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Friday, October 31, 2014

Taylor's Steakhouse - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Taylor's Steakhouse

Many bored girlfriends agree: Guys aren't that good at going out. Even if you can get them to leave the house, they’ll probably suggest the same old place, and they’ll probably even order the same old thing. So when it’s time for two guys to go out together, even their combined creative energy can result in little more than a decent burger, or a nearby bar. What happens when that’s not good enough?

Your friend from college has been calling and you haven’t seen him in years. Your new coworker isn’t from around here and he wants you to show him the city. Maybe your girlfriend’s dad is in town, or you’re hanging out with your girlfriend’s best friend’s boyfriend — just the two of you.

Fear not. We’ve put in the work and done the math, and we think we have the answer to avoiding potential bro-down disasters. So put on a clean shirt and go pick up your mates. Tonight, we’re having a proper man-date.

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Gjusta - A. MATANO
  • A. Matano
  • Gjusta
Gjusta, opened October 30 in Venice, comes from the team behind Gjelina and GTA. Carved out of an industrial building on unlikely Sunset Avenue, just a block from bustling Rose Avenue, Gjusta serves similar fare to GTA (Gjelina Take Away) but with much more of everything.

A long space with white brick, a marble counter and an open kitchen, Gjusta will serve breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day until early next year, when the owners plan to extend the hours. At the moment, the focus is on takeaway, unless you want to stand at the counter, but a large patio space is being constructed and should be done by January, along with a parking lot.

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Inside El Carmen - STONE
  • Stone
  • Inside El Carmen
Eighty-five years ago, Encarnación Elias Gomez took a huge risk — opening the doors on her new taqueria, El Carmen, at La Brea and Third. Back in 1929, this was about as far as the trolley cars went, and for the widow Gomez to open up her own business? Well, that was a scandal.

But Gomez didn't just succeed. El Carmen was a smash hit of a restaurant, one whose regulars — who later included D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, Boris Karloff, Ricardo Montalban, Nat King Cole, Loretta Young, Diego Rivera, Busby Berkeley, Mario Lanza, Vincent Price and a young actor named John Wayne – came to know her as “Mama.” Even today it still has a strong presence in the neighborhood, a rarity in ever-changing Los Angeles.

Today, some people believe Mama — and maybe someone else from the family — still have a presence at the darkly-lit, romantic restaurant. But who was Encarnación really? And how did she come to open El Carmen, as a woman alone?

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Food Science

Walnuts May Help Fight Alzheimer's Disease

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Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM
click image Carrot cake with walnuts - FLICKR/MARNALBANO
  • Flickr/marnalbano
  • Carrot cake with walnuts
A new study published in the October Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicates that a diet including walnuts may help reduce the risk, delay the onset, slow the progression of and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Research led by Abha Chauhan, head of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR), found significant improvement in learning skills, memory, reducing anxiety and motor development in mice fed a walnut-enriched diet.

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Squid ink radiatori, red wine-braised squid, mussels, peas, dried tomato at Alimento - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Squid ink radiatori, red wine-braised squid, mussels, peas, dried tomato at Alimento
iHeartSilverlake EastSide Food Festival 
Silver Lake is getting its own food festival, with 25 vendors, chefs, DJs, musicians and more, hosted by 
Mack Sennett Studios, Castle Gourmet and Food Is the New Rock. Who's coming? Alimento, Auntie Em's Kitchen, Angel City Brewing, Black Hogg, Donut Friend, HomeState, Kitchen Mouse, Little Beast, Mexicali Taco & Co., McConnell's Ice Cream, Starry Kitchen, Sticky Rice, Oinkster and more. 
WHAT: iHeartSilverlake EastSide Food Festival
WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 9, 4-8 p.m.
WHERE: Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., Silver Lake.
COST: Tickets are $45 to $75.

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PHOTO COURTESY RAINBEAU MARS
  • Photo courtesy Rainbeau Mars
Horror stories about apples with razor blades and anthrax-laced candy terrified trick-or-treaters in the 1980s and '90s. But this year, one Beverly Hills mom is purposely resurrecting the fear and paranoia surrounding trick-or-treating, with a modern spin.

Rainbeau Mars (and yes, that's her real name, according to her publicist, who says she was born in a teepee under a double rainbow) will be dishing out something really scary to trick-or-treaters in her gated community — live worms.

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A haunted restaurant is a thing of delight. - PHOTO BY JARED COWAN
  • Photo by Jared Cowan
  • A haunted restaurant is a thing of delight.
Forget mazes, rides, haunted hayrides and houses of horror with their hordes of mask-wearing actors providing cheap thrills. Instead, grab a drink at one of L.A.'s haunted restaurants — seven dining and drinking spots that all have real resident ghosts far spookier than most made-up macabre.

Befitting their age, most are downtown, but Hollywood and Long Beach also offer eerie places for your dining delight this spooky season.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coffee

85C Now Open in Pasadena — to the Delight of Coffee Lovers

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Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Pastries at 85C Bakery Cafe - PHOTOS BY BARBARA HANSEN
  • Photos by Barbara Hansen
  • Pastries at 85C Bakery Cafe
Thirteen is a lucky number for Pasadena, which just acquired the 13th California outlet of the Taiwanese bakery cafe 85°C.

In case you’re not familiar with this chain—until now the closest branches were in Torrance and Gardena—the name indicates the perfect temperature for hot coffee. This leaves out the bakery cafe’s most famous beverage, sea salt coffee, which is served iced. The salt is in thick cream on a base of strong Guatemalan coffee. You shake it up before you drink. If you’re not a coffee drinker, you can have sea salt green tea.

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Mung Bean Jelly Noodle with Chili Sauce, Chengdu Taste, Alhambra - JIM THURMAN
  • Jim Thurman
  • Mung Bean Jelly Noodle with Chili Sauce, Chengdu Taste, Alhambra

Folks that have been in Los Angeles for a while know that fall still brings plenty of hot days with it. On days when highs near 90 in the San Gabriel Valley — which is the forecast for today — one of the best ways to beat the heat is with some cold noodles.

If you find yourself on the Eastside (the real Eastside) or are willing to make a short drive, here are three different cold noodle dishes and where to find them in the SGV.

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Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Maple Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Gruyère  Croutons - HEATHER PLATT
  • Heather Platt
  • Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Maple Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Gruyère Croutons
We've all been there. When we were kids it was trick or treating and sugar highs. Later, we found ourselves at out-of-control Halloween parties where, for some reason, wearing costumes empowered guests to behave erratically.

Now, you fancy the idea of a quiet night in handing out candy to lots of adorably dressed children. But your neighborhood is sadly not exactly trick-or-treat friendly and you usually end up eating that untouched bowl of Jujubes all by yourself. So if you have a “been there, done that” attitude towards the spooky holiday but still want to celebrate in a more relaxed way, there’s always the good old-fashioned dinner party. And what better time of year in Los Angeles than late October for an enchanting fall menu? Don't forget to remind your guests to wear a costume. It's still Halloween, after all.

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