Van Nuys, CA: South African Cuisine at Springbok Bar & Grill

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Springbok Bar brings the tastes of South Africa to Van Nuys, CA.  This restaurant is a diamond in the rough.  It is unassuming and near by the Woodley Lake Golf Course.  My dining companion and I had no idea what to expect.   But when I opened the menu, way too many things looked great.

You may think the menu does jump all over the place with style of cuisine and you will notice a heavy amount of Indian cuisine on the menu.   That is in part because South Africa has a large Indian population and the food of India has been embraced in South Africa as if it were it’s own.

Well, I enjoyed South African style samosas.  The were large and packed with flavor.  And I also enjoyed my fish and chips.   Both had a delight salad of arugula, diced tomato and drizzled with it seemed a mustard dill dressing.   Everything was delish.    Check out this spot.17952724_10154788537041865_1360519580176186704_n

 

On many days they have live entertainment from comedy to trivia to jazz and they often showing a variety of sports giants screens.

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MCCN Interview with La Nina del Mezcal interview

Interview from 3rd Annual Taste of Mexico:

Dave Miller: How did you get into doing Mezcal?

Cecilia:  Well um, kind of a long story but just to put it short… It was a trip that I took to Oaxaca about four or five years ago and the it was the first time I was there taking in the culture, taking in the people and the taste of Mezcal.  It occurred to me that people in Mexico were not appreciating it as they should so I started going back to Oaxaca and learning about Mezcal.  It is very extensive.  And then I started writing about it.  And that’s how the blog started and people started calling me la nina del Mezcal.  (Watch Interview for more)

 

NBA Star Ray Allen to Open 1st Organic Fast-Food Restaurant on East Coast

Two-time NBA champion Ray Allen and his wife Shannon Allen, are in the process of opening a chain of organic fast food restaurants. The name of the fast food chain is “Grown” and their first one will be located in Miami, FL.  READ MORE

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Tavern on the Green’s ‘new’ chef Jeremiah Tower puts tourist Mecca back on track.

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Legendary California chef Jeremiah Tower has taken over the kitchen at Tavern on the Green, which wants to be more than a place you take your grandma.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

There’s a fresh cook at Tavern on the Green — and he’s 72.

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Van Nuys, CA: Review of Salsa & Beer

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With more than one location to prove it’s popularity is Salsa & Beer.  Person after person has told me that they love this place.  Every time that I have tried to go there have been long lines.  On an usually rainy day, the parking lot was full but I finally got the chance to go and I was underwhelmed.  I am not saying by any means that the food was bad but considering the long lines and all the talk, I thought this is going to be great.  Soup from Salsa and Beer

I started with a soup and just to be authentic I ordered a horchata.  Both were good.  Tthe soup was full of vegetable.  The price list is very reasonable.  If I recall most items don’t exceed $15 bucks and there are lots of specials.  My friend has been there several times and he suggested that we his regular, the shrimp chimichanga.  Note, a chimichanga is something that I would never order.  With all fairness.  My experience was okay.  If some asked to me to go again then I would say, “alright.”  I would just order something that looks desirable to me and maybe I will be more pleased.

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Corona del Mar, CA: Five Crowns for Christmas Dining

-1This year’s Christmas Eve dinner at Five Crowns will inevitably reach capacity as have most years in the past. Local families, alum guests and new faces will fill the English-inspired tavern to celebrate the holidays with the ones they love and indulge in a culinary experience to remember. The Christmas Eve menu boasts the Lawry’s Restaurants group’s signature Prime Ribs of Beef dinner prepared traditionally with au jus, Yorkshire pudding, organic whipped cream horseradish and choice of sides. Additional main course options include the classic Filet Mignon with a truffled Bordelaise, Scottish Salmon, Australian Lamb Sirloin, Linguini with kale “Bolognese,” and the coveted pan roasted Christmas Goose with sweet potato gratin, bread stuffing and goose demi.

“It’s amazing to see our patrons stand in line before we open to make a reservation for Christmas Eve dinner,” commented Corporate Executive Chef and Vice President, Ryan O’Melveny Wilson. “It’s a family tradition that my grandfather started almost 50 years ago and to see it continue and thrive today is truly inspiring.”

For those more interested in dining at home during the holidays, Five Crowns’ Executive Chef, Steve King, will create your holiday dinner to-go with just 48 hours notice. Guests can pick up a complete Roasted Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus dinner with all of the classic accompaniments with simple cooking and reheating instructions to enjoy the seasonal tradition at home.

Also through the holidays, Five Crowns adjacent gastropub, SideDoor, will play host to Sunday Sessions Brunch. New brunch menu items include Continental Pastries with lemon curd and marmalade, Malted Waffles, and Green Eggs and Ham Benedict alongside continuing favorite dishes the SideDoor Avocado Mash, Chicken Pot Pie, and Fish ‘n Chips. Brunch is served against the soundtrack of DJs spinning records 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. every Sunday.

 

Throughout the years, generations of loyal customers have returned again and again to celebrate special occasions at Five Crowns and this holiday season the tradition continues.

Five Crowns was established in 1965 and is a member of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants, which includes Lawry’s The Prime Rib with locations in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Hong Kong and the Tam O’Shanter in Los Angeles.  Lawry’s Carvery, with locations in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, and at L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles, represents the company’s unique quick-service concept. SideDoor is the group’s gastropub concept with locations in Corona del Mar and Chicago. The Corona del Mar location is housed within the historic Five Crowns building.

 

Five Crowns and SideDoor are located at 3801 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, CA, 92625. Valet parking is available. For more information visit http://fivecrowns.com and http://sidedoorcdm.com.

Chef Jamie Oliver’s Spicy Jerk Ham

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Easter is a ham’s time to shine, but Thanksgiving or Christmas—fuggedaboutit! “No more!” says the pig. Tired of being the other meat, your ham is claiming center stage this holiday season. Move over turkey! Chef Jaimie Oliver adds a Caribbean spin to pork with this recipe for Spicy Jerk Ham.

For poaching

  • 1 x 5kg leg of ham
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 6 Scotch bonnets, halved
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 stick of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small leek, washed and roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves,
  • 1/2 bunch thyme,
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Jerk marinade

  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons allspice
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 8 Scotch bonnets chillies, stalks removed
  • 250ml dark rum
  • 250ml malt vinegar
  • a small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked

Ham glaze

  • 3/4 jar good quality, fine-cut marmalade
  • 125ml golden rum

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-1098836/Spicy-Jerk-Ham.html#ixzz1eX23B000

Vegan Gravy Recipe

Use this vegan gravy recipe as a substitute in your bisquits-‘n’-gravy meal, or for any other dish that calls for a gravy – gravyhanksgiving stuffing, Salisbury “Steak”, Vegan meatloaf or even with veggie burgers. It can also be used as a supplement or even substitute for meat gravies.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic — squashed and minced
  • 2 slices yellow onion — chopped
  • 8 Tbs all-purpose white flour
  • 4 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 4 Tbs tamari (soy sauce)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 white mushrooms — sliced (optional)
  • extra flour or cornstarch (optional)

Directions:

Pour vegetable oil into saucepan. Cook the garlic and onion in oil for about two minutes on medium or medium-low heat, until the onion is tender and translucent.

Add the flour, yeast, and tamari to make a paste.

Add the water gradually, stirring constantly.

Bring the gravy to a boil on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly — the gravy has to boil for it to thicken.

Add pepper. Stir in the sliced mushrooms, if desired. Add salt, if desired.