Food As Art: The Ultimate Culinary Experience in Los Angeles

The Aster’s rooftop restaurant, Lemon Grove, recently launched a new culinary pop-up series called “Food As Art: An Explorative Culinary Series.” The star of the evening was guest chef Alavro Clavijo, whose innovative and artistic approach to food captivated everyone, including myself. The event featured an exquisite eight-course meal that left a lasting impression.

The culinary adventure began with a variety of mouthwatering snacks that set the tone for the evening. Each bite offered a delightful combination of flavors and textures. One standout snack was the tender scallops on yuca toast, served with pol sambol and vegan coconut yogurt. The scallops’ delicate sweetness paired perfectly with the spicy pol sambol, creating a harmonious taste experience.

Moving on to the main courses, each dish showcased Chef Clavijo’s mastery. One standout entrée was the parsnip mushroom tartlet, featuring parsnip cream and pickled oyster mushrooms. The earthy flavors of the mushrooms blended seamlessly with the creamy parsnip, while the truffle elevated the dish with its elegant touch.

Another highlight was the Maine lobster accompanied by a yucca leaf kimchi, white garlic sauce, pears, and Caribbean plum broth. The perfectly cooked lobster was tender and succulent. The interplay between the spicy kimchi, subtle sweetness of the pears, and fragrant broth created a delightful dance of flavors.

Chef Clavijo’s expertise in transforming simple ingredients into culinary marvels was evident in the white grouper dish. The tender and flaky grouper, served with pil-pil and fermented cauliflower, showcased a harmonious blend of traditional and contemporary techniques. The addition of kohlrabi provided a refreshing crunch to every bite.

For those who enjoy meat, the wagyu rib eye was a true indulgence. The melt-in-your-mouth rib eye was expertly paired with morel mushrooms, savoy cabbage, and culona bearnaise sauce. The rich umami flavors of the wagyu were enhanced by the earthiness of the mushrooms, while the savoy cabbage added a crisp and vibrant contrast.

The dessert course presented the grand finale of the evening with the remarkable Mambe. An opera of mambe featured mambe ganache, honey marshmallow, and lemongrass ice cream, creating a complex and satisfying combination of flavors and textures. Chef Clavijo’s mastery was evident in every spoonful, with the richness of the ganache balanced by the delicate lemongrass ice cream, and the honey marshmallow adding a touch of sweetness.

Reflecting on my experience at Food As Art: An Explorative Culinary Series with Guest Chef Alavro Clavijo, I feel immense gratitude for being part of such an extraordinary evening. Each dish presented itself as a work of art, showcasing the chef’s creativity and passion for his craft.

Lemon Grove, with its stunning views and inviting ambiance, provided the perfect setting for this gastronomic journey. The event went beyond food’s utilitarian purpose and transformed it into a form of artistic expression.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend Food As Art in the future, I highly recommend immersing yourself in the world of culinary artistry. It is an experience that will tantalize your taste buds, ignite your imagination, and deepen your appreciation for the art of food.

The Best Peruvian Food in Los Angeles

Lonzo’s Bread & Peruvian Eatery is a cozy restaurant located in the heart of downtown Culver city, and it offers a unique blend of Peruvian cuisine. This mom and pop style restaurant is a must try! The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with artwork and photos of Peru and a relaxed vibe that makes you feel right at home. The staff is friendly and attentive, always ready to make recommendations or answer any questions you may have.

But the real star of the show is the food. The menu offers a range of traditional Peruvian dishes, such as ceviche, lomo saltado, aji de gallina, and a variety of fresh-baked bread, all prepared with the freshest ingredients and served with care. One of favorite dish was the seafood ceviche. Not only was it refreshing but a delicious dish that is perfect for seafood lovers looking for a light and flavorful meal. I pretty sure you can’t go wrong with ordering anything from the menu here.

Overall, Lonzo’s Bread & Peruvian Eatery is a gem of a restaurant that offers delicious food, friendly service, and a cozy atmosphere. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner with friends, Lonzo’s is definitely worth a visit.

Address:  10804 Washington Blvd Culver City, CA 90232

How to Travel and Eat Your Way Around Cabo, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning beaches, outdoor activities, and vibrant nightlife. But what many travelers may not know is that Cabo is also a food lover’s paradise. With a diverse culinary scene that ranges from street tacos to high-end dining, there’s no shortage of delicious food to be found in Cabo. In this post, we’ll explore how to travel and eat your way around Cabo, Mexico.

Here are some options to and from the airpot. You can rent a car, take a shared van OR get a private car service. I recommend the a car service so you can enjoy your margarita on the go. Getting around Cabo is inexpensive. Uber will cost you roughly $4 per ride probably cheaper depending on where you are going.

Where to stay:

Airbnb. I stayed outside of downtown Cabo at a gated resident called Santa Carmela. Approximately 10 minutes from downtown, making it easy to get back and forth. This very stylish condo is just outside of the business of downtown and perfectly positioned for a quiet getaway. The kitchen was well stocked with everything I needed for cooking in. I took frequent advantage of having a super nice grocery store right across the highway. The casa club at the base of the complex is incredible. It has a private pool, bar, and I frequently went there to watch the sun rise to start the day. The Unit had strong Wi-Fi, AC and a super comfortable bed to snuggle in. I could honestly go on, and on, but you get where I’m going! This place gets a 10/10 and will come back again. Highly recommended if you are looking for a place for yourself or with a significant other.

Places to dine:

SUR Beach House.

SUR Beach House, located in the heart of Cabo San Lucas, is a stunning oceanfront restaurant that offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience. The restaurant is part of the Hotel El Ganzo, a boutique hotel that’s known for its artistic ambiance and eclectic style.

The first thing you notice when you arrive at SUR Beach House is the breathtaking view. The restaurant sits right on the beach, and the turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez stretch out as far as the eye can see. The decor is chic and modern, with clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic that complements the natural beauty of the surroundings.

The menu at SUR Beach House is focused on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, with an emphasis on seafood. The ceviche is a must-try – it’s made with a variety of fish and seafood that’s marinated in lime juice and served with avocado and crispy plantain chips. The grilled octopus is another standout dish, with tender, perfectly cooked tentacles that are served with roasted garlic aioli and a smoky chili sauce.

In addition to the food, the drinks at SUR Beach House are also top-notch. The cocktail menu is creative and innovative, with a focus on tequila and mezcal-based drinks. The mezcal margarita, made with fresh lime juice and a smoky mezcal, is a standout.

2. La Lupita – Taco & Mezcal.

La Lupita – Taco & Mezcal is a vibrant and popular restaurant that’s known for its delicious tacos and extensive mezcal selection. With its lively atmosphere and creative menu, it’s a must-visit spot for anyone looking for a fun and authentic dining experience in Cabo.The walls are adorned with murals and graffiti-style artwork, giving the restaurant a hip and trendy vibe. The outdoor seating area is particularly charming, with twinkling lights and cozy seating that’s perfect for a warm summer night.

The menu at La Lupita is focused on tacos, with a range of creative and inventive options that will appeal to everyone from meat-lovers to vegetarians. The pork belly taco is a must-try – it’s made with crispy pork belly, pineapple salsa, and pickled onions, and is bursting with flavor. The vegetarian options are also excellent, with dishes like the mushroom and huitlacoche (a type of corn fungus) taco that’s rich and savory.

The mezcal selection at La Lupita is impressive, with over 100 different varieties to choose from. The staff is knowledgeable and happy to make recommendations based on your preferences, and they’ll even bring out a tray of different mezcals for you to sample if you’re having trouble deciding.

What should you try here: Fried Oyster, Drunken Barbacoa Tacos (Lamb), Chipotle Shrimp Tacos, Braised Pork Tacos)

3. Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar.

Hands down my FAVORITE restaurant. Everything about this place is phenomenal! Yes, I’m giving this restaurant high praise. Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar is a high-end restaurant located in the heart of Cabo San Lucas. Helmed by celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, Toro is known for its innovative fusion cuisine that combines Latin and Asian flavors in unexpected and delicious ways.

The restaurant’s decor is sleek and modern, with clean lines and a sophisticated ambiance that sets the tone for the dining experience. The open kitchen adds to the excitement of the space, allowing diners to watch the chefs in action as they prepare each dish with precision and care.

Now, let’s talk about the food. The menu at Toro is extensive and features a wide range of dishes that showcase the restaurant’s unique fusion cuisine. The short rib taco, is a standout starter that’s both light and flavorful. The churrasco steak, served with chimichurri sauce and crispy yucca fries, is a hearty and satisfying main course. And the sushi rolls, which feature unexpected ingredients like plantains and cilantro, are a must-try for sushi lovers.

In addition to the food, Toro has an impressive selection of cocktails and wines that are expertly curated to complement the flavors of the dishes. The staff are knowledgeable and passionate about the drinks, and they’re happy to make recommendations based on your preferences.

What should you try here: Lomo Saltado Empanada, Short Rib Tacos, Chicken Thigh Cusco Style, and Caramel Cheese Cake.

4. Puerta Vieja.

Puerta Vieja is a hidden gem in Cabo San Lucas that’s not to be missed. With its rustic decor, delicious food, and friendly service, it’s the perfect spot for a relaxed and authentic Mexican dining experience. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a cozy spot to unwind, Puerta Vieja is the perfect choice.

Puerta Vieja’s menu is a feast for the senses, with a range of dishes that showcase the flavors and ingredients of traditional Mexican cuisine. The ribeye steak and shrimp caught my attention. This is a delicious and indulgent meal that’s sure to satisfy any carnivore’s cravings. The juicy and tender ribeye steak are cooked to perfection. The shrimp are plump and juicy with a slightly smoky and charred flavor that pairs well with the steak. The dish is served with a side of roasted vegetables that add a healthy and satisfying element to the meal.

But the real star of Puerta Vieja is the ambiance and the service. The friendly and attentive staff are knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make recommendations based on your preferences. And you’ll have a beautiful view of downtown Cabo, the famous Arch of Cabo, while you enjoy a delicious meal. Overall, Puerta Vieja is a must-visit restaurant in Cabo San Lucas.

5. Bar Esquina.

Bar Esquina, located in the luxurious Bahia Hotel, is a chic and sophisticated restaurant that offers a unique dining experience. The decor is modern and stylish, with sleek lines and contemporary art that create a cool and hip vibe.

As you step inside Bar Esquina, you’ll be greeted by the friendly staff who will guide you to your table. The outdoor patio is a popular spot, with its comfortable seating and twinkling lights that create a romantic and intimate atmosphere. And the bar area is a bustling hub of activity, with expert bartenders crafting creative and innovative cocktails that are as beautiful as they are delicious.

The menu at Bar Esquina is a fusion of Latin and Mediterranean cuisine, with a range of dishes that showcase the flavors and ingredients of both regions. The octopus carpaccio is a standout starter, with tender slices of octopus that are served with a flavorful olive tapenade. The lamb chops, served with a rosemary demi-glace and roasted garlic mashed potatoes, are a hearty and satisfying main course that will leave you feeling satisfied and content.

The cocktail menu is creative and innovative, with a range of options that feature unique ingredients and unexpected flavor combinations. The mezcal margarita, made with fresh lime juice and a smoky mezcal, is a standout that’s perfect for sipping on a warm evening. And the wine list is impressive, with a variety of international and local wines that are expertly curated to complement the flavors of the dishes.

Whether you’re a foodie or a cocktail lover, Bar Esquina is sure to impress.

Things to do:

  1. Massage at Eden Spas – Affordable spa with great service.
  2. Sailing with Cabo Sailing – The crew members are super cool, we had a great time, your ticket comes with an open bar and lunch.

Overall, I hope with the following recommendations, you’ll enjoy Cabo San Lucas just as much I did. Go with an open mind and create a new experience. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. Follow me on Instagram at @Tayoscreation.

Tulum is One of Mexico’s Hottest Culinary Destination

Just about two hours south of Cancun, Tulum Mexico has become a destination hot spot for a lot of us. Tulum is famous for its soft white sandy beach, laid back vibes, evergreen scener, historic Mayan Ruins, history, and of course one of the most famous mansion in the world, Pablo Escobar’s mansion. I’ve had my eyes on this magical town for quite a while, so I decided to treat myself to experience this first hand. Outside of the natural wonders, beautiful beaches and historic sites that brings many tourism down, the one thing you hardly hear is the culinary scene in Tulum. A trip is not complete without a great list of places to dine at. With the help of some friends, doing my research, and visiting, I’ve put together a nice list of places you should stop by on your trip in Tulum. With all that being said, here are my recommendations of where to stay and places to dine at.

One of my favorite place of this entire trip is Cabanas Maalix. This is where I stayed at during my trip. It’s a perfect and peaceful place right on the beach with a beach bar and a mom-and-pop style restaurant or should I say kitchen. Everyone was super friendly and helpful throughout my stay! Not only did I have direct access to the beach from my room, but the beach was calm and clean. I even got to witness a turtle give birth right outside my room at night. The guys at the bar are awesome and always within reach for your needs. My room was clean, and they even provide a mosquito net around the bed, perfect for a beach escape. I was very thankful to have access to bikes throughout my stay. It gave me a chance to ride to the restaurants and other hotels nearby if I was looking things to do! Overall if you’re looking for an eco- friendly, quiet, and relaxing place, this is it! I can’t wait to come back and relax on the hammocks again! 

The quality of the food hands down amazing. Don’t expect a 5-star presentation but when it comes to flavor and taste, you are in for one in the books. When it comes to traveling, eating with the locals is of the coolest things to do. Cabanas Maalix gives you that welcome home experience. If you have time, I recommend you stop here for a drink, a meal or even just relaxing at the beach. 

Grab a drink and tacos at Loco Tulum. I highly recommend their red tuna tacos and you also get a free shot if you use their hashtag on a social post. 

Visit Pablo’s Escobar’s Mansion and have a nice dinner at Philosophy, one of the house restaurants at Casa Malca (Pablo’s mansion). The staff and hostess, Tania are very welcoming and nice. When it comes to the food, you have to try their Beet Risotto topped with the catch of the day. 

Have drinks at the I Scream bar it’s next to the gelato spot. You can’t go wrong here. The drinks are in expensive, outdoor sitting is available, the perfect place to enjoy yourself and meet other fellow travelers. The bartenders are absolutely fun to be around. They will get you drunk before you know it and I promise you, you will leave this place chanting I scream bar. #GoodTimes.

Having dinner at Gitano is a must. I highly recommend making reservations before hand because it does get very busy for dinner. You will enjoy a lovely dinner with live music playing in the background, while being immerse in the exotic tropical trees and laid back vibes of Tulum. This restaurant is perfect for couples, groups of friends and if you are like myself, that traveled alone, it’s great for a solo dinner. It’s hard to pick from the list of food options but the steak gets a two thumbs up from me. It’s a bit on the pricey side but it’s worth every dime.

Spend an afternoon having lunch at Be Tulum hotel and their beautiful beach side restaurant. Everything you can potential ask for, great food, ambiance, views and vibe, Be Tulum gives it to you. I recommend you try their shrimp pasta bowl. Absolutely delicious, flavorful and probably one of the best pasta dish I’ve had.

Additional recommendations:

Scuba Diving: La Calypos Dive Center

Amorino Gelato: Artisanal Italian Ice Cream in the Heart

Amorino Gelato is a delightful gelato shop located in Los Angeles, California. This artisanal gelato maker is inspired by traditional Italian techniques, but adds a modern twist to its creations. The shop is famous for its high-quality, authentic Italian gelato, which is made using only the freshest ingredients, including locally sourced milk and fruits.

One of the most popular offerings at Amorino Gelato is the Gelato Flower, which is a work of art in itself. The flower-shaped scoops of gelato are arranged in a cone, making for a visually stunning and delicious treat. The Gelato Flower is available in a variety of flavors, including classic favorites like vanilla and chocolate, as well as unique and creative flavors like caramel, pistachio, and passion fruit.

Another must-try item at Amorino Gelato is the gelato macaron sandwich, which features two delicate macaron cookies filled with creamy, delicious gelato. Customers can choose from a variety of flavors to create their perfect macaron sandwich.

The space is has a few tables and seats so it is great for small groups or dates. Depending on what time you go, you can expect to run into a line during busy hours. If you are smart like me, you will come during mid day when it’s not as busy and you can enjoy your gelato with the option to sit indoors or outdoors.

Overall, Amorino Gelato is a must-visit destination for anyone in the Los Angeles area who loves high-quality, artisanal gelato. With its beautiful Gelato Flowers and delicious macaron sandwiches, this gelato shop is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. So why not stop by Amorino Gelato and treat yourself to a delicious and unique dessert experience today?

Address:  9605 S Santa Monica Blvd Beverly Hills, CA 90210 | Tel: (424) 335-0317

Bedford & Co.: A Sophisticated Dining Experience in the Heart of New York City

Dinner With Tayo comes to NYC! Can you feel my excitement through the screen? I was super excited to join the team and when I found out my first stop would be Bedford & Co, my mouth started to water.

I’ve always heard pretty, good things about this hidden Midtown East gem but was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed the cuisine. Bedford & Co. is American cuisine but with an amazing twist – I’ll explain later.

Address: The Renwick, 118 E. 40th Street, New York, NY 10016 | | (212) 634-4040

After work, I trekked my way up from Financial District to Midtown East and let me tell you, I rarely visit that area. Between Grand Central and all the tourists, it is a headache & anxiety wrapped up with a pretty bow. However, Bedford & Co. is located on a quiet street on 40th & Lexington and is very unassuming from the front. As soon as you walk in, there is a SUPER cute and quaint lounge area that is semi-tucked away from everyone… can you say, date vibes!

The overall vibe of Bedford & Co. is a merge between a dope speakeasy and a classic American restaurant. Now, I am a bar seater at its finest but since I was trying to have an overall experience of Bedford & Co. I decided to sit in the restaurant area. The overall restaurant area is dimly lit with tea candles and no matter where you sit, you can see the kitchen carefully working on your meal, I fell in love even more!

Of course, I started with a glass of Rose’ because well, spring is here! The waitress, who was super cool read off the specials to me and all I heard was “soft shell crab” and I was in. I’m from Maryland so the thought of having crabs, is an instant win in my book. When it arrived, it was beautifully plated and not sure how I can explain it but it was an Asian fusion on my taste buds. The soft shell crab was tempura fried, over a bed of mint, spring peas, and fermented chilies with a light ponzu sauce that was not overwhelming at all but so complementing. Oh and sesame seeds sprinkled on top. I mean, I devoured this dish! It was literally a party in my mouth!

Next up for my main was the leg of lamb! What sets this restaurant apart is they cook almost all the protein on a wood-fired grill, which gave a nice charcoal taste to the lamb. To me, the lamb was almost Mediterranean style with a rich herb glaze but then had an almost yogurt style sauce that went so well with the lamb. In addition, the crunchiness of the Brussel sprouts along with the walnuts, match made in heaven!

Unfortunately, I did not have any room for desert but if I did, the brownie has my name written all over it! Overall, Bedford & Co. is a super win in my book. The ambiance, well thought out menu and not to mention, the music – they were playing 90’s Hip Hop and R&B the entire time from Usher to Notorious B.I.G. If you are ever in that area I would definitely stop by for a dope vibe. Oh, and they have bottomless brunch on the weekends and us, New Yorkers, love that!


Tempura Fried Ponzu Soft Shell Crab

Main Entree:

Colorado Lamb Leg with Brussel Sprouts & Walnuts

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