Inside Thrillist’s Culinary Road Trip

Ever wished you could try top places in each foodie destination across America in one epic foodie road trip, but didn’t want to (or couldn’t) actually go through the hassle?  Thanks to Thrillist, the Culinary Road Trip made a stop at Siren Studios at Orange in Hollywood to give us Angelenos a taste of notable bites around America by top purveyors.

Portland's Lardo served a Griddled Mortadella sandwich with provolone and peppers.

Portland’s Lardo served a meaty, well-balanced Griddled Mortadella sandwich with provolone and peppers.

Here’s a rundown of what was served at the media preview… check out the video above for all the tasty action!

  • Chicago’s Gino’s East served their ‘Meaty Legend’ with Canadian bacon, Italian sausage and pepperoni; the ‘Chicago Fire’ with hot & spicy Italian sausage, fire roasted red peppers and red onions; and the ‘Spinach Margherita’ with spinach, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil. – All pies were perfectly succulent, had great bite, and were hearty but not overly stuffed to the point of sogginess. The best deep dish I’ve tried, including when I went to Chicago!
  • DC’s Georgetown Cupcake served their Red Velvet, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter Fudge, Lava Fudge, Cookies & Creme, Vanilla Birthday and PB Banana Fudge – Moist cupcakes with either a cream cheese or buttercream frosting. My personal favorite is a cream cheese frosting, and I love how they fill some of their cupcakes as well!
  • DC’s Sweetgreen served their ‘Rad Thai’ with organic arugula and mesclun, sprouts, carrots, shredded cabbage, spicy sunflower seeds, cucumbers, basil and spicy cashew dressing – Great flavors and textures, and best of all, this salad added a pop of light, freshness at this indulgent event.
  • New England’s Luke’s Lobster served their Maine Lobster Roll with Maine lobster in a split-top New England style bun with mayonnaise, butter, lemon and secret seasoning – Another crowd favorite for those lobster lovers out there.
  • NYC’s Black Seed Bagel served their Lox & Dill Cream Cheese and their Cucumber and Caper Salad bagels – Great crisp and chew to the bagel, and since they wood-fire their bagels, it adds great depth of flavor. Very fresh tasting!
  • Philly’s Tony Luke’s served their Cheesesteak with rib-eye steak, American cheese and Italian bread and their Roast Pork Italian with slow roasted pork, au jus, sauteed broccoli rabe, sharp provolone and Italian bread – Great layers of flavor packed into these bad boys.
  • Philly’s Insomnia Cookies served their Chocolate Chunk, M&M, Snickerdoodle and Double Chocolate Chunk cookies – Loved that they were wrapped, so I totally enjoyed this cookie later in the night… and it was just as tasty!
  • Portland’s Lardo served their Griddled Mortadella Sandwich with thinly sliced mortadella, provolone, Mama Lil’s peppers and mustard aioli – My personal favorite, with a lot of my blogger friends in agreement. Love mortadella, and the griddling just brings out the flavors. The provolone and peppers added more texture and heat, and really made the entire thing a well-balanced, hearty sandwich.
  • Nekter Juice Bar’s cold pressed juice (classic greens, advanced greens, skinny lemonade, ginger lemonade and raspberry slimmer) – Sadly, I didn’t get to try this one but I love a good cold pressed green juice. Gotta stay balanced, right? 😉
  • Stumptown Coffee of Portland served their cold brew coffee on nitro and their chocolate cold brew coffee with milk – I’m not a coffee person, but I always hear good things about the quality of their coffee.
  • Spindrift Seltzer & Soda served sparking raspberry lime seltzer, fresh pressed cucumber seltzer, fresh ginger beer, sparkling orange mango soda and sparkling grapefruit soda – Tried the cucumber seltzer and it was super refreshing… just what I needed to wash down the other bites!

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Quick Tanaya’s Table update: It’s been a bit crazy on this end lately with a lot of great opportunities coming my way (very grateful for that!), so posts had slowed down for a while… but I’ve kept my social media and content creation game going strong!

As I get back to posting more regularly and prepare for my trip to Hong Kong and India and officially launching Tanaya’s Travels, you can follow all the latest culinary adventures and get more tips on new openings, chef interviews and behind-the-scenes action over at @TanayaG on Twitter, and also on the Tanaya’s Table Instagram page.

I’m also on Periscope by the same handle, so let’s connect! Thanks for all the love and support as Tanaya’s Table continues to grow and bring you more amazing insight and scoop on the best bites, products and events around LA and beyond.

More foodie fun to come in the next few days! Cheers 🙂

VIDEO: Celebrating My 100th Episode At Ox And Son

Unique dessertsoy

As many of you know, I’ve enjoyed working alongside Tastemade for a while now, and love being part of this ever growing community that has quickly become like family to me through the ups and downs of life.

In about 6 months of starting out, I somehow reached over 100 videos on my Tanaya’s Table channel!

I don’t know how it happened so fast, but I do know that I had a lot of fun meeting so many great chefs and fellow food lovers along the way.

I feel blessed to have tasted and shared with you so many amazing dishes — everything from street food, hidden gems and fine dining to special events, new openings and pop-up dinners.

Through the countless hours (which would add up to multiple weeks of my life!) filming, hosting, arranging, editing and getting creative with my clips, it’s been a learning process that has given me the opportunity to hone my skills in video content production.

I’m so excited to say that — with a lot of encouragement and requests from my amazing followers — I’m working on launching my Tanaya’s Table YouTube channel as well!

Without further ado… here’s how my friends Nitar and Taylor from Tastemade, and Tastemade itself, showed me some love: They took me out to a magnificent three-course meal at Ox & Son, a new modern American restaurant by FNA Hospitality Group in Santa Monica. 😀

For starters (along with some great wines), we had amazingly fluffy Uni & Eggs with truffle salt & molasses bread with caraway seeds, Kusshi Oysters harvested from fjords in glaciers (see video to hear Chef Brad’s awesome description) and Yellowtail Crudo.

I loved all of them, but the Uni & Eggs (pictured above) really blew my mind and tastebuds! It’s a definite must-try, as the moist, fluffy eggs with crème fraîche and chives go so surprisingly well with the buttery Santa Barbara uni and slightly sweet, soft, deeply flavored bread.

Uni and Eggs

As for main courses, we got the Prime Charcrust Hanger Steak with a crisp cheddar panisse, broccolini, charred onion and black garlic & miso lime béarnaise; Chicken Fried Duck Confit with shaved pickled vegetables, house kimchi slaw and red chili & local honey sauce; and Sticky Pig Cheeks with black vinegar glaze, roasted turnip, coconut black rice and charred leek.

We all sampled from one another’s plates. The Sticky Pig Cheeks that Taylor got were my favorite, with the thick, sweet-tart glaze going so well with the succulent meat. Plus, the black rice with coconut milk took me right back to my travels to Bali a couple years ago!

For dessert — not sure how we had room, but we (okay, especially Nitar and I) always have room for dessert, I suppose! — we got the rich coffee cake & butterscotch deconstructed dessert, as well as the refreshing lemon & strawberry malt deconstructed cake. Peep the one-minute video above for all the visuals and action shots!

If you’re looking for innovative American food with a touch of global flair, I definitely recommend checking out Ox & Son in Santa Monica. Thanks again to Tastemade for making me feel part of the family, and to showing me appreciation in such a delicious and special way. ‘Til next time, on the road to the next hundred videos… Cheers from Tanaya’s Table!

Ordering New Menu Items Off iPads At STACKED: Food Well Built

Tanayas Table Stacked iPad Pink Cocktail

I still remember the time I got to treat my family and friends to a dinner out after landing a new job. We decided to keep it local, opting to go to STACKED: Food Well Built.

I was excited to show them how they could customize their own dishes on the nifty iPads at this hi-tech spot by the Cerritos mall. A few years ago, it was an even newer concept, so it was extra fun to see our culinary creations come to life.

My family loved the experience, and ever since that day I’ve had an extra special association with the STACKED in Cerritos. Thus, you can imagine how enthusiastic I was about getting an invite to a media dinner they were hosting, with new menu items.

Tanayas Table Stacked Burger

The new Short Rib Sandwich, with an egg on it.

I tried the short rib sandwich with horseradish aioli off their new sandwich section of the menu, and even added an egg to it… because you can do that at a place like this.

The food is so customizable that co-owner Paul Motenko told me they even have 139 gluten-free options, across all categories of their menu! There really is something for everyone here.

It’s quite the thrill to build your own mac ‘n cheese burger, top your pizza with pastrami, or even put potato chips on your pasta… or include all the superfoods you want in your nutritious and delicious salad.

Heck, you can even customize your own milkshake or ice cream sandwich on that iPad! Then, it comes to life when they bring it out of the kitchen on onto your table… and it’s every bit as good as you imagined it would be when you were creating it!

Check out all the items I tried here, including candied bacon and a Cadbury Egg seasonal milkshake:

Check out new menu items in this one-minute video inside our media dinner!

Check out the new menu items in this one-minute video inside our media dinner!

To visit STACKED: Food Well Built, you can find all the info on their website. Stay tuned for a lot more foodie finds to come. Cheers!

New Opening: Unique Asian Fusion At Red Eye Fish

Video: One minute of some of the most unique happy hour dishes at this new Asian fusion spot.

Video: 20 seconds of the most unique happy hour dishes at this new Asian fusion spot.

The newly opened Red Eye Fish’s motto is “not just sushi.”

Indeed, this new Asian fusion spot in Artesia, CA has much more to offer than your traditional sushi (which I am always down for too, given top quality!). We stopped in for a bite and found that there were a ton of creative food mashups just waiting to be explored!

It happened to be happy hour when we went, and it seemed that it was about a dollar or two off the original prices for happy hour items. Here’s what we got, and how it was:

Kimchi Fried Rice with Pork Belly

Kimchi Fried Rice with Pork Belly

The kimchi fried rice has pork belly, and rich savory-sour-spicy flavors. Besides being a bit on the greasier side (as most fried rice dishes are), it’s a really fantastic dish paired with some other items.

Tanayas Table Red Eye Fish Hot Cheetos Sushi Roll

Hot Cheetos Sushi Roll. Yes, you read that right!

Hot Cheetos Roll. Our server said that this is their signature dish, and claim to fame. It is essentially a California roll topped with spicy tuna and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbles.

Somehow, I was expecting more uniqueness and cohesiveness in this dish, but hey, I love all the ingredients in the roll. Plus, my not-so-secret guilty pleasure happens to be those little crunchy bites of heat (a.k.a. Hot Cheetos). So it was awesome to get for the novelty, but I think there are even cooler things on the menu that I would get again next time.

My favorite happy hour item!

My favorite happy hour item!

This leads me to my most favorite item on the menu, the — wait for it — Sushi Pizza!

This baby has a ton of flavorful sushi fillings that go right on top of the crispy rice “crust,” along with a bit of cheese to bring it all together as pizza. It is SO good. My favorite thing so far!

If you’re an adventurous foodie, you should definitely give this place a try. Go here for more info on the new restaurant, and check out the video above for all the aforementioned food in action. Cheers!

One more shot of that sushi pizza. It's just that good.

One more shot of that sushi pizza. It’s just that good.

VIDEO: Pueblo Tapas Now Open At OC Mix

Tanayas Table Pueblo Tapas OC Mix Costa Mesa desserts Copyright 2015 Tanaya Ghosh

Here’s some food news for you global food lovers: Pueblo Tapas opened earlier this year at the OC Mix in Costa Mesa, bringing some Spanish flair to Orange County.

I was sent to cover the new opening thanks to Tastemade, and the hospitable owners of the OC restaurant with Spanish charm brought out some of their top recommendations from the lunch and dinner menus… such complex and flavorful savory bites!

Short Rib Two Ways: Six-hour braised and crudo.

Short Rib Two Ways: Six-hour braised and crudo

The food at the new restaurant was outstanding, and the design and layout made me feel like I was back in Spain.

It made me miss España, and although I haven’t been to Madrid yet, Barcelona and Girona were both unique and charming. Since the owners are from Madrid and still have restaurants there, I felt the authenticity and also the original creativity in the dishes.

Tanayas Table Pueblo Tapas OC Mix Costa Mesa desserts 2

Pan Perdido, a Spanish take on Pain Perdu: Creme brulee bread pudding with rosemary poached pears

It felt like I was being transported across the globe for a taste of Madrid, right there in Costa Mesa.

Check it out in the video below, from when we went to take a look within a couple weeks of their opening… plus, dessert presented by Chef Michael!

One-minute video rundown of some of the most top bites to get at Pueblo... like the six-hour braised short rib!

One-minute video rundown of some of the most top bites to get at Pueblo… like the six-hour braised short rib!

Check out Pueblo the next time you’re at the OC Mix! It’s like a mini vacation to Madrid, without leaving the OC. ¡Salud!