Tasty Tidbits: Umami/LA Creamery Strike Deal, Sportsmen’s Lodge Comeback, Kids and Caviar

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The Sportsmen’s Lodge, once the legendary stomping grounds of stars like Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne, started its makeover in 2009 when it was acquired by Richard Weintraub. Now, the restaurant which was originally called the Muddy Moose, has transformed into River Rock Lounge with white buffalo heads, antler chandeliers, white ‘loungy’ chairs, a stone wall, wood bar and more retro rustic details — and it officially opens  July 7 at 5 p.m. following an massive five-month renovation.

Shake It: The new River Rock Lounge at the Sportsmen's Lodge features an eclectic food and bar menu. Photo: Joes Arias

The restaurant is a major departure in its design and menu. Executive Chef Marcos Arana has created an eclectic menu of small plates and appetizers, salads,  entrees and desserts. There’s also an extensive beverage menu of hand-crafted specialty cocktails, fine wines, and over 30 craft beers by bottle and six on tap.

Dubbed “The New School of Old School Cool” by Lounge Manager  Jon Paul Gwozdz (who last managed  J Restaurant Lounge near the Staples Center and is known for his creative cocktails), River Rock Lounge features five flat screen TV’s and indoor and outdoor dining.

SL Events Center General Manager Laurence Whiting, a San Fernando Valley native, whose culinary pedigree includes Along Came Mary, Patina Catering and the Villa Getty, is the creative brains behind the new venue as he re-imagined the old Hollywood stomping grounds as a homage to the past with a contemporary spin.

“The concept was, first and foremost, to create a comfortable yet contemporary environment, with simply great food and drink. We decided to play off of the decidedly ‘lodge’ feeling of the space by adding fresh paint, new carpet and modern furnishings designed to perfectly contrast the historic nature of the space,” said Whiting. “The name, River Rock Lounge, refers to the actual river rocks which adorn the space, originally pulled from the lake waters which still lay below Ventura Boulevard.”

Open for lunch and dinner. The regular happy hour is from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., late night happy hour starts at 10 p.m.with classic movies and concert films, live bands, entertainment and DJs on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday is locals night with live entertainment and free corkage.Dinner reservations are required and can be made by called 818-755-5000. Read about the 2009 renovation of the events center here.


Little Feet in the Kitchen campers enjoyed a day of caviar tasting at Petrossian in West Hollywood. Photo: Jennifer Evans Gardner

Last Friday, a  group of kids, ages 6-12, were spotted  eating caviar at Petrossian in West Hollywood.  A little bit of a strange sighting, but not so much when you realize that the person heading the pack is Jennifer Evans Gardner ofLittle Feet in the Kitchen Cooking School (based in Studio City). As an avid crusader against “junky kid food,” Gardner is determined to create adventurous eaters through cooking experiences at her classes and camps.  In her blog, Gardner reported that the kids tried “about 10 different types of caviar by the charming GM Christopher Klapp, who engaged them in a lively discussion on the history and geography of caviar, as well as the intricate method by which it is created over an 8-10 year period.”   She quipped that out of the eleven kids,  only two of them wouldn’t taste it at all, and a few more didn’t love it.  Everyone else — nearly half of them — ate every last drop. If you’re interested in sending your kids on a culinary adventure in the kitchen and in the field, check out Gardner’s two upcoming five day camps on July 9 and 16. I wish she had a camp for adults! www.littlefeetinthekitchen.com


LA Creamery will be offering even more unique and wacky-licious flavors courtesy of new stakeholder, Umami King Adam Fleischman. Photo: LA Creamery

The ultimate culinary talents in artisan flavor are joining forces —Umami King Adam Fleishman (Umami, Umamicatessen, Red Medicine, 800 Degrees)  unites with Brad Saltzman and Stephen Bikoff of the two-year-old, Chatsworth based LA Creamery in what is sure to be a sweet and savory frozen explosion.

Fleischman has signed on as a partner to create some even more incredibly wacky-licious flavors, including Porc Phat ( made with Spanish Iberico lardo, Asian pears, hazelnuts and pure mint gel). Other flavors include Moonshine and Caramel Corn; Absinthe (yep, it’s the real spirit and created for an adult root beer float that just debuted at Umami Burger Anaheim ); and Mezcal, the real stuff mixed with orange liqueur.

“Brad and I are beyond excited to have a creative visionary and business leader, such as Adam Fleischman as a new owner and partner in L.A. Creamery,” said Bikoff. “We have been selling artisan ice cream to Adam’s company for quite some time now, and from the beginning, we realized the amazing synergy between Adam’s vision for the food industry, and the L.A. Creamery brand, as a modern artisan ice cream company. Primarily, Adam, Brad, and I are going to work together to grow L.A. Creamery as a company that distributes our products throughout the United States.”

LA Creamery is served at most Umami restaurants, as well as  Farm Shop, Tar and Roses, Joan’s on Third on the Westside, and Toluca Lake’s Olive and Thyme, among others.  Can’t get there? You can order pints of Adam’s special picks for delivery. Note that there are six  pints to an order for $70-90.   And if you really want to splurge futher, just order your own custom made flavor (with labels), starting at $600 for six pints. Tell your friends, they ship nationwide!  Check it all out on LA Creamery’s  newly redesigned website.


Come in to any Mimi’s Cafe location all day on July 6 and guests receive a FREE Strawberry Shortcake muffin, Mimi’s newest creation, with a donation and any purchase at Mimi’s Cafe restaurants. Photo: Mimi's Cafe

Mimi’s Cafe is designating Friday, July 6 as Mimi’s Muffins for Miracles Day as part of their partnership with Children’s Miracle Network. Come in to any Mimi’s Cafe location all day on July 6 and guests receive a FREE Strawberry Shortcake muffin, Mimi’s newest creation, with a donation and any purchase at Mimi’s Cafe restaurants. Also, through the month of July, guests at Mimi’s Cafe restaurants can lend support by donating to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. With a $1 donation guests will receive a Miracle Balloon paper icon to display in the restaurant and with a $5 donation guests will also receive a balloon lapel pin. All proceeds will be donated to local CMN Hospitals. The funds raised from this Mimi’s for Miracles campaign will help create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that saves and improves the lives of 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals each year. There are LA-area locations in Los Feliz, Torrance, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, Long Beach and Lakewood.

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find. Email: karen@mydailyfind.com

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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