The Sunset Marquis’ New Cavatina Restaurant

Crunchy Egg with Mushrooms, Sweetbreads, and Crushed Cashews... WHAT? Yes!

Crunchy Egg with Mushrooms, Sweetbreads, and Crushed Cashews… WHAT? Yes!

Between Beverly Hills and the beaches, and mere steps from the world famous Sunset Strip, The Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, CA has been an institution since before I happened upon their scene. With over 150 luxe suites and villas intertwined within a 3.5-acre oasis of gardens and private retreats, since opening its doors in 1963, the hotel has served as a home-away-from-home to rock legends, filmmakers, writers, actors and discerning guests from around the world. The 2008 expansion introduced several new amenities too, and now features indoor and al fresco dining in its world-class restaurant, two heated outdoor pools, the iconic BAR 1200, and a full-service spa that’s open to local and out of town guests. Additional guest amenities include Nightbird Recording Studios, home to many Grammy winning artists, and Morrison Hotel Gallery, featuring a collection of some of the most renowned celebrity photography, of which more than $1 million worth lines the walls and corridors of Sunset Marquis.

Yellowtail Crudo with Uni and Caviar

Yellowtail Crudo with Uni and Caviar

Now they have Cavatina, which officially opened about two weeks ago and features interesting, yet uncomplicated dishes prepared by renowned Chef/Restauranteur Michael Schlow. As a huge fan of the Sunset Marquis, Schlow was enlisted to create the restaurant’s vision. “It is one of my favorite hotels in the world and… getting to cook with all of the beautiful products California has to offer, is a dream come true. We want to cook the foods and products that are local, then present them with a fresh and full flavored approach. Mother Nature has done most of the work, all we need to do is add a little acid, salt, and chiles, to make the food sing.”

Duck and Green Chile Hash with Poached Eggs and Chipotle Hollandaise

Duck and Green Chile Hash with Poached Eggs and Chipotle Hollandaise

PS. Schlow, a decorated chef and restauranteur whose accolades include The James Beard Award of Excellence For Best Chef, Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in America, and Sante Magazine’s Best Chef in America, is considered to be one of the most respected culinary professionals in the U.S.

Michael Schlow

Michael Schlow

Dinner will set the bar high with a menu that is broken into four categories, offering guests snacks, a crudo section, small-plates, and entrees. Highlights include Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Lobster and CaviarBeef Tongue with Lentils, Rosemary, and Salsa VerdeCrunchy Olives with Cabrales and Speck Powder; and Simply Prepared Mediterranean Sea Bass with Shaved Vegetables.

For lunch, Schlow and his team will prepare fresh, delicious salads, fantastic sandwiches, simple fish dishes, and Schlow’s award-winning burger. Cavatina will offer breakfast seven days a week, and will continue the hotel’s tradition of a fabulous brunch on Sundays as well as provide room service to the hotel and poolside dining.

So book your room, bring your geetar, and have some yellowtail crudo, will ya?

Experience Raw: LA’s Latest Healthy Gourmand

For those in Los Angeles, we were introduced to a great company called Experience Raw, founded by  raw food chef, Kirsten Gum. Passionate about health, organic food, and conscious living, she started her business because she was determined to experience life fully and wanted to help others get there too. Kirsten credits her zest for adventure and endless amounts of energy to her daily food choices, personally experiencing the healing powers of raw foods and conscious cuisine.As the creator and owner of Experience Raw, a full-service transformational eating and lifestyle business, she’s made it her mission to enrich lives through conscious cuisine. Kirsten believes that when we connect with our food, we connect to our bodies, our souls and the Earth.KirstenGum_07

Not only is she a certified gourmet raw food chef and instructor, she’s also an outdoor enthusiast, a yogi, a cyclist, a world traveler and an internationally recognized journalist and television host. You may even recognize her from the Travel Channel show, Treasure Hunter, where she got down and dirty to search the globe for Mother Nature’s gemstones. Here are some of the amazing offerings that I’m sure to check out when I’m back in Los Angeles!

Private Raw Food Services
From one-on-one raw food instruction to health-conscious shopping trips and pantry revamps, Experience Raw will help put you on the road to wellness.

Personal Chef Services
Experience Raw now offers exclusive any time any where services for those with time restraints, busy schedules and special needs.

Traveling Chef Incentive Program
Bring Experience Raw to your own community — anywhere in the world — by becoming an ER Ambassador. You’ll become part of their team and build and strengthen the raw community. Oh, and you’ll earn a little cash to boot!

Cleanse Support: Liquid Delivery
They want you to succeed. No matter what type or style or intensity of cleanse you’ve decided on, Experience Raw serves the local Los Angeles area with fresh juices, smoothies, tonics and teas, right to your doorstep.

Experience Raw is a full-service operation! No job is too small (privates) or too big (large groups).

Online Transitional Support
Let them become your best supporter and inspiration with daily check-ins via email or Skype, meal plans, shopping lists and anything else you need to succeed.

Recipe & Product Development
In the ever-changing world of all-natural products, adding some new twists and dishes to your arsenal of marketing can be a great way to generate business. Original recipe creation, photos and videos can offer your customer a new way to look at your brand.

Menu Consultation & Creation
Offering conscious cuisine is more mainstream than ever as society tries to clean up its eating habits. Success for your business comes when you can provide specialized treatment for your customers’ health needs.

And… they have several classes in Santa Monica STARTING NEXT WEEK so get on it, my beautiful Angelenos!

raw food
March 29th:

RAW Thai Dinner Party

April 3rd: 
Raw Chocolate Truffles

April 5th:

RAW Med. Dinner Party

April 6th:

Fermented Foods

April 7th:

Raw/VEGAN Nut Cheeses
5pm – 8pm

To Register for classes:

Hollywood Heartthrob, Patrick Muldoon, Tells Jaunt Magazine His Favorite Hot Spots

Patrick Muldoon

Patrick Muldoon

Sexy surfer, hot actor, multitalented musician, Days of Our Lives soap star, and, of course… fan of all things travel and adventure, Patrick Muldoon makes a guest appearance on Jaunt Magazine and we couldn’t be more thrilled. With a mug like his, how can he not make us look good too? To that end, he travels a lot like we do: freewheelin, exotic, and family friendly (as in… he’s even got peeps in Croatia!).  In his early years, Patrick was an avid surfer, who could always be found riding the waves of the beautiful southern California shore. Growing up with a lifeguard as a father in the waterfront district of San Pedro, the ocean has remained Muldoon’s secret pleasure. He attributes his laid-back attitude and calm demeanor to his devotion to the sea and sand.

Muldoon is also well known for his role in STARSHIP TROOPERS with Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris, and he played the evil “Richard Hart” on Melrose Place, of course.

Rumored to be dating Denise Richards again, Muldoon will next be seen in the indie horror thriller SPIDERS 3D set for release later this year. In short, since he’s charming, witty, and an absolute character, it makes complete sense why he would tell Jaunt Magazine a bit about himself, where he loves to travel, and why. So, say, “Hiiiiiii, Patrick!”

1.    How did you end up in Hollywood?

I was actually born in a small town called San Pedro, which is located about 20 miles south of Hollywood close to the LA Harbor and I commuted to Loyola High School in Los Angeles.

2.    What do you like or dislike about Hollywood?

I dislike when people tell me that they hate the people here (in LA), yet they are actually one of those people. Hollywood is a place where people immigrate from all over the world to make it into the entertainment business and then when they finally get here, they complain about the business itself.

The thing I love about Hollywood is that “There’s No Business Like Show Business’. You have to love the challenge and if it’s tough going, that just means you have to get better at what you do, and there is always room to grow….If you don’t like it, go home!

The crystal clear waters of Saharun beach on the Croatian island of Dugi otok

The crystal clear waters of Saharun beach on the Croatian island of Dugi otok

3.    What is your favorite travel or surf destination and why?

I love going to see my family in Croatia, specifically the island DUGI-OTOK. There’s no surf there, but the visibility of the water is 50 feet and you can see the bottom of the ocean which is so beautiful. To get to the Croatian island of Dugi Otok, you have to take a ferry from the mainland either SPLIT or ZADAR. My family (my mother is Croatian) is from a village called BRBINJ (on the island of DIGI-OTOK); there are no real restaurants, but during the summer, it is very popular place for yachts to dock. ZADAR is a beautiful coastal city that has a lot of restaurants and a great tourist destination. SPLIT is a great destination in the summer for tourists as well and there are also a lot of boats, shops, and restaurants to visit.

I usually only surf locally here in Los Angeles….there is a break off of SUNSET & PCH, which is my favorite because it’s the least crowded. In addition, if I’m down in the South Bay area I’ll surf ‘Royal Palms.’

Royal Palms San Pedro Surf Spot

Royal Palms San Pedro Surf Spot

4.    Where do you stay when you go there? What’s your favorite restaurant and why?

If I’m visiting Croatia, I’ll stay at my family’s house, or a hotel in SPLIT called The Park Hotel or (Hotel Park) ­– the restaurant is fantastic and the fish is always fresh because it’s pulled out of the Adriatic Sea daily. The restaurant also has outdoor seating available and it’s located right on the beach.

giorgio baldi

Giorgio Baldi Grilled Shrimp… are perfect after riding the waves

Locally in Los Angeles, after a long day of ‘carving my name into the waves’ I like to visit an Italian restaurant called Giorgio Baldi in the Pacific Palisades…for the best Italian food in the world – but don’t try to walk in with board shorts on,  cause they won’t let you in!

5.    Have you ever had a crazy surf trip or a really romantic fun surf/travel experience?

I once went with a former girlfriend to Kruger National Park and we stayed at the Pondoro Game Lodge for a safari experience. If you ever decide to visit, don’t go off the premises, because you WILL get eaten by lions!

6.    What is your dream for 5 years from now? Where do you want to travel? 

I like the whole George Clooney vibe… make great movies, live in a mansion on Lake Como, Italy and switch up my hot model girlfriends every six months (kidding ;).

Sure you are, Patrick! Meanwhile, we’ll be sure to catch your hotness in SPIDERS 3D since we hate spiders, but we wouldn’t mind watching you for a few hours. And, if, for any reason at all, we don’t get to see you in the theaters, we’ll catch you catching waves at Royal Palms or lounging somewhere seductive off the Croatian coast.

Obikà LA: A Mozzarella Bar!

Obikà's Mozzarella Bar

A Mozzarella Extravaganza!

Now this is a new restaurant to dine for. Obikà Mozzarella Bar opens at the Century City Westfield in September and we’re counting down the days.

There are currently 13 locations in five countries (can you believe?) and this will be Los Angeles’ first! The star of Obikà is that white, creamy madness we can’t live without… also known as Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP (Protected Origin Domination), flown in regularly from Italy’s Paestrum and Agro Pontino regions. Additional mozzarellas will include smoked Affumicata and sweet, creamy Stracciatella di Burrata.

Other usual suspects: salads, cured Italian meats, appetizers, pastas, and desserts. A sleek, contemporary design in a sophisticated, yet casual setting, diners can grab lunch, dinner, or, our personal favourite: “aperitivo hour” – Italy’s counterpart to happy hour, paired with a snack or light dinner accompanied by wine or a cocktail (or three). It was actually a visit to Obikà in Rome that inspired acclaimed Los Angeles Chef Nancy Silverton to develop her own mozzarella bar at Osteria Mozza.“I saw Obikà and said, ‘Perfect – a mozzarella bar,’” she told The New York Times.

Well, now there’s an Obikà in LA!

Hakobe: LA’s Latest Japanese Restaurant

New Los Angeles Restaurants HakobeHer name is Asako and she owns Hakobe, the latest restaurant on La Cienega’s Restaurant Row. The Row is tough to beat, competing with the likes of Matsuhisa, but Asako has done her best to assemble some of the top sushi chefs and operation staff to help her deliver a unique fine dining experience in the grand standard of the omakase style. Dishes like Steamed Sea bass in Light Soy Sauce Broth, Asparagus wrapped Wagyu, Baked Mussels with garlic butter sauce, Oysters on a half shell and various sushi rolls, make Hakobe well worth a visit.

Hip New LA Restaurant Hakobe

Tomo Kohyama, the Head Sushi Chef at Hakobe, is a master sushi chef having been trained in the art of sushi in his native Japan, as well as in some of the best kitchens in Los Angeles such as Chaya Venice, Katana and Koi.  In addition to his mastery of sushi, Tomo is classically trained in Japanese-French cuisine as well as California cuisine under the tutorage of the father of California cuisine, the great Wolfgang Puck.

So what are you waiting for? A flight to Nippon with your cuplet of sake?


14 La Cienega Blvd. Beverley Hills, CA  90211

P: 310.652.0007

LA Local Gem: Gonpachi on La Cienega

One word. “Naga.”

Short for Katsuo Nagasawa, originally from the Fukushima region of Japan. “Naga” (as he’s better known) is applauded in restaurant circles for his 20+ years in Pacific Rim cuisine. Recently appointed new Executive Chef of the year-old Gonpachi, Beverly Hills on La Cienega’s Restaurant Row, he joins Masa Yamamoto, the Executive Sushi Chef (and six-year veteran of Gonpachi Tokyo), and Yasu Kusano, Executive Chef of Soba and Sumi-Yaki, where they can be found grilling robata, dicing sashimi, and pounding buckwheat noodles by hand nightly, a highlight Los Angeles Times food critic S. Irene Virbilia deemed “worth a trip just to see, and taste.”

Under different management when it first opened, the word has been slow to get out, but JAUNT says, ‘Great place, solid cuisine.’ Weekends draw more of a crowd, while during the week it’s a bit quiet, so spread the word… we don’t want to see it go away. Located across the street from Matsuhisa and down the way from Benihana has kept it under wraps, but the prices are a little less painful and the food on par with the likes of Koi and Kantana.

The atmosphere?
Well, it happens to be a world apart.

Imagine a two-story 11,000-square-foot Japanese spectacle steeped in Japanese carpentry, cherry blossoms, lighting fixtures imported from Japan, Zen gardens, and intricately-designed roof tiles. The dining area consists of a large sushi bar, open seating in the center, booths lining the perimeter, and private rooms where you can sit with a group on the floor, straight up Japanese style. We here at JAUNT love to sit on the floor and it’s tough to find that in this part of town.

Pst. the only other Gonpachi’s are in Japan.

Chef Naga’s inventive new menu consists of an array of traditional and fusion Japanese items like the always tasty Yellowtail Carpaccio with enoki mushroom in a warm ginger jalapeno dressing and traditional hot robata plates.

They also present several interesting sobas, both hot and cold, and add unique touches to dishes like their baked dynamite by resting it on eggplant and topping with corn and the occasional spicy crunch of red peppercorns, a welcome revision from the sometimes deliciously mundane. Try the Yuba Roll with accents of madras curry and wasabi aioli wrapped in soy paper or the Flaming Grady, a mix of spicy lobster, albacore and jalapeno. With the introduction of new flavors to the already popular, standard sushi dishes around Los Angeles, Naga’s competing with the best.

“A restaurant of Gonpachi’s magnitude needs standout cuisine to rival its visual excellence,” reveals Naga amid his lavish new surroundings. “My goal is to help make an already-impressive experience…unforgettable.”

Gonpachi is open for dinner, sushi and cocktails seven nights a week, so let’s keep it in business. We could use somewhere good, cozy, close, and NEW to go.

134 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA
(310) 659-8887

LA: Your Restaurant Cheat Sheet

Tell me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t it seem like there’s a new restaurant opening in LA about as often as Britney runs a red or Posh Spice designs a new pair of jeans?

Whether it’s Mike Ovitz’s West Hollywood hot spot, Kumo, or Batali’s Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, LA is full of new flavors of the month. Finding out what’s hot is as easy as visting Citysearch or reading my favorite bread & butter, LA Confidential Magazine. Discovering what’s been right under your nose all along, well… that’s like dating your best guy friend. So many factors to consider in this tawdry game of love and fine food, nay?

In our quest for what’s brewing beneath the surface, we queried Monique-Marie DeJong, editorial coordinator for Peter Greenberg, travel editor of NBC’s Today show, who took to the streets to inform our readers on the solid local spots you may, or may not be, aware of. Some are new; others are merely in need of some re-discovery, so be a chowhound and get munching.

Exposed, worn-stoned walls and a Tuscan villa appearance create a causal, yet elegant, atmosphere at Fraîche. The Mediterranean cuisine—specifically French and Italian—offers roasted corn soup, braised rabbit tortelli with sage brown butter and artichokes, bouillabaisse, and oysters on the half shell. The wine list has over 300 selections, and esteemed Sommelier Thierry Perez assists guests with creating the utmost food and wine combination. After dinner, visit the often-busy bar and try one of their specialty cocktails. Might I recommend the Leblon Infused Sugar Cane Mojito?

9411 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Phone: (310) 839-6800

Piccolo Paradiso
Strikingly modern yet surprisingly warm, The Drago family’s famed Piccolo Paradiso puts you at ease with its hospitable staff and traditional Italian dishes. The upbeat atmosphere is a great option for a causal business lunch or dinner. Don’t be surprised to find the chef-owner Giacomino Drago conversing with his guests. On his menu, he even includes a tribute to Mamma Drago: carnaroli rice with porcini mushroom.

150 S. Beverly Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 271- 0030

Sushi Wa
No, it certainly won’t make you cry (unless you’re really, really happy), but you will wonder why the hell you’ve never been here. The simple décor at Wa avoids the trendy nightlife that is West Hollywood. Instead, emphasis is placed on authentic Japanese sushi like salmon sashimi, lemon, and sea salt, sea bass with eggplant and the most interesting Japanese kelp this side of WeHo. Distinct flavors, super-fresh fish and dizzying choices of traditional, fusion, or contemporary dishes will entice you to select more than you can finish. Be forewarned… reservations, if only made a few hours ahead, are a must. This place packs up.

1106 N. La Cienega Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 854-7285

Hidden Restaurant
It will… surprise you. The phantasmagoria of international cuisines draws from Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, and Japanese flavors—a perfect remedy for those who, like me, need variety. Limitless choices won’t disappoint under shaded palm leaves and seductive light. Dishes include the likes of thin-crusted pizza, beef pho, and smoked prosciutto. Care for a pomegranate mojito, wine, or sake? Answer D. All of the Above.

3110 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Phone: (310) 399-4800

Via Veneto
A great friend from Italy once took me here. I considered dating him based on that alone. So, if you don’t end up dating the man (or woman) who takes you here too, you may as well promise life long friendship. I sure as hell did. With rich, wooden floors complemented by romantic, amber candlelight, Via Veneto’s menu (and straight off the sexyboat staff) offers a variety of authentic Roman and Tuscan specials in an intimate old-world, Italianate-hip ambiance. Dishes resound with fragrant flavors brought out of the finest meats, while regional notes from Central Italy and the Islands bring guests classic creamy risottos and daily selections of fresh fish. When half the diners hail from Milano or Roma, you know you’re in for authentic.

3009 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Phone: (310) 399-1843

Le Petit Greek
One of the best low-key lunch or dinner spots in Larchmont Village, Le Petit Greek has a generous selection of Greek wines from both the mainland and islands. If you enjoy sunny lunches, try the sidewalk seating. Inside, the white and green tablecloths and black and white photographs of Greece create a pleasant dining experience. Traditional Greek dishes include hummus, stuffed grape leaves, flamed cheese with ouzo, rack of lamb, and layered eggplant with zucchini, potatoes, and ground beef.

127 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Hancock Park, CA 90004
Phone: (323) 464-5160

If you like good ol’ American staples but appreciate finer, creative dishes, Blair’s is the place for you. First and foremost, you’ll feel like you’ve flown to Seattle… or a warm boite in the village. Lightly peppered with paintings, Blair’s envelops you with terra cotta walls, and its minimal décor leaves you feeling invited but not overwhelmed with interior stimuli. The rich, but tempting truffled mac ‘n cheese will leave you full, but without regret. If you like gnocchi, you’ll love the sweet potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms, wilted watercress and yam coulis.

2903 Rowena Ave.
Silver Lake, CA 90039
(323) 660-1882

– Monique-Marie DeJong