A Living Family Tradition: Taverna Review by Jesse Bluma

A Living Family Tradition:  Taverna Review

Taverna is a warm and inviting neighborhood restaurant that offers a truly Italian experience without having to leave Texas.  Our Italian chefs strive to create the perfect menu using seasonal ingredients for their surprising entrees.  

From Italian trattorias to French bistros, the many different cuisines of the coastal Mediterranean serve as our daily inspiration.  Like many family-run establishments in Europe, our restaurants make their own pastas, gelato and desserts.  We constantly strive to craft menus that combine the creativity of contemporary cuisine with the powerful draw of classic recipes.”

California conjures up images of coastal cuisine, thus the Italian cuisine of Taverna easily finds a home here.  Various locations are also found throughout the United States, including Dallas, Texas.  It appears good service, friendly hospitality, and fresh ingredients are the recipe for success. 

The Lombardi Family Concepts group owns Taverna, 31, Toulouse, Penne Pomodoro, and Lombardi’s.  Alberto Lombardi is the patriarch of his family and was born in Italy.  Since coming to the United States he has opened many restaurants in Texas, Nevada, and California.

My Recommendations

1.  Go for dinner, happy hour, or weekend brunch.  Ask about the weekly specials. 

2.  Taverna - Laguna is located at 222 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach, California, 92651.  Make reservations.  Peak times occur on weekends, summertime, and during special events in the city.  Arrive early to secure parking on the street, in a nearby lot, utilize a taxi, or car service.  

3.  Consider the following menu items.

California Omelet:  egg whites, mixed vegetables, avocado, and tomato sauce with a side of fruit

Tagliata Di Manzo Piedmontese:  seared Piedmontese tenderloin (tender, Italian beef) with salsa verde, asparagus, and roasted potatoes

Margherita Pizza:  tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil

Risotto Al Frutti Di Mare:  risotto with shrimp, calamari, mussels, clams, and tomato confit (seasoned liquid)

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Taverna Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Credit:  https://www. facebook. com/Taverna-Pizzeria-and-Risotteria-429817157221865/, instagram. com/dinetaverna/, lombardifamilyconcepts .com/

Fashion Portfolio: Style Lessons to Learn from South America by Jesse Bluma

Fashion Portfolio:  Style Lessons to Learn from South 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:  Style Lessons to Learn from South America

Powerful cultures across the South American continent impact fashion, food, entertainment, and much more across the world.  The modern man is well influenced and makes his wardrobe strong by being aware of South American cultures, their fresh and bright perspectives, coastal references, ruggedness, and debonair character.  Handsome designs, stylish haircuts, and the classics reign across the continent from Peru to Brazil, Venezuela to Argentina.  The Amazon River, islands, stunning mountains, wide deserts, and adventurous cities, political, and social disquietude create vast differences, variety, and ways of living in each country.  Although, nature is a common theme throughout clothing in South America; sunsets, oceans hues, and green lands serve as inspiration

Countries within South America are blessed with sunshine, snow, agriculture, and tourism.  The cultural values, economics, arts, and other influences within each country make for a wide variety of needs in apparel.  Additionally, wardrobe is individualized for home, work, and play life.  Wool, alpaca, cotton, and denim are popular fabrics.  Throughout autumn and into spring thick, plush, coats and jackets are used to stay warm.  As spring blooms and summer approaches the warm coats give way to bright green and white shirts, pale blue suits, and tropical themes.  Also apparent is an interest in vintage clothing, as well as leather goods, bags, shoes, and boots.  

Create the Look for Yourself

Blazers, Suits, and Ties



T-Shirts and Tank Tops

Pants and Shorts 

Swim Trunks



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Credit:  alanflusser. com, pexels .com, Amazon. com, "Argentina, View of Boots in Las Rosas." AGSL Digital Photo Archive - South America. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2017.  "Argentina, Man Eating from Knife in Las Rosas." AGSL Digital Photo Archive - South America. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2017.  "Argentina, Guitar Player with Crowd after Pato Game." AGSL Digital Photo Archive - South America. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2017.  "Argentina, Workers Loading Grain in South West Buenos Aires Province." AGSL Digital Photo Archive - South America. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2017.  "Argentina, Men Examining Tobacco Plants in East Salta Province." AGSL Digital Photo Archive - South America. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2017.

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.


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.

Click on the play button below to play the video of Tocaya's farmers' marker bowl.

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Disclaimer:  Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven is editorially independent.  No payment is accepted for editorial coverage.

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/ 


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