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Our Team

Our job is to tell you the stories of the people behind the food with a smile and expert knowledge. But first, get to know the faces behind Avital Food Tours. We love what we do and want to share our stories with you!

  • Avital Ungar, Owner/Founder

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    • Cocktail

      Cocktail of Choice:

      Boulevardier

    • Lookout

      Favorite Lookout Point:

      Venice Beach

    • Culinary

      Current Culinary Addiction:

      Arugula

    Avital Ungar, founder and owner of Avital Tours, first became serious about the finer points of life while living in Paris and the quaint town of Aix-en-Provence in Southern France. After drinking wine at three in the afternoon as per the cultural norm and gorging her way through the countryside, Avital returned to the United States and began reading “Wine for Dummies” with the hope of adding an academic wine approach to her informal wine education. Now, years later, Avital is a certified sommelier.

    A UCLA graduate, Avital studied Art History, French and Mandarin Chinese but wishes she could have majored in Chocolate. Returning to her hometown of San Francisco after living in Shanghai working in the Chinese Contemporary art market, she began to pursue her interest in art and food professionally. She has been leading artisan food and wine tours for the past five years. She has served as a judge at the 2011 International Chocolate Salon, the Best of the West Rib Competition and has been featured on the Travel Channel, CNN, Travel+Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and more.

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  • Hana Nobel, Culinary Guide: Downtown and Venice, Marketing

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    • Cocktail

      Cocktail of Choice:

      The *secret* Horchata Pina Colada at Lono Tiki Bar

    • Lookout

      Favorite Lookout Point:

      Ace Hotel Roof

    • Culinary

      Current Culinary Addiction:

      Sour Beers and Kazu Nori Bay Scallop Hand Rolls (not together...yet)

    Hana is a freelance writer and dumpling enthusiast. She was raised on the East Coast until the realized that California offered two things she was missing: snow-free winters and real Mexican food.

    Before landing in the Golden State, Hana lived in the New Jersey where she learned to love Bruce Springsteen and a good hoagie, Boston where she realized that two hours is a worthwhile drive for a Maine lobster roll, and Hawaii where she did not learn to surf but did learn about the joys of ahi tuna poke. She started working with Avital in San Francisco, where she spent most of her money at Mission Cheese, but (accidentally) ended up in Los Angeles a year later, where she is fueled by late-night burritos

    Hana’s parents always knew she was food-obsessed since she ran down the aisle of the grocery store asking for pâté at age 3 and claiming her favorite food was dim sum at age 5. She maintains that obsession by spending most of her time in the food world. When she’s not on a tour, Hana is writing about food, or eating, or both (which is why her keyboard has its fair share of soy sauce stains and crumbs).

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  • Penny Truitt, Culinary Guide: Koreatown, Downtown

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    • Cocktail

      Cocktail of Choice:

      Gin and Tonic

    • Lookout

      Favorite Lookout Point:

      Griffith Observatory

    • Culinary

      Current Culinary Addiction:

      Burrata Toast with Stone Fruit

  • Rodd Farhadi, Culinary Guide: Venice, Downtown

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    • Cocktail

      Cocktail of Choice:

      Moscow Mule

    • Lookout

      Favorite Lookout Point:

      Malibu

    • Culinary

      Current Culinary Addiction:

      Egg on top of everything

    Rodd grew up in the Bay Area, graduated from UCLA, and is now living in LA. He fell in love with giving tours because his mom is a college architect, so since he was in 7th grade he would go on college tours with his mom. He’s seen more than 50 college campuses and officially toured more than 25. (Yes, the two-hour long “let’s see every building on campus” tour.) Through those experiences, he saw what made a good tour guide, and now he is excited to be able to show not only buildings and give facts and share stories, but also to tie it into food.

    Rodd was pretty much raised by his grandma and she cooked for him every day. Her specialty was Persian/American cuisine and Rodd grew up in the kitchen. His favorite dish that she makes is a Persian dish on Thanksgiving, called zereshk polo-white basmati rice, with saffron, and sweetened barberries. His family had it every Thanksgiving, but one Thanksgiving his family decided to go to Las Vegas instead.As the foodie in the family, Rodd was in charge of picking Thanksgivingving dinner and he got to pick the restaurant.  Rodd’s favorite show was Top Chef and he was obsessed with Tom Colicchio so he decided to choose Craftsteak. It was a fabulous prefix menu but there were no Persian dishes menu so his parents kept ordering Persian-like dishes. The bill finally came, and his dad’s face turned white.

    His family paid $800 for a four-person dinner and Rodd’s dad said he wasn’t allowed to pick the restaurant for a year after that. Rodd’s dad now jokes that he has the most expensive taste in the family. So no wonder he chose one of the most expensive eating spots (VENICE!) to be his culinary hang out spot!

     

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  • Renee Novak, Operations Assistant and Customer Service

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    • Cocktail

      Cocktail of Choice:

      Mint Julep

    • Lookout

      Favorite Lookout Point:

      Mt. Hollywood

    • Culinary

      Current Culinary Addiction:

      Stuffed Green Pepper Soup