Mother’s Day dining at Chef Mavro


Mother’s Day in Sunday, this Sunday May 8 so moms day picreserve your table now for a night out with Mom that she will remember forever. We’re talking exceptional epicurean delights such as caviar, truffles, Ahi and more plus  warm, friendly service and no hurry to finish a meal.  You can spend all the quality time you need to catch up with her.  it doesn’t just have to be on Mother’s Day, May 8, you can give her a IOU certificate for dinner or email the restaurant for one of theirs.

She will savor the new spring menus especially the price fixed $148 (do pop for the wine pairings, it’s just $69 more and Chef Mavro will make excellent selections. Here’s what she can from:

day boat catch onaga crudo, pickled ogo, rainforest picked fiddlehead fern
maui onion, plum tomato, country bread crouton
cantina tramin, Hudson valley foie gras parfait, Maui gold pineapple relish
toasted pine nuts, basil, Hawaiian vanilla gelée, toasted brioche
keahole “lobster à la française,” split english peas
manoa lettuce, bacon, Tokyo turnips, essence of crustacean
wenzlau, or premium selection truffle, green asparagus, fork crushed yukon potato, bearnaise jus—says the chef,  “Even though it’s not as tender as Japanese Kobe, I prefer the flavor of the Tajima!” grade 9+ wagyu medallions, eggplant miso purée charred leeks, island green peppercorn sauce.

Evening ending options (save room) include:

Ripe runny brie, whipped brie de meaux, périgord truffle accents, apple & Belgium endive
grilled walnut country bread

Chocolate delights: Waialua estate chocolate bar, matcha mousse, chocolate mocha, caramelized banana, milk chocolate banana ice cream, sesame crunch
The meal presented by Jonathan Mizukami, chef de cuisine, Joselito Calpito, pastry chef and owner/chef George Mavrothalassitis is outrageously delicious, the experience, priceless.

Be warned the restaurant is always booked solid as they don’t turn tables like some joints do so call in advance  (808) 944-4714, email,  or book through OpenTable and earn dining points.

Chef Mavro is a bistro-style, upscale but Aloha-friendly restaurant located in a residential area about  15-minute drive to and from Waikiki. Dress is Hawaiian-chic, no ties or jackets required but dress nice for the Chef and his staff and the other patrons.

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Filed under Dining in Oahu, Food & Wine, foodie finds, Uncategorized, Wakiki restaurants

The Diva dines at Maui’s finest

Joe’s NeuvDSCN0540DSCN0534DSCN0535o Latino with rockstarDSCN0539 chef Beverly GaDSCN0537nnon

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Lunch at the Palm Beverly Hills

DSCN0007 ?????????? ??????????Friday lunch at the Palm in  Beverly Hills. The movers and shakers filled the room, most of them there for Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards. The adorable Reese Witherspoon sat in a booth holding court by ‘room workers’ stopped by to pay their respects to the nominee for best picture actress in “Wild”.??????????

We had drinks, a martini for Richard, Byron Chard for me. We ate delcious salmon with quinoa, these amazing breaded and fried asparagus and string beans. No dessert, too ful. Fun watching the new Palm (it opened in November 2014) emerge as the new flavor of the month for the entertainment industry who lunch bunch. Lots of CAA folks there, too.

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Filed under Beverly Hills, dining in LA, Golden Globes, lunch, the Palm BH

Left overs from Thanksgiving 2014

All washed down with a bottle of Krug Champagne.thanksgiving 2014thanksgiving 2014-pattithanksgivimng 2024-richie

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Peaches and scream for Halloween will get your goblins going

 Berentzen USA Peaches and Scream Cocktail

Berentzen’s Peaches & Scream cocktail as a frightfully delicious made with fresh peach puree combined with Berentzen Bushel & Barrel, a touch of cream, and a dash of cinnamon that delivers a fall-flavored creamy smooth finish.

To fix just use: :

2 oz. Berentzen Bushel & Barrel
½ oz. cream
½ oz. peach puree
Pinch of cinnamon spice
Brown sugar or colored sugar crystals for rim of glass

Combine Berentzen Bushel & Barrel, cream, and peach puree into ice-filled shaker. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with dash of cinnamon spice and peach slice.

About Berentzen Bushel & Barrel
Berentzen’s newest product, Bushel & Barrel, can be enjoyed on its own, or used in a variety of cocktails. Berentzen Bushel & Barrel takes Kentucky straight Bourbon whiskey distilled and aged to specification and blends it with Berentzen Apple Liqueur. Berentzen Apple Liqueur is made from only the highest-quality ingredients such as premium harvested apple bushels and the finest grain that has been the Berentzen spirit standard for centuries.

Berentzen Bushel & Barrel is available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $21.99 for a 750 ml bottle. For more information on Berentzen Bushel & Barrel, please visit, “Like” Berentzen USA on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @BerentzenUSA.

Berentzen USA reminds you to please enjoy responsibly.

About Berentzen USA
Regarded as one of the leading beverage groups in Germany, Berentzen traces its roots back to more than 250 years of distillation history as one of the world’s oldest commercial producers of spirits including Berentzen Apple, Berentzen Cherry, Berentzen Pear, Berentzen Bushel & Barrel, and Berentzen Icemint. Berentzen USA, the US management arm of Berentzen AG Group, serves to spearhead the development of the Berentzen spirits portfolio in the US. Berentzen USA oversees the initiatives and execution in the US marketplace to expand the company’s footprint at an accelerated pace while extending the Berentzen name and 250 year reputation for production of high quality spirits.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming `Wow! What a Ride!’ ” — Hunter S. Thompson

Berentzen USA Peaches and Scream Cocktail

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Il Piccolino by the pictures–LA’s best Italian/Mediterranean restaurant

??????????osso buccoSilvio De Mori with Patti Pietschmann, the dining divaDSCN1300??????????????????????????????The Dining Diva’s favorite Los Angeles restaurant and choice as the best food found anywhere in the greater metropolitan area, Il Piccolino, 350 N. Robertson, West Hollywood, California. 310-659-2220. Read more here: 

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Back to school dining guide for California college students




Hey hungry college students, want to know where to find the best eats close to campus? Follow this dining roadmap from the Marina to the mainland. Restaurants in close proximity to campuses include:

  • UCLA??????????Napa Valley Grille – Located in the heart of Los Angeles’ Westwood Village, Napa Valley Grille offers local, seasonal ingredients, artisan products, and a vast array of regional wine in a rustic yet refined setting
  • LMU
    CAFE del REY – Mediterranean inspired cuisine focusing on a variety of sustainable seafood, housemade products, and California ingredients
  • USC
    Bacaro LA – A causal wine bar featuring Italian fusion-tapas style plates and small production wines from Spain, Italy, and France
  • Pepperdine
    Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar – New American cuisine with an ever-changing daily menu


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Top LA restaurants offer cheaper eats during 13-day foodie fest



More than 360 Los Angeles  restaurants are scheduled to participate in one of a series of ?????????? the biggest eating events that hits Los Angeles twice a year.  Foodies should mark their calendars for Monday July 14 to 27,2014 for the event sponsored by The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) is called  dineL.A.’s Restaurant Week, when three course meals are dished out for cut rates such as:

  • $15/$20/$25 for lunch
  •  $25/$35/$45 for dinner

“With L.A.’s vibrant dining scene, it’s no wonder dineL.A. has become one of the most successful Restaurant Weeks in the world,” said Susan Feniger, Executive Chef of Mud Hen and Border Grill. I look forward to welcoming more diners than ever this time around.” Hey get this, even Wolfgang Puck’s participating at this Hotel Bel-Air uber expensive dining emporium.hotel bel air

belvederepatti “We are excited to welcome a record-breaking number of restaurants to dineL.A.’s Restaurant this summer with over 360 participating,” said Stacey Sun, dineL.A. Director. “As a testament to its popularity by both restaurants and consumers, we are extending Restaurant Week to cover two full weekends. We are thrilled to give people yet another opportunity to explore LA’s diverse neighborhoods, cuisines and dining experiences at a great value.”

As always American Express is offering  a $5 statement credit to Card Members who register an eligible American Express® Card between July 14 andJuly 27, 2014 and spend $21 or more with the registered Card at participating restaurants during dineL.A.’s Restaurant Week. For complete details


To make reservations and to view a complete list of participating restaurants visit:


DineLA Restaurant week is sponsored by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board and in partnership with American Express®, dineL.A.’s Restaurant Week is designed to stimulate business and introduce new customers to restaurants located in the many neighborhoods throughout L.A. County. For more information, visit:, or follow dineL.A. on:





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Chef Mavro, the king of Hawaiian culinary kings sends a message to foodies


New Meli-Melo Salad
wine pairing: Henri Bourgeois, 2010 Sancerre, “Le MD de Bourgeois,” Loire Valley
Aloha readers, I am sharing this letter from my friend who just happens to be one of the best chefs in the word, George Mavro, all you foodies will love it and hopefully go to his eponymous restaurant next time you’re in Oahu (it’s just a 15-minute cab ride from Waikiki).

As you may know I created my Onaga baked in a salt crust in the early 90’s. At this time food writer Alan Richman selected it for GQ magazine’s 10 best recipes in the country. Since then I’ve done “millions” of them. The problem is that I like reinventing my cooking every season. Cooking the same recipes had me feeling like Mick Jagger singing “Satisfaction.” Which my Stones’ fan wife would say is a very good thing. Anyways, so now you can have a Hana Hou menu of your favorites and I can keep creating new recipes for the Seasonal Menu.

Hana Hou starts with an appetizer, the popular Meli Melo salad! More delicious than ever…

The basic ingredients are Sumida Farm watercress puree, watercress salad, watercress stems, poppy seeds & chickpea fritters. The other ingredients are what we like to call vegetables of the day. Meaning what we find every morning on the local market, seasonal, fresh and beautiful. Every ingredient is cooked separately in the best way for that vegetable: some are braised, others grilled, baked, sautéed, steamed, pickled…but never blanched!

I don’t like blanching vegetables…first you boil the veggies in a lot of water & you lose 50% of the flavor. Then you shock them in ice water to preserve the color & you get a very pretty little thing that tastes like…nothing!

Sorry I am getting carried can be sure these vegetables won’t be blanched! The Meli-Melo might turn you vegetarian…until you reach the next course…

Onaga baked in a salt crust is a siren song to celebrate something!

No description? You know this one better than I do!
Lamb tagine “a cruise to the Mediterranean sea
without leaving Honolulu”
wine pairing: Stonestreet, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon “Monument Ridge,”
Alexander Valley

We serve Niman Lamb which I consider like “la crème de la crème” of lamb. The lamb is roasted and accompanied with eggplant caviar wrapped in brick dough, black & green olive tapenade, english peas and swiss chard.

On the side a fluffy couscous flavored with harissa… a deconstructed Moroccan tagine. This is a cruise to the Mediterranean Sea without leaving Honolulu!

In fact this dish is dedicated to memories of my father’s cooking. His dishes were always a fusion of Mediterranean recipes. My Dad was born on the idyllic island of Symi, Greece (photo). He was 5 years old when his family who were sponge divers moved to another idyllic island Djerba, Tunisia. Since Tunisia was French at this time, the whole family became French. They finally moved to Marseilles, France when my father was 15. My Dad wasn’t a professional cook but he was an outstanding home cook who inspired me to become a chef.

Symi Harbor
The Island of Symi, Greece (Photo by Chef Mavro)

And the Hana Hou dessert is of course…Lilikoi Malasadas
Everyone loves our Malasadas!

These malasadas filled with lilikoi & served with guava coulis were featured on our first menu 16 year ago when we opened the restaurant.

On the side Hawaiian vanilla ice cream made in house every day. Sometimes we forget what a simple vanilla ice cream tastes like…

A new dessert for our seasonal Summer Menu – Acai Chocolate!

wine pairing: Blandy’s 15 year Malmsey Madeira
On the seasonal Chef’s Menu – Waialua chocolate cremeux, acai-blackberry sorbet, sand & coulis, blackberry marinated in maple syrup & Grand Marnier.

We are between pastry chefs and I have to make pastries. Don’t feel sorry for me, I enjoy every minute of it! For this menu I created a declinaison of Waialua chocolate and acai berries – in other words three ways.

Acai-blackberry sorbet (we make it fresh every day), acai-blackberry coulis, acai-blackberry sand…what is acai-blackberry sand? In fact, we transform fruit juice into powder.

There is no alchemy, we dehydrate the acai-blackberry juice with the help of maltodextrin (tapioca based powder) to get this beautiful extract which looks like sand & melts in your mouth with an intense flavor. Not that difficult but don’t try it at home!

Check the website for the complete menus. I look forward to cooking for you very soon.

George Mavro, chef/owner

Onaga in-kitchen

When you go for dinner be sure to notice the shower tree at the entrance to our parking lot. When I arrived this morning this is what was waiting. I love Honolulu.

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Firenze Osteria’s $35 dineLARestaurantWeek menu

Firenze Osteria's $35 dineLARestaurantWeek menu

For $35 at Firenze Osteria ( you get choice of Beef Tartarebeef tartar, Kale Salad; Pork Ossobucoosso bucco, Polenta and Ricotta Ravioli; Hazelnut SemifreddoIMG_5561, Bomboloni IMG_5562. It’s all fantastic and a real bargain. Check it out at:

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+00002014-01-29T19:29:34+00:00312014bUTCWed, 29 Jan 2014 19:29:34 +0000 11, 2008 · 1:28 +00:00Jan

Chi Lin WeHo ushers in Year of the Horse with price-slashed dishes

Chi Lin,Image WeHo’s hottest Asian restaurant is offering a whopping  50% off on dinners  starting Sunday, February 2 – Thursday through February 6, 2014, in honor of Chinese New Year. This is quite a bargain for a chance to sample the culinary wizardry of Executive Chef Tyson Wong who is creating dishes to usher in good luck, fortune, and longevity in the Year of the Horse. Chef Wong’s menu of auspicious eats emphasizes traditional Chinese cuisine with modern presentation including dishes such as:


Reservations are must and can be made by calling 310-278-2068, the deal only applies in the restaurant, no take outs.

 Chi Lin, which is located at 9201 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, became a fast foodie favorite  (yours truly included) since its opening earlier this year. It is one of the IDG brand that includes Los Angeles’s Soleto, B Grill in the Terminal 7 of LAX, Sushi Roku (with locations in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Pasadena), BOA Steakhouse (with locations in West Hollywood and Santa Monica), Katana in West Hollywood, and Robata Bar in Santa Monicas and others. For more information visit or find IDG on Facebook.

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Chef Mavro makes magical menu for NYE


Chef Mavro, your Dining Diva’s favorite Waikiki  restaurant and chef (check out LA Travel Diva Examiner) is spreading the tables of his romantic bistro-like restaurant with an epicurean feast for New Years Eve that will l showcase his unstoppable gastronomic talents with a menu of delicacies from Hawaii and France paired with rare wines and served in a re-imagined setting of black and gold with festive balloons and lots of frivolity.

The eight course menu costs $200 ($98 extra with wine) and includes:


scallop – pancetta (t) *

seared diver scallop, fresh truffled extra virgin olive oil emulsion

comtesse bernard de cherisey, 2011 puligny-montrachet premier cru

“les chalumaux”

egg – truffle (t)

fresh périgord truffle “osmose” egg, from peterson’s upland farm

potato mousseline, chervil, serrano ham ribbons

jean-marc brocard, 2010 chablis grand cru “les clos”

foie gras – balsamic vinegar (t) *

sautéed hudson valley foie gras, poached black mission fig

jicama, balsamic glaze, portuguese sweet bread crouton

château clos haut-peyraguey, 2005 1er cru classé, sauternes

onaga – raïto

seared day boat catch onaga, braised radicchio in burgundy wine

baby spinach, chicharrón, provençale raïto sauce

domaines ott, 2012 côtes de provence rosé, “château romassan”

lobster – lemongrass

indochine-style poached keahole lobster, long rice, kau yuk, kaffir lime

lemongrass, tamarind, green papaya, chervil, crustacean essence

e. guigal, 2012 condrieu “la doriane”

wagyu – japonais

100% wagyu beef medallions, yuzu kosho accents

oxtail quail egg loco moco, sansho jus, baby broccoli, potato mochi

sequoia grove, 2008 “cambium,”napa valley

feta cheese – persimmon (t) *

hawaii island seared feta cheese, layered with country bread tuiles

salad of pickled persimmon, sea asparagus, green peppercorn, li hing mui

rare hawaiian organic white honey

domaine des baumard, 2008 coteaux du layon “clos de st. catherine”

le grand dessert 2013 (t) *

chocolate “déclinaison,” white chocolate ice cream

cacao pulp pearls, chartreuse bubbles, chocolate sauce

golden cocoa nibs, candied almonds

warre’s, 1985 vintage porto



the truffle experience

“fresh perigord truffles – flown in from france”

sliced tableside over truffle-friendly dishes

add 27.00 per dish or

* with truffles on all four of chef’s selections add $87

(t) truffle friendly

caviar tasting

a side-by-side tasting of three sustainable caviars

russian osetra, siberian osetra, white sturgeon

served table side with blinis & crème fraiche (10g each)

flight (one or two guests)190.00

ayala, multi-vintage “brut majeur,” champagne 21.00

Chef Mavro is located about 10-minutes from Waikiki at 1969 S. King St., (808) 944-4714 click Reservations to book your table for an epic experience ushering in 2014.

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You really need to dine at Il Piccolino LA’s best Mediterranean/Italian restaurant see why

You really need to dine at Il Piccolino LA's best Mediterranean/Italian restaurant see why

Silvio de Mori serving a shellfish bonanza–caviar on burrata, local white asaparugs soup with white truffles and cannoli beans, tomato soup with rresh mushroom and sage, fettucini with wild mushrooms, Dover sole with crispy kale  you will love, veal with a vegetable  sauce that tastes so rich but is so light, Tomahawk beef  that melts in your mouth like everything else served at this celebrity-packed, neighborhood, casual chic dining wonder.

?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? A light dessert before the killer chocolate mousse??????????super chefsSilvio De Mori with Patti Pietschmann, the dining diva ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????Silvio and his staff

Il Piccolino is located in West Hollywood on Robertson Blvd. a block north of Beverly Bvld.

Read more here:

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+00002013-12-23T00:50:59+00:00312013bUTCMon, 23 Dec 2013 00:50:59 +0000 11, 2008 · 1:28 +00:00Dec

The Diva Dines at Bella Vista at Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara

DSCN0513??????????The Diva Dines at Bella Vista at Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara




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+00002013-08-24T21:26:12+00:00312013bUTCSat, 24 Aug 2013 21:26:12 +0000 11, 2008 · 1:28 +00:00Aug

The Diva and her brother do the Boat House


My brother Tony has two boats which he sails on Lake WallenpaupackIMG_5150 in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. One evening he drove his craft to a  is a delightful. lake-adjacent dining spot called The Boat House. Not your usual tourist trap, this attractive, sprawling facility attracts lots of locals, who getaway houses on the lake,  along with savvy foodies who did their homework before vacationing in this splendid resort area.

We docked about 6 p.m. and strolled in to the bar. It’s a casual spot where many folk come by boat and dress the part. The Diva sipped her usual Chard while Tony nursed a Manhattan.

While each course pleased the palate, a pecan encrusted Basa (only $18) topped with peach and apricot glaze was over-the-top excellent, good enough to fly back from Los Angeles for an encore. Tony raved over his fried shrimp.  On other occasions we ordered the steaks, which are done to perfection, especially the 14 ounce rib eye that’s $35.

All entrees are served with salad and choice of baked potato, mashed potato, rice, French fries—all quite tasty, too. Other entrée choices include soups, pastas crab cakes, chicken and other good dishes all reasonably-priced for us out-of-towners used to stiffer prices, but maybe slightly high for the Pocs.

A little backstory:

The lakeside facility, once a a tiny ice cream stand circa 1950s-60s, that attracted visitors to Lake Wallenpaupack. In the late 1970s, New Yorker Jack Rose bought the property and built a restaurant called Sunset Grove. It was rustic with tables made out of tree trunks. It fast became a popular spot  for families who went for all three meals.

Then in 1998 the Kiesendahl family, owners of Woodloch, an award winning resort, took over the property, remodeled the restaurant and turned it into the Boat House Restaurant. Today it rules the Poconos as one of the most popular eateries of all times.

IMG_5152We rode the boat to dinner.

The Boat House is located at 141 Route 507 in Hawley, Pennsylvania. For reservations (foodies heading to  the area, must go there) call  (570) 226-5027 or email For additional information visit the comprehensive website at

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Spanky’s and our gang in the Pocono Mountains

IMG_5142IMG_5145IMG_5144Spanky’s is a popular roadhouse restaurant serving only breakfast and lunch in the Pocono Mountains, customers donate their car plates and they are on the walls and chandeliers and everywhere. It’s fun with good, cheap eats.IMG_5149IMG_5148They were are adorable waitresses during the diva’s trip to the Poconos.

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Photos from dineLARestaurant Week

kickoff of dineLA at Redbury HollywoodFig&OliveFig&OliveMore Fig&Olive filet mignonFrom Red O??????????

It’s that time of year when foodies get to sample top restaurants in Los Angeles for reduced prices thanks to dineLARestaurant Week which runs through July 26 for its summer 2013 session.
Three course price fixed meals are just $15 to $45 depending on where to go, obviously the more exclusive the place the higher the price. And it’s all good. Check it out…

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+00002013-07-19T00:14:05+00:00312013bUTCFri, 19 Jul 2013 00:14:05 +0000 11, 2008 · 1:28 +00:00Jul

Farm to FIG dinner at Fairmont Miramar Santa Monica



We did the $65 per person Farm to table dinner at the FIG Restaurant last night, here’s what we ate:

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+00002013-07-11T23:58:11+00:00312013bUTCThu, 11 Jul 2013 23:58:11 +0000 11, 2008 · 1:28 +00:00Jul

Chef Mavro returns from Provence with new summer menu

Big Island Goat Cheese
Provence Honolulu Express
…New Summer starts tonight Tuesday, July 2
A Taste of Provence

New on the Summer Menu: Big Island Goat Cheese Ice Cream, Arugula, One-Minute Strawberry Rhubard Jam and (drum roll!)

Pastry Chef Elizabeth’s Volcano Island Honey Candies


 I’m just back home from a trip… I should say a pilgrimage to my roots… Provence! This is Part 1 of my letter to you; Part 2 will come tomorrow. So much inspiration and so much to tell you.

 We rented an apartment in what was once a 12th century Franciscan monestary in Aix-en-Provence (the whole town is historic). Our apartment was situated on the ground floor, so we enjoyed a garden and the shadow of a fig tree and a persimmon tree (in France we call persimmon Kaki like in Japan…).

Aix-en-Provence open air market


Aix-en-Provence is situated in the heart of Provence. 30 minutes from Marseille, Cassis, Camargue, Avignon. The location is perfect, and the town is beautiful.


We choose our headquarters in the center of the old Aix for two reasons, first because the kitchen was fully equipped with an outdoor table in the garden and second because of the proximity to the two most important “farmers” markets (which includes, fishermen, ranchers, cheese makers, sausage makers, olive oil & winemakers, kitchen equipment…you name it).


Beside experimenting with Provence ingredients, I visited my son Michel Mavrothalassitis who is now the owner of the restaurant the La Presqu’ile restaurants in Cassis… I created the restaurant many years ago from an old stone house on the shore of the peninsula in Cassis (you can jump from the terrace of the restaurant in the crystal clear Mediterranean sea!). Now he has three restaurants there.

  La Presqu'ile sign

Sea view from La Presqu'ile & La Plage Bleu

I very proud about my son Michel who swore as a teenager that never in is life would he go into this crazy business made for people like me…now he is very successful and seems…tired but happy.


One more reason to be proud…Marseille where I was born was elected the 2013 cultural capital of Europe…I am going to explode…The excitement of the new MuCEM (Musee des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Mediterranee) comes when you walk around the outside to see so much crazy architecture and views of the Old Port that were never accessible before now.

  Marseilles from the MuCEM Marseilles MuCEM a facade Marseilles MuCEM sculpture Marseilles MuCEM entry

Marseilles Vieux Port Mirror Pavilion
Giant mirrored canopy of stainless steel reflects the sea & people.
Vieux Port, Marseilles June 2013


Provence market tomatoes Provence market zucchini blossoms

Provence markets


Back to the ingredients & the markets… I realized that I totally forgot that strawberries are supposed to be red inside and not white…tomatoes smell like tomato from a few yards away…asparagus are 1 inch diameter. Artichokes are purple and you can eat them raw…you find round tiny zucchini to make “petits farcis Niçois…” cheeses are made from non- pasteurized milk…If you never had cheese “fermiers” you don’t know cheese!…fish are still alive on the stand…black feet chickens are from Bresse…stop! This time I am going to cry…

Provence market white asparagus Provence market strawberries



Back home to Honolulu
Squab tableside service
New Summer Menu starts tonight!
squab – jasmine tea breast in papillote with savoy cabbage & chipolata, jasmine tea squab justhigh on dandelion greens, poha berry salad

e. guigal, 2009 crozes-hermitage

“complex bouquet of olives, licorice, red & black currants;

medium bodied

But you know what? For me even after 3 weeks in Provence I was ready to come back to what is now my home for 27 years…Hawaii. It’s so great to live in these Islands because, where ever I am in the world, it’s always a deep joy to come back home and especially to Honolulu.
So you can imagine the motivation and inspiration I put into the elaboration of my Summer menu! I found a way in Hawaii to cook in very similar way as in Provence but I spend more time and money sourcing my ingredients. You may understand why I buy everything from small producers, and I hope my purveyors understand why I am so picky …freshness in America is priceless.
Tomorrow I will send Part 2 with more Summer Menu food photos. We look forward to cooking new Summer dishes for you starting tonight!
George Mavro
Call us (808) 944-4714
Chef Mavro Restaurant | 1969 S. King St. | Honolulu | HI | 96826

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Take mom to Chef Mavro for a Mother’s Day she’ll never forget

Pastry to diet for

Pastry to diet for

386Gonna be in Hawaii on Mother’s Day? On Honolulu? Then this is a no brainer, have dinner at Chef Mavro. If you’re traveling with your mom, or live there, or just a know a mother you’d like to take to dinner, this is it.

Chef Mavro (he’s the one in his mother’s arm in the photo and whom the restaurant is named after)is one of the top chefs in all the islands, and some say the best ( in the arms of his Mom as she walks on the boulevard in Marseilles with his older brother in tow.

I agree having had numerous meals fussed over by the amiable Greek with the French accent himself). The restaurant is cozy and romantic (bring your dad or a date for mom if she’s single).

Call 808-944-4714 for reservations or

On Friday, May 10, Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12th, pastry Chef Elizabeth Dippong (she’s as amazing as Mavro) will do a special Mother’s Day celebration dessert Namelaka Lemongrass for these three nights. If you can’t join be and live in Ohau,call them for a Chef Mavro Mother’s Day Gift Certificate that she can enjoy whenever she wants.

Flexible menus start at only $85 for a four-course Mother’s Day menu that features: Asparagus Declinaison of white asparagus kanten flavored with sarriette, green asparagus purée, sea asparagus tempura, ponzu sauce, asparagus étuvée, serrano ham on house bread stick; Steamed Onaga, ratatouille, zucchini ribbons, essence of basil, and jus; Pasture-Raised Pork Loin accented with espelette, pineapple glaze, braised & roasted shank Fricassée of Hamakua Hon Shimeji Mushroom, salsify, sumida watercress; and the special Mother’s Day dessert Namelaka – Lemongrass.

You can also choose the restaurant’s 6-course or Grand Tasting menus. You Dining Diva and Richard eat up the Spicy Ahi and Wagyu Beef, since the Diva’s allergic to shellfish she can’t have the Keahole Lobster dishes but they really are very popular options.

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Foodie alert: only two more weeks of fresh Perigord truffles from France at Chef Mavro

Hey foodies in or heading to Oahu, there’s just two more weeks left to feast on fresh Perigord truffles flown in from France and to enjoy some of your winter menu favorites at Chef Mavro, Hawaii’s top best restaurant and chef.

Popular Winter Recipes – only two more weeks

Chef Mavro Truffled Egg Serrano Ham
Some vote for this recipe as our “best dish”
Peterson’s Upland Farm Egg, truffle “osmose,” potato mousseline
chervil, serrano ham ribbons

And others are convinced this is the best! Also only 2 more weeks.
Yuzu confit big island abalone, honomu hearts of palm salad with granny smith apple, kahuku corn, grapes, shiso, yuzu, ume coulis

wine Chablis #95Wine Prem Sake

on the left: Truffled Egg wine pairing  jean-marc brocard 2010 chablis 1er cru “vaulorent”

“white flowers, citrus & honey notes with a rich texture”

on the right: Abalone Heart of Palm “sommelier selection”

kubota manju, junmai daiginjo sake, niigata

“exquisitely smooth & silky with hints of cedar, wet stone & orange blossom”

yet still other guests insist “this is the best recipe”

Sautéed Hudson Valley Foie Gras, balsamic glaze, bed of savoy cabbage mission fig poached in sweet wine, toasted portuguese sweet bread wine pairing:

château roumieu-lacoste, 2009 sauternes

“intense fig & apricot, delicate sweetness”

Call (808) 944-4714 or connect with Chef Mavro for candid back stories about the cooking competitions he judges, advanced training he offers at culinary schools, snapshots from Mondays when the restaurant is closed when he’s out and about, and last week a movie review of…

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Branzino at Esterel at the Sofitel Los Angeles

Branzino at Esterel at the Sofitel Los Angeles

The Diva delighted over this course at Esterel at the Sofitel LA during a Valentine’s Day escape.

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+00002013-03-02T23:07:34+00:00312013bUTCSat, 02 Mar 2013 23:07:34 +0000 11, 2008 · 1:28 +00:00Mar

The Dining Diva sinks her teeth into a top burger

The Dining Diva sinks her teeth into a top burger

From the Burger Lounge on Sunset Blvd., in West Hollywood.

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+00002013-03-02T23:03:50+00:00312013bUTCSat, 02 Mar 2013 23:03:50 +0000 11, 2008 · 1:28 +00:00Mar

Loving Spoonful to the very last bite

IMG_4241Lovin’ Spoonful is easy. Rarely does Los Angeles boast a genuine neighborhood restaurant better than Frank Foley’s Southern-influenced Studio City local hang.

Bottoms up:

Whether it’s whiskeys or draft beers at the bar or chef Victor Calderon’s delicious take on Southern cooking at a table (and there are communal tables too, appropriate for a restaurant where the hospitality vibe dominates), the food at this joint is exceptional.IMG_4237

Frank’s a Georgia boy who’s been hankering for the food he left back home since he arrived in town. So when Henry’s Hat went belly up, he pounced. Spoonful has only been open a few months and it’s already favored by a crowd that tends to be young (but not too young) and working in the “industry,” as they say in these parts.

The physical layout hasn’t changed. What has is the décor, now studded with hanging lamps made from spirits bottles and elaborate chandeliers, with a pressed tin ceiling and a vintage fainting couch or two. “It’s like Rhett Butler’s smoking lounge,” observed a server. And Southern-centric slogans are painted on the walls. A favorite: The South is the place where Macaroni & Cheese is a vegetable, chicken is fried and tomatoes are green.

Comfort cookingIMG_4256

Chef actually downplays the richness usually associated with Southern fare. Here, the creamy grits come under Cajun Gulf shrimp, the slow-roasted short ribs rest on sweet potato polenta and the pan seared red snapper arrives on a bed black-eyed pea succotash.

These are exceptional, but the appetizers—and the show-stopping pecan pie—may be even better. Fried green tomatoes are moist, crunchy and tangy; braised pork belly is lean, flavorful and comes with a most unusual peeled soft boiled egg with a delicate maple-flavored crust (what a wonderful variation on bacon and eggs this is); pulled pork sliders with four house-made barbecue sauces are authentic without being greasy. Frank’s considering offering a sampler plate of the best appetizers, and we should all encourage him to do so.

Spoonful’s terrific food and drink far are probably better than needs be. There aren’t many saloons around where you can get a perfectly made Sazerac into which a compressed ice ball the size of a decent snowball has been plunked and a pan-baked, nut-rich, not too sweet pecan pie.

Prices are moderate and there’s a 5-6 p.m. happy hour. Live blues and bluegrass music are planned. Spoonful is located at 3413 Cahuenga Boulevard West, directly across from LA Fitness, 323-512-4800.

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The Diva drinks Patron up on the roof at the Peninsula Beverly Hills

We went to the launch party of Patron and Tacos up on the roof  at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel last Wednesday.  The weekly offering is held Friday, Saturday and Sundays night until the end of October (starting at 5 p.m.) and is definitely worth doing for the $35 tab that comes with four delicious, gormet tacos plus one Patron cocktail. Read about it here:

Peninsula BH chef James Overbaugh with the Diva

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Chef Mavro restaurant
Chef Mavro talks about the Hana Hou “Greatest Hits” Menu
– starting tonight Tuesday, August 28th
For one month only. Chef Mavro , the Dining Diva’s favorite Hawaiian chef, is cooking guest favorites from the past.  The master of meals is featuring sland Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust; Goat Cheese with
one-minute strawberry jam; and much more. See complete menu here.
Chef Mavro in kitchen with salt crust

Chef Mavro changes the menu every season. Chef has been proceeding this way since the opening of his first restaurant in Provence, La Presqu’ile, in 1978. Our menu is seasonal featuring the freshest local ingredients found the same morning in the market and always using the latest trends and techniques such as fusion, nouvelle, molecular, etc.

Says Chef Mavro, “Since I never look back to old recipes and start every season totally from scratch, some guests arrive, open the menu and ask “what happened to that wonderful dish that I enjoyed before?” I answer: “mais oui,  I know…but please try our newest creations.” Before you leave I check back and you say “wow now I have new favorites! But still I loved so much your Snapper baked in a Hawaiian salt crust, your Lobster Chorizo Puff, and so on.” Can’t let go. And I’m honored! So, every year in September at the end of Summer, just before the Autumn menu while we’re waiting for the fresh Burgundy truffles, we cook for you a Hana Hou Menu – the Greatest Hits! Please check the 6-course Hana Hou – Greatest Hits Menu to see what’s going on starting tonight. Of course we are also offering our 3-course, 4-course and grand tasting menus.

Chef Mavro restaurant
Chef Mavro talks about the Hana Hou “Greatest Hits” Menu
– starting tonight Tuesday, August 28th
For one month only. Chef Mavro is cooking guest favorites from the past!
Yes we’re talking Island Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust; Goat Cheese with
one-minute strawberry jam; and much more. See the complete menu here.

Meli Melo Local summer vegetables of the day watercress, chick pea fritters, sea asparagus, eggplant tahini, black garlic Wine Pairing: Domaine Huet, 2010 Vouvray Sec “Le Haut Lieu” “chenin blanc with a kiss of honey & a rich palate; full of acidity” Photo Credit: Justin Morizono ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Island Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust – GQ Magazine Top 10 Recipes of the year Wine Pairing: Grgich Hills Estate, Fume Blanc, 2010 Napa Valley “full-bodied, flavors of grapefruit & lemongrass” Photo Credit: John De Mello Tomato-Ogo-Fines Herbes Sauce …OK I’ve made over 80,000 but I’ll make another 80,000 if you ask for it! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Keahole Lobster Kahuku Cream Corn Chorizo Puff Wine Pairing: Domaine Long-Depaquit, 2010 Chablis 1er cru “Vaillons” “impressive chablis; pure, gorgeous fruit layered with the most delicate honeysuckle & floral qualities” or rare wine selection Domaine des Comtes Lafon, 2009 Meursault “Clos de la Barre” “opulent, mineral-driven, intense & earthy; from one of meursault’s legendary vineyards (less than 5 acres)” Photo Credit: Justin Morizono Which part is your favorite? My popular creamy corn recipe, the spicy chorizo, or the delicious lobster from Keahole on the Big Island? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Maui fresh goat cheese, one-minute frankie’s nursery fresh green peppercorn strawberry jam, island arugula Wine Pairing: Cocchi, Barolo Chinato “licorice, bitter aromas with sweet red fruit & intense nutmeg & cinnamon” Photo Credit: Justin Morizono ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ oh yes…lilikoi malasadas toujours! And updated by our rising star Pastry Chef Lynette Malasada – Urfa Biber trio of malasadas, fresh lilikoi “déclinaison” of curd, chiboust, and ice cream greek yogurt parfait, candied pistachio, urfa biber peppercorn sauce Wine Pairing: Malvira, Birbet, Italy “red wine made from the brachetto grape with a slight sparkle & notes of fresh plums & berries”

Call 808-944-4714′ email

Located five minutes from Waikiki at 1969 S. King Street, Honolulu,  Chef Mavro is closed Mondays.  If you’re in Hawaii or are heading there, be sure plan on dining there. It’s a culinary experience you’ll never forget and you will want to go back for more.

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The Dining Diva does Dan Tana’s and discovers….

The best cannoli in the world

Dan Tana’s,, is located at 9071 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, 310-275-9444, reservations are a must. Valet parking is available and advised as on street parking is limited and metered.

Read more here and  if you like what your read, please subscribe to the page. Thank you.

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The Oregon wine trail leads to passionate Pinot Noirs

A passion for Pinots

A few years ago my husband Richard and I went an assignment, tailored made for the Dining Diva, to Oregon. The task was to find fine wines as well as check out some B&Bs and a llama farm.Of course our favorite part was the wine thing. We visited many vineyards and tasting rooms and discovered Sokol Blosser. It was love at first sip and we brought some home. Alas it was all gone until a friend sent us a gift selection.The first to open was the Pinot Noir, which as suggested by said friend, we enjoyed on a hot, sunny afternoon by our pool. Simply delicious to every last drop.Let me share a little of the wine company’s philosophy: Where does great Pinot Noir grow? Where intellect and  intuition meet. Where instinct and a meticulous nature commingle. Pinot Noir  isn’t a grape for every place, nor for every winery. It doesn’t allow for  cutting corners or letting the details slide. It reveals all, about vineyard,
vintage, winemaking technique – ultimately, about one’s willingness to engage it
in lifelong study.
For more than 35 years – since before there was an Oregon  “wine industry” – the Sokol Blosser family have been learning about Pinot Noir,  about how it best grows on their small parcel in the Dundee Hills, and what it  takes to capture the brilliance of the fruit and the essence of the land.  This  resolute quest for excellence is also expressed in their environmentally
friendly winemaking techniques, a core value for Sokol Blosser ever since the
first vines were planted in 1971.

At Sokol Blosser, growing  grapes organically and embracing sustainability in all winery operations is a  way of life. It’s no mere coincidence, however, that over the years such  practices have the happy consequence of enhancing the excellence of their Pinot  Noir.

In addition to the official recognition given to Sokol Blosser’s  environmental practices, its wines have consistently won recognition for their  quality.  Being good to the earth – farming, buying and building through the
lens of The Natural Step – is really about paying attention to and respecting  the details.

If you want to unearth some mighty fine wines and have fun doing it,  think the Oregon trail. And while you’re at it stop in and say hi to the Sokol Blossers for us.


sokol blosser winery

PO Box 399

5000 NE Sokol Blosser Lane

Dundee, OR  97115

Phone: 503-864-2282  Toll Free: 800-582-6668 |

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Sipping vodka from VODBOX and dining at Nic’s at night and

One fine dessert

A buttery filet mignon

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Friday lunch at the Palm West Hollywood always a treat

We love our Friday lunches at the Palm on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood seated in our favorite booth #7 sipping mighty fine wine and devouring a three course Business Person’s lunch that’s just a little over $25 each (wine’s extra).

The Caesar salad is the best in the west , perfectly prepared in chef Humphrey’s kitchen.

Steak is always a good choice for an entrée

The fish is always cooked to perfection, too.

That’s Humphrey the best chef in the west.

We take the  super-licious, New York-style cheesecake home, it’s included in the price, too. We ate it last night, boy is it fantastically rich and tasty. Reminds me of home (NY).

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A farewell to foie gras in California

a plate of foie gras at Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood will be the last served in Los Angeles EVER

The Dining Diva  has never been big on foie gras, I just don’t like the taste, even after sampling it in some of the finest French restaurants of the world.Alas, Richard, my main man, doesn’t feel the same,  he loves the rich, fat-filled stuff, so we had a sort of farewell party to foie gras the other night at LA’s spiffy Gordon Ramasy at the London West Hollywood.

Chef sent out what would be the last foie gras served in California after June 30, 2012.

Read more here:

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Food news you can use from Border Grill: brunch and munch more

New unlimited small plates Border Brunch  is now available Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Border Grill Santa Monica…For the low price of $29.99 you can select from an smorgasboard of mouthwatering small plates, featuring Yucatan Egg Benedict, Bacon Jalapeño PBJ, Chorizo and Egg Taco, Coconut French Toast, Huevos Rancheros, Machaca Chilaquiles, and many more. Add bottomless mimosas for only $6, or upgrade to one of Border Grill’s tasty specialty cocktails like a Ginger Pomegranate Margarita, refreshing Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita, or spicy Bloody Maria. Call 310.451.1655 or click here for reservationsand find out why variety is the spice of life, and brunch, at Border Grill.Want to spend the afternoon on a foodie dream date with the hottest chefs and mixologists in Los Angeles? Join Mary and Susan at Taste of the Nation on Sunday, June 10, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Lot in West Hollywood and experience L.A.’s top culinary talent, including Picca, ink.sack, Ray’s and Stark Bar, Umami Burger, Black Market, Tavern, STREET, Blue Cow Kitchen, Night + Market, Scoops, Short Cake, Father’s Office, Harvard & Stone, Neat, Brewery Ommegang, Craftsman Brewing, and the list goes on and on and on. Border Grill is excited to partner with Alaska Seafood and Cacique cheese–with each contributing $10,000 to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. So get your taste buds ready for some wild, sustainable Alaska Halibut Veracruzano with jalapeño, tomato, olive, oregano, and white wine garlic broth, as well as a Squash Blossom Quesadilla, featuring a dynamic trio of manchego, panela, and cotija cheeses by Cacique.

Click here for tickets and more info.

Border Grill Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, 702.632.7403

Border Grill Downtown LA | 445 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 213.486.5171

Border Grill Santa Monica, 1445 4th St., 310.451.1655

Border Grill Stop | 601 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 213.244.6861

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Where to get the best Caesar salad in Los Angeles

Caesar salad at the palmFind the answer here:

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Coupa Cafe brings a taste of Venezuela to Beverly Hills

Coupa Café – a casual urban oasis in the heart of Beverly Hills.

Though it’s been open for six years now, the Coupa Cage is somewhat of a well-kept secret in Bev Hills, a few doors down on Canon from the always-bustling Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (no relation to Puck).

Now, however, new energy has been infused into the family-owned operation by vivacious Camelia Coupal who grew up in Venezuela but went to Stanford University like her siblings. The Stanford connection is key since Coupa’s first U.S. store opened in Palo Alto a few doors down from Facebook’s first office.

The restaurant was known for its coffee–the family roasts its own java from local sources in Venezuela and ships it to the U.S–and the original Facebookers bought their joe there. (“The Social Network” movie accurately depicted Facebookers with Coupa containers.) Needless to say, this Coupa Cafe’s coffee, a hearty, dark roast, is miraculous. We went to Coupa Café last night and sampled a variety of Venezuelan dishes, which tend to be heavy on cheese and pastry-type crust.

The Cachapas were fresh corn griddle pancakes with a dollop of queso de mano, a typical Venezuelan fresh cheese, on top. Asado Negro was slowly cooked beef served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, mesclun greens and goat cheese. Polvorosa de Pollo tucked shredded chicken inside a crumble pie crust. Unlike other Latin American styles, Venezuelan food isn’t overly spicy but some dishes tend toward sweetness, which is an acquired taste outside the dessert course. For dessert, we shared delicious Tres Leches, an amped-up version of the Latin American standby of cake soaked in three kinds of milk (condensed usually being one, though Cecelia said the famil

y recipe is a secret).

Coupa’s famous coffee would have been the perfect ending, but instead we brought a bag of beans home. This is the only restaurant in the world outside Venezuela where you can enjoy the nation’s shade grown, handpicked, sun-dried, fair trade organic single estate Arabica coffee beans. That’s because the country’s current regime does not allow the export green beans. We ground and brewed it this morning and it was kick-ass fantastic. Coupa Café was conceived by the Coupal family in the late 1980s as a result of the desire to revive the tradition of the excellent quality Venezuelan coffee that was lost during the oil boom years. They opened the Arabica Coffee Company, the roasting company of Coupa Café, in Caracas, Venezuela in 1990. Coupa Café opened its doors in Palo Alto, California in 2004, followed by a location two years later in Beverly Hills.

There are a total of 6 locations, most of them on Stanford’s campus. Coupa Café Beverly Hills is located at 419 North Canon Drive – Beverly Hills, 310-385-0420. It’s open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a nightly happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m.

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A Porterhouse steak for two at BLT is a carnivore’s dream

Steak doesn’t get much better than this which the Dining  Diva devoured last night, with the help of her husband of course (that’s Richard) at BLT on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood (for those who know, it’s the former Le Dome).

With a side of sensational mushrooms and a bottle of  Lewis Chardonnay, it was all great.

Great place for a Valentine’s Day dinner too, but don’t expect quiet, this place roars with carnivores.

BLT at Sunset Plaza

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The Dining Diva dings Spago for Thai salad misfire

All good things come to an end. Well some, anyway.

 After superb many  lunches  (and dinners) at Spago, a whole bunch enjoyed especially during the bi-annual DineLARestaurant Week, we had a major misfire yesterday at Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Hills haunt of the rich and famous.

OMG, the Thai chicken salad was abominable.  Abominable I tell you. Granted it’s only $19 but it has always tasted great, with Asian spices and peanuts and fresh ingredients. This one had most red and white cabbage, a few sickly strands of lettuce and NO flavor.

Richar’d price fixed, dineLA lunch was a cut better but n0t nearly as good as other times. The salmon was good, not great. The dessert trio was pretty awesome though.

Me thinks Wolfie’s spending too much time as his new restaurant at the recently reopened Hotel Bel Air ( and not enough time quality controlling his golden egg in Beverly Hills.   Should you read this Mr. Puck, your presence is needed.

Spago was jam packed with the usual Friday lunch crowd, and as always, new faces of tourists. The service was good. And in deference to the chefs, when I complained to the manager about the salad (he stopped by the table and asked how things were so I had to tell the truth), he took it off the tab. Quite galantly at that, never said a word just wasn’t on the bill when Richard paid.

Still there is no excuse for a misfire at Spago. Wolfie, you need to be there more often………………………………………………….

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Okay, the Diva does Chipotle but not football still had to pass this on


Fajita Burrito from Chipotle

Okay, the Diva does eat at Chipotle once in awhile. In fact the last time were in New York staying at the Palace Hotel, we walked down the street up and picked up some Mexican food to go and ate it in our suite with some wine and beer (the former for the Diva). We had been eating out a lot and it was just so cool to take out food into a lavish suite.

Anyhow the fast food chain that dishes out some darn good south of the border fare is having a Super Bowl special I thought I’d pass on, here goes:

 Chipotle Mexican Grill will be serving its customers burritos for half the price and none of the ad spend. Through its upcoming February 5 promotion, “The Super Big Internationally Televised Professional Football Bowl Game Half Price Party in a Box,” Chipotle is offering a half-price deal for those who use the Burritos by the Box ordering option found on   on Sunday, February 5, 2012.

 Chipotle is famous for its irreverent style and genuine interaction with customers to build loyalty. Using its social media channels, website, and in-store posters that allude to the nation’s largest sporting event but do not name it, Chipotle is encouraging customers to make it a party by ordering six or more burritos using the Burritos by the Box order form, all the while end-running the advertising hoopla that has become such a big part of pro football’s biggest game.

 “Chipotle has never been one to follow the crowd when it comes to the food we serve or the way we market our restaurants,” said Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle. “We’re more interested in making great tasting food from the best ingredients we can find in a way that is affordable and accessible to everyone.”

 To participate in the “The Super Big Internationally Televised Professional Football Bowl Game Half Price Party in a Box” promotion, Chipotle customers can log onto and download a Burritos by the Box order form from the nearest Chipotle location. The order form allows customers to identify how many chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa or vegetarian burritos they would like to order. The burritos come packed in a box with handles for easy transportation, along with sides of sour cream, chips, medium tomatillo-green chili salsa and freshly made guacamole.

 This offer is only available Sunday, February 5, 2012 on orders of six burritos or more. For orders of 50 burritos or more, please allow at least 24 hours notice prior to pick up. The maximum order accepted is 100 burritos.



About Chipotle


Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,100 restaurants. For more information, visit

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It’s good to be “Koi” on Valentine’s Day

One of Los Angeles’ most romantic restaurant is spreading the love on Valentine’s Day with special drinks and menus for couples:

The room fosters a  fun, sexy vibe complemented by a  tongue-in-cheek White Kiss Roll (Yellowtail, Scallion and Cucumber Wrapped in Soy Topped with Sliced Halibut & Tomatoes with a Lemon Lime Ume Sauce), the whimsical Trio Platter (5-Layer Chocolate Cake, Macaroon Ice Cream, Chocolate Covered Strawberry) and the Koi Crush martini (Vanilla Vodka and Strawberry Liqueur topped with Pineapple and Cranberry), among others.

Koi’s V-Day specials are available Friday, Feb. 9 – Tuesday, Feb. 14 at its Los Angeles location (730 N. La Cienega Blvd.)..

 Valentine’s Day 2012 Specials

 White Kiss Roll – $22

Yellowtail, Scallion and Cucumber Wrapped in Soy Topped with Sliced Halibut & Tomatoes with a Lemon Lime Ume(Plum) Sauce

 Heirloom Tomato & Shrimp Cocktail with Sweet Yuzu Vinaigrette – $14

 Tuna Caprese – $16

Buffalo Mozzarella, Garlic Oil, Balsamic & Soy


Oven-Roasted Snapper with Habanero Dashi Salsa – $22


Trio Platter – $15

5 Layer Chocolate Cake, Macaroon Ice Cream, Chocolate Covered Strawberry

 Tres Leches Cake – $12
Poached Cherries and Cherry Chocolate Sorbet

 Champagne Chocolate Mousse Cake – $12

Raspberry Bon Bon and Raspberry Coulis



Koi Crush – $12

Vanilla Vodka and Strawberry Liqueur topped with Pineapple and Cranberry


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Cafe Muse: an inspired vegan heaven

The vegan fare is fantastic. The artistic ambiance brings out your inner muse at this  semi-funk  cafe on Santa Monic Blvd. in Hollywood where your Dining Diva dined last night with Richard, of course.

My rice bowl with grilled and garlicky tofu was amazing, washed down with two $5 glasses of house Chardonnay (it was happy hour which runs until 7Pm, we ate early because we were headed to see a play Pulp Shakespeare (a parody of Pulp Fiction done in Shakespearan speak which was more like a Shakespearean tragedy to me. It’s at a local, little theater called Footlights).

Here’s my rice bowl:

Cafe Muse, 6547 Santa Monica Blvd., 323-464-6873 and they have free WiFi!

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Friday lunch at the Palm in West Hollywood

Starts with a good Chardonnay

Continues with the best Caesar salad in town

That’s some burger!

Move on to some mighty fine, perfectly cooked asparagus……

Finish with cheesecake (not seen here, we doggie bagged it to bring home). And some delicious fish…..
Best priced lunches in Los Angeles at the Palm on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood,

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Dinner and theater on Melrose Avenue

Crispy broccoli and cheddar risotta balls at Village IdiotSteak and potato pie--real comfort food


Village Idiot fish and chipsHoliday sketch and impro show at the Groundlings


Holiday sketch and impro show at the Groundlings

Now that was a fun date night. The Groundlings,;  Village Idiot,, both located on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles just a few blocks from each other (Village Idiot’s at 7383 and Groundlings at 7307).

Steak and potato pie--real comfort food

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Would you pay $8 for iced tea even if it’s called an “Arnold Palmer”

Your Dining Diva had lunch at TheBlvd at the Four Seasons  on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly HIlls yesterday. While the occasion was pleasant, seeing a friend and celebrating a birthday, the service exceptional, the prices were shocking.

I mean please $8 for an iced tea just because it’s called an “Arnold Palmer”. A $5 charge to split our $27 Greek Salad (and a small one at that) and 14 bucks for tomato soup.

Sure the restaurant is lovely and all decked out for the holidays and our service was excellent, but how can even the Four Seasons get off charging that much. And we won’t even go near wine (a glass of a good one was a staggering $25!).

If you got the budget, do go there,  if you can’t afford  it, go anyway to take a look a the striking lobby all done up  for Christmas

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The Dining Diva at Pinto Bistro in Studio City

Tart tatin for the man

Starting the meal, should have taken my glasses off, thought Richard was just shooting the plate, oh well.

What a meal at Pinot Bistro on Ventura Blvd., in Studio City, California…we went on Sunday as part of the DineLARestaurantWeek promo where you get three course meals for nearly half the going rate at more than 300 restaurants from LA to Orange County.

Arugula saladWonderful whitefishCool cod dishAt Pinot Bistro there is no corkage free if you bring you own wine, so we took a bottle of Lewis 2002 Chardonnay that went well with all of the above.A trio of sorbets for the DivaTart tatin for the manCool cod dishWonderful whitefish

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Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese Recipes

 Kraft and Paula Deen’s Real Women of Philadelphia online community have shared some of their favorite quick and easy recipes with Philadelphia Cream Cheese to cook a delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.

 Quick and easy recipes include:

 · Santa Fe Chicken Tacos With Avocado Cream · Hidden Veggie Garlic and Bacon Pasta · Easy Chicken Flautas · Cheesy Beef and Potatoes More delicious and easy-to-prepare dishes like these are featured on Paula Deen and Kraft Foods’ online community – Real Women of Philadelphia and in their cookbook Real Women of Philadelphia: The Cookbook which can be purchased online at

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A letter from Chef Mavro–Hawaii’s best restaurant

                                             Aloha!  If you’re planning a trip to Waikiki, Hawaii in the near future, make plans to go to the    Dining Diva’s favorite restaurantL: Chef Mavro. Here is his story:

Chef Mavro at work

 “We’re bringing back some of our “Greatest Hits” recipes to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hawaii Regional Cuisine,” Chef Mavro. Check out six-course “Greatest Hits” Menu Reserve your Table 24/7  in this letter… “Greatest Hits” Menu Starts Aug. 30 Wine Spectator “Best French Chefs in America” Letter from Chef Mavro – his HRC story  “Greatest Hits” menu starts Tuesday, August 30, ends September 25th Day Boat Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust, served tableside Fans of Chef Mavro’s Day Boat Snapper baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust will be thrilled to hear that this original recipe will be the centerpiece of a “Greatest Hits” menu starting Tuesday, August 30 and ending a short time later on Sunday, September 25.

 Snapper Baked in a Hawaiian Salt Crust, Ogo-Fines Herbes-Tomato was created by Mavro in 1989 and selected by award-winning food writer Alan Richman for his GQ magazine “Ten Best Recipes of the Year.” It is served tableside with the fragrance of rosemary wafting up as the salt crust is opened to reveal the fish. “We’re bringing back some of our most famous farm-to-table recipes to mark the 20th anniversary of Hawaii Regional Cuisine,” comments Mavro.

Let the arguing begin on which recipe is THE favorite! Some would swear by Ahi Tartare & Caviar, others the Keahole Lobster Risotto, and still others the more recent Big Island Goat Cheese Mousse, arugula with Mavro’s new one-minute strawberry jam. The new beef recipe became an instant hit and who can dine at Chef Mavro without being tempted by the famous Lilikoi Malasadas? Photo Credit: John De Mello Check here for all the details and of course the exciting new wine pairings.






Menu prices remain the same with the six-course “Greatest Hits” at $128, the three-course at $75 and the four-course at $85. **Menus are flexible and recipes can be moved from one menu to another.  September 2011 issue Most important French chefs working in America ~

 Wine Spectator magazine recognizes Chef Mavro among the eleven most important French chefs working in America – others include Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud, Pierre Gagnaire, Eric Ripert & Joel Robuchon The September 2011 issue of Wine Spectator Magazine honors Chef Mavro as one of the eleven “most important French chefs working in America today” noting that “They all work at the top of their field, and each brings the mastery of French technique to the tastes and bounty of North America.” The magazine describes “Chef Mavro restaurant in Honolulu is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the United States.” “I’m excited for Hawaii to be on the Wine Spectator map and to be one of the chosen eleven! My cuisine combines French technique and a passion for wine pairing with Hawaii’s regional influences,” comments Mavro. In addition to Chef Mavro, the other chefs in this select group are: New York – Alain Ducasse, Adour; Daniel Boulud, Daniel, and Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin; Philadelphia – Georges Perrier, Le Bec-Fin; in Chicago Jean Joho, Everest; Las Vegas – Pierre Gagnaire, Twist, Joel Robuchon, Joel Robuchon Restaurant, and Guy Savoy, Restaurant Guy Savoy; San Francisco – Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys; and Pasadena – David Feau, The Royce at the Langham. Chef Mavro is often rated with these and other top chefs including the current Gayot “2011 Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.” where his restaurant is the only winner in Hawaii in the company of The French Laundry and Gary Danko in California; Per Se, Jean Georges, Le Bernadin and Eleven Madison Park in New York; Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas; and Alinea and Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. Chef Mavro restaurant also holds Gayot’s only Three Toques 18/20 rating in Hawaii and the American Automobile Association Five Diamond award. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lilikoi Malasadas, guava coulis, pineapple coconut ice cream ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Letter from Chef Mavro – a founding member tells his story of Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC) On a beautiful Sunday in 1991 Shep Gordon, a famous Hollywood agent, invited some Hawaii chefs for a party in his beach house in Maui. He might have had something in mind, because he invited also some farmers, growers and Hawaii Department of Agriculture authorities. Even Roger Vergé (Le Moulin de Mougins in France) flew in at Shep’s invitation. We had a fantastic time cooking and eating together. I was asked to prepare a bouillabaisse the signature dish of my birthplace Marseilles. I was pretty nervous because I knew Roger from my time in France and he’s a tough critic. As usual this recipe takes hours of careful attention to all the details. When Roger tasted my dish and declared it was as good as Chez Tétou on the Cote d’Azur (the bouillabaisse temple) my heart leaped out of my chest! A big moment in my life. At the end of the day we all realized that something big was going on! We were putting down the first stone of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine edifice. There were twelve of us (alphabetically): Sam Choy, Roger Dikon, Mark Ellman, Beverly Gannon, Jean Marie Josselin, Peter Merriman, Amy Ferguson Ota, Philippe Padovani, Gary Strehl, Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, & me. We are very different by ethnicity, style and technique but we have the same goal. Cooking from the local market with local influences.

 A few weeks after; our next gathering to visits farmers & grower on the Big Island concluded with a meeting where we decided to create HRC and to publish a cook book.

The rest is History… We worked closely with local farmers to get all the ingredients which were missing in Hawaii such as haricot verts, fresh herbs, asparagus, mushrooms, vanilla, sea asparagus, baby greens, baby vegetables, organic produce… I was the first customer of Kurt & Pam Hirabara. They grow baby greens in Waimea on the Big Island. I found the quality very similar to the quality of baby greens and baby vegetables I was using in Provence from the farmers in Marseille and upcountry Nice. I remember Kurt sent a bouquet of fresh chervil to my kitchen to convince me of the quality of his production. Say no more! I was ready to buy everything. The exciting Honolulu fish auction!

How many times have I taken journalists and others to meet Brooks Takenaka, general manager, and see the most beautiful fish handled with so much care from the fishing boat to the auction to my tables. And the months I spent producing the vertical fish tasting with the State’s Ocean Resources Division to build a market for lesser known species. A big part of the story.

David & Barbara Sumida didn’t need me to promote their watercress. They were already producing more than 80% of the watercress consumed in Hawaii. I remember their father Masaru who used to say “in life do only one thing but do it great!” This is what he did, watercress and only watercress; but by far the best watercress in the world! I promoted fresh water Kahuku blue prawns.

My friend Brent Burkott who was running a prawn farm in Kahuku had to deliver every day (including Sunday) the prawns alive to the restaurant. Since the flesh life of prawns is very short; he had to transport the prawns alive in a running tank on the back of his truck. The prawns were cooked a la minute and served basically alive. Brent had to physically fight with thieves who tried to steal the crustaceans from his ponds. He was working on his aqua farm with the same conviction and love as we cook. I promoted the first beans of Hawaiian Vanilla produced by my friend Jim Reddicopp. Jim moved on from a successful travel tour agency career to grow vanilla on the Big Island. He relocated with his wife and children from Honolulu to the Hamakua coast in the middle of nowhere. He grows from his property an outstanding quality of vanilla. His hard work, motivation and determination are legendary and I am very proud to be associated with the start of his venture. We share the same passion with our farmers, we speak the same language; only the freshest.

Ma’o Farm, Hawaii Island Goat Dairy, Hamakua Heritage Mushrooms, North Shore Big Wave and WOW Farm tomatoes, and over the years so many others each very important but too many to name here. I always say to my cooks, “I buy only the best ingredients for you! Please don’t kill them!” HRC revolutionized the Hawaii restaurant scene. We buy local and promote the products of our farmers, growers and fishermen. We created a new market, boutique farms are flourishing, farmer markets are opening everywhere, locals and visitors have developed an appreciation for Hawaii’s fresh ingredients.

Chef Mavro, 1969 S. King St., Honolulu, just outside Waikiki, 808) 944-4714 :,


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The Dining Diva Does Lexington Social House in Hollywood

The Diva at the door

Dessert of cookies and ice cream sandwichesA star is born in HollywoodRatings:Ambiance a 10; food a 8; service an 8, experience a 10.Feel: hip, young, vibrant, chic and cool.Location: Hollywood & Vine, 1718 Vine., 323-461-1700, The Diva at the doorpork bellies are a signature dishIn praise of Caesar saladThe menu


The menu


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The Dining Diva’s About to Do Lexington Social House

Lexington Social House

It’s the hottest show in Hollywood, Lexington, a social house, touted as offering fine cuisine in a casual, relaxed atmosphere and wh ere rustic modern American cuisine is created by  executive chef Mette Williams’. Her menu looks divine and is said to reflect her personal food style and a market-driven approach. “I cook from the heart using the best ingredients I can find. I feel that it only needs to be highlighted with a few spices, sauces, vinegars to really make it spectacular.”

I can’t wait to try it.  Even the 10,000 square foot room sounds fab  with its infusion of elegance and modern flair, incorporating exposed brick, custom wind chime-esque lighting fixtures, and pressed tin ceilings.

The focus here is food, but there’s also emphasis on adult beverages and late night revelry amped up by top DJ’s two nights a week where patrons can dance the night away.
The owners:
Dynamic brother-sister duo Jeremy and Junella Chin—a New York real estate developer and doctor respectively—teamed up to create Lexington with the help of Choice Hospitality Group. The focus is on bringing people together to celebrate fresh, delicious food, cocktails, fantastic music, and most importantly, good company. Lexington is located in the heart of Hollywood, California smack on famous Vine St. at the intersection of the stars.
1718 Vine St, ( 323) 461-1700,

Review tk soon, so keep coming back or check out:–diva-in-los-angeles/patti-pietschmann

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Street Scenes

The Diva dined at Susan Feniger’s  Street last night–what a meal…













Read the full story here:

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Canter’s Deli Dishes Out 80 Cent Corned Beef on Rye

While the Dining Diva doesn’t do corned beef sandwiches, she knows plenty of  people who love them especially the ones prepared at Canter’s famous Jewish Deli on Fairfax in Los Angeles.
Well Alan Canter and Terri Bloomgarden, co-owners of Canter’s Fairfax announced that on Tuesday, July 12th 2011 from 4:00 P.M. to Midnight , they will dish out their  famed Corned Beef Sandwich on fresh baked Rye Bread with a Canter’s made Pickle, taste of Potato Salad and a Chocolate Chip Rugula for 80 cents (limit one per customer).
The partners said, “This is Canter’s way of saying “Thank You” to the loyal customers who have been coming for eight decades.”

Lots of celebs go and have been to this place that’s open 24 hour 7 days and began as a family run delicatessen and restaurant in 1931 in Boyle Heights and moved to Fairfax in 1948. The restaurant is now run by multi generations of the Canter family.

Last year Canter’s Deli launched Canter’s Truck ( serving the deli’s famous sandwiches and baked goods all around the Los Angeles area. The truck schedule and locations can be found on Facebook or Twitter at @canterstruck.


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Diva does dining on Maui Part 2 Morimoto at Andaz


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A feast for foodies happens at Il Piccolini on Robertson in Los Angeles

The Dining Diva’s favorite LA restaurant, Il Piccolino, possibly the best in country and even the world, in my opinion

Patti's Prattles

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Chef Mavro presents three nights of mouth-watering Perigord Truffles

If you love Truffles hurry over to Chef Mavro now!

Patti's Prattles

If  you live in Oahu close to Waikiki run don’t
walk over to Chef Mavro tonight,
tomorrow or Sunday to savor fresh
Perigord Truffles flown in from France and
sliced table side over your choice of
truffle-friendly dishes! Sunday marks the
end of the truffle season and Mavro’s irresistible
Winter Menu.  Book at table for
yourself and a few of your favorite peeps
at  (808) 944-4714  send an email  
or book a table through OpenTableand earn dining points.
While his truffle dishes are truly amazing,
so is everything and anything Chef Mavro
prepares at his romantic little eatery.
Chef Mavro Restaurant is located
at 1969 S. King St. about a 15 minute
taxi ride from Waikiki.

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