Tag Archives: cocktails

Faith and Flower

Faith and Flower restaurant opens tonight (3/31/14) in downtown L.A. It’s beautiful, quite plush but not too pricey for such a grand space.

Faith & Flower main dining room before openingTwo of my favorite dishes were the Eggs Benedict Pizza topped with Smoked Bacon, Spinach, Hollandaise Sauce and also the Oxtail Agnolotti with Bone Marrow Butter, Tangerine Salsa and Beef Tendon Chicharrones.

I still can’t stop thinking about the English Milk Punch Cocktail. It’s made with a milk clarification, which takes three days to make. Ingredients include Appleton & Bacardi 8 Rums, Bulleit Bourbon, Batavia Arrack, Pernod Absinthe, Pineapple and Sencha Tea. 

Read all about the opening here at L.A. Times.

I’ve posted lots of photos from last night’s preview dinner here. Enjoy!

Faith and Flower website

Follow Faith and Flower on twitter

Faith and Flower on FB

Huge CONGRATS to my friend (and co-owner) Stephane Bombet. You’ve done it again Stephane!

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Filed under Eating Out, Little Bites

A Cocktail Recipe

I’m not a fan of overly sweet cocktails. Whenever I see “simple syrup” (sugar water) listed on a cocktail menu, I usually just order a vodka or scotch. There’s just something about mixing booze with sugar that guarantees I’ll be suffering a hangover the next morning.

 Mixologist Chris ParkeRecently, my friend Chris Parke (mixologist/bartender at Raphael) created a special cocktail for the latest Test Kitchen night at Short Order. This was a one-time event showcasing burgers and cocktails from some of L.A.’s most talented chefs and bartenders.

On the day of the event, I was surprised when Chris tweeted that he named his clementine (“oh my darling”) cocktail after me. Of course I was honored, but what if was too sweet and I didn’t like it? MyLastBite.com has always been about focusing on the positive. If I don’t like it, I don’t share it.

Thankfully the drink was fantastic (everyone at our large table thought so too). It was fruity, refreshing and just a tad bitter. The clementine cocktail also went perfectly with my favorite burger of the night, made by Raphael’s chef Adam Horton.

Jo My Darlin’ Cocktail Recipe

Jo My Darlin' Cocktail by Chris ParkeINGREDIENTS:

2 oz Bourbon

1 oz Aperol

1 oz Clementine juice

2 dash orange bitters

A bit of chopped basil

A slice of clementine soaked in aperol for 24 hours (to garnish)

Lemongrass for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix Aperol, juice, bourbon, bitters and basil together in cocktail shaker, then pour over ice

Garnish with lemongrass and aperol soaked clementine

Note: Chris added a tiny bit of cayenne pepper in my drink. He knows I like it spicy!

Enjoy!

Follow Chris on twitter

Test Kitchen at Short Order

Raphael Restaurant

About Aperol

Cocktail Menu by Chris Parke at Raphael Restaurant. Note: “The Basil” is the one I order the most.

Jo My Darlin' on the Menu

Photo of Chris by Lane Smith Jr. (provided by Chris Parke).

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Filed under Recipes

Black Market Liquor Bar

PHOTOS: My first bite of Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City

Black Market Shrimp
Peel & Eat Lemon Pepper Shrimp, Oranges, Crystal’s Aioli

Black Market Cocktails
Blackberry Cobbler: Genever, Blackberry, Lemon, Sugar

Red Hot and Bothered: Jalapeno-infused vodka, strawberry, blood orange, agave syrup and ginger beer

Black Market Fried Cauliflower
Fried Cauliflower, Lemon Aioli

Black Market Grits Collard Greens
Crispy Collard Greens, Benton’s Ham, Cheese Grits, Soft Egg

Black Market Mussels Fennel
Mussels, Fennel, Chili, Garlic Baguette

Black Market's Deep Fried Fluffer-nutter, Fresh Bananas
Deep Fried Fluffer-nutter, Fresh Bananas

Peter and I went early in the evening and we both enjoyed Chef Antonia Lofaso’s menu. Thankfully the new hotspot is just around the corner from our house!

Black MarketBlack Market Liquor Bar
11915 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 446-2533
Website

Dining Date: 7/9/11

Read all about Black Market on LAist (by my friend Lindsay William-Ross)

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Filed under Eating Out

Villains Tavern

Because let’s face it… sometimes being bad feels so good…

Villains Tavern Interior

Last week I was invited (by the kind folks at Shiny Object Co.) to check out the new Fall-Winter Specialty Cocktails at Villains Tavern downtown.

Villains Tavern CocktailThe four I tasted (lucky me, I had a driver!):

Blackheart (Goslings Dark Rum, Blackheart Spiced Rum, Rum Batter, Hot Water with Heavy Whipping Cream)

Day of the Dead (Mulled Spice Cider, Vodka, Apple Jack and Bitters)

Sleepy Hollow (Gin, Pumpkin, Citrus, Organic Egg Whites, Sugar, Heavy Whipping Cream and Chocolate Chili Bitters)

Edgar Allan Poe (A spin on the eggnog created in 1862 by Jerry Thomas, with Fighting Cock Bourbon, fresh green apple juice, an organic egg, sugar and nutmeg)

Along with the new cocktails, I munched on some terrific bar bites:

Villains Tavern's Grilled Cheese w/ Bacon Marmalade
Grilled Cheese w/ Bacon Marmalade

Villains Tavern's Burger
Demon Burger w/ Bacon

Villains Tavern's Fried Chickpeas
Deep-fried Chickpeas (couldn’t get enough of these suckers!)

Villains Tavern Interior

This was my first visit to Villains Tavern, and I’m already planning a return visit with friends. It’s location is a bit isolated, but I have to admit… that added to the sort of dangerous fun of it all!

More photos:
Villains Tavern Interior

Villains Tavern Interior

VVillains Tavern Interior
I collect old apothecary bottles too (would love these for my collection!)

Villains Tavern Mixologist
Dave Whitton mixing concoctions

All my Villains Tavern photos on flickr

The Dark Carnival at Villains Tavern
Friday Oct 29th & Saturday Oct 30th
7pm to 2am
Live Music, Freak Show, Costume Contest, Carnival Food more info>

Villains Tavern
1356 Palmetto

Los Angeles, CA 91003
(213) 613-0766
Website

Villains Tavern on Twitter

Note: This was a preview, media event (no cost). Thanks so much to Bradley Tuck and Megan MacEachern for the invite!

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Filed under Little Bites

The Flirtini Incident

The last time Peter and I hosted Easter brunch at our house, it was sort of a disaster.

We invited my sister Janet, Peter’s sister Susan and both their families for a late Sunday brunch. I spent a few days getting the back garden perfectly decorated with new flowers, and set up a long dining room table outside with my great aunt’s hand-painted china. I even got out my Scottish (clan Maxwell) grandmother’s antique linen napkins and gently ironed each piece, which wasn’t so easy to do because of the hand-embroidered “M” sticking up on the corners.

It was a gorgeous Easter Sunday and our backyard looked like a page out of House & Garden magazine, especially with the flea-market chandelier hanging above the table. Peter secured the heavy fixture to a large branch on our oak tree, even though we didn’t need the light of course. The glass made the garden so pretty, twinkling in the sun through the leaves.

I always like having a “signature” cocktail when I entertain for a large group (even for brunch!). It makes it easier for the hostess (so I don’t have to set up a full bar) and it makes it fun for the guests, especially if the drink is something new.

A few weeks before the disastrous Easter, I was watching the Sex in the City episode where Samantha befriends the transvestites in her new apartment building. Throughout most of the episode she and the “ladies” were arguing over late-night noise outside her bedroom window and Samantha couldn’t get any sleep. After an ongoing catfight with the “guys”, including throwing water on them from her apartment window, she finally decided it would be better just to make nice, and hosted a roof-top barbecue for the whole gang. The episode ended with Samantha raising a glass, toasting Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and her new “girl friends” with a cocktail called, “Flirtini”.

Samantha’s Flirtini Recipe:
2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Apricot Liquor or Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Pineapple Juice
Splash of Champagne, garnish with a strawberry

I thought it would be so fabulous to serve Flirtinis for Easter lunch. They sounded so “fresh and fruity, like springtime”! It was about noon when our guests arrived and the grown-ups started drinking the first of several pitchers. I had never gotten a buzz so fast before (I’m sure it was the vodka mixed with champagne), and by the time we sat down to eat, we were all stinking DRUNK.

What type of food did I serve for our beautiful Easter brunch? I can’t remember (or maybe I don’t want to remember). I had a hangover by late evening and spent the next two days cleaning and packing up the antique dishes. All that effort setting up the garden, gathering our family together, and the memory of the day is just a painful blur.

I haven’t had a Flirtini since, and only remembered it when I suggested to Peter that we should host Easter at our house this year. But he had a much better idea: How about we treat our family to Easter brunch at the Bazaar?

*Brunch at the Bazaar by José Andrés [visit 10]

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Huevos a la Cubana “Andy Garcia” (12 Tiny Eggs Sunny Side Up), $12. One of the three new brunch items on the menu at the Bazaar by José Andrés. I know this LOOKS like a lot of yolk, but these were small quail eggs. Lightly crispy underneath with a savory tomato sauce on top.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Eggs Benedict “New Way”, Iberico Ham, $18. So beautiful that I couldn’t stop turning the plate and taking photos! The piece of ham was CRISPY and crackled when I bit into it, and the foam tasted like butter. I’ll never be able to have Eggs Benedict anywhere else again.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Savory Spanish Torrijas: Iberico Ham, Egg 63 (egg was poached at  63ºF.) and Idiazabal Cheese, $18. This was my favorite new brunch item. It was very similar to french toast under the ham… but so much better of course!

Along with the new brunch items, we shared dishes (that I’ve had several times before) from both the regular Traditional and Modern menus including:

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Tuna Ceviche and Avocado Roll, $12. My sister Janet’s favorite.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Crab Meat Steamed Buns with Pickled Japanese Cucumbers, $18. Three per order (about two bites per little sandwich), never enough!

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Croquetas de Pollo (Chicken and Bechamel Fritters), $8 This is ALWAYS a favorite at the table. Perfect bites (like large tater tots) of little “chicken pot pies”.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Bloody Mary: Freshly made tomato juice with a celery-wasabi foam, $16. Definitely could have been a meal in itself! I loved the wasabi foam on top.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
In front: Tableside “Nitro” Blood Orange Screwdriver: Frozen liquid nitrogen blood orange and vodka, $20. House-made Lemonade (freshly squeezed lemon juice, rosemary syrup), $6. Bloody Mary (back, left).

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Felix Meana making the “Nitro” Blood Orange Screwdriver: Frozen liquid nitrogen blood orange and vodka. I love when the liquid nitrogen cart comes rolling up to the table. This screwdriver was velvety smooth and strong! We all loved it.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Clockwise from top left: Jade (partial), my nephew Cody, Peter’s niece, Chanel.
Top Right: My niece Kindal and Cody’s girlfriend Jade.
Bottom Right: Peter’s sister Susan and her boyfriend, Jerry.
Bottom Left: Chanel, Peter and Miles (Peter’s nephew).

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Clockwise from top left: Miles and my friend, Laur.
Top Right: Susan, Jerry, my sister, Janet and nephew, Chace.
Bottom Right: Jo (me!) and Peter.
Bottom Left: Cody and Chanel.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Clockwise from top left: Miles digging into dessert, Chace gets comfy on the Blanco couch. With the twins, Chace and Kindal.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Peter holding court in the Blanca room! The Rojo room was closed for the restaurant’s first official brunch.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Chef Marcel Vigneron invited the twins (my sister’s kids, Chace and Kindal) back to see the kitchen. They are both fans of “Top Chef” and have been cooking since they were really little, so this was heaven! Thanks Chef!

Dishes we also shared, that I’ve had on previous visits:

Sweet Potato Chips with Yogurt Tamarind Dip, $10

Philly Cheesesteak Air Bread, $8

‘Pa amb’ tomaquet (bread with tomato in Catalan)

Foie Gras and Quince on mini Brioche Bun, $15

Nitro Coconut Floating Island Dessert, $10

We also shared a pitcher of Sangria Rojo, $42. (no photo)

The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 9004
(310) 246-5555
Dining date: 4/12/09

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.comAn extra treat for me was meeting Chef Katsuya Fukushima (in photo, at right). I had seen him on an episode of “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” and was wowed by his knowledge of “modern” cuisine. Chef Fukushima works closely with José Andrés at MiniBar in Washington D.C.

A very special THANK YOU to Bazaar Manager, Felix Meana (also in photo) for taking such good care of us. You made the day extra special.

Thanks also to William and Audra for organizing our large (table of twelve) reservation!!

All my Bazaar photos on Flickr

Mentioned above:

Sex in the City: Episode 48

Top Chef

The twins cooking

House & Garden

“The Flirtini Incident” originally published April 15, 2009

The Bazaar no longer serves brunch.

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Filed under Eating Out, Food Stories (written by me), Molecular Cooking