Archive for July, 2010

Barbrix Wine Bar & Restaurant, Stolpman Wine Dinner 27 July 2010 – Los Angeles

Friday, July 30th, 2010
By Sandy Driscoll

Barbrix 2-2
Chef Dickman prepares for the Wine Dinner. All images © 2010-2011 and Sandy Driscoll
Barbrix Wine Bar and Restaurant
2442 Hyperion Avenue @ Tracy
Los Angeles, CA  90027    (Silver Lake area)
Phone:  323-662-2442
Open:  Sunday – Thursday   6pm – 11pm
Friday – Saturday      6pm – 12am
Credit Cards:  Yes
Valet Parking:  Available
Prices:  Reasonable
Opening in May 2009, Barbrix was an instant hit with the hip, trendy, bohemian Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.  Just a few months later, they were named one of LA’s Top 10 New Restaurants by Los Angeles magazine.
Located across from Baller Hardware in a tastefully renovated former 1940’s residence, there is an outdoor patio area, a 360 degree wine bar, and a 40 seat dining room with counter seats available (my personal favorite!) at the open kitchen.   Chef Don Dickman has created a Mediterranean-influenced menu, studded with straightforward flavors that reflect the wide ranging bounty of fabulous fruits and vegetables always available from the many farmers markets in the area.
Most of the menu items (first courses, cheeses, charcuterie, vegetables & grains, fish & meat) are small plates, perfect for sharing.  Prices are reasonable.  Nothing is over $17 and most are $5-10.
Want a glass or two of interesting wine?  Most are under $10.
I was very excited to attend their third  Wine Dinner last evening, featuring the wines of Stolpman Vineyards. Winemaker, informative and congenial Pete Stolpman, was on hand to introduce and chat about his wines, which were beautifully paired with each course.  Appetizers, four generous courses and five wines were offered for a total of $70, inclusive of tax and gratuity.  Each course utilized the freshest ingredients, all were delicious and beautifully plated and presented.  Portions were very generous (some at my table took home leftovers) and the restaurant was full of very happy and convivial diners.
The evening epitomized fine and fun dining at its best.  I sure hope they continue to make this a regular tradition!  In a city full of fabulous restaurants, showcasing every imaginable cuisine, this has got to be one of  LA’s best bargains!

Barbrix 1

Barbrix-3Smoked Salmon Mascarpone Mousse Crostini & Porcini Mushroom Arancini Sauvignon Blanc “Estate” 2009Barbrix-4

Polenta Biscuit with Maine Lobster & Brentwood Corn Gravy

L’Avion 2007  (Roussanne-Viognier)Barbrix-5

Pappardelle with Spicy Tomato Sauce & Crispy Pork Belly

Sangiovese “Estate” 2006Barbrix-6

Syrah Braised Lamb Shoulder with Black Mission Fig Compote & Pommes Sardelaise

Syrah Estate 2007Barbrix-8

Service ready for the Cheese CourseP1000742

Grilled BreadGrilled bread

Barbrix-11The Cheese finale –  Toma Blue (Cow’s Milk, Italy) – Ticklemore (Goat’s Milk, England) –

Brie de Meaux (Cow’s Milk, France)  with Quince, Figs & Almonds

Syrah Originals “Estate” 2008

Chesa Restaurant, Swiss National Day, 1st August 2010 – Bangkok

Thursday, July 29th, 2010


Mooncakes at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Bangkok

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Mooncakes Oriental

Bangkok Chef Charity, 2010, Royal Ballroom, Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Bangkok

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010


Le Beaulieu, Revolution Day, 1789 THB – Bangkok

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010


The 11th World Gourmet Festival, Four Seasons Hotel – Bangkok

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010


Dairiki Kazokutei, Yonago, Korean BBQ Japanese Style – Japan

Monday, July 19th, 2010


Dairiki Kazokutei in the port city of Yonago is an example of a well-operated restaurant specializing in top-quality Korean Barbecue in the Japanese style. Shin shin (only 2 kg per cow) goes for ¥1,380, Harami (stomach muscle) ¥1,500  Raw liver (sashimi grade) ¥750, Yukke otherwise known as Beef Tartare (sashimi grade) with raw egg is also available.

Suntory beerPremium malt beer from Suntory

Korean style barbequeShin Shin

Korean BBQKalbi

Korean BBQRaw liver sashimi grade
SaladA decorative salad

Tokyo Bistro, Yonago, Tottori – Japan

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Tokyo Bistro, Yonago, Japan

At the Wine Bar

The kitchen

Tokyo Bistro, Tel. 0859-34-3456, Opening Hours: Morning: 7:30-9:30, Lunch: 11:30-14:00, Dinner: 17:30-21:00 (last order). The wine bar stays open until 1:00 according to the sign although that hour may vary depending on the day of the week. They have a good list of wines by the glass including some interesting Japanese wines although oddly, all wines are written on a chalkboard in Japanese language, usually they are left in the language of origin, which makes the wine list the only thing I am able to read! The cooking is quite good and usually has some interesting selections for instance, flying fish or terrine of fresh water eel & sticky potatoes.

Terrine of sticky potato and fresh water eel

Flying fish

A simply prepared seabass

Daily specials

Le Bistrot de Suzuki, Yonago, Tottori – Japan

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Le Bistrot de Suzuki, Yonago

Tel. 0859-22-6080
Opening Hours: 11am-2pm (last order 1:30)

Le Bistrot de Suzuki, Tel.0859-22-6080, Opening Hours: 11am-2pm (last order 1:30); 5:30-10pm

I enjoyed a particularly well made Vichyssoise, the accompanying bread (crispy and delicious) was  served  in a yellow imprinted paper bag; chicken confit was garnished with ocra, carrot, broccoli, onion, peppers, potato, green beans, lentils and tomato sauce flavored with garlic. Vanilla custard with creme Anglaise along with a small slice of heavenly chocolate cake.

Chef Suzuki has the skill to cook, although more importantly,  he has the feeling and sensitivity that is evident in every dish he creates.

The main dining room


Chicken Confit

Vanilla Custard with Creme Anglaise & fresh fruit

Vichyssoise with rose petals below

Pork with light pepper jus, freshly picked vegetables

Crème brulée, caramel ice cream, small cherries

Sanpou Chicken Restaurant, Yonago, Tottori, Japan

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Pictured above: The owner, Jun Nadatani who has owned and operated the restaurant for 42 years in the same location as of 2010.

Bransh Avenue, Ellmole 1st Street, Kakubancho, Yonago City, 683-0812, Tottori Pref.

Tel. 0859-22-5850

Sanpou means “Three Treasures” and Chef Jan Nadatani serves chicken in every conceivable way. If you feel like having chicken this is the destination and all of the recipes have survived the test of time.


SakeLocal Sake

Home Made PicklesHome made pickles to accompany the beer and sake

Chicken gizzardsChicken gizzards from what we know are reliable birds


SanpouFried chicken with just a light dusting of coating


SanpouBento Box chicken