Thursday, January 5, 2012

Moving, opening and happening

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The news obviously doesn't revolve around our weekly print cycle, hence the occasionally annoying-to-me occurrence of what I consider to be important food news breaking on a Wednesday afternoon, directly after we've sent that week's paper off to print.

I get antsy, having to wait a week until we print another paper and another Side Dish column.

Hence the beauty of a blog, Twitter and sometimes Facebook.


So it's in this spirit that I offer a few teasers here of upcoming Side Dish blurbs in the next couple weeks, of news I don't feel comfortable just sitting on until Jan. 12.

• I've been speaking with Curry Leaf owner Lana Hillstrom over the past several weeks about her planned move from Wahsatch Avenue to Tejon Street.

By January's end, she hopes to be settled into 321 N. Tejon St., the building across from the Poor Richard's estate that formerly housed Flavors on Tejon and Crepes Française.

The significantly larger space will allow her to branch out a bit in her offerings (more on that later), and hopefully make a successful go of a spot that for some reason has spurned others.

Personally, I think larger and better signage will be key, as the spot, with its recessed doorway, just wasn't as visible to passersby as other businesses whose storefronts run directly up to the sidewalk.

People will always grumble about parking as well, but that issue obviously hasn't killed Poor Richard's, Tony's, Rasta Pasta and other nearby eateries.

To her credit, Hillstrom made the unlikely spot on Wahsatch work for longer than any other recent tenant in memory, and she obviously has no competition with her Sri Lankan cuisine. Plus, she'll be bringing a loyal base up the street with her, so she won't be starting from scratch.

Here's wishing her well until we touch base later.

• Next up, I spoke with "magical maestra of extraordinary things" Michaela Hightower, who has been responsible for the family theater programming for Imagination Celebration for many years now, about her new business called Soirée. It should be open around mid-February.

The larger mission is as an events center serving between 10 and 100 people in whatever capacity desired, but there's a cool Curious Palate Tasting Club she's launching on second Tuesdays monthly.

I'll share more of her explanation of that later, but for know, know that it's basically tastings of wines, beers and spirits paired with some light snacks and an educational component, costing $25.

Here's a teaser description of the first two offerings:

February— All American Whiskey
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - A special date for this month only! - 5:30-7:00pm
Did you know that Stock car racing (and the birth of NASCAR) in the United States has its origins in bootlegging during Prohibition? Bootleggers needed to distribute their products, and they typically used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police. Many of the drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity, and some of them came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads...and the thrill of transporting spirits!
While harsh, hair-raising moonshine isn’t on the menu, we will be exploring samplings and pairings of Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey from Four Roses Distillery and finish with an iconic cocktail. With local importer/broker Gov Vaughn at the helm, we will learn the history, culture and nuances of this golden treasure direct from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

March — Hollywood’s Finest
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 5:30-7:00pm
By 1911, Los Angeles was second only to New York in motion picture production, and by 1915, the majority of American films were being produced in the Los Angeles area. Hollywood is THE trend setting land of the catchphrase - "shaken and not stirred" anyone. Come celebrate the awards season with concoctions and selections worthy of the best phrases and characters captured on film.

• Lastly for now, we'll be looking into Full Circle Cuisine soon, a new effort by chef Kevin Campbell in partnership with Ranch Food Direct.

From the business' Facebook page, here's its essence:

Pop up farm to table dining at Ranch Foods Direct. Unique and intimate, farm to table dining experience at Ranch Foods Direct. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Dining prices will range from $40 to $60 per person. Locally produced Colorado beverages included. Cash is preferred. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and will be served family style, in several courses at our communal harvest table.

And here's a flier sent out by Ranch Foods:


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