We're tempted to call it “the guac heard 'round the world.” Within hours of posting an innocent enough test-kitchen recipe for pea-infused guacamole to its Twitter account, The New York Times managed to piss off not only Mexicans but also Americans of all backgrounds (including the president of the United States, himself) who called the addition blasphemous. Some called the recipe a hate crime, and one reply to the tweet — which said, “Trust us” — succinctly said, “also ISIS.” Was all the anger because guacamole is something now so embedded as avocado-only in the American food canon that it cannot be fucked with, or was it that the Times offended everyone with the implication that, as an East Coast newspaper, it somehow had a solution to better gussy up a Mexican dish? Either way, EVERYONE decided they had a response on Wednesday, including the L.A. Times, which fought back with some history on the peas-in-guac concept (it was invented by Michael Roberts, a SoCal chef), and a recipe for the chef's original version, which includes frozen pea puree and cumin. There. Now that that's settled, hopefully everyone can take the nice, long holiday weekend to get the hell over this one.
The L.A. Times also released a really epic guide to craft beer in Los Angeles, which will probably become the story you most link to newbie, out-of-town friends when they ask which breweries to hit up when they come to town. It includes a comprehensive list of every single brewery in the county — from brewpubs to production breweries, both with and without tasting rooms, all available to view in a map version as well — with visiting info and blurbs about each. Along with it, beer writer John Verive composed a super helpful tasting guide that delves into what beer is made from, how to find the proper glassware and more. It's the ultimate guide to get anyone started on drinking beer in L.A. Oh, and it looks pretty, too.
Writer Bill Esparza penned a stern letter to the L.A. County Department of Public Health this week, in which he begs for some sort of reform to the current policies that prevent street vending in L.A. He mentions the raids that happen incessantly on street vendors, including one at Mercado Olympic where the carts and tents were destroyed in a trash compactor on site, but also takes the stance of a consumer. Where does all this lack of regulation leave us? Mostly, just hungry. Of course it's absolutely ridiculous that there has not been a solution yet to regulate this $504 billion industry, and even more ridiculous that our government is telling us where we can and can't eat our food. But just maybe, now that one of the strongest voices in street-food coverage has spoken up, the health department might be motivated to fix this issue for real.
In L.A. restaurant comings and goings: Hamburguesas Punta Cabras closed its downtown location after less than six months; successful national food-truck chain Cousins Maine Lobster opened its first brick-and-mortar in West Hollywood; Joan's on Third opened another location in Santa Monica, on Ocean Boulevard; and Vartan Abgaryan leaves Cliff's Edge for a new restaurant, 71 Above, which will open on the upper floors of the U.S. Bank Tower downtown.
Oh yeah, and happy birthday America!
Tweets o' the Week: