Over Fifty Years of Tiki Tradition – Tiki Ti – Los Angeles, CA

Fun & Eclectic Tiki Bar
Fun & Eclectic Tiki Bar

Where Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards meet there is a tiny tiki bar straight out of time. Picture a long dark bar, tiki trinkets everywhere, many of which have been provided by their customers, blinking lights, a waterfall, bottles of booze and smoke-filled air. Turns out, if the establishment is owner-operated, customers can smoke. Now, why did I bring this up, well, about half-way through my second tiki cocktail I was transported back to the early 60s, as if I was in a tiki version of Mad Men. Very cool!!

Painkiller & Ray's Mistake - Yum!
Painkiller & Ray’s Mistake – Yum!

This place gets busy quickly and is known to have a line at the door. There are only 12 bar stools and four tables of four. A father and son team behind the bar and unlike some other popular tiki bars these two gentlemen mix every single one of their 90+ cocktails to order. It was truly amazing to watch. The drinks were very tiki, all of the traditional ones as well as many of their own creations.

Jim's Special - Regular's Drink - Kind of a Mai Tai with some Tequila
Jim’s Special – Regular’s Drink – Kind of a Mai Tai with some Tequila
Very goo Mai Tai
Very goo Mai Tai

They have a group of regulars that have their own personal tikis hanging up on the wall, just waiting to be filled with some creative and tasty cocktails. Some of those loyal tiki regulars even have drinks named after them. That is pretty cool, especially from a place that has been around since 1961.

Can’t wait to go back, maybe we will see you there.

Don't know what to drink, spin the wheel!!
Don’t know what to drink, spin the wheel!!
Lot's of stuff to stare at!
Lot’s of stuff to stare at!
Now this is good snack mix!
Now this is good snack mix!
Ready for a Mai Tai?
Ready for a Mai Tai?

Tiki-Ti Cocktail Lounge on Urbanspoon

News: Eureka! to Open in Huntington Beach – March, 2014

Eureka - Huntington Beach
Eureka – Huntington Beach

Eureka! Restaurant Group, a leading California-based family of restaurants that proudly serves only authentic, handmade food with locally sourced produce, welcomes Eureka! Huntington Beach. Opening in March 2014 at the luxurious outdoor Bella Terra shopping destination, Eureka! presents elevated American cuisine complemented by a carefully curated beverage program featuring 100% American craft beer, small batch whiskey, in-house aging barrels, and specialty cocktails sourced from artisans throughout America.

The design of Eureka! Huntington Beach embodies a modern-yet-rustic polished aesthetics with an industrial influence. The contemporary restaurant incorporates Southern California-sourced design elements, such as tables and paneling locally handcrafted by E&K Vintage Wood from reclaimed pre-war Old Growth Douglas fir, recycled steel, and North American hardwoods retrieved from historic barns, factories, and whiskey distilleries.

The 133-seat restaurant features a main dining room comprised of a selection of sitting options including booths, industrial 15-foot community table, two bar areas, and an al fresco patio, complemented by local lifestyle art and a music-themed mural from local artist Nichole Blackburn. In addition to a main bar, the Bottle Shop at Eureka! features a mini bar with an extensive list of small batch whiskey perfect for tasting events as well as a destination to purchase exceptional and rare American craft beers and California wines to be consumed at the restaurant or enjoyed at the guest’s leisure.

Each dish is thoughtfully prepared to showcase quality ingredients, local produce, and locally baked breads. The restaurant specializes in hand packed, vegetarian fed, hormone & antibiotic free all natural beef burgers in addition to a mix of appetizers, signature plates, and delectable desserts. Menu highlights include the Osso Buco Riblets featuring red wine braised pork, lightly tossed in a fire cracker aioli; Fresno Fig Burger with homemade fig marmalade, melted goat cheese, crispy bacon, garnished with minced tomato, onion, and arugula, dolloped in a spicy porter mustard; Watermelon Salad featuring quinoa, diced cucumber, tomato and zucchini, chopped walnuts, dried cranberry, red bell pepper julienne, carrots, drizzled with balsamic lemon dressing, garnished with feta cheese, and watermelon spears; and Goldengate Butterscotch Rum Pudding served with a homemade whipping cream, caramel sauce, garnished with flaky sea salt for dessert.

The cocktail program at Eureka! revolves around the restaurant’s commitment to serving all American craft beers, small batch whiskeys, and specialty cocktails, curated by small and locally owned artisans creating a premium, innovative product that is highly sought after. Eureka! features 40 specialty craft beers on tap and a selection of 21-small batch American whiskeys – sourced from artisans in California, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, Oregon, Texas and Utah – in tribute of the 21st amendment outlawing prohibition. Additionally, a special off -menu selection features various hard-to-get and strictly allocated whiskeys like Pappy Van Winkle and offerings from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection available to the most discerning whiskey drinkers.

Eureka! Huntington Beach
7631 Edinger Ave, HB CA

News: Queen Mary Becomes “The Love Boat” with Free Fireworks Show & Concert – February 14, 2014

MIXIM Yogurt Turns Queen Mary into Pink Love Boat for V-Day Launch Party
MIXIM Yogurt Turns Queen Mary into Pink Love Boat for V-Day Launch Party

Free Entry to Queen Mary & Yogurt Samples For Everyone Who Mentions Mixim; Public Invited to Help Set Guinness World Records to Benefit Children’s Heart Foundation

Feel the love this Valentine’s Day with a free heart-shaped fireworks show and concert by popular Journey cover band, DSB (Don’t Stop Believin’) at the Queen Mary, aka The Love Boat, which will turn pink for one special day to celebrate the US launch of MIXIM™ − the new heart-shaped Greek yogurt from Europe’s Ehrmann. The public is invited to enjoy free entry to the Queen Mary (a $24.95 value), free concert and fireworks show, by RSVP’ing to MIXIM’s Facebook page to receive entry code @ http://bit.ly/1f8bgQC

New Ehrmann MIXIM is the only Greek yogurt with three times the flavorful fun. Packaged in a distinctive heart-shaped container, each serving of creamy, smooth plain MIXIM Greek yogurt is paired with two topping combinations to let consumers create their own taste sensations. Ehrmann will donate $20,000 to the Children’s Heart Foundation − a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing health, hope and happiness to children impacted by congenital heart disease, the number one birth defect in the US – upon completion of Guinness World Records attempt for most couples feeding each other and largest hug relay. So grab your sweetheart, come to the Love Boat and get ready to see fireworks just like the first time you kissed!

Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2014

5am: Guinness World Record Attempt: World’s Largest Hug Relay. LA couples are invited to participate and enjoy free samples of new MIXIM Greek yogurt for breakfast
7pm: Guinness World Record Attempt: Most couples simultaneously feeding each other free samples of new MIXIM Greek yogurt
8:00pm: FREE Concert by DSB (Don’t Stop Believin’) performing rock’s best power ballad love songs!

The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Hwy
Long Beach, CA 90802

News: Mesa's Valentine's Day Prix-Fix Menu – February 14, 2014

Mesa - Costa Mesa, CA
Mesa – Costa Mesa, CA

until 11:00pm

Sliced fresh Ahi Tuna, Market Red and Golden Beets, Citrus Segments, Lemon Vinaigrette, and Micro Greens.

Pan seared Prime Rib-Eye with Rosemary Garlic Butter, Sautéed Broccolini, and Grilled Lemon Slices
Pan seared Wild Pacific Mahi Mahi, Couscous with fresh Tomatoes, Broccolini, Parsley, and Garlic, and Beurre Blanc.
featured in image above

Italian Ladyfingers dipped in Coffee, Mascarpone Cheese, House Chocolate Sauce, Cinnamon, and Scoop of House Made Vanilla Ice Cream.

P.E.I. Mussels and Raw Oysters – Available all night


725 Baker St.
Costa Mesa, Ca 92626

Home of the Original Pina Colada – Caribe Hilton – San Juan, Puerto Rica

Pina Colada 50th Anniversary
Pina Colada 50th Anniversary

Kim and I recently were able to visit the home of the Pina Colada in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Oasis Bar of the amazing Caribe Hilton. Beautiful location, super friendly bartenders and great drinks.

The Original Pina Colada - Handmade Version
The Original Pina Colada – Handmade Version

However be careful to ask for a handmade Pina Colada, as the normal ones we found out are from a mix. They are good but you can truly tell the difference between the two. They are so simple but so full of flavor. We highly recommend and if you can stay at the hotel, even better!

View from the Oasis Bar
View from the Oasis Bar
Super Friendly Bartenders & Spectacular Pina Coladas
Super Friendly Bartenders & Spectacular Pina Coladas
Bacardi Reserva Limitada - A wonderful treat to try!
Bacardi Reserva Limitada – A wonderful treat to try!
Caribe Hilton Happy Hour Pina Coladas
Caribe Hilton Happy Hour Pina Coladas

Address: 1 San Geronimo St, San Juan, PR 00901

News: February Events @ Playground 2.0 – February, 2014

Playground 2.0 DTSA
Playground 2.0 DTSA

Hey good lookin’ here’s what’s cookin’ this February @ 2.0!


“Chicken My Way” Electric City Butcher
Thursday 30th // 7 pm seating
$100 per seat including food, drinks, tip, tax.
Come join Chef & Butcher Michael Puglisi for dinner highlighting everyone’s favorite poultry, “The Chicken” with many diverse preparations. Puglisi will also include a demo on butchering chicken different ways, as well as creating our favorites from Chicken Wings to the classic Coq Au Vin with a twist!

“Chicken is one of my favorite proteins to work with at home. Buying the whole bird and then breaking it down to create different meals. Ohh… then the smell of making stock at home! I love it!”
– Michael Puglisi, Electric City Butcher



Friday 31st // Saturday Feb 1st // 5 and 8 pm seatings
$150 including food, drinks, tax, tip.
“I love yakitori because it is simple delicious food. There is no foams, no spheres, just one grill and one chef. My entire cooking career has been focused on modern preparations of food. Utilizing chemicals, combo ovens and immersion circulators has been an everyday experience of mine for over four years. Coming to playground I was introduced to Japanese cuisine and fell in love with the tradition and dedication of the different styles of cuisine. Yakitori quickly became my favorite style and I slowly began studying and practicing the technique. This dinner will showcase all that I have learned in that short period.” -Chef Max Hirsch

Friday: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/maxitori-3/
Saturday: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/maxitori-2/


Nikoah: New Beginnings w/ chef Eddie Perez
Wednesday 5th // 7 pm
$100 including food, pairings, tax and tip.
Nikoah is the combination of chef Eddie Perez’s twin sons names.
Formerly of Ink in Los Angeles, now playground sous chef, we welcome Eddie for his first pop up at 2.0. He is one imaginative chef that has an amazing future ahead of him. Thoughtful, unexpected and elevated are the terms we kick around when talking about his food. Do not miss out on the first Nikoah.

Wed seats: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/chef-eddie-perez-2/


LA Fish Market
Thu 6th // Friday 7th // 7 pm
$100 including food, pairings, tax and tip.
IMP market in downtown LA is home to the best seafood in the southern California area. Each day they receive fish from Tokyo’s world famous Tsukiji fish market. Our chefs will be the first ones at the market to get first dibs on all the great seafood. The menu is created on the ride home.

Thu: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/la-fish-market/
Fri: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/la-fish-market-2/


Ultimate Steak Dinner
Tuesday 11th // Wednesday 12th // Thursday 13th // 6 & 830 pm
$100 including food, pairings, tax and tip.
“Growing up, I fondly remember trips to steakhouses. It was a celebratory event, few and far between. I always loved the sides, tomatoes with bleu cheese, corn pudding, wedge salad etc. The beef was always the star of the show, but I always ordered the same as the rest of my family, making me wonder about the other options. At the Ultimate Steak Dinner we bring all those memories to life and offer 5 different cuts of beef, all incredibly high quality. It’s the best possible steakhouse experience.”-Jason Quinn

Feel free to bring your Ultimate Steak Wine, no corkage, but we will have some tasty reds to pour as well.

Tue: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/2-11-14/
Wed: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/2-12-14/
Thu: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/2-13-14/


Wanderlust: Morocco
Tuesday 18th // Wednesday 19th // 7 pm
$100 including food, pairings, tax and tip.
As we continue our travels through the world, we are making a stop in Morocco. Do not miss out on this vastly under appreciated cuisine.

Tue: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/2-18-14/
Wed: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/2-19-14/


Chino Farms Dinner
Tue 25th // Wed 26th // 7 pm
$100 including food, pairings, tax and tip.
Quite possibly the most delicious farm in the United States is located in Rancho Santa Fe, just north of San Diego. They do not deliver, there is no distribution. It is one family meticulously farming 50 acres since 1952. Chefs and food lovers alike flock to their farm to enjoy the benefits of their master craft. We are believers and head to their Vegetable Shop (roadside stand)every week for their bounty. We will wake up early and head for the stand. The evenings menu will be crafted featuring the harvest of our early morning visit.

Tue: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/2-25-14/
Wed: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/2-26-14/


Chef Michael Puglisi
Thursday 27th // 7 pm
Most previously the Sous Chef of Thomas Keller’s iconic Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills, Puglisi honed his butchery skills at The Butcher Shop in Boston, MA and the legendary Fountain Bleau in Miami Beach, Florida. Puglisi arrives in Orange County for the upcoming opening of his own ELECTRIC CITY BUTCHER SHOP, debuting soon as a key component in Santa Ana’s much-anticipated 4th Street Market Food & Culinary wonderland.

Thu: http://playgrounddtsa.com/event/chef-michael-puglisi-3/

News: Lark Creek Presents Dungeness Crab Festival – February, 2014

Lark Creek’s Deviled Eggs with Dungeness crab and chipotle aioli Photo Credit: Richard Robert
Lark Creek’s Deviled Eggs with Dungeness crab and chipotle aioli
Photo Credit: Richard Robert

Savor fresh, sustainably-caught local Dungeness crabs with a selection of dishes from Chef/Partner John Ledbetter

Lark Creek Newport Beach invites guests to enjoy the Dungeness Crab Festival in February 2014, showcasing the West Coast’s local crab at the peak of its season. Beginning Saturday, February 1, Chef/Partner John Ledbetter celebrates the occasion with a special menu featuring handpicked Dungeness crabs from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Northwest, and highlighting the sweet, delicate flavors of the crab meat. Chef Ledbetter’s unique dishes will be available for diners to enjoy during lunch and dinner, in addition to the restaurant’s a la carte menus.

Dungeness Crab Festival Menu Items

Deviled Eggs
with Dungeness crab and chipotle aioli

Dungeness Crab Cakes
with shaved fennel, pickled papaya, and mizuna salad

Crab Roll
with celery root remoulade and hand cut fries

Dungeness Crab Street Tacos
with spicy slaw, tomatillo and avocado relish

Combo Louis Salad
with bay shrimp, avocado, boiled egg, and Louis dressing

Dungeness Crab Cocktail
half chilled crab with horseradish root cocktail sauce

Wood Fired Filet Mignon
with potato gratin, Dungeness crab salad, and parsley persillade

Dungeness Crab Festival menu items available during lunch and dinner service Monday-Sunday

Lark Creek Newport Beach
Fashion Island
below Island Cinema
957 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

News: Pinot Provence Unveils New Winter Menu – Starting January 2014

Pinot Provence Frog Legs
Pinot Provence Frog Legs

In 2014, Pinot Provence kicks-off the New Year with the launch of innovative culinary experiences for the food-inspired resolution list. Beginning January 8, 2014, Costa Mesa’s celebrated culinary locale, presents Cassoulet Suppers, the traditional shared Southern French comforting casserole dish, perfect for group dining to enjoy casually with friends and family.Executive Chef Alfonso Ramirez features a selection of classic cassoulets in addition to his own innovative versions that are reminiscent of the traditional dish, such as Australian Lamb and Pork Cheek. Each cassoulet also pairs with a wine carafe to further create a delicious shared meal. When dining on Wednesdays, enjoy a cassoulet supper with a 25% off bottle of wine.

Starting Friday, January 10, 2014, enjoy Buffalo-Style Frog Leg Fridays, a unique twist on the traditional French fare, available on the a la carte dinner menu as an appetizer and happy hour Trois Petites Bouchees Menu for $5 every Friday. Unlike the classic chicken wing, the buffalo-style frog legs are leaner, delicate and served lollipop-style for easy eating and dipping. For Super Bowl snacking, the restaurant will also offer Buffalo-Style Frog Legs To-Go, complete with Roquefort dressing, beurre-blanc sriracha and crème faîche-dill aioli, celery sticks and breakfast radishes to add a bit of excitement to annual viewing parties throughout Orange County. The frog legs will also be available to-go throughout the remainder of the year.

And returning by popular demand, the second series of Sommelier Fireside Wine Dinners will begin January 15, 2014. The dinners include a themed five-course menu by Executive Chef Alfonso Ramirez and hosted by a sommelier- guided wine tasting with Jörn Kleinhans, founder of Wine Elite, California’s largest high-end wine appreciation forum. Occurring one Wednesday a month from January- April, these intimate dinners are designed to allow both wine novices and aficionados an opportunity to educate and expand their palates. Carefully curated wines from such celebrated wine regions of Italy, Spain, California, Europe and The Americas will be featured all in a warm setting similar to a fireside chat.

Duck Confit Cassoulet
Tarbais beans, duck leg confit, braised pork belly, duck jus
Carafe Pairing: Exem, Bordeaux, France

Australian Lamb Cassoulet
Cannellini beans, braised lamb shoulder, mustard greens, date purée, lamb jus
Carafe Pairing: Bouchard Pere and Fils, Bourgogne Reserve, France

Pork Cheek Cassoulet
Black-eyed peas, braised pork cheeks, collard greens, okra, beef jus
Carafe Pairing: Malbec, Purple, Château Lagrezette, France


“The Liquid Gold of California”
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Certified Sommelier Jörn Kleinhans

“Top Wine Regions of Europe”
Wednesday, March, 19, 2014
Certified Sommelier Jörn Kleinhans

“Grand Wine Tour of the Americas: From Washington to Argentina”
Wednesday, April, 16, 2014
Certified Sommelier Jörn Kleinhans

The Westin South Coast Plaza
686 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

News: Roy’s Restaurant Offers Guests Three Savory Dishes for One Low Price – January 27 – March 23, 2014

Roy's Winter Trio
Roy’s Winter Trio

Roy’s Restaurant is bringing plenty of heat this season with its mouthwatering Winter Trio, a sensational collection of dishes together in one irresistible meal. Enjoy it for a low price of $26.95 for a limited time, Monday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, March 23.

The Winter Trio is a decadent new offering specially created to capture the classic flavors of the season while also taking guests on a culinary adventure. The three featured items include Hoisin-Glazed Duck, a Grilled Kalbi Beef Short Rib and a Singapore-Style Crab Cake with Asian vegetables and noodles.

Available during normal business hours at all Roy’s locations, except Hawaii and Pebble Beach.
To make reservations at your nearest location, please visit http://www.roysrestaurant.com and use promo code “TRIO.”

News: OC Cocktail Week – March 2-8, 2014

OC Cocktail Week
OC Cocktail Week

Now this is something we are very excited. The first-ever OC Cocktail Week unfolds March 2-8 at more than 40 bars and restaurants throughout Orange County, offering handcrafted cocktails paired with small bites for only $20.14. The event kicks off after the wildly popular OC Restaurant Week, giving cocktail lovers and foodies a chance to celebrate fine spirits, fresh ingredients, and a thriving nightlife community in Orange County.

The OC Cocktail Week demonstrations allow guests to understand the components and history of a drink while engaging with the bartenders who’ve mastered them. 320 Main in Seal Beach welcomes Dave Stolte, author and illustrator of “Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics)” to give a live demonstration aimed at creating cocktails for the home bartender on Sunday, March 2 at 2 p.m. He will also offer guests an opportunity to purchase autographed copies of his book.

Mesa, located at 725 Baker in Costa Mesa, will offer cocktail lovers inside perspective on ingredients they love. The demonstration takes place on Tuesday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. and is sponsored by Infinium Spirits, encouraging guests to “know the classics, know your spirits, and create new classics.”

Hopscotch in Fullerton will also be a part of the live demonstration action on Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. Hopscotch, located at 136 E Commonwealth Ave, offers guests a chance to interact with Neil Matchko and Mike Lowery, who will go over a variety of infusions including their signature Sous Vide technique. The demonstration will feature a cocktail and chef’s choice of small bites for $10.

The demonstrations continue in Fullerton on Wednesday, March 5 at 8 p.m. at The Cellar. Located at 305 N. Harbor Blvd., The Cellar highlights the skills and knowledge of bartender Rich Ohtsika who will explain the proper way to make an Old Fashioned cocktail while discussing the origins and history of the classic drink.

The festivities come full circle when 320 Main welcomes guests back for the last demo of the week. Cocktail Families: From Sours to Slings, will break down the various families of cocktails on Saturday, March 8 at 2 p.m.

For general information, list of participating bars and restaurants or to gain insight regarding sponsorship and participation opportunities, please visit http://www.occocktailweek.com.