LA VENTURA HOSTS HERRADURA DINNNER
GOOD TEQUILA + FINE DINING = GOOD TIMES
I’ve had enough paired dinners that I’ve really come to appreciate the skill it takes to pair the right wine, beer or cocktail to enhance a meal. And recently, I had the good fortune to be invited to a Herradura tequila paired dinner at LA Ventura Restaurant in Studio City.
La Ventura’s Master Chef Jeffrey Saad created mouth-watering dishes paired with some of Herradura’s best tequila cocktails to start, before moving on to dinner where fine fare was matched with high quality tequila. Ruben Aceves, Herradura’s International Brand Ambassador, who shared the history of the brand and the complexities of all the evening’s featured tequilas, led the tequila tasting.
Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, Ruben Aceves has served as the Director of International Brand Development for Casa Herradura since 2000. In this role, Ruben oversees the development of Tequila Herradura and el Jimador and acts as the tequila brand ambassador, educating sales teams and others on Casa Herradura’s tequila portfolio. He is well versed in the 140-year-old history of the Hacienda of San Jose del Refugio, the home of Tequila Herradura, which hosts more than 60,000 visitors a year.
Inside the charming La Ventura, guests were just a sip of tequila away from being transported to a special evening of good conversation, food and drink. In fact, owner Jeffrey Saad is a noted chef and personality who has ignited the globe with his inspirational cuisine. Host of the hit Cooking Channel series United Tastes of America, Jeffrey and his wife Nadia opened La Ventura to serve quality, modern Mexican cuisine in Studio City.
Our first course featured salmon and scallop along with charred nopales ceviche with chipotle sour cream and lime zest paired with a La Ventura double-barrel reposado margarita. Dinner was definitely off to a good start.
The second course consisted of lobster, shrimp, scallop fundido with Herrradura Silver-epazote cheese sauce, plancha seared squash blossoms and crushed pink peppercorns, paired nicely with Herradura Silver. This dish was impressive.
Dinner definitely went up a notch with the fine pork osso bucco with guajillo chile broth, pinto beans and lime gremolata, which was paired with a nice tequila sampling of Double Reposado, Herradura Reposado, and Herradura Anejo. Talk about good times!
Our fourth course was dry-aged rib eye mole enchilada topped with ancho chile fried raisins and Roquefort crema. I’m always a sucker for mole and was even more impressed when Chef Jeffrey Saad declared that his chicken pepian (an absolute favorite dish of mine) is the best around. I mentioned nothing beat’s Mom and believe it or not, a challenge was born. Stay turned for details.
Dessert consisted of mini churros with Ibarra chocolate and Piloncillo dipping sauces, along with flan, paired very nicely with Rhino’s “little hot” steamed double reposado with simple syrup and coffee bean garnish—a nice finish to a terrific evening.
While the food was delicious, I was very impressed how well it went alongside good sipping tequila. I really appreciate the skill in pairing very distinct tastes and flavors (in food and tequila) and managing to create five stellar courses. I’ll drink to that!
La Ventura Restaurant is located at 11929 Ventura Blvd in Studio City. Call 818-358-3423.
Story by Jose Martinez