Michael’s Santa Monica, which opened in 1979 and helped kickstart the California cuisine movement, will celebrate 45 Years with a special anniversary tasting event on Sunday, April 21 benefiting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.

The Great Party will take place at the restaurant on April 21 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature many of the celebrated chefs who have cooked at Michael’s over the years. Participating chefs, led by Michael’s current Executive Chef Jōb Carder include  Nancy Silverton of  Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, Chi Spacca, Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto,) Sang Yoon, (Father’s Office) Brooke Williamson (Playa Provisions,) Brian Bornemann (Crudo e Nudo, Isla,)  and Mikey Stern from Sunset Tower, Sony and Wolfgang Puck Catering just to name a few.

The culinary tasting journey will include dishes from the chefs, who will be cooking at various stations throughout the restaurant in its romantic garden and bar. The menu will feature both classics from the restaurant’s storied history, as well as new creations from the chefs inspired by their time at Michael’s. Tickets cost $250 (available here), and proceeds will benefit No Kid Hungry, the organization dedicated to eradicating childhood hunger. 

On the south side of Santa Monica, the bakery wars are heating up on Ocean Park Blvd. with Jyan Isaac Bread upping the game against next-door neighbor Layla Bagels with the addition of some mind-blowing pastries in its new storefront.   Adding to the popular line of Jyan Issac’s artisan bread and bagels in the two-year-old shop, the young baker added a line of classic Viennese-style breakfast pastries including seasonal fruit Danishes and a variety of croissants like an incomparable pain au chocolat this week.


New seasonal Danish at Jyan Isaac Bakery (Michele Stueven)

Hotel Bel-Air will debut new cake decorating classes, starting  Wednesday, April 24 with a Cake Decorating Showdown. Hotel Bel-Air’s Pastry Chef and U.S. Chocolate Master Christophe Rull from  Netflix’s Bake Squad and his team will offer an adults-only 21 and over cake decorating contest which includes a glass of champagne, chef hat, apron, and a decorated cake to take home. Additional classes will launch throughout the year and will take place in  The Restaurant  The price is $200 per person,  reservations can be made here. 

A new jazz night series called Velvet Moon Jazz kicks off at RDEN this week in partnership with GillesSignature. These jazz nights will run Thursday to Sunday from 8 p.m. to  1 a.m. with notable talents including  Chris Norton, Rhythm and Soul LA, CJ Emmons, Lyndsay, and the All-Nighters. Here’s the schedule: 

  • Thursday, April 11 – Rhythm and Soul LA
  • Friday, April 12 – Chris Norton               
  • Saturday, April 13 – CJ Emmons     
  • Sunday, April 14 – Lyndsay and the All-Nighters
  • Thursday, April 18 – Chris Norton
  • Friday, April 19 – Rhythm and Soul  LA      
  • Saturday, April 20 – CJ Emmons     
  • Sunday, April 21 – Lyndsay and the All-Nighters      

Michelin-starred modern French bistro, Camphor, and Eataly Los Angeles are teaming up on Thursday, April 18, for a special evening in honor of Eataly’s first-ever pasta line. As part of the guest chef series at Capri, Camphor’s Co-Executive Chefs, Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George will feature a four-course meal created in collaboration with Eataly chefs to celebrate the pasta launch. Menu highlights include plenty of pasta, sea bream and uni tart, crusted trout with asparagus and a lemon saffron sauce, and marzipan sorbet and lemon granita for dessert.  Reservations from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. are priced at $85 per person and can be made here or on OpenTable.


Curry Jollof Arancini at Ubuntu (Michele Stueven)

Ubuntu, the plant-based restaurant inspired by West African ingredients and helmed by 2022 James Beard Award semifinalist Shenarri Freeman, is launching “TwentyTues,” a weekly offering of a curated menu of $22 bottles of wine for guests dining on the lush patio alongside signature dishes including palm bisque and curry Jollof arancini. The garden party is available on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to  10 p.m.

 Shirley Brasserie at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is partnering with award-winning chefs from around the world to launch a collaborative dinner series, Tale of Two Cities. The series will kick off on Wednesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., where Michelin-starred Chef Yuu Shimano from Restaurant YUU in Brooklyn, New York, will join Shirley’s Chef de Cuisine, Craig Hopson, for a multi-course experience merging Japanese and French cultures. Reservations can be made via Eventbrite, at $135 per person. Menu highlights include  Californian jumbo white asparagus  served atop aged parmesan fondue, half of a grilled quail, Abalone broth risotto, lamb saddle roll and black tea savarin with blood orange sauce

The series continues with  Yuu Shimano, the Michelin-starred Chef of Restaurant YUU in New York, Mads Refslund, chef and co-founder of Noma in Copenhagen and ILIS in New York in May, Brazilian-based Michelin-starred chef  Thomas Troisgros| of Toto, Oseille, and Olympe and  Sylvestre Wahid, the two Michelin-starred chefs behind Restaurant Sylvestre and Alya’s by SW in France.


Cake decorating with Christophe Rull (Courtesy Hotel Bel-Air)

TV Watch:  Executive Producer Guy Fieri calls upon his pal Noah Cappe to help find the Best Bite In Town on the new Food Network series premiering on Friday, April 12  at 9 p.m.  In each episode, Cappe assembles a Bite Club, featuring two chefs including Tiffani Faison, Shota Nakajima, Joe Sasto, Aarti Sequeira, and Jet Tila. Together, they explore the local food scene in cities across the country, visiting six of the most popular spots in each one. After scouring the town and tasting a wide variety of cuisines, Noah and the Bite Club nominate three exceptional dishes to present to a panel of culinary judges to determine the Best Bite In Town.  California cities include Davis and Placerville.

What’s Popping Up is a weekly column in the L.A. Weekly that explores all that’s new in food and drink.











































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