg and squid ink.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

The lobster in light tempura with the spicy aoli was “melt in your mouth” incredible. And so was the cod, sea trout and stuffed squid.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Paired with Seijuro Fujitsu cold sake.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Sashimi course: Bonita sashimi with black mustard flower and shiso paste served with a mini yuzo sake.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Soup course: Clam with radish & seaweed in clear Japanese water broth.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Paired with Alsace Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Blanc Les Princes Abbés 2012 white wine.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Sashimi course: toro belly, kampachi yellowtail with cucumber, red snapper, uni on lemon and octopus in a daikon radish slice

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Paired with a really nice tasting sweet cold sake.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Cooked fish course: Delicious “grilled” Branzino with pickled daikon, ginkgo nut and cooked bamboo. I think it was blowtorched to perfection.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Paired with a tasty Hitachino Nest Beer White Ale.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Steamed course: egg, snow crab, shitake mushroom and shiso. Thicker than a soup.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Paired with Pazo Señorans Albariño 2013 white wine.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Special Pasta course: abalone, truffle & spaghetti with garlic butter cream sauce.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Paired with a Sancere 2013 white wine.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Wagyu beef (to die for) on a hot stone – cook to taste with vegetables brussel sprout, purple carrot, asparagus and a beet chip in daikon horseradish sauce and sea salt.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: I wanted a whole steak of this A+ Wagyu beef! It was superb.

Paired with a rich Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 red wine.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Sunomono course: firefly squid with cucumber, tomato and seaweed (sorry, pulled it apart before taking the pic) served with a mini yuzo sake.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Sushi course (6 pieces and soup): Toro, makata, Japanese mackerel, sweet shrimp, squid, uni and shrimp head in white miso broth.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! Makata and Toro (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! Japanese Mackerel and Sweet Shrimp (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka!  Squid and Uni (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! Shrimp head in white miso soup (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Paired with Born Gold Junmai Daiginjo cold sake. “Gold has an elegant nose comprised of green apple, sweet rice, plum skin, and peach aromas.”

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dessert course #1: Melon sorbet with icy rose granita. Served with hot green tea in a bowl.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dessert course #2: popcorn ice cream with cookies & cream meringue, lemon drop gelee’, chocolate covered raisin, sugared fennel and caramel sauce. Served with a different hot green tea in a cup.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Birthday Dessert (not mine): green tea pudding with whipped cream and a strawberry.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dessert was paired with an unusual sweet/spicy Hannya cold sake (tasted like a liquer).

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Sake and Wine! They have many choices both by the glass and by the bottle/carafe and the prices are not inexpensive. You can also bring your own wine. There’s a $35 corkage fee and a “limit” of one bottle per every two people in the party.

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! Wine and Sake (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! Wine and Sake (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO SEE LARGER IMAGE OF PICS!

FYI – Front page of the Beer, Wine, Champagne and Sake List:

“Without wine, even beautiful cherry blossoms have small attraction”

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at n/naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

“As to flowers, when half open; as to sake, when a person is half tipsy”

The service was great and the courses were well timed. It’s not a large space and the restaurant is about the food and the dining experience, not the number of people served. Each dish is ART and requires attention to detail in the planning and preparation. Our multi-course dinner from start to finish timed out at about three wonderful hours.

After the meal, Chef Nakayama came to our table and thanked us for coming. She was incredibly sincere and humble when we praised her and the incredible food she created.

BRAVA! BRAVA!

n/naka's Chef Niki Nakayama

n/naka’s Chef Niki Nakayama

n/naka3455 Overland Ave, Palms (Los Angeles)  www.n-naka.com

Reservations are absolutely required. They are currently booked until July!

 

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“MALEFICENT!”, the promotional display at the ArcLight Cinemas

Disney’s “Maleficent!” – the promotional display at the ArcLight Cinemas

NOTE: This Blog is supplemental to the previous “Chef” the film, Sherman Oaks Galleria, ArcLight Cinemas, and Dinner at Versailles Cuban Food Blog.

I haven’t been to the MOVIES in a long time. There are a few real good reasons why….but I’m not going to go into that subject today. Instead I’m going to go into a little detail on “Maleficent”, a classic Disney character and villain!

"Maleficent!"

“Maleficent!” – I took this pic of the promotional art at the ArcLight Cinemas Sherman Oaks

Created for the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty and designed by Disney Legend Marc Davis, Maleficent is the “Mistress of All Evil”, Disney’s version of the wicked fairy godmother from the original French fairy tale. After not being invited to the royal christening, she curses the infant Princess Aurora to “prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die” before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday.

Disney's Maleficent (the original)

Disney’s Maleficent (the original)

In the Fantasmic! show performed at Disneyland & Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Maleficent is the true villain along with the Evil Queen. They decide it is time to take out Mickey Mouse, once and for all, and command the other Disney villains to strike at Mickey through his dreams and imagination. Maleficent is the final villain to attack Mickey. The battle between Maleficent in Dragon form and Hero Mickey serves as the climax to the show. Maleficent cries out before becoming the dragon, “Now you will deal with me, and all the powers of my imagination!” Notably different from the original film where she proclaimed “Now shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell!”

Maleficent in Dragon Form

Maleficent (the original) in Dragon Form

That’s the basic history of the character, so now back to going to the movies….

As detailed in my previous Blog, on Memorial Day Monday, we went to the ArcLight Cinemas in the Sherman Oaks Galleria in the San Fernando Valley, and saw “Chef”.

"Chef" the film

Russell Peters and Jon Favreau recreate a scene from “Lady & The Tramp” in “Chef” the film

In the lobby of the ArcLight, there was a large promotional display for “Maleficent” with two costumes worn by Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning and conceptual artwork from the film. The display was enclosed in glass and it was hard to get a clean pic without the glare. It was an unexpected surprise, and it was cool, so I thought I’d share it here.

NOTE: Remember, “right-click” and open a new window to see a larger picture!

Maleficent! Costumes at the ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Costumes and Artwork at the ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent Costume (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Still photo of the costume as worn by Angelina Jolie (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Concept Artwork – Does the castle look familiar? (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Not something you get to see everyday! And I’ll probably update this Blog with a review of the film, which opens wide today, soon.

Twitter Ad! Reposting it here.

Disney’s Maleficent! From a Twitter Ad – Reposting it here.

And just for fun:

DMorte Disney Tarot 10 Wheel of Fortune (unauthorized)

DMorte Disney Tarot Card 10: Wheel of Fortune (unauthorized)

THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE TAROT CARD

Upright: Unexpected good luck. A raise in pay. A promotion at work. Prosperity may be coming your way. Good news about health issues. As always, good luck becomes better for the prepared and the proactive, but this card also represents providence. Traditionally, fortune, good health, and advancement.

Reversed: Ups and downs. Instability. Unpredictability. Apparent good fortune may not turn out to be so good after all. Traditionally, negligence, inconsistency, speculation, cruel fate.  Might suggest fluctuating health issues such as allergies or weight gain.

Correspondences – Element: Fire/Water – Zodiac: Jupiter

Read the previous Blog “Chef” the film, Sherman Oaks Galleria, ArcLight Cinemas, Dinner at Versailles Cuban Food

Click Here: https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/chef-sherman-oaks-galleria-arclight-dinner-at-versailles

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