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Steven Armstrong

Julian Cox at Playa; Credit: Caroline on Crack

A Quick Q&A with Bartender Julian Cox

We recently caught up with Julian Cox, the award-winning bartender at Playa, the Latin-inspired restaurant on Beverly, and Picca, the Peruvian-inspired restaurant on Pico -- two of the hottest new restaurants of 2011. What's your favorite part about being a bartender? Probably taking care of people, having conversations with people......

Rum Society: Connoisseurship Made Accessible

On the last Tuesday of every month, downtown's Caña Rum Bar hosts Rum Society, a members-only tasting event that features a rum expert, a rum company representative, and access to some of the finest small-batch rums in the world. September's event featured two plantation rums from Cognac Ferrand, and two......
Sausages await consumption; Credit: jamesjustin

Interactive Sausage + Rare Beer at The Yard

If you've been to Hot Doug's in Chicago, then you already know the adage. "There are no two finer words in the English language than 'encased meats', my friend." True. And if there's anything in this world that could possibly trump a fresh, handmade sausage, it's a fresh, handmade, social......
Cismontane Brewing Co.'s Evan Weinberg harvests wild California buckwheat; Credit: beerguy.tv

SoCal's 8 Best Breweries: Cismontane's Evan Weinberg Tells All

Last month, we asked Stone Brewing Company's Greg Koch and Golden Road Brewing's Meg Gill to share some of their favorite beers. And this month, we contacted Cismontane Brewing Company's Evan Weinberg to do something similar. He agreed to participate, but not without first expressing some valid reservations......
A scene from last year's showdown at Verdugo Bar; Credit: Food GPS

LA Beer Float Showdown, Part III: Bigger, Bolder, Top Chef-ier

No LA Beer Week would be complete without an LA Beer Float Showdown, just as no ice cream would be complete without... beer? A sugary sacrilege to some, and a boozy benediction to others, beer floats symbolize the unique strain of genre-bending, boundary-pushing culinary cross-pollination that makes L.A.'s food and......
Third-place Devon Tarby pours a thirsty spectator some love; Credit: Steven Armstrong

The Tasting Kitchen's Justin Pike Named L.A.'s Best Bartender

On Sunday, Table 20 hosted its second annual L.A.'s Best Bartender contest at Elevate Lounge in Downtown Los Angeles. Five of L.A.'s top bartenders arrived to compete for the title of L.A.'s Best Bartender before six distinguished judges and over two-hundred spectators. While the spectators downed pre-batched cocktails featuring vodka......
The Fountain as it looks now; Credit: Steven Armstrong

The Fountain: A Battle for Hearts, Minds & Permits in East Hollywood

In early 2010, Mino Jegalian's family purchased a low-rent, five-unit retail property at the southwest corner of Fountain and Normandie, retaining three of the original tenants, and adding a fourth. But the corner unit, once home to a rowdy dive bar called the Grasshopper, remained vacant, unable to shake its......