The Scoop

Emergence of Japanese microbreweries, Sierra Nevada’s new brewery plans to create over 200 jobs

U.S. Travel Association’s 2012 Campaign: ‘Vote Travel’

Piggy-backing off Obama’s tourism initiative last week, the US Travel Association is pushing their own campaign to promote tourism.

Of course, these things always come with a big number and a quote, “the impact of the $1.8 trillion U.S. travel industry is significant and growing, which is why we are galvanizing support and asking all Americans to ‘Vote Travel’ this election season,” says Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. Here’s there game plan and goals to make tourism a major political topic this election. Read More

Qantas’ ‘Celebrate 2012 in Sydney from $2012’ package

A deal to celebrate Australia Day

Qantas is letting everyone know about Australia Day with their Celebrate 2012 in Sydney from $2012 package. Book your trip by February 29, 2012 for travel between April 15 – June 8, 2012 and July 15 – September 21, 2012 for a six day, five night experience of Australia. The trip includes: roundtrip Qantas Economy flights from Los Angeles to Sydney, five nights in Sydney at a 3-star hotel (upgrades available from $100), Sydney City Sightseeing tour, Sydney Harbour lunch cruise, World Heritage Blue Mountains full-day sightseeing tour, entry to Wild Life Sydney and air taxes.

Visit Qantas.com for more details and check out their auction section at the bottom.

Food

Asian Box to open February 2012 in Palo Alto

Real South East Asian food done fast

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Debuting this February, 2012 to Palo Alto, CA is the new Asian Box concept from San Francisco’s FK Restaurants & Hospitality. The completely gluten free menu is crafted by Executive Chef Grace Nguyen, formerly of Charles Phan’s Slanted Door and Out The Door, and combines local ingredients with Asian street food-cart influences. The Palo Alto location will serve as the flagship of the concept that CEO Frank Klein, eventually plans to expand on. Read More

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Spend Valentine’s Day with a loved one or alone at Hotel Wilshire

Making love was just for fun, those days are gone

The Hotel Wilshire is offering two Valentine’s Day packages. One for those with someone, and another for those without (it’s okay you’ll find someone). For $395 per night or $445 for a junior suite, the “Make Out on Miracle Mile Package” (available from February 10 – 19) features two specialty cocktails and a three course dinner at The Roof on Wilshire. Guests who book the package will get a voucher for a 50% discount on next year’s Valentine’s Day promotion, only if you bring the same date.

The second is the “Break-up and Move On Package” (available on February 14) including two complimentary specialty cocktails and an appetizer, a copy of the book “Its Not Me, Its You: The Ultimate Break-up Book”, and a brownie sundae or a pint of Haagen Daaz. Rooms are $285 per night and $335 the junior suite. They also have half off rooms if you book after 10 PM (based on availability). 6317 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. 323-852-6000.

ColLAboration’s winter beer garden’s new date announced

Coming to downtown L.A.

Previously cancelled due to the Santa Ana winds, the mobile beer garden Winter ColLAboration is back on for February 26, from 12 PM – 5 PM. They’ll be at the Belasco Theater in downtown L.A. near the Metro Blue Line and bringing a “weather-proof, indoor late-winter wonderland”.

Breweries attending include Anchor Steam, Avery, Bootleggers, Bruery, Beachwood, Cismontane, Dogfish Head , Eagle Rock Brewery, Eel River, Firestone Walker, Hangar 24, Golden Road Brewing, Lost Abbey, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Russian River, Sierra Nevada, Smog City, Stone, TAPS and more. Limited-edition Winter Fest Steins are $15 while supplies last.

Any 2011 ColLAb glasses can be used for admission; most beers will be $5 to $6. Your glass is your ticket and can be purchased at the event or you can choose from all of them on their site. 1050 S. Hill Street Los Angeles, CA 90015. 213-746-5670

The Dish

Haven Gastropub: Crisp Braised Pork Belly

Crispy and tender, all in one bite

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Executive Chef Greg Daniels loves pork. The menu at Haven Gastropub + Brewery in Pasadena features more pork dishes than any other meat. With an advanced notice, you can even order a whole roasted pig with three sides for dinner. But for now we’re here for the Crisp Braised Pork Belly (available during dinner), made with locally sourced pork and a Saison ale reduction, celery root puree, fennel, mâche, apple vinaigrette and topped with dijon mustard microgreens. And of course the microgreens are just for decorating. Read More

Valentine’s Day at Ponte Family Estate

5 courses at one of OpenTable's top 50 restaurants in the US for outdoor dining

Ponte Family Estate’s the Restaurant at Ponte in Temecula is putting on an evening for Valentine’s Day at . A champagne greeting starts the night with passed hors d’oeuvres around the estate. Dinner seating at 7 PM consists of five courses featuring Spicy Tomato Gazpacho, Hearts of Palm Salad, Horseradish Crusted Loch Duart Salmon and Boneless Braised Beef Short Ribs will be served with wine pairing. A box of desserts with Chocolate Truffles; Pistachio, Pumpkin and Sea Salt Cookies and Lavender Vanilla Lemon Verbena Bark will be given to guests to eat there or to take home. $95 per person, $86 for wine club members. Call 951-694-8855 or buy tickets online. 35053 Rancho California Rd., Temecula, CA 92591.

Emeril Lagasse’s French Dip Sandwich for the Super Bowl

BAM Sandwich! Sorry, couldn't resist...

French Dip and the Super Bowl go together like Emeril and his table. Here’s a French Dip Sandwich recipe from celebrity chef and star of Emeril’s Table, Emeril Lagasse. Read More

Impress your date with an Italian cooking lesson from Ombra’s chef Michael Young

Chef Michael Young from Ombra in Studio City, CA is going to be teaching a hands-on cooking course called “Godfather Cooking Class” featuring classic Italian dishes on Sunday, February 12. For $99 per person or $169 for a couple, students will get a recipe packet, wooden spoon, and a pound of dried pasta. The dishes include: Braciole (thinly sliced and pounded meat that is filled, tied and braised in a tomato sauce); Meatballs and Sunday Sauce; Mostaccioli (baked pasta); and Sicilian Cannoli. Want to see what Michael can do? Check out the video below. 3737 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City 91604. 818-985-7337. Read More

Drink

5 questions with 21st Amendment’s head brewer Zambo

Plus a list of all Zambo's must visit S.F. destinations

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San Francisco Beer Week is just around the corner (February 10 – 19) and with over 400 events, navigating San Francisco as a first timer, or even as a local, can be a bit overwhelming. We asked S.F.’s own 21st Amendment Brewery‘s (best known for their unorthodox can beers like the Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer) head brewer Zambo five questions to help you better understand what the beer week is all about. He’s also tipped us on some must-visit locations! Read More

U.S. wineries continue to grow, up 6% from a year ago

According to Wines & Vines magazine

Wines & Vines magazine revealed at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, the largest wine and grape trade-show in the nation held in Sacramento, on Tuesday, that there are 7,345 wineries currently operating in the U.S. as of 2012. A 6% increase from a year ago. The top six states for wineries are California, Washington, Oregon, New York, Virginia, and Texas. The Golden State currently accounts for more than 90% of the nation’s wine production, as well as the count for most wineries in North America.

Events & Festivals

Remembering the Titanic with an 11-course recreation of the last dinner

During the St. Louis' Titanic Centennial Weekend from April 13 - 15

Better start shopping for your 1900 period costumes. Guests attending the “Last Dinner on the Titanic” are going to re-live the final 11-course meal in style as part of the St. Louis’ Titanic Centennial Weekend from April 13 – 15, minus the sinking. The dinner will be held at the Fox Theatre on Saturday, April 14 starting with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6 PM. During the cocktail reception, live bands will perform popular music from the 1912’s. None of that “My Heart will go on” stuff. Dinner, created by Fox Theatre Executive Chef Steven Proctor starts at 7 PM with a recreation of the “First Class” menu from “the actual last dinner on the ship (according to the organizers).” The 11-course meal includes: oysters, poached salmon, chicken lyonnaise, roasted squab, Waldorf pudding, plus complementing wines. Read More

You should follow us on that thing with the bird!

If we told you everyone is doing it, we would be lying. But, hey! Seriously, you should follow us on Twitter. We’re at @TasteTerminal, @TasteTerminalLA and @TasteTerminalSF. We’ll keep the chirping relevant.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

For those that like their oak doubled

The distillers take two barrels. The first is seasoned outdoors for nine months and is completely toasted and charred on the inside. They age the bourbon. Then comes the second barrel which gets toasted for twice as long. The bourbon from the first barrel gets moved into the second barrel for additional maturation, thus crafting the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. Available March, 2012 in U.S. markets.

Culver City’s The Counter heading to the Middle East and U.K.

Culver City, CA based custom burger joint, The Counter founded in 2003 by Jeff Weinstein is heading to 33 new locations. In the next eight years, find them in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and England. The first few locations are set to open late 2012 in London, Dubai and Kuwait with regional flavors such as lamb and local fish found in the Arabian Gulf area. The new venture is a collaboration between The Counter and the Americana Group. The Counter currently operates in 32 U.S. locations and two international restaurants in Ireland.

The Scoop

How fees and taxes make European flights expensive, craft beer outlook for 2012

Drinking, eating, and traveling news from around the web

Get stuck on a ship with chef Nobu Matsuhisa

That's a good thing!

Skip over the the typical buffet style cruise ship dining and join chef Nobu Matsuhisa on-board Crystal Serenity of Crystal Cruises this May for the ultimate foodie cruise experience. Departing May 24th, chef Nobu Matsuhisa will be traveling with Crystal Cruise guests for a 12 day western European/Mediterranean voyage serving as the on board and in person Executive Chef in Silk Road and the Sushi Bar. Read More