Archive for the 'Patina Group' Category

@Patina Patina Celebrates 22 Years With All-Star Alumni Dinner

October 31, 2011




Patina Celebrates 22 Years With All-Star Alumni Dinner.

From GrubStreet:

“To honor its 22nd birthday, Patina plans to pack its Downtown kitchen full of its former executive chefs, a group of alumni that includes Walter Manzke, Octavio Becerra, Eric Greenspan, David Feau, Michael Otsuka, and Theo Schoenegger, cooking alongside Patina chefs Tony Esnault, Sarah Koechling, and the empire’s founder, Joachim Splichal. The eight chefs will each produce part of a nine-course dinner with options for wine pairings ($199 with wine, $150 without). David Féau will offer his John Dory, Manzke will be on duck duty, and Greenspan will make a grilled cheese.

“Just kidding, Greenspan will be working with lobster for the affair, while Becerra will produce a fall terrine. After the dinner, there will be a separate after-party starting at 10:00 P.M. held over oysters and “pigs and pinot.” If the grand dinner is out of your price range, this might be the best bet to come mingle with the chefs, with a cost of $30.

“While the full dinner menu his yet to be released, we have a bit of a sketch of which ingredient or dish each chef will be working with, below. So if taking a trip back in time with one of L.A.’s few surviving, and still thriving, fine-dining experiences is up your alley, you can make reservations directly with Patina.”

Patina Alumni Dinner
November 2nd, 2011
6:30 P.M. Cocktails
7:15 P.M. Dinner


Joachim Splichal

Michael Otsuka
Porcini and Rabbit

Octavio Becerra
Fall Terrine

Tony Esnault
Vegetable Mosaic

Theo Schoenegger
Egg Ravioli

David Féau
Saint Pierre

Eric Greenspan

Walter Manzke

Sarah Koechling

@Patina Win Two Tickets to Patina’s Oysters, Pig, and Pinot After-Party

October 31, 2011

Grub Street editors want to be tickled by your opinion and are offering tickets for Patina’s 22nd anniversary dinner after party if you can convince them in 60 words or less: of oysters, pinot, or pig, which is the most kick-ass?

From Grub Street:

Win Two Tickets to Patina’s Oysters, Pig, and Pinot After-Party.

“Lest we get wrapped in digital toilet paper, we’re offering a treat to our readers. We’re giving away two tickets to one reader to attend next Wednesday’s “Oysters, Pigs, and Pinot” at Patina, the after-party following the restaurant’s 22nd anniversary dinner where alumni chefs like Walter Manzke and Octavio Becerra will join Joachim Splichal (who’s making a potato chip sandwich with scallops and caviar for the occasion) and Tony Esnault in the kitchen. The party will find guests mingling with all the guest chefs, while digging into some brine, swine, and vine. How do you win the tickets?

“To enter the contest for the pair of tickets (each valued at $30), simply offer us a humorous reflection in 60 words or less that offers your opinion on which one of the three included ingredients (oysters, pinot, or pig) is the most kick-ass. Our hard-working Grub Street editors, who will together pick the winner, want to laugh here folks, so please make them funny, using all the creative comedic power you can muster.

Send all entries to the care of Grub Street Los Angeles over email <> by 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 1st. (SHAME ON NY MAGAZINE EDITORS FOR MAKING A CALENDAR DATE AN ORDINAL NUMBER – FAUX PAS!) Our cabal of editors will hold a loya jirga (a meeting) the next day to decide which entry we like the most, and the winner shall be known by all the next day. Then presto-change-o, that winner will find themselves the winner of two tickets to the Patina event, just like that. See New York Magazine’s official contest rules here and best of luck to all who dare to enter.”

Good Luck!

Disney Dining 714-781-3463 + 4 or @Disneyland

September 19, 2011

Disney Dining

(714) 781-3463 + 4

Plan ahead and you may be able to save time waiting for a meal. Reservations may be arranged for many Disney Resort restaurants by contacting Disney Dining up to 60 days in advance. Park dining options beyond fast food fare include table service, special and unique dining, signature dining and character dining. If call in the morning when you are visiting the parks/”resort”, you can make reservations for lunch or dinner that day. Blue Bayou is a very popular venue and may have limited availability.

Obviously, valid theme park admission is required for any restaurants in Disneyland or California Adventure. All restaurants in Downtown Disney will validate for Downtown Disney parking lot. Caveat: “All information, including, but not limited to, prices and offerings, subject to change without notice. Seating times may vary during weekend and holiday periods. Location hours may differ from Park operating hours.” Whew! I’m so glad I didn’t forget that part. I’ve included some very recent and candid feedback from Yelp reviews from patrons of these restaurants. The opinions do not reflect the views of ThreePointSpark but reveal the general opinions discovered online. MORE RESTAURANTS SHOULD OFFER FREE WI-FI – just saying!

Disney California Adventure Park

Ariel’s Grotto

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, character dining (kid-centric)

Dine on dishes fit for royalty while you spend quality time with some of your favorite Disney Princesses. Make a reservation to join Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella for breakfast and lunch. While the princesses have other engagements at night, a prix fixe dinner may include tickets to a Preferred Viewing section for World of Color.

Cove Bar upstairs offers a full bar and appetizers. Prix fixe dinner ($39.99) and World of Color preferred seating is limited and very popular.

$$$, Casual, full bar, no Wi-Fi

“Overall, it’s a good dining experience and the food is good and priced well for everything that you’re getting.”

Wine Country Trattoria at the Golden Vine Winery

Cuisine: Italian, Vegetarian

Wine Country Trattoria restaurant at Disney California Adventure Park serves freshly made California and Mediterranean style cuisine for lunch and dinner and offers more than 25 different wines by the glass.

$$, Casual, full bar, no Wi-Fi

“There is a new chef at the Trattoria and he is actually making the food wonderful.”

Disneyland Park

No alcohol is served in Disneyland Park. See Downtown Disney options and Hotel Bars

Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, all-you-can-eat family-style

Celebrate a special occasion cowboy-style — with juicy barbeque, live wild west entertainment and a Critter Corral! Feast on an all-you-care-to-eat family-style meal ($25+) featuring mouthwatering barbeque delights like cornbread, chicken, ribs, baked beans, Cookie’s Cole Slaw and more. Overseas visitors might love this chance to dig in to truly American fare!

$$, Casual, no Wi-Fi

“for theme park food, this place is not too bad”

Blue Bayou

Cuisine: Cajun-Creole, Vegetarian, “experience” dining

Relish Louisiana-inspired cooking and full table service in a moonlit setting while boats from Pirates of the Caribbean float past. Savor rich Cajun creations like jambalaya and gumbo as well as specialty entrees including Cajun-spiced salmon and surf and turf. The “open patio” seating inside the Pirates ride is just below the balcony of Club 33 – member-only restaurant.

In the 1970’s, I remember running through the park when it opened in the morning of our visit to Blue Bayou to make a reservation to eat here and that our order was taken on a form of limited by delicious offerings. Much more expensive now.

Recently the cast members at Blue Bayou did make an exception and were very gracious to a friend of mine who is a wheelchair user. He could not ride Pirates (not accessible for folks who can’t transfer). We asked if they could make room for us so we could share Pirates ambiance by eating here. They did and we enjoyed our meal even more knowing that helping guests really does motivate every cast member. Just be nice and remember when you ask for help, know that cast members are working folks and may not be decision makers.

$$$, no Wi-F, no outdoor seating (obviously)

“Price for the Monte Cristo Sandwich = 25.00”

Café Orleans

Cuisine: American, Cajun-Creole, Vegetarian

Enjoy a grand view of the majestic Rivers of America at this delicious table-service restaurant serving classic American flavors with Cajun-Creole flair. Select from appetizing French Quarter favorites — including signature crepes and the irresistible Monte Cristo sandwich.

$$, Casual, no Wi-Fi, outside seating option

“Everyone that goes to Disneyland, needs to try this place.”

Carnation Café

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian

This quaint courtyard eatery on Main Street U.S.A. features café classics such as seasonal pot pies, meat loaf and crowd-pleasing sandwich plates for lunch. Popular breakfast items include croissant sandwiches and Mickey Mouse waffles, cinnamon roll French toast. Chance to meet Oscar, Disneyland’s longest-tenured employee, chef at the Café (weekdays). Great spot to wait for the parade and enjoy it from the shade under red and white striped umbrellas.

$$, all outdoor seating, no Wi-Fi, breakfast and lunch

“It’s a typical breakfast food kinda place.”

Plaza Inn

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, buffet

The Plaza Inn, originally called the Red Wagon Inn, has been feeding hungry Guests since opening day in 1955, and was one of Walt Disney’s favorite dining spots. Step back in time to a beautiful Victorian restaurant with ornate interior detailing, offering a grand setting for classic cafeteria dining. Enjoy delicious pastas, fried chicken, pot roast, salads, specialty desserts and a special Character Breakfast. My Birthday Party events ($16 per person):

$$, Casual, no Wi-Fi, character dining (breakfast), “Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park”

Downtown Disney District

Note: Rainforest Café please call 714-772-0413 (sorry, phone reservations not offered through Disney Dining)

Catal Restaurant

Cuisine: Mediterranean, Steak, Vegetarian, Uva Bar service,

2011 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award Winner!
Voted one of the top three dining options in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney® District, Catal is a fine dining oasis., as part of the Patina Restaurant Group. Catal Restaurant offers a relaxed, elegant setting with balcony seating, a panoramic view and a tantalizing menu of Mediterranean favorites including delicious grilled seafood, select meats and the freshest salad entrees.
Uva Bar serves a wide range of refreshing cocktails, wines by the glass and a refined café menu.

Pixar chief John Lasseter offers Lasseter Family Wines at Catal and Napa Rose restaurants.

$$, Casual, no Wi-Fi, happy hour, also reserve on Open Table


Cuisine Type: American, Vegetarian, sports bar


Feast on generous portions of expertly prepared American food like chops, steaks, burgers and salmon — all grilled to perfection. The food is only part of the total ESPN entertainment, shopping and dining experience.

*Two separate, bad dining experiences because of staff and management – not recommended.

La Brea Bakery Café

Cuisine: American, Californian

Enjoy the relaxing confines of the delightful outdoor patio while selecting from a menu featuring gourmet sandwiches, pastries and other unique rustic choices. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this celebrated family bakery is famous for “bringing bread to life.”

The first La Brea Bakery was opened in 1989 by top chef Nancy Silverton. She won the prestigious James Beard award for “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 1990. Since then, La Brea breads have been considered by many the standard for artisanal breads throughout the country. (La Brea loaves on sale in Costco are a huge temptation with each shopping trip).

Silverton is also known as the creator of Campanile Restaurant, a cherished Los Angeles eatery (on La Brea Boulevard). In 2006, she partnered with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich to open Osteria Mozza, which has since been hailed by critics as one of the finest new restaurants in Southern California.

$$, Casual, outdoor seating, indoor seating without A/C

“it was good, nothing special, but everything on the menu is super over priced.”

House of Blues Gospel Brunch

Cuisine: American, Cajun-Creole, buffet

The world-famous House of Blues Gospel Brunch features uplifting live gospel performances and an amazing all-you-can-eat Southern buffet.

$$$, indoor only, includes gospel show (very loud), very dim lighting, no Wi-Fi, no cameras

“I will not be returning to the House of Blues. Very disappointing.”

House of Blues Restaurant

Cuisine: American, Cajun-Creole, Steak, bar service

Dine on cuisine inspired by the South as renowned musical acts light up the stage for your entertainment. The menu features down home temptations like Voodoo Shrimp and Cajun-Creole seafood jambalaya, along with sizzling steaks, burgers and ribs.

$$, outdoor seating, indoor ventilation complaints, no Wi-Fi, no cameras during concerts

“All in all – HOB Anaheim needs to make some improvements!”

Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria

Cuisine: Italian, Vegetarian, pizza, bar service

The authentic soul of Southern Italy in the heart of Downtown Disney, Naples provides a fun, casual environment in which to enjoy delicious thin-crust pizzas and a full menu of regional Italian specialties. With spacious patio dining, refreshing wines and spirits and a special menu for our younger guest, Naples is the perfect destination for celebrating with family and friends, operated by Patina Restaurant Group.
Recently named one of the top pizzerias in Orange County by Haute Living!

$$, Casual, no Wi-Fi, outdoor seating, full bar

“I eat at Naples quite frequently since it is at my home away from home, Disneyland!”

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

Cuisine: Cajun-Creole, Steak, bar service

Sample the spiciness of Cajun cuisine with gumbo, Gulf seafood, po’ boy sandwiches and decadent desserts. As part of a total entertainment and dining experience, the music never stops and Bourbon Street’s legendary party atmosphere pulsates to life.

Where the culinary culture of New Orleans is concerned, you don’t get much more in-the-thick-of-it than Ralph Brennan. A third generation scion of the family whose name is synonymous with New Orleans restaurants, he is steeped in the industry as a consummate professional – and as an enthusiastic wine and food connoisseur, in the truest sense of the word.

Operated by the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group

$$, Casual, outdoor seating, no Wi-Fi, Sunday brunch, full bar, live music

“The bathroom is so beautiful! The ceiling glimmers and mimics a starry night sky and the artwork is just amazing in there.”

“The go-to place in Downtown Disney!”

Tortilla Jo’s

Cuisine: Healthy Selections, Mexican, Vegetarian, bar service

Celebrating the vibrant spirit of Mexican culinary tradition, Tortilla Jo’s is a haven for families and friends looking for festive authentic south-of-the-border dishes and drinks in the heart of Downtown Disney. Enjoy handmade tortillas, made-to-order guacamole, and 100 different tequilas to choose from. Dining rooms, terraces and sweeping balcony views offer perfect settings for dinner and margaritas, or even a quick snack to go.

Operated by the Patina Restaurant Group, no Open Table reservations.

$$, Casual, outdoor seating, full bar, no Wi-Fi

“I can’t say enough good things about Tortilla Jo’s!”

Disneyland Hotel

Goofy’s Kitchen

Cuisine: American, buffet (kid-centric)

Rub elbows with Chef Goofy and his pals at this whimsical all-you-care-to-eat buffet with inventive culinary surprises. Goofy’s Kitchen is a great place to celebrate birthday parties too — so if you are celebrating a big day, be sure and come party Disney style! ($40 for dinner)

$$$, Casual, no Wi-Fi, character dining

“The food was bad. It was high fat, processed food that the people who LOVED it had the bodies to prove that is what they eat every day.”

Steakhouse 55

Cuisine: American, Steak, Vegetarian

Indulge in an elegant dining experience with unparalleled service and a menu featuring an award-winning selection of prime steaks, chops and seafood. Savor certified Angus beef cuts and take advantage of a premium wine list. Breakfast is available.

$$$, Casual dress in an elegant restaurant atmosphere, full bar, no Wi-Fi, no outdoor seating,

“The atmosphere was very well elegant, right when you walk in it’s dark, and quiet.”

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

Disney’s PCH Grill

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, buffet (kid-centric)

Share breakfast with some of your favorite Disney Characters at Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends. For dinner, fill up on selections like quesadillas, pizza, cheeseburgers, fountain treats and more. Kids can even design their own pizzas

$$, no outdoor seating, no Wi-Fi, character breakfast

“Surprisingly good. Service was okay, food was good, portions were good, and the bathrooms were very clean.”

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel

Napa Rose

Cuisine: American, Californian, Vegetarian, bar service

Enjoy a glass of wine from the award-winning collection with exquisite seasonal creations for a fresh culinary experience that rivals fine-dining establishments anywhere in the world. Napa Rose was named the Most Popular Restaurant in the 2008 Zagat Survey for Orange County. Napa Rose won the prestigious Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) award of excellence for the second time in 2007. Head Chef, Andrew Sutton

$$$$, Dressy, no outdoor seating, no Wi-Fi, full bar

Pixar chief John Lasseter offers Lasseter Family Wines at Napa Rose and Catal restaurants.

Storytellers Café

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, buffet option

Hearty home-style favorites like wood-fired pizzas, fresh salads, grilled sandwiches and scrumptious fish highlight the rustic menu, while the storytelling tradition is saluted in beautiful period murals depicting tall tales from early California. Don’t miss the Character Breakfast. Ask your server for a copy of the Corn Chowder recipe.

$$, Casual, no Wi-Fi, breakfast and dinner, no outdoor seating,

“Amazing gluten free food – no separate menu, but the chef will come out and alter pretty much anything on the menu.”

ThreePointSpark: “I personally have celebrated birthdays, entertained out-of-town guests, joined friends, and had a wonderfully romantic dinner here – Storytellers Cafe is by far my favorite dining choice for Disney Resort eating that does not require much planning, much money. Corn Chowder soup and bread pudding are highlights! Highly recommended, reservations highly recommended!”


For additional opinions on Disney Food (Walt Disney World) see the following online resources. For those of us who are loyal to Walt’s first park, original vision and creation in Disneyland, the inclusion of Walt Disney World in the same breath seems misplaced. There is a disproportionate amount of information about Walt Disney World dining on the blog – perhaps the blog should be renamed “”…

@ Patina Ray and Stark’s Bar installs Patina at LACMA

August 30, 2011

Recently a new gem has been added to the L.A. scene, taking full advantage of the great new flow of the BP Grand Entrance plaza at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Unlike the courtyard enclosed by the stately canyon-like walls of the Ahmanson and Hammer Buildings (LACMA “the elder”), the Grand Entrance connects the BCAM and Resnick Pavilion. Ray and Stark’s Bar finds its home here –Ray’s in an innovative, lean-to-like glass walled structure by Renzo Piano and Stark’s Bar flanking the plaza like an outdoor cafe. The pairing reflects the ingenuity of the Patina Restaurant Group and is named after late LACMA trustee and film producer Ray Stark. Recently, Zagat included Ray and Stark’s Bar among its Buzziest Openings for 2011.

Inside Ray (and Stark's Bar)

Head up the Nile of L.A. – Wilshire Boulevard – stop at the museum, and take advantage of a dining experience here. Chef Kris Morningstar offers a “bold Mediterranean farm-to-table menu based on seasonal, local ingredients.” What delighted me so in a recent visit was the inventiveness in combinations. For any meal that can teach me about foods, the entire experience becomes even more satisfying.

Although I am a member at LACMA and recall reading about the Ray and Stark’s Bar opening, it was Open Table which inspired my first visit. LACMA’s Pentimento (also a Patina location), closed for renovations, was not a choice when I had rsvp’ed for a member reception. I just prefer to park only once for dinner and evening plans, i.e., theatre, etc., so Ray’s for dinner just before sunset it was! What a treat!

LACMA has invested time in their programming and member recruitment with programs such as Muse (premier membership group for art enthusiasts in their 20s, 30s, and 40s), and Arts for NexGen (the nation’s only free youth membership program). With events, lectures, tours, and social connection opportunities in these programs, promoting fine dining as an artform seems a natural pairing. Where is the tasting menu evening for Muse members at Ray’s or the mixology event at Stark’s Bar before a film screening at the Bing Theatre? Where are the adventures in cuisine and the design of dining for youth? I was introduced to fine dining with a visit to Patina on Melrose by a friend. Patina has a fantastic opening to inspire these arts patrons by tapping into existing marketing mojo at LACMA – all it takes is the introduction.

Intersection of Food and Discovery

August 11, 2011


Discovery and food. Recently hit by inspiration like a cream pie in the face, it made me giggle and grin. Browsing the Patina Restaurant Group (PNG) website, I was thrilled to see a posting for Director of Marketing. <flashback> I remember my first introduction to fine dining in Los Angeles when we dined at Patina on Melrose. As a budding graphic designer at the time, I was inspired by the delicious combinations of taste, texture, color, and overall presentation of the meal. It changed my life. Destination dining became an extension of the design experience for me. To this day I love to enjoy a meal at a fine restaurant and learn from the chef’s design of food. PNG has aligned its brand with culture in Los Angeles and New York with locations at museums and theatrical centers. An important part of fully experiencing these venues is dining out – and Patina is there. I want to dedicate my life to restaurant marketing.

Food and discovery: Street Photography assignment at Art Center. <flashback> In Burbank, I was drawn to some large hand-lettered signs above Pipiripau Tacos. Taking only one photo, it wasn’t until the darkroom that I noticed the sweet young face looking back at me from the counter in contrast with the dark clothing surrounding her. I was the Ansel Adams of urban food trucks, creating a monumental photo out of a moment! (well, maybe just a lesser Lewis Hine, not Ansel himself) It’s hanging in my living room. I see it everyday.

But I saw it again tonight, as if for the first time, all over again. Earlier that morning I had met a new person who listened to my thoughts on restaurant marketing and encouraged me with some suggestions. I was standing next to the cream pie table even then and I didn’t even know it. Thwack! tee hee I wipe sweet cream custard of inspiration from my grinning face. I want to capture the dining experience on film, communicate the intersection of discovery and food. Why not?

Threepointspark: intersection of food and discovery.

Pipiripau Tacos, Burbank

Street Photography (Cami Hamilton, '97)