Kaana Kitchen at Andaz Maui is all about sharing

Kaana means to share and that is just what you do when dining at Kaana Kitchen at chic and tropical stylish Andaz Maui in Wailea. The menu is lovingly presented by Aloha-spirited severs who look like they love their jobs. We recognized many of them from years ago.

To enter Kaana you first valet your car, if you are not a guest. Then you walk into a dreamy landscape overlooking the ocean that takes your breath away, especially at sunset.  We (husband Richard and I) just love this hotel. And so it appears do the many millennials, rich Asians and mainlanders who fill the stunning rooms.

Okay back to KK where we did an encore dining experience recently that was as ever sublime.  It is so romantic reading the menu together while sipping wine and a martini and deciding what to share.  In this epicurean episode it was Ahi Tataki, Kona Kompachi Poke and a pyramid of black sesame noodles.

Our waitress was a pure delight allowing us time to ponder he menu and not rushing the courses. Wine and water glasses were kept full.

Kaana Kitchen is truly one of Maui’s many culinary jewels and a must do for foodies.

All lovely. For main courses we chose seared Ahi and Opah-the chefs know their way around fresh island fish prep.

Served with  view

The  to diet for grand finale lemon, cream and chocolate so good

The dining diva’s other picks for fine dining in Maui–Gannon’s Wailea Hali’imaile (upcounrtry), Morimoto (on the grounds of  Andaz Maui),  humuhumunukunukuapua’a at Grand Wailea, and the Wailea Hotel.

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Was that De Niro or Pacino at Il Piccolino

An odyssey of fine dining with Richard and Patti Pietschmann at LA’s finest

“Is that Robert De Niro  or Al Pacino who just walked in, I asked my husband Richard? I always get those two super stars mixed up. We were seated at a lovely table at the alluring Il Piccolino in West Hollywood. The little hideaway  that sits just off Robertson Boulevard, attracts show biz types who go there with the  main purpose  to dine on some of the best and freshest Mediterranean/Italian cuisine in town. It’s not like the Palm, Spago or Grill  on the  Alley where  celebrities  go to work the room  and be seen, but you do catch some shop  talk here and there.

Last  night one could hear snatches of conversation about the latest Twitter storms created by Roseanne Barr with her  unforgivable racial  slur, and Samatha Bee’s rant  about Ivanka Trump that went a bit too far even  for the outspoken host of the TBS Wednesday night hit show Full Frontal with Samatha Bee. But for the most part eating took center stage. And, like our fellow patrons, feast we did.Il Picol Silvio.JPG

It helps to know the co-owners,  Silvio De Mori (pictured above) and Eddie Kerkhofs,  veteran restaurateurs and self-professed  foodies. Not that everyone who walks into the place, that is open contiguously from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.,  isn’t treated equally. They sure are. But  Silvio   or Eddie always send over some special dishes.  Last night Silvio  was  on duty and he outdid  himself ordering enough food  for the two of us to serve 10.  “How do you eat so much and stay  slim,” asked  a person at the adjacent table? I felt a bit like a glutton. But they didn’t know the trick is to taste and bring the rest home, which we did.

We began our foray into foodie bliss with a  imported foie gras that  melted in your mouth. Then came a pate you wouldn’t believe, laced  with pistachios, mama mia. While we thought we’d just look a take a photo, the French onion soup, place on the table, was too tempting so we ate the whole bowl  which was generously laced with imported gruyere  cheese. I  thought that would be it for me but I couldn’t  resist he red beet risotto or the polenta that just danced with my taste  buds. There was also a house-made fresh sheet pasta  pesto with fresh burrata and asparagus that would have been foolish to pass on.

Our arms were also twisted  to  have dessert because we know how good they are here. So we dug  into  a marvelous bowl of marinated strawberries with whipped cream, the heavenly, signature chocolate mousse and the salted caramel—we  were in foodie heaven.

Il Piccolino http://ilpiccolinorestaurant.com/) is located at 350 N.Robertson Blvd., (but it’s actually just around the corner) 310-659-2220, reservations are a must. Dress is California chic casual. A few people wear  designer jeans, but many men don  jackets and women tend to  doll up a bit.


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DineLA kicks off tomorrow with ‘tasty’ courses from top chefs

A two week foodie fest offering great tastes of Los Angeles

Patti  Pietschmann

It’s the Dining Diva’s favorite foodie time of the year. Actually it happens twice a year when the  Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board sponsors 14-days of dining for somewhat less at some of the city’s finest purveyors of lunch and dinner. It’s dineLArestaurant week and it kicks off tomorrow July 13 at more than 300 restauran


Enjoy special lunch and dinner menus at more than 300 restaurants that offer price fixed menus of $15, $20 and $25 for lunch (courses vary) and dinners for $29, $39, $49 and $95. Prices are all per person and do not include tax and tip. You don’t need to buy a ticket but you should check out the dineLa link above and make a reservation. It’s a big seller.

Should you be flying into or out of LAX and want a tasty meal, or some good take ou) wilt to bring on the plane, unity la restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport (LAX  is offering an appetizing dineLA menu.

The $39 per person menu has three options for the first two courses and two options for dessert specially designed for the summer season:

           FIRST COURSE (Select One)

                        California Green Salad

                        Figs, toasted pistachios, goat cheese, dried cherries, herb vinaigrette


Scallops and papaya salad

Togarashi dusted scallop, green papaya, apple pear, mint, fish sauce, Thai chili


Charred Korean sticky ribs

Grilled short rib, soy glaze kimchee aioli, scallions roasted peanuts

SECOND COURSE (Select one)

Drunken Noodles

Wide rice noodle, crisp tofu, Chinese broccoli, fried egg, dark soy, Thai basil, sprouts


Chili braised beef short rib

Cotija cheese, mashed potato, shaved radish, red onion, cilantro, barbacoa broth


“Shaking shrimp”

Stir fried shrimp, onions, soy glaze, baby watercress, chili paste, garlic rice


Wild strawberry cheesecake

Wild strawberries, white chocolate


Churro waffle and gelato

Belgium waffle, cinnamon and sugar dust, Mexican caramel, vanilla gelato

Seats are limited for the unity la dineLA menu and reservations are strongly recommended. Reservations can be made online at https://www.opentable.com/r/unityla-at-hyatt-regency-lax-los-angeles or by calling (424) 702-1234.

The  refreshed and remodeled 580-room Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is less than one block from the airport.  There’s trio of  distinct dining concepts, unity la™ restaurant, market and bar incorporate the diverse and unique flavors from neighborhoods across Los Angeles. unity market is a round-the-clock café style venue with made-to-order soups, sandwiches, salads and beverages including Illy coffee, grab-and-go items and features some of LA’s most popular locally-made product, from Randy’s Doughnuts, Deluscious cookies, Greenbar Distillery to Cool Haus ice cream. unity bar offers a distinct menu with plates designed to be shared and enjoyed within the space’s casual environment encouraging socializing among groups and guests.

A truly non airport-like hotel, the Hyatt  has a fitness center, beautiful pool, spacious suites and rooms and a super friendly ambiance.  For more information, call (424) 702-1234 or visit https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/california/hyatt-regency-los-angeles-international-airport/laxla and following the hotel on Facebook  Instagram and  Twitter

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Oahu offers lovers Chef Mavro and more

Dinners for Valentines

by Patti Pietschmann

Hello all lovers lucky enough to be vacationing or living on Oahu,  there are so many romantic offerings available.  One of which is dining during this love-filled time at one of the absolutely best restaurants on the island.

It’s a pity that Chef Mavro is all booked up on Feb. 14,  but don’t fret you can still have an amorous meal the rest of the week.

Chef’s Romance Menu (5 courses $125) OR Grand Tasting ($185)
 both include Poached Shigoku Oyster and Valentine’s Waialua Chocolate Dessert
Listen to Chef Mavro talk food (he’s a delight to hear)
with Melbourne journalist Graeme Kemlo @travelwordsmith
(recorded a few days ago)
Chef Mavro Restaurant, 1969 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96826
Read more of my pieces on this fabulous restaurant such as



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Just another foodie fantasy at Il Piccolino WeHo

A slice of LA’s finest Mediterranean restaurant

Composed by Patti Pietschmann with photos by Richard Pietschmann
“Most important for us it ’s to make our guests happy. Also Eddie and me like to eat,,,,,,and drink,” wrote Il Piccolino co-owner/host with the most,  Silvio De Mori after he saw my article on my Blogspot site.

Dining at Il Piccolino in West Hollywood, California is an experience designed for food lovers who appreciate impeccable presentation, the freshest of ingredients, creativity and an intimate upscale ambiance without pretension.

LA’s top Mediterranean/Italian eatery,  Il Piccolino’s  indoor and patio dining areas are  exquisitely-decorated and filled nightly by  discerning diners.  Even when all tables are filled, the noise level stays low enough so couples could listen without straining because a quiet ambiance is what this culinary work of art and efforts by a pair of  beloved co-owners Silvio De Mori and Eddie Kerkhofs is all about. The two men alternate hosting the restaurant which is open all day starting at 11:30 a.m.  Both are masters of game but it is Silvio whom we’ve come to known best because he is coincidentally always there when we are.

SilvioDebonair, Italy-born Silvio strikes quite a presence greeting nearly everyone who walks in by name—there is a regular clientele of neighborhood denizens, show biz folk, and people who will drive in from the Desert just for a finely-tune meal made with truly the best ingredients money can buy and lovingly selected by Silvio and Eddie (who don’t cook but know the ropes well).

So what else makes Il Piccolino special? The food as mentioned above is impossibly delicious time after time. And we go often, so frequently in fact that Silvio creates special menus for us. Last night he decided to fill us to the brim with all the seasonal dishes on the menu.  It was a feast for bigger stomachs but we managed—although a good amount came home in a doggy bag. It’s not easy to control yourself when the food is just so heavenly, aphrodisiacally scrumptious.

We swooned over every course from an impossibly delicious lobster salad for Richard  (I’m allergic to shellfish) and a so fresh assortment of greens, strawberries, walnuts and goat cheese for me that was perfectly dressed. We had pasta bathed in truffles, Branzino that’s the best in LA, filet of sole that doesn’t get any tastier,  a heady tuna tonnato, desserts that make your taste buds do a dance and of course some mighty fine wine.

Il Piccolino is open all day starting at 11 a.m. and is perfect for special occasions or anytime you need one of the best meals you ever tasted. Il Piccolino, 350 N Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, Phone(310) 659-2220, valet parking is just $7.


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Fresh caught Sockeye salmon now serving at Acqua California Bistro and Lulu California Bistro


By Patti Pietschmann

My husband Richard and I are major  consumers of wild, fresh-caught Sockeye salmon (see our photo above) which we fix at home often.  It isn’t cheap, but the flavor is worth every dollar spent at CostCo  (where we buy it most).  We also order it in restaurants when available (which isn’t often and usually comes with a high sticker price).  That said, what I am about to tell you is that you can have this most delicious fish  straight from Bristol Bay, for served with all the trimmings  for just $29.99 at Acqua and Lulu while supplies last.Foodies, this is well worth heading to the Desert for.

“Once we tasted this salmon we knew we had to have it on our menus,” said Acqua and Lulu creator Jerry Keller. “The taste is remarkably rich with freshness unlike any other.  We liked it so much we bought the entire catch from a family-run trawler.”


Keller and his culinary team were introduced to Bristol Bay wild-caught sockeye salmon from third-generation fisherman Dax Lauwers and his business partner Ryan Hanley who grew up working alongside their families in this seasonal fishing business. Now utilizing modern techniques in processing, packaging and shipping wild-caught sockeye salmon, Lauwers and Hanley formed their own business to bring the best of Alaska to restaurants in the lower 48 states.  But that was until Keller decided he wanted to purchase the entire season’s worth of wild-caught sockeye salmon from Lauwers’ and Hanley’s boat. We immediately fell in love with the taste and the quality of the sockeye salmon,” said Keller, “and more importantly I knew we were supporting two guys who are working in a sustainable way to bring this unique product direct from the ocean to our kitchen door.”

So check out the helpful Palm Springs web site to find a yhotel(there are all types for every budget) and then hurry to make dinner reservations for either Acqua California Bistro at The River in Rancho Mirage (760-862-9800) or at Lulu California Bistro, which is smack in the heart of downtown Palm Springs where it offers all-day Happy Hour at the bar (760-327-5858).

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The Dining Diva does Soul

Chefs bring Soul to Hollywood Soul Restaurat

Come back for full review (and foodie fotos) of Soul Restaurant, which just opened in the heart of Hollywood.

In the meantime  here’s something to whet your appetite:

Signature dishes from “Small Bites”– Smoked Trout on toast with Fennel Slaw, Braised Meat Boulettes, and Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread corn breadwith Charred Corn, among others. The “Garden” showcases a Jerk Chicken Cobb, Dino Kale, Little Gem and Wedge salads, while “Flatbreads” include House BBQ Chicken and Roasted Kombucha Squash with Spicy Turkey Sausage.  Main entrees (all around $20) include the House Ground Short Rib (brisket burger on toasted Brioche, Rhubarb Ketchup and Horseradish Butterchips, a vegetarian Beet Burger, Deep Dish Pot Pie, Choice Ribeye & Poached Lobster Tail ($38), as well as, Fried Catfish and Salt & Pepper Potato Chips.  Sumptuous sides are Deep Dish Mac-n-Cheese, Burnt Sweet Potato, Slow Braised Greens, and Black-eyed Pea Succotash.  Desserts include Beignets, Bread Pudding, and flight of Cookies & Milk.

Soul Hollywood is located at 7046 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028.  For reservations and parties, contact 323.962.SOUL (7685); www.SoulHollywood.com (not up yet, I checkd) Hours  for dinner Sunday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday – Saturday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. Bar is open until 2:00 am.  Valet parking is available from 5 p.m. for $8.00.

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Summertime and the dining is delicious at Chef Mavro on Oahu


From grand gourmet to tasting menus and vegan

By Patti Pietschmann, unabashed Chef Mavro fan

So one of my favorite chefs, George Mavro owner/chief ‘cook’ of his eponymous Oahu restarant, sends out seasonal emails. His summer edition talks about the popularity of both his tasting menu and grand gourmet offering, ” Wow. It’s been a crazy month and a half but mahalo for making our small plate menu so successful! Also, to my surprise, since we started a few weeks ago with the option of our small plates menu OR our grand degustation menu, there are also many of you who choose the grand degustation menu. I know that from the opening you come to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and  other special occasion. But I also listened when you say you’d like to come more often for casual bites. This is why we split the dining room in two so we can accommodate all your occasions.”

Savour a 9 course menu and premium wine pairings:

After the amuse bouche, the menu starts with Bigeye ahi, caviar (premium grade), covered with one ton of Siberian osetra, sake emultion & taro wafer

Sake, Wakatake Daiginjo “Onikoroshi.”

Poached Peterson farm egg, poutargue (sun dried mullet roe from Provence) Yukon mousseline, San Danielle prosciutto

Viognier, K Vintners Art Den Hoed, Yakima Valley. (Photo Credit of Peterson Egg, Melissa Chang)

Seared foie gras, crusted with black sesame seeds, rhubarb coulisand  lychee

Tokaji, Royal tokaji, 5 puttonyos, Aszu.

Keahole lobster, tamarind broth, vermicelly, pork belly, green papaya (my  version of pho)

Meursault 1er cru, Comtesse de Cherisey, La Genelotte Monopole.

 Small plates à la carte, (you can order as many or as few courses you desire with wine pairings or choose your own.)

Bigeye ahi poke, ogo, chives, Aleppo pepper, taro chips

Seasonal salad, (no average seasonal salad…) heart of palm, pa’I’ai, jackfruit, sauce verte!

Burgundy beef, chuck short ribs (simmered in Burgundy wine for hours), carrot, mushroom, pearl onion

Onaga baked in a salt crust (my latest creation, just kidding, back on the menu for awhile) tomato-ogo sauce vierge (extra virgin like the olive oil)

Vegan Zen!

Misozuke tofu (My favorite) by Executive Chef Jeremy Shigekane

Veggies – not your average side order!

Desserts from our Top Pastry Chef Jose Calpito

Waialua chocolate, Greek yogurt, lilikoi, Hawaiian chili, basil

Big Island Citrus, includes caimans, pistachio, grapefruit, fennel

Halo Halo, coconut, azuki, tapioca, ube, hibiscus

Island mango, Szechuan peppercorn, laurel, lime
Chef Mavro | 808-944-4714 | chef@chefmavro.com |www.chefmavro.com


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A Roman holiday of the foodie variety

TrapizzinolowresEating Italy presents a culinary stroll through Testaccio


By Patti Covello Pietschmann

 Any plans for tripping in Italy around starting Sept. 19,2016? If so does Eating Italy have a tour for  you.  It’s an offer you can’t refuse an evening Testaccio Supper Stroll through one of most interesting  sections of Rome. “Testaccio is where it all began five years ago,” says Kenny Dunn, managing director of Eating Europe Tours, the parent company of Eating Italy. “I started the company by taking friends and family to my favorite culinary places in the same neighborhood where I still live, and despite now operating in four countries and five cities, launching an evening tour here in Testaccio is especially close to my heart.”IMG_2191.jpg

Cucina romana – Roman cuisine – was born in Testaccio, the city’s most foodie neighborhood and home to the famous quinto quarto (offal). The new tour takes guests away from the tourist crowds  into real Italy to sample authentic  Roman dishes such as oxtail, a typical Italian aperitivo, cheeses, cured meats and, of course, gelato. Perfect for the adventurous foodie, other highlights include discovering Italy’s craft beer scene and finding out about the Roman’s favorite stuffed pizza-dough snack. This tour is not just about tasting food and drinks, but also personal stories, fascinating history, and a unique glimpse into Roman life. With plenty of wine, spirits and beer along the way, this tour is for adults only.

Tours run Monday to Saturday, 5.30 p.m. to  8.30 .p.m. and cost 79 Euros for adults only.TRAPIZZINO.jpg

The company was founded in Rome in 2011 by American native, Kenny Dunn whose informal culinary strolls with friends and family became the Taste of Testaccio Food Tour focusing on real food, real people and real neighborhoods. In 2013, another two tours in Rome were added, so was the first London Food Tour in the city’s hip East End. Since then, Eating Europe Tours has also successfully launched in Prague, Amsterdam and Florence.

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Cavatina at Sunset Marquis

A 5 star   review by Patti Covello Pietschmann with photos by Richard J. Pietschmann

patti bestA glass of Santa Barbara Rose  or me and a martini for Richard before dinner at Cavatina

Apatti and chef turano.JPG

(That’s me with Chef Turano)

Who says hotel restaurants can’t be great. Stand up and show  yourself because Cavatina at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood, California, is about as good as is gets.  A recent dinner in the attractive open-air patio setting,  on a balmy starry night, proved more delicious that one two nights early at Wolfgang Puck’s famed Beverly Hills Spago. And with much less pretense and table hopping by celebrities who go to Puck’s place to be seen and work the room.


There is no diner discrimination at Cavatina even though the hotel attracts some of biggest names in the music industry. Everyone is treated equal and just about every table under the sky is a good one. The food is fabulous under the guidance of rising star Chef Chris Turano, who has been at the restaurant two months, and veteran ace Executive Chef Michael Schlow one of America’s culinary industry’s most influential and respected chefs who works magic capturing a variety of global cuisines.

We went to Cavatina explicitly for Chef Turano’s dineLARestaurantWeek price fixed menu. DSCN1394The amiable new comer is wowing  the crowd with amazing dishes. His food is so good we really need to go back for more. But last night Richard and I were there purposely to for his restaurant week offering.  If you aren’t familiar dineLARestaurantWeek is held seasonally at participating restaurants where chefs create two and three course lunches and dinner at reasonable prices intended to introduce their establishments to folks who may not otherwise get there.  It is also a huge success. This year’s foodie fest started on July 18 and goes through the end of the month.

Back at our lovely table for two at Cavatina, Chef Turano’s dineaLA offering is a palate pleasing three course meal  with two choices of starters such as this burrata with Marcona almonds, beets and kale.Check out the whole dineLA menu below: panacotta.JPG

We ordered one each of the appetizers which were spectacular and both desserts which were to diet for, so yummy.As you can see the tab is a mere $49 a person in a million dollar outdoor setting. Of course we had wine and Richard his usual  dry martini so that adds to bill but happily so. Chef also sent over two of his signature plates,one of which was an amazing albacore poke at just made my taste buds dance for joy, ditto for a  bruschetta with shave Italian summer truffles, moma  mia.  This guy can cook and create.

Cavatina’s regular menu lists several small plates that range in price from $12 to $19 such as brussel sprouts mixed with bacon, jalapeno and kumquat that was simply delicious. Then there’s black snapper crudo, grilled octopus, pork belly, lamb meatballs and creamy Burrata worth starting off with or making an entire meal of.

Nothing’s finer than dinner al fresco on these balmy summer nights in LA especially  if  you’re in the mood for something romantic and well some truly top quality cuisine.  There is also an attractive bar  for before and after drinks manned by ace barkeeps. Although the dineLARestaurantWeek ends July 31,you will always find  foodie happiness at Cavatina, I promise. And, the service was (and is always) exceptional, too.

CCavatina is situated in a lovely nook on the property of hip, happening, Rock ‘n Roll-centric Sunset Marquis in a little WeHo neighborhood at  200 Alta Loma Road. For reservations call  310-358-3759.


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Chef Mavro brings tastes of Provence to Hawaii

Top  island Chef Mavro wows with dishes from his native Provence

by Patti Covello Pietschmann


Chef Mavro at work

He’s one of three(that include the talented Beverly Gannon and Peter Merriman) of my favorite chefs in Hawaii and one of the nicest people I know.  Chef Mavro has been treating visitors and locals, including my husband Richard and I, to Oahu to his epic  epicurean talents for years first at hotels and since at his long standing eponymous restaurant that sits hidden-but not undiscovered– just outside of Waikiki.  If you happen to be on Oahu starting tomorrow, July 15, make it a point to book at table as chef is creating some his favorites from Provence that evoke the magic , flavors and aromas  found there plus the sound of the old port of Marseilles, fish mongers, boats traffic, seagulls and especially in the back country “the song of the cicadas!”
Sainte Victoire, Route Cézanne
“I promise, when you enjoy my selection of classics from Provence, you are going to hear the song of the cicadas…,” Mavro wrote in an email today. For a short time, the new Provence menu will replace our Hana Hou 4 course menu at the same price.
Persillade of Supions
The menu starts with a persillade of supions (baby squids)…this is a very popular dish that you can find on the menu of every single restaurant surrounding the old port of Marseilles.
Supions are baby squids also called souppions in Provence; spelled like that seems even more delicious. They are sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with shallots, garlic, one ton of parsley, served as soon they are cooked…divine!
With Jonathan our chef de cuisine we had a lot of fun working on these recipes that for once are not the fruit of our own culinary craziness. Anyway, this was going to be too simple so with decided to serve our souppions with a salted cod (morue) brandade…Now we are talking. This is difficult enough to make us happy…don’t try the brandade at home…looks easy…it’s not.
 Want to DIY here’s how, says Chef Mavro:
You must desalt the cod in running water all night. Then, remove the bones, cut into small pieces, cover with cold water bring to a first boil & strain. Place the cod into a sauce pan, add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil & with a wooden spatula crush the fish into a paste. Add very progressively warm milk & olive oil…warm milk, olive oil…warm milk, olive…never stop stirring until you get a beautiful smooth white purée. Add some lemon juice, refrigerate…et voila! You have one of the most delicious appetizers I know. Enjoy with country bread croutons.
Pêche Flambée
And for dessert…peach but of course…
“We flambé the peach with pernod (a wonderful anise flavored liquor from Marseilles also called pastis). Our pastry chef Jose Calpito serves the peaches with chiboust, again a grand classic custard-like recipe. The chiboust is bruléed & accompanied with crème fraiche. I guarantee that this dessert has a very strong Marseilles accent (like me).”
The peach concludes the Provence menu and the celebration of “la grande cuisne provençale.” This is also the celebration of our culinary masters who deserve our love & respect. I hope that they are going to forgive me for my escapades with “molecular cuisine.”
But don’t take me wrong, after this promotion Jonathan, Jose & I are going to continue to surprise you. We have enough craziness in our minds to change the menu every day according to the season and the fresh ingredients from the local market!

If you can’t get to Chef Mavro for this special offering don’t worry he, Jonathan and Jose will continue to surprise and please with some of the best recipes and creations you can find in Hawaii and almost anywhere. “We have enough craziness in our minds to change the menu every day according to the season and the fresh ingredients from the local market,” says Mavro.

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Ko dishes out a sensory sensation at Fairmont Kea Lani Maui

Romantic ambiance in a breezy room showcases Chef Tylun Pang’s  Ko cuisine


It’s  magical culinary journey dining at Ko at Fairmont Kea Lani Maui with sensory tastes of Asia fused with the Hawaiian islands. Chef Tylun Pang of the award-winning restaurant created a diversity of palate-pleases that some call a “sugar cane plantation- era” that features farm-fresh Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese cuisines. The breezy room, which recently underwent a $5.3 million facelift, waxes romantic for coupes (it’s a big hit with honeymooners on Maui), but also appeals to families.


 Richard and my epicurean expedition started on a balmy June night with spicy tuna rolls, waygu poke, and assorted salads. From there we made our way the nightly Makai Catch fish special fixed three different ways–which was our favorite  monchong—a local white fish that was prepared to perfection. (If interested, Wikipedia defines monchong as the name used in Hawaii for two species of deep sea pomfret. That are harvested in small quantities by the tuna long- line and bottom fish hand-line fisheries. The predominant species is Taractichthys steindachneri, known as the sickle pomfret, because of the forked shape of its fins and large scales).

Other creative offerings include:DSCN0080

Pancit Noodles

Prawns, Scallops and Upcountry Vegetables

Ginger Hoisin BBQ Pork Chop

Island Style Shrimp, Vegetable and Chinese Sausage Fried Rice


Kettle of Lobster, Shrimp, Scallops, Mussels, Clams and Chorizo simmered in Rich Saffron Broth

‘Ono Pulehu Chicken

Ginger, Soy and Cane Sugar Marinated Breast of Chicken served with Caramelized Maui Onions

Vegetable Fried Rice

Brown Rice Stir Fry with Hamakua Ali’i Mushrooms, Baby Bok Choy, Maui Onion, Peas and Carrots
Chap Chae

Korean Stir Fried Yam Noodles, Kula Onions, Shitake Mushrooms, Carrots, Celery, and Won Bok Kim Chee with Grilled Marinated Pork Skewers and Shrimp

Recommended for dessert is the angle-soft and light Keanae Lilikoi cheesecake on a macadamia nut linzer crust topped with raspberry coulis. But these other savories s satisfy the sweet tooth:

Wailua Estate Chocolate Baked Custard On Macadamia Nut Praline Crust with Kula Strawberry Gelato

Calamansi Lime Pie on a coconut macadamia nut graham crust

Chantilly Cake Chocolate Chiffon Cake with sugar cream layers
topped with a chocolate cream puff



There is an extensive wine, which we made good use of, presented on an tablet and a very knowledgeable wine master to walk you through it.

Ko, Kea Lani’s fine dining venue, is fairly high-priced, but competitive with other Maui eateries of its ilk. Whether you’re a guest of the hotel, or bedding down elsewhere, it is definitely one of Maui’s wowies worth checking out.

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Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is mouth fulls of fabulous food

At the Grand Wailea MauiDSCN0198

Humuhumunukunukuapua’a isure is a mouthful to say, but the showcase restaurant at the Grand Wailea is one of the most popular on Maui and rightly so. Award-winning Chef Michael Lofaro has crafted an easy to navigate exceptional menu of the most extraordinary appetizers (called pupus in Hawaii) , entrees and desserts. Like Richard, our friend Bob and I, Us at Grand Wailea.JPGmost people who visit Maui regularly put a dinner at Humu (easier to say) on their dining list. In addition to the pleasing the palate the sensory seaside setting surrounded by a lagoon is just about as romantic as it gets. Especially when you add a perfect martini to the equation.DSCN0188

Chef Lofaro’s food is consistently five-stars rated. His pupus are the best as they prepare the palate for more.  During a  recent visit the the chef sent out just about every appetizer on the menu. Needless to say we were in pig out heaven. For full epicurean delight you really need to order several to share.  We feasted on the tastiest carpaccio of Japanese hamachi ever, that was topped with ginger shave ice  and Hawaiian chili. Next came a scallop like you’ve never tasted. Other winners were the Haiku Tomato Baby Mozzarella with smoked Kula strawberry, old Balsamic, Rosemary bread; a Spicy Sesame Beef Tropical Fruit Escabeche that pplayed happily with the taste buds thanks to touches of , Thai basil and pickled cucumber. Of course wines by the glass paired well with each order.best bob and patti

 You can’t go wrong with any main course at Humu especially the fresh fish of the day with pineapple rice, fig and toasted almonds or Crispy Mahi Mahi with forbidden rice and baby bok choy: Surf and Turf; seared Ahi loin foie gras with stir fry mushrooms and snow Peas in a Pho Inspired Broth. You may also pick a lobster from the lagoon.

Humu is ideal for couples especially honeymooners but families flock there too as do locals and tourists from around the world because Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy.humu food.JPG

The Grand Wailea – A Waldorf Astoria Resort, is located at 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, Maui, (800) 888-6100.

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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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The Diva dines at Maui’s finest

Joe’s NeuvDSCN0540DSCN0534DSCN0535o Latino with rockstarDSCN0539 chef Beverly GaDSCN0537nnon http://www.examiner.com/review/review-joe-s-nuevo-latino-brings-creative-cuisine-with-a-samba-beat-to-maui

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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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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 BerentzenUSA.com, “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: http://www.examiner.com/article/top-10-things-we-learned-at-a-holiday-lundin-at-celebrity-centric-il-piccolino#sthash.dfkS1z60.hpvt. 

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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 visit:www.amexnetwork.com/dinela2014


To make reservations and to view a complete list of participating restaurants visit: www.discoverLosAngeles.com/dineLA.


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: www.discoverLosAngeles.com/dineLA, 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 away..you 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 (www.firenzeosteria.com) 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: http://www.examiner.com/review/firenze-osteria-proves-another-delicious-dinelarestaurantweek-discovery

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+00002014-01-29T19:29:34+00:00312014b+00:00Wed, 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 www.innovativedining.com 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: http://www.examiner.com/article/top-10-things-we-learned-at-a-holiday-lundin-at-celebrity-centric-il-piccolino

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+00002013-12-23T00:50:59+00:00312013b+00:00Mon, 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+00:00312013b+00:00Sat, 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  info@the-boathouse-restaurant.com. For additional information visit the comprehensive website at www.the-boathouse-restaurant.com.

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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+00:00312013b+00:00Fri, 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+00:00312013b+00:00Thu, 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 http://www.chef@chefmavro.com.

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+00:00312013b+00:00Sat, 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+00:00312013b+00:00Sat, 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: http://www.examiner.com/review/tacos-and-patron-tequila-prove-winning-combo-at-the-posh-peninsula-beverly-hills

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 chef@chefmavro.com.

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, www.dantanasrestaurant.com, 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 http://www.examiner.com/review/venerable-dan-tana-s-still-has-what-it-takes-to-attract-hollywood-s-finest

http://www.examiner.com/article/get-ready-to-rock-tonight-as-the-sunset-strip-music-festival-opens-with-the-door 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

www.sokolblosser.com | www.evolutionwine.com

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

www.nicsbeverlyhills.com 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:http://www.examiner.com/article/bidding-a-fond-farewell-to-foie-gras-at-gordon-ramsay-at-the-london-weho

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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: http://www.examiner.com/travel-diva-in-los-angeles/tossed-to-order-at-the-palm-the-best-caesar-salad-los-angeles

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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 (www.hotelbelair.com) 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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Ho Ho have yourself a very Merry Christmas

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

Patti's Prattles

And a happy,  healthy, peace-loving New Year

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+00002017-12-24T23:21:16+00:00312017b+00:00Sun, 24 Dec 2017 23:21:16 +0000 11, 2008 · 1:28 +00:00Dec