On the Line: Mark and Angela Dunton of District Wine, Part Two

Categories: On the Line, Wine

Photo by William Vo
A couple who drinks together . . .

Read our interview with Mark and Angela of District Wine, part one.
And now, on to part two . . .

What prompted the idea to open the business?
Angela Dunton
: Both of our parents are independent business owners, and Mark and I always wanted to work for ourselves. We both had a passion for wine, craft beer and people. When we me, we started talking and brainstorming, and that was the seed for District Wine. We lived in the neighborhood, and years before we had a solid idea of the business. We were sitting across the street from 144 Linden in the coffee shop, saw the "For Lease" sign, and thought, "That would be a perfect spot for something."

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On the Line: Mark and Angela Dunton of District Wine, Part One

Categories: On the Line, Wine

Photo by William Vo
Mark and Angela know what's up.

Learning to appreciate wine is like learning to appreciate anything else. It takes time and an openness to trying new things. I learned that with wine, it's not about what it pairs well with as much as it's about what you like (although the adage about red wine with red meat is spot on). Drink what makes you happy, and ask for advice when needed.

I attended a birthday celebration at District Wine a couple of years ago. Between the generous wine list and small plates, it was only a matter of time before I found the opportunity to interview Mark and Angela Dunton about their business.

Let's discuss your choice to feature small production, boutique wines.
Mark Dunton
: There are several reasons why we chose to feature small production boutique wines. First and foremost is that we are a small, family-owned business, and we want to honor and support other small, family-owned operations. Also, a wine bar and tasting room is the perfect platform to feature small name, obscure wines. In our opinion, that is why you go to a wine bar-- to try something that you have never heard of, and hopefully to find a gem that you never thought of trying.

One food you can't live without:
Angela Dunton
: Our pea tapenade and our warm roasted bar nuts. I eat it almost every day at work.

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Q & A With Bev Lazo, Hell's Kitchen Contestant And Local Ninja Chef

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Go Bev!
The last time I ran into my friend Bev, it was during a hatch chile event. The time before that, she was running a Filipino pop-up inside the Playground. She'd been secretive about her current project, promising to tell all once she was allowed to. Now that the new season of Hell's Kitchen is underway, Lazo is ready to spill (most of) the beans with me. Over the weekend, she was in Augusta, Georgia, catering for The Masters Tournament. But Bev made sure to answer our burning questions prior to her trip.

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On the Line: Hanayo Martin & Akemi Lee of Hapa Cupcakes, Part Two

Photo by William Vo
Akemi (left) and Hanayo conducting quality control testing

I love when specialty shops have a flavor of the month, and Hanayo and Akemi were just as excited to inform me of their featured cupcakes. For the month of April, it is a lavender almond. And next month: MARGARITA!

Read our interview with Hanayo and Akemi of Hapa Cupcakes, part one.
And now, on to part two . . .

How did the two of you meet?
Hanayo Martin & Akemi Lee
: Our dads are best friends, our moms are best friends and we are best friends.

What's your favorite childhood memory:
: Birthday parties together.

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On the Line: Hanayo Martin & Akemi Lee of Hapa Cupcakes, Part One

Photo by William Vo
They're badass, and they can bake!

I met the ladies of Hapa Cupcakes at the counter of Green Bliss in downtown Fullerton, around the corner from their storefront. Best friends and entrepreneurs, the duo of Akemi and Hanayo is a united front, having accomplished an episode of Cupcake Wars and launching their line of alcohol-infused desserts.

Why cupcakes, especially ones with alcohol infused in them?
Hanayo Martin: Cupcakes are the perfect sized treat, and you can get them in almost any flavor. And adding booze makes it more fun!

Where does the bakery's name come from?
Both: Hapa means to be of mixed race. We are both half Japanese, and we mix our cupcakes with alcohol, so we thought we would play off the idea of mixing two different worlds together.

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On the Line: Chris Brodeur of Tangata, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Did we mention an upcoming happy hour?

With upcoming changes to their menu (like dinner options and happy hour), there's always something to discuss.

Read our interview with Chris Brodeur of Tangata, part one.
And now, on to part two . . .

Hardest lesson learned:
Don't ask an angry chef something twice!

Do you have any skills that are not food-related?

Yes, I know how to landscape, play music and make people laugh.

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On the Line: Chris Brodeur of Tangata, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Would make for an excellent museum flick (sans Ben Stiller).

Museum dining has a certain air about it. You're surrounded by works of art in a (mostly) serene environment. The food should be just as composed, or at least match the mood. At the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, Chris Brodeur creates beauty in the kitchen. I arrive one afternoon, another patron seeking knowledge.

Where does the restaurant's name come from?
It means "mankind" in the New Zealand language of Maori.

Your best recent food find:
Cemitas poblanas (pueblo-style tortas) in East LA.

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On the Line: Peter Petro of Ten Asian Bistro and Bosscat Kitchen, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by William Vo
Would you be smiling from ear to ear if you were about to launch a second restaurant?

Me: Is there anything you'd like readers to know that we didn't already ask?
Peter: That I'm fucking crazy for doing this [Editor's Note: He's referring to launching Bosscat Kitchen.]
David Fernandez: And Sushi Dave says "Hi!"

Yes, two chefs under one roof. Start the Jameson shots!

Read our interview with Peter Petro of Ten Asian Bistro and Bosscat Kitchen, part one.
And now, on to part two . . .

Last thing you searched online:
The term "airline chicken." As much as I have searched, I can't find a definitive answer as to why it is called that.

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On the Line: Peter Petro of Ten Asian Bistro and Bosscat Kitchen, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by William Vo
Two restaurants = too much to do

Chef Peter and I shared a common babysitter growing up: PBS. More specifically, one OG celebrity chef (before they were even referred to as celebrity) by the name of Martin Yan. His fascination with food began with family memories in the kitchen, and television helped fuel his passion to create.

Bosscat Kitchen (the remodeled restaurant space next door to Ten Asian Bistro, and a story we broke in January) is nearing completion. We sat in the unfinished space to go over his responses.

Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Keep clean and organized. When possible, get someone to clean up after you.

Where does the restaurant's name come from?
TEN means heaven in Japanese (or so I am told).

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On the Line: Eddie Choi of Milk + Honey, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Pretty wide awake for a father of infant twins.

There's just enough time for a little more Q & A with Eddie.

Read our interview with Eddie Choi of Milk + Honey, part one.
And now, on to part two . . .

Hardest lesson you've learned.
Never be lazy. Do what you got to do, and don't move it to tomorrow. There's always consequences to what you do, good or bad.

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