May 2015 - Page 2 of 4 - Please The Palate
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Downtown Johnny's is the valley's newest drinking spot but it's not as new as one would think. Located on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, Downtown Johnny's is the new incarnation of Murph's. The space has transformed from a garage-y cocktail spot to an old-school "throwback" bar. Downtown Johnnys Still owned by Richard DiSisto, who owns both the Tunnel Bar and Tipple & Brine next door, Downtown Johnny's looks like a weathered pub. It is a warm and inviting space that is just somewhere to get a good drink, some food and have a great time.
Last summer I attended an extraordinary dinner at Los Angeles Food and Wine called Dining with the Michelin Stars. One of the featured chefs was David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos. After eating his delicate Beggar’s Purses and Beef with Pole Beans, Puffed Rice and Onion Broth at the dinner, I swore that a dining experience at Manresa was on the top of my list. But, the only issue was, when would I be in Los Gatos? Well, it happened! After a weekend at Pebble Beach Food and Wine, my friend and I were flying out of San Jose Airport and Los Gatos is just 15 minutes from the airport. So, despite all the eating we had done over the weekend, we hightailed it out of Pebble Beach when the event ended and drove straight to Los Gatos. Los Gatos is a charming little town that looks like it was lost in time. Our navigation took us down a few streets (a few arguably seemed like ally-ways) and we pulled up in front of Manresa. Manresa Manresa opens for dinner at 5:30pm (the bar opens at 5:15pm). The restaurant offers a 14-course tasting menu for $198 and takes about three hours. Sadly we only had about one and a half hours before we had to head to the airport. But, the good news is that if you sit at the bar, Manresa offers an abbreviated tasting menu called "Bar Bites." It's five courses (pulled from the full tasting menu) and was what we had time for.
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