Our Spring Menu: A Collaborative Effort

The Spring Menu: On Full Display At Our Collaboration Dinner


On Wednesday March 27th we hosted our Collaboration Dinner at Langosta Lounge. It was en evening of wine, food, and friendship and I am so grateful to everyone who came to support the restaurant as we finish the curation of our spring menu.

What Is A Collaboration Dinner? 

The Collaboration Dinner is an opportunity for my team and I to showcase the items that we hope to place on our spring menu. We always hope to garner fresh perspectives and honest feedback so that we can tweak and improve the dishes before they hit the tables in the busy season. It’s a simply awesome chance to let locals, family, and friends know what’s new with my work, my team, and our community outreach.  It’s also a great chance to allow the people we know and love to connect with new people as well.

Big Things Coming This Spring!

This time around there was so much to share with our Collaboration Dinner attendees. Our Kula Farm and Kula Café efforts are growing and the farm will be catapulting into spring with the same joy and community-minded action it always offers. My new Moringa supplement line, Wave of Balance is launching (Our party favor gifts at the dinner featured a sample size of each supplement and you can learn more here) and I’m so excited to bring the tree of life to the community that fuels my life. The featured meals that evening featured mushrooms from Two River Gourmet Mushroom company. My new cookbook Feed This Community was on display and available for purchase at the dinner and, if you missed it, you can grab your copy here. I also had a chance to mention our Food For Thought By The Sea food truck and the Vehicle For Change Initiative to fundraise for the truck (To learn more about that click here )

With so much going on this season from mushrooms to food trucks, to cookbooks, we took time to pause, exhale, and enjoy the company of some fantastic people while tasting some new menu items. 

What’s For Dinner

One of the first plates of the evening was a Laissez Crab which included Creole spiced warm jumbo lump crab meat, delicately diced jalapenos, spicy creole mustard,  and house sourdough crostini  for dipping. The cheese was one I learned to make with my husband Scott at Bobolink Dairy Farm in Pennsylvania. We took with a renowned cheese maker named Nina White.

You can never have enough appetizers and so we also offered our guests some carefully cared-for Cuban olives. The olives were chopped with garlic, mixed with ricotta, and covered in panko. The soft, sweet, crunchy, lovely little bites make an awesome accompaniment to the rest of your meal.

One of the evening’s salads was what we affectionately call our Carousel Salad because it changes seasonally. The salad featured items grown right here in Asbury Park at our Kula Farm. The farm serves Kula café and other local restaurants who desire locally grown, organic vegetables and Lisa has taken the farm on like a dragon, as I said that evening. We’ll be hosting a Farm Dinner in April, so be on the look out for that!

Another salad that evening is what we call our Umami Salad. This offering featured a marinated Two River organic mushroom and broccolini salad with pickled grapes, miso Chinese mustard dressing, brûlée-ed burrata, and crispy noodles. Umami in itself is a full experience and this salad certainly follows suit.

One of the items we showcased that evening was a lobster pizza with corn and bacon.

We think those two words, lobster and pizza, just belong together. Be sure to try them and let us know if you agree!

An Entire Menu of New Tastes And New Connections

Our dinner entrees featured an Asian Chicken Marsala with spiced sake demi-glace, snow peas, a pepper sauté, and our very own Two River organic mushrooms. This unique take on Marsala featured a sweet but delectable sauce and aromatic mushrooms that glide on your palate and warms your heart as it does.

 A fan favorite that evening was our Ravino Lemon Mascarpone Ravioli. The local summer squash, heirloom tomato, carefully charred Vidalia onion, farm fresh thyme, black garlic rose velouté, and pine nut gremolata topping gave our guests the chance to experience an absolute adventure in Italian tastes.

Jalisco Steak made an appearance as well. This divine grilled and marinated skirt steak features caramelized onions, lobster potato cake, and corn equites. Juicy, cooked to perfection and expertly seasoned, this is sure to be a dish that you come back for.

If you’ve never tried Buffalo Cauliflower, I’d suggest you stop by Langosta this spring. Ours features Mazi buffalo sauce with cambozola blue cheese drizzle and Kula’s own micro celery is definitely worth the trip if you’re looking to spice things up.

Our collaboration dinner also featured General Tso Chicken  with farro, Two River organic mushrooms, bok choy, and a flavorful broccolini sauté. So, if you’re looking for an excuse to put down that take out menu, come see us instead.  

Surf and Turf, met Farm to Sea on Wednesday. Our dish features white miso and cilantro marinade, coconut, chili, ginger broth, carrot, and radish slaw, with lemongrass jasmine rice and fish sauce vinaigrette. This is a perfect dish for when you’re at Langosta on the boardwalk with a view of the crashing waves and the sound of the roaring ocean. You might even enjoy your Farm to Sea with your favorite wine as well. 

Speaking of Wine…

One of the toughest parts of curating a seasonal menu is the wine list. Tasting wine is a tough job and not nearly as glamorous as it sounds. There are thousands of wines from around the world that could be featured in our list and so we’ve taken to including our staff in wine research and including our Collaboration Dinner guests in the pairing down of that well-researched list.

Among some of the most notable wines of the evening were those from Sophie Bertin (Her wine label features a fossil from the place where the grapes in the wine are grown.) and Rumson Red from my very own Community Vines (A community-serving collaboration with the incomparable James Foley of SÉAMUS Wines and Shore Point Distributors. Click here to learn more ).  Needless to say, we are grateful for the help in tasting and exploring each of the wines and we can’t wait to share our wine list with you all!  

Langosta In Spring Time

Whether you’re having a drink with a friend or a family dinner to celebrate a milestone the team and I at Langosta are excited to welcome you and all of our visitors this spring.

Connect With Us! 

To stay in the loop with all that’s going on for us this season be sure to stay tuned to our website and blog and don’t forget to stop by and try our Spring menu!


See you soon!

Feed This Community Spotlight: Kula Cafe And Kula Urban Farm


Kula, Ideas, And Community Transformation

Have you ever had a thought, idea or dream, that just would not cease to pull at your heart, drawing you in? It’s filling you with passion, determination, creativity, and fulfillment, even if it doesn’t even exist yet? That’s how I felt about the Kula Café and I can’t wait to describe the Café and its work to you today.

Several years ago, I went to my friends at Interfaith Neighbors and I told them that I had the idea to do training café for front of house work. I’d seen that young adults in our community didn’t have opportunities to work in restaurants. At that time a lot of restaurants were opening and this meant great job opportunity, if young people had the confidence and training in hospitality.

The Empowering Experience Of Training And Working In Hospitality

I am a firm believer in the power of training people in the work of hospitality because it can build confidence, communication skills, and leadership skills. It’s been my experience that if you can communicate in a way to makes people feel good you’re going to find success in what you do. Training in hospitality offers access to a great skill set where people learn to manage themselves in a business, acting a sort of independent contractor in the moment. You have your section, your tasks, and you’re running that part of the business in that moment. I feel that if young people learn these skills they will learn to feel good about themselves and they will then take that into whatever career they pursue. Whether they work in retail, in an office, in a warehouse, in a school, they can take those skills, those abilities, and that confident communication, into that job and create success.

Coffee, Hot Chocolate, And The Common Good

When I had the idea for Kula Café, I found that there was not much of that front-of-house training, at least not in my neighborhood. I also knew that, while I loved cooking, not everyone wants be a cook and that is a different skillset all together.

When we began, Interfaith Neighbors and I went out into the community to give coffee and hot chocolate to people and businesses in town. The next step was to want to have people in community give to community.  There was a good deal of gang activity in Asbury but when the hot chocolate and coffee came by, people of every walk of life would come together to share a cup.

 This became a time where we realized we all wanted the same things, we just went about them in different ways. Someone might not want to interact with different gangs but both parties want a cup of coffee. So, for a time they’re willing and able to share that space with people whose experience is different than their own. This kind of community effort brings different people together. After the coffee and hot chocolate experience, Interfaith loved the as-yet-unnamed-idea and took it on. 

Asking “What’s Next?” And Answering In A Big Way

I had just left politics, and my husband Scott and I discussed the next chapter of our personal lives (Do we want kids? Do we want to move? What’s next?)

For me, travel has always been something I love and I’d always wanted to go on a women’s surf meditation trip. It just so happened that one was available and affordable at that time and so I went to Maui on a retreat that was sponsored by the surf brand Carve.

I was there. I was soaking in the Maui sun and so I headed to our first meditation. The topic of that first meditation was on the idea of Kula. Kula is the Hawaiian concept of a community of the heart (We wrap around our community with a passion for that community.) I loved my surf retreat experience (To read more about it, click here ) and returned to Asbury Park with a revitalized spirit, and a name for this place for Interfaith Neighbors: We decided to call it Kula Café.

Kula And Community Impact

 I know it’s not a Jersey word, but it is a beautiful word and a beautiful representation of what Kula offers the community and its people. Kula Café empowers the community grow, to strengthen itself, and to believe in itself.

The Kula Café has since been joined by Kula Urban Farm (right beside The Kula Cafe) where greens, microgreens, and edible flowers are grown. They’re then sold and delivered to local restaurants. Kula Urban Farm offers access to locally grown organic produce. The Farm’s work means that more people in the community are involved in knowing where their produce comes from, how it feels, and perhaps even what it means to want to pursue a career in some form related to that sort of work.  

This work may mean that people, who may not otherwise be exposed to such things, might explore careers in urban farming, horticulture, landscaping, and other related areas. The Café and The Farm are giving the people of Asbury Park the opportunity to discover passion they may not have been Intune with otherwise.

Igniting Passion Through Experience

Thinking about Kula Café And Kula Urban Farm brings me back to the first time I ever cooked at Oshin. It’s an understatement to say that something was just ignited in me. I know that it was a transformative moment and yet, I am also aware that we don’t always know where that passion will come from. Exposing community youth to new things will be of benefit to them because they will have the opportunity to explore things, all sorts of things:  From the beach, to business, to the chance to find desire in ways that were not always full available to the prior generation. When we find ways to provide these opportunities we give everyone in our community a way to look forward to what lies ahead.

A Leap Of Faith And The Kula Movement

Kula Café brings in a youthful demographic to explore something that excites and inspires them. The Café is a new, stable, and grounding place for the west side of Asbury.

This area is also experiencing the development of new gardens, parks, and affordable housing. It’s a transformation that has just begun with Interfaith Neighbors taking on this project and taking on this corner of the community.  Interfaith’s work, and my own, has convinced me that it only takes one person or group to take that leap of faith and hope that others follow.

That leap of faith, when made with amazing partners like Interfaith Neighbors, creates a movement.

Kula is The Café.
Kula is The Movement.

What’s Next?

  • To learn more about Kula Café and Kula Urban Farm, click here

  • To learn more about Interfaith Neighbors, click here

  • To pick up your copy of my new cookbook and support amazing organizations like Interfaith Neighbor’s Kula Café And Kula Urban Farm, click here