hollywood

My Cup of Hollywood Tea

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(sitting) Ben Trodd, Kabir Bedi, Chef Chris Ford, Lauren Dutton Breen (standing) Adam and Melissa Bedi at the Pretty woman hotel.

Excuse me but I’m getting high on this high tea and exquisite patisserie. Over eight decades of Hollywood history is  distilling itself in this “Pretty woman” hotel in Los Angeles. Superstars such as Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor have all lived in Beverly Wilshire (where Pretty woman was shot) Each one of my companions are interlinked to it too. This is the very first hotel that  Our very own Bollywood and Hollywood star Kabir Bedi  made Beverly Wilshire his “Home away from home” in 1977 ( when he moved to Hollywood and shot for james Bond et al) He is In LA as part of his whirlwind nine city concert tour (he plays sutradhar). Along with him is his talented son Adam Bedi who is an expert on special effects for Hollywood films and his lovely wife Melissa,  an expert on makeup for Hollywood. We feast on patisseur extraordinaire Chris Ford’s sweet creations which dazzle and delight.The charming and dynamic  Ben Trodd, helms nine luxury hotels, spearheads this Hollywood landmark. Also with us is the  highly efficient and forever helpful “pretty woman” Lauren Dutton-Breen.

Kabir is the first Indian on the Oscar Academy jury. Loves desserts (like I do).  He is crystal clear about the fact that  Calories “must be worth having” I couldn’t agree with him more. Chef Fords desserts are “Oscar worthy”

Sweet Magic in Hollywood

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OSCAR WORTHY DREAMTEAM: CHRIS FORD. BEN TRODD AND LAUREN DUTTON BREEN AT THE PRETTY WOMAN HOTEL.

I admit. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have sweet teeth. And I travel the world  looking for the best of the best. For me,  desserts represent divinity and patisseurs are my passion. Here, in the land of eternal summer, in Hollywood I taste sweet magic. For many fabulous reasons. First of all, the most creative of desserts are being conjured and served up here in this iconic “Pretty woman” hotel which has distilled decades of Hollywood glamour! Beverly Wilshire is not only a legendary landmark but also officially on the  National Register of Historic Places of the United States. Superstars such as Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty and Steve McQueen have all lived in this luxurious landmark.. And then of course the  Hotel shot into global fame when 25 years ago it was the  movie Pretty Woman starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was shot here. And located on the glamour and fashion drenched Rodeo drive this Pretty woman continues to charm.

And it is here overlooking the Rodeo drive in it’s award winning The BLVD that their patisseur Chris Ford’s creations dazzle and delight. Over decades the Beverly Wilshire’s iconic restaurant The BLVD has been the hot spot for the crème de la crème of Los Angeles. And has recently  reopened with a brand new Art Deco makeover, dramatic lighting, bold blacks and whites and contemporary gloss.

Chef Chris Ford continues to reinvent himself and each of his magical creations seduce with their beauty, taste and textures. The charming and dynamic  Ben Trodd,  has led many a hotel to win awards. He helms nine luxury hotels, spearheads this Hollywood landmark and is has transformed it into  it’s cutting edge modern avatar, while still retaining it’s historic splendour. The   highly efficient and forever helpful “pretty woman” Lauren Dutton-Breen, just moved in from NYC is already making waves in LA. And over high tea we taste Chef Ford’s sweet magic.

RECIPE

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PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE

Looking every bit like a glamorous chef in Hollywood shoutd, Chef Ford is a powerhouse of talent and hardwork. You can watch him demonstrating his recipes (including this one) on butterloveandhardwork.com under vimeo. He shares his  Peanut butter mousse  recipe with us.

PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE

Ingredients: 200 gms milk/200gms cream/ 120 gms egg yolks/ 80 gms sugar/ 200 gms peanut butter. 5 gelatin sheets/ 300 gms cream
Method:
Prepare gelatin (as directed on the pack)  Whip 2nd amount of cream to medium peaks Make anglaise  Whisk in peanut butter.  Whisk in gelatin . Cool over ice bath to body temp  Incorporate whipped cream  Pipe into medium sized dome molds Enjoy

BOLLYWOOD TO HOLLYWOOD HIGH TEA

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HOLLYWOOD CONNECTION : KABIR , ADAM AND MELISSA BEDI

It is serendipity at work. We are luxuriating over high-tea and patisserie in this iconic Hollywood landmark. Not only is over eight decades of Hollywood history distilling itself in this “Prettywoman” hotel but each one of my companions are interlinked to it. This is the very first hotel that  Our very own Bollywood and Hollywood star Kabir Bedi  made Beverly Wilshire his “Home away from home”. He  stayed here  when he moved to Hollywood in 1977. He not only won over audiences as Sandokan in his Italian TV series but also wowed Hollywood by his roles in James Bond’s Octopussy, The Bold and the Beautiful  and shot many more films in Hollywood. He is In LA as part of his whirlwind nine city concert tour (he plays sutradhar). Along with him is his talented son Adam Bedi who is an expert on special effects for Hollywood films and his lovely wife Melissa,  an expert on makeup for Hollywood. As though all these Hollywood connections are not enough, Kabir is also the very first Indian on the Oscar Academy jury and he applies his discerning taste this evening too. Like me he has many a sweet teeth. But what about calories? I ask him. “Oh! Calories must be worth having and  Chef Ford’s are more than worth having. They are Oscar worthy” he concludes. I couldn’t  agree with him more.

And the Oscar goes to …

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Raising a toast with the “Marilyn cocktail” General manager Akshay Bahl, Chef Adam Mali, Bre Smith in Hollywood Roosevelt.

The glamorous Oscars just made headline news.And I’m  here in this very same historic hotel (just opposite the Dolby theatre where the ceremony was held) where the Oscar celebratory party was held. In fact it was here in The Hollywood Roosevelt that the very first Oscars were held in 1927. Helming this hotel is our very own young and dapper Akshay Bahl who has honed his  skills in many a leading hotel world over. It was wonderful to get to know more about the  luxurious menu that the talented Chef Thomas Adam Mali created for the Oscars, while the everhelpful,  abstract artist extraordinaire Bre Smith  explained all the details. Please take a look at the photograph. Ive shot it by the pool where the legendary actress, Marilyn Monroe  lived for over five years. It was here by this very pool that Marilyn Monroe shot her very first ad. It was for a sun tan oil Tropicana and now this bar and pool itself is calledTropicana. We raise a toast…with the Marilyn punch, ofcourse. Should you need the recipe please mailrashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com

Starpower Dining

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Hollywood producer Sunil Perkash and scriptwriter Anjali Vithayathil, with Ben Trodd and chef Bellec at The All new BLVD.

I’m on a foodie pilgrimage… from Lima (the rocking capital of Peruvian cuisine) to Machu Picchu (citadel of the ancient Incas) to Mexico city (Latin Americas restaurant awards as jury) and now in Los Angeles (the glamour and film capital of the world). Here I dine in three landmark symbols of Hollywood. Wolfgang Pucks Spago (superb) Chateau Marmont (pedestrian food) and the crowning glory is the dinner at the all new art-deco BLVD, the ultimate winner of a symbol of Hollywood dining, which bristles with starpower and the brilliant French chef Thomas Bellec’s Mediterranean magic with Californian produce. Voted top “Power Tables” … Wall Street Journal, ironically enough it is in BLVD that I’ve had salad with Priyanka Chopra, muesli with Anil Kapoor and steak with Javed Akhtar. Today I dine with Super achiever Sunil Perkash ( producer  of Hollywood Blockbusters, including SALT with Angelina Jolie and Enchanted with Amy Adams.) This Stanford graduate, gourmet at large also cooks up delicious biryani. Also a Stanford alumni, the talented Scriptwriter Anjali Vithayathil’s is currently working on another western with Sunil. Joining us, is well-traveled gourmet, the dapper Ben Trodd, who has led many a hotel to win awards and spearheads, Beverly Wilshire, the “pretty woman hotel” and iconic Hollywood landmark.

P.S My starpower dining continues,thanks to Michalene my foodeditor friend of Robb Report, we’ve just got a table at the mega-celebrity chef Curtis Stone’s three month old “Gwen” . Should you need information about LA restaurants, please instagram, tweet or mail me at rashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com

IN THE HEART OF HOLLYWOOD

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AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

Go on. Say the magic word “Hollywood” and revel in the glamour drenched shimmering images of the land of eternal summer. Over the past 10 years that I have been going back to Hollywood, it  has been imperceptibly and slowly working it’s magic on me. Reality  has been becoming more exciting than fantasy. For the past ten years, to get the flavour of Hollywood, I have been staying in the  iconic hotels where the stars and movie Moghuls live and dine. The “Pretty woman hotel” the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills Hotel and Belair Hotel. But it was this time that I got to the very throbbing heart of Hollywood, right there on the Hollywood walk of fame and the Dolby Theatre where the “Oscars” are held in all their glory and glitz.

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Review: The Irish House

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American, European

 

AMRITA AND RICHARD KOSZAREK CHEER THE IRISH HOUSE
AMRITA AND RICHARD KOSZAREK CHEER THE IRISH HOUSE

“Ireland se aaya mere dost, dost ko salaam karo”.  A couple of months ago, our very own rocking Irish House (the largest one yet) set up in Andheri. More than a year ago, the first of these Irish triplets was born in  Phoenix Mills, followed by Kala Ghoda. Ive eaten and  “happy houred” at all, also given a thumbs up verdict  as we did in our latest Andheri checkout.  Richard Koszarek is famous for  his steaks, pork chops and beans, while Amrita’s  mutton pickle is legendary.

The well-traveled foodie couple Amrita and Richard Koszarek not only spend a lot of time in London but Richard particularly enjoys the pubs there. They say Yes!  to The  Irish House.

DÉCOR

Everything in this predictably themed, wooden-decored space is larger than life; from the expansive,  high-ceilinged hall to the TV screens. Brick walls with trademark Irish house posters (take time to read them Beer Ladder, the Whisky Wall, Beer Kegsand thePost Box, Community tables…you name it.

FOOD & DRINK

Large (that word again) portions of deep fried fare (be it the blistering chilli poppers oozing cheese, or the fleshy mushrooms crunchy with pine nuts) is tasty. On recommendations from (@mihirsagar @dina_bshah @harpr iya_kohli

@abbas_974@thebombayfoodie) I try the  Chicken tacosBeer Can Chicken cordon bleu and Grande nachos, pail of Popcorn et al . Chicken tenders are better in Kala Ghoda but otherwise all the rest of the fare satisfies.Well-stocked bar, with 42 types of beer from across the globe (draught beer is served in Kegs & Towers) Richard recommends the Erdinger wheat beer and Stella Artois. Try the  innovative cocktails (Irish Trash Can, Irish Car Bomb)

MINUS POINTS

The oven was not working the night we were there so Richard couldn’t get his Steak ‘n Kidney Pie. Too many deepfried, overdone starters. The large wedge of oversweet  Irish Chocolate Torte and the Kahlua Mousse were avoidable.

 

 

MY POINT

Packed, bustling and vibrant…Ive checked out all three Irish Houses at different times of day and night.Each time, I found that  when the high-ceilinged space is  sufficiently crowded, it has a lived-in, age-softened feel.

And when most of the generously portioned dishes appealingly complement the atmosphere, it hits the sweet spot. No gourmet flashes, it’s mostly a mix of pub stalwarts comfort foods at comforting prices. Happy hours ( 5 to 8pm   ) add to the happiness. Want a cheery, beery, noisy time ? (age no bar) this way please !
The Irish House, 1st floor,  Fun Republic, Opp. new link Road, Andheri (West) 61046161

Open,  12 noon – 1am

RATING FOOD 3.5 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 4

Meal for 2: Rs 2000


ROCKING HOLLYWOOD...TONY NUNCIO AND TANYA
ROCKING HOLLYWOOD…TONY NUNCIO AND TANYA

A TASTE OF EMMYCITEMENT

I’m eating and drinking Emmycitement…er excitement. Here, in Hollywood,  this glamorous land of eternal sunshine,  the air is so thick with  excitement over the high-voltage Emmy awards  that I could slice it and pop it into my cocktail glass (which I do too). And its evident through all my eatingsbout (from the Voltaggio brother’s “Ink” Nobu’s first ever restaurant “Matsuhisa” to the king of chefs Wolfgang Puck’s “Spago). But it’s in the iconic rockstar “Sunset Marquis” where for over 50 years not only have Emmy, Grammy, Oscar winners, legends (including our very own Bachchan family) stayed but their bar manager and actor Tony Nuncio  has been making waves in Hollywood with his latest creation of the cognac based cocktail “Breaking Dad”. Not only does it  celebrate the Emmy winner of 2013 of the same name but also George Rosenthal’s love for cars and his son. Bacon and seasalt popcorn compliment the drink and Im excited to be in Los Angeles  on the night of the Emmy awards!

P.S. Ive been overwhelmed  and overjoyed by your  response via instagram posts to my request to #dinewithrashmi. Im so sorry that Ive been away so long and unable to keep my promise. Will surely do so as soon as Im back.