Posts for April 12, 2012

Hostaria del Piccolo Plans Venice Opening By End of Summer

The Piccolo team at its new spacePhoto: Historia del Piccolo

Our drawers are already bunched up over the heinous new mixed use condo/shopping center now marring Rose Avenue in Venice, soon to be followed by a perfect storm of strollers and Google staffers. But at least one prized local is taking the cue to set up camp in the northern corner, as Hostaria del Piccolo, the more casual trattoria opened in Santa Monica by the owners of Venice's superior Piccolo, is opting to expand to a second location housed in this monstrosity's ground floor. Today the Piccolo team tells us its signage just went up in the space while the crew is readying for an opening by the end of summer. Currently, the new signage reads "cooking soon" and "hold your appetite" (oh, Euros...). The restaurant's menu will stay the same, but the new location will offer more counter space for dining, as well as a bigger outdoor patio space.

Hostaria del Piccolo, coming to 512 Rose Ave. Venice.

Introducing The Inevitable Wolfgang Puck App

It's time to put down your Crazy Birds and Melon Ninjas, desirable members of the 13-to-25 year-old demographic, 'cuz there's a totally kickass new Wolfgang Puck app available for your iPhones and iPods, dudes! The extreme new technology finds a digital version of the famous chef slicing killer robots apart with a massive swinging salzburger, helping you rent the filmography of Franz Josef Gottlieb through Netflix, and assisting you in hanging that picture straight on your wall.

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Using Simple Arithmetic, Russ Parsons Debunks Publishers' Perceived Prejudices Towards L.A.

Do New York publishers have a resistance to publishing cookbooks by L.A. chefs? In a rather emotional pitch for a book with David Myers thesis on how she's been shut out on book projects with L.A. chefs she refuses to name, Parsons pal Laurie Winer answers in the affirmative. But then Parsons, who questions whether the article goes too far, simply starts adding up all the L.A.-centered books on his shelf, which includes seven from Silverton, three from Peel, an untold number by Puck, and various other toque tomes, including books from Suzanne Goin, John Sedlar, Akasha Richmond, Ludo, and Nobu. Case closed. Now maybe someone can tackle any potentially lingering James Beard Award bias towards our favorite chefs? [LAT]

Rita's Water Ice Reveals Big Plans For L.A.


Following the short lifespan of Rhode Island's Del's Lemonade in Venice, another East Coast transplant divulges its plans to inundate Los Angeles with its chilly treats. LAist reports that Philadelphia's iconic Rita's brand, recently purchased by a private equity firm, is due to open a depot in Burbank this fall, with a possible 24 more Italian ice/water ice stands coming in the future.

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Forbes: Kobe Beef Is ‘Food’s Biggest Scam’

Not found in Vegas sliders

If you spend enough time around foodie friends with Japanese fetishes, you've doubtlessly been subjected to a tirade or two on how high-priced domestic beef that gets labeled "Kobe" almost anywhere outside of Japan is nothing but a damned lie (you'll get this even if all you want to do is down a freaking burger). But today Forbes gets super-pissed about the issue, grabbing the bull by the horns and labeling all "Kobe" marketed in the U.S., South America, and Australia as "food's biggest scam." The publication also debunks the whole beer-and-massage treatment for these cows as apocryphal, much like Gourmet discovered over four years ago. So, what's Forbes's, um, beef with "faux-be"?

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Where to Find The Nearest Costco During The Zombie Invasion

The trickiest move you'll have to make when the zombies break ground on their graves and run amok through L.A. (though we pray they're going to be the slow, stupid kind) is the ability to supply yourself with food, water, ammo, booze, and something good to read while you remain holed up on the roof of a ravaged Sports Chalet. Fortunately, there's an app for that!

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Let the Colonel’s Herbs Protect You

Oops! KFC's Thailand division has apologized after "being criticised for a Facebook message that urged people to rush home during Wednesday's tsunami scare and order a bucket of KFC chicken." [Daily Mail UK]

Napa Valley Chef Argues, Once Again, That Foie Gras Is Not Cruel

Calls for the overturning of the California foie gras ban, which takes effect July 1, are heating up. Napa Valley chef Ken Frank of La Toque takes to the L.A. Times today to respond to a recent editorial by state senator John Burton (who first introduced the ban) to reiterate the argument that foie gras, when it comes from a humane producer, is not cruel. He talks about how the tiny foie gras industry has had to arm itself against the well-funded animal-rights lobby over the years and has taken pains to become more humane. He says the ban "will create the biggest black market since Prohibition," and black markets only lead to bad actors and more inhumane foie gras hitting the streets under cover of darkness.

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San Francisco Introduced America to the Burrito

El Faro

So, we know that Taco Bell played a big role in popularizing Mexican food in the U.S. But in case you weren't aware, Febronio Ontiveros, longtime proprietor of El Faro at 20th and Folsom Street, introduced San Francisco to what we now call the Mission-style burrito. This overstuffed concoction, built with an extra-large flour tortilla (not a common sight outside Sonora, Mexico) and containing rice, beans, and plenty of meat, "governs what Americans now think of as a burrito," says Mexican-food historian Gustavo Arellano. In a new interview with Jonathan Kauffman, Arellano credits Ontiveros with S.F.'s first burrito, which he learned to make in work camps when he immigrated from Durango. And BurritoEater earlier cited September 26, 1961 as the day Ontiveros first slapped some sour cream and guac in there and created the super burrito. This concludes your lesson for today. [SFoodie]

Why (626) Night Market Sorta Sounds Cooler Than Coachella

Taipei's Shilin Night MarketPhoto: http2007 via Flickr

This Saturday, Pasadena is holding its inaugural "(626) Night Market," a social celebration of eating and strolling that transplants the street food-stuffed night markets of Asia into Pasadena, with 80 vendors intent on feeding you and offering you their wares. From 5:30-10:00 P.M. on April 14th, the streets will be sizzling with Chinese sausages, Filipino tacos, lamb skewers, takoyaki, Indonesian satay, oyster and intestine mien xian, and stinky tofu, among a lot of other edible imports made right here in The SGV. So, is it worth skipping Coachella for?

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Jewish Hate Crime Via Maple Syrup Is Punished by Jon Lovitz

Bullying is alive and well, as evidenced by three vile teenagers who drew swastikas and the word "Jew" in maple syrup in front of a classmate's house in California. The classmate, however, happened to be a family friend of Jon Lovitz, who took to Twitter, disgustedly, to reveal — and eventually, permanently expel — the cruel clique. [The Inquisitr]

Ludo Launching One-Night Foie Feast, April 17th at Gram and Papa's

April 17thPhoto: LudoBites

Napa chef Ken Frank hits the L.A. Times with his defense of foie gras today, waxing editorial that the upcoming ban will only lead to a black market filled with shady providers who get off on torturing fowl. Next Tuesday, chef Ludo Lefebvre is letting his cooking do the talking for him, as he hatches a one-night only "Best of LudoBites Foie Gras Night" at Gram & Papa's.

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Kirin’s Frozen Foam Beer Looks a Lot Like Soft-Serve

Kirin's latest beer innovation looks a lot like something else we love: soft-serve ice cream. Though they're dubbing it Ichiban Shibori Frozen Draft, probably to keep the kiddies from catching on. It's currently available at select restaurants in Tokyo. See video below — and tell us if you recognize that song while you're at it.

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