Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Red Bread's cozy storefront - AMY SCATTERGOOD
  • Amy Scattergood
  • Red Bread's cozy storefront
After one year of operations in the western end of Culver City, Red Bread, the small-batch bakery, shop and café, has closed. But don't despair: It will be re-opening in the fall, in a different location.

In the mean time, its popular wild-yeast breads and pastries will still be available at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market. The Magical Grocery Tour Sunday delivery service and catering will continue as well during the transition.

The reason for the closing? According to Rose Lawrence, "While we are so thankful for the community that grew with us this past year in Culver City, we have split the seams in our tiny shop though and it is time to move to bigger digs."  Tiny is right: It had just one communal table with 10 small stools, plus a few outdoor tables. After just 12 months at that location, Lawrence and business partner/husband David Lawrence decided now was the time to go. 

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Mozza's butterscotch budino - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Mozza's butterscotch budino
If you've ever been in the mood to eat a whole pizza and drink a whole bottle of wine and then cap it off with some silky pudding, then you're a kindred spirit. You're also in luck: Mozza2Go has a summer special going on: One pizza, one bottle of wine, and one butterscotch budino for $34. 

This deal is only available for store pickup (not delivery) and has certain restrictions. The $34 price includes one pizza (choice of margherita, fennel sausage, tomato, burrata, prosciutto, salame, and aglio e olio). For an additional $2 you can have a meat lover, bianca or funghi misti). The bottle of wine might be Antico Fuoco, Rosso Veronese 2012 Merlot/Corvina blend or another variety chosen by Mozza2Go.

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A salad from Fig, one of the restaurants you will be able to order from using Caviar. - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • A salad from Fig, one of the restaurants you will be able to order from using Caviar.
Ever think to yourself "I'd really love to eat at Sotto tonight, but I really don't want to get out of my jammies"? Beginning tomorrow, that will be an option. A new delivery service called Caviar, which partners with higher-end restaurants, is launching in Los Angeles, allowing you to order food from a number of restaurants that have not previously offered delivery. 

Caviar works with your zip code, showing restaurants in your delivery zone. Right now their zones are Central L.A., Downtown/Eastside, and Westside — meaning you'll have access to the service in Westwood, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, Marina del Rey, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Central L.A., Koreatown, Downtown, Glendale, Silver Lake, and Echo Park. 

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Chef Evan Funke at Bucato - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Chef Evan Funke at Bucato
It seems like just a few months back that Evan Funke opened Bucato, his fantastic Italian restaurant in the Helms Bakery complex in Culver City. Amazingly, Bucato celebrates its one-year anniversary this week (the official birthday is July 31). 

We have a reason to celebrate as well, because next week Bucato will start lunch service. The lunch menu will be offered Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., with brunch still being offered on Sundays. 

A year anniversary and a brand new lunch option — we thought it might be a perfect time to check in with Funke on where he likes to eat when he's not working (which is about to be never, apparently). See below for his picks, plus recommendations for dishes to try.

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Dazzling Caesar salad at Cafe Gratitude - HOPE LEE
  • Hope Lee
  • Dazzling Caesar salad at Cafe Gratitude
If you look hard enough, finding a vegan Caesar salad in Los Angeles isn't that hard to do. However, finding a good vegan Caesar salad often is. In fact, not many restaurants serve vegan Caesars worth mentioning, and of this select few, perhaps none are better than the plate called Dazzling at Cafe Gratitude

The Dazzling does in fact dazzle, thanks to an oil-free dressing made from cashews, capers and ground pumpkin seeds. This dressing distances itself from other vegan Caesars not by what's in the recipe, says Cafe Gratitude executive chef Dreux Ellis, but by what's intentionally left out.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014


Brian Lenzo of Blue Palms Brewhouse on Winning the Craft Beer Battle

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Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Owner Brian Lenzo outside Blue Palms' golden front door - SARAH BENNETT
  • Sarah Bennett
  • Owner Brian Lenzo outside Blue Palms' golden front door
In the six years since Blue Palms Brewhouse opened on Hollywood Blvd., just east of the tourist-trap chaos at Highland Ave., much of the neighborhood has changed. The Music Box next door is now called The Fonda Theatre. Bars and clubs along the stretch have come and gone with the seasons. And the empty lots across the street became land for a towering loft complex that will soon sell units at some of the highest costs in the area.

But while Hollywood is a part of town that's always evolving, Blue Palms has remained a boozy constant — one of L.A.'s original craft beer bars that, half a dozen years into its reign, continues to be a destination for locals, tourists and beer geeks alike.

Sure, Blue Palms' draft list and food offerings are constantly shifting, but some things remain the same: friendly bartenders, an inviting atmosphere, and chalkboards high up on the bar's south wall that define some basic beer terms for newcomers. Because though it is at once a place for hanging before a concert or while canvassing the Walk of Fame right outside, Blue Palms is also a kind of ad hoc beer school, a role it was all but required to take on when it started pouring palate-wrecking and unconventional craft beers in L.A. six years ago.

As the legendary bar and restaurant readies for its annual epic anniversary party on August 10 (rare beers from around the country!), we caught up with owner and L.A. craft beer forefather Brian Lenzo to talk about the growth of L.A. beer, and the good old days when kegs were brought back from San Diego in his Chrysler 300.

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a Gibralter, somewhere - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • a Gibralter, somewhere
new study suggests that coffee and other sources of caffeine might make hot flashes and night sweats worse in menopausal women. (Note: Do not email this story to your mom. Being told that she should give up her coffee or Diet Coke is the last thing a grouchy menopausal woman needs to hear.)

However, the study found that for women transitioning into menopause — perimenopausal women — caffeine improved mood, memory and concentration, “possibly because caffeine is known to enhance arousal, mood and attention,” according to the researchers.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Petty Cash Margarita - LJ SOLMONSON
  • LJ Solmonson
  • Petty Cash Margarita
In the past five years or so, tequila has experienced an upswing in popularity that defies prediction. Once the boozy choice of collegiate party animal shooter games, and relegated to single-use status in the margarita, the agave spirit has risen to a place not only of respect, but adoration. The primary reason for this is the emergence of artisan styles entrenched in the terroir of the land on which the agave is grown. 

With craft bottlings that offer single-sourced agave plants and a range of styles from blanco (typically un-aged) to reposado (rested and aged ) to añejo (extra aged for at least one year), tequila has become the cocktail spirit du jour in the Los Angeles bar community.

We sought out some favorite selections by local bartenders, whose choices strongly reflect the sophistication now seen in this infinitely complex spirit.

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Aunty Merry street corn - AUNTY MERRY
  • Aunty Merry
  • Aunty Merry street corn
Just a reminder that the first MPK Night Market comes to Monterey Park tonight. From 5:30-10:30 p.m., the market will showcase food booths, food trucks, merchandise vendors, art exhibitions, live entertainment, carnival games and more. Entrance is free.

The market is run by KCM Agency, the folks behind K-Town Night Market, and will take place in Barnes Park one Friday night each month. There will also be a beer and wine garden on site. 

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L to R: Dave Heuff, Harley Morenstein, Josh Elkin and Ameer Atari, © 2014 - PHOTO BY MATTHIAS CLAMER
  • Photo by Matthias Clamer
  • L to R: Dave Heuff, Harley Morenstein, Josh Elkin and Ameer Atari, © 2014
Epic Meal Time is the number-one online cooking show in the world, with six million subscribers and weekly episodes on YouTube attracting more than half a million views each. The show is not about getting your daily intake of vegetables, keeping fit or foraging in the woods for the finest truffles. It's about going to the butcher to find the fattiest slabs of bacon and slapping together the most outrageous, unhealthful meals possible.

Given its success, it was only a matter of time before the online series made the move from the computer to the small screen, with a new 16-episode half-hour program called Epic Meal Empire on the FYI cable TV channel — a recently rebranded version of A&E's Biography.

Like its host and creator Harley Morenstein — who's from Montreal, Quebec — the show is a Canadian export. For the TV version, however, Morenstein and his production company made the move from Canada to Los Angeles. But given its reputation as a place where healthful eating trends abound, it seems like an odd choice to film a show like this, which is all about dramatic displays of artery-clogging foodstuffs meant to simultaneously fascinate and disgust audiences — and maybe that's the goal.

Yet considering its already existing popularity online, we couldn't help wondering: Do television viewers really need this kind extreme cooking show? And why is it set in L.A.? 

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