Monthly Archives: June 2009

STONEHILL TAVERN – St Regis Monarch Beach

Stonehill tavern

Here are some drool worthy pictures (sans the one of me) from my dinner last night at STONEHILL TAVERN. Nestled in the ultra posh St. Regis Resort at Monarch Beach, this restaurant has Pacific Ocean views and a chic dining space designed by the renowned Tony Chi. The young and gifted Adam Keough is the Executive Chef of STONEHILL and the food is consistently flavorful, and constantly evolving with the seasons. Perfect for a romantic weekend getaway or a power business dinner – STONEHILL TAVERN is a sure hit for many occasions. Just take a look at the photos below and you will see for yourself…   asiago cheese rolls stonehill tavern

Asiago Cheese RollsServed Warm & Absolutely Addicting

stonehill tavern michael mina

Red Grape Sangria – Just one of the many superb drinks

Stonehill Tavern Amuse Bouche 

Amuse Bouche – Salmon Parfait on Potato Cake

stonehill tavern michael mina

Amuse Bouche – Bacon Wrapped Fig with Goat Cheese

stonehill tavern michael mina

Local Farm Greens – Gorgeous example of Farm to Table

Michael Mina Trios 

Coastal Shellfish -Tasting Trio

Michael Mina Restaurants

Prawn Ceviche, Sea Bean, Lemongrass Vinaigrette

Stonehill Tavern Michael Mina


Lobster, Bacon & Shiso- Wrapped Fritter

Celebrity Chef Restaurants

Scallop, White-Corn Crepe, Coconut-Curry Broth

Mika Takeuchi

w/ Blood Orange Mimosa – Fresh Orange Juice, Sugar, Lime

ahi tuna tartare

Tuna Tartare w/Pine Nuts, Mint, Habanero-Infused Sesame Oil

Tuna Recipes

Tuna Seared; Cranberry Bean, Artichoke, Meyer Lemon

michael mina braised short ribs

Prime Short Rib w/Glazed Miripoix, Worcestershire

michael mina stonehill tavern

Oh and did I mention these come w/ a side of Potato Puree

Adam Keough Chef

Skate Wing w/ White Bean Ravioli, Lemon Basil, Golden Tomato Broth

Salt Baked Lobster 

Salt Baked Lobster – Before

Maine Lobster Celebrity Chef 

and After… w/Corn-Basil Risotto, Porcinis, Bell Pepper Emulsion

stonehill tavern michael mina dessert

Just a part of the Chocolate Pudding Duo

michael mina dessert

Strawberry Mochi, Green Tea Cream, Rhubarb Consomme

michael mina bon bons

Complimentary Bon Bons – a truly HAPPY ending!

St Regis Monarch Beach
Dana Point, CA 92629
phone – 949-234-3318

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Sunday Supper at Lucques

Veal scallopini with polenta, sweet corn and sage brown butter

With a focus on local produce, Lucques is a smart choice for those craving a comforting seasonal menu in warm surroundings. Service is both friendly and professional and the staff will make you feel right at home. Open for lunch and dinner, Lucques also has an extremely popular Sunday Supper which offers a three-course menu from chef Suzanne Goin for $45. Considering the quality and portion size, it is a very inviting deal. I love the idea of a Sunday Supper with three courses, a set price, and a set menu. It creates simplicity as far as decision making goes, and believe me, when you inspect Lucques dinner menu on any other night, there are definitely some tough decisions to be made, from all of the tempting selections.


Butter, Salt, Almonds & Olives – accompanying bread

Lucques los angeles  
Salad of cherry tomatoes & haricots verts w/ burrata and pesto

This past Sunday was Father's Day, and how fitting that the menu consisted of chef Goin's dad's favorite dishes. I must thank and commend him on his good taste, because dinner that evening was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the first course which was a Summer Salad of Cherry Tomatoes, Haricot Verts with Burrata and Pesto.  The Chocolate Sundae with Vanilla Ice Cream, Toasted Almonds, Chocolate Sauce and a Meringue Closerie des Lilas was the perfect ending. Although my dining companions were quite full by the end of the meal, I finished every last morsel.

Grilled seabass w/ wild mushrooms, potatoes & chive creme fraiche


Suzanne's dad's favorite sundae

Suzanne Goin also has a Sunday Suppers at Lucques cookbook which contains 132 recipes which contain four course menus divided by what's in season. For more information, or to purchase you can visit Sunday Suppers at Lucques.


8474 Melrose Ave (east of La Cienega), Los Angeles, CA


Lucques on Urbanspoon

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Digital LA’s Digital Drinks – Cocktails & Networking

  digital la
w/ Meghan Cleary, Kevin Winston, Kyra Davis, Samya Gharbieh

For a busy entrepreneur like myself, I have to pick and choose my social calendar selectively. Fortunately, there are events in Los Angeles that cater to professionals who enjoy a healthy work hard/play hard lifestyle. Digital LA, founded by CEO Kevin Winston is one of those great organizations that mixes networking with a festive and informal social cocktail hour environment. Digital LA's events consist of a monthly Digital Drinks gathering which are held most usually at various swanky hot spots in the L.A. area. Previous affairs have been at the Viceroy, Roosevelt, SLS, Conga Room, and Coco de Ville. The great thing about Kevin's Digital Drink nights are they are exclusive for guests of that particular Digital LA event and off limits to the public during these hours. It's also a refreshing way to experience these various bars/lounges in the L.A. area with like minded business professionals.

digital la
JC Cangilla working the Corona & Meghan working the Blackberry

digital la
Samya and Kyra – multi-tasking w/pizza & dancing

digital la

Yes people – I love pizza and I eat a lot of it

My company was a sponsor at a previous Digital Drink's gathering held at Hollywood's Green Door and I was joined by my fellow Fashionistas including Meghan Cleary – America's Shoe Expert, Kyra Davis– best selling author of the Sophie Katz book series and Samya Gharbieh with luxury company Omega. During these Digital Drink soirees, there are most often cocktails and food that Kevin has negotiated at special prices. Along with networking with friends both new and old, we enjoyed selections from the bar, along with complimentary pizza and chocolate – a definite highlight for the Food Fashionista. Digital LA also hosts informative panels for all things tech related along with bbqs and parties for events such as SXSW and the Oscars.

For more info on Digital LA, visit

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Elizas – Cheap Lunch Eats in San Francisco

Elizas Restaurant

Sometimes you just get the craving for a tasty Chinese rice plate but don't want to sit in a dingy restaurant with absolutely no ambiance. The problem is these days, you often have to pay for a bit of decor, and end up paying triple for what you could have ate in that neighborhood whole in the wall. An exception to that rule is Elizas in San Francisco. With two locations – one in Pacific Heights and one in Potrero Hill, you have the option of eating a fulfilling super cheap rice plate for lunch in an attractive environment.

Elizas Restaurant Chinese Food

All the rice plates come with soup and are available Monday through Friday. The average price for one of these dishes is in the $6-$7 range and you have the option of choosing brown rice which I most usually opt for. Some favorites include the Mango Beef and Portobello Mushroom with Shrimp. It does get crowded, so get there early and snag a table before the lunch crowd starts bustling in.

Elizas Restaurant

Portobello Mushroom w/Shrimp & Brown Rice

Dinner is more pricey, but still affordable. Lunch at Elizas is highly recommended since it's quick, inexpensive and perfect for those longing for good Chinese food in an inviting space. I think there definitely must be some feng shui going on in there.

Lunch: 11am-3pm

(Pac Heights Location)
2877 California St
(between Broderick St & Divisadero St)
San Francisco 94115
(415) 621-4819

(Potrero Hill Location) -CLOSED-
1457 18th Street
(between Connecticut St & Missouri St)
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 648-9999

Eliza's on Urbanspoon

Eliza's on Urbanspoon

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SF Chefs. Food. Wine. – Culinary Event August 6-9, 2009


If you haven't done so already, now is the time to get out your calendars and mark the weekend of August 6-9 as RESERVED for San Francisco's premier culinary event- SF Chefs. Food and Wine. With Bay Area's finest cooking talent including Traci des Jardins, Gary Danko, Joyce Goldstein, Michael Mina, Elizabeth Falkner, Roland Passot, Charles Phan and many more, this is an event not to be missed. 

A few of the weekend highlights:

*Rising Star Chef Reunion – Join Tyler Florence while sampling bites from SF's emerging rising star chefs

*Sunday Morning Sessions -  Coi's Daniel Patterson and seed preservationist Craig Lindquist explore the flavor and variety of ancient seeds.

*Gala Dinner -  Pioneers from the Bay Area food scene will be honored including Emily Luchetti (pastry chef at Farallon and Waterbar), Judy Rodgers (chef and proprietor of Zuni Café), Patricia Unterman (author and proprietor of the Hayes Street Grill), and Joyce Goldstein (author and restaurateur). Cuisine by Gary Danko and Traci des Jardins.

*Sommelier Awards Luncheon – a tribute to Master Sommelier Larry Stone w/foods paired by Restaurant Michael Mina

Here is the complete list of those participating in San Francisco's premier gastronomy weekend,

Chef Chair and
Advisory Committee

Joey Altman
Chris Cosentino
Gary Danko
Traci Des Jardins
Elizabeth Falkner
Tyler Florence
David Gingrass
Robert Helstrom
Bruce Hill
Adrian Hoffman
Hubert Keller
Jamie Lauren
Emily Luchetti
Michael Mina
Roland Passot
Charles Phan
Daniel Scherotter
Craig Stoll
Joanne Weir
Laura Werlin
Arnold Eric Wong
Martin Yan

Participating Chefs:
Paul Arenstam
Robert Barker
Bridget Batson
Jan Birnbaum
Patty Blecha
George Chen
Marisa Churchill
Steven Connolly
Cat Cora
Richard Corbo
Patti Dellamonica-Bauler
Ranjan Dey
Mark Dommen
Pablo Estrada
Thom Fox
Andrea Froncillo
Ruggero Gadaldi
Joyce Goldstein
Mark Gordon
Jessica Gorin
Damon Hall
Gerald Hirigoyen
Richard Hodge
Perry Hoffman
Adam Jones
Senthil Kumar
Chris L'Hommedieu
Mourad Lahlou
David Lawrence
John Ledbetter
Brian Leitner
Jesse Llapitan
Jennie Lorenzo
Tim Luym
Louis Maldonado
Joseph Manzare
Peter McNee
Brian O'Connell
Nancy Oakes
Alexander Ong
Mauro Pando
Bruce Paton
Daniel Patterson
Craig Patzer
Gerardo Perez
Scott Peterson
William Pilz
Paul Piscopo
Juan Sandoval
Manoon Sanghad
Toi Sawatdee
Steve Scarabosio
Amaryll Schwertner
Ryan Scott
Michael Siegel
Staffan Terje
Parke Ulrich
Kevin Weber
Scott Youkilis

For more information, visit SF Chefs. Food. Wine.

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Nopalito – Organic Mexican in San Francisco


I am a huge fan of Mexican food and frequently get cravings for it at least twice a week. When I am in San Francisco, I usually head to the taquerias in the Mission District, but now I add a new favorite Mexican spot to my list- Nopalito, and to my delight it is not too far from my SF home. But after living in Los Angeles, you think everything is close in San Francisco, which it is compared to everything in SoCal.

Located in San Francisco's Western Addition, Nopalito opened earlier this year and is the sister restaurant to the bustling Nopa (which I will feature in a future post). The cuisine at this casual hot spot is Mexican and the kitchen's focus is on using local, organic, and sustainable ingredients to serve authentic dishes from the Mexican region.




Much of Nopalito's menu is made in house including the chorizo, tortillas, and queso fresco. They also ground their chili masa on site from organic corn. A couple favorites include the popular Gordita de Picadillo -Crispy tortilla, grass fed beef, carrot, refried pinquito housemade queso fresco and salsa de venas and the Quesadilla de Hongos y Huitlacoche – Corn tortilla, oyster mushrooms, corn truffles, jack cheese, queso fresco, epazote and salsa de jitomate molcajeteado.

In addition to serving beer and wine, Nopalito makes refreshingly tasty homemade beverages such as the Mixed citrus, orange-blood orange, meyer lemon thirst quencher which went perfect with the cuisine. If your taste buds call for something sweet and not so citrus flavored, Nopalito makes an Organic Almond Horchata and an Ibarra Chocolate Fizz which is served cold. Dessert offerings include homemade popsicles which I unfortunately had to pass on due to the chilly SF temps. The weather was cool, but the variety of salsas kept things heated up on Nopalito's side patio.


The Mexican wedding cookies brought out complimentary at the end of the meal were a sweet ending and helped temporarily satisfy my sugar hankering. And must mention that our bill for two people was close to $30 and that was including tip. For organic, quality cuisine, that was a bargain. Once you see the menu at Nopalito, you won't be able to decide from all the savory temptations so I recommend ordering a few dishes and sharing them. That way you get a variety of tastes and flavors throughout the meal and everyone's appetites will be extra content.

Nopalito serves Lunch and Dinner Daily & no reservations are accepted – first come/first served.

360 Broderick (at Oak)
San Francisco, CA
415 437 0303

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Hubert Keller’s Fleur Burger Recipe

Previously posted in 2009 before Fleur de Lys Vegas closed for remodel. It has since reopened as Fleur. A Burger Bar has also since opened in San Francisco.

Hubert Keller Fleur Burger Truffle Foie Gras

Chef Hubert Keller is founder/restaurateur of the acclaimed Fleur de Lys (San Francisco and Las Vegas), the Burger Bar (Las Vegas and St. Louis) and recently opened Sleek Steakhouse and Ultra Lounge (St. Louis).

Keller's Fleur Burger (above) is made with Kobe beef and is adorned with black truffles and foie gras. It is sold at Fleur de Lys in Vegas' Mandalay Bay for $5,000 and is accompanied by a bottle of 1995 Chateau Petrus. Keller's burger is the most expensive in the U.S..

Now you can impress your guests by creating one of these ultra luxe Fleur Burgers at home with the following recipe:

Hubert Keller's – The Fleur Burger recipe
Makes 4 servings

1 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup brown Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. coarsely ground beef
2 Tbsp. Madeira or port
4 Fleur Buns
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 oz. black Perigord truffle, very thinly sliced (about 5 slices per person)
8 to 10 oz duck foie gras
Fleur de sel
1 bunch watercress, washed and picked over.

For burgers, shape meat into 4 8- oz. patties about 1 inch thick. Handle lightly to keep texture and juicy. In small bowl, stir together cornstarch and about 2 Tbsp. of stock until well blended. Set aside. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Generously season meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook meat on 1 side until brown, about 1 minute. Then turn and brown second side about 3 minutes. With large spoon, baste burgers several times with fat in pan. Turn again and cook another 3 minutes, basting occasionally, for medium rare. Remove burgers to warm platter and reserve cooking skillet. Keep burgers warm and let rest several minutes before serving.

Working quickly so skillet is still hot, pour out remaining fat, and return pan to medium-high heat. Deglaze with Madeira: cook until reduced to 1 tsp. Add remaining stock and bring to boil. Cook until reduced by about a third, about 2 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce has thickened, about 1 minute.

Split bun and lightly toast. Spread 2 Tbsp. of butter on cut side of buns. Set aside.

While burgers are resting, place dry skillet over medium heat until hot. Remove foie gras from refrigerator and put directly into hot pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until browned, about 30 seconds, and turn again. Turn again and cook 30 seconds and repeat. Foie gras should be brown and crusty on both sides. Be careful not to burn foie gras or fat remaining in pan. Drain foie gras on paper towels. Set aside and keep warm. Pour fat from pan into Madeira sauce (if desired).

Heat remaining butter in skillet over medium heat until butter begins to bubble. Add truffle slices and cook until warm through, about 30 seconds. Set aside and keep warm.

To assemble burgers, put bottom half of the bun on plate. Arrange burger on bun and drizzle with sauce. Top each with slice of foie gras and slices of truffle. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Balance top of each bun against burger and add a few sprigs of watercress between bun and burger. Serve immediately.

For more info on Gourmet Burgers in Las Vegas, visit here

For more information on chef Hubert Keller and his restaurants, visit Hubert Keller

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