Casa Vega to offer $5 ‘Skinny’ margaritas

In Sherman Oaks, CA from March 20 - 31

Starting March 20 through the 31st, Casa Vega, a Mexican restaurant, in Sherman Oaks is offering their Skinny Margarita for $5 (made with Partida Reposado tequila, agave nectar, and fresh lime juice). 13301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423. 818-788-4868.

Photography provided by Claire Thomas

Food

‘Dirty secrets’ of chain restaurants revealed by online community

Redditors out restaurants like: In-N-Out, KFC, Subway, McDonald's, Panera Bread and more

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Over the weekend a thread started on Reddit, a user generated online news community, asked former restaurant employees about “dirty secrets of chain restaurants.” The viral post received over 8,000 comments in less than 24 hours. The thread includes stories exposing fast food’s funny business from alleged past employees. Of course there is no way to confirm any of it, so either read them as entertainment or precaution (grab a drink, it’s long). Read More

The Scoop

How beer saved the world, how to spend 48 hours in Seattle

Drinking, eating, and traveling news from around the web

Food

A look at Skuna Bay farm-raised salmon with chef Ian Gresik of Drago Centro

Salmon from Canada

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According to a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health, the ingestion of red meat can cause a 13% greater chance of premature death. Now with that in mind, consumers may feel at ease shifting their meat focus to seafoods like salmon, which can be one of the healthiest types of fish for consumption. But not all salmon are created equal. Yes, created (housed in controlled farms across the country). Majority of the salmon Americans consume are farm raised, grown in pens near the ocean. Public attention has focused on aquacultural operations that are environmentally inefficient, but there is a new salmon farm that is seeking more sustainable ways to raise their salmon. It is endorsed by L.A. chefs like Mezze’s Micah Wexler, Little Dom’s and Dominick’s Brandon Boudet, and Drago Centro‘s Ian Gresik. Skuna Bay was launched in Los Angeles this past November. It is available through Santa Monica Seafood, their distributor. We sat down with chef Ian Gresik where he answered our questions about Skuna Bay. Read More

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Monk’s Kettle to host Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing for beer dinner

On March 29

On Monday, March 19 Monk’s Kettle in the Mission District is going to host Santa Rosa-based Moonlight Brewing for a five-course food and beer pairing. Owner and brewer Brian Hunt will be on site to talk about the five beers being poured (Lunatic Lager, Old Combine, Uncle Olsen, Twist of Fate, Obedience Training, and Bony Fingers), and you should totally see him talk.

Chef Adam Dulye‘s menu will feature dishes like: Warm Iacopi Farms Fava Bean Salad Lemon Zest and Baked Crescenza; Seared Diver Scallops with Fennel and Apple Risotto, Candied Bacon and Arugula Vinaigrette. Tickets are $90 per person. To book email nat@monkskettle.com. 3141 16th Street San Francisco, CA 94103. 415-865-9523.

Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival returns in August

If you were unable to attend the inaugural Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival this past October, don’t worry, it’s back. Scheduled for August 9 – 12, the return of the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival to L.A. Live and other various cities in Los Angeles County, anticipates yet another star studded week long exhibition of culinary, beverage, and entertainment talent. Presented by Food and Wine magazine, the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival carries on the tradition of Wolfgang Puck’s American Wine and Food Festival while benefiting St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels. Last year’s event brought $4.9 million to the L.A economy while presenting $400,000 to the Meals on Wheels program. Tickets go on sale April 2012.

The return of Breakfast in Beverly Hills

One night free with breakfast in bed

Returning for its fourth year is Breakfast in Beverly Hills. From March 1st to June 30, visitors who stay two to three nights at one of the 8 select Beverly Hills Hotels will receive a night free. For participating guests, each hotel will also be offering complimentary breakfast for each day of their stay, available anytime, any place – within the hotel property of course, and accommodates dietary needs. Read More

Acqualina Resort and Spa’s citrusy Orange Blossom Package

Complete skin care with Floridian oranges

Located on over 4 acres of the Atlantic beachfront, Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach, FL presents the Orange Blossom Package, available from March 1 – 31. The package includes two Orange Blossom Treatments, a three night stay in an Oceanfront hotel room, access to the marine biology-based AcquaMarine children’s program, daily continental breakfast for two, and free-internet service. The 2-hour Orange Blossom Body Treatment includes an Orange Blossom welcome tea and foot ritual, ESPA salt and oil scrub, deep muscle massage, warm poultice pressure point massage, and a refreshing scalp massage – the treatment incorporates specific blends of natural citrus oils and locally sourced aromatic poultices. Prices start at $825 per night ($295 for locals) and Orange Blossom Treatments can be purchased a la carte as well. 17875 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160. 305-918-6777.

Grand Traverse Resort hosts a city brewery tour

With a four-course beer-dinner the following week

Lake Michigan‘s Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is offering the Traverse City Craft Brewery Tour on April 14, allowing guests to explore the city breweries at the Mackinaw Brewing Company, North Peak Brewing Company, and Right Brain Brewery. If a night out seems like a better option, Traverse will also be hosting the Right Brain Brewery Dinner ($65), a four-course beer-dinner menu, on April 21 at Aerie Restaurant located on the resort.

Dinner will include Short Rib and Smoked Salmon paired with Satisfaction ESB as an appetizer, followed by a Bleu Cheese Wedge salad Paired with In Bruges, a Pale malt with 6.6% ABV. For the entree, guests have the choice of a 12 oz. Prime Rib Au Jus with Creamy Horseradish and Dijon sauces, Delmonico potatoes and Baby Beans with Pancetta and Almonds with Northern Hawk Owl Amber Ale or the Seared Sea Bass with Lemon Citrus Butter, Delmonico Potatoes, and Baby Beans with Pancetta and Almonds alongside the Spiney Norman IPA. Dessert will feature individual cherry pies with Right Brain ice cream. 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd, Acme, MI 49610. 800-748-0303.  Read More

Food

What makes a good sushi

With Executive Sushi Chef Hiroshi Shima of Sushi Roku

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From Japan to Los Angeles, Hiroshi Shima has been making sushi for a long time. For nearly 15 years he’s held the position at the Innovative Dining Group as the Executive Sushi Chef commanding all five Sushi Roku restaurants. Hiroshi was also a guest judge in 2006 on Bravo’s Top Chef where contestants had to make sushi. So who better to talk about sushi than this veteran chef. We connected with Hiroshi where he gave us some tips on what makes good sushi. Read More

Cowgirls invited to Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch’s four-day cattle adventure

April 12, Loveland, CO

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is offering four days of horseback riding at a working horse and cattle ranch located on 3200 acres in the Rocky Mountain foothills west of Loveland, Colorado. The package dubbed “Cowgirl Round-up” includes scenic trail rides, cattle work, team penning, Gymkhana horseback games, yoga classes, wine and cheese tastings, massages, campfires with S’mores, and a cowboy serenade. The round-up will take place April 12 – 16 and starts at $995 per person. 2939 N. County Rd 31D, Loveland, CO 80538. 970-667-3915.

The Scoop

New downtown Vegas hotel to open this fall, craft beers to drink on St. Patrick’s Day

Drinking, eating, and traveling news from around the web

dineLA’s ‘Sweet Sixteen’

Vote for your favorite

In the style of March Madness, dineLA is hosting the “Sweet” Sixteen Dessert Competition placing 16 dessert competitors into brackets, competing for the title of Sweet Sixteen champion. From March 13 – 27, voters can choose between competitors selected by L.A.’s own Joy the Baker via Facebook and Twitter to nominate the dessert victor moving on to the next round – from the Sweet Sixteen March 13 – 20 to the Tasty Eight March 21 – 24, the Flavorful Four March 25 – 26, and the champion March 27. See the following list for the competition schedule. Read More

Food Drink Report

St. Patrick’s Day drink and eat round up in Los Angeles

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Luckily St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year. So get your green on, it’s time to party (but be sure to leave your Sunday open for the aftermath). Here is a quick round up of where to drink and eat on St. Patrick’s Day in Los Angeles. Read More

LAWineFest to feature 350 wines, spirits and beers

June 9 and 10 in Hollywood

The LAWineFest returns on June 9 from 2 – 6 PM and June 10 from 12 – 6 PM in Hollywood featuring more than 350 wines, spirits, and beers along with dozens of LA food trucks. ($75 a day; $139 for couples or weekend pass). Hosted at Raleigh Studios, the two-day event in its seventh year will highlight a variety of tasting classes, live entertainment, and international cuisine. 5300 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, CA 90038. 818-429-6770.

Luxury Suite International’s Signature’s promotions for the spring

Suites starting at $79

Luxury Suites International in Las Vegas is offering suite rates starting at $79 ($119 on weekends) – amenities at The Signature includes heated pools and spas, covered valet parking, fitness center, 24-hour concierge and in-suite dining, deli, cocktail lounge, Starbucks coffee, and business center. To book call 702-310-3737 (promo code SPRING). 145 E. Harmon Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89109.

Jace's Drink This

Anchorage Brewing Company Love Buzz Saison

From Alaska

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A lot of people have been complaining that I haven’t been writing enough scintillating reviews. By a lot of people, I mean no one, and by complaining, I mean remaining conspicuously silent on the topic. Truth be told, I have an excuse. I’m a new father. She’s the perfect way to allow me to write off any shortcoming on my part to the wonder and social necessity of raising a future president (of a future Justin Bieber cover band fan club). In fact, she’s so awesome at allowing me to escape social and business responsibility that my wife and I have taken to calling her our “excuse.“ “Our excuse’s two month birthday is today.” Or, “Sorry, I can’t attend your gam gam’s funeral, but our excuse has been a bit testy on Saturdays.” Or, “Boss, I’d love to stay late on Friday, but my excuse has to get some vaccinations.”

So, enough excuses, let’s get to the drinky drinky. This episode, I try Anchorage Brewing Company’s Love Buzz Saison. At $14.99, it’s pricy. As many of you know, every time I do one of these, I hint, not so subtly, that brewery’s should send me free beer to try and rave about, get drunk on, or both. Sadly, no takers … so far (there’s still time). But, Stan (Mr. Taste Terminal) did give me this beer to try- for FREE. Finally, the squeaky wheel gets the beer. Based on how delicious it is, I need to squeak more often. Read More

FiftyFifty Brewing Company to celebrate 5th anniversary

On March 20

Great American Beer Festival award winner, Fifty Fifty Brewing Co. in Truckee, CA is celebrating its 5th birthday. You’re probably asking yourself where is Truckee? It is about 40 or so miles north of South Lake Tahoe, a ski and snowboard destination bordering Nevada. On May 20, from noon to 8:30 PM, the brewpub will host a birthday party featuring a beer garden, a barrel-aged spirit garden, live music, food, vintage bottles of FiftyFifty beers like Eclipse, and BART tickets for purchase. Tickets are $14 during presale and $17 at the door. Raffle tickets will also be sold benefiting the High Fives Foundation. Prizes include skis, golf packages, gift certificates, and vintage beer packages. 11197 Brockway Rd., Truckee, CA 96161. 530-587-BEER.

Photography provided by FiftyFifty Brewing Company