Romantic comedies aren’t what they used to be – and that’s not a bad thing. Gone are the days of the sugary-sweet stories that made actresses like Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts household names. “Arthur Newman” is the latest example of the shift in the genre towards more plausible plots involving flawed characters, such as “Silver Linings Playbook” and “(500) Days of Summer.”
I’ve had the pleasure of attending many wine pairing dinners, but recently was invited to my first Tequila pairing at Tortilla Republic in West Hollywood. Taking place on the third Wednesday of each month in a private dining room, the four-course dinners pair Mexican tapas with a line of Tequilas from a single distillery. I was fortunate enough to attend the inaugural dinner featuring Milagro Tequila. Executive chef Brendan Warren came out of the kitchen to introduce each of the evening’s dishes, which were paired with three of Milagro’s Tequilas. Reposado was served with Tequila-battered avocado, Silver with camarones and chorizo, Reposado with albondigas over herbed rice and Añejo with sorbet and fresh fruit. A glass of the restaurant’s sangrita, a non-alcohol mix of juices and spices, was provided as a palate cleanser between courses.
Enjoy Farmers Market-Inspired Fare on a Primo Patio
With the weather starting to warm up in Southern California, we’re looking forward to leisurely weekend brunches outdoors. Wilshire Restaurant scores highly in the patio department with its split-level al fresco space shaded by trees and sail-like canvases, and this Santa Monica spot has added to its appeal by launching a Sunday brunch buffet complete with bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys.
Executive chef Nyesha Arrington, who was a fierce competitor on season 9 of “Top Chef,” takes inspiration from the nearby farmers market to put a spin on classic brunch dishes, such as her crab cake Benedict with tomato hollandaise sauce. The bountiful spread also features fresh fruits, cheeses, charcuterie, shrimp, smoked salmon, brioche french toast and salads like arugula with burrata, roasted red pepper and aged balsamic. In addition, there’s a customizable omelet station and a dessert buffet with mini cupcakes and over-sized cookies.
Signs of spring’s arrival abound: daffodils and mustard mingle in the vineyards, newborn lambs frolic on ranches, and Pigs & Pinot dazzles food and wine enthusiasts at the Healdsburg Hotel and its Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant.
Now in its eighth year, the sold-out-in-three-minutes benefit for Share Our Strength and local scholarships and charities proved that pork is still king. Chef Charlie Palmer, cooking on home turf, once again played master of ceremonies, carving and plating juicy spit roasted pork with his sons in the central courtyard. Celebrity chef-restaurateurs helmed other stations: Jose Garces a.k.a Iron Chef, “father of Southwestern cuisine” Dean Fearing, Elizabeth Falkner (Citizen Cake) and Craig Stoll of S.F.’s Delfina Group.