Tag Archives: California Style

Because vision is everything…

We have walked through Pirate’s Cove a hundred of times dreaming of a table on the sand, where we could enjoy food and conversation while getting our feet wet — in style; we can’t express how bringing this to reality makes us feel.  Super big thanks to designer Laura Brophy, photographer Kendal Riley of The De Lauras & Wes (and Mike) of @theoclist for being a part of this amazing experience to get our creative on, thank our collaborators and dream of the future.

Special thanks to Chef Kyle Powers of Fork In the Road Catering who created a flight of the most delicious flight of soups for all to enjoy and to @lunareececeramics @theurbanspring @isles.interiors

Create. Collaborate. Elevate.
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Meet Mixologist Brad Fry

We love getting to know Brad Fry whose sense of style harkens back to his days in Chicago. An energetic and fun bar manager for Michaels Restaurant Group, he is an active member in the United States Bartenders Guild and has participated in numerous cocktail competitions —one in which he represented the West Coast at World Class in 2016. Come, pull up a chair, stay awhile…

Q, How you got started behind the bar – and what captivated you?

A. Like most bartenders, I started as a server, and once of age, was offered to move up to a bartender.  I’d say luck, and being in the right place/ right time have been the story of my success. I was very fortunate to be hired to co-run Bernard’s Bar, in what was the Elysian Hotel (now the Waldorf Astoria in downtown Chicago). Above our bar was Ria, a 2 Star Michelin rated restaurant, which we did the cocktails for. It was elevating my passion for food, and play in cocktails, that addicted me to the industry of service.

Q. Traditions…?

A. Keeping my tools and bar clean.

Q. Your philosophy…?

A. Prep, and set myself for success. Play like a child!

Q. Anything that comes to mind?

A. I’m honored to pair my cocktails and wine with these three amazingly talented chefs!

On a lark with Mixologist Brad Fry

On a lark with Mixologist Brad Fry


Meet Chef Karlo Evaristo

You would never know by his subtle demeanor, but three sentences into your conversation you discover that Chef Karlo Evaristo is fully immersed in a culinary adventure where the precise combination of ingredients culminates into a delightful and gratifying tasting experience.

Below is a bit of Q & A, but of course you meet him Monday 1/8/18  in Seal Beach ~ Come on a lark with us!

Q. What is your idea of the perfect meal?
A. I love tasting menus. Little bites of different flavors is more appealing to me than a big portion plate of one dish. The more courses the better.

Q. Which living food-related person do you most admire?
A. I think in the U.S., for a lot of cooks/chefs/foodies/homecooks, Thomas Keller would probably be on top of their list for a “food-related person” that they admire.

Not only has he brought American Cuisine on the world map, but he played a big role in training and inspiring the next generation of Chefs. Think about it, if it wasn’t for him, there would be no Alinea, no Benu –and even Noma’s Rene Redzepi trained with him.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?
A. I have “slight” addiction on kitchen knives. I spend way too much than I should on them. BUT, I love it. I don’t regret buying any of them. I currently have 20+ something knives and all of them are handmade by super talented blade smiths.

Q. What is your view on the current state of the culinary world?
A. I think it super approachable. A lot of chefs are offering menus that are pretty affordable and would be similar to the type of food that you would get in super high end/super expensive spots.

Also there is a lot of attention on food and the Chefs behind them. Which I guess is good for all of us in the industry.

Q. What is the quality you most like in a chef?
A. Passion. Doing everything with passion, success and everything else will follow.

Q. Which words or phrases do you most overuse in the kitchen?
A. “Heard” & “Behind”.

Q. When are you happiest?
A. When I create a dish and it tastes delicious :).

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?
A. Laser beam organization.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A. My son.

Q. Where would you most like to live?
A.  San Francisco/Napa, or Philippines.

Q. What is your most treasured ingredient?
A. Salt.

Q. What is your most marked characteristic?
A. Fair.

Q. Who are your favorite culinary inspirations?

A. Rene Redzepi, Christian Puglisi, Thomas Keller, Andre Chiang

Q. What is your motto?
A. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.



Meet Chef Jared Ventura

Through a connection of friends, food and larks –– we meet Chef Jared Ventura. Our first understanding is how much he loves food, but it was not long before we realized he is bursting with ideas and enthusiasm for creating and connecting. We are super stoked to have this opportunity to collaborate with him on lark #34 and we whole heartedly credit Chef Jared’s passion for making it happen. Here’s a bit of Q&A to get to know him better, but of course, he will be front and center on Monday 1/8/18 . Come on a lark with us!

Q. Which living food-related person do you most admire?
A. Thomas Keller will always be a hero of mine.

Q. What is the quality you most like in a chef?
A. Restraint, balance, and creativity.

Q. Where would you most like to live?
A. Anywhere on a farm with great weather.

Q. What early experience(s) lead to you becoming a chef?
A. My grandparents cooking. They were from Sicily and I grew up making and eating fresh pastas, sausages, fresh breads, braised chicken and much more. My dad is also very into food and I grew up with him cooking every night making a lot of French dishes (though he is Sicilian). It was extremely rare for us to go out to eat; going out to eat was going to another family members house.

Q. What is your most treasured ingredient?
A. I love me some good French butter.

Q. Who are your favorite culinary inspirations?
A. Matthew Kirkley formerly of Coi Restaurant where I had one of the best meals of my life.

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Lark #33 w/Chef Kyle Powers @ Maia’s Cottage in Laguna Beach

We had an amazing lark at Maia’s Cottage in Laguna Beach. Unsure of late October weather, we boldly stepped into a misty and windy day and began our prep, which thankfully included a gorgeous and highly functional fire pit designed by our friends at Haskell.  Maia’s Cottage calm French Provincial vibe could not have been more perfect – as we flowed through the house with drinks, appetizers, introductions and greetings. As the weather stilled, we gathered under the stars to enjoy a heartfelt menu crafted by Chef Kyle Powers and Sous Chef Nelson who fortunately had the luxury of a gorgeous and functional kitchen.

Much gratitude to all who came together (Our adventurous, gregarious, gracious guests, Haskell ,The Urban SpringLuna ReeceTypebird Creative , Dot & Armythe Weathered Captain  & Jaxsea) to make this a lark to remember. Many thanks to Bruce, Maia & Tess for welcoming us into their dreamy and beautiful home!

SoCal Communal Dining, California style.

Simple. Refreshing. Inspirational.

Photos by the talented James Huddleston https://happyhuddphoto.com/surf/

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You know that thing you’ve always wanted to do?  You should do it.

We often visualize communal tables in spaces where people can gather, be themselves and connect with others. Our biggest inspiration has always been Mother Nature; hence we decided to feed our creative vibe with a small “guerrilla” lark at the gorgeous Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve in Huntington Beach, California. This expansive space provided us the most amazing opportunity to think out loud about lark, as is our motto: Do, Reflect, Refine, Do Again. We are excited to continue our journey by deliberately embracing and gravitating towards the things we love….good conversations, gatherings involving amazing food & drinks, chefs with passion, style, design, photography, art, books, inspired spaces, and, of course, one of the things we love is sharing our adventures with you! Come on a lark with us! xo~l

Images by MBMaher.com

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Lark#19 + Chef Kyle Powers + Heritage Mercantile Co.

We had an amazing time popping up in East Side Costa Mesa at the locally loved (and vice versa) Heritage Mercantile Co., with a gathering of those who are both adventurous and curious.

While casual introductions were made, we mingled indoors and out, eventually settling at the communal table simply adorned with gorgeous hand made ceramic pots and plates by Andrea Luna Reece (@lunabirdie) and a decorative menu by artist Jeri Vann (@jerivanncreations) that detailed the carefully crafted meal.

We are grateful that the talents of Chef Kyle Powers who not only created a makeshift kitchen, but also presented us with four courses of which is best described as “passion on an a plate”, each one better than the next. As each entree was introduced, Mike Otto of Tolosa Winery thoughtfully poured each glass of wine while sharing the nuances of the blends and pairings.

As the sun slowly set and the lights above became more vibrant, friendships were formed, food was savored, wine was enjoyed, art was discovered, music was played and true connections were made.

Thank you to everyone came together to create such a beautiful evening. Special thanks to Host Jennifer Bloch of Heritage Mercantile Co. and all of our guests for coming on a lark with us!


Established in 2013, Heritage Mercantile Co. is a purveyor of unique, handmade goods. They believe in sustainable products, local makers, timeless design, and USA goods.

Photo credits to @missmphotography

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On  lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.

On lark at Heritage Mercantile June 2016.


Chef Kyle Powers Creative Crafted Menu
+ Tolosa Wine Pairing Pairing by Mike Otto

Welcome drinks + cheese platter + mingling

Course 1 corn/goat cheese souffle/ toast/ warm olives
Tolosa No Oak Chardonnay

Course 2 treviso/arugula/watercress salad with pine nuts and a blueberry coconut vinaigrette
Tolosa Rose

Course 3 meat trio- skirt steak, pork belly, chicken/cauliflower puree/haricot verts/carrots
Tolosa Pinot Noir

*Veggie Option* falafel /cauliflower puree/haricot verts/carrots
Tolosa Pinot Noir

Course 4 melon ice cream/lavender/kiwi coulis/donut
Spiked coffee

Come on a lark with us! Next lark to be announced soon, follow us on Instagram @letsgoonalark




Lark + Chef Kyle Powers + Sourced Collective

Thank you to all who attended our lark at Sourced Collective a charming old blue a-framed house on Glenneyre Street “where dreamers become doers”. We gathered around the communal table to enjoy the art of conversation, become inspired by design, raise our glasses in unison and enjoy delicious food.

We are grateful for our adventurous guests, Host Michelle Mercado, Chef Kyle Powers, Mike Otto of Tolosa Winery, Wunderland & Co., LetterSparrow and Andrea Luna Reece. We also had the pleasure of meeting @inviscus who brought their good vibes, appetites and curiosity to capture our story:


Thursday 3/24/16 Menu curated by CHEF KYLE POWERS {fork in the road catering}

upon arrival and paired w/chefs choice blackberry pie martini:

lobster roll toast + pickled mushroom flatbread

on the table and paired w/Tolosa Wine:

spicy clam in broth sip

grilled little gem w/picked plum & gorgonzola topped w/plum vinaigrette

skirt steak w/egg, celery root, beans chimi sauce.

Sweet coffee bread pudding w/lavender budino

⌘veggie option⌘ mushroom ravioli w/capers, celery leek puree & herb oil micro salad garnish

Simple. Refreshing. Inspirational.

Come on a lark with us!

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Meet Chef Jim Sullivan, Q & A

Chef Jim Sullivan on a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space

Chef Jim Sullivan on a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space

We are thrilled to introduce Chef Jim Sullivan of Medium Raw Arts who we met on a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space last summer. Chef Jim is also a talented culinary photographer who captures food and pretty much anything associated with food. The best thing about Jim is his boundless enthusiasm for his craft. He will be cooking up the good vibes at our 1/30/16 DTLA lark at the Lawrence Fodor Loft.

What is your idea of the perfect meal?

I always think about this and ask my friends. What would my last meal be if I could pick anything? For me that’s easy, a hot spicy bowl of ramen w pork belly, poached egg and fresh herbs.

What living chef do you most admire?

I wouldn’t necessarily say a chef, more like person, my grandmother! This is a woman who was in WWII as a prisoner in a camp, left everything with just the clothes on her back and came to the US. Worked her ass off to raise 5 children (all are very successful) and has 16 grandchildren. That’s what inspires me!

What is you best, most simple, culinary advice?

Have FUN!

What is your motto?

Work hard, be humble…repeat!

What came first, food or photography?

Food/chef. I was doing pop up events after culinary school and people were taking images of my food with their iPhones, which were terrible. So I finally decided to get a DLSR and delve into food photography. This was about 3 years ago and since then my focus has been food/cocktail photography but still cook as much as I can.

How does your food and food photography influence each other?

For me they go hand in hand. My love for food drives my photography.

What foods/ingredients do you consider over or under rated?

I think a lot of “foodies” get caught up with the fancy ingredients i.e., foie gras or truffles. I like to keep it simple and just focus on fresh ingredients. I’m more of the adage less is more, which I feel you can see in my food and photography.

What was your most favorite dining experience?

Well Per Se in NYC definitely was the best restaurant dining experience. The way the FOH/BOH work in symmetry was amazing. BUT I will have to say the absolute best “food” experience was when I spent time in Paris. I stayed in a flat just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower and was able to walk across street to all the available purveyors on a daily basis. I would walk to the fishmonger, pick out some fresh seafood and then walk over to vegetable stand and then go back and cook! The ability to have such amazing fresh and various purveyors right there was awesome! I wish I could have that every day! Being able talk to the purveyors and get what was fresh was so inspiring. Definitely want to have that experience again, soon! (on a side note: I do have this secret love for street food. The best thing I’ve eaten in awhile has to be in Tijuana. The food at Carwash del Torta is badass!)

Who is your favorite person to cook for?

My wife! Hands down. She is a foodie at heart, a great baker and my toughest critic.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being able to provide for my family. My family is everything to me.


We love how this Chef/Photographer captures the heart of the culinary community. See Chef Jim’s delicious Baja inspired menu and come on a lark with us!




Lark + Chef Kyle + The Hood Kitchen

3/28/15 Pop-Up Dinner Party at The Hood Kitchen in Costa Mesa, CA 

We were honored to set our communal table at this amazing haven for Culinary Professionals, Food Artisans & Entrepreneurs. Our early inspiration was to reflect the fun and coolness of this amazing space that houses commercial kitchens and an extraordinary amount of support to the culinary community at large.  We brought in some colorful paintings by artist Catherine Rex, along with some sharp looking cactus (pun intended).  We grounded the vibe with tribal painted rocks and synced all of it up with a groovy soundtrack.  Then, as always, Chef Kyle worked his magic and actually plated Hip & Edge – we enjoyed:


RHUBARB MARGARITA served on the rocks w/a sweet and salty rim,
garnished with kumquats & limes!

CURED SEAFOOD PLATTER beet cured salmon + citrus cured shrimp
served on a platter w/multi colored vegetable chips,
spiced fried hominy, roasted shisito peppers & cucumber salsa!

VEGETARIAN SOPES corn sopes topped w/a purple potato mash + quickly pickled onions, greens, smoked salt & a lime zest crema!

& paired w/South American & Spanish wines:

BOWLS OF LOTUS CHIPS served w/a dried chile tapenade

CHARRED GREENS SALAD charred romaine and crispy kale tossed in a burnt tortilla vinaigrette w/pepitas, roasted red peppers & cotija cheese

BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB TAMALES served w/a spicy lobster sauce, topped with fried black-eyed peas, roasted vegetables & chunks of lobster meat

****Vegetarian Alternative****
BRAISED JACKFRUIT TAMALES served with a spicy hatch chile sauce, topped w/fried black eyed peas, roasted vegetables & frisee lettuce

CHURROS TWO WAYS homemade churros, served w/a spicy chocolate ganache & deep fried churro ice cream

Many thanks to all the beautiful people who came on a lark with us! They brought their gorgeous smiles and good vibes! Special thanks to Shelby Coffman, LetterSparrow, Catherine Rex Art, Medium Raw Arts, Monique Schulfer, Seaworth Coffee Co., Jeri Vann Creations, Jaxsea Swimwear, Tom Goad, Marisa Powers, Jane Vo, and Dawn Martinez.

On a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space Costa Mesa, CA

Charred romaine and crispy kale tossed in a burnt tortilla vinaigrette w/pepitas, roasted red peppers & cotija cheese. On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark at The Hood Kitchen Space 3-28-15

Catherine, Monique, Shelby, Kyle, Marisa & Lisa. On a lark Lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

Cured Seafood Platter

beet cured salmon + citrus cured shrimp served on a platter w/multi colored vegetable chips, spiced fried hominy, roasted shisito peppers & cucumber salsa! On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

Hip & Edge!  @The Hood Kitchen Space

Hip & Edge! On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB TAMALES served w/a spicy lobster sauce, topped with fried black-eyed peas, roasted vegetables & chunks of lobster meat. On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB TAMALES served w/a spicy lobster sauce, topped with fried black-eyed peas, roasted vegetables & chunks of lobster meat. On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

Beautiful work by @LetterSparrow.  On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.

Beautiful work by @LetterSparrow. On a lark @TheHoodKitchen 3-28-15.