Island-Inspired Cocktail Bar ‘Gin Rummy’ Opens on the Westside Memorial Day Weekend

Gin Rummy – An Island-Inspired Cocktail Bar Opens on the Westside Memorial Day Weekend

Renowned Los Angeles bar proprietor Jared Meisler (The Roger Room, Bar Lubitsch, The Friend and The Little Friend) and the exemplary team of David and Patti Reiss of Reiss Co. (The Brig and The Alibi Room) announce the opening of a new westside cocktail establishment, GIN RUMMY, on Friday, May 26, 2023.


The cocktail program is masterfully led by Beverage Directors Danilo Kim, formerly of The Alibi Room and Nueva and Marcus Ragas, whose resume includes The Chestnut Club and Caboco.

Located at 822 Washington Boulevard, Marina del Rey, adjacent to Meisler’s popular Little Friend, GIN RUMMY takes over NUEVA after a successful three-year run.

Meisler states that he and his partners saw a need for a large and welcoming bar space in the neighborhood.

Meisler states:

“I’ve always loved the cocktails that come from beach cultures, just as much as I love the imagery and feel of beachy bars. I see a through line between a Tiki Bar, a Cuban Rum Bar, a Mexican Cantina, a Brazilian Quisque, a Spanish Chiringuito and a Venice Beach watering hole. They’re all timeless, relaxed, and fun, serving fantastic and unique drinks…

“…Gin Rummy is an homage to all things Beach Bar, from Nautical to Tropical, in a vintage parlor.”

At this gateway to Venice, GIN RUMMY invites passersby to escape to the tropics and get swept away, sipping exotic cocktails and enjoying delicious snacks in a pirate’s lair.

Gin Rummy’s spacious 200-seat setting…


The spacious 200-seat setting… reimagined and designed by Jared Meisler creates a colorful and ornate island paradise marrying nautical and South Pacific themes with contemporary design.

Enter Gin Rummy’s large front door…

Enter GIN RUMMY through the large front door just off Washington and take in the huge zinc-top mahogany bar with shelves stacked with vast arrays of rum, gin, tequila, and mezcal along with decorative tchotchkes of ships in bottles.

A large bank of skylights above the bar provides soft sunlight during golden hour as guests relax in a convivial state of mind.

When dusk turns to night, the far wall is illuminated by a row of vintage island-themed pinball machines giving GIN RUMMY a timeless, comfortable feel.

As one’s eye travels the room, imbibers take in giant redwood beams supporting a tongue and grove ceiling adorned by funky glassware. Native and tribal prints cover the bar stools and wood booths.

Scattered around the room are mini palm trees and lush tropical plants adorned with brass ship hardware. The thick posts are wrapped in nautical rope and accented with imagery of Caribbean and Polynesian life, ocean and boats and jungle paintings. Other notes include large bone-inlaid mirrors, woven wood light fixtures, rattan chairs, and lazy ceiling fans for a sultry Key Largo effect.

On Gin Rummy’s Outside…


Outside, the convertible indoor/outdoor patio exudes a tropical sandy beachy village vibe, adorned with wood carvings and carved wooden mirrors. The natural oak tables are painted with checker and backgammon boards, inviting guests to linger and play games comfortably in reclined rattan chairs. Lush tropical foliage is covered by a mahogany pergola illuminating the space with brass ship lights.


Gin Rummy’s playful craft cocktail bar program


At GIN RUMMY, Beverage Directors Marcus Ragas and Danilo Kim have created an inventive and playful craft cocktail bar program and menu:

Fun drinks equal a fun vibe. Look for categories of FROZEN RUMMYS, STIRRED and TIKI, classic and imaginative HIGHBALLS, as well as the irresistible COCKTAILS FOR FOUR that look back to the legendary Trader Vic’s from days gone by.

GIN RUMMY offers several NO BOOZE options for the sober crowd or designated driver.


GIN RUMMY is open daily: Monday – Friday: from 4:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday: from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. and Happy Hour: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. nightly.


Hemingway Daiquiri with Rum, Grapefruit, Luxardo Maraschino & Lime

Guava Daiquiri; Mango Ango

Habanero Honeysuckle

Frozen Margaritas

Pina Colada




Banana Manhattan

MSG Old Fashioned

Tail of The Cock with Oaked Cachaca, Cynar, Carpano Antica & Orange Bitters



Agave Zombie

Velvet Falernum

Pina Colada

Nui Nui

Jungle Bird

Marina Fog Cutter

Tropical Itch; Rye Tai

Pain Killer (for two, served in a pineapple)



Gin & Tonic

Super Paloma

Captains Wheel

AK Mojito

Yuzu Spritz with Gin, Yuzu, Aperol & Champagne



Reina Picante

Strawberry Caipirinha


Corpse Reviver No. 47 with Chamomile Infused Gin, Yellow Chartreuse,

Lemon, Orange Curaçao, Absinthe & Chamomile Smoke

Nitro Charged Carajillo



Scorpion Bowl with Vodka, Gin, Light Rum, Dark Rum, 151 Rum, Pineapple, Orange & Lemon

Fish Bowl with Vodka, Coconut Rum, Blue curaçao, Lemon & Pineapple.


For guests who prefer sans alcohol, there are creative NO BOOZE options, including Passionfruit Picante Spritz with Passionfruit, Tamarind, Lime, Black Lava Saline, Thai Chili & Mineral Water; Virgin Mint Margarita with Spiritless Jalisco Tequila, Lyres Orange Sec, Lime & Agave; and Not Gin & Tonic with Ritual Zero Proof Gin, Rosemary, Sea Bean, Lemon Basil, Juniper Berry and Fever Tree Tonic.


For a complete list, please visit GIN RUMMY’s online drink and spirits menu


GIN RUMMY offers a selection of satisfying nosh to enjoy

while sipping on delicious cocktails and dreaming of the Pacific.


Crispy Cauliflower

Tempura Calamari

Coconut Shrimp

Fries and Sweet Potato Fries

 Onion Rings



(with Buffalo, BBQ and Lemon Pepper Mango Habanero Thai Chili)

Beer Battered Fish & Chips

 Chicken & Chips

Vegan Chicken & Chips

(Sauces – Chipotle Aioli, BBQ, Hot Honey, Creamy Ranch, Vegan Ranch, Cocktail Sauce, Tartar Sauce, Thai Chili, Honey Mustard, Yellow Mustard, Buffalo & Mango Habanero)


Smokey Caesar

Kale Salad

Aaarrrugula & Quinoa



Zucchini & Squash

Shrimp; Chicken


Carne Asada

(served with Salsa and Onions)


Key Lime

Chocolate Chess

Banana Cream

(for a complete list, please visit GIN RUMMY’s online SNACKS menu)


Monday – Friday: from 4:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday: from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Happy Hour: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. nightly


GIN RUMMY offers customized Event Planning by appointment at info@ginrummybar.com. 



Secret of Caesar salad: John Robert Sutton Reveals on “Foods That Matter” Podcast

Secret of Caesar salad: John Robert Sutton Reveals on “Foods That Matter” Podcast

The Caesar salad was NOT invented in Italy!

The iconic dish, celebrating its 100th birthday this year, has roots in Tijuana, Mexico.

Foods That Matter John Robert Sutton

Foods ThatMatter John Robert Sutton

To celebrate, podcast host of CurtCo Media’s Foods That Matter and seasoned food archaeologist John Robert Sutton joined Juan José “Tana” Plascencia, the owner of Caesar’s Restaurant – home of the first Caesar salad – in person.

To eat some original recipe salad and chat about how, why, where, and by whom the dish came to be one of the most popular menu items in the US.

John and Tana’s intriguing conversation, starting with the recipe’s origins and ending with its worldwide prominence, is available on Foods That Matter on all major podcast platforms. You get a firsthand look at the backstory of Caesar salad, delving into all the rich flavors and history that made it such an important influence in the dining world.

Near or visiting Tijuana?

Join Tana at the centennial celebration at Caesar’s Restaurant on July 7, 2024. Plus, if you tell Tana that you listened to this episode of Foods That Matter – Celebrating 100 Years of Caesar Salad with the Origin Story that Starts in Tijuana, Mexico – he will give you the authentic recipe to take home!

About Foods That Matter:
Come along for a culinary thrill as Foods That Matter transports foodies to corners of the world through stories of adventure with food archeologist John Robert Sutton, also known as ‘The Indiana Jones of Food.’

John unlocks the secrets to the globe’s extraordinary cuisines, as he’s been doing throughout his travels in over 120 countries while enriching top grocery stores and Michelin-starred chefs with the finest ingredients and powering them with quality products.

The presenting sponsor of Foods That Matter is Watkins, award-winning extracts, spices & herbs, seasoning blends, grilling rubs & marinades, artificial dye-free baking decorations, and more crafted in the USA since 1868. The show is available on podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, SpotifyYouTube and Goodpods.

About CurtCo Media:
CurtCo Media – with its talented producers and creative team – provides listeners with quality podcasts, featuring authoritative hosts, distinguished guests, and inspiring storytellers. The company presents many nationally-recognized series, covering topics such as scripted sci-fi (SOLAR), luxury (Cars That MatterTravel That Matters, Wines That Matter) and others.

Nén Danang Awarded 2024 MICHELIN Green Star for Sustainability

Nén Danang Awarded 2024 MICHELIN Green Star for Sustainability

At the prestigious MICHELIN Awards Ceremony held at the InterContinental Hotel Saigon, a notable achievement was celebrated within the realm of sustainable gastronomy: Nén Danang, a pioneer in Vietnam’s fine dining scene, was honored with the 2024 MICHELIN Green Star for Excellence in Sustainability. As the first Vietnamese restaurant in the world to be recognized, as well as the first in Vietnam, this accolade underscores Nén’s commitment to innovative and environmentally conscious practices that set a benchmark for the industry.

The Michelin Green Star, a prestigious annual award, celebrates restaurants leading the industry in sustainability. Highlighting establishments that uphold rigorous ethical and environmental standards, this accolade recognizes those who collaborate with sustainable producers and suppliers to minimize waste and reduce or eliminate plastics and other non-recyclable materials. To date, only 540 restaurants worldwide have earned this honor, offering dining experiences that not only exemplify culinary excellence but also demonstrate exceptional eco-friendly practices. These restaurants serve as beacons of inspiration for both enthusiastic foodies and the broader hospitality industry.

Nén Danang, under the visionary leadership of Chef Summer Le and her partner Leon Le, has been instrumental in redefining what it means to dine sustainably. With a culinary philosophy deeply rooted in the principles of ethical and environmental stewardship, Nén sources 99% of its ingredients locally, including from its own farms, thereby supporting Vietnam’s local economies and artisans while minimizing environmental impact. This approach not only ensures the freshest ingredients but also fosters a strong connection with the community and the natural world.

The restaurant’s Sto:ry Menus exemplify this ethos, merging rich Vietnamese traditions with inventive dining experiences. Each dish is a celebration of nature and a narrative of culture, crafted to offer a multi-sensory delight that evokes emotions ranging from joy to nostalgia. Notably, their Sto:ry Menu #5 is a zero-waste venture that transforms everyday ingredients, such as eggshells into noodles, showcasing an innovative approach to sustainability.

The core of Nén’s culinary identity lies in its commitment to ‘Conscious Vietnamese cuisine.’ The restaurant’s ethos—origin, aesthetic, intention, balance, emotion, and presence—guides its culinary choices. Each aspect, from the sourcing of ingredients to the final presentation, is thoughtfully curated to enhance the dining experience, making every meal an event of conscious consumption and enjoyment.

Nén’s unique approach to cuisine also reflects in its name, derived from a humble but flavorful ingredient found in Central Vietnam’s kitchens. This reflects the restaurant’s philosophy: finding potential in the overlooked and elevating it to something extraordinary. It’s about transforming simplicity into splendor, turning each meal into an exploration of the hidden depths of Vietnamese culinary traditions.

Located next to Nén Farm in Da Nang, the restaurant serves as the flagship for a brand that is deeply invested in research and sustainability. Despite challenges like a temporary closure during the Covid-19 pandemic, Nén Danang reopened in 2023 with renewed vigor and a continued focus on its sustainable mission. This commitment culminated in receiving Vietnam’s first and only MICHELIN Green Star in 2024, a testament to its leadership in promoting a sustainable and ethically aware dining culture.

Through Nén Danang, diners are invited not just to eat, but to experience stories through flavors, where each dish serves as a dialogue between the chef and the earth, a narrative that continues to inspire both food enthusiasts and culinary peers around the world.


WeHo’s Newest culinary experience: Blue Birdy Gastropub Opens on Sunset Strip Near legendary Whiskey A-Go-Go

Sunset Strip’s Blue Birdy Gastropub Opens Near legendary Whiskey A-Go-Go

Located two doors down from the legendary Whiskey A-Go-Go is a brand-new culinary experience.

Blue Birdy offers up some super tasty gastropub fare on the iconic Sunset Strip.

Blue Birdy opened its doors to amazing success in early 2024, due largely to its chef and owner JC Mahdavi.

JC is no stranger to success since he’s been in the restaurant business, having owned Joxer Daly’s in Culver City for many years. His formula is great food mixed with solid cocktail recipes. Joxer Daly’s is an Irish Pub/Sports Bar with a neighborhood feel, a true staple in the culinary landscape of Los Angeles.

He brings that same philosophy to Blue Birdy but with more of an upscale vibe.

Blue Birdy has a French-influenced menu. JC implements his family’s recipes, hailing from France, he knows what good mouthwatering food is and how to create it.

“I want my customers to feel comfortable at Blue Birdy,

a place that they can come to and leave the stress of their day behind,

enjoy great libations and wonderfully inspired gastropub cuisine.”

owner JC Mahdavi

Blue Birdy’s menu includes a wonderful specialty cocktail program, all made from scratch.

The Boom Ba Da packs a nice punch, with its smooth lemon flavor and gorgeous presentation.

Strawberry Fields is a nice refreshing blend of champagne vodka and strawberry puree, almost like a smoothy but with a nice marriage of citrus essences, which has a great mouth feel. Brunch items are huge and super tasty.

Their French Toast is unlike any other, with ube, cream cheese, and sugar-filled, it’s purple and really is amazing. The Short Rib Benedict is comfort brunch at its best, a must-try.

Their Noodle Salad is perfect for the health-conscious diner as well as their tempura asparagus. Entree menu items include Lemon Herb Chicken, Steak and Fries, Fish & Chips, Teriyaki Salmon, and lots of Burgers – all simply delectable.

Whatever you order, you too will be surprised at how great their food is.

The sparkling interior gives you an elegant hipster vibe.  The subtle blue flowers that adorn the overhead light fixtures really create a cool, sensual feeling.

Striations of blue linear lines are part of the overall flooring. Highlighted on one wall is a floor-to-ceiling LED flat-screen TV wall, that is guaranteed to bring in many sports fans for those big-ticket games, with many additional screens both inside and out.

Blue Birdy can accommodate inside seating as well as a front street-level patio and a back patio for more of a secluded experience, it’s the perfect spot for a private party.

There are plans for different themed nights. So far, Tropical Thursdays are guaranteed to get your Salsa on. Friday will be dress-up Drag Night, and Saturday is Shabhaye Tehran-LA. With all of the viewing opportunities, any night or day is a sports theme, but whatever the occasion, Blue Birdy will make your Sunset Strip experience one to remember.


About the Author
Joe Wehinger (nicknamed Joe Winger) has written for over 20 years about the business of lifestyle and entertainment. Joe is an entertainment producer, media entrepreneur, public speaker, and C-level consultant who owns businesses in entertainment, lifestyle, tourism and publishing. He is an award-winning filmmaker, published author, member of the Directors Guild of America, International Food Travel Wine Authors Association, WSET Level 2 Wine student, WSET Level 2 Cocktail student, member of the LA Wine Writers. Email to: Joe@FlavRReport.com

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