Author Archives Edgar Varela

Kai Japanese Roots – Beer Week, Fine Dining, Happy Hour, Rare Japanese Whiskey and More!

Broadway Avenue in DTLA just got a little bit hotter as a new addition to the ever-growing restaurant scene pops up, the beautiful new Kai Japanese Roots has taken the Broadway Avenue anchor spot at the now rapidly growing Spring Arcade Building.

Menus for Kai Japanese Roots show off that this is no ordinary Japanese restaurant only catering to the sushi crowd, they boast a variety of favorites, from hand rolls, rice bowls, yakitori, to sashimi and cut rolls as well as assorted vegetables, salads and soups. The bar stands on it’s own with a full bar that includes beer, sake, wine, draft spirits, craft cocktails and an extensive curated list of Japanese whiskeys.

When brothers Ben and Bobby Davidson set out to create a Japanese restaurant 2 years ago, they had already been doing business in Downtown Los Angeles for over two decades. Their goal was to craft something that would not only be authentic to Japanese cuisine and aesthetics, but equally rooted in our historically rich environment.

The guiding principle was to create a space that exemplifies the elegance of honesty and incorporates the vibrant rhythm of our surrounding environment, foremost in cuisine and design. Years of research, months of selection, hours of interviews and a trip to Japan led us to the point where we are proud to present our conception as Kai: Japanese Roots.

Executive chef, Miki Fujita, trained and apprenticed in Japan and working for 27 years in Japanese cuisine, exudes a deep pride and enthusiasm for every dish that he carefully crafts. This same ethic flows through all aspects of food and drink, as our sake list is carefully curated to appreciate the robust spectrum of flavor and dimensions of sake in a meaningful way.  We sought out the best and most celebrated Japanese whiskey and malts, craft beers, and sochu spirits to be both comprehensive and precise.

BEER WEEK

6/19 Monday : Deschutes Brewery
6/20 Tuesday : Hitachino Nest
6/21 Wednesday: Coedo Beer
6/22 Thursday: Angel City Brewery
6/23 Friday: Sapporo

 

With LA Beer Week going on in DTLA from the 19th to the 24th, we figured we’d get in on the fun and give a little shine to some local and Japanese breweries, craft and large.

Please join us as we host Kai Japanese beer week, with representative for several breweries coming by every day of the week, with raffles, giveaways, beer education , and some stellar Japanese and local beers. We’ll be highlighting a different brewery each day along with some special beers , so it would make sense to come back every day, if you’re so inclined.

The highlighted Brewery of the day will feature TWO FOR ONE BEER from 5pm onwards, so bring a friend or just get drunk quick. In addition to that we’ll have goodies and swag as each brewery allows, special beer flights, and out standard Happy Hour running from 3-7PM every day. The Schedule is listed below and will be updated as we add new breweries.

Indoor and patio dining with private event space for 40. Weekday Happy Hour 3-7pm. Open daily at 11:30am for Lunch. Spring Arcade Building 542 South Broadway St.

Los Angeles, CA 90013 (213) 232-4900 http://www.KaiJapaneseRoots.com/

Best New Breakfast in DTLA – Blu Jam Cafe

When it comes to Breakfast in DTLA the options have always been limited. But now with Los Angeles breakfast powerhouse open, Blu Jam Cafe is poised to take over the Breakfast, Brunch scene in DTLA. This is the type of restaurant that prides itself on making as much as possible from scratch, sourcing local and organic food and taking care of its customers.

This new opening represents the tipping point for the now rapidly growing Spring Arcade Building and solidifies it as the next “go to” spot for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. The Spring Arcade has had its ups and downs over the years, despite first emerging as a possible contender for the title of “next great thing” after the boom of Grand Central Market began a few years ago. Plenty of concepts have moved in, including Kai Japanese Roots, Guisados, Gelateria Uli, Garçons de Café wine bar, Crêpes Sans Frontières, but plenty of other names have dropped in and out of the conversation just as quickly too. Now with the new arrival of this delicious restaurant more folks will be drawn to the airy open arcade. This new anchor to the neighborhood will join the soon to open Royal Claytons, Don Francisco Coffee roasters as the new food enclave takes shape.

Blu Jam will now be the crown jewel of the breakfast and brunch scene in Downtown Los Angeles with the type of menu that makes you want to get up early to eat. The best way to describe the variety of titillating dishes is “Creatively Eclectic”.

You will not find many typical breakfast items on the menu. Instead, enjoy the Brunch Carbonara – Gluten-Free Risotto with crispy smoked bacon, green peas, parsley and parmesan, topped with two poached eggs and a herb pistou. Scrumptious! For the Health and Fitness minded, try the Power House – Six egg whites scrambled with baby spinach, and fresh basil, with two grilled free-range chicken breasts and house made San Marzano tomato sauce. To please your inner-child, try Kamil’s Breakfast – Pan-roasted macaroni scrambled with eggs, smoked bacon, ham, garlic, chives and cheddar cheese.

All of the soups, sauces and dressings are made fresh daily. You will not find a freezer in the kitchen. Every dish is cooked to order. Blu Jam Cafe in DTLA will also be adding fresh baked bread made in-house to its arsenal of amazing food, although it may take a few months for the perfectionist Majer to present it to the public.

Today, Kamil is involved in all the day-to-day operations at Blu Jam, and can regularly be found managing the kitchen and interacting with guests. He routinely conducts blind taste tests of items on the menu to make sure his customers are being treated to the best experience possible. “We have local produce delivered six days a week. There are no freezers. If I cannot pronounce an ingredient, I will neither use it nor will I eat it,” Kamil boasts proudly.
Blu Jam’s hours run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, with an extension to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Keep an ear out for Pop-Up dinners in the space as the owner Chef Kamil Majer experiments with new dishes.

Blu Jam Downtown (Spring Arcade Building)
541 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Pro Tip: The best time to go to Blu Jam is 8am-11am Monday-Friday when there are no lines (yet). Below is a handy coupon you can use during this week (6/12-6/16), Just show your server on your phone and enjoy!

Free Block Party! Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center launch party – Friday April 1 @ 6-10pm!

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Join us for our launch party celebration with a FREE block-party style event on the streets located in front of the theater. RSVP on FACEBOOK NOW!

Come TONIGHT for our FREE outdoor street celebration, then head inside and experience the new Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center

Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center is excited to bring moviegoers the latest in cinema technology:

– Movies in Laser: game-changing laser projector, clearest picture your eye can see!
– Lobby Domination: numerous digital displays, lights and other innovative technology to captivate moviegoers
– Barco Escape: three-screen, panoramic movie format that offers the ultimate immersive cinema experience
– Immersive Sound: most advanced immersive sound technology generating the most natural life-like audio experience imaginable

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OUTDOOR STREET CELEBRATION 

– Tunes by KIIS FM Deejay Manny on the Streetz
– Street Performers! P.O.P. Unplugged Drumming Troop, Hula Hoop LED-Lit Dancers, breakdancing performers from Hollywood Hotshots and freestyle crews from Versa-Style Dance Company
– Local muralists painting live! Armando Rosete, The Blacklight King, Phobik, Sand One
FREE small popcorn and small fountain soda for each person purchasing a ticket for a movie showing tonight, starting 6 PM or later! Buy now by clicking HERE!
$5 parking (limited to Lot W, Gate B)

Entertainment curated by Melissa Richardson Banks and Edgar Varela of We Are DTLA

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Whole Foods in DTLA (Sneak Peek) Opens Nov. 4th + Chego!

Whole Foods Market will open its first downtown Los Angeles store Wednesday, Nov. 4., at the corner of 8th Street and Grand Avenue. It has collaborated with locals such as Roy Choi’s Chego, Stumptown, Cabo Chips, Peddler’s Creamery, P.F. Candle Company and Angel City Brewery to bring you a local feel.

Located beneath the recently opened Eighth & Grand residences, and designed with the needs of local residents, professionals and businesses in mind, the expansive 41,000-square-foot retail destination brings a new alternative for shopping, dining and entertaining to downtown’s Historic Core and South Park neighborhoods. The store will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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DTLA Collaboration

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featuring a juice bar, fresh poke, expanded vegan options in all departments, a coffee bar (with cold brew on tap), more than 1,000 hand-picked wines, home delivery via Instacart and bar-restaurant The Eight Bar, this location offers an array of options for health enthusiasts, foodies and shoppers looking for convenience and organic products.

The store will open at 9 a.m., following a “bread breaking” ceremony with team members and city officials. Shoppers will receive free samples and giveaways from downtown Los Angeles’ own Cabo Chips and can learn about all that this location has to offer. There will be food and beverage demos with sampling, live entertainment and a photo booth throughout the day.

This store is infused with downtown Los Angeles’ culture and history. Inspired by street vendors in DTLA, the meat department offers hot dogs wrapped in bacon served with onions and peppers. The spirits aisle includes local Angel City brews and spirits from GreenBar craft distillery–the only L.A. distillery since prohibition to specialize in organic spirits. And the décor ties it all in–with designs that emulate the art deco style popular in historic downtown Los Angeles buildings, but with a contemporary twist.

In the grocery aisle, shoppers can pick up grab-and-go, cold-brew coffee and can browse downtown Los Angeles’ largest bulk section of nuts, beans and grains. In the produce department, there are chile lime fruit cups and three varieties of fresh-pressed pomegranate juice. Prepared foods offers a fall-inspired menu that includes pomegranate glazed game hens, ginger glazed salmon, paleo candied kabocha squash, grassfed meatloaf and porquetta, including porquetta sandwiches. The sandwich menu includes creative vegetarian options like the DTLA buffalo cauliflower grinder with vegan kite hill chive spread and a cauliflower and three cheese melt.

With a rotating seasonal menu and more than 200 indoor and outdoor seats, The Eight Bar is a fitting addition to downtown’s restaurant row. The menu includes daily specials, 36 beverages on tap, a brunch menu and craft cocktails like the “City of Angels,” “Urban Garden,” and “Griffith,” using local and organic ingredients. Shoppers can indulge in “boozy gelato,” created by Nancy Silverton and L.A. Creamery specifically for The Eight Bar. Flavors include bourbon, chocolate whisky, pina colada and rum raisin.

Additional amenities include more than 170 parking spaces and bike lock-up section in the parking structure, free Wi-Fi in seating areas throughout the store and an interactive “Vinyl Lounge,” a hangout spot with vinyl records and many locally made accessories like wooden postcards,  candles by P.F. Candle Company and handmade items from Made by DWC.

As the company does in every neighborhood in which it opens, Whole Foods Market Downtown Los Angeles partnered with like-minded organizations to foster and support the community, including Hope Street Family Center, which will receive 5 percent of the store’s net sales on Nov.12, and A Place Called Home, the store’s Feed Four More recipient.

Opening week highlights include local wine sampling by Hearst Ranch on Nov. 4 and a holiday table on Nov. 7, where shoppers can get advice and ideas for seasonal meal planning, and can sample holiday food.

Prepared Foods: In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Whole Foods Market has partnered with Roy Choi to open a second Chego outpost inside the Downtown Los Angeles store, opening Wednesday, Nov. 4 at  788 South Grand Avenue, on the corner of 8th Street and Grand. Located in the 41,000 square foot store’s prepared foods section, Chego will offer a menu of “favorites” with $12 big kid meals –  the Sour Cream Hen House, Leafy T, Chubby Pork Belly Bowl, Beefy T Bowl and $7 snacks – TheSpiiiiinach Salad,Housemade pickles, Seasonal Veggies and Ooey Gooey Fries. All menu items are made on site and meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards.  Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.beginning Nov 4. “With its mix of flavors, ingredients and dishes inspired by a blend of cultures much like our city, Chego’s menu  offers L.A. in a rice bowl, ” Patrick Bradley, president, Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific Region Foods Market.  “We work hard to bring shoppers unique and delicious local offerings and can’t imagine a better Los Angeles-based chef and concept to represent this.” The approach is simple.  “We want to serve food that will bring a smile to everyone’s face,” said Roy Choi, co-founder,Chego.

Coffee Bar:  A beautifully designed coffee bar with an Italian-crafted espresso machine and cold brew coffee on tap, offering custom espresso drinks and hand-brewed coffee made with organic, fair trade and Whole Trade Guarantee™ coffee beans and featuring Stumptown Signature DTLA blend on drip–shoppers can choose from three rotating single-origin coffees and can select from a range of brewing methods (Hario V60 Pour Over, Chemex Pour Over, French Press).

Juice & Smoothie Bar:  A smoothie and juice bar that offers made-to-order smoothies with choice of toppings, juices and “boost-ups” like pressed ginger, turmeric and wheatgrass.

Produce:  Includes an extensive selection of organic fruits and vegetables from local Southern California growers such as Kenter Canyon, Be Wise and Valpredo Farms; organic dragon fruit from Greenleaf Nursery of Bonsall; and orchids from Formosa Orchids. Seasonal culinary selections include varietal and exotic items from around the world. Plus, cut fruit, vegetables, veggie pasta noodles, salsas and guacamole are made in-store daily.

In-Store Bakery: Offers Whole Foods Market’s first Non-GMO Project-verified cookies with 10 to 15 varieties  baked in-house, artisan, hand-kneaded, hand-shaped, scratch bread that begins with a living 20-year-old starter made with unbleached flour and without artificial preservatives or hydrogenated fats. Raw and vegan desserts made in house, new local gluten-free desserts from Hana and local pan dulce from La Reina.

Seafood:  Includes made-to-order poke and hand-sliced smoked salmon daily, sustainably sourced fresh fillets, steaks, local and seasonal seafood. Seafood is delivered up to six days a week. Weather permitting, local items include black cod and Pacific Gold oysters from Morro Bay, California, sea urchin and Luna oysters.

Meat:  Butchers can provide any cut and size of the highest quality meats from animals raised without the use of antibiotics and added hormones. All beef, chicken and pork are step-rated, using Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare rating system, and adhere to Whole Foods Market’s stringent quality standards. The store features full lines of 100 percent grass-fed organic beef and organic chicken. Smokehouse offerings include rotating daily specials, marinated and ready-to-cook meat and poultry.

Whole Body: Boasts a large “active living” selection of protein powders, supplements and clothing, including a Los Angeles-based line of organic cotton and flax clothing made by Relax LA exclusively for Whole Foods Market.  All supplements sold at Whole Foods Market are free of artificial colors, flavors and hydrogenated oils; and products with the “Premium Body Care” seal meet the strictest standards for quality sourcing, environmental impact, results and safety.

Specialty (beer, wine, cheese):  Features a hand-picked wine collection of more than 1,000 wines, with eco-friendly and biodynamic wines starting at $2.49 per bottle. More than 100 bottles are less than $10, and offer a varied selection of hard-to-find, special-occasion wines and grower champagnes. The department includes 36 feet of chilled beer with an assortment of local craft beers, domestic favorites and unique imports. A comprehensive selection of raw, grass-fed, farmstead and artisanal cheeses can be cut to order and sampled at any time.  Check out Whole Foods Market’s Top Ten Holiday Wines, a curated selection for perfect meal pairings at value prices.

Grocery: Offering items exclusive to the store, like Cabo Tortillas in three flavors, East L.A. Elote Cantina Tortilla Chips, Tava Life Gourmet Ghees and Wildbrine Kimchi Tonics. Customers can choose from hundreds of 365 Everyday Value™ products, locally made packaged goods, frozen meals, Whole Paws pet food products, home and cleaning products bearing the Eco-Scale label, indicating environmental impact. The bulk section offers dozens of grains, flours, nuts, spices and candies available by the pound. Shoppers who buy a case of any product in the store receive 10 percent off.

12195047_514247315418951_7067296315631814498_oFor details on all upcoming events and activities, click here, or follow the store on Facebook or @WFMdtla on Instagram.

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