Posts for March 15, 2012

The Return of Shunji, Now Re-Open in West L.A.

Shunji's is backPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

Former Asanebo and Shunji Japanese Cuisine owner Shunji Nakao has reportedly completed his takeover of the former Mr. Cecil's space in West L.A., as Chowhounders are spreading the word of the kaiseki specialist's rebirth (and sorta trying to be quiet about it--whoops! Oh well.) Shunji now sits, soft-open, behind vinyl signage while serving up an elegant arrangement that includes steamed back cod with enoki and shiitake mushrooms, sashimi and nigiri, and a dish of thinly-sliced squid with ink, egg-yolk, and black truffles that a dude named CiaoBob calls his best bite of our young year. The 'hounders suggest getting there STAT before it fades away again. [Chow]

Shunji, 12244 W. Pico Blvd. West L.A. 323-718-0807.

Stone Brewing's Greg Koch Takes Over Venice Ale House Tonight

Following a talk at Google's new Venice HQ, Greg Koch, the CEO and founder of Escondido's Stone Brewing Co., will take over Venice Ale House this evening for a four-hour party flouting ten Stone brews on draft. Starting at 6:00 P.M., catch Koch and crew pouring his new Stone Mixtape: Ale GK & LU's Blend Vol.1 (a mixture of Stone's Levitation and small batch LeVariation), along with a black IPA brewed with espresso beans, a dry hopped Arrogant Bastard, and Stone Belgo Imperial Stout with coveted citra hops, among several other Stone beers. The party ends at ten o'clock tonight at 2 Rose Ave. Venice.

Batch Busts Out a Spring Menu, Gets Primal on New Patio

Batch Restaurant & Bar

Culver City's new Batch, a joint venture between two former Church & State staffers, is generating buzz for its bourbon and bacon cocktail, recent pop-up with Dan Moody, and a burger that earned a "Best Of" win from the readers of Culver City Patch**. The restaurant has just unveiled a new covered patio today to sweep in spring, along with a new menu of seasonal dishes from chef Salvador Roldan. Come check out the new menu.

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Chocolate Wine Is Now a Thing; Jet-Setting Wine Collector Arrested for Fraud

"This Cocoa Bordeaux tastes great over ice cream!"

• So, there's chocolate wine now. A Washington-based company is marketing this stuff called Chocolate Shop, which is a Bordeaux-style blend from California mixed with sugar and chocolate. And apparently it isn't just college girls who are buying it. [Drinks Business]

• Everyone knows that the wine market in China is a hot topic, but not so many people know that Chinese nationals are increasingly buying up property in California's wine country. [Wines and Vines]

• Watch a video and listen to a seminar about Chateau Margaux, the second-oldest of the premier cru, or "first growth," wineries in Bordeaux. [Wine Spectator]

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Mike D Picks Roy Choi to Lead Pop-Up Restaurant at MOCA

On hiatus from The Hot Sauce Committee

Last month, Beastie Boy Mike D told Grub Street he was losing some critical drinking time to an exhibit he was curating at MOCA in conjunction with The Avant Garde Diaries. Today, we learn that Mike's project is the seventeen-day "Transmission LA: AV CLUB," which kicks off on April 20th in Downtown. The festival, a continuation of a similar party that kicked-off last year in Berlin, finds a gang load of artists Mike D picked himself, including like Mike Mills, Sage Vaughn, and Tom Sachs adding to this collaborative series that showcases concerts, design, art shows, and a little taste of some good-cooking at a pop-up lead by Kogi and Chego chief Roy Choi.

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Who Serves L.A.'s Favorite Taco in 2012?

Taco Madness 2012 by Hawk Krall, moonlighting from hot doggery

Tacos Leo facing off against La Taquiza. Guisado's versus El Atacor! Tacos Arizas fighting Taco Zone!! L.A.'s rawest feelings are again being unearthed by the annual "Taco Madness Tournament," as L.A. Taco launched the first round of voting this morning in an attempt to pinpoint the top taco spot Angelenos are currently obsessed with. While we try to figure out why Ryan Seacrest has seemingly cloned the concept, name and all, on Kiis F.M., the Taco crew also reveals that its holding a jam at Guelaguetza on March 27th, at 9:00 P.M., in conjunction with Echo Park Records. Last year's "Taco Madness" champs, MexiCali Tacos & Co., will be on hand making tacos, while Bricia Lopez will serve special mescal cocktails. Cast your votes online and peep the artwork by Philly's hot dog devotee Hawk Krall. [L.A. Taco]

The James Weird Awards: Beehive Thievery and Parachuting to Avoid a Check

The food world tried to teach us a few lessons this week. First: Don't swallow cinnamon (unless you put it on some applesauce or buttered toast first). Second: Don't steal from poor, defenseless food carts, because it's rude. Third: Do not, under any circumstances, provoke a cranky Jamie Oliver. He will snap. More what-not-to-do parables can be found in the James Weird awards, straight ahead.

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Schools Can ‘Opt Out’ of Pink Slime

You may recall that the country's schools were all set to be the last conceivable place that people could get "pink slime," the beef additive that even Taco Bell won't buy. But an unnamed USDA source tells the AP that schools won't have to peddle this crap if they don't want to.

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Where to O.D. on Corned Beef Sliders, Green Drinks, and Street Parties on Saint Patrick's Day

"Your mother Eire is always young"Photo: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr

Seriously, you've never seen so many corned beef sliders in your life. Our restaurants and bars are unfurling the Irish tricolor for Saint Patrick's Day this Saturday, flipping green drinks and Irish eats from the usual pub-bound suspects to less expected, more covert operatives like Nick & Stef's, Freddy Smalls, and Windows Lounge. So whether you're itching for a hit of craic with fine-dining sophisticates or simply dying to get blotto with a rowdy crowd, we have you covered in our user's guide to how restaurants are vying for your green this weekend. Take a look!

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Terroni Manager Lectures Walking Dead Producer on Her Maturity

Effective against zombies?

The Hollywood Reporter shares a food-intensive interview with Gale Ann Hurd, the braaaaains behind TV's zombie drama Walking Dead and the owner of Pasadena's Vertical Wine Bistro, where Laurent Quenioux is currently found cooking. Conjuring the ghost of Mitt Romney, she details her new-found obsession with cheese grits after shooting the show down in Georgia, a meal of crocodile she ate in Africa, and confesses her love for Juan Mari Arzak. Hurd also lets the paper know that he pet-peeve is "Restaurant staff that act as if they’re doing you a favor by waiting on you." The comment comes shortly before she details an embarrassing experience she had at Hollywood's Terroni.

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Here are the Super-Secret Wines the Obamas Served at Last Night’s State Dinner

What are you drinking, Mr. President?Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Among the chatter leading up to last night's State Dinner was talk that the Obama Administration, in keeping with a policy it set last year, wouldn't be publicly releasing the names of the wines served at the meal. The menu simply said that American wines would be paired with each course, and the going theory is that the move was in response to backlash the White House received after serving pricey wine at a 2011 State Dinner.

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Glendale Man Catches Bear Raiding His Fridge; Javier Plascencia Coming to Town

• A Glendale man woke to investigate a noise in his garage, only to find a 500-pound bear sticking its face in his fridge. [NY Post]

• Kate Upton eating a dripping Carl's Jr. burger might be kinda sexy, but that fatty sandwich could be your lowering sperm counts, stud. [NYDN]

• A side of guilt with your coffee? Around 30 to 50 percent of food in the world goes to waste, with Americans one of the worst culprits, tossing 33 pounds a week per person, on average. [MSNBC]

Verde que te quiero verde...Tijuana sensation Javier Plascencia is coming to Beverly Hills on March 22nd to cook a $150 dinner at Bulthaup inspired by the color green. [SI]

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