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Restaurants, Squid Ink Sake Day 2013: Sake is Better Than it's Ever Been

Sake Day 2013: Sake is Better Than it's Ever Been

Most designated days celebrating a specific food or drink originated as a marketer's ploy. Not so with Sake Day. In Japan, the first day of October marks the official beginning of the sake brewing season -- a tradition that dates back more than 1,000 years. Outside of Japan, Oct. 1...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink 5 Reasons to Drive to Santa Maria for the Chardonnay Symposium

5 Reasons to Drive to Santa Maria for the Chardonnay Symposium

A celebration of America's most popular wine, the Chardonnay Symposium, which is held Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21 in Santa Maria, makes it so that attendees -- about 500 are expected -- can not only drink what feels like a barrel of Chardonnay but also actually learn something...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink What to Drink with Your Pizza: Pitfire Pizza's Wine Program

What to Drink with Your Pizza: Pitfire Pizza's Wine Program

Drop into one of L.A.'s seven Pitfire Artisan Pizzas and the casual approach to dining is apparent. Order at a counter, find a table (either inside or out) and wait to dig into freshly prepared and flavorful wood-fired cooked pizzas, salads, soups, paninis and pastas. What's not so apparent is...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Now Open: AVA Santa Barbara's Wine Tasting Room + A Great Place for Beachside Wine

Now Open: AVA Santa Barbara's Wine Tasting Room + A Great Place for Beachside Wine

Like a lead singer with a side solo project, AVA Santa Barbara is winemaker Seth Kunin's side gig. Because Kunin Wines is a well-established, Santa Barbara County-based brand -- known for its Rhone-style blend, syrah and zinfandel -- Kunin decided to create another label, AVA Santa Barbara, to explore and...…
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News, The Informer Ana Martinez: The Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Girl

Ana Martinez: The Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Girl

One of the fascinating Angelenos featured in L.A. Weekly's People 2013 issue. Check out our entire People 2013 issue here. In other cities, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce would not be considered a flashy gig. But in Hollywood, it's a dramatically different story and one unique to Los...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Behind the Wine List: David Myers' Hinoki & the Bird

Behind the Wine List: David Myers' Hinoki & the Bird

A restaurant is in many ways like a party: You need atmosphere, music, good food and choice of drink. At the recently opened Hinoki & the Bird in Century City, the party is in full swing: entrance jammed, bar, dining room and patios full, and the cocktails and wine flowing...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Making Wine on Catalina Island: The Rusack Family's Santa Catalina Island Vineyards

Making Wine on Catalina Island: The Rusack Family's Santa Catalina Island Vineyards

Wine as an expression of a specific locale, or terroir, is what countless skilled winemakers strive to achieve. A noble goal, to be sure. One winery has taken the task a step further, specifically 22 miles further, offshore on Santa Catalina Island. Buffeted by salty ocean air, the island makes...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Colorado Wine Company: A New Location in Eagle Rock

Colorado Wine Company: A New Location in Eagle Rock

Six weeks into its new Eagle Rock location, Colorado Wine Company buzzes. A customer asks for a "yummy" Prosecco; another wants a well-priced Chardonnay. Owner Jen Nugent quickly obliges and welcomes a couple who've arrived for the weekly Friday night wine flight tasting. At the same time the Mandoline Grill...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Happy Sake Day: A Sake Primer + Where to Find it in L.A.

Happy Sake Day: A Sake Primer + Where to Find it in L.A.

When will L.A. have its sake moment? Craft beer and cocktail mixology have hit the mainstream without question, so on International Sake Day (Nihonshu no Hi), consider L.A.'s sake drinking culture. In Japan, Oct. 1 marks the start of the sake-brewing season. In North America, it's a day to investigate...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink The Jolly Oyster: Baja Oysters and Clams at the Beach in Ventura

The Jolly Oyster: Baja Oysters and Clams at the Beach in Ventura

Here's a delicious field trip that combines all the elements of an ideal Southern California picnic. Fresh-from-the sea proteins ready-to-eat. Bring-your-own wine and beer. And dogs are welcome. The Jolly Oyster is a fresh oyster and clam shackette just an hour north of L.A. on the 101. Inspired by Hog...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Eats at the London 2012 Olympics

Eats at the London 2012 Olympics

LONDON -- Game on for eating well during the Olympics, which begins today, July 27, and run through Aug. 12. Already one of the best dining cities in the world, London has been spiffed mightily up for the Olympic Games. Billions have been spent on new athletic venues; streets have...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Natural Wine: An Explanation + Where to Find It

Natural Wine: An Explanation + Where to Find It

What's in a glass of wine? The answer might be surprising. Wine is basically spoiled grape juice. (Whoever first ingested it millennia ago: hat tip.) But these days wine's ingredients can also contain a laundry list of adds in's: sulfur dioxide, egg whites, oak chips, water and numerous chemical additives,...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Rhone Rangers Wine Tasting at Vibiana This Sunday

Rhone Rangers Wine Tasting at Vibiana This Sunday

Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir are the beloved trinity of most wine drinkers. There are many more varietals out there and this Sunday's (June 3) fifth annual Rhone Rangers Tasting at Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles showcases wines grown from 22 American Rhone grape varietals. Chief among the reds...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink 5 Dog-Friendly Winery Tasting Rooms

5 Dog-Friendly Winery Tasting Rooms

A love for wine and dogs can co-exist. People take their pets everywhere these days--dining and drinking out, no exception. Although Los Angeles has approved pets on restaurant patios (per the recent Squid Ink post), rules prohibit them inside. Nor are they welcome at bars or in the tasting rooms...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink 10 California Summer Wine Events

10 California Summer Wine Events

Summer is a wine-drinking marathon in California, and up and down the coast, each weekend brings pleasant opportunities to imbibe outside. The diversity of events reflects the state's varied wine-growing regions. Those on hotel grounds come with a room night package -- a smart way to go. Because it's a...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink A $100 Cocktail: The Beverly Hills Hotel Turns 100 Years Old

A $100 Cocktail: The Beverly Hills Hotel Turns 100 Years Old

One of L.A.'s most recognizable grand dames turns 100 on Saturday May 12 and marks the occasion with a $100 commemorative cocktail and movie star themed cocktail list. 10 special "These Walls are Talking" cocktails, available at the hotel's off-lobby Bar Nineteen12 and the Polo Lounge, salute the Beverly Hills...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Eat This Now: Flan

Eat This Now: Flan

Tacos, tequila and one more dish should be an ingredient for a proper Cinco de Mayo feast. On menus from Highland Park's My Taco to downtown's Border Grill to Santa Monica's El Cholo to almost every Mexican or Spanish-accented eatery in between, under desserts (postres) there will be flan. The...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Everson Royce: Silverlake Wine's Pasadena Spinoff Now Open

Everson Royce: Silverlake Wine's Pasadena Spinoff Now Open

Opened last Saturday, Old Town Pasadena's Everson Royce is not quite a sequel to Silverlake Wine. Think character spinoff. Two out of three Silverlake Wine owners are involved; approximately 25% of the same small-production wine brands are stocked. Potential customers are greeted immediately at the door. Everything else is different,...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Walt Disney Concert Hall's Secret Garden: From Patina Chef Tony Esnault

Walt Disney Concert Hall's Secret Garden: From Patina Chef Tony Esnault

Restaurant chefs' gardens are popping up in unusual places, but nowhere more unlikely than in the midst of downtown L.A.'s skyscrapers. Flourishing on an upper level of the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall is an outdoor rooftop garden -- public at that -- that lets visitors take in the...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Sake Fuels Japan's Recovery + A Few Local Events

Sake Fuels Japan's Recovery + A Few Local Events

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the March 11 catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that so terribly damaged Japan. Food-safety issues and scares -- particularly around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor -- remain in the news. Although Japan's traditional sake brewers were hard hit (and 250 breweries directly affected),...…
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