Bruichladdich Tasting @ Lock & Key

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the Bruichladdich Tasting at Lock & Key. The tasting is paired with four different courses, with an introduction to each course by ambassador Alex Goode as well as Chef Cyndi Tran. The event was hosted in the patio of Lock & Key, and the decor was gorgeous! 

Drinks were served at the bar as well as tray passed appetizers, and we got the gin & tonic and strawberry mule to start. The smoked trout salad on cheddar brioche was divine, and we had to indulge in seconds and thirds! 

First Course-

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley paired with Smokey Bacon Vinaigrette and Grilled Asparagus Salad

The Scottish barley was my favorite of the four, and it was crisp and light to the taste. The salad was also a nice refresher to the meal, and I loved how the chef paired it with crispy salmon skin and soft boiled egg. Great textures in this course overall. 

Second Course-

Bruichladdich Islay Barley Rockside Farm paired with Kunamoto Oyster

This was another fantastic whiskey we tasted, and Alex educated us on the roots of this Islay Barley. The smokiness of the whiskey made the Kunamoto oyster taste like a summer barbecue of oysters on the grill! 

Third Course-

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley paired with Paned Seared Scottish Salmon

The whiskey got more peaty as the tasting went on, and this one was nice and smokey. At 40 ppm, it is considered one of the more peatier of the whiskies. The salmon served as a nice contrast to the Port Charlotte, and it was delicious!

Fourth Course-

Octomore 7.1 paired with Butter Scotch Cream Cheese Tarlette

The grand finale of the Octomore 7.1 which happened to be the peatiest whiskey in the world at 208 ppm. Lagavulin and Laphroaig were only around 120 ppm, which is moderate in comparison. The cheese tarlette was a nice sweet offset to the Octomore, and I loved the crust and the overall textures and taste. 

The Bruichladdich tasting was a fantastic evening of delicious whiskey and fantastic food. We had a wonderful evening learning more about Bruichladdich whiskey and its origins, and I am glad to have been able to try the world's peatiest whiskey! Thank you Lock & Key for inviting us out!  

Picnic LA

9900 Culver Blvd 1B
Culver City, CA 90232

Picnic LA is a fantastic spot for healthy and organic food- I am typically not a huge fan of health conscious places, but I thought this was as good as Lemonade, if not better! It is located on the corner of the street and there is a small garage in the back where you can park. Most of the food comes chilled, and all of their dishes are really light which I enjoy. My friends and I decided to order a variety of dishes to try and share, and we loved everything we tried! 

Cold Brew and Cold Pressed Juice

Cold Brew and Cold Pressed Juice

For appetizers, we got the roasted beet salad, thai chicken salad, chickpea salad, cauliflower soup, hummus, muhammara (similar to hummus), chinese broccoli, korean bbq cauliflower, iceberg salad, and arugula salad. All of the appetizers were delicious, and my personal favorite was the thai chicken salad as it was refreshing and crisp. My friends really liked the roasted beet as it was paired with a citrus fruit. 

For entrees, we shared the beef meatballs, Jidore chicken leg tagine, Scottish salmon, and shredded pork. The entrees were fantastic; I was obsessed with the salmon! Although it was chilled, the salmon literally melted in my mouth and I could not stop eating it. The meatball was served with polenta and was also very flavorful and hearty which I also loved. For dessert, order the key lime pie! You will not regret it- I was so impressed at this pie I basically finished all of it to myself! 


My friends and I were really impressed with the quality and the fresh taste of the food! We finished everything that we ordered, and could not stop talking about the food after we left. So glad I tried this place- Picnic LA is an up and coming restaurant that will be a huge rival to Lemonade; hopefully they will open a location closer to me!

Art's Table

1002 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Why have I never heard of this restaurant before!? Art's Table is located in Santa Monica near the shopping area, and there is a nice outdoor and indoor seating area which is perfect for brunch! My friends and I decided to sit outside as we had a dog, and the friendly server came over immediately to explain our specials and give us his recommendations. Since we had a party of four, we decided to order five recommended dishes to share as everything on the menu looked scrumptious! 

I would also recommend ordering their mixed cocktails as they were all very tasty- our group could not decide which we liked better! 

Cocktails for the table!

Cocktails for the table!

Breakfast chimichanga special with carnitas, crispy tortilla, pico de gallo, Gruyere, easy over egg, guacamole, creme fraiche- this dish blew all of our minds! We literally killed this dish in seconds, and the combination of everything was AMAZING. Imagine the perfect bite of tender succulent meat, crispy tortilla, runny yolk, guac, cream fraiche, and pico de gallo- party in your mouth! This is a MUST ORDER if they have it as it is only served as a special! 

Grandma D'Alessio's Hash with braised short rib, cherry peppers, scrambled eggs, potato hash- this was Chef Mark's grandma's recipe from when he was a kid, and the short rib was so tender and flavorful! I personally really liked the presentation as everything was stacked nicely. It does seem to need a spicy sauce of some sort as I thought ketchup did not pair as well, but it was delicious nonetheless! 

Lobster Benedict, arugula, poached eggs, crostini, black garlic, potatoes- they are so generous with their lobster, I was impressed at how much was included! Egg was perfectly poached, and the black garlic really added a kick to the eggs Benedict. This was my favorite (besides the chimichanga of course) as they do it right here! 

Whole wheat French toast almond and hazelnut crusted, whole wheat bread, greek yogurt orange cream, maple butter- I somehow missed the word whole wheat (not a fan of whole what), so this dish was okay for me. Super healthy though if you're into that! 

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Johnny cakes (side order) cornmeal pancakes, Vermont maple butter, mixed berries, maple syrup- now this was divine!!! The cornmeal provided a fantastic texture to the overall pancakes, and with the sauces and fruit, it was bomb! Definitely recommend this if you're looking for something sweet. 

Kale salad with almonds, roasted squash, manchego, lemon- not a big fan of kale but the salad was so refreshing and light! It was way better than I expected. My friend is super healthy and she LOVED this dish- took it home to eat it later! 

For dessert, we split the key lime pie and the mixed berry crumble. Both were fantastic- the crumble was stuffed with fruit and very warm and it was a nice complement to the cold ice cream. The key lime pie was also delectable- the crust was my favorite and I could not stop picking at it! 

My friends and I were raving about this brunch for hours after- it was that delicious. Plates were super artsy which really fit in line with the name of the restaurant, and plating was on point! Chef Mark did a fantastic job designing the menu and the dishes, and I can see why this spot gets super busy! So glad I discovered this restaurant- I need to try their dinner menu next!