Specialty Restaurants has opened its reimagined hilltop restaurant, Luminarias. The Monterey Park institution, established in 1972, has undergone a complete, multimillion-dollar transformation, including an extensive interior and exterior remodel and a total overhaul of the culinary program. With sweeping views of the San Gabriel Valley and Downtown Los Angeles, the restaurant features American dishes with a Latin influence including beef birria empanadas with homemade corn masa and sizzling calamari served tableside, as well as black bean hummus with chicharrónes and a variety of grilled skewer options. There’s a build-your-own cheese and charcuterie station and an expansive raw bar that offers composed plates like Peruvian ceviche and salmon tartare, plus a seafood tower. For dinner, signature dishes include crispy whole snapper, seafood pasta and a 36 oz tomahawk ribeye steak, as well as sides like duck fat fries and coconut orzo.

At Grandmaster Recorders, head chef Blake Shailes is teaming up with Australian chef Mark Best for an evening spotlighting Australia’s famed Margra lamb on Monday, November 14. The exclusive tasting event features a six-course Margra-focused dinner ($95) to be paired with a selection of wines (for an additional $55 per person) from the restaurant’s wine director, Devon D’Arcangelo. Menu highlights include Margra Sichuan style lamb tartare with salted egg yolk and nori crisps, orecchiette and Margra lamb sausage with broccoli rabe and ricotta, a Margra lamb rack and slow-cooked lamb shoulder with lamb fat Sarladaise potatoes. Reservations can be made on Resy HERE.


Tiki time at Luminarias (Max Milla)

 On Sunday, November 13, HBO Max will celebrate the debut of Dan Levy’s New Cooking Show, “The Big Brunch” with a one-day-only pop-up experience at Westfield Century City from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. The activation will bring brunch from the screen to the streets with complimentary brunch bags and coffee in partnership with Homegirl Catering, coffee options courtesy of Go Get Em Tiger and premium photo moments inspired by the show. The activation takes place at The Terrace, on level two located one floor above Westfield’s main courtyard.

The Big Brunch, hosted by Dan Levy, is the new cooking competition show that centers on “one of the most versatile, yet underrated, dining experiences.” The series’ eight-episode first season pits 10 chefs against each other for a cash price of $300,000. The Big Brunch will premiere its first three episodes on HBO Max tonight.

Meet the bakers featured in Kneaded: L.A. Bread Stories as they host pop-up tables selling and sharing the cultural breads at the Natural History Museum at a one day festival on Saturday, Nov. 19. There will be performances and presentations, a pop-up bread-themed exhibit as well as wheat-planting lessons.

Kneaded: L.A. Bread Stories is a digital-first multimedia series that highlights L.A.’s history of breadmaking and celebrates a selection of the city’s diverse bakers including family owned DK’s Donuts and Bakery, the Jewish Diamond Bakery, Guatemalteca Bakery the all vegan Just What I Kneaded Bakery, KG Bakery, La Princesita Tortilleria, which specializes in corn and flour tortilla products. Downtown L.A.’s favorite diner Nickel Diner is also spotlighted as well as Vegan Filipinx bakery San & Wolves Bakeshop and San Pedro Sourdough.

Lunch Bunch is a new kids meal delivery service from entrepreneur and mom Natasha Case (Coolhaus, Future Gin). Designed for children ages three to 10 years old, Case’s latest venture was created as a result of her own somewhat picky eaters. The meal plans include plant-based, vegetarian and one that contains meat and can be delivered to home or school with plenty of allergen and gluten free options.

Sliding in on the butterboard trend from the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Westgold butter is coming to the U.S. The dairy farm’s grass-fed and free-range cows graze year-round on green pastures, resulting in a deep golden color. Get a first taste on Friday and Saturday Nov. 11 and 12 at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, on Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Melrose Trading Post, and on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the  Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance.

What’s Popping Up is a weekly column in the L.A. Weekly that explores all that’s new in food and drink.


Courtesy Westgold Butter
























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