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Besha Rodell

Besha Rodell 

Bio:
Besha Rodell has been LA Weekly's restaurant critic since 2012. She is Australian by birth, and has lived and eaten in Melbourne, New York, North Carolina, Atlanta, and too many other places to mention. She has been writing about food for over a decade, during which time she has received multiple awards, including... more
Restaurants, Squid Ink El Condor Review: An Old Silver Lake Mexican Joint Gets Tarted Up — But at What Cost?

El Condor Review: An Old Silver Lake Mexican Joint Gets Tarted Up — But at What Cost?

My oxtail taco has alfalfa sprouts on it. In many ways, this is just about everything you need to know about El Condor, the new Mexican spot in the old El Conquistador space, from the folks behind L&E Oyster Bar and Covell Wine Bar. How you feel about El Condor...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Cesar Bermudez Cifuentes Leaving Röckenwagner, Heading Back To Spain

Cesar Bermudez Cifuentes Leaving Röckenwagner, Heading Back To Spain

In recent months, we've become quite enamored of pastry chef Cesar Bermudez Cifuentes, and particularly of his beautiful pastries and desserts at Röckenwagner Cafe. Cifuentes has been acting as pastry chef at Röckenwagner, and has also been running a tapas popup in the evenings at 3 Square Cafe called Le Sal. But he's leaving...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Wildcraft (Re)Opens Today in Culver City

Wildcraft (Re)Opens Today in Culver City

About six weeks back, Wildcraft Sourdough Pizza announced that they'd be closing and reopening as a more upscale Italian concept. Well that reopening is happening today.  Led by chef Tin Vuong (also of Little Sister, Abigaile, and Día de Campo), the new iteration, now simply called Wildcraft, is a modern Italian...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Blaze Pizza Is Offering Free Pizza Today in South Gate

Blaze Pizza Is Offering Free Pizza Today in South Gate

Sick of free pizza yet? Didn't think so. Blaze Pizza is at it again, giving away free pizza today at their new South Gate location in the Azalea shopping center in South Gate.  The free pizza action will take place today from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The company claims that it's...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink 5 Can't-Miss Vendors at <i>L.A. Weekly</i>'s Pancake Breakfast (Plus a Special Discount!)

5 Can't-Miss Vendors at L.A. Weekly's Pancake Breakfast (Plus a Special Discount!)

It's almost here: our yearly Pancake Breakfast will take place this Sunday, August 24 at the Park Plaza Hotel. And lucky you — there's still time to get tickets (see the end of the post for a special discount for Squid Ink readers).  So what can you expect from this...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Upcoming Sriracha Festivals: Yes, There are a Lot of Them

Upcoming Sriracha Festivals: Yes, There are a Lot of Them

Last year, L.A. had a Sriracha festival downtown, and people dug it. This year, that festival has spawned a twin: San Diego is getting its very own Sriracha festival.  The 1st Annual San Diego Sriracha Festival will take place on Saturday, September 20 at Liberty Station. There will be drinks,...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Belcampo's Meaty Experiment in Sustainable Agriculture at Grand Central Market

Belcampo's Meaty Experiment in Sustainable Agriculture at Grand Central Market

Almost immediately, Anya Fernald knew that Grand Central Market was the perfect place to open a second retail outlet for Belcampo Meat Co., her insanely ambitious butcher shop in Marin County. "When I first walked into Grand Central, I had a feeling of being in a market from the turn...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Grand Central Market Makes It Onto <i>Bon Appétit's</i> Best New Restaurants List

Grand Central Market Makes It Onto Bon Appétit's Best New Restaurants List

Remember last week when we got all giddy over the fact that L.A. had more restaurants than any other city on Bon Appétit's list of 50 nominees for the title of Best New Restaurant in America? Well, today the final list of the ten best new restaurants in the nation...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Josef Centeno Takes Over Pete's Cafe

Josef Centeno Takes Over Pete's Cafe

Three Josef Centeno restaurants all within walking distance of one another not enough for you? Well lucky you: There will shortly be a fourth restaurant with Centeno's stamp on it, and this one will serve breakfast.  Pete's Cafe, the downtown diner that's been open on Main St. since 2002, is...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Rule Change Could Spell Disaster for Malibu's Burgeoning Wine Region

Rule Change Could Spell Disaster for Malibu's Burgeoning Wine Region

In recent months, there's been a lot of excitement around the burgeoning wine scene in Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains. The Malibu Coast has just been approved for its own AVA (American Viticultural Area) by the U.S. government’s Tobacco and Tax Bureau — meaning that the wines coming out...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Does Abstaining From Alcohol Put You at Greater Risk for Heart Disease?

Does Abstaining From Alcohol Put You at Greater Risk for Heart Disease?

An article in Pacific Standard this week titled The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking Is Healthy, makes the claim that abstinence from alcohol is among the major risk factors for heart disease. The article criticizes U.S. health policy, which has neglected to report the benefits of drinking and in some cases has...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink ChocoChicken Review: Chocolate + Chicken Turns Out To Be a Bad Idea

ChocoChicken Review: Chocolate + Chicken Turns Out To Be a Bad Idea

You smell it as soon as you enter the restaurant: a faint hint of oily, burnt chocolate that's slightly acrid, like fryer grease but sweeter and duskier. What must it be like to work at ChocoChicken? What must you smell like when you come home after a long shift? A...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Los Angeles Kicks Ass In <i>Bon Appétit</i>'s List of 50 Best New Restaurants in America

Los Angeles Kicks Ass In Bon Appétit's List of 50 Best New Restaurants in America

What does in mean to top a national magazine's "best of" list? Just ask Ari Taymor and Ashleigh Parsons, who's restaurant Alma last year was named Bon Appétit's Best New Restaurant in America. The accolade turned the low key modernist spot in downtown L.A. into a bona fide international destination.  Bon...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Sunny Sushi Becomes WTF Sushi in Silver Lake

Sunny Sushi Becomes WTF Sushi in Silver Lake

Sunny Sushi on Hyperion Ave. in Silver Lake was a little bit sad. Tiny, rather dingy and usually empty, the restaurant was a place to go when you wanted easy affordable sushi and didn't care too much about ambiance. And then it went away.  Last week, a new sushi spot...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink More Vegan Food For You: Cafe Gratitude To Open Third L.A. Location

More Vegan Food For You: Cafe Gratitude To Open Third L.A. Location

Apparently it pays to be grateful, because Cafe Gratitude is expanding. The restaurant famous for delivering its vegan meals with a heavy dose of New Age doctrine is opening its third L.A. outpost in the Arts District downtown. The opening is slated for early 2015.  The Cafe, which was founded...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink $1 Pizzas in Venice This Sunday

$1 Pizzas in Venice This Sunday

Is there anything not to like about $1 pizza? We're not talking about the pizza you'd get by the slice for a buck on the street in NYC, but an actual whole pizza with fancy meats and white anchovies and roma tomatoes and all that jazz — for less than...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Mexico-Themed Pop-Up Will (Briefly) Open Dinner Lab to the Public

Mexico-Themed Pop-Up Will (Briefly) Open Dinner Lab to the Public

This week's cover story examines Dinner Lab, the pop-up dinner company that's looking to build a restaurant based on customer feedback and other data. A membership in L.A. — necessary just to get the chance to attend one of Dinner Lab's pop-ups— is $175. And after that you still have...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Now Open: Commissary, Roy Choi's Vegetable-Driven Restaurant

Now Open: Commissary, Roy Choi's Vegetable-Driven Restaurant

Roy Choi's vision for The Line Hotel's food offerings is completing today, with the opening of Commissary, the rooftop restaurant Choi is calling "a country club for the public." Adding to the trio of ground-floor operations, POT, the POT Lobby Bar, and the pastry and coffee operation called caFe, Commissary...…
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News, Features Dinner Lab Hopes to Build the World's First Data-Driven Restaurant. But Is That a Good Thing?

Dinner Lab Hopes to Build the World's First Data-Driven Restaurant. But Is That a Good Thing?

The dinner takes place in a Studio City storefront, one that used to be a yoga studio but now feels as barren as any gutted storefront waiting for its next inhabitant. Tables are set up in long rows, a makeshift kitchen in back, a makeshift bar in the corner. We're...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Sushi Akatora Brings Sushi — and Kobe Beef Corn Dogs — to Manhattan Beach

Sushi Akatora Brings Sushi — and Kobe Beef Corn Dogs — to Manhattan Beach

The faded red awning still says Katsu Sushi, but inside the building on the corner of Highland and Rosencrans in Manhattan Beach, the scene has changed considerably. What was once Katsu Sushi, a beleaguered neighborhood sushi joint, is now Sushi Akatora, a trendy izakaya/sushi restaurant from restaurateur Michael Cardenas.  Cardenas,...…
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