LA Foodies: Celebrate 2023 with Great New Years Eve and New Years Day Menus Specials

Los Angeles celebrates 2023 with great New Years Eve and New Years Day menu specials.

Sip, Savor & Celebrate Modern Indian, Festive Italian, Modern Mexican, Signature Favorites.

Southern Soul Food, New American Fare, Smoked Meats, Truly Delicious Boozy Treats, and much, much more!

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

Arth’s Pistachio Lamb Chops, Photography by Tonelson



Arth Bar + Kitchen, Culver City’s modern Indian eatery is ringing in the New Year with their New Year’s Eve Dinner Celebration featuring their Signature Menu which includes Small Plates, Tandoor Starters, Entrées, Handcrafted Tandoor Breads, Accompaniments, Rice, and Desserts, along with Party Favors, and a performance by DJ Bains.

With its contemporary atmosphere, Arth Bar + Kitchen will be serving up their full list of Cocktails making this a New Year’s Eve to remember!


Celebrate New Year’s Day at Arth Bar + Kitchen by enjoying a modern Indian dinner with family and friends featuring Small Plates, Tandoor Starters, Entrées, Handcrafted Tandoor Breads, Accompaniments, Rice, and Desserts.

Arth Bar + Kitchen will also be crafting their full list of Cocktails including their special Old Monk’s Manhattan made of Old Monk Spiced Indian Rum, banana liqueur, cinnamon infused vermouth, vanilla liqueur, walnut bitters, garnished with a torched cinnamon stick making this a perfect way to welcome 2023!

Arth Bar + Kitchen will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 5:00 pm to 10:00 am; Arth Bar + Kitchen will be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm; 9531 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232; 424.503.4155; www.ArthLA.com

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

BG’s Margherita Pizza, Photo Credit: Wonho Photo



BG, Nerano’s best kept secret, is bringing the heat to Beverly Hills this New Year’s Eve with a very special NYE Burlesque Dinner featuring Miss Marquez!

With a powerhouse team including Nerano Executive Chef Michele Lisi, Bar Director Jacki Smith, and Wine Director David Gary, BG’s NYE Burlesque Dinner with Miss Marquez will showcase Executive Chef Michele Lisi’s Signature Menu, Jacki Smith’s Craft Cocktails, Select Wines curated by David Gary and a speakeasy vibe that reminds one of 1923 as we ring in 2023!


Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

BBG’s Violet Beauregard


BG Beverly Hills will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm;

BG Beverly Hills will be closed on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023; 9960 S. Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212; 424.332.0439; www.BGBeverlyHills.com


Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants



Executive Chef and Owner Calogero Drago knows how to celebrate New Year’s Eve and this year is no exception at Celestino Ristorante!

The last meal of 2022 is going to be everything one could wish for and more with Celestino Ristorante’s New Year’s Eve Specials Menu or guests can enjoy any of the delectable dishes from Celestino Ristorante’s Sicilian Signature Dinner Menu complimented by a Specialty Cocktail, Bottle of Wine, or Champagne from Celestino Ristorante’s award-winning Wine List. As Chef Calogero Drago likes to say, “Life is beautiful!” and his menu will make you feel jubilant and ready to welcome 2023!

Celestino Ristorante will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm;Celestino Ristorante will be closed on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023; 141 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91105; 626.795.4006; www.CelestinoPasadena.com





Come ring in 2023 at Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles this New Year’s Eve as Owner and Executive Chef Celestino Drago prepares a special

CENA DI SAN SILVESTRO (New Year’s Eve) Six-Course Tasting Menu ($200 per person)

including Kanpachi, Cipolle Fritte, Capperi, Peperoncino, Gel Fluido al Limone, Kanpachi, fried onions, capers, chili, and lemon fluid gel,

Torta di Granchio Dungeness, Peperoni Piquillo, Rucola, Remoulade, made with Dungeness crab cake, piquillo peppers, arugula, and remoulade,

Pasta Mista, Langostino, Americaine, a mixed pasta, langostino, and Americaine, Branzino Cileno, Gnocchi, Pomodoro Cimelio, Scampi, Chilean sea bass, gnocchi, heirloom tomato, and scampi,

Kagoshima A5 NY, Patate Affumicate, Salsa al Rosmarino e Pepe, Kagoshima A5 NY Wagyu smoked potato, with a rosemary peppercorn sauce, and Torta Cassata Siciliana Sfera, a sphere Sicilian cassata cake for Dessert.

Guests can also enjoy a Specialty Cocktail, Wines by the Glass, and Wines & Champagne by the Bottle from Drago Centro’s award-winning Wine List. So come celebrate, toast, and cheer the New Year at Drago Centro!

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants


Drago Centro will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 202, from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Drago Centro will be closed on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023; 525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071; 213.228.8998; www.DragoCentro.com



Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants




Come celebrate Nochevieja or Año Nuevo at El Granjero Cantina as Executive Chef Jenni Sklar serves up her innovative Mexican menu showcasing Antojitos (Snacks), Ensaladas (Salad), Quesadillas featuring the HIBISCUS made with sauteed hibiscus flowers, onion and cheese,Tacos, Los Tazones (Bowls), Burritos, Acompanantes (Sides), and Dessert.

El Granjero Cantina will also be serving up their Specialty Holiday Cocktails offering something for everyone including Tobin Shea’s ‘Tis the Season Margarita prepared with tequila, prickly pear, lime, and Ancho Reyes, Poison Apple Mule made of vodka, apple spice, and lime

Mrs. Clause’s Martini comprised of guest’s choice of spirit, cold brew, and Tia Maria, and Hot Chocolate served with marshmallows that you can spike to make this amazing night exceptionally bright!


Say Feliz Año Nuevo at El Granjero Cantina on New Year’s Eve Day as while enjoying some of the best people watching at The Original Farmers Market Los Angeles.

Executive Chef Jenni Sklar will be cooking up her innovative Mexican menu all day and evening featuring a selection of Antojitos (Snacks), Ensaladas (Salad), Quesadillas, Tacos, Los Tazones (Bowls), Burritos, Acompanantes (Sides), and Dessert.

El Granjero Cantina will also be showcasing their full beverage menu that includes Wine, Beer, Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Soft Drinks, Espresso, Tea, Specialty List of Tequilas y Mezcal,

Mezcal List and Specialty Cocktails created by Tobin Shea including the Classic Margarita with a choice of tequila or mezcal, Cointreau, fresh lime and citrus agave, EGC Old Fashioned made with reposado tequila, mezcal and Meletti organe,

Rasp-Hib Cocktail with tequila, italicus, raspberry hibiscus tea, lime and soda, Paloma prepared with tequila, grapefruit, lime and salt  on draft, and much, much more this New Year’s Day!

El Granjero Cantina at The Original Famers Market Los Angeles will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm; El Granjero Cantina will be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, from 10:00 am to 8:30 pm; 6333 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90036; 323.879,9324;www.CantinaLA.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of El Granjero Cantina






Grab your sparklers and stroll over to Emilia Ristorante this New Year’s Eve and sip a Sparkling Wine with savoringEmilia Ristorante’s Signature Menu featuring Al Centro Tavola (Something to Share), Insalate (Salads), Paste & Risotto, I Secondi (Main Dish), I Contorni (Sides), and Desserts, where each dish inspired from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and can also be perfectly paired with a White Wine, Rosé, or Red Wine from Emilia Ristorante’s award-winning Wine List.


Get ready to roll out of bed and into 2023 by heading to Emilia Ristorante for Breakfast, Lunch or Brunch!

Enjoy Emilia Ristorante’s Breakfast & Lunch or Weekend Brunch Menus featuring Uova in Camicia, two organic poached eggs served over sautéed jumbo green asparagus, topped with smoked Guanciale Hollandaise sauce and sliced Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,

Focaccia da Colazione, flatbread with smoked mozzarella, sliced tomato and crispy Guanciale, topped with a sunny-side-up egg, arugula and sliced Parmigiano,

La Piadina di Mattina, an Emilia-Romagna traditional bread roll, filled with two organic scrambled eggs, Fontina cheese, Italian ham, served with side of mixed-green salad,

Quiche agli Asparagi e Provolone, traditional Italian-quiche puff pastry with Fontina cheese and asparagus, served with an organic mixed-green salad,

Toast Francese, French toast topped with mixed berries, served with organic maple syrup,

Salmone Affumicato, King salmon plate, softened cream cheese, topped with shred hard boiled eggs, diced red onion, chives, crispy capers, served with toasted sourdough bread,

Uovo alla Benedettina, two organic poached eggs, served over house-made focaccia bread, topped with Italian ham, Provolone cheese, and smoked Guanciale Hollandaise, and much more.

Toast Francese, Photo Credit: Wonho Photography

Each of these beautiful Breakfast, Lunch and Weekend Brunch dishes can be perfectly paired with an Italian Sparkling Wine, White Wine, Rosé, or Red Wine from Emilia Ristorante’s award-winning Wine List.

Emilia Ristorante will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Emilia Ristorante will be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, for Brunch and Lunch from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, and for Dinner from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm; 8500 Burton Way, Los Angeles, CA  90048; 424.999.4755; www.EmiliaLA.com




Prosperity Meal! Make your last meal of 2022 memorable and set the stage for a prosperous New Year! Did you know that in the South, Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens symbolize wealth?

Even folks who aren’t from the South go all in on eating a New Year’s Eve Prosperity Meal featuring Black-Eyed Peas, Leafy Collard Greens and Cornbread for good luck on New Year’s Eve, giving you everything you need to welcome wealth: Pennies, Dollars & Gold.

Come ring in 2023 right at Georgia’s Restaurant’s at the Anaheim Packing House and Long Beach Exchange on New Year’s Eve to be sure that wealth and prosperity come your way!

Georgia’s Restaurant at the Anaheim Packing House will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 11:00 am to 9:30 pm; 440 South Anaheim Boulevard #209A, Anaheim, CA  92805; 714.906.1900; www.Georgias-Restaurant.com

Georgia’s Restaurant at the Long Beach Exchange will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022,from 11:00 am to 8:30 pm; 4101 McGowen Street, Suite 155, Long Beach, CA 92630; 562.420.5637;  www.Georgias-Restaurant.com



Come celebrate New Year’s Day with a Boozy Brunch at Georgia’s Restaurant at the Long Beach Exchange as they are kicking-off 2023 with a bang and serving up a Southern “Soul-delicious”

Brunch all day long!

Share savories such as the Fried Egg Sandwich, with choice of cooked egg, mayonnaise and bacon, the Sausage, Bacon and Eggs served with blackened country potatoes and toast, or Co-Owner Nika Shoemaker-Machado’s personal favorite, the hearty Steak and Eggs, featuring top sirloin steak and a side of blackened country potatoes.

For those that love a sweet start to their day, there is Grilled French Toast made the old-fashioned way and topped with powdered sugar and strawberries, theCinnamon Apple Waffle topped with warm sautéed apples in a finger-licking cinnamon syrup, and a dollop of whipped cream.

Alternatively, guests can also have the best of both the sweet and savory worlds with the Chicken and Waffles, which stars Georgia’s signature fried chicken, a process that begins with Co-Owner Marlon Machado’s Brazilian buttermilk brine and ends with a seasoned crispy cornmeal crust courtesy of Nana Gretchen’s very own grandmother, served on a Belgian waffle with creamy honey butter, and maple syrup.


Soul-delicious Southern staples also include the Fish & Grits featuring Creole seasoned cornmeal crusted fried catfish, or the classic Shrimp & Grits made with Creole seasoned shrimp over a bed of savory grits.

Get festive with the vegetarian friendly Mardi Gras Omelet, featuring green and red bell peppers, onions, and cheese, indulge Georgia’s new Eggs Benedict.

A selection of thirst-quenching Beverages is also available and what libation is more appropriate at Brunch than a bright and bubbly Mimosa? Georgia’s Restaurant also features Signature Peach and Seasonal Sangria, Red Wine andWhite Wine by the glass or bottle, and craft bottled Beer to complement each dish. For those looking for a more full-bodied beverage, the Bloody Mary ought to do the trick.

Georgia’s Restaurant at the Long Beach Exchange will be open and serving their New Year’s Day Boozy Brunch on Sunday, January 1st , 2023, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and they will serving their signature menu from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm; 4104 McGowen Street, Suite 155, Long Beach, CA 92630; 562.420.5637; www.Georgias-Restaurant.com



Get ready for a very Happy New Year and head to Hank’s at Palisades Village this New Year’s Eve to raise a glass and do an NYE East Coast Toast (9:00 pm)!

Come celebrate during the day while enjoying a very happy New Year’s Eve Brunch or savor Executive Chef Isaias Peña’s Signature Menu featuring elevated American classic Appetizers, Seasonal Salads, Flatbreads, Burgers including Chef Peña’s award-wining Hank’s Double Diamond Burger, Sandwiches, Signature Dishes, Sides, and Desserts.

Guests can also toast to 2023 with one (two, or three) Hank’s Tableside Martinis, Coravin poured Wines by the Glass, Draft or Bottled Beers, Boozy Shakes or Floats to make sure you are ringing in this New Year just right!


Get ready to make your first New Year resolution and head to Hank’s at Palisades Village!

Celebrate “Out with the old, in with the new” while enjoying a New Year’s Eve Brunch celebration showcasing Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Tableside Martinis,

Executive Chef Isaias Peña’s Brunch Menu

featuring his New York Steak and Eggs, The #77 Burrito,Omelette, Strawberry Waffles, Shrimp & Polenta, Eggs Benedict, Avocado Toast,  Huevos Rancheros, and Hank’s Classic Breakfast to make sure to toast and ring in the New Year just right!

Hank’s will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, for Brunch from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Dinner from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Hank’s will be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, for Brunch  from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Dinner from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm; 1033 N. Swarthmore Avenue, Pacific Palisades, CA  90272; 424.363.7166; www.HanksPalisades.com

Knox & Dobson Holiday Cocktail Gift Box, Photo Credit:  Jakob N. Layman


If you are looking for the perfect way to ring in 2023, order Knox & Dobson’s new Holiday Cocktail Gift Box featuring a premium Gin Martini, classic Old Fashioned, Improved Whiskey Cocktail made with Maraska Maraschino, and authentic Rye Manhattan ($70 per Gift Box – 2 Servings per each Bottled Cocktail) and be the life of the party of any New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day Party and just OPEN, POUR & ENJOY!

Knox & Dobson Holiday Cocktail Gift Box, Photo Credit:  Jakob N. Layman

Knox & Dobson is offering a special Holiday Promo Code “KDGIFT” to SAVE $10 when you order Knox & Dobson’s Holiday Cocktail Gift Box directly at www.KnoxandDobson.com or please visit the Knox & Dobson Stockists to see where you can walk-in and purchase directly.



Come celebrate New Year’s Eve with a decadent Italian feast, with Live Music, Party Favors, and Champagne Toast at Mi Piace!

Guests will enjoy Executive Chef Gil Saulnier’s Mi Piace Signature Menu & Specials with items such as the Ravioli con Salsiccia with sautéed mild Italian sausage, wilted broccolini, sundried tomatoes, sliced garlic and white wine finished with Pecorino cheese; Grilled Double Lamb Chops prepared with a Port wine demi-glace and roasted Yukon potatoes, or the decadent Spaghetti Aragosta comprised of sautéed diced lobster tail tossed with spaghetti in a San Marzano smokey chipotle cream sauce.

Even those on Santa’s naughty list can indulge in Mi Piace’s decadent Desserts

Even those on Santa’s naughty list can indulge in Mi Piace’s decadent Desserts which are a big part of Mi Piace’s New Year’s Eve celebration, so do not miss any delectable delights such as theMidnight Fantasy, a chocolate cake with Swiss bittersweet chocolate fudge and raspberry purée, Tiramisu, or New York Cheesecake with a creamy graham cracker crust and fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Raise a glass as you ring in 2022 by pairing these delicious dishes with any one of Mi Piace’s award-winning wines or try Mi Piace’s Ciao Bellococktail comprised of Borghetti Espresso Liqueur, Galliano Liqueur, almond milk, and espresso and then head over to the Mi Piace Lounge for Live Music from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am with Party Favors, countdown to the New Year, and a Complimentary Champagne Toast at Midnight as guests can dance the night away!


Welcome 2023 by watching the iconic 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade and then head to Mi Piace located on Colorado Boulevard after viewing the many magnificent floral floats, marching bands, and equestrians to carry on and continue the celebration!

This iconic Italian eatery opens its doors to all parade-goers for a festive day welcoming the New Year!

New Year’s Day is also National Bloody Mary Day, enjoy a Mi Piace Classic Bloody Mary

Being that New Year’s Day is also National Bloody Mary Day, it is only right to kick things off by enjoying a Mi Piace Classic Bloody Mary comprised of Absolut vodka, house-made spicy Bloody Mary mix, celery salted rim, and crisp celery stalk garnish.

Celebrate the first meal of the New Year with Homemade Ricotta con Crostini – 2 Ways served with a SWEET organic lavender honey and Tahitian vanilla and a SAVORY lemon zest with extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, fleur de Sel, served with grilled ciabatta, or the Carpaccio, made of paper thin sliced raw prime beef filet mignon topped with arugula, shaved Reggiano, capers, and honey dry mustard vinaigrette.

Enjoy and share a handmade pasta like the Pappardelle Bolognese, prepared with natural skirt steak, seasoned pancetta, Porcini mushroom, vegetable mirepoix, San Marzano tomatoes and touch of cream, or the Gnocchi, made with potato, spinach, and goat cheese gnocchi with roasted ricotta in a caramelized garlic and basil marinara sauce.

For something savory, try the Milanese, which is a breaded, pounded, sautéed 16-ounce veal chop with a demi-glace lemon parsley sauce, served with arugula salad with buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, tossed in an Italian dressing, or the Pollo al Prezzemolo, with Mary’s Free-Range organic grilled chicken stuffed with fresh herbs in a caramelized garlic, parsley, lemon, butter sauce, accompanied with whipped potatoes and fresh vegetables.

The first day of the New Year would not be complete without something sweet from the Mi Piace Bakery, so come celebrate New Year’s Day the delectably delicious Italian way at Mi Piace!

Mi Piace will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, for Lunch from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, and for Dinner from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm; The Mi Piace Lounge will be open on New Year’s Eve from 11:00 am to 1:30 am; Mi Piace will be open on New Year’s Day from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm; 25 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA; 626.795.3131; www.MiPiace.com



Native Son LA is ready to ring in their first New Year’s Eve by celebrating Christmas Eve Bunch! Start off by enjoying Beverage Director Brock Woolsey’s Nativity Son Cocktail, a seasonal spritz using Santa Barbara County pinot noir, cranberry juice, sparkling rosé, and Mommenpop Kumquat (a fortified wine produced in Napa, with kumquat, fig leaf, & green cardamom), garnished with a sprig of rosemary, or experience Head Brewer JP Boudwin’s newest Beer – EL DOJO Mexican Lager, and more.


Executive Chef Alec Guerrero’s What’s Cookin’ Menu offers up Sharable Bites, Salads, Burgers, Bigger Bites, and House-made Sweets which are not to be missed as you sip, savor, and celebrate the Countdown to 2023!


Welcome 2023 and Native Son LA is ringing in New Year’s Day just right toasting with Bottomless Mimosas, a special Apple Cider Monthly Mimosa

Micheladas, Beer, Wine & Spritz Menu featuring Beverage Director Brock Woolsey’s Dolomite Cocktail, made of Pasubio Blueberry Amaro, Amontillado Sherry, and bitters.

Executive Chef Alec Guerrero will be serving up his Weekend Brunch Menu which offers Bites, Bigger Bites featuring the Native Omelette, Ricotta Toast & Jam, French Toast, PB&J Sandwich, Native Slam, and Native Slam Burrito, Lunch Bites, Al a Carte Bites, and Sweet Bites for the perfect start to a beautiful New Year!

Native Son LA will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 10:30 am to 2:00 am; Native Son LA will be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, from 10:30 am to 10:00 pm; 832 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA  90014; 213.270.1599; www.NativeSonBar.com




Come celebrate New Year’s Eve at Nerano Beverly Hills as Executive Chef Michele Lisi serves seven New Year’s Eve Specials including the Antipasti – Vellutata di Topinambur, a Jerusalem artichoke soup with rustic croutons and chives, and the Primi showcases the Risotto Champagne e Caviale Ossetra, Veuve Clicquot risotto, chives, and lemon zest topped with Royal Imperial Ossetra Caviar, and Ravioli di Burrata Bugliese, Gamberi Rossi, Pistacchi di Bronte, home-made ravioli filled with Apulian Burrata, red shrimp, toasted pistachios, and chives.


The Secondi specials feature Merluzzo pelle Nera, pan roasted Alaskan black cod, saffron potato purée, and crispy artichokes

Costine di Manzo Brasate al Chianti, braised beef short ribs in a Chianti wine sauce, over truffle mashed potatoes, and crispy spinach.

For the final finish, Chef Lisi’s Dolce will not disappoint with Sorbetto agli agrumi, house-Spun winter citrus sorbet, and Millefoglie Scomposta, a deconstructed mille-feuille with French vanilla Chantilly cream, strawberries, and toasted hazelnut crunch.

For those that want to decadently indulge this New Year’s Eve, Executive Chef Michele Lisi also presents his White Truffle Tasting Menu featuring three delectable courses starting with the antipasto which spotlights Chef Lisi’s Burrata con Tartufo Bianco prepared with imported Apulian Burrata, San Danielle Prosciutto, and rosemary focaccina.

The primo course showcases a choice of the Tagliolini al Tartufo Bianco with handmade tagliolini pasta, butter emulsion, Parmigiano Reggiano “Vacche Rosse” 36 months, or Risotto al Tartufo Bianco made of Acquerello Carnaroli risotto, mantecato with Parmigiano Reggiano 24 months.

Chef Lisi’s Dolce is the perfect finish spotlighting his Panna Cotta con Miele al Tartufo, vanilla panna cotta, truffle infused honey, and hazelnut granella. Each course is delicately curated to be enhanced by the flavor of freshly shaved White Truffle from Alba, Italy and is offered with a suggested Optional Wine Pairing to ring in 2023 right!


Before you make any resolutions, come enjoy a celebratory New Year’s Day Dinner at Nerano! Let Executive Chef Michele Lisi, Bar Director Jacki Smith, and Wine Director David Gary help you ring in 2023 just right by enjoying Chef Lisi’s Signature Menu, Smith’s Craft Cocktails, and specially selected Wines curated by David Gary while sitting at a beautifully lit table inside or on Nerano’s stunning garden patio.

Nerano will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Nerano will be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm; 9960 S. Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA  90212; 310.405.0155; www.NeranoBH.com



Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

It’s New Year’s Eve and time to celebrate at Qué Padre! Executive Chef Isaias Peña is counting down the clock by offering up his Signature Menu featuring Starters, Signature Tacos, Mains, Quesadillas, Fajitas, Bowls, Ensalada Mexicana, Ceviche Tostadas, Sides, Desserts, and Kid’s Combo. Guests can also get the party started by enjoying  any one of Qué Padre’s handcrafted Margaritas, Frozen Cocktails, Cocktails, Tequila Flights, Tequila, Mezcal, Wine or Beer while ringing in the New Year!


This New Year’s Day take some time to get away at Qué Padre! Executive Chef Isaias Peña is serving up his fullSignature Menu featuring Starters, Signature Tacos, Mains, Quesadillas, Fajitas, Bowls, Ensalada Mexicana, Ceviche Tostadas, Sides, Desserts, and Kid’s Combo and guests can gather, and people watch while enjoying a handcrafted Margarita, Cocktail, Frozen Cocktail, Tequila Flight, Tequila, Mezcal, Wine or Beer.

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

Photography by Tonelson

Qué Padre will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 12:00 noon to 9:00 pm; Qué Padrewill be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, from 12:00 noon to 9:00 pm; 15225 Palisades Village Lane, Pacific Palisades, CA  90272; 310.461.8226; www.QuePadreTacos.com




Savor the last day of 2022 and head to Smoke City Char Bar in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles this New Year’s Eve where you can celebrate by enjoying slow smoked and succulent barbecue while sipping Salvador’s Sangriaor Handcrafted Cocktails like Van Gogh’s Flask comprised of house-aged Woodford Reserve, Amaro, Aperol, Cherry Heering and Bogart Bitters while ringing in 2023!

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

Guests can start with the Brisket Deviled Eggs or Burnt Ends Mac & Cheese Bites for Appetizers, then enjoy an Artisan Salad

BBefore you Choose Your Smoked Meats or create your own Meat Combination Plate choosing between Beef Tri-Tip, Beef Brisket, Turkey Breast, Sausage Link, Pulled Pork, Pacific Salmon, or Jackfruit for vegetarians

Then select The Sauces and your Sharable Sides such as Napa Cabbage Slaw, Truffle French Fries, Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread, Smoke City Baked Beans, Southern Style Collard Greens, Smoke House Chili, and more.

Guests can celebrate and make some noise while indulging in Smoke City Char Bar’s Dessert while savoring the Strawberry Shortcake on a homemade buttermilk biscuit with strawberry curd, Chantilly cream, fresh strawberries and Fosselman’s ice cream, or Smokehouse S’mores made with a toasted scratch marshmallow with Nutella and graham crackers with orange zest.


Resolve to make better New Year’s resolutions this year and add Smoke City Char Bar to your list!

This New Year’s Day, head to downtown L.A.’s newest smokehouse for a delectable New Year’s Day Brunch featuring Buttermilk Biscuit Eggs Benedict, Beef Tri-Tip Steak & Eggs, Buttermilk Pancakes, Avocado Toast, Smoked Brisket Hash, and much more while toasting the New Year with Mimosas and Pork Belly Bloody Marys!

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

Smoke City Char Bar will be open on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 11:00 am to 12:00 Midnight; Smoke City Char Bar will be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm; 899 Traction Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90013; 213.935.8194; www.SmokeCityCharbar.com

Photo: Smoke City Char Bar Table Spread, Burnt Ends Mac & Cheese Bites, Crisp Fried Smoked Pork Belly, Salvador’s Sangria, Van Gogh’s Flask, Strawberry Shortcake, Smokehouse S’mores



Celebrate New Year’s Eve at SO.PA at L’Horizon in Palm Springs and enjoy Executive Chef Michael Hung’s Five-Course Tasting Menu ($135.00 per person) starting with a Classic Gougere stuffed with local Medjool dates and Blue de Basque, then Icelandic King Salmon Crudo with variations of celery, pickled mustard seed, and Siberian Osetra Caviar.

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

For the Third Course, guests will enjoy Stuffed Delicata Squash, Lacinato kale, brown and wild rice with a black truffle coulis, and for the Main, the Grilled Petite Filet Mignon with potato and Parmigiano Reggiano gratin, and sauce au poivre.

Each course can also be enjoyed with one of Beverage Director Kelly David’s Handcrafted Cocktails, or Champagne, Red, White or Rosé Wine from SO.PA’s award-winning Wine List by the glass or the bottle, and for the final finishing touch, Chef Hung will be presenting a Ginger Toffee Pudding Cake with Whipped Creme Fraiche.

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

Photo Credit: Wonho Photo


Welcome 2023 by enjoying New Year’s Day Dinner at SO.PA and experience Executive Chef Michael Hung’s progressive and refined New American Dinner Menu spotlighting global influences while enjoying one of Beverage Director Kelly David’s Handcrafted Cocktails, and then toasting the New Year with some Champagne, Red, White or Rosé Wine from SO.PA’s award-winning Wine List.

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

SO.PA at L’Horizon will be open for New Year’s Eve Dinner, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm;SO.PA at L’Horizon will be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm; 1050 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264; 760.323.1858; www.LHorizonPalmSprings.com



Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

The countdown to New Year’s Eve is on at The Colony Club in Palm Springs as Executive Chef Michael is celebrating with three New Year’s Eve Specials featuring Ocean Trout Caviar with Potato Latkes with a hard cooked egg, crème fraiche and Chives,

Honey Baked Pork Loin Ham served with roasted Brussels sprouts, pineapple compote, and natural Jus,

Ginger Toffee Pudding Cake with market apples, and whipped crème fraiche. Each New Year’s Eve Specialcan be enjoyed with one of Beverage Director Kelly David’s Handcrafted Cocktails, glass, or bottle of Champagne, Red, White or Rosé Wine from The Colony Club’s award-winning Wine List.


Ring in the first day of the New Year by enjoying Executive Chef Michael Hung’s innovative California Fare for Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner this New Year’s Day. Guests of The Colony Club can dine inside the main dining room while enjoying the modern take on Art Deco glamour or enjoy the warm breezes while dining al fresco poolside with a stunning view of the mountains while sipping one of Beverage Director Kelly David’s Handcrafted Cocktails, Mimosa, Michelada, Bloody Mary or savoring some Champagne, Red, White or Rosé from The Colony Club’s award-winning Wine List.

The Colony Club at The Colony Palms Hotel will be open for New Year’s Eve Dinner, Saturday, December 31st, 2022,from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm; The Colony Club at The Colony Palms Hotel will be open on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023, from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm; 572 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262; 760.969.1818;www.ColonyPalmsHotel.com



Kick-off this New Year’s Eve with an early celebration at The Raymond 1886! This special holiday calls for a very special meal and The Raymond 1886 will be offering a Three-Course New Year’s Eve Tasting Menu ($155.00 per person). This festive feast begins with the First Course featuring a choice of Scallop Rockefeller, sea scallop, garlic breadcrumbs, spinach, and Champagne butter, or Grape & Prosciutto Salad with prosciutto di parma, frisée, red grapes and gorgonzola dolce.

Los Angeles New Years eve restaurants

The savory Second Course offers a choice Cornish Game Hen served with cranberry orange harissa and roasted root vegetables, Branzino, Mediterranean Sea Bass served roasted bell pepper purée, lentils and fennel, Chateau Briand, filet mignon, pommes purée, crispy Brussels sprouts leaves, and bone marrow bordelaise, or Stuffed Eggplant with Moroccan spiced lentils, baby heirloom tomatoes, sweet peppers, and romesco.

The Dessert course offers a choice of either the Chocolate Lava Cake or Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta.

The Raymond 1886’s New Year’s Eve Tasting Menu is meant to pair perfectly with a bottle of wine from The Raymond 1886’s award-winning Wine List or full 1886 Cocktail List, along with a Complimentary Champagne Toast making dining at The Raymond 1886 a great way to ring in 2023!

The Raymond 1886 will be open for New Year’s Eve Dinner, Saturday, December 31st, 2022, from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm;The Raymond 1886 will be closed on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2023; 1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105; 626.441.3136; www.TheRaymond.com



Masters of Taste 2024 on April 7 — Introduces Event Hosts Executive Chef Bret Thompson & Lucy Thompson-Ramirez from Pez Cantina

Masters of Taste 2024 Introduces Event Hosts Executive Chef Bret Thompson & Lucy Thompson-Ramirez from Pez Cantina

Come celebrate and be part of the seventh annual Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival returns and will be taking place on Sunday, April 7th, 2024, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the Iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl.

 Iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl for Masters of Taste 2024

 Iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl for Masters of Taste 2024 // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

100% of the proceeds will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a non-profit organization providing over 50 years of homeless services and housing for thousands of neighbors.

Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez as the Hosts of Masters of Taste 2024 which also marks the 7th Anniversary of this celebrated event.

Masters of Taste 2024 Culinary Master and Host Executive Chef Bret Thompson and Pez Boss Lady Lucy Thompson-Ramirez are a dynamic husband and wife team that have made a significant impact in the hospitality industry.

With their passion for culinary excellence and warm hospitality, they have created a signature name for themselves in the Los Angeles dining scene and beyond.

Executive Chef Bret Thompson

Executive Chef Bret Thompson // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Chef Bret Thompson’s culinary journey began at the renowned California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He honed his skills at esteemed establishments such as Aqua in San Francisco, Roy’s in Hawaii, and Pinot Blanc in St. Helena, California.

Seeking international inspiration, Chef Bret traveled to Spain to study under Chef Martin Berasategui at Restaurante Martin Berasategui, a Michelin 2-star establishment in Lasarte, Spain.

He further expanded his culinary repertoire in Lebanon at Atlas Café, then studied under Chef Bernard Loiseau at La Cote d’Or his Michelin 3-star restaurant in Saulieu, France, and then L’Arpege, Chef Alain Passard’s Michelin 2-star restaurant in Paris.

Throughout his career, Bret also had an extensive tenure with The Patina Group, working at multiple restaurants, running catering operations and ultimately becoming the Corporate Executive Chef overseeing all restaurant operations for the entire group. While there Bret garnered accolades, including being named “Chef of the Year 2002” by the Orange County Business Journal during his time as Executive Chef at Catal Restaurant in Anaheim.

Eventually, Bret moved on and co-founded and became a partner at the iconic MILK Ice Cream Parlor & Bakeshop in Los Angeles and he also opened his own Market Restaurant and Catering, which he successfully sold in 2014.
In 2015, Chef Bret Thompson joined forces with his wife, Lucy Thompson-Ramirez, to embark on a new culinary adventure as the proud owners of Pez Cantina.

This seasonal, modern, coastal-inspired Mexican restaurant and bar, located in downtown Los Angeles, quickly became a beloved dining destination and in October 2021, they expanded with a new location LA Burrito in Montebello, California.

Pez Boss Lady Lucy Thompson-Ramirez

Pez Boss Lady Lucy Thompson-Ramirez // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Lucy Thompson-Ramirez brings her unique perspective and expertise to the front of the house at Pez Cantina. Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Lucy migrated to the United States with her family at a young age. She pursued her education at the University of Santa Barbara, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Spanish.

Lucy’s first career path led her into the fashion industry, where she excelled in sales and later established her own showroom with her brother called Siblings Showroom. After a successful 18-year tenure in fashion, Lucy made a seamless transition into the hospitality industry alongside her husband.

Hitching Post  // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Hitching Post // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

At Pez Cantina, Lucy’s warm and welcoming demeanor shines as she personally greets regulars by name and fosters new connections. Her dedication to providing a home-like atmosphere has made Pez Cantina feel like an extension of their own family.

In recognition of her leadership and contribution to the industry, Lucy was appointed as President of the Latino Restaurant Association in 2023 and serves on the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.

Outside of their professional endeavors, Bret and Lucy are dedicated parents to their two boys and they prioritize family time, often found supporting their children’s activities or enjoying a cozy evening at home.

Incredible food on the field of Rose Bowl Stadium  // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Incredible food on the field of Rose Bowl Stadium // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

In February 2024, Executive Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez opened Pez Coastal Kitchen, their new upscale seafood focused eatery in Pasadena. Offering a diverse menu featuring sea-to-table and farm-to-table cuisine, while showcasing the best of seasonal California flavors, Pez Coastal Kitchen highlights expertise in curing, smoking and dry-aging meats and seafood, as well as their partnerships with local farmers and specialty producers.

Makers Mark at the Rose Bowl  // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Makers Mark at the Rose Bowl // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

With a focus on creating a modern coastal dining experience, Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez continue to innovate and reinvent themselves and they aim to contribute to Pasadena’s thriving culinary scene and bring a fresh and exciting new concept to Pasadena.

Sake High // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Sake High // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Pez Coastal Kitchen promises a unique blend of California coastal cuisine, thoughtfully crafted cocktails, specially curated wines, special selection of craft beer and Chef Bret and Lucy’s dedication to excellence ensures an unforgettable dining experience that celebrates vibrant flavors and genuine hospitality.

Knox Dobson  // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Knox Dobson // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Masters of Taste 2023 was a sold-out event that attracted over 3,000 guests and garnered media attention all throughout Southern California and beyond.

The seventh annual Masters of Taste 2024 is also expected to bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and top cocktail bars, select wineries, local craft breweries, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.

Kimlai Yingling // Courtesy of Masters of Taste

Kimlai Yingling // Courtesy of Masters of Taste


Some of this year’s Masters of Taste 2024 participating Culinary Masters and Restaurants include:

Pez Cantina Village and Pez Coastal Kitchen Seafood Village by Santa Monica Seafood 2024 Event Hosts Chef Bret Thompson & Lucy Thompson-Ramirez – Downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena

1212 Santa Monica Chef Oliver Malmsten – Santa Monica

Arth Bar + Kitchen Chef Mihir Lad – Culver City

Agnes Restaurant and Cheesery Chef Vanessa Tilaka Kalb & Chef Thomas Tilaka Kalb  – Pasadena

Alexander’s Steakhouse Chef Frederico Villanueva – Pasadena

Ayara Thai Chef Vanda Asapahu & Chef Cathy Asapahu – Westchester

BAAR BAAR Los Angeles Chef Sujan Sarkar – Downtown Los Angeles

Beachy’s Food Truck Chef Pablo Camacho – South Gate

BOX Chicken Chef Noah Clark – Los Angeles

Casa Cordoba Chef Eric Zada – Montrose

Celestino Ristorante Chef Calogero Drago – Pasadena

Cerda Vega Tacos Chef Daniel Vega – Santa Clarita

Champion’s CURRY Chef Yoya Takahashi – Downtown Los Angeles

Chaaste Family Market Chef Gabriel Esteban – Pasadena

City Club Los Angeles Chef Armando Quiroz – Downtown Los Angeles

Emporium Thai Chef John Sungkamee – Los Angeles

Fat Boys Chef Michael Gray – Pasadena, Los Angeles

Gabi James Sarah Gabriele & Adam Aro – Redondo Beach

Georgia’s Restaurant Nika Shoemaker-Machado – Anaheim, Long Beach

Granville Pasadena Chef Marc Dix – Pasadena

Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken Chef Mynor Espinoza – Burbank, Long Beach, Los Angeles

Harold & Belle’s Chef Ryan Legaux – Los Angeles

Italia Pasta e Pizza Chef Ivan Capasso – Covina

La Bohéme Chef David Gualberto – West Hollywood

LAVO Ristorante Chef Luca Maita – West Hollywood

Lunasia Chef Lee Han Fu – Pasadena, Alhambra, Cerritos

MAMA M SUSHI Chef Jack Supachai – Pasadena

Marina Chef Harout Borsikian – Pasadena

Mercado Chef Jose Acevedo – Hollywood, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Santa Monica

Panda Inn Chef Yang – Pasadena

Poppy + Rose Chef Michael Reed – Downtown Los Angeles

Rice Balls of Fire Chef Jorman Herrera – Arieta

Room Service Neighborhood Chef Gloria Chicas – Los Angeles

Santa Monica Seafood Chef Sherrod Nichols – Santa Monica

Soulmate Chef David Joyce – West Hollywood

StopBye Café – Lynwood

Taishi Hainan Chicken Chef Theo Shio – Redondo Beach, Long Beach

The Peppered Goat Chef JohnPaul Arabome – Van Nuys, Las Vegas

UCHI West Hollywood Chef Joel Hammond – West Hollywood

YAKIYA Chef Ling – Pasadena

Yardbird Chef Alvaro Rayon de Jaime – Los Angeles

Yuca’s Restaurant Socorro “Mama Yuca’s” Herrera – Pasadena


Sweet Masters: A select group of Los Angeles Top Sweet Masters will showcase an assortment of delectable desserts such as Bachan’s Shave Ice, warm chocolate chip cookies from BAKE SOME NOISE, Beard Papa’s, Bertha Mae’s Brownies, By Faith Café, Gooey Center Bakery, Happy Ice LA, Läderach,deliciously scrumptious scratch baked custom cakes from Cakes By Chanté and cupcakes from Lark Cake Shop, Magpies Softserve, Marsatta Chocolate,Nothing Bundt Cakes, Pops Artisanal Creamery, Pazzo Gelato, Porto’s Bakery & Café, and more.

Some of this year’s participating Beverage Masters include:

Bars & Spirits: Some of L.A.’s top bartenders and cocktail bars will be creating first-rate craft cocktails and top brands showcasing their finest spirits at Masters of Taste will include Dead of Night Distillery, Dulce Vida Tequila, Empress 1908 Gin, Knox & Dobson, La Bay Gin, Laurel Canyon Spirits, Lunetta, Mario’s Hard Espresso, Mezcal 33, Neft VodkaNosotros Tequila & Mezcal, Old Hillside Bourbon Company, Smoke Lab Vodka, The Raymond 1886, Ventura Spirits and Angeleno Spritz, Vintage Distilling, and Xoloitzcuintle Tequila.

Brewmasters: Beverage Masters who specialize in barley and hops will be presenting top-notch ales, lagers, pilsners and more for guests to sample, sip and savor all throughout the event, including Southern California favorites L.A.’s All Season Brewing, Arrow Lodge Brewing, Arts District Brewing Company, Big Noise Beer, Boomtown Brewery, Pasadena’s Cerveceria Del Pueblo, Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Beer, Arcadia’s first Microbrewery Mt. Lowe Brewing Co., Nova Brewing Co., Over Town Brewing Co., San Fernando Brewing Co., and Tarantula Hill Brewing Co.

Wineries and Sake: A specially curated collection of Wine and Sake Masters will be showcasing their finest varietals including premium boutique winery Ascension Cellars, Bodegas de Santo Tomas, BONDLE Wines, CRŪ Winery, Golden Star Vineyards, Hitching Post Wines, LMA Wines,Moraga Canyon Vineyards, Anderson Valley’s Navarro Vineyards, NON (Non-alcoholic Wine Alternatives), Sake Akagisan, Sake High!, San Simeon Wines, Stephen Hemmert Wines, Warson Wine Company, Wiens Cellars, and more.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages: A variety of premium non-alcoholic Beverage Masters will also be on hand for those who wish to hydrate, caffeinate or regenerate featuring 2024 premier water master Perfect Hydration Alkaline Water, Yerba Mate from Erva Brew Co., Koe Kombucha, boba milk tea from Sunright Tea Studio and Bearology, and Unincorporated Coffee Roasters.


Every dollar raised at the Masters of Taste 2024 will benefit the work of Union Station Homeless Services (Union Station), a local organization successfully fighting to end homelessness. Over the last six years, Masters of Taste has impressively raised close to $3 Million, helping countless families and individuals find a secure and welcoming place to call home. What is more impressive is that Union Station has seen a 97% Success Rate in permanently housing people since adopting the Housing First model. Their mission transcends just providing temporary shelters; they are committed to creating lasting solutions for homelessness through housing, supportive services, and connection to the community. Over the past 50 years, Union Station has grown to be one of the best homeless services agencies in Los Angeles and is the lead County agency for Service Planning Area 3 (SPA 3), coordinating homeless services in 38 communities spanning from Eagle Rock to Pomona.

Masters of Taste 2024 is a 100% outdoor event. Additionally, all guests will be receiving their very own utensils and hand sanitizer to use throughout the event.

Mark your calendars and save-the-date for the return of the seventh annual Masters of Taste 2024!


Ticket Information: Masters of Taste 2024 will take place on Sunday, April 7th, 2024, and this is a 21+ event. A VIP Power Hour will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and General Admission will be from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now. For more information on Masters of Taste 2024, please visit www.MastersofTasteLA.com.

Passover Wines for 2024! Taste these Beverly Hills Wine Suggestion from Kosher Expert

Wine Expert Jay Buchsbaum from Kosher.com Reveals Perfect Passover Wines Pairings for Passover 2024

Passover starts Monday April 22 at sundown and ends April 30th. But today’s conversation is about the flavors of Seder dinner.  

Jay Buchsbaum

Royal Wine and Kosher.com’s Jay Buchsbaum visits to talk about flavor, tradition, tastes for every family member and what’s exciting in the wine world for 2024.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, unedited conversation, visit our FlavRReport YouTube channel.


Joe Winger: Jay, welcome back.  I appreciate that you’re returning.  Last time was great and we learned alot.

Jay Buchsbaum: Thank you for having me. Wow. This is great. So getting invited back for a second date, that’s really cool.

Joe Winger: Passover is just around the corner and we want to talk about different over wines to enjoy during the celebration and some great wine pairings.

I wanted to start off with what might be one of the popular new bottles – Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon.

Jay Buchsbaum:  It’s very hot and the reason it’s very hot is because people want something that’s rich and flavorful, especially the American palate, what we call the New World style.  

Opulence, fruit forward, but they don’t want to spend a fortune like you’d have to from some fancy vineyard in Napa or from Judean Hills. When it comes to Israel or the Golan Heights, and this is one of those wines where they’ve put together this at the beginning of opulence, lots of fruit forwardness, 14 months in oak and about $25.

So it’s really one of those really wonderful wines. What I noticed, and they say they forgot to do it, but I noticed that it does not have an appellation specific, except for Israel.  The reason I believe the winemaker did that –  I don’t know for sure – he talks about it on the back [of the bottle] that they brought the grapes from some of the finest vineyards.  He chose small amounts [of grapes] from the best vineyards from different places and put them all together, carefully crafting it so that it’s big and rich and flavorful and still under $30 bucks.

Joe Winger: That sounds amazing. What are some good food pairings that you’d recommend with it?

Jay Buchsbaum: A roast would be great. On the first and second night of Passover, we don’t officially roast anything because we don’t want people to think that it was a sacrificial lamb that was done in Egypt because we don’t have it today yet.

Until the reestablishment of the temple on the Temple Mount at some future time. 

So people cook a roast in the oven, it’s not barbecued. That’s what they’re talking about from a historical, spiritual sense –  but a delicious roast, maybe chicken marsala, where you have mushrooms and caramelized onions, you have a really rich flavor to go with that.

A lot of the Sephardic foods are like that too. We talked about traditional foods. Traditional foods from where? Sometimes it’s Eastern Europe, sometimes it’s Middle Eastern, and sometimes it’s Sephardic.

Lots of seders have a mix of all [cuisines] because you have melded families.


Joe Winger: Royal Wine currently has a wide roster of wine suggestions for Passover  Something for every adult at the table, from Grandpa to 25 year old Grand-daughter and her boyfriend.


Jay Buchsbaum: That’s a great point.  I’m going to give you the last one first only because I thought this was so much fun when I thought about it and I actually might do it. 

Let’s say the boyfriend is coming over. He wants to bring you something and he doesn’t know what to get you because, he’s not that observant..

So I thought, why don’t you end the meal with something Sparkling. The Momentous Rosé. That might be fun. You go out with a pop, so to speak. There’s Vera Wang’s  Prosecco Rose that’s also wonderful.   Both around $20.

But if you want to go really high end, why not go with the Rothschild Brut Rosé from Champagne, which is magnificent.  It’s 100% Pinot Noir, and about $100 a bottle.

So you have great diversity and  accessible and quite delicious sparkling wines.

Grandpa, or if you have a real fine wine guy. You have beautiful wines from the Rothschild vineyards, the Haute Medoc. which is in the upper $30s, and then you even have Grand Cru’s LesCombes, Grand Cru Margaux as an example, and some amazing wines from the Herzog Winery in California like the Alexander Valley Herzog Reserve, or the Napa Valley Herzog Reserve.  

We have a beautiful Lake County Reserve Cabernet from California. Big, opulent, delicious, mouth filling. 

I start my Seder usually with a rosé.  The reason for that is because you’re starting your Seder, having eaten nothing pretty much since the morning. So you’re on an empty stomach and the tradition is to finish at least the first glass. So I try to start with a rosé.  It’s a little lighter, a little lower in alcohol, a little lighter in texture and, and I like to start with an Israeli wine first.

Joe Winger: Iis there a hidden gem as far as just high quality with amazing value?

Jay Buchsbaum: There’s a really wonderful wine from New Zealand.

It’s a white wine, not a red wine. It’s made by the Rothschild family, but it’s made in New Zealand, called Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc. Less than $30 for sure.  Fresh, sweet lemons, but with enough acidity and structure, almost like a palette cleanser.

Joe Winger:  Anything that you’re looking forward to in the next few  months that wine lovers should be getting excited for?

Jay Buchsbaum: We were missing rosés from Israel for a whole year because of the sabbatical year. We skipped that vintage of roses, and so they’re back for the first time in 24 months for this Passover.

I love some of the new Italian wines. One of them to take a look at is Cantina Giuliano.  it’s a boutique winery. They make 3,000 – 4,000 cases maximum. It’s run by a young couple and I just had them over at my house for Sabbath Shabbat.  His wines blew people away.

I think the most exciting thing is our new winemaker and what our new winemakers is doing with our grapes. His selection and his final product over at the Herzog Wine Cellars. And that could be

Our new winemaker, his name is David Galzignato. He’s with us about three years and he has a background that is with some of the finest and smallest, medium sized boutiques. 

He was going to be moving to France, going to go for his MW [masters of wine] and they asked him if he’d come and consider working with us and he did. He has been making literally blow your brains out wonderful wines so our Napa Cabernet, our Alexander Valley Cabernet are just up and down the line, the wines, especially the reds are just rich and opulent.

He got Joseph Herzog to buy a visual sorter, they range in cost between a $100,000 – 1 million dollar machine.

What they do is when the grapes come in [during harvest] and there’s something called sorting tables.

Done by hand [vineyard workers literally sorting through the harvested grape bunches, looking for]  damaged or a little beat up or whatever, and they only allow the perfect grapes to go through. 

This visual sorter does this electronically by computer, so nothing is missed, zero. As a result, the grape quality is much higher

Famously said in The New Yorker Years ago, “There’s only three things that matter in good winemaking. Good grapes. Good grapes. Good grapes.”

So, the fruit that we get and the fruit that we end up making wine out of is literally the most important thing.

By using these kinds of methods, which are not inexpensive. But the quality is through the roof. We’re looking to make a 100 point wine one of these days and I think it might we might get close this year. 

LA Love Tequila! Now Madre Mezcal offers a Gateway to a Better Taste

LA Love Tequila! Now Madre Mezcal offers a Gateway to a Better Taste

Today’s conversation is with Ryan Fleming from Madre Mezcal.  The LA nightlife veteran reveals his time working behind the bar in some of Southern California’s hottest spots, as well as the inspiration that got him to travel to Mexico, discovering Mezcal.  The aroma, flavors, science and food pairings for Mezcal.

Love Tequila?  Discover the Gateway to better taste with Madre Mezcal's Ryan Fleming

Love Tequila?  Discover the Gateway to better taste with Madre Mezcal’s Ryan Fleming

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, unedited conversation, visit our YouTube Channel.


“…I’ve been a big Mezcal lover before I ever sold it…”

Joe Winger:  Can you share the behind the scenes or how the brand itself was created? 

Ryan Fleming: I’ve been a big Mezcal lover before I ever even sold it or made a dollar doing that. So I got to actually meet Ron Cooper, who is the legend that started the Del Maguey label back in 2011.

I got to drink rabbit Pachuca with him and all these other amazing things. The reason I bring him up is he’s a kind of one of the people that we look up to, how to sustainably bring a brand and how to create culture that crosses boundaries in a sense. 

He has a beautiful book that I recommend anyone to read if you haven’t read Ron Cooper’s book.

But we share a similar story. One of our founding partners, Tony Farfalla and one of my good friends, Stefan Tony’s an artist and he was literally traveling through Oaxaca doing documentaries and embracing the art and culture. He happened to meet Jose Morales, which is the first family we ever worked with.

If you have original bottles of Madre [Mezcal] before the labels have changed, it used to say Jose’s name on the bottle. 

So Tony was bringing bottles back to Brooklyn in plastic water bottles and it snowballed. His friends in Brooklyn were like, this stuff’s great. Started out in plastic water bottles in 2014. I think it was 2016 when our first glass bottles actually came by and we became like of a more legit brand and company.  But it started with Tony and Stefan; and they brought on our CEO and COO, Chris and Davide.

Chris actually is one of the founding driving forces in the electronic scene in the 90s in Europe. Chris comes from a very artistic, music based background. Then he went on to work for some bigger alcohol brands in the vodka world. 

Davide, who is our COO, my direct boss, who I love, is Italian and his whole family built furniture and he got his big break by importing and bringing furniture over [to the United States]. He also works with a beautiful high end apparel line. 

“…everyone has a very unique artistic background, which really reflects the brand and the label…”

So everyone has a very unique artistic background, which really reflects the brand and the label. Just not wanting to make a quick buck and actually make something we can stand behind and believe in.

As the families now blossom into four, we use three: the Vasquez family, the Blas family and the Morales family are our three main producers for our red and black label, which most people are familiar with. 

We just brought in Moises and he’s actually from Santa Catarina Minas.  That’s a little town where all they really make is their production. It’s a town known for nothing but clay pot distillation. So if you actually use a copper pot in, in Manera and Santa Caterina Minas, you’re looked at as what are you doing? That’s not what we do here. 

He’s our last and newest producer and he may be the most cowboy of them all, and he’s my favorite.

When you get to Tlaxcala, you have to walk over like a little rope bridge over like a river and stuff into the hills of Minas to see his production, and he’s got his grandfather’s old still, and he’s got his mom’s little kitchen that he wants to reopen, and it’s like a restaurant. But if you and I were to look at it, it just looks like a backyard set of tables and chairs with a cooking center.

No, this is a restaurant for the village. It’s really beautiful down in Minas. I recommend everyone, if you get a chance to go down there, it felt like the jungles in Costa Rica, cause it’s up near the hills and it’s just so green and lush up there.


“…I’ve been working in the alcohol industry for almost 15 years …”

Joe Winger:  What got you down there? Was it for a vacation or for Mezcal?

Ryan Fleming: 

So I’ve been working in the alcohol industry for almost 15 years and I worked for the Houston Hospitality Group for over a decade, helping run programs and menus. I worked for a couple other restaurants, but I used to work for Stillhouse Whiskey, which many people remember the terrible flavored moonshine in a gas can.

Yeah I actually sold that. I did pretty well, there was always one flavor that someone loved. I had the mint chocolate chip and I would keep it in the freezer to take care of my sweet tooth when I didn’t have ice cream. So that’s how it started.

My buddy, Stefan, who’s one of the founding partners goes, “Hey, we got this Mezcal company.”  I was just basically consulting for free lunches. 

One day he goes, do you want to go to Oaxaca? And I went, absolutely. 

I familiar with going down to Mexico city, but I’d never been as far South as Oaxaca. So I jumped at the chance.

[Meanwhile] we all got an email from Stillhouse saying “Hey, I know things are being shaken up right now, but trust me, everything’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” 

That weekend, apparently the whole team got laid off, but I didn’t get the email untll I came home Monday. They’re saying, “Ryan, are you going to be okay? Do you need help finding work?”

So I went down to Oaxaca, met the families, broke bread with Jose Morales, got to meet his mother who blessed the roast and cooked us dinner.  They offered me a job.

That was started my journey about six years ago with Madre [Mezcal ]and I’ve been with him since.

Fleming motions to tattoos on his arms and hands.

Discovering Madre Mezcal

I have it tattooed on my hand right here. I have it tattooed on my palm right here. And I think I have another one on the inside of my leg too. We do tasting events and we’ll have pop up tattoo artists all the time.


Tequila vs Madre Mezcal

Joe Winger: 

You mentioned the tastings and the education.  Are there quick lessons that you teach the most often?

Ryan Fleming: 

Basic production, culture, financial, environmental and economic sustainability. 

I don’t think people understand that Oaxaca is the second poorest state in Mexico.  Everyone thinks the Mezcal boom must be bringing so many jobs, but it really only affects about 20 – 40,000 people that live in Oaxaca for the production, 

Mezcal is great because it does bring some financial sustainability to the families. Jose started off driving a taxi to pay his bills and now he’s making Mezcal in his family’s tradition.  His whole family, his cousin, his uncles, they all make Mezcal for a living now.

There’s so much culture behind it. Even the old argument of did the Spanish bring over copper stills and that started distillation or does it go back to the Aztecs and Mayans? Because they found distillate and pottery from 3000 years ago. It’s those little nuances.

People really like to talk about the environmental, but giving back to the people down there by not just buying product, but giving them some ownership, which Madre does do, so that everyone has a little bit of skin in the game.

So I think Sustainability, whether it’s environmental, economical, cultural, and production. Those are the things I really like to talk about.

Joe Winger:  What is the basic difference between mezcal and tequila? Or is it more complicated?

Ryan Fleming: 

You could say production techniques, additives, mass production are probably the three biggest differences. 

Tequila can only be made with one agave. It’s a blue weber.  Mezcal can be made with the other 47-ish varietals, and that number is always fluctuating, based on classification and family genius.

Production is the big one. Tequila is made in massive factories and made with either chemicals or steam for the most part. 

Whereas mezcal is actually made by hand, roasted in an earthen oven. The biggest thing that separates Tequila and Mezcal is the 1% additive rule.

Tequila can have up to 1% by volume additives, and they don’t have to tell you. That’s why certain large brands will say 100% Agave, but it’s full of additives, because it doesn’t take much  with modern chemistry. Just a couple drops of glycerin or vanilla extract to change the flavor and hide  all the nuances.

Mezcal can’t have any additives by law. 

Joe Winger: Can we walk through the roles and responsibilities between the families that produce Madre Mezcal?

Ryan Fleming: 

Yeah, the four families. Let’s start with Jose Morales. Him and his brother both make mezcal. Now they produce for us in the US exclusively. We encourage all of our families to continue making mezcal to trade. They use it for a local economy.

Every time I go down there, [their operation is growing].  When they started, they had three stills. Now there’s 12 up and running and they have solar power.  It’s just so crazy to see how much the transformation has happened. 

The original recipe, the blend of cuishe and espadine at 90 proof, that’s his family’s recipe. So we expanded that and we brought on Carlos Blas and the Vasquez family. Unfortunately, Natalio the father passed away a couple of years ago.

His daughters are now producing in the family’s tradition and we take whatever we can from them. 

But what we do, that’s a little bit different is, we started out when it was just Jose, he was making the blend himself. Now we have them make the espadine and the cuishe separately.

All three families are part of the process. Sometimes we just get cuiche from Jose. Sometimes Carlos makes all the espadine, but Carlos is like a master blender. 

We blend a cold style like Scotch does. Even though it’s not the most traditional way, all the distillation and process is as true as it can be.

But by blending post distillation allows us to keep consistency, which was a huge problem because every batch with your wild fermentation, your wild yeast and all these beautiful nuances, it’ll be inconsistent as you grow as a brand.  It was hard for us to keep consistency.

But by blending multiple terroirs and three different families’ production, we can keep a consistent product that tastes the same as well as expanding and bringing on more families to help instead of just going to a large factory house and not making what I would call “traditional Mezcal.”

Joe Winger: So focusing on your background, you mentioned that you’ve been a bartender in the LA nightlife.  Any memorable adventures or lessons you can share?

Ryan Fleming:

There are some stories I could tell that I probably don’t want to share publicly. But there are some amazing stories I can tell.

One of the oddest experiences I’ve ever had, I worked at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, which is one of the most famous bars in the Hollywood nightlife in the past decade. 

Paul McCartney showed up at our door. 

But because our staff is younger and our door guys are a little bit younger, they thought it was an old weird British man that just showed up and they turned Paul McCartney away from the door.

‘Holy crap, is that Paul McCartney’?

He was like, do you know who I am? The guys [were like] ”We don’t care.” Like straight up, blowing Paul McCartney off. One of our managers came out and was like, ‘Holy crap, is that Paul McCartney’? And they’re like, wait, the guy from the Beatles?! 

My manager ran out, “Please come back,” and Paul had a great time at the bar. We got him a special little area to sit down. It was a packed Saturday.  It’s not a nightclub where we have gated off [areas]. Even if you reserve a table, people are inches away from you where you’re sitting at your table. 

Justin Bieber showed up one time and everyone went nuts.  He comes in, walks around, does a loop, comes out and goes, “I thought this was a hip hop club.” and just left.

It was a 1970s themed bar and we played nothing but 70s music. 

The dichotomy between the two different generations and to see them all melt into one location was one of the coolest things about working at that bar. 


Joe Winger:It’s so crowded because it’s so popular.  The Houston Brothers always do such a good job.

Ryan Fleming: 

Yeah.  The cocktails are still really good too. For as much volume as we used to do there, the biggest thing is how can I make a really beautiful cocktail that’s still cost effective and doesn’t take 12 steps. We got really good at batching stuff and figuring out how to infuse things.  Luckily our back of house was just the most amazing.  Mariano is the best barback I’ve ever had in my whole life. He’s still there. 

He is just a workhorse that got all the infusions. He would cook, he would infuse all of our products and he was just great. Even if we just did a jalapeno infusion on our tequila, if it got too spicy, he could break down the ratio and water it down with more products so that we could keep the spice level approachable.

Joe Winger:

What is the secret to high quantity yet high value cocktails? 

Ryan Fleming:

Batching is definitely the way to do it. Any of your alcohols that are shelf stable, you want to put all of those in the proper ratios in a bottle.

Instead of grabbing a modifier and your base spirit and another modifier, you’re grabbing one bottle with a special tape at the bottom, so you know which cocktail it goes to and then all your fresh stuff. 

You can’t batch the fresh stuff. It has to be separated because you put citrus in something and it goes bad in three days.  Now the whole batch is bad. So keeping your fresh stuff separated.

Joe Winger: Back to Madre Mezcal.  Obviously the bottles themselves are where all the power is.  So let’s talk about labels and taste profiles.

Ryan Fleming:

People love our labels. Our branding is top notch. It’s one of the first compliments we always get. “Oh my God, I love your branding.” 

Madre Mezcal Artesanal

Madre Mezcal Artesanal

Looked at Oaxacan culture and some other like medieval culture and combined the art from the two.

As far as the red label it’s the woman on the bull. It’s a really beautiful message of Mother Earth coming down and starting to share humanity and move across the world to plants and spread love.  That’s why she’s on the bull.  It’s the combination of animal, Mother Earth, and humans. 

Madre Mezcal Espandin

Madre Mezcal Espandin

The black label is a beautiful logo of a woman on the ground.  She’s planting and spreading the seed of life that gives us agave and flowers and fruit and vegetables and everything else.

Madre Mezcal Ancestral

Madre Mezcal Ancestral

The ancestral is this beautiful clay bottle with old clay vessels from Greece that carried wine with the fluid coming out and it’s supposed to celebrate the ancestral way of making mezcal and clay pots and clay distillation.

I always love telling the story of people who say mezcal is not supposed to be aged, which is a true-ish statement in my opinion. But back in the day, everything got transferred in barrels. So Mezcal would accidentally get aged in barrels because it would travel from town to town on horseback after the product was made.

So the idea that Mezcal was never aged is it wasn’t aged on purpose. 

Mezcal was accidentally aged in wood. The traditional way that people would age Mezcal is in glass and they would hide it underground. 

I always tell people, if you have a beautiful bottle of Mezcal, you should open it and take it out and put a wine cork in it, or at least crack the bottle and get some air because it really lets alcohol open up and aerate.

Mezcal benefits from a resting period. Pouring it in a nice open glass, like a snifter or a wine glass, letting it sit for about 5-10 minutes will really open it up.

Madre Mezcal tasting notes 

Madre is designed to be less smoky. I really hate the term smoky. I like the word roasted because what you’re tasting is like barbeque.

You’re tasting the roasting of the agave and the charcoaling and the burning of the outside agave which will affect the sugars, the caramelization.

Madre really was designed to be a more approachable mezcal. We call ourselves ”The gateway to the category.” 

We want to bring people from tequila over to Mezcal so you can explore what agave spirits also have to offer. 

It’s bright, clean, and smooth. I always compare it to a really nice, made tequila.

Our Espadine is actually a close cousin of [tequila’s] Blue Weber. It tastes really bright, clean and smooth.  But you’re going to get some of that minerality and smoke in the end. 

Like easy drinking with some earthy aromas. 

Joe Winger:  That night when I met you, what you handed me was my first taste of the night. I love that it was so pure and smooth.  It didn’t clog up my mouth for the rest of the night.

Ryan Fleming: 

I’m like you. I want to have 2-3 cocktails a night. Not just one and my palette’s done. 

Our Espadine to me is a 2-3 second palette.  It clears up and you get like a breath and it’s fading.  Our Ensemble goes on for 10- 12 seconds.  From sweet vanilla to chocolate to mineral and then to smoke.  Then the smoke fades and you get just a really beautiful, crisp.  It’s viscous. You can feel the oil in your mouth when you swirl it around and it makes the best Negroni.

Joe Winger:  Let’s talk about food pairings.

Ryan Fleming: 

I want to know if this caught you off guard, but it’s Italian food.

Very rich foods. These beautiful Mezcals are light and almost floral and fragrant, It cuts through the richness and creaminess of food.

That’s why mezcal and chocolate are consistently paired together, but that was just way too easy. There’s always mezcal chocolate pairings, but like a really nice Italian dish, something creamy and rich, like an Alfredo or a really well done piece of pizza, like a margarita or a white sauce pizza.

“…I want to know if this caught you off guard, but…”

We are working on doing some [pizza] pairings with some places in LA.   Do a different slice of pizza with three different cocktails of Madre and then have a tasting at the end.

Chocolate has a big part of Oaxaca too. You can’t not have some chocolate and mezcal at the end of the night. 

Espresso martinis are so hot again right now. Try making one with mezcal instead of vodka and just [see] how coffee helps open up the agave and the notes, and you’re going to get so much more going on in your cocktail.

If you pair a nice espresso martini with  beautiful, dark chocolate from Oaxaca.  That is your final cocktail at the end of the night, it won’t let you down.

Joe Winger:  You mentioned replacing Mezcal with vodka in a martini, are there any traditional or more common cocktails we should also try replacing Mezcal in?

Ryan Fleming: 

When I tell you this, it may blow your mind. Most gin cocktails are a little bit better with Mezcal.

There are certain times you need botanicals, but a lot of really good classic gin cocktails, if you sub them for Mezcal, are absolutely fantastic. 

Joe Winger:  I’m shocked because most gins have such unique aromatics.

Ryan Fleming: 

Which Mezcal has so many of those same unique terpenes going on that it changes the cocktail, but it works.

So instead of having botanicals, you have all these beautiful vegetal and mineral notes that just come from agaves. 

Joe Winger:  What are the biggest misconceptions in the world of Mezcal?

Ryan Fleming: 

A lot of people have a misconception, especially on the trade side, that we have grown exponentially. It’s been a lot of hard work. People think we have this massive team behind us.  There’s less than 20 of us on the whole team. That includes our team down in Oaxaca, who  watches over manufacturing and production for us down there. 

We don’t have an office.  We have a little tiny apartment in Venice for meetings.

A lot of people don’t understand the hard work that goes into creating a small brand. It’s just a lot of people working hard to create beautiful Mezcal, especially the families. 

People [unfairly comparing it to] tequila.  What do you mean, we can’t get more? Why is it so expensive? We have people going out hand collecting wild agaves and harvesting espadine.  All of that is hand cut, hand chopped.   I’ve hand cut agaves with the families.

None of this is industrialized or mechanized like tequila. 

Appreciate every drop of mezcal you have, because someone put a lot of love and labor into it.

Joe Winger:  Ryan, as we wrap up, let’s talk about where can learn more about Madre Mezcal? 

Ryan Fleming: 

We have a beautiful Instagram.  Madremezcal.com is our website. 

We also have this Instagram called mezcal. Learning and it’s a little short videos and little blurbs to talk about production, families, history, and culture. It is focused on Madre, but it’s not just Madre, it’s Mezcal as a whole.

If you want to know more about our families who produce, where it’s made, you can find all that information on madremezgal. com. 

Our bottles are in most of your nicer bottle shops, liquor stores. In California, we’re lucky enough to be in Trader Joe’s for the Espadine and Whole Foods has our Ensemble.

If you can’t find it,  go to madremezcal.com and we ship bottles to almost every state in the U S.

We’re in nine countries, too. Australia. All over Europe, Costa Rica.  We’re working on Japan and South Korea as well. So I’m just excited to see the culture of mezcal just expand beyond just America and see how excited because I, when I talk to people that are in London or, people in Australia, and they’re so excited about the idea of being able to get mezcal.

Joe Winger: What is the future for Madre?

Ryan Fleming: I can’t tell you about the big one.

But, [exciting things for] our Ancestral, which is pretty new and every batch of that’s going to be hand numbered and labeled.

We’re going to start doing small batch productions that will be very limited. Then the desert waters, which we have ready for summer. 

To learn more about MadreMezcal, visit MadreMezcal.com. Find them on Instagram at MadreMezcal


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top