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Beautiful Dining on the Beach:

MONA DAY

SPECIAL TO THE MIRROR

On July 28, the sands of the Jonathan Beach Club provided the setting for an iconic summer beach party complete with freshly shucked oysters by a crackling fire, great music, and a gorgeous sunset courtesy of Mother Nature.

The event started with a wine tasting that got very specific: nine different Chardonnays from three different wineries, three vintages each. This provided the opportunity to focus on the subtle differences created by regional geographic diversity, the mixing of an assortment of grapes, and ranges in the vintage years – whether it was hot, cold, dry, et cetera.

Ten notable local chefs each prepared a signature dish on an open grill set directly on the sand. They included Celestino Drago of Drago Santa Monica and Drago Centro; Mark Fiorelli of Mar’sel at Terranea Resort; Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant; Tim Guiltinan of The Raymond; Michael McCarty of Michael’s; Joe Miller of Joe’s Restaurant; Mark Peel of Campanile and The Tar Pit; Piero Selvaggio of Valentino; Mako Tanaka of Robata-Ya; and Sherry Yard of Spago.

Michael McCarty of Michael’s Restaurant grilled a favorite taken directly from his menu: California quail served with green mango, shaved red onion, and a cilantro slaw dressed with mango vinaigrette.

Valentino’s Piero Selvaggio was showing off his miscellaneous tortilla-thin pizzas unique in that they were grilled, not baked. They kept disappearing as fast as his crew could put them out.

Michael Fiorelli of Mar’sel, Terranea offered a refreshing Heirloom tomato gazpacho with aged feta cheese paired with grilled BBQ pork cheeks served with pickles, coleslaw, and homemade English muffins.

If the question was “Where’s the beef?” Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant had an answer with his grilled prime beef, a refreshing salsa verde, and roasted fingerling potatoes.

Robata-Ya’s Mako Tanaka brought along his trusted Robata to serve up his free range jidori chicken breast with ume shiso and jidori chicken thigh “oyster” accompanied by a seasonal tomato, avocado, and asparagus salad with plum oba vinaigrette.

Literally rounding things out was a charcuterie platter featuring Drago’s signature ciabatta teamed with Kerrygold cheeses.

1886 Bar at The Raymond poured their brand new summer cocktails that were just unveiled in mid-July. The Bar’s Ramos Fizz updated a version originally created by Henry Ramos for the opening of his Imperial Cabinet Bar in New Orleans in 1988. It starts off shaking up gin with fresh citrus, cream, egg white, and orange-flower water and then topping it off with club soda. Also popular was the Bar’s take on the classic piña colada.

Boutique Vintners included Au Bon Climat, Beckmen Vineyards, Bonaccorsi Wine Company, Brewer-Clifton, Dierberg Estate Vineyards/Starlane Vineyards, Domaine Serene, Dr. Loosen, Grassini Vineyards, Jordan Winery, Justin Winery, Kalin Cellars, Qupé Winery, Malibu Vineyards, Melanson Vineyard, Melville Winery, Robert Mondavi Winery, and Terry Hoage Vineyards.

And then, when they couldn’t eat any more, guests started lining up for the arrival of Sherry Yard of Spago Beverly Hills. Her bag of goodies included freshly made marshmallows, white and dark chocolate, and graham crackers for roasting up a very gourmet version of S’mores – and many people kept asking for S(ome)mores.

A silent auction featured international travel and luxury hotel packages. A display of classic cars was an added attraction.

All proceeds from the evening supported the St. Vincent Meals on Wheels program, which prepares and delivers nutritious meals daily to homebound seniors and other vulnerable residents of Los Angeles regardless of race, religion, or ability to pay.

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