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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Part 1: 3rd Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine’s Lexus Grand Tasting was the “red carpet” foodie event of the year

In the heart of Los Angeles, LA Center Studios was the host of this year’s Los Angeles Food & Wine’s Lexus Grand Tasting. Like an opening to a blockbuster movie, the entrance was red carpet ready. I was ready for the paparazzi to jump out of from behind a wall. But, really, it was a stunning entry, but that wasn’t even the best of it. To my delight, the Lexus Grand Tasting was actually inside Stage 1 and Stage 2 on the studio lot, which means AIR-CONDITIONING! As we enter between the two stages was a “souvenir stand” with books from your favorite chefs and cooking show icons like Giada de Laurentis and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and commemorative shirts for the event.

As I walked in, I saw the playful Chef Brian Malarkey of Herringbone in San Diego, but better known as one of the judges who joined with Anthony Bourdain, Ludo Lefebvre, and Nigella Lawson on The Taste. He is a very down-to-earth guy and offered me his “taste” of Lamb Tartar. It was scrumptious!

To read more and see slideshow, please visit:


OC Food Diva

Monday, August 26, 2013

Crepe de Ville brings the sidewalks of Paris to the streets of Los Angeles

Sylvie Behar and Gene Siemer own Crepe de Ville, a mobile signature crêperie. Feeding studio film crews and special events since July 2011, they are clearly doing something right. Their mobile kitchen is open air and you can watch your order being prepared by Gene, himself, and his 25 years of restaurant experience. Like a well-oiled machine, your order is taken by Sylvie, a native Frenchwoman making the experience even more authentic. The ticket is racked and the crepe goes on the crêperie and a few minutes later, your order is complete.

La “de Ville” is a crepe with banana, raspberry, and Nutella topped with whipped cream. The fold is so fancy, you’d think you were in a 3-Michelin French restaurant. It has all of the components of a great dessert – fruit, chocolate, and cream. C'est magnifique! Thumbs up, way up!



 OC Food Diva

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tainamite makes Taiwanese/Vietnamese traditional food wonderfully untraditional

Michael Cao and Jennifer Yiu found a love of gourmet food trucking on Tainamite. Tainamite is a combination of Taiwan, Vietnam, and Dynamic. Jennifer is Taiwanese and Mike is Vietnamese. The combination of food cultures is definitely Dynamic. They started in 2009 and are well on their way to success. If you can survive in a food truck for over 2 years, you are set. When you try their food, you’ll know why people keep coming back for more.

Garlic Noodles with Shrimp is pan fried noodles with garlic, butter, and their secret sauce, served with succulent shrimp. The aroma of garlic is apparent the moment that the container is opened. The garlic flavor was just right and added the perfect flavor to the pan fried noodles – almost sweet and savory. The shrimp were expertly prepared with a great snap. The flavor is so addictive! Once you start eating, you can’t stop! Thumbs up, way up!



OC Food Diva

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dom’s Favorite Burgers Blog knows his burgers

 Since he was a teenager, Dominic Gutierrez has been on a quest for find “the best damn burger around.” His media experience started in high school as the feature editor for the school paper, “The Spokesman” and then in college as the blog editor/writer for Saddleback College’s “The Lariat.” He’s a down to earth guy in sharp, smart dressed attire; a modern day Clark Kent of sorts. He loves food and eats roughly 4-5 burgers a week. Now, that’s dedication following the footsteps of George Motz, author of Hamburger America and host of Travel Channel’s “Burgerland”.

On June 19, 2013, Dom’s Favorite Burgers Blog had a launch party at West Elm in South Coast Plaza. I had never been to West Elm before and was in awe of the products that they sell. It’s almost like an IKEA meets Portland meets Small Producer Food Products – funky, modern, laid back, yet out-of the-box. 

Being a culinary writer, I was drawn to all of the small producer food products like sauces, pickles, pastas, and drinks. Free burgers were on hand with condiments sold in the store ranging fom flavored mayos to hot sauces to bbq sauces to pickles. 

We even got to try some specialty soda syrups like ginger (which tasted like a strong ginger ale), cream (cream soda with a bite), and sarsaparilla (somewhat root beer-ish flavor). 

I loved the different condiment combinations, but was a little disappointed that the burgers were cold. It was catered in by Pacific Whey Café. The burger itself wasn’t very exciting on its own, but the bun was nicely glazed and had a soft, yet chewy texture. 

We had a great time and are always glad to meet another local food blogger. Learn where to find the best burgers in Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Diego and follow Dom on his Burger Journey!

For more information:

Dom offers catering if you want to have the “best burger” experience in the comfort of your own home. Check out his fantastic menu!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Coolhaus keeps it real with modernist designed, artisan ice creams

It all started back in the fall of 2008. Natasha Case and Freya Estreller started baking cookies and making ice cream in Freya’s mom’s kitchen. They named the flavor combinations after architects and architectural movements – farchitecture – food + architecture. Their concept was perfect for an ice cream truck, a modernistic approach to the “Good Humor” man. With gourmet food trucks on the rise, they found a postal truck on Craigslist. In April 2009, they launched their product at the Coachella Valley Music Festival and the rest is history. Since then, they have a fleet of 4 trucks in Los Angeles, 2 trucks and 1 cart in New York, 2 trucks in Austin, 2 trucks in Miami, ice cream sandwiches sold at Southern California Whole Foods Markets, and storefronts in Culver City and newly opened Pasadena. The one of the greatest milestones is teaming up with Dexter, Showtime series, to celebrate its final season, with the “Killer Combo”.

The name “Coolhaus” comes from:
  • Bauhaus, an influential modernist design movement of the 1920’s and 30’s
  • Rem Koolhaas, the famous Dutch architect and theorist, who challenged the mantra “Form follows function”
  • “Cool house” what you’re eating, an ice cream sandwich deconstructed into a cookie roof and floor slab with ice cream walls

Every Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich is all-natural, handmade, and organic whenever possible. Their dairy is sustainably produced and artificial growth hormone-free. They also use seasonal farmers’ market fresh ingredients. Every ice cream sandwich is wrapped in a customizable, edible wrapper that is all-natural and calorie-free. Yes, you can save all the calories for the ice cream and cookies!

Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream sounds weird, but it is oh so good. The Guinness actually brings out more of the chocolate flavor. The ice cream itself is premium. You can feel the butterfat coating your tongue like a velvet blanket. It tastes rich but it actually not a very heavy ice cream. The cookie itself was a great combination with the sweet chocolate and salty pretzel. The cookie was a little too hard to eat as a sandwich but it was great as a dipper. Thumbs up, way up!


OC Food Diva
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