Foodie Friday: The delightful & delicious Del Frisco’s Grille Opens in Santa Monica

I’ll be honest.

The Del Frisco’s Grille launch party at the Santa Monica Pier a few weeks ago meant A LOT more to me than one of the standard tastings I usually attend.

At the Del Frisco's Grille opening in Santa Monica - the best of Texas on the west coast? I've died and gone to foodie heaven!

Why, you ask? Because…
1) It’s like my two worlds have collided – what with my favorite steakhouse of all-time coming to the Cali coast. Y’all have no idea what delectable deliciousness you’re in store for.
2) The service was straight-up Texas. Never an empty glass, an empty plate or a face without a smile.
3) Take that customer service a giant step further! I received a THANK YOU NOTE (remember what those are?) from my waitress, Ashley, from Idaho. Yep, seriously.

Customer Service with a smile at Del Frisco's Grille: A Thank You note from my waitress on my 1st visit, Ashley

4) I met Jason Lewis from Sex & The City…which, um, I didn’t haaate (as you can see in this picture).

TryToBeCool, Dawn. TRY. TO. BE. COOL. With the also-delicious Jason Lewis (of Sex & The City fame) at the Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica opening

To be honest, these are the moments I return to my early days as a cheerleader. Full of fun, full of hope and full of faith that my team will get the job done.
As I made my rounds abound the room, the one thing I heard on repeat from all of my fellow guests and fellow media attendees was this: “Can you believe this service?” or “This is the BEST service I’ve ever experienced.” Literally, I heard some variation of this AT LEAST 21 times. Not twenty. 21!!
My response, “Oh, of course. I grew up as a Dallas Del Frisco’s girl. It’s the only kind of service I know.”
Which might explain why my expectations are so high. And, unfortunately, why I’m often let down. After all, customer service is key with me, sugar!
No disappointment here – only delight. And we haven’t even gotten to the food and cocktails yet!

Cocktail'o'clock at Del Frisco Grille Santa Monica

Between the ice-cold, super fresh seafood (such as shrimp, salmon, oysters, clams and more)…

Fresh, tasty and ice-cold seafood bar at Del Frisco Grille Santa Monica

and delectable small bites such as slider burgers, sushi rolls and Philly cheesesteak eggrolls (ONE OF MY FAVORITE FOODS ON THE ENTIRE PLANET!!!)…

Small bites of sin at Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica

and delectable desserts such as Nutella Bread Pudding and – the one I dream about – coconut cream pie as well as the “Adult Milkshake” nightcap cocktail…

Dessert & the cutest nightcap ever at Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica

I left full and smiling from ear to ear…and fully satiated and delighted!

Antics on the red carpet at the Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica opening

Listen, I know that Texans get a bad rap sometimes but this is one Texan transplant that has already won over its whole Cali constituency.
Del Frisco’s Grille is now OPEN!!
1551 Ocean Ave. – Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone (310) 395-7333 – dfgrille.santamonica@dfrg.com
xoxo,
BF
BF Asks: What restaurant from your hometown do you wish was in the city you live in now? 

FOODIE FRIDAY: TAR & ROSES, TASTES LIKE SUCCESS!

Tar & Roses - exterior

Dear Tar & Roses Team:

You are the latest stamp in my culinary passport. Who knew Santa Monica was as far as I’d need to go for this amazing culinary adventure.

We were a mix of new acquaintances and old friends, so I initially thought it might be a challenge to find items on the menu that we would all agree on to share and enjoy. However, we quickly realized that THIS was going to be a no-brainer as whatever we ordered was going to be delicious. Still with our overflowing enthusiasm for your food, we were in need of our very knowledgeable server Joe’s confirmation that we had chosen wisely.

 

 

We were intrigued by the “X-Large” section of the menu so we started by ordering the whole fried snapper with cold soba noodles. WOO-HOO! Next in the “Large” section, the Kurobuta pork loin with creamed corn and black kale was the winner. From the “small” section, we chose the beet salad and the ricotta gnocchi with asparagus. Finally, the wood roasted cauliflower from the “veggies” section and the bone marrow with onion marmalade from “snacks.” The presentation of the food was fun and adventurous. We were so excited to watch the different dishes being delivered to each table and the anticipation built until it was finally our turn.

 

Tar & Roses temptresses...

Bone marrow($11) onion marmalade, sea salt, and sourdough. This was sooo rich and delicious with a light smoky taste.

Beet salad($11) avocado, blood orange, fennel, frisee, and walnutsIncredibly fresh!

Wood roasted cauliflower($8) anchovy pesto, pinenut, lemon.

Ricotta gnocchi($11) asparagus and fava bean tendrils.

Kurobuta pork loin($24) creamed corn, black kale parmesanThe pork was so tender, juicy and perfectly cooked. Perfectly placed on a bed of creamed corn and black kale seasoned with tarragon, so sweet and creamy, PERFECTION!

***Whole fried snapper($52) cold soba noodles, and dipping sauce. Adult finger food, MY FAVORITE! This was definitely enough for the whole table. An amazing presentation and so much fun to eat and share. We were pulling it apart with our fingers!

Strawberry Ricotta Crostata($9) with honeycomb ice cream. The buttery crust with the creamy Ricotta was over the top good!

Described as modern American rustic, the menu had a variety of influences, such as Italian, Mediterranean and Asian, that seemed to be at play. Chef Kirschner seems to know exactly what we like to eat and is extraordinary at executing it perfectly! There was an enviable simplicity to the food. I’ve had Snapper before but never like this. I’ve had creamed corn before but not this creamy and flavorful, and the strawberry Crostata? Off-the-charts good!

It’s as if I’ve been hypnotized! Every time someone says the word FOOD you will talk endlessly about the delicious whole fried snapper at Tar & Roses, and I DO!!

Listed at the top of the menu is your offering of Peace and Love to all the local farmers who believe in sustainable, organic agriculture and your menu reads like your thank you letter to them. You’ve created the perfect combinations of flavors to enhance but never hide, the quality ingredients that have been cultivated for your use and our consumption. To Chef Andrew Kirschner, locally grown yourself, you’ve beautifully guided each ingredient to its potential, let them shine and shared it with us. Thank you for your generosity and creativity. 

Interior of Tar & Roses...

With love and respect,

Rebecca Meyer, www.BeautyFrosting.com Foodie Friday reviewer and food lover

 

TAR & ROSES

602 Santa Monica Boulevard

Santa Monica,CA 

310-587-0700

www.tarandroses.com

$$$

BF Asks: What restaurant or bar should we review next? If you own – or work at – a restaurant or have a suggestion on where we should get our Foodie Friday on next, reply below or send us a message! 

 

Kiehl’s Earth Day Celebration with Alanis Morissette & Zachary Quinto Benefitting Recycle Across America!

Kiehl's Santa Monica - EVENT PHOTOS BY John Shearer/Invision

 

I have been a fan of Kiehl’s for as long as I can remember. In fact, one of the first products I ever fell in love with was Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer. I was obsessed with it because I had read that it was on every celebrity’s and makeup artist’s must-have list. And anything that a celebrity had on their face, I had to have on mine, of course!

So imagine my inner 14-year-old’s giddy glee when I was invited to attend a Kiehl’s party last Thursday, April 17th! And the 14-year-old me just got even more excited to see Alanis Morissette as she walked in! But I was even more thrilled to be joining Kiehl’s for such an important moment in their company’s history.

The party was in honor of the release of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Limited Edition jars ($46.50 for 4.2 oz jar) with labels designed by celebrity do-gooders Alanis Morissette and Zachary Quinto just in time for Earth Day!

 

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream Jars designed by Zachary Quinto & Alanis Morissette

 

100% of the proceeds of the jars benefit Recycle Across America -an amazing charity – and $50,000 will be used to create 65,000 recycling labels for  select K-12 schools nationwide.

As many of you may know, Kiehl’s adopted their own recycling program years ago. For every empty Kiehl’s container you return, you get 1 stamp. When you reach 3 stamps, you receive their classic Lip Balm, 5 stamps – travel collection product and 10 stamps – a full size product (up to $25). I wish every beauty company would have the motivation to try a program like this!

Guests besides me and my fabulous photographer-for-the-day, BeautyFrosting visual designer and former roomie, Vanessa York, included…

 

Former roomies of 2 years match accidentally in our Earth Day-green!

 

Alanis Morissette, Zachary Quinto, AnnaSophia Robb, Robert Buckley, Gilles Marini, AshLee Frazier from The Bachelor, Lauren Scruggs and more!

 

Clockwise from top left: AnnaSophia Robb and Amy Smart, Zachary Quinto and Alanis Morissette, Robert Buckley & Chris Salgardo & friends and Giilles Marini & Chris Salgardo - EVENT PHOTOS BY John Shearer/Invision

 

I was thrilled to meet Alanis Morissette, Zachary Quinto and Kiehl’s President, Chris Salgardo…

Me with Zachary Quinto, Kiehl's President Chris Salgardo and Alanis Morissette

 

and AshLee Frazier (my favorite contestant from last season’s The Bachelor)!!

Just 2 Texas girls in Santa Monica: AshLee Frazier and me! She's a doll, y'all!

 

There was also a wonderful selection of photos from Eco Warrior Exhibit by photographer, Roger Moenks.

EcoWarrior Exhibit by Roger Moenks - EVENT PHOTOS BY John Shearer/Invision

Tito’s Vodka supplied the social libations and STK provided the delicious eats including truffle fries and sliders oh-my!

But even with all of the delicious drinks & eats and fabulous conversation and new friendships formed, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the $50,000 check to Recycle Across America. The check was presented to Recycle Across America Founder & Executive Director Mitch Hedlund by by President of Kiehl’s North America, Chris Salgardo, and Alanis Morissette and Zachary Quinto.

While it was wonderful to see some familiar faces – and an even more familiar product to me, the real delight is all of the children who will benefit from a better tomorrow thanks to organizations – like Recycle Across America – and the people who believe in them, like Kiehl’s.

 

 

xoxo,

BF

 

BF Asks: How did you celebrate Earth Day?

Foodie Friday: Huckleberry is HEAVENLY!

Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery in Santa Monica

Dear Huckleberry,

I am in love with your bakery and café in Santa Monica. It’s the ideal neighborhood hangout with a casual, laid back atmosphere. My never-ending search for great baked goods has led me here, and thank goodness it did.

I didn’t know this was an order at the counter, grab-the-next-available-table kind of place. When I arrived, all of the tables were full, inside and out, and there was a line out the back door. I have to admit, I started to panic. Will I get a table? With all of these people, will there be any pastry left for me? BREATHE! Don’t worry, there’s a reason for the line. I quickly realized, the reason you don’t hold us up in a foyer waiting for a table is that you want us to walk amongst the pastry, interact with the staff, and with each other! That’s part of the charm of this place.

 

 

Illuminated by a skylight, the giant blackboards list the offerings for the day, both sweet and savory. The peek-a-boo open kitchen allowed me to see the staff playfully preparing giant trays of baked treats just for us! Part of me wanted to jump in and help. Next up, the cold deli case, filled with beautifully made sandwiches of prosciutto, gruyere, plugra butter and fleur de sel. The various salads and side dishes of quinoa, roasted cauliflower and pickled chiles are all tempting, but I’m on a mission.

 

The line moves forward, inching me closer to the star attractions – and there they are.

 

A large glass partition allows me to spy the incredible bakery creations. Various platters and pedestals filled with sugar perfection. So many choices, I’m in heaven: kouign amann, lemon pistachio cake, sour plum turnovers, carrot tea cake, chocolate banana tarts, various cookies, croissants, and mini chocolate cupcakes, just to name a few. In the background a variety of homemade breads are lined up and displayed for consumption. Here are a few things from the menu I enjoyed:

Creekstone Farms Brisket Hash ($12) – with roasted potatoes, arugula, and sunny side up eggs.

This dish is one of my favorites. More like a stew than a hash, LOVE! Juicy slow-cooked brisket. This reminded me of the midwest home cooking I grew up enjoying.

Green Eggs and Ham ($12) – La Quercia Prosciutto , pesto, and arugula on a house made English Muffin: Light, and flavorful. The pesto sauce was bright, and fresh. A simple dish, but the quality of ingredients is obvious to all.

Strawberry Crostata ($7.5)

Lemon Pistachio Cake ($5)

Cinnamon Roll ($3.75)

Whole Wheat Apple Fruit Slice ($5.5)

All of the baked goods were amazing! My favorite was the Lemon Pistachio Cake. A good crust, moist and lemon soaked in the center, and topped with toasted pistachios. YUM.

To the culinary power couple, owners Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb, THANK YOU for creating great-tasting, quality food worth waiting in line for! Yes, it was crowded, but that’s just a good indication that something great is going on inside. Yes, it was busy, but I never felt neglected by your friendly staff, and YES, if you can’t tell, Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe is my new culinary crush!

I’m so envious of what you’ve created here. A big thank you to the entire Huckleberry Team!

With love and appreciation,

Rebecca

 

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe

1014 Wilshire Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90401

310-451-2311

http://www.huckleberrycafe.com/

 

Hours:

Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 8:00pm

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00am – 5:00pm

 

Price: $$

*Keep your hearts full and your taste buds happy, people!*

Skincare Superhero: Dermalogica Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum – POW!!

I had the pleasure of being one of the first to try Dermalogica’s new Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum at the launch party in Santa Monica last week. Between delicious bites, vino and the charming Dermalogica staff, I was utterly delighted to sample this exciting new product!

At the Dermalogica Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum Launch Party in Santa Monica

 

I have tried hundreds of eye treatments in my day but this one was different with dramatic results. With a pin-sized application, my delicate eye area was immediately left feeling lifted and tightened. And with the cooling and soothing effect, my little bags underneath seemed to instantly vanish.

The folks at Dermalogica are such perfectionists that they had this product ready in 2011 but after a few people had a reaction to it, they knew they had to rework it to work for their most sensitive of customers.

Now, they have created the perfect Ultrasmoothing eye serum ($50) for those who need the effects of antiaging properties while being sensitive to those with sensitive eyes.

 

By my Bedside: Dermalogica Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum ($50)

The magic ingredient of yeast – the same ingredient found in the old pageant standby, Preparation-H, contains hexapeptides that reduce lymphatic fluid. Lucky for us, that means our baggage can be checked and stowed away anywhere else but under our eyes. 

Also, the cross-linked hyaluronic acid attracts 5000 times more moisture than other ingredients alone. Other ingredients that pack the pow in this powerful product?
Carrot oil (MVP when it comes to reducing sensitivity and redness and is a a natural form of retinol), vitamin C (brightening & lightening), algae (which retains a lot of moisture and is soothing to sensitive skin) and seaweed and golden chamomile all pack the power.

As for the unique bottle, the needle nose delivery can confuse people but but it’s designed to keep the product contamination-free. Don’t untwist the grey lid – just the white cap on top!

Ideal for women, and men alike, this serum dries fast and is the perfect priming surface for your eye cream. I seriously saw immediate results with no irritation to my sensitive skin.

I deem it the superhero of my skincare regimen today! POW!!!!!

xoxo,
BF

 

High-Low: A WEEK OF WONDERFUL WOMEN IN MY WORLD!

Wow, wow, wow!!! What an amazing week filled with oodles of fun with friends and wonderful women in my world!

The week started off with…The Oscars! I had a strange feeling that this might be my last opportunity to sit at home and watch (party invites, etc.) so I decided to take advantage of it. I had brunch and bottomless mimosas with my best friend, Suzanne Karotkin, who was visiting from Dallas and then came home, slipped on my favorite Jessie Steele cupcake pajamas and settled in for the evening with some Village Pizza and vino.

Super indulgent - Oscars Sunday in pjs with pizza!

 

On Monday, my amazing Mom celebrated her birthday so I did what I could from afar. I prettily packaged her favorite coconut cupcakes from Joan’s on 3rd, shipped them to her in Dallas and then posted a few collages on Facebook so she knew I was thinking of her on her special day! I have the most beautiful mother in the world and I’m lucky that I get to consider her my very best friend and talk to her usually twice a day.

More important than loving me, she taught me HOW to love.
No small task for a parent in the world we live in.
But, thanks to my Mom, my world was a sunshine-warmed home filled with love, laughter, openness, communication and fun with no shortage of hugs & kisses and secrets shared.
If I am never lucky again in my life, I was the luckiest for being born into this world having her as my mother.
We should all be so lucky and blessed.

My beautiful Mom!

 

Mom - the center of our universe.

I was thrilled to welcome my new intern, Maddi – a student at UCLA, to my BeautyFrosting team! I was so excited that I organized one of my favorite Martha Stewart notebooks for her replete with a nametag. Yep, I’m kind of a nerd! I am so excited for the energy, organization, talents, ideas and creativity she is already bringing to the BF team!

Welcome Maddi!!

I was super excited to get to be one of the first to try the all new Dermalogica UltraSmoothing Eye Serum at their flagship store in Santa Monica. It was a lovely evening of pampering, cocktails & eats and treats! Stay tuned for more details on this awesome new eye treatment!

Experiencing the Dermalogica difference in Santa Monica

And this past weekend was a weekend filled with wonderful women that I adore!! Between dinner at Frida in Beverly Hills, wine & tapas at Covell in Silverlake and brunch at Duplex on 3rd, my weekend was packed with fabulous friends!

A wonderful weekend with some of my favorite women!

Then last night, I had the pleasure of trying out the fabulous Flemings SteakHouse in Beverly Hills. As a Texan-turned-Angeleno, I had been craving a steak like nobody’s business, so when the offer to try out this sensational steakhouse presented itself, I felt like the steak gods were in my corner! More on this deliciousness later!

With fun friends At Fleming's Steakhouse in Beverly Hills

After all this, I need a vacation from my weekend!!!! While there was much delicious food this weekend and even more delicious cups of laughter and dishing than glasses of wine, I am in need of a break from all of the social activity.

However, that won’t be happening this week! Too much going on to even mention!

 

LOWS

My sweet Mom’s birthday was a little tainted by someone being selfish. That made me a little angry, shall we say, as her #1 biggest fan!

And unfortunately, there was a second low. And ohhhhhh-was it low! My beloved, sweet pup Miss Ellie has developed a barking problem since we moved into the place we live now. It has come to a head because she’s barking for hours on end when I leave. I am meeting with a dog trainer who told me that I need to crate-train and stop letting her sleep with me. That hurt. She’s 8 1/2, y’all. I actually cried when she told me that so the trainer probably thinks I need a therapist myself! But I started doing what she told me to do and I’m hoping to see gradual results soon.

I’m really feeling for all of you parents out there. I mean, if this is hard for me, I can only imagine how difficult saying no as a parent will be for me one day! Wish me luck with this little challenge!

 

Miss Ellie's new "house" - :(

 

xoxo,

BF
BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week?