November 2016 - Page 3 of 5 - Please The Palate
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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.

In 1983, while working at The Water Club in New York, Roy Hersh was introduced to the 1963 Sandeman Port. Sommelier Sam Correnti had purchased the 1963 Sandeman Port and “whenever he opened a bottle, he would call me in for the decanting,” Hersh recalled.

Correnti would decant the Port, pouring it through a cheesecloth to catch the sediment. “He would take the cheese cloth, with the sediment, and strain some into my mouth.” Tasting this 20-year old Vintage Port, Hersh was hooked.

Hersh, who holds both culinary and hospitality degrees and has worked in the restaurant industry in New York, Colorado, Virginia, Washington DC, Miami and Washington, spent the next 11 years saving up money to go overseas for the first time. His first trip was to Portugal in May 1994 and since then he has been more than 30 times.

Throughout this time, Hersh promoted Port wine, introducing it to many restaurants on both coasts, hosting tastings, and in 2000, Hersh began writing about Port and Madeira for the website

As a leading promoter of Port wine, Hersh was inducted into the Confraria do Vinho do Porto, or Porto Wine Brotherhood, in 2003. Hersh was one of only two Americans enthroned that year.

The Confraria do Vinho do Porto was established in November 1982 to promote Port wine, the sweet red, fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. The Brotherhood recognizes those who work in Port wine companies as well as journalists, retailers and advocates who work to share their passion for Port wine both locally and internationally.

I invited a friend to join me at La Boheme for dinner recently. She asked, "you mean the restaurant in West Hollywood? It's still open?" That is what I had thought when I was invited to check it out as well. And the answer is yes! For twenty-five years, La Boheme has sat on Santa Monica Blvd in the heart of West Hollywood. la-boheme-1 From the street, there is something eye-catching about the building of concrete and stone with glittering lights and interesting ornaments. la-boheme-4 But when you walk inside, it is utterly mesmerizing. The 4,800 square-foot space is eye-catching with high ceilings, magnificent French chandeliers, a fireplace and red everywhere - the curtains, walls, ceiling, tables, chairs....everything! It is a bit eccentric and leans towards Gothic. It is like a set from of Moulin Rouge or Phantom of the Opera.
One year ago, Clifton's Cafeteria in Downtown LA reopened its doors. The 47,000-square-foot space, covering four floors, reopened with two (of five) bars and a cafeteria. For the last year, there has been anticipation about the opening of the other three bars - Shadow Box, Treetops and Pacific Seas. Well, anticipate no longer as one of those bars has officially opened. Welcome to Clifton's Pacific Seas Pacific Seas is Los Angeles' newest tiki bar. From top to bottom, this Polynesian themed bar is a tiki wonderland, circa 1940-1950. Everything about Clifton's is a bit surreal. The decor has a Disneyland-esq quality to it, from the taxidermy animals to the 40-foot tree that reaches three floors in the center of the atrium. And Pacific Seas is no exception.