And the hits just keep on coming. Less than a month after multiple corporate buyouts rocked the craft beer industry, specialty coffee is getting a similar shakeup with the news that Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters — which has made a significant push in the L.A. market — is getting scooped up by Peet's. It's the first foray into the third-wave coffee world for Peet's, which emerged out of the Starbucks-era '90s coffee wars, and the move seems like an attempt to update the (let's face it) boring brand with some modern edge. Stumptown has revolutionized the coffee industry with its cold-brew offerings; it was the first company to begin bottling it, then it put the cold brew on a nitrogen draft system like beer, and then, this year, it became the first coffee company to release cold brew in nitrogen cans. Will this transaction play out in the same was as Big Beer's purchase of small craft breweries? Maybe. With Blue Bottle buying Handsome and now Peet's owning Stumptown, will the real L.A. roasters please stand up?
The opening of Andy Ricker's long-awaited L.A. version of Portland's Pok Pok Thai restaurant is imminent, according to the L.A. Times, which says reservations for people “halfway between friends and family” will start on Monday. The menu at the two-story space in Chinatown's Far East Plaza will mirror what's already available at the Pok Poks in Portland and New York, with maybe some seasonal dishes peppered in (Ricker is applying for a permit to grill on charcoal outdoors). If you've been wolfing down nothing but plates of phat Thai at his other Chinatown spot (which only serves phat Thai noodles and Thai street food), get ready for some new flavors — and booze. The restaurant has a full liquor license, and Ricker tells the Times he's trying to make “drinking food.” Check the Pok Pok website Monday for rezzys.
Mere weeks after a short YouTube video emerged of a rat trying, then failing, to drag a slice of New York pizza down some stairs, the Halloween industry has already created a relevant sexy costume for women to dress like their favorite viral vermin. Sadly, it's still not the worst of the new sexy costumes being sold this year.
Breakfast all day has begun at McDonald's, and Eater sent its finest food critic to dine there not once but six times (according to his Twitter feed) for a serious power ranking. The intro may be the best description of the frenzy and chaos involved in ordering at a McDonald's counter, and the rundowns of the breakfast sandwiches, burritos, cinnamon melts, oatmeal and hash browns bring giggles no one else could elicit. The verdict? Order the Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddle.
We thought it might have been a nightmare when the announcement came last week, but much-loved minimalist restaurant Alma's closing is very real and very much happening. The latest is that its prime Broadway space is already up for lease, Eater reports. If you have $250,000 and are able to launch a concept that's worth replacing Ashleigh Parsons and chef Ari Taymor's 1,300-square-foot restaurant (and aren't going to open another L.A. Brew Co), the city's diners request that you please open your hearts (and wallet) now.
Boomtown Brewery, the latest arrival in the Arts District's craft beer boom, is almost ready to open its taproom. Until then, it will be pulling some temporary permits in order to host a party every Friday night through 2 a.m. (starting tonight!) where beers are $5 and rotating food trucks will serve and local DJs will spin. The party is at 700 Jackson St.
Sushi Roku in Hollywood is closing, which is a further sign of the shifting times (Hollywood and sushi? So 2005). Coolness is moving outward, from Bar Mattachine, a gay cocktail bar, which is opening downtown tonight, to the new, real, actual Scratch Bar, which is taking over space in a suburban Encino shopping center.
Tweets o' the Week:
just got a press release about a sexy Pizza Rat Halloween costume. All is right with the world. pic.twitter.com/GUOUveigsl
— Hailey Eber (@haileyeber) October 5 2015
October is so many full of food festivals that we rounded all of them up into one neat little place for you. This weekend, there's Artisanal L.A. and Taste of Italy. Next weekend, it's sustainable seafood and our own Brunch at the Races. Below are some smaller events worth checking out as well.
Friday, Oct. 9: Meet the Brewer
Get to know L.A.'s newest head brewer, Paul Papantonio, who started at the Brewery at Abigaile this month after the departure of Brian Brewer (yes, his real name), who first launched the South Bay brewpub. Papantonio will offer a selection of his favorite beers at happy hour prices all night, but the real coolness is drinking craft beer in the former burned-out practice space for Black Flag and other hardcore punks.
Sunday, Oct. 11: Ruth Reichl's My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life
Lucques is hosting acclaimed Gourmet Magazine editor Ruth Reichl for a special Sunday supper, cooking some of her favorite recipes from her new book, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life. Buy a book, chat with the culinary goddess herself and eat