Tag Archives: Underground Dinner Party

On a lark with Chef Kyle Powers at Isles Interiors

This winter we were fortunate to dine with friends – old and new – soaking up the hip vibes at the beautifully understated and modern aesthetic of Isles Interiors in Newport Beach while enjoying conversation between spoonfuls of piping hot Mortadella Lobster Chowder crafted by the talented Chef Kyle Powers.

The timely cold weather transported us home to simpler times. Thanks to all who gathered at the communal table to make this an evening to remember including @lunareececeramics + @theurbanspring.  Special thanks to Maria & Max Isles.

Photo credit to MB.Maher.com
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Four Course Menu crafted by the talented Chef Kyle Powers of Fork In the Road Catering and Wine Pairing by  wine aficionado Tyler Rodriguez

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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 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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Lark #21 + Chef Kyle Powers + The Potting Shed by Carlisle

How fortunate we are to create and collaborate people who love their craft! Jack Carlisle and his talented crew created the most beautiful setting for our chef inspired dinner. We dined on picturesque farmhouse tables showcasing gorgeous floral arrangements above and below – a true garden adventure.

This welcoming communal table was surrounded by boundless items of interest, causing one to pause every few steps to comment or share a deep-rooted memory.

Mirroring this engaging environment was our “bloom within” menu carefully crafted by the talented Chef Kyle Powers. Delicious Papusas served with fresh herbs, flavorful Chestnut & Squash soup with floating grilled cheese (do try this at home!), Chicken, Filet & Blue Corn Tamale sharing the same platter – we were loving it!

Our favorite moment came when, during the dinner, Jack shared the history of the building – which was one of the very first Ford dealerships. We learned they often held their own parties (even in the days of prohibition) and could count among their guests Walt Disney himself! While taking this in, we raised our glasses to the idea that we are a part of its story. What a true honor!

A huge thank you to all our guest, you are the ones who make each lark magical. Thank you to the talented Steve Orlick for capturing the moment! dsc09944dsc09948dsc00227dsc00163dsc09978

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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 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.

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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!!

LARK UNDERGROUND DINING & MARKETPLACE

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 + 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:

STARTERS

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!

ON THE TABLE
& paired w/South American & Spanish wines:

BOWLS OF LOTUS CHIPS served w/a dried chile tapenade

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

COURSE TWO
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

COURSE THREE
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.

 

Lark + Chef Kyle + 503found

We will forever revel in our super fun lark at the beautiful 503found. Chef Kyle delivered BIG time on effort and flavor. He crafted his own makeshift kitchen steps away from our communal table and served up a fine menu. Music flowed, wine was poured and friends were made in the midst of the beautiful, eclectic artwork and furnishings.

We had a beautifully styled table thanks to our lark crew, 503found’s offerings, and the hand-lettered menus created by LetterSparrow.

Thank you to all the beautiful people who attended, we are grateful to the good energy and love you brought to this occasion. We hope we inspired you to come on a future lark!

In closing, we are super thankful to Kim J., owner of 503found, for her free spirit, style and inspiration. 503found is housed in a former boathouse sure to be full of good times and stories – and we are proud to have added to them.

Special thanks to Photographer Brian Tropiano, Marisa Powers, & Lark stylists: Ginger Wallace, Monique Schulfer & Catherine Rex.

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Proofs_Lark@503_0063

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Proofs_Lark@503_0066

Proofs_Lark@503_0071

Cheers! Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Proofs_Lark@503_0086

Cheers! Lark #12 @503found

Proofs_Lark@503_0091

Cheers! Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark #12 @503found

Lark + Letter Sparrow

We are excited to announce our collaboration with Letter Sparrow, who will be designing our menu and place cards for our upcoming lark at 503found.  We only see good things coming from this talented artist and are honored to work with her.  xo~l FullSizeRender (8)