Posts for February 20, 2012

Mountain Dew Commercial Shoot Goes Awry in Elysian Park

It's a surprise more people aren't hurt as a result of Mountain Dew commercials, which typically push the brand's affinity for extreme sports, martial arts throwdowns, and Jackass-y "bro" antics. Sadly, a commercial shoot for the soda went awry last Friday afternoon, when a stuntman was blown up while hanging from a crane following the misfire of an explosive powder and the malfunction of a safety device in Elysian Park. The 28-year-old stuntman was taken to the hospital with burns and last reported, was still in critical condition. [LAT]

Where To Totally O.D. on Salsa This Week

Like fresh salsa? Naturally. Looove salsa? Sure, you're an AngeleƱo. Can you eat more than 20 salsas in one setting? Find out this Wednesday as MexiKosher's Katsuji Tanabe begins a new series on Mexican Cuisine, starting with "Whack a Mole," the chef's exploration into the history and preparation behind mole that includes a tasting of over 20 of Tanabe's salsas for $20 per person, which could include his ghost chili salsa, mango habanero, or serrano aioli, among the bunch. Diners will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis this Wednesday starting at 7:00 P.M. at 8832 W Pico Blvd., with proceeds going to The Jewish Family Service Center.

Test Kitchen Returns With Five Chefs in One Night at Short Order

Last week, The L.A. Times readied the city for the return of the popular Test Kitchen guest-chef concept that took over for a spell in 2010 at The Townhouse, where Picca and Sotto now reside. Today we learn that Test Kitchen is indeed coming back, with a vengeance. Or make that back with burgers, five chefs, and four mixologists, all over one night at Short Order. Who will bring their burgers to Fairfax's Original Farmer's Market this Saturday?

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Watch a Song Parody Tribute to Eating in The SGV

SinoSoul draws our attention to a new video called "626" by The Fung Brothers and Jason Chen, who just dropped a new song parody praising all things SGV (dedicated to Jeremy Lin, of course). Starting with two old codgers admiring the piano lessons of a four-year-old granddaughter, the beat, ripped from Wiz Kalifa's "Young, Wild, and Free," launches these satirists into a celebration of such SGV staples as Valley Blvd., Fluff Ice, Sriracha, and Din Tai Fung. A sample lyric from this proud anthem? "Tell the health department to stop hatin'/ 'Cuz a B Rating just stands for better tastin'." Nice wordplay, and hell yeah, you better believe the Brothers Fung flow better than that honky from the Whole Foods parking lot video. Check it out!

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A Look at What's Cooking at Plan Check, Opening Wednesday on Sawtelle

Little Osaka's Plan Check seemed to go from construction to completion in record time, but is certainly no worse the wear for its quick-fire debut. The glass-box gastro-pub looks sharp, relieving a neighborhood whose one stroll-to nightlife option is Max Karaoke down the street. Long communal tables stand central in a spacious room sharing both open kitchen and bar, patio stuck to the outside. A hand-painted menu pops off the wall, on which Umami Burger's co-founding corporate executive chef, Ernesto Uchimura, saturates every bite with the kind of hedonism any husky appetite should drool over, not to mention an alluring price point that finds the most expensive dish priced at $16.

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Pulitzer-Winning Critic Jonathan Gold Leaving L.A. Weekly for L.A. Times [Updated]

Jonathan Gold.

L.A. Observed drops a bombshell this morning, verifying its earlier speculation that Pulitzer Prize–winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold is leaving his post at the L.A. Weekly to take a position with the L.A. Times. Gold was spotted shaking hands in the headquarters of the Times building last week, and today the blog details a desperate attempt by the Village Voice Media to retain their most famous asset, "dangling money the chain had not previously shown itself willing to commit." But the deal has apparently been signed, sealed, and delivered, even leading The Village Voice's Robert Sietsema to confirm the news this morning, paving Gold's exit from the weekly alt-tabloid where he's said to be "probably the last marquee name."

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Heston Blumenthal Will Cook a $330,000 Lab-Grown Burger

Blumenthal.Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

While one of Britian's celebrity chefs is shutting down a prison with a lost vegetable peeler, another one is signing on to grill up some real-life mystery meat. Over the weekend, the Guardian reported that Dutch scientists were close to producing "an artificial burger that looks, feels and tastes like the real thing." And Heston Blumenthal will have the somewhat dubious honor of being the chef who cooks it.

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Watch a Flash Mob Spontaneously Act Out Bukowski Poems at Barney's Beanery

Charles Bukowski could hold his liquor; we're pretty damn sure of that. Less certain is whether a performance of his poetry at Barney's Beanery last Thursday would have made ol' Hank puke or perk up. Last week, as part of West Hollywood's Pacific Standard Time art series, Unbound Productions initiated a flash mob at the 92-year-old bar that saw six actor-y types spontaneously erupting into the writer's flop house verses to the sound of a bass and harmonica, reprising classics such as "Cockroach," "Alone with Everyone," and "I have shit stains in my underwear too." Um, you all still going to finish those burgers?

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Tina Fey’s ‘Disgusting’ Writing Diet Consists of ‘Old Balls’

"It's hard if you're both a writer and an actor, because you're supposed to be all healthy when you're an actor, but if you're writing, you got to eat the most disgusting stuff you can find. The most disgusting stuff I've eaten was at SNL, at 3 in the morning — old, cold Carmine's meatballs that had been delivered five hours earlier. That's probably the worst. Old meatballs. Old balls!" —Tina Fey to Grub Street at the WGA Awards, when asked about her most peculiar writing rituals.

Ramsay's Missing Veggie Peeler Sparks Prison Panic; FDA Questions Inhalable Caffeine

• While shooting a new show about cooking in prison, Gordon Ramsay's team misplaced a vegetable peeler — which caused the Brixton Prison to be put on lock-down for two hours while people searched for the utensil, "fearing it could be used as a weapon." [Telegraph]

Simpsons creator Matt Groening hatched his plans for pop culture domination at Astro Burger with two friends. [LAT]

• A Temecula-area teacher's assistant faces charges after her 12-year-old daughter was found roaming the streets naked and eating out of trash cans. [US News]

• Potential buzz kill alert: The FDA plans to examine whether inhalable caffeine is safe. [AP]

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Bobby Brown Consoles Himself Post-Funeral With Bobby Flay’s Food

Just hours after making the scene at ex-wife Whitney Houston's funeral on Saturday, Brown jetted to the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut to perform with New Edition, where he crooned classics like "Mr. Telephone Man" and "Tenderoni." Later, he and his sizable entourage wined and dined. People reports that his group was spotted dining at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, and that Brown appeared "relaxed and low-key." He drank some Grey Goose and "did a little dance" for neighboring diners. But the good mood apparently didn't last.

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