Brian Schultz, Founder & CEO of LOOK Dine-In Cinemas, is offering an entirely new cinema experience, taking it many steps above popcorn and soda pop. Schultz is credited as the innovator of in-theater dining and a champion for the cinematic experience with his LOOK Dine-In Cinemas – a technology-first luxury cinema brand with locations in Chandler, Arizona, California, Florida and Texas with more to come.
Drawing upon his time as an aide to Arlen Specter, the late United States Senator from Pennsylvania, Schultz took in a film at the Bethesda Draft House in Maryland and was totally taken with the idea of combining dining and watching a movie. The experience led to him establishing what became Studio Movie Grill, his first in-theater dining company. The first such theater opened in 1993 and was soon followed by other locations.
Schultz, who currently lives in Texas and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance from California State University, is an advocate for conscious capitalism, aligning his business practices with his own personal philosophy. With the mantra, “the more you give, the more you get,” he designed LOOK Dine-In Cinemas as a way of creating jobs that pay living wages while providing a shared space for the community to come together.
Sushi and Movies? Yes!
Menu offerings include jumbo chicken wings tossed with buffalo, Thai chili, honey BBQ, garlic Parm or mango habanero. Served with chilled celery and ranch dressing; slides ranging from cheeseburgers, Buffalo chicken, blackened salmon, to plant based and Spicy Tuna Rolls, Coconut Shrimp Roll, and Smoked Salmon Philly Roll. There are also pizzas, sandwiches, desserts like New Orleans beignets and fried peach pies.
Cocktails, Beer, and Wine
Even better, there are craft cocktails like their Sugar Bacon Old Fashioned madewith Brown Sugar Bourbon 103, candied bacon, orange peel, and a Luxardo cherry or Blueberry Lemonade with Western Son Blueberry Vodka, simple syrup, Sierra Mist, and fresh blueberries, draft and bottled beer, and wines.
But for those who want their movie experience to coincide with tradition cinema snacks, not to worry. LLO Dine-In Cinemas has you covered. There’s candy, soft drinks, and popcorn.
The others are located in California, Florida, and Texas.
The LOOK Dine-In Cinemas concert film series is ongoing and this Wednesday, January 19th at 7 p.m. MT with ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas. On Thursday, January 20 from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Check out the upcoming shows here.
Upcoming is the LOOK Brewing having a Grand Opening in Chandler. LOOK Brewing Co. adding another fascinating component to LOOK Dine-In Cinema. The Brewmaster, Marisa Bernal, is originally from New Mexico and worked in the wine industry before switching to craft beer. It was a move she really enjoys.
“Brewing allows for my self-expression,” said Bernal. “Add in movies and it’s the whole package of what I love to do with my time. LOOK Brewing Co, allows me to be creative and blend my art with movies.”
Get Peached–meaning to be flavored smitten–is particularly apt if you’re in an experimental mood when it comes to food. Personally I think you always learn a lot about cooking when you venture outside your comfort range. By doing so either once in a while or really even more often, no telling what you’ll discover.
That’s one reason why I enjoyed chatting with Eric Silverstein who first started cooking from his Austin, Texas food truck, The Peached Tortilla and now runs a restaurant with the same name. He recently wrote “The Peached Tortilla: Modern Asian Comfort Food from Tokyo to Texas” (Sterling Epicure 2019; $16.99 Amazon price).
A former attorney who decided to pursue a different career path by merging his passions of food and business. Eric was born in Tokyo, Japan. There he was heavily influenced by Japanese, Chinese and Malaysian cuisine and then, moving to Atlanta, Georgia at the age of ten, he learned about traditional Southern cuisine. These divergent flavors and cuisines serve as the backdrop for The Peached Tortilla’s menu.
The recipes are Asian versions of American south and Italian food—fried chicken and arancini—those fried rice balls stuffed with mozzarella. If you think of it like that, you can see the possibilities of melding the the three. When I asked Eric for recommendations for readers just getting use to Asian/American/Italian fusion cuisine, he suggested the Umami Chicken because it is a best seller at his restaurant. He also suggested his deep-fried risotto balls stuffed with pureed kimchi and mozzarella cheese because he never met a person who didn’t love them.
“They are so easy to just pop in your mouth, and the fusion element makes the kimchi approachable,” he says.
Kimchi is a Korean dish using salted and fermented vegetables (typically cabbage) that also has chili powder, ginger and other spices. It’s very similar to sauerkraut but spicier and without the vinegary tartness.
He’s adapted his recipes for home cooks. For example, with the Unami Fried Chicken, he calls for par-baking before frying as it’s difficult to control the temperature of a deep fryer at home. By doing that there’s still the crispness of fried chicken without the complications of temperature control.
1 (3 ½-4 pound) chicken, broken down into 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 whole wings, and 4 pieces of breast (breast is split)
To Make the Marinated Chicken
Puree all the ingredients, except for the chicken in a blender. Marinate the broken-down chicken in the fish sauce marinade overnight in a large airtight container or resealable bag.
For the Batter
1 ½ cups rice flour
Whisk the rice flour and 1 ½ cups of cold water in the mixing bowl and set the batter aside. The consistency of the mixture should be thick enough to heavily coat the back of a spoon.
As the batter sits, the rice flour will slowly separate from the water. So make sure to whisk the batter right before you dip the chicken into it.
quarts vegetable oil
Place the pieces of chicken on a baking sheet. Set the oven to 350⁰F and bake the chicken for 30 minutes. Using a meat thermometer, check the temperature of the chicken while it is in the oven to make sure it reaches 165⁰F. It’s best to take the temperature of the thickest part of the breast, since this is the thickest cut of meat you are cooking off. When the chicken is at temperature, remove it from the oven and set it in the refrigerator to cool. You can remove the chicken from the refrigerator when it is cold to the touch.
Once the chicken has cooled in the refrigerator, heat 2 quarts of oil to 350⁰F in a medium-sized pot.
When the oil is at 350⁰, coat the parbaked chicken in the rice flour batter and then place the chicken in the hot oil. The rice flour batter should be thick enough, so it does not run off the chicken. If the rice flour batter has been sitting for a few minutes, make sure to give it a stir right before you dip the chicken in the batter.
Let the chicken cook in the oil for 2-3 minutes. It should turn a robust brown. Do not let the chicken get too brown or dark.
Remove the chicken from the oil and place it on a cooling rack with a rimmed baking sheet underneath it for 2 minutes before serving.
Serves 5-8 / Makes about 30 balls
5 cups chicken broth
1 ¾ tablespoons butter
¼ small yellow onion, diced
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Kimchi, pureed
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons Sriracha
In a medium-sized pot, warm the chicken broth over medium heat. Keep it warm over extremely low heat.
Add the butter to a wide, round pot and stir it over medium-low heat, until it starts to melt.
After the butter has melted, add the diced onion to the pot and sauté it in the butter until it becomes translucent. Season the sautéed onion with salt and pepper.
Add the Arborio rice to the pot and sauté it until it has browned.
Ladle or spoon the warm chicken broth into the rice mixture over the medium-low heat. Start by adding ½ cup of the chicken broth at a time, stirring the rice until it absorbs the broth. This is a similar process to making risotto.
Once the broth is absorbed, add more broth to the rice. Continue to cook the rice and add the broth until you have used all the broth. The entire process should take about 45 minutes. At the end of the process, the Arborio rice should be cooked al dente.
Place half of the kimchi, Parmesan, mozzarella, and sriracha in the bottom of a large baking sheet. Add the cooked Arborio rice to the baking sheet, then cover the rice with the remaining kimchi, mozzarella, and sriracha. Stir the mixture together with a heatproof spatula. The cheese should melt from the heat of the rice.
Refrigerate the mixture, uncovered, for 3-4 hours or preferably overnight.
1 cup, all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
2 quarts vegetable oil
½ cup Wasabi Mayo (recipe included below)
½ cup Sriracha Mayo (recipe included below)
Place the flour, eggs, and panko into separate mixing bowls or shallow vessels. Line them up to create an assembly line.
Moving from left to right, dredge the rice balls in the flour, then the egg mixture, and then roll them into the panko. By the end of the process, the balls should have a nice panko coating.
Heat the 2 quarts of oil in a Dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet. Once the oil reaches 350⁰F, drop the kimchi balls into the hot oil. The balls should turn golden brown after about 1 ½ – 2 minutes. If the balls start to get a little bit dark, remove them from the oil. If the internal temperature is hovering around 100⁰F, place them back in the oil for another 25-30 seconds or until they reach an internal temperature of 140⁰F.
When the rice balls are done, transfer them to a plate covered with a paper towel.
To plate the dish, top the Kimchi Balls with a little Wasabi Mayo and Sriracha Mayo.
Makes 1 ½ cups
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons prepared wasabi paste
¾ tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk them together. Store the mayo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Makes 1 ¼ cups
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Sriracha Sauce
½ teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar
Heavy pinch of salt
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together until they are well incorporated. Pour the mayo into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.