Go: dineLA 2013 Winter Edition

mo-chica

Every year since 2008, the LA Tourism and Convention Board has teamed together with LA restaurants and American Express to host dine LA Restaurant Week, a bi-annual celebration of LA eateries.  For 12 straight days, over participating restaurants will be featuring special prix fixe menus for adventurous diners.  It’s the perfect chance to check out a new restaurant that has been on your soon-to-hit-list, or be reunited with a tried and true classic that you haven’t enjoyed in a while.  The winter installment of dine LA starts January 21st (today) and runs till February 1st.

Since we, at Secret Agent, pride ourselves on being quite devoted epicureans….(in other words, we eat….a lot), here is a selection of some of our top picks.  We have a preference for the Eastside so most of our picks are east of La Brea.

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Artisan House – local to our new office in DTLA, this elegant eatery boasts a market, fantastic coffee, and fresh and local produce transformed into delicious Californian fare.

Cliff's Edge

Cliff’s Edge – we love a hidden restaurant and Cliff’s Edge has positively the best patio in town.  Beyond the clandestine door awaits a newly renovated door and a revitalized menu by Chef Vartan Abgaryan.

umamicatessen

UMAMIcatessen – Inspired by international street bazaars and the classic American delicatessen, UMAMIcatessen is a table-service dining hall inside the Orpheum.  Informal, international, and insanely good.

mochica

Mo-Chica – it doesn’t get mo-delicious than Mo-Chica. Chef Ricardo Zarate, Food and Wine’s Best New Chef, offers up his own modern interpretation of classic Peruvian dishes.  It doesn’t hurt that the compact space pops with color and verve to match the cuisine.

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Lukshon – our *one* west side pick is Lukshon.  This gorgeously appointed Culver City restaurant won an AIA Los Angeles Restaurant Design Award a few years ago.  Minimal, sophisticated, and ridiculously tasty.  You cannot go wrong with crab fritters.

For more information, follow dineLA on:

• Facebook: facebook.com/dinelafan 
• Twitter: twitter.com/dineLA 
• Instagram: http://followgram.me/dinela


Go: New. Artisanal. Now

 

 

This summer is truly the season for biennials!  Art fans have Made in LA 2012, the Hammer Museum‘s amazing season-long program showcasing the best and brightest up and coming LA artists.  And now, for one delicious day, epicureans have New Artisanal Now, For Your Art‘s first-ever artisanal food biennial.

 

Inspired by and timed to coincide with Made in LA 2012 , New Artisanal Now will showcase some of the City’s finest food crafters.  Hosted in a special pop-up shop (in the FYA space) at  6020 Wilshire Blvd., an all-star team of culinary insiders including Krista Simmons (Top Chef Masters/LAist), Shawna Dawson (Artisanal LA) and Michaele Musel (The Secret Fork) have curated a selection of 12 amazing local food artists for our enjoyment and discovery.  From bacon confections to trendy drinking vinegars, this is not to be missed.

Saturday, July 28th – 12pm to 6pm at the For Your Art Space at 6020 Wilshire Boulevard.

Photos by David Gilbert via For Your Art


Spotted: Zoku Mod Pop(sicle) Machine

Ah, the popsicle.  The quintessential summer treat.  Cold, sweet, refreshing…what could be better?   Uh…designing your very own colorful edible work of art and then flash freezing it so you don’t have to wait.  Fantastic idea, Zoku!  The Quick Pop Maker is this New Jersey-based company’s first major product, but we can’t wait to see what they make next.  We see a popsicle party in our near future…

The Quick Pop Maker is one part fun science experiment and one part well-designed kitchen tool, flash freezing liquids to make popsicles in minutes.  (It’s not recommended to put alcohol in the Zoku for obvious reasons…we checked!)

Obsessed as we are?  Check this out.

You can get molds to customize your pops too. (Seriously, just look at them. We’re sold.)

Zoku Character Kit (photo by Zoku)

And if ridiculously cute is not your thing, you can always try these healthy versions.

Cucumber Mint Margarita Quick Pops (photo by Zoku)

Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles (photo by Bakers Royale)

Mango Lassi & Strawberry-Honey Yogurt Popsicles (photo by Desserts for Breakfast)

Double Rainbow Quick Pops. Photo by Zoku


Secret Agent Supper #1

There’s no better way to celebrate than to cook and enjoy a good meal together, so Secret Agent decided to host our first-ever “Secret Agent Supper” this year with the help of Hipcooks, a West Coast guild of cooking studios that teach students to unleash their inner cooks.  We gathered at Hipcooks East at the Brewery for Una Noche de Tapas.  The DIY meal kicked off with an array of olives and delicious manchego with membranillo (quince paste) followed by handmade empanadas, tortilla espagnol, garlicky gambas, a fresh arugula salad, and of course some hot sticky nuts.  We topped the meal off with a ridiculously sweet but gorgeous flan replete with handmade sugar sculpture.  Besides a full belly, we all walked away with the basic recipes for the next tapas extravaganza with ideas on how to improvise.  Great fun, good food, and even better company.

Big thanks to everyone who braved rush hour traffic to get there.  Next year, we hope to host more intimate and fun Secret Agent Suppers with clients, friends, and the amazing creative people we meet through our work infiltrating the media in the name of good design.  All, of course, to be hosted at undisclosed locations.  And yes, invitations will self-destruct upon receipt.


Gifts Spotted 2011: Our Secret Agent Picks for Best Gifts Spotted By the Best Gift Guides Out There


We’re usually in the business of pitching our favorite blogs to be included in their spectacular holiday gift guides, but this year we wanted to find a way to thank the host of editors out there who take the time each year to compile such great ideas. For 24 festive days, we’ll be posting our picks of the day, spotted in one of our favorite holiday guides.

Follow us on Twitter to check out our picks at @secretagentpr #giftspotted!

Whether you spot the perfect gift waiting under the tree or not, the most important mission this month is to spend a happy and healthy holiday season with friends and family. Happy holidays from Secret Agent PR!

Joyeuses Fêtes
Καλες Γιορτες
メリークリスマス
메리 크리스마스


Seen: This Summer


Traditional Korean masks from street vendors in Seoul, Korea

Secret Agent PR closed down all operations during the month of August this summer to give our agents (and our clients) a much-needed chance to recuperate, relax, and recharge.   The agents traveled far and wide discovering new places, cultures, tastes, and sounds.  Here are just a few highlights of the gems we collectively discovered.


AIA LA Announces Restaurant Design Awards Finalists

I’m not really sure which I’m addicted to more, food or design, so the AIA LA’s annual Restaurant Design Awards are naturally something that I never fail to mark on the calendar.  This year, however, I was honored to be included on the jury along with architect Dean Larkin and chef and author Mark Peel of Campanile fame.  After nearly five hours of careful deliberation, we, the jury, selected a list of finalists for you, the people’s, voting pleasure.  The nominees include restaurants, cafe/bars, and lounges from LA, Austin, Portland (Maine, not Oregon), and even the city of my birth, Columbus, OH.  Already popping up on Eater LA and California Home and Design, the word is clearly out.  People need only click here to vote for their choice for top toques.  Then come out to Dwell on Design on June 24th to find out who will be crowned victorious.