Monday, August 19, 2013

Revisiting Cookin' With Lenny Smokehouse

I had my birthday party at Lenny's this year and told Lenny (above, top) that if I had to do an encore review of his place, I would not rate it less than an A+. He was so pleased!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Above, bottom) the Sappuchinos and sweet waitress Crystal

Monday, August 5, 2013

Redwood Grille at Santa Monica Place

Located on the dining deck of the third floor of Santa Monica Place smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of mall shoppers and open to the cleaner, fresher LA air of Santa Monica, the sky-high restaurant Redwood Grille is a casual, comfortable place to drop by for a drink or excellent dinner. Specializing in American cuisine with all-natural ingredients, the Redwood, which opened its doors about a month ago, is spacious with its high ceilings and large tables and chairs of reclaimed wood that offer plenty of leg room to just sit back and relax. It was designed a la Ralph Lauren, so I was told by Vice President - CEO George Bozikis, to be classified as New York chicRedwood Grille, in fact, is the brainchild of George and Spiros Bozikis of Unique Hospitality, partners with over two decades of industry experience and a track record of success with the award-wining restaurant Baton Rouge at Eaton Centre in Toronto. The two American founders have modernized classic cuisine and placed a strong emphasis on fresh, premium ingredients. Redwood has a warm ambiance for a big open place and a genuinely friendly staff.  George, who greeted us, also served as amiable host throughout our fabulous two-hour four-course meal.

I chose a Prime New York Strip steak, always a favorite, with Yukon gold garlic mashed potatoes. The steak - I like it served medium - was cooked to perfection, succulent and juicy. For the appetizer, I had the smoked Alaskan King salmon filet with dill sauce and pita bread slices. And I chose the classic Caesar salad with smoked bacon, and including at my request, cherry tomatoes. Everything was delicious. My friend chose the avocado Ahi tuna tartar as appetizer, the chicken Tai salad and grilled Colorado lamb chops with garlic mashed and fresh asparagus for his entree. To top it all off, for dessert I chose the Chocolate Fudge Sin Cake a la mode and he, Key Lime Pie Cheescake. Not able to resist I did try a taste of the cheesecake. Fabulous! The entire meal was scrumptious and the service, impeccable.

Other Redwood Classic dishes are:  Danish baby back ribs, lemon Oregano roasted chicken, spinach and avocado fettuccini, seafood linguini, and for vegetarians, a grilled vegetable plate. The reasonably priced menu also includes burgers and other sandwiches such as a fresh fish sandwich, lobster grinder, the ever popular club sandwich, and a special Santa Monica chicken sandwich. Among the other appetizers, I thought it interesting to note: lobster tacos, lemon California quail, grilled octopus, and Poutine, which consists of french fries with cheese curds and gravy, items you do not often see included at most Southern California restaurants.

Also of special note at the bottom of the menu is the fact that Mary’s free range organic chicken is served as well as other organic California products when available. Customers are requested to advise the staff of any allergies. Redwood really cares about the fine quality of the food they serve and about the health of their customers.

There is also a fine list of wines, which include all reds, whites, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Syrah sparkling wine, Merlot, Pino Grigio, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfindel, and dessert wines.

I was exceedingly pleased with my visit to the Redwood Grille, for its lovely ambiance, fine food, drink and expert service throughout my two-hour stay. I will most definitely return for lunch, dinner or a relaxing conversation over drinks.
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