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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ROSE PARK ROASTERS
  • Rose Park Roasters

Patrons of Roasted Nōtz, the Long Beach community coffee house that dedicated itself to serving the beans of local roasters and hosted BYOV (bring your own vinyl) Sundays, noticed past Sunday that the windows were suddenly papered up and doors were closed.

There is, however, a caffeinated lining to the tale: were you to just step a little closer to the brown wrapping paper that prevented you from peeking inside, you would have seen the small but well-known logo of Long Beach coffee roasting company Rose Park Roasters. That’s right: the coffee company that was founded upon the beans-by-bike delivery ideal is now opening up its first brick-and-mortar coffee shop. Opening as in today.

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Ruffino Luminaria, Mondavi wine dyed bandanna, Clef du Vin - MATT MILLER
  • Matt Miller
  • Ruffino Luminaria, Mondavi wine dyed bandanna, Clef du Vin
At some point it’s going to happen. You’re going to have to attack that Christmas list of yours. And at some point you’re going to get to the person on the list who’s “into wine." Then you’re stuck in the same spot you were in last year: do you get a bottle of wine and hope a nose won’t be turned up at it? Or do you get a wine gadget of some sort that might very well go unused?

Here are a few gift ideas for the wine aficionado on your list that aren’t corkscrews, glasses or stoppers:

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Cassell's at the Hotel Normandie - B RODELL
  • B Rodell
  • Cassell's at the Hotel Normandie
Back in 2012, longtime L.A. favorite Cassell's Hamburgers shuttered their last location with a promise to reopen in Koreatown's Normandie Hotel.

The restaurant was originally opened in 1948 by Al Cassell, who died in 2010 at 98. The business had moved a few times and eventually been sold to new owners after Cassell retired. The owners of the Normandie purchased the business in mid-2012 with plans to move it into the hotel. This coming Monday, that plan will come to fruition. 

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Food in containers - TOGO626
  • togo626
  • Food in containers
You can now order authentic Chinese food from the San Gabriel Valley and have it delivered straight to your home or office. The company responsible for this wonderful new service is called ToGo626.com. The number 626 refers to the primary area code in the San Gabriel Valley, a place known for its dizzying array of fantastic Chinese restaurants — between 600 and 800 in total. 

The start-up launched in September of this year and currently has 70 restaurants on its roster. Available options include Sichuan food from Szechuan Impression, juicy meat pies from Beijing Pie House, and dim sum from Shi Hai Restaurant. You can get handmade, cumin-drenched noodles from Xi'an Kitchen, or pork chop over rice from Class 302. The food is insulated in containers and dropped off by a branded ToGo626 vehicle.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holidays

5 Food Gifts From Trusted L.A. Chefs

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Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Out chefs in L.A. are so clever. They cook great food. They write great cookbooks. Some of them even make things we can give to other people, things that will make the giftee happy and the gifter look like they have really good taste. 

This year, allow your gifting consumerism help our local chefs. Here are five great (and delicious) gift ideas from L.A.'s finest cooks. 

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Amberjack spiedino - PHOTO BY ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Photo by Anne Fishbein
  • Amberjack spiedino

By the time your waiter has finished telling you about the folklore of the focaccia di Recco at Chi Spacca, you might stop wondering why you paid $18 for a piece of bread. It's a very large, very round piece of bread, the size and shape of a medium pizza, but still, $18 is more than you'll pay for a pizza with fennel sausage and red onions around the corner at sister restaurant Pizzeria Mozza.

Yet the poetry of the waiter's focaccia spiel is as comforting as a bedtime story: Many moons ago, Nancy (she is always called "Nancy," not "our incredibly famous and respected chef-owner Nancy Silverton" because everyone already knows who Nancy is — that's half of why we're here, duh) discovered this focaccia in Recco, a small town near Genoa, Italy, and she swore to herself that she would serve this very bread at Chi Spacca. She returned to the States and, along with chef Chad Colby, set about trying to re-create it. It took two years, a few trips back to Recco, special imported hand-hammered copper pans, a stracchino cheese made specifically for the project, and some technical stuff about stones in ovens and types of flour. But now, finally, here it is. Focaccia di Recco.

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Park's BBQ - FLICKR/ _E.T.
  • flickr/ _e.t.
  • Park's BBQ
Yes, Christmas is about tradition and an idyllic fantasy of merry family members nestled around the soft glow of a roaring fireplace while the smell of a hearty, home-cooked meal wafts from the kitchen, but let's be real.

Cooking enormous feasts for dozens of people is extraordinarily stressful and a tremendous amount of work. It can take weeks of planning. (Some experts suggest ordering your roast from a butcher an entire month in advance — you ordered yours three weeks ago, right??) If you think the holidays are stressful enough as it is, there are plenty of lovely Los Angeles establishments open to host your family on Dec. 25. This way you can relax, sip on egg nog (or a martini) and actually enjoy yourself.

Even if you already had your family fun times on Christmas Eve — or hell, don't even celebrate the holiday at all — you’ll likely have a strong urge to get out of the house on the 25th (how much time can you really spend sitting around a fire, anyway?). But what's going to be open (besides most of the Chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley) on this national holiday?

Thankfully, there are a lot, and we combed through them to select some of the best L.A. restaurants to visit on Christmas Day, most of which aren’t serving what you would expect to eat around the holidays (think: delicious Korean barbecue, chicken mole, fresh-caught oysters). So relax this year, and allow yourself to enjoy any of these welcome departures from your annual Christmas routine. 

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Farro and beets, with fennel, grapefruit and amaranth. - COURTESY OF EAGLE ROCK BREWERY
  • Courtesy of Eagle Rock Brewery
  • Farro and beets, with fennel, grapefruit and amaranth.
It's not every day that a brewery owner talking about his first restaurant endeavor uses words like "tuna crudo," "62-degree egg" and "stinging-nettle chimichurri." But then again, Jeremy Raub isn't every brewery owner and Eagle Rock Brewery isn't every beer-maker.
 
Since opening in 2010 as the first brewery in Los Angeles city limits since Prohibition, Raub and his brew team have defied many expectations of what the traditionally working-class beverage can and should be. When everyone thought they would open with a West Coast IPA, they made the more demure Populist. When craft beer fans asked for an imperial stout, they released their flagship, Solidarity, an English mild. 

So it comes as no surprise that the food menu upon expanding into brewpub territory — Eagle Rock Brewery Public House, which officially opened for dinner service last week — has little relation to the burgers and pizza most have come to expect from beer-focused restaurants these days. 

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Food & Events

All Star Chef Classic Returns: Tickets on Sale Today

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Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 2:08 PM
All Star Chefs event - AEG
  • AEG
  • All Star Chefs event
This year, L.A.'s lineup of swanky food events got a newbie in the All Star Chef's Classic, a four-day series of dinners, tasting events and a kid's cooking class. This coming March, the event returns to L.A. Live, and tickets are on sale today. 

The event, which is put on by Alice in Events, LLC's Lucy Lean and Krissy Lefebvre, will take place March 11-14. Talent includes Ludo Lefebvre, Nancy Silverton, Michael Cimarusti, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Jonathan Waxman, Wylie Dufresne, Josiah Citrin, and Suzanne Goin. 

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Roasted chicken breast from Fundamental LA - LUCAS PETERSON
  • Lucas Peterson
  • Roasted chicken breast from Fundamental LA
If you needed more evidence that Uber is slowly — service by service — taking over the world, then look no further than uberFRESH, the company's ever-expanding food delivery service.  

They’re already driving you everywhere, financing your vehicles and giving you your flu shots. So, of course, why not feed you, as well? Say hello to uberFRESH’s new L.A. dinner service, which further encroaches on the territory of Grubhub, Eat24, Seamless, and the like.

Following the successful expansion of its lunch service, which launched in L.A. in August of this year, Uber is now partnering up with different local restaurants to deliver meals during the dinner hour. It’s currently not a service that's available every day (weekdays only, 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.) and it’s not yet everywhere in the city (sorry Eastside and downtown), but the concept still manages to encompass a pretty ambitious swath of the Westside, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Hollywood. (Full coverage map available here).

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