Drink + Food

Taking on L.A.’s Skid Row with the owners of The Escondite, DTLA’s burger and craft beer hideout

With owners Erin Carnes and Brian Traynam

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The Escondite, located in Skid Row adjacent to Little Tokyo in downtown L.A., blocks away from the epicenter of L.A.’s contemporary restaurant and bar culture. Co-owner Erin Carnes describes the area as, “a great location with a lot of history. It’s an old bar stemming way back to the 80′s called Al’s Bar (closed in 2001). People raged here – it was a celebrity hangout.” Her business partner Brian Traynam was emphatic about the location and endeared himself to all of its qualities, “it’s just such an awesome spot. We call it Skidrowkyo.” A nickname Brian gave to the geographical position of the restaurant and bar. Read More

Drink

6 questions with Blind Tiger Cocktail Co.’s Dustin Haarstad

And Dustin's cocktail bar recommendations

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At the age of 28, young Dustin Haarstad is already an established cocktail craftsman, having worked in bars as soon as he was legal. Originally from Seattle, WA, Dustin credits his love for the crafted adult beverage to a college friend who introduced him to Murray Stenson of (formerly) Seattle’s Zig Zag Café, winner of American Bartender of the Year at the 2010 Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Presently, Dustin serves as a Brand Ambassadors and Mixologists for Tequila Fortaleza and operates his own cocktail creation company, San Diego-based Blind Tiger Cocktail Co., with his business partner Adam Stemmler. This May he’ll be representing San Diego at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, one of the biggest cocktail events in the States. We caught up with Dustin in San Diego and learned about the man behind the craft (also, where to grab a drink in S.D., Chicago and Seattle). Read More

Drink + Food

Los Angeles happy hour round up: DTLA, Santa Monica

Taste Terminal's Happy Hour Round Up II

happy-hour-round-up-two

We all work hard for our money (so hard for it honey) and now with the recent spike in gas prices, who can afford to eat? You can, with these discounted dishes from Taste Terminal’s list of local happy hours. Here it is, Happy Hour Round Up Part Two. Read More

Drink

Brewers Association’s Julia Herz tells us how she celebrates American Craft Beer Week

ACBW 2012 is May 14 - 20

As microbreweries continue to grow, so do beer weeks all throughout the States, but no other beer week takes it to a national level like the American Craft Beer Week (May 14 – 20) organized by the Brewers Association; an organization that promotes micro and independent American brewers. The ACBW is about celebrating the delicate work by small breweries. We connected with Brewer Association’s Craft Beer Program Director Julia Herz and asked her three questions about the beer industry, the beer week and how she’s going to celebrate it. Read More

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Drink

How to make a margarita for National Margarita Day or any other day

A quick how-to video with Casa Vega's bartender Antonio Navarro

Let’s be honest, if it was up to us, every day would be National Margarita Day. Apparently tomorrow is the day where you’re suppose to drink (and celebrate with) pitchers of margaritas. So, to make sure we’re in an adequate state of mind for all the lime and alcoholic goodness, we brought a camera crew to Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks, CA, a Mexican restaurant operating since 1956, and filmed long-time bartender, Antonio Navarro, creating one of Casa Vega’s more popular drinks – the Cadillac Margarita. Read More

Pliny the Younger to make an appearance in Claremont, Redlands

At two Eureka! Burger locations

San Bernadino County can now get a taste of Russian River Brewing Co’s limited release, Pliny the Younger, as it heads east to Claremont and Redlands. Both Eureka! Burger locations will be pouring the brew, however the date and time will be released on Eureka!’s Facebook pages. Luckily we got a confirmation from General Manager of Eureka Claremont, Sean Ranallom, that the release will be on the Thursday, February 23 at the Claremont location. Eureka! Burger Claremont: 580 West 1st St, Claremont, CA 91711. 909-445-8875. Eureka! Burger Redlands: 345 Pearl Ave #130, Redlands, CA 92374. 909-335-5700.

Read more: More places to get a taste of Pliny the Younger in Southern California, Pliny the Younger coming to Southern California

Drink

6 questions with the world’s first female Master Cicerone – Nicole Erny

Beer sommelier

Since the establishment of the Certified Cicerone Program four years ago, a certification exam acknowledging individuals working in the beer industry, only four people have passed the final level of the three level certification process. One of which is Nicole Erny, the newest Master Cicerone, who is also the first woman and the youngest person to ever pass this extensive exam. The test is a two day process with written and oral questions regarding styles of beer, the brewing process, draft systems, and beer and food pairings. We caught up with her during San Francisco Beer Week and asked her these six questions. Here are her answers. Read More

Drink + Food

Art as an appetizer – secret menu at John Sedlar’s Playa and Rivera

Available now until March 31

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From now until March 31, a secret menu will be available at John Sedlar‘s Playa and Rivera in L.A. to guests with proof of admission to any of Pacific Standard Time’s Exhibitions and guests who ask for the “Pacific Standard Time Secret Menu.” Joined by artist and Del Maguay Mescal’s Ron Cooper and mixologist Julian Cox, Chef John Sedlar’s Playa and Rivera will host a menu inspired by select art work from Pacific Standard Time’s collection. Read More

Drink + Food

Haven’s Holy Trinity: brewery, craveable cuisine, and groovy gastropub

Plus a video interview with host Jace Milstead, co-owner Wil Dee and brewmaster David Larsen

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Haven Gastropub +Brewery may be new to Pasadena, but the second location of this Orange, CA establishment is hardly the new kid on the block. Balancing artfully executed fare with carefully curated craft beer, wine and cocktail selections, Haven exists somewhere between a high-quality, local-centric restaurant and relaxed gastropub. If that wasn’t enough, they will soon brew their own beers right inside the Pasadena premises, due to start serving in late February. Read More

Drink + Food

Northern California native brings casual touch to SoCal gastropub

Introducing chef Charlie Parker of Freddy Smalls

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Charlie Parker might have worked in some of the best kitchens up in Northern California (consider such places as Manresa, Ubuntu, and Plum), but he brings a decidedly casual affair to the rather sleepy area of West Los Angeles along Pico Boulevard. With David Fleisher (formerly of Seven Grand) taking care of cocktails and front-of-house, they’re pushing the gastropub envelope at Freddy Smalls, the brainchild of The Counter Burger owner Jeff Weinstein.

Jeremy Fox, Parker’s mentor, consulted early on with the menu but Parker is applying the neighborhood aesthetic of Oakland’s Plum restaurant, with a few simple, well-made pub favorites (that eschew the same-old burger/pizza/hot dog variants) in favor of market-fresh vegetables, house-made charcuterie, and dishes like the crispy pig ear open-faced sandwich. Amid the start of dinner service, we sat down with Parker and Fleisher to hear about their start in the restaurant industry. Read More

Drink

KRUPS looking for the best in coffee

'KRUPS Best Brew Awards 2012'

Know who makes the best coffee in your city? Support your favorite by voting for them on KRUPS’ Facebook page as they will honoring the best coffee shops throughout New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. Don’t see your favorite java provider? You have the option to write in whoever you want. See last year’s winners. Read More

Drink

Klatch Coffee’s Mike Perry on winning awards, and expanding to LAX in June

Meet the Willy Wonka of coffee

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Upland, CA based micro coffee roaster company, Klatch Coffee, opened in 1993, is no stranger to winning awards. Having already won some of the highest honors in the coffee industry like “Best Espresso in the World” at the 2007 World Barista Championships in Tokyo, to San Dimas “Businessman of the Year”. Owner, Mike Perry, can now add another one to his long list of accolades. Just a few weeks ago in San Francisco, Klatch Coffee took home a Good Food Award (an award for “recipients who push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities“) for their Ethiopian Gedeo Worka. Read More

Sam Adams teams up with Guy Kawasaki to create a crowd sourced beer

If you’ve ever wanted Sam Adams to make a beer from your palate, here’s your chance. They’ve joined forces with social media enthusiast, Guy Kawasaki (pictured above), to create their first ever crowd-sourced beer. You can give your input through their facebook app on categories like Color, Clarity, Body (mouth feel), Malt (sweetness), Hops (bitterness) and Yeast (finish/complex flavors). After gathering the data, the beer will be debuted at Guy’s Girl + Guy party in Austin, Texas on March 10. Facebook fans will be the first to know when the brew hits new markets.

Drink + Food

Golden Road Brewing pub serving up something for everyone

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Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village had their grand opening party last Sunday. To celebrate, they tapped seven new beers: Burning Bush IPA, Either Side of the Hill American strong ale, El Hefe Anejo – a tequila barrel-aged Hefeweizen, Festivus Cinnamon Bitter, Get Up Offa That Brown, Lost its Way IPA, and Rye on the Palate. Those delicious glasses of malty goodness will be joining the three taps already up – Golden Road Hefeweizen, Point the Way IPA and Schwartz Stout. Read More

Drink

The growth of beer sommeliers in the U.S.

Interviewing 'Cicerone Certification Program' founder Ray Daniels with host Jace Milstead

For years wine experts have been acknowledged by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Now, the same degree of acknowledgement has been given to the beer experts. For the past four years, beer industry veteran Ray Daniels has been running the Cicerone Certification Program for people working in the beer industry, ranging from bartenders to brewers. There are three levels of certification: Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone and Master Cicerone. Read More

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A lesson in Belgian beers with Little Bear’s Ryan Sweeney

5 things you didn't know about Belgium's brews

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It’s been a goal for Ryan Sweeney to open up a Belgian beer bar since he first visited the country years back. Last Friday, Little Bear opened its doors in downtown Los Angeles. A concept created by the Oinkster and Maximiliano’s Andre Guerrero (pictured left) and Verdugo Bar and Surly Goat’s Ryan Sweeney (pictured right) showcasing Belgian food and beers. After spending an afternoon with Ryan as he finalized the logistics of opening night, we learned a few facts about Belgian beers and its culture. Read More

Drink

Handsome Coffee Roasters launching flagship location in L.A.

Also in New York

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Coming February 15, Handsome Coffee Roasters will open their flagship coffee bar in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles. 2010 World Barista Champion Michael Phillips is joined by coffee pros Tyler Wells and Chris Owens as co-founders. Michael is the only American to ever win the title. Read More

Drink + Food

Golden Road Brewing officially launches pub with extended hours of operation

It's all coming together

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Golden Road Brewing has had three goals since they opened, produce as much beer as possible, get the canning line up and running, and open up a pub. Well folks, the pub is here (since mid-December with limited hours and abbreviated menu) and the cans are right around the corner. The Pub will be featuring food items created by Chef Adam Levoe with 20 planned taps in the future (five taps to start). See examples of the menu and plans for the taps. Read More