Thursday, August 28, 2014

Plant Based Deliciousness at Crossroads!

Edible Skinny was lucky enough to check out the Melrose Avenue located Mediterranean-themed small plates Crossroads last week for the first time.  Crossroads is one the most innovation culinary destinations in Los Angeles that just happens to be plant-based.

Like the Veggie Grill with fast food, Crossroads is working hard to move plant-based dining away from the hippie, granola crunching health-food crowd (not there’s anything wrong that…) to mainstream.  While Veggie Grill is positioning itself to be the plant-based Chipotle, Crossroads instead brands Vegan dining (without using the word Vegan) with the hip, unique world of epicurean craft.

Crossroads is headed by Tal Ronnen, a chef best known for catering Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's wedding and author of The Conscious Cook, a New York Times bestselling cookbook.  It’s designed by Los Angeles-based interiors firm Studio Collective.  The restaurant’s central dining room is a dark and chic feast of wood, crown molding, and wing-backed chairs, lit by handcrafted chandeliers.  The drinks are expertly designed by mixologist Jeremy Lake (of Rivera and recently closed Playa); Crossroads is his first solo project. 

We sampled a round of cocktails before dinner and they were fabulous!  I sipped on the savory Y Tumami Tambien ($14) made from smoked mushroom-infused bourbon & rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry tomato, lime agave, & truffle dill cheese tuile (aka a think wafer made of dough or cheese (Veg Cheese that is!))! It was absolutely amazingly deadly!  My dinner partner ordered one of the most popular options on the Beverage menu, the Sophia ($14).  Composed of Chinaco Blanco Tequila, Mezcal, Kalamata Olive Syrup, Lime, & Grapefruit, it was full of smokiness, tartness, and olive-y-ness all at the same time!
One of the most mind blowing dishes we sampled (and unfortunately didn’t photograph) was their Bloomsdale Spinach Salad ($11) composed of smoked crispy mushrooms, crumbled almond ricotta, crispy shallots, and warm black garlic vinaigrette.  It walked the perfect balance of fresh and richness like an Olympic gymnast!

As a Veg I was loving every moment of having the ability to potentially eat every single thing on the menu and with that in mind I was able to justify that carb-loading that came next.  First up was the Smoked Sweet Corn Flatbread ($12) comprised of smoked sweet corn purée, roasted okra, charred cherry tomatoes, Pee Wee potatoes, pickled green onions, and arugula.  (I have to say, it was delightful to order Flatbread and not have to have the discussion of how the cheese had to be eliminated from the dish!)  And this continued on with the Pappardelle Bolognese ($13) which was spectacular!  I haven’t Bolognese since going Veg so I was absolutely delighted to get to retry this dish and not be able to tell a difference between meat based dish of my past and the plant-based dish of my present!

For the Veg Crossroads is fantabulous.  But it’s also fantabulous for the occasional Veg or the non-Veg (my dining partner isn’t Vegan and he said he’d be back)! 

Though Crossroads isn’t that old they’re constantly evolving as they recently launched a Sunday brunch (think Shitake Bacon Frittatas, "chicken" and waffles, Superfood inspired Cocktails, and a Bloody Mary cart).

All I can say is: thank you and I’ll be back!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

LA Food & Wine Festival: the Recap!

 32 91
Event Details
The Lexus Grand Tasting at Los Angeles Food & Wine is the most spectacular opportunity to enjoy over 300 wines from some of the world's most prestigious wineries. 25 Celebrity Chefs will showcase their culinary skills and provide delicious and decadent tasting samples of their cuisine. During this remarkable strolling event you will have access to book signings and photo sessions with some of the weekend's biggest chef celebrities. Don't miss this great opportunity to experience food and wine at its best.
- See more at:
Corn Agnolotti w/ Shaved Black Truffles

Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival at the Lexus Grand Tasting on Sunday and all we can say is Yummm (with 3 Ms!)!

Now in its fourth year, the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival is a four-day epicurean event showcasing the finest in food and drink culture throughout Los Angeles, and culinary personalities from throughout the world.  And the granddaddy event of the festival is the Lexus Grand Tasting held at the LA Center Studios. 

This multi sound stage event is a spectacular opportunity to enjoy over 300 wines from some of the world's most prestigious wineries.  Along with tons of imbibing, twenty-five Celebrity Chefs showcased their culinary skills and provided delicious and decadent tasting samples of their cuisine.

Kracher TBA
From Santa Rita Hills’ Brewer-Clifton to France’s Perrier-Jouët there were a multitude wines from around the globe; a great opportunity to discovery you next favorite bottle!  And one of my favorites explorations was Austria’s Kracher Winery. 

Pouring the ever popular (but new to me!) Austrian varietal of Grüner Veltliner my glass was tickled with a tasty florally mineral wine that is very food friendly (it’s known to be the Austrian Sauv. Blanc for this reason).  The nose on this yellow/green wine is one of apple, hay, and mango while the wine is a refreshing wuzzle of pear, oranges, and white pepper.
Potato Crisp with Broccamole

The other varietal Kracher was pouring was a Trockenbeerenauslese dessert wine, which is the highest in sugar content in the Prädikatswein (this is Germany and Austria’s highest quality designation) category.  Trockenbeerenausles (aka "TBA" for short) are full body dessert wines made from individually selected grapes affected by noble rot (a gray mold that is deliberately cultivated on grapes to enhance the making of certain sweet wines.). This charming finishing wine began with apricot and honey flavors with then evolving into a lively and creamy finish.  

Bouquet of Truffles
In terms of foodie bites naturally my choices were limited being a Veggie (everyone wants to show off with Pork Belly, Stone Crab, and Lobster at these types of events…), but I was definitely surprised to find some delights at the Lexus Grand Tasting.  
The perfect Vegan starter bite was Kennel Potato Crisps with Broccamole from John Sedlar of Rivera.  Tasty, green, and healthy! Très Veg!
Chocolate Passion Fruit Black Sesame Coupe

The highlight of the Veggie food bites was found in a bouquet of thousands of dollars worth of truffles for a delightful pasta dish.  Corn Agnolotti, fresh shaved black truffle, & Parmesan butter (the ultimate food porn!) from Riva Bella.  Definitely divinity in a bite!

For sweets it was nothing but net with the soon to be Culver City based Craftsman and Wolves!  That’s right the James Beard-nominated pastry chef William Werner is opening a branch of the high-end patisserie in Culver City's The Platform in the spring of 2015.  They offered four different desserts at the Lexus Grand Tasting, but their Chocolate Passion Fruit Black Sesame Coupe was singled out as stupendously delicious!

Chocolate Creama w/ Earl Grey Carmel
I was also a huge Superfan of the Dark Chocolate Creama w/ Earl Grey Carmel, Candied Hazelnuts, & lightly Sweetened Whip Cream by Tracy Magana of Michaels Restaurant in Santa Monica (I sampled this one 3 times!).  Creamy ooey gooey goodness it was the perfect finish to an afternoon of epicurean luxury!

 32 91
Event Details
The Lexus Grand Tasting at Los Angeles Food & Wine is the most spectacular opportunity to enjoy over 300 wines from some of the world's most prestigious wineries. 25 Celebrity Chefs will showcase their culinary skills and provide delicious and decadent tasting samples of their cuisine. During this remarkable strolling event you will have access to book signings and photo sessions with some of the weekend's biggest chef celebrities. Don't miss this great opportunity to experience food and wine at its best.
- See more at:
 32 91
Event Details
The Lexus Grand Tasting at Los Angeles Food & Wine is the most spectacular opportunity to enjoy over 300 wines from some of the world's most prestigious wineries. 25 Celebrity Chefs will showcase their culinary skills and provide delicious and decadent tasting samples of their cuisine. During this remarkable strolling event you will have access to book signings and photo sessions with some of the weekend's biggest chef celebrities. Don't miss this great opportunity to experience food and wine at its best.
- See more at:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Afterlife: Saturday (w/ Me!) and Sunday @ Angel City Brewery

Edible Skinny Editor Kat Thomas (that’s me!) will be at reading tarot cards at AFTERLIFE at Angel City Brewery on Saturday.  Produced by cARTel: AFTERLIFE is a two-day live immersive game experience that leads an audience through installations, performances and challenges that asks “Where Do You Go When You’re Gone?"  Also, it's a party!

AFTERLIFE is a participatory, immersive event (Once you've purchased your ticket, you’re asked to upload a picture of what you’d like to see flash before your eyes before you pass through to the Afterlife).  There will be challenges, and things for you to see, touch, smell, hear, and do.  The average experience will last 45 minutes, and you can stay in the party (where I’ll be reading cards!) for as long as you like afterwards. 

cARTel is stands for Collaborative Arts LA, they’re a multimedia production company creating accessible and immersive events to champion the development of exceptional artists.  The do crazy fun events like BROKECHELLA, the No BudgetFilm Festival, and Art | Party | Playground (to name a few!).

Tickets are $15 presale. $20 at the door.  So wear comfortable shoes, come prepared, and get ready to finally find out where you go after you’re gone!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Few More Flicks at Poolside Cinema at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

It might be the waning days of summer, but don't tell the Santa Monica based Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows!  They plan to eek out every moment of these last lazy days with their Friday Poolside Cinema and Sunday beach volleyball games.

Poolside Cinema is a series of movie showings taking place at Fairmont Miramar's pool every Friday night from 8-10 pm.  Family friendly, open to the public, and offering complimentary popcorn, along with the Miramar Pool Club food & beverage menu for purchase.  This Friday (8/22) is The Sandlot (which Edible Skinny with be attending!), followed by Ferris Bueller's Day Off (8/29).

And later in the weekend, the Fairmont Miramar will host beach volleyball games for the remaining Saturdays of summer.  The volleyball games (not held at the property, but down at the beach!) are in partnership with Vilebrequin, and allow for participants to play for prizes from the new Vilebrequin boutique now open on property.

So get it while the going is good with the Fairmont's Friday Flicks or a Saturday Suntans (plus volleyball!)!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sipping Some Pavan @ Laurel Hardware!

So if you follow Edible Skinny on social media (and you should Twitter: @edibleskinny Instagram: @edibleskinny) you've seen lots of pics from the Pavan Liqueur event we attended earlier this week at Laurel Hardware. 

Pavan Liqueur was created a few years ago in response to the highly popular St. Germain (who had received the nickname "Bartender's Ketchup" as it could add a little sparkle to an otherwise uninspired drink). 

Crafted in the renowned AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controlee) region of Frontignan (the second region in France to get that designation), where vineyards are surrounded by seaside air and gentle hills.  Pavan Liqueur's flavor of choice is orange blossoms (versus St. Germain's elderflower), giving it the taste of a summer Mediterranean bouquet.  Composed of a mix of Muscato Eau de Vie and the juice of white muscat grapes, the liqueur is then aged in oak casks for 1-2 years after which orange blossom water and sugar are added to craft the perfect South of France drink!

Throughout the night as we dined under the stars of Laurel Hardware's outdoor patio, we sampled Pavan mixed with sparkling water (a Pavan Piscine, as classic French drink), the autumnal El Fuego topped with Cinnamon, and on the rocks.  Pavan is the perfect liqueur of choice for a two drink cocktail; select your favorite clear liqueur (vodka, gin, or tequila) and just add Pavan for something simply glamorous! 

Pavan brands itself with the world of rooftop pools, estates with peacocks roaming (it's named after the 16th century dance of the peacock as demonstrated by the peacock sweeping through the art deco bottle), and sunning oneself on the beaches of the South of France.   

Laurel Hardware was the perfect marriage of food with drink for this cosmopolitan lifestyle.  A neighborhood eatery and bar embracing local culture (they still utilize the sign from the location's past life).  Their menu is American with global influences that focuses on local and seasonal organic produce, hormone free & free range proteins, and shared food.  Dishes we sampled during our dining experience included Sugar Cube Melon with Lemon Cucumbers, Ricotta, & Yuzu Vinaigrette and Blistered Tomatoes with Burrata, Shiso Puree, & Ume Honey.  They're famous for their pizzas, and with due right, with choices such as Eggplant with Burrata, Thai Basil, & Douche and Corn with Tallegio, Huitlacoche, & Maitake Mushroom (both were to absolutely to die for!!!)!

One of things I like about Pavan Liqueur (other than their crisp taste) is their dedication to the arts.  They have a partnership with Nouvelle Vague, the French Bossa-Nova cover band, so that their music is highly featured in all Pavan's YouTube Videos.  Pavan has also had a presence at such art and fashion dominate events such as Art Basel, Miami's Swim Week, and New York Fashion Week.  

So if you're looking for that perfect cocktail after a day of beaching, gallerying, and jet-setting Pavan is the place to be!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rosanna Pansino's Nerdy Nummies

So with a day job in a Digital Media Division at BBR Talent Agency, I'm constantly checking out YouTube videos.  After reading the great article Rebooting YouTube in Fast Company I came across the highly popular (2.5 million subscribers and over 400 million views), but still then under my radar Vlogger Rosanna Pansino.  Pasino, who was part of Google's big marketing push to make YouTube Stars into real stars a few months ago, creates a new "Nerdy Nummies" aka geek oriented confections every Tuesday!

For not being a pastry chef Ro, as she's more commonly know as, concocts some very creative cakes.  One of her more popular videos is How To Make a Hamburger Cake (w/ 8 million views to date!)!

Perfect for the non-face eating, sweet-tooth loving, video-game playing fan! 

Bon Appétit!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Have a "Treat Yourself Day" with Buttercelli Organic Bakeskop

Take it as a sign of the times, Edible Skinny has recently sampled from quite a lot of restrictive bakeries lately.  In a world where allergies have become quite commonplace, the search for that gluten free baked good that’s not drier than the Sahara is always on!  

So when we recently discovered Buttercelli Organic Bakeskop in Sherman Oaks by way of a dozen donuts that were delivered to our office we were jumping up and down (since this now means that our celiac disease suffering friends will be able to join the pastry party)!

This small-batch, classic Americana bakery produces tasty organic and natural traditional, gluten-free, vegan and Paleo diet-based baked goods, along with carrying organic coffees and teas.  Their fresh baked fresh daily treats lack all the yucky yucks such as corn syrup, preservatives, GMO, food dyes or anything artificial.  Any food colorings or sugar toppings are made from fruits and vegetables.

Daily treats include classics such as Lemon Bars, Blondies, Brownies, Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, Individual Pound Cakes, Fresh Fruit Crumb Bars to name a few.  If you don’t see what you want, Buttercelli Organic Bakeshop welcomes and encourages requests for items you would like to see them carry.

And Buttercelli definitely has lots of people coming through the door as they were at the Grammy's Gifting Suite and featured at CBS KCAL 9.  So if you happen to be in the Valley swing by and have a “treat yourself day” to that gluten free pastry.

You can feel good about every bite!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Adult Alcoholic Disneyland with Cocktail Theater

Photo by Jason Sorge

A few weeks ago Edible Skinny had a chance to check out Rob Floyd’s Cocktail Theatre at 41 Ocean in Santa Monica! 

Cocktail Theater is billed as an educational tasting series with “elements of the History Channel meets ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’” And with men in bedecked in chicken outfits, Margaritas finished with Grand Marnier mouse, and Ciroc Peach frozen drink that chilled to -359 F, we were not disappointed!

This once a month show is an adult alcoholic Disneyland with all the love and energy of a zany libation filled It’s a Small World Universe.  Cocktail Theater has been performed at such liquor loving LA locales as The Parlour, Bagatelle, Roosevelt Hotel, and the Umbrella Company.  Floyd has also taken Cocktail Theater on the road to the Roosevelt Hotel in Las Vegas and Boom Boom Room at Standard Hotel in New York. 

The night started with a greeting cocktail that was composed fresh macerated raspberry, champagne, champagne bitters, and a kiss of sugar.  Since the theme for the month was a “Salute to Bikinis and Beach Bums,” the next two drinks honored the birth of beach life.  The first paid homage to Brigette Bardot her infamous debut of the bikini, done with Aperol, No. 3 Gin, lemon and caramelized Chartreuse.  The second gave props to Mr. Jimmy Buffet with a classic Margarita with a sexy Grand Marnier mousse finishing it off. 

This was then followed by the dazzling Liquid nitrogen drink (which including said chicken man dancing the limbo) that was frozen at -359 F and was composed of a pineapple blackberry drink done with Ciroc Peach.

Floyd finished the night off with witty conversation (he’s from Edible Skinny’s home state!) while sipping on barrel aged Manhattan with Bulleit Bourbon Carpano Antica and a house made cinnamon bitters.

Cocktail Theater is all about entertaining and educating both near and far.  In the near future Floyd’s been scheduled for shows in Mexico City and Tokyo so if you get the chance to see him while he’s local, do it!  (The next show is August 22nd!)