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Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Beer

4 Things We Learned Bar Hopping with Firestone Walker

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Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 4:32 PM
Firestone Walker Wild Ride at LA Beer Week - COURTESY FIRESTONE WALKER
  • Courtesy Firestone Walker
  • Firestone Walker Wild Ride at LA Beer Week
On Saturday, Sept. 27, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. celebrated the end of LA Beer Week with their third annual Wild Ride. In a 1964 Series 2A Land Rover named Olivia, they delivered kegs of specialty sour beer from their Barrelworks brewery in Buellton to four different bars throughout Los Angeles County. From Burbank to Long Beach, they pulled up, tapped kegs, poured beers and chatted with drinkers.

Co-proprietor David Walker was the driver, in a Barrelworks T-shirt and jeans, while Barrelworks Director Jeffers Richardson was both comic relief and wingman, tucked into the passenger seat in an aviator cap, goggles and harem scarf. 

“Ever since my grandfather owned one of these Land Rovers, when I was growing up in England, I wanted one,” Walker said, as we pulled onto the PCH. “The idea for the Wild Ride was to separate the sour beers from the ‘real’ brewery. Olivia is contaminated like the beer, and the idea conjured images of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride so it just seemed right.” What better way to close out Beer Week than riding between kegs in the back of a Safari truck across Los Angeles? Here are a few things we during our own wild ride. 

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The recalled chicken - FSIS
  • FSIS
  • The recalled chicken
Guess Foster Farms missed being in the spotlight.

A mere two months after the Centers for Disease Control declared the company's 16-month-long salmonella outbreak finally over, Foster Farms chicken is now being recalled for listeria.

About 40,000 pounds (1,223 cases) of Foster Farms' frozen, pre-cooked Chicken Breast Grilled Strips have been pulled from the marketplace, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service. The agency issued a warning statement about the chicken on Thursday, Sept. 25.

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sushi at Sushi Tsujita - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • sushi at Sushi Tsujita
Maybe the city planners who oversee Sawtelle Blvd. north of Olympic — that stretch of Japanese-intensive shops and restaurants many people call Little Osaka — should just hand over the keys to the folks who operate Tsujita. Of course we've all been lining up for bowls of noodles at Tsujita L.A., probably this town's best ramen shop,  since it opened in the summer of 2011. Then they opened the Tsujita Annex, a casual ramen-ya across the street, with more ramen and tsukemen and the happy addition of lawn chairs and umbrellas outside for the people in those lines.

Now they've opened a third restaurant, Sushi Tsujita, a few steps further north, in the former location of Soba Sojibo. Open for about a month now, this is an equally cozy spot, but which — as the name suggests — showcases not noodles but classic Edo-style sushi, with omakase by Tokyo sushi chef Shigeru Kato.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Coffee

4 Ways to Get Free Coffee on Monday

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Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM
Espresso in an edible cup from Zia Valentina - AMY SCATTERGOOD
  • Amy Scattergood
  • Espresso in an edible cup from Zia Valentina
The National Whatever Day scam gets awfully tiresome, but there is one good byproduct — all the free stuff. Monday, Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day, which means there are quite a few coffee promotions going on around town. 

From espresso in edible cups to beloved chain doughnut store coffee, see below for the coffee deals around L.A.

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AMAZON, PROSPECT PARK BOOKS
  • Amazon, Prospect Park Books
Although the Los Angeles restaurant scene continues to grow and chefs and restaurateurs continue to dazzle us with innovative cuisine in inspiring new spaces in new parts of town, we can’t eat out every night — even if we want to. And with the remarkable surfeit of farmers market produce available at our fingertips year-round, it's kind of nice to cook at home anyway. Cheaper too.

So in an attempt to dust off that stove, turn on that oven (in the brief moment when it's not insanely hot) and start chopping, here are ten things that everyone in L.A. should have in their kitchen.  Nothing fancy, just old favorites — because sometimes we all need a reminder of what's in our own backyards. 

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Weekly Delivery - BLUE APRON
  • Blue Apron
  • Weekly Delivery
Love to cook but hate shopping? These days, there are a lot of options to having groceries delivered. But what if you want to go a step further and, say, have someone else plan a recipe, gather all the ingredients and do much of the prep work? That thought process was the inspiration for two creative ways to help us cook homemade dinners. In one, a box with meal instructions and all the components arrives each week at your door. In the other, you go to a meal assembly store, where you put together an array of dinners for your freezer.

In recent years, several incarnations of these ideas have come and gone around the country. Two successful ventures now serve most zip codes in Los Angeles: Blue Apron, which delivers fresh ingredients and recipes; and Dream Dinners stores, where you prepare and pack up meals.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pop-up Restaurants

A Chicken & Waffle (Cone) Pop-Up

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Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM
The Indonesian-style chicken & waffle cone, left, and American style, right. - CARB & NATION
  • Carb & Nation
  • The Indonesian-style chicken & waffle cone, left, and American style, right.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To jump into a waffle cone, of course! (That sound you just heard was every chef in L.A. slapping his forehead — “Why didn’t I think of that?!”)

Foodie pair Carb & Nation is bringing this perfect match together for its first West Coast appearance (aside from what happens unofficially at Roscoe’s) on Saturday, Sept. 27 at Tested.LA in Glassell Park from 5 to 11 p.m. Yes, that’s one night only!

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The new Tacos Leo stand - BEN MESIROW
  • Ben Mesirow
  • The new Tacos Leo stand
Not long ago, a friend from out of town asked where to get the best tacos in L.A. Hours later, abs aching from laughing so derisively for so long at her naivete, we answered that question with one of our own, the question that always follows such an absurd inquiry, “Well, what kind of tacos are you looking for?”

The L.A. taco scene is so diverse, and so regionally driven, that asking for the best tacos is like asking for the best beer in San Diego. Tacos here are divided by style, meat and region of origin, enumerated most successfully by Bill Esparza in his incredible Tacopedia. Each style of taco has its own champion or ideal – the fish tacos from Ricky’s, the asada at Mexicali, the carnitas from El Momo, the al pastor from Tacos Leo.

Any movement or news that comes out of these boss taqueros, then, is a relatively big deal, and so it is with great joy that we noticed that in recent weeks Tacos Leo, the unquestioned king of al pastor, has set up a satellite stand just south of Echo Park Lake.

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Oysters with uni and caviar at Cliff's Edge - B. RODELL
  • B. Rodell
  • Oysters with uni and caviar at Cliff's Edge
When Cliff's Edge marked its 10th anniversary back in June, some serious star power showed up to celebrate with the Silver Lake mainstay. Apart from chef Vartan Abgaryan, the anniversary dinner also had courses cooked by Nancy Silverton, Walter Manzke, Jeremy Fox and Sherry Yard. It's a lineup you'd be hard-pressed to find at a high-wattage celebrity food festival, let alone a celebration of a neighborhood restaurant. 

The truth is that Cliff's Edge should be far more than a neighborhood restaurant, if only greater Los Angeles (and not just its celebrity chefs) would take notice. 

It's not that the place gets no attention at all. In fact, it shows up predictably on various lists and round-ups. If you were to Google "best patios," "best oyster nights," or "cocktail pop-up" along with the words "Los Angeles," Cliff's Edge would no doubt make an appearance in your search results.

The restaurant's gorgeous, sprawling outdoor space, anchored by a giant tree, feels like a magical fairyland treehouse, decked out with twinkling lights and throw-cushions upholstered in exotic materials. There's a dollar oyster night on Thursday nights from 6-7 p.m. that has taken on the feel of a weekly neighborhood party. And star bartender Matthew Biancaniello's cocktail pop-ups are a rite of passage for cocktail geeks who wish to revel in a bar blooming with edible flora. 

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Trout roe with peas and lemon curd at Red Medicine - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Trout roe with peas and lemon curd at Red Medicine
Late yesterday afternoon, Sept. 24, it was announced that Red Medicine will be closing. The pioneering restaurant from owner Adam Fleischman and chef Jordan Kahn issued a statement explaining that new building ownership and the resultant rising overhead costs (code for: new owners have raised the rent) have caused the owners to sell the restaurant.  The last day of service will be Oct. 31.

Red Medicine has been controversial since its opening in Beverly Hills in 2010. Named after a Fugazi album and helmed by a pastry chef, the modernist Vietnamese cooking had people sharply divided from the get-go. The restaurant was also not afraid of courting scandal. Soon after opening, front of house manager and partner Noah Ellis famously kicked L.A. Times restaurant reviewer Irene Virbila out of the restaurant and then released a photo of the anonymous critic. In 2013, they again made national headlines for shaming no-show customers by name on Twitter. 

Both of these acts were seen as heroic by restaurant folks, but they also turned a lot of customers off. And they may have detracted from where the public's focus should have been, which is with Jordan Kahn's cooking.

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