World Meet Modern Mexican Food: Tocaya Organica Review by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven



Tocaya Organica Review





World meet Mexican food.  Modern Mexican cuisine that is to say.  

As cultural exchanges occur over time and space the local references and common ideas of cuisine are reshaped, reformed, and renewed.  The cuisine of Mexico is no exception.  The modern era of restaurants is rooted in the enduring contributions, principles, and ingredients of the past.  The transformation of societies is revealed in the foods they consume, the recipes they create in their homes, and the current trends affecting the foodservice trades.  In cities across the globe, including Los Angeles, we are constantly witnessing the food of Mexico enjoying the fruits of these cultural exchanges. 

“Tocaya Organica [tow kye yuh] was born out of a mission for better eating.  We’ve created a movement behind our signature ‘Modern Organic Mexican’ cuisine by using the highest quality ingredients paired with bold flavors.  We offer salads, tacos, bowls, and burritos – serving them in a sophisticated yet accessible fast casual setting.  Our versatile menu is rooted in traditional Mexican recipes, naturally accommodating a variety of preferences including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.”

These transformation of Mexican cuisine, as well as plates from other countries, is occurring within Mexico, Los Angles, Europe, in big and small cities alike.  Excellent chefs and creative types are utilizing Mexican staples such as rice, beans, cacao, and corn along with local ingredients to celebrate the classics as well as enjoy the food in a new way.  In conjunction with modern sensibilities.  Tocaya Organica is part of the Modern Mexican movement.


  


Tocaya is also a gem in The Madera Group, owned and operated by Amrou Manaseer and Tosh Berman.  “Locally sourced organic produce is the foundation of our chef driven menu.  Underscoring our commitment to serving natural and sustainable ingredients, Tocaya Organica only serves meats and fish that are fresh, never frozen, and are 100% percent free of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics.  Above all, we believe in making choices that have a positive impact on our health, our communities, and future of our planet.  Better eating is achieved with every meal, down to every last detail.  Always organic, always sustainable.”

There are numerous dining options in Los Angeles, California.  Each of the neighborhoods, from Downtown to Hollywood, Santa Monica to Echo Park, and Beverly Hills has a multitude of restaurants for good eats.  Here is where my expert knowledge of cooking, restaurants, and trusted expertise comes in handy.  Many readers rely on Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven as a source for how-to and where-to regarding cookery, culture, and community.  Pull up to table at Tocaya and enjoy.




Recommendations

1.  Tocaya Organica, Sunset Plaza is located at 8720 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90069.  Other locations include Venice, Miami, Florida, San Diego, and more.  The Sunset Plaza location is within walking distance to shopping, hotels, apartments, bars, clubs, and much more. Easily accessible by taxi or car service.  Street parking is available.

2.  Peak times occur on weekends and during special events in the city.  Arrive early to secure a table.  
3.  Consider the following menu items

Tacos with your choice of protein and queso (substitute butter lettuce shell by request).  

Cali Green:  chicken tinga and manchego, sliced onion, avocado, vinaigrette.

Chicken Tinga:  organic shredded free-range chicken breast stewed with chipotle en adobo tomatoes.

Queso Manchego:  buttery yellow sheep's milk cheese.

Housemade Plantain Chips

Salsa Trio:  pico de gallo (chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, fresh chili pepper, salt, and key lime juice), tomatillo (green tomatoes of Mexico) salsa, and diablo salsa (spicy tomato-based dipping sauce).

Guacamole:  pomegranate seeds, lime, pepitas (squash seeds), jalapeño, cilantro, and house-made crispy plantain chips (corn chips by request).

Aguas Fresca: watermelon limeade.





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Tocaya Organica Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Credit:  http://www.tocayaorganica.com/  https://www.facebook.com/Tocaya-Organica-Sunset-Plaza-661934030626561/  https://www.instagram.com/p/BS1l6HyFHnz/  http://www.themaderagroup.com/about/ http://www.toshberman.com/about-tosh-berman/ 

People are Loving Little Sister Downtown by Jesse Bluma



People are Loving Little Sister Downtown





Take a culinary adventure around Southeast Asia at Little Sister.  This establishment was recommended by a friend.  And I see why.  Chef Tin Vuong is the progenitor of Little Sister and his enterprises also include Abigaile in Hermosa Beach, WildCraft in Culver City, Little Sister in Manhattan Beach, and Dia de Campo in Hermosa Beach.  Each restaurant embodies Chef Vuong’s global travels and interest in comfort foods created with seasonal ingredients.  

There are numerous dining options in Los Angeles, California, such as Little Sister.  Each of the neighborhoods, from Downtown to Hollywood, Santa Monica to Echo Park, and Beverly Hills has a multitude of restaurants for good eats.  Here is where my expert knowledge of cooking, restaurants, and trusted expertise comes in handy.  Many readers rely on Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven as a source for how-to and where-to regarding cookery, culture, and community.  Book at table Little Sister and enjoy.

“Little Sister DTLA features East-meets-West inspired dishes served in a relaxed social environment that feels more residential than restaurant, as if you"re being invited into the Chef Tin's home.  With Little Sister Downtown, we are digging a little deeper into regional Asian cuisine.  Dishes blend and balance the spices and flavors of Southeast Asia with French techniques and Dutch and British colonial influences.  The menu is continually and progressively evolving, reflecting inspiration and the seasons.  Chef Tin curates the restaurant's wine and beverage program with a focus on intriguing labels, both domestically and from around the world.  Craft beer selection includes special batches from The Brewery at Abigaile, brewed only for the restaurant.”





Little Sister is conveniently located in Downtown Los Angeles.  The diverse areas of the city and decades of rebirth is exhibited by its fashion district, banks, skyscrapers, redevelopment, sports complex, skid row, and luxury apartment buildings.  The city has experienced several cultural, economic, population, and culinary changes and reforms since 8,000 B.C. when the Chumash settled the area.  

Later, Spanish explorers and settlers dominated the region from the 1500s to the 1700s, when Franciscan friar Junipero Serra established a mission and founded El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula, in honor of Mary, mother of Jesus.  

A population explosion in the 1920s brought a more diverse populace of people with Asian, Caucasian, and African ancestry.  Downtown declined after economic, transportation, and ethnic changes in the 1930s, and transformation brought about by World War II.  The recent renaissance and renewed interest in the city is fascinating.  Chef Tin Vuong of Little Sister is part of that renewal and his restaurant is worth checking out. 





Recommendations

1.  Little Sister, Downtown Los Angeles, is located at 523 West 7th Street Los Angeles 90014.  The other location is in Manhattan Beach.   The downtown location is within walking distance to shopping, hotels, apartments, bars, clubs, and much more.  Easily accessible by taxi, car service, and the Metro as well.  Street parking is available, although utilizing one of the nearby parking lots is best.

2.  Peak times occur on weekends and during special events in the city.  Arrive early to secure a table.  Reservations are recommended.  

3.  Consider the following menu items.

Salad:  ’bo tai chanh’ lime cooked beef, rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), basil, mint, onions, fried shallots, nuoc mam cham (fish sauce)

Vegetable:  x.o. pea tendrils, lemon juice, almonds, dried scallop shards

Meat:  shaky shaky beef, watercress, baby tomatoes, burnt butter soy with tomato garlic fried rice


Drink:  Lomaland, Modern Times Brewery Beer, (San Diego) ABV (Alcohol By Volume) 5.5% IBU (International Bitterness Units) 30





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Little Sister Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Credit:  littlesisterla. com/, twitter. com/LittleSisterMB/media, facebook. com/Little-Sister-DTLA, facebook. com/pg/LittleSisterMB

True to Itself: El Compadre Review by Jesse Bluma



True to Itself:  El Compadre Review





We are always looking for good food for lunch, dinner, or on late nights.  El Compadre is classic and a fun go-to for good eats with three multiple locations throughout Los Angles.  The Sunset Boulevard location is a gem of a spot; a short drive or ride from famed retail stores, theaters, hotels, bars, and clubs.  

Inside El Compadre the kitsch is real.  The hacienda architecture, the mariachi band, wrought iron, and the big plates are bold and retro.  From flaming margaritas, to lively music, chips, salsa, and great laughs with friends, this is a place for a good time.  

El Compadre, “the godfather”, has a familial legacy dating back to 1975.   Founders David Castro and Mario Jimenez have built a restaurant locals can recommend.  Not an easy task.  The fresh preparation of chips, salsa, and dishes has been key to the founders' success and the continued success of the restaurant under their children.  




“Since 1975, El Compadre Restaurant in Hollywood has been one of Southern California's hot spots for Mexican cuisine and drinks.  The restaurant fashions the look and feel of an ‘old world hacienda’.  Lined with clay roof tires, wrought iron lanterns and stained glass chandeliers; its walls grace of Mexican heritage with paintings, artifacts, antiques and vase floral trimmings.  We specialize in showcasing ‘The fine foods of Mexico’. 

We serve family recipes handed down over generations using select cuts of meats, and choice seafood alongside season fresh vegetables.  We have a dedicated full bar area where we serve mixed cocktails, imported and domestic beers and our legendary and famous ‘Flaming Margarita’.  Coupled with live nightly music from a trio singing Mexican classics and with a dimly lit, sultry lighting; our romantic ambiance is unmatched.”

This drink is on fire!



Recommendations

1.  El Compadre in Hollywood is located at 7408 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90046.  Other locations are located in Echo Park, Southeast Los Angeles, and Sun Valley.

2.  Peak times occur on weekends and during special events in the city.  Arrive early to secure a large table near the live band.  Table booking recommended.  

3.  Consider the following menu items.

House-made chips and salsa.

Two Chile Rellenos:  Pasilla Peppers (one of the most complexly flavored mild to medium heat chiles—undertones both smoky and savory) stuffed with melted Monterey Jack cheese topped with salsa ranchera and sour cream on the side.  Served with Mexican rice and refried beans (substitute for black beans).  

Veggie Enchiladas:  Two enchiladas stuffed with grilled sautéed onions, bell peppers, topped with melted Monterey Jack cheese, tomatillo or ranchero salsa and sour cream on the side.  Served with Mexican rice and refried beans (substitute for black beans).   

Tacos:  Carne Asada, Carnitas, Beef, or Chicken.  Soft taco topped with lettuce, cheese, guacamole, and mild salsa.

Handmade tortillas:  Ask your waiter.  

Flaming Margarita.  Each is made with traditional Cuervo Gold Tequila Limon.





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El Compadre Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Credit:  elcompadrerestaurant. com, twitter.com/ELCOMPADRE_DTLA

Fashion Portfolio: Take Fashion Inspiration from Central America by Jesse Bluma



Fashion Portfolio:  Take Fashion Inspiration from Central America





In life we may not become famous, infamous, or blockbusters. We do; however, have the power to become something more than those labels.  It is our savvy and confidence that allows us to rise above and experience living life with good taste.  Our travels, life experiences, and dreams are snapshots on the runway of our lives.  There is no better place than the now to make the best strides down that runway.   This is your epic, your life, so choose the label you wear wisely.

Knowing what to wear and how to wear it is a powerful skill.  Some readers are at an advanced level and have a personal style.  Some will go on to experiment with clothes, trends, and brands.  While others may be too intrepid to wear anything besides t-shirts and shorts.  Once you conquer the clothing world and develop a lifelong interest in dressing right, you will feel more inspired to shop and enjoy your home, social, and business life.

Not sure?  No need to be scared of labels, black-ties, white-ties, button-downs, or bespoke clothing.  Here is where expert knowledge and trusted expertise comes in handy.  Many readers rely on Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven as their go-to source.  Let an enjoyable experience with these fashion recipes be your start.  If you are more advanced and comfortable with fashion items, share your ideas, purchases, and suggestions.

What we wear is powerful and attitude matters.  Remind yourself again:  You deserve to live well and be well.  Creating a closet of items right for you, along with excellent fitness, health, and life habits, is all an expression of how you respect yourself.  Knowing what to wear and executing fashion looks can be a challenge.  The guidelines, inspirations, and ideas in this article will spark your interest and get you wearing more than the same three items over-and-over.  As the notable custom tailor Alan Flusser observed, “A necktie’s motif, or pattern, expresses the poetry, the sense of whimsy, the psychology of the individual wearer.” 
   
Models.  The images we see in ads, movies, and media can influence our goals and perceptions.  Keep in mind the people in those professions spend a lot of time and have a lot of time to look their best.  Or computer graphics best.  Rather than focusing on images in media, focus on what is the right fit, look, and use of clothes for you.  As I learned from fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, fashion is about what is trending in stores and style is more about your own personality.  Take a moment to reflect upon good fashion sense, your life, needs, and goals.  That will be the center of what gets you fashion fit.  Structure your closet and drawers with options for your various activities, career, the climate you live in, and seasons. 

The Wardrobe Essentials.  It is key to make clothing selections with a long-term frame of mind.  Quality construction and timeless pieces are sharp and financially smart choices.  Know your measurements and proportions.  Take a look in the mirror to see what cuts, colors, shapes, and lengths are best for you.  There is a learning curve for going from being dressed by mom to dressing yourself, for your current physique, current life, and adventures.  Calvin Klein, business mogul and designer, once explained to me at a fashion show that what people wear should be modern, clean, and make them look their best.  Personal responsibility is at the heart of dressing well.  Study magazines, people in the streets, in school, models, and actors in your age range.  Also, seek out knowledgeable salespeople in stores and vintage shops.




Fashion Portfolio:  Take Fashion Inspiration from Central America




Imagine on a clear day seeing the summit of a volcano, the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, jungle, and Maya monuments.  That is the adventurous and mind transforming land of the amazing isthmus between North and South America.  The people, cultures, beaches, cuisine, and outdoor activities in this land of turquoise water, dense forests, farms, and bustling towns is inspirational.  

Central American clothing embodies modern tribalism.  White cotton pants and shirts and straw cowboy hats are the traditional garb.  Contemporary fashion for men is on par with other great city centers around the globe.  From ticos, natives, in Costa Rica to pelaos, dudes, in Panama, Central American fashion is colorful, versatile, and full of variety.  Wardrobe in this part of the Americas includes formal wear, long sleeved collar tops, jeans, blazers, t-shirts, tennis shoes, work boots, hats, and more.  Mainly in earth tones and pops of color.  

Clothing and fashion communicates a message about ourselves, status, and attitude about events, social situations, school, work, and more.  Traditional clothing across Central America utilizes a rainbow of colors, geometric designs, and trims.  These elements were and are still used to demonstrate social rank, status, religion, and community.  Over time traditional clothing in this region, as in other parts of the world, has given way to innovations and desire among people to emulate trends.  The climate, biomes, career and more influence the well dressed man in Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.    


Create the Look for Yourself


Blazers, Coats, and Vests









Hoodies








Sweaters







Shirts








Tank Tops








Jeans and Pants









Shorts and Swim Trunks









Shoes







Accessories 


















Previous article:  How to Achieve California Style


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Credit:  alanflusser. com, pexels .com, Amazon. com, "Costa Rica, Srs. Chavarria and Giusta on S.S. Miravalles off Shore of Guanacaste Province."AGSL Digital Photo Archive – North and Central America. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.  "Guatemala, Men Weighing Sacks of Coffee Beans." AGSL Digital Photo Archive – North and Central America. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.

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