Tag Archives: Lark

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 Benjamin Martinek

Chef Benjamin Martinek grew up in Colorado and had a family that (fortunately) loved both travel and food.  As a person of both adventure and discipline, he began his professional relationship with food, working in a restaurant, at the age of 11 – moving on to the kitchen at age 16. Fittingly this explorer made his way to California to attend culinary school in San Francisco. Here he grew his talents at fine dining establishments — and proudly became a husband & father. Now, as a family, they continue the tradition of embracing both travel and food. Calling Southern California home for over a decade, Benjamin practices his craft in the challenging and rewarding luxury resort kitchens along the coast.

If we could use three words to describe Benjamin, it would be responsible, thoughtful, and creative.  We can’t wait to see what magic comes from our lark on 1/8/18 in Seal Beach –which, as of today, sold out; however you are welcome to come along though our stories and imagery.

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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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Meet Chef Andrew Miley

of Fork, Knife + Spoon Catering  who will be crafting the menu for our upcoming lark at Molly Wood Garden Design on 8/18/17.  Super thrilled to collaborate and create with this passionate and talented chef!

Chef Andrew Miley on a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design Summer 2017

Chef Andrew Miley on a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design Summer 2017

Where did you grow up?
My father was a Marine and we moved around a lot when I was younger, mainly between California, North Carolina + Connecticut. Once he retired we settle in South Eastern Connecticut where I finished middle school, high school and college.

Where do you live now?
On the balboa peninsula in Newport Beach, California

Was food a big part of your childhood?
Absolutely!  Everything revolved around cooking + eating. Holiday’s, birthdays, you name it. There was always a reason to get the family together and celebrate.

How did you discover your love for cooking-any defining moments?
I don’t think I have any defining moments. Food was always a big part of everyday life. I remember aa kid every Christmas decorating cut out sugar cookies + candy canes with my grandmother, that might have been one of my earliest memories. I started washing dishes + being a prep cook at 15 and have always had my foot in the door of a restaurant in some capacity since.

What do love about the culinary world?
I think my favorite part is feeding people. I feel it to be so nurturing and rewarding and a great way to connect to people.

Did you go to culinary school? 
I did not. School of the hard knocks baby!

Any advice for aspiring chefs? 
A’int nothing to it but to do it.  You need to put the work and time in.  Find out what works, what doesn’t work and build from there.

What ingredient do you use most?
Good olive oil, salt, pepper + fresh herbs.

What is your favorite food/drink pairing?
Grilled hanger steak, chimichurri + an ice cold peroni.

Who do you idolize in the food world?
I don’t think I idolize anybody but am very fond of the mentors + teachers I have learned from along the way. They knew who they are. Oh, and David Chang.

+ + + + + 

(Relatively) Simple. (Definitely) Refreshing. (Very) Inspirational.


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




Monique, Mikey, Kyle & Angelino

Meet Chef Angelino Baltazar, Q & A

The best thing about lark is that is malleable in so many ways. At the core of our business model is the idea of supporting and nurturing passion discovered in people we meet along the way – and sharing it with others. Chef Angelino’s enthusiasm, professional demeanor, and open mindedness impressed us and we soon learned of his desire to open a ramen restaurant and offered him an opportunity to “go on a lark”.

Lark #17 leads us back toThe Hood Kitchen Space to embrace Chef Angelino’s dream. Now is your opportunity to meet the chef behind the menu, but first this brief Q&A:

What inspired you to follow your culinary dream? 

I wouldn’t say inspiration was really part of how this happened. I just really love ramen and Japanese food. Eventually I was really tired of driving far for Ramen and I just decided to do something about it. When the opportunities came up I just decided not to hesitate and I took them.

Do you remember your first ramen bowl? 

I never had good ramen until I was in college. Until then I mostly grew up on the instant ramen.

Where do you want to end up?

I want to end up owning and hopefully changing the landscape of restaurants in Long Beach. 

What is the thing about ramen that most people don’t understand or know?

This is hard. There’s actually a lot. I’m going to sound like I don’t make sense

Ramen is actually not from Japan originally. It’s originally from China.

Ramen is complicated and simple at the same time.

There is more than one kind of ramen. There are specific regions of Japan that serve distinctive styles.

Ramen has no rules and a lot of rules at the same time.

There’s more than one way to make the broth, but the devil is in the details, extremely subtle, but significant details for every style of ramen.

There’s more, but hopefully it should give you a good idea. There is a reason most ramen shops are small and most of the really good ramen shops only make one kind of ramen.

How long does it take you to make the noodles? 

It actually depends on the time of year, how cold it is, the humidity, the kind of noodle I am making for the broth. Eventually I started working with Sun Noodles, constantly changing the recipe and adjusting what I needed. It took me about a 4-5 months of tweaking the noodles just right. Shout out to Sun Noodles.

What do you prefer to drink when enjoying ramen? 

Cheap Japanese beer or whiskey high ball.

Where/Why did you choose the name Omiyage Kitchen for your restaurant? 

I had to pick something related to my story of how I ended up here. Omiyage actually translates directly to souvenir, but the context is off. Omiyage is something you bring to someone when you travel and it is usually something edible specific to that region. I thought it would be fitting to have a name that represents the reason for me leaving to go to Tokyo just to learn about ramen so that I could eventually come back to start a ramen shop here in the States.

How did you get the opportunity to travel to Seattle/Japan?

Someone who knew I wanted to start a ramen shop called me and said they were leaving to go to Japan and they could make some introductions. So I left. I quit my job and a week later I was on a plane with some money and no idea on how to speak Japanese. There is a actually a lot more to the store I leave out.

I worked in Seattle because an opportunity had aligned with timing. It’s pretty straightforward; you just have to tell yourself to go do it.

Any funny stories to share about these experiences?

YUP. But I’d prefer to share them over beers in front of a person.

Did you go to culinary school? 

Nope. Save yourself the trouble and just go stage somewhere nice for a really long time. You are much better off.

How did you get linked up with The Hood Kitchen?

I had originally started working there from a company a few years back.

How do you know Chef Kyle Powers?

Through an Amateur Dodgeball League. KIDDING!

Actually, we met by chance. I had just come back from Japan and Kyle had an opening and somehow we’ve just been working together ever since.

What is your next favorite meal/food?

I actually don’t have one specific meal or food that is my favorite. It’s just always a constantly changing. I’m just really curious about a lot of ingredients.


And this curiosity is what we love about Chef Angelino! Here’s to collaborating, creating, and knowing that anything is possible. See the ramen inspired menu FullSizeRender (28)and come on a lark with us!!


saturday 11/7/15 from 7:30pm-9:30/10pm
The Hood Kitchen 
$95 per person, all inclusive good vibes, food & drinks
questions, please email: hello@larkartisanmarket.com
purchase tickets*: let’s go on a lark!

*non-refundable/absolutely transferable

Lark + Chef Kyle Powers + Molly Wood Garden Design

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~ Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~ Summer 2015

8/14/15 Pop-up Dinner Party at Molly Wood Garden Design in Costa Mesa, CA

Our lark with Molly Wood Garden Design brought together a beautiful group of people who enjoyed mingling and dining in their charming and inspirational garden.

The stars aligned perfectly and we were grateful to have Mike Otto hand select wines from Tolosa Winery to match our menu. With their wonderful aromas and great taste, we have found a perfect match.

The common tables were styled with lovely elements from Molly’s garden shop. The graceful hand of Letter Sparrow created a gorgeous menu and hand-made ceramic plates made by artist Andrea Luna Reece took the crostini to new heights.

As a garden spider diligently weaved its intricate web for all to admire, we enjoyed this amazing August menu crafted by Chef Kyle Powers:

upon arrival

sugar snap pea cocktail w/lemon thyme syrup

crostini platter of charred leek and green onions with a goat cheese spread; red beet ricotta puree w/minted herb salad + pistachios; roasted tomato & garden pesto

on the table & paired with hand-select Tolosa wines

shaved summer squash + rainbow carrots w/burrata cheese & spiced walnuts

caramelized pork belly on top of a celery root puree, wilted swiss chard, w/salad of celery & cucumbers on top

*veggie option: caramelized tofu

on top of a celery root puree, wilted swiss chard w/salad of shaved celery & cucumber

grilled stone fruit w/vanilla bean ice cream, fresh whipped cream, macerated berries & mint compote

We are grateful for all who gathered, making this an exceptional summer lark! A heartfelt thanks to our guests and @MollyWoodGardenDesign, @LetterSparrow, @MySaltySoul, @LunaBirdie, @ForkInTheRoadCatering and Miss M Photography for capturing the moment!

And just like that, summer slips into fall.  Next lark October 8, 2015, details to be announced soon. Cheers! xo~l

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015


On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015

On a lark at Molly Wood Garden Design ~Summer 2015