Posts for April 17, 2012

Bad Co. Bassist Brings "Unplugged and Uncorked" to BluEmber

Just in case you're left stranded and still wandering the desert following Coachella next weekend, there could be an oasis waiting for you at Rancho las Palmas, the resort that plays home to chef Sean O'Connell at BluEmber restaurant, which is planning a musically-inspired food event of its own. From 7:30 to 10:00 P.M. on April 28, former Bad Company bassist Paul Cullen is arranging "Unplugged and Uncorked," a touring event that offers an unlimited selection of wines from his Sonata label at three bars, eats at three separate stations, a chocolate bar, and live acoustic tunes performed by Cullen, to be followed by a post-event jam session with Cullen and local singer/wine blogger Nicky Vallee. Maybe it's not the second coming of a digitally animated Tupac-alike, but at least you'll eat well. $60 tickets can be found online. [Paul Cullen]

How sbe Plans to Dominate the World

Sam Nazarian is taking things well beyond the velvet rope, with an announcement that his company, sbe, has appointed a new dude to the top post of its international arm, with plans to impose locations of properties like Hyde, The Bazaar by Jose Andres, and Katsuya on China, India, Africa, Latin America, and Europe in the coming years.

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Lou Leaving Lou For Lou Two; Coen Brothers Cocktails at Show at Barre

Lou Amdur

Atwater Village: Still more beer and still more brats as new brewpub Link 'N Hops opens up on Glendale Blvd., serving "the best vegan hot dog" one writer has had in a long time. [Echo Park Now]
Beverly Hills: This Friday, chef James Overbaugh prepares a $125 six-course dinner at The Belvedere to pair with vintages from Napa's (Romanée Conti-descended) Hyde de Villaine winery and Vivier, the personal product of its own winemaker. Reservations at 310-551-2888. [GS]
--Zach Brooks is most perturbed that the sushi robot at U-Sushi doesn't look a thing like Johnny-Five. [Midtown Lunch]
Brentwood: Eric Lechasseur's second location is closing after only eight months on Wilshire, while the KFC across the street, on the other hand, appears invincible. [Eater]
Downtown: Aaron Tell hunts down a couple of sandwiches for comparison at Umamicatessen. [Savory Hunter]

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Brite Spot Closed for Pacino-Walken Project

The Eastsider L.A. reports that Echo Park institution Brite Spot has been closed for several days while a new film called Stand Up Guys is being shot there. The filming has inundated the neighborhood with sightings of the film's two stars, Christopher Walken and Al Pacino, with the actors spotted cruising back and forth on Sunset. As one surprised commenter notes, "I saw [Pacino] from Pazzo Gelato over my bagel." Now how do we get him to say hello to Cafe con Leche? [ELA]

Bodega Offers The Warren Buffett Deal Today

A Buffett and his burger

All three locations of Bodega Wine Bar are evading the usual 17% discount plan available at restaurants today to reduce your tax-day anguish. Instead, Bodega is launching "The Warren Buffet Deal," offering 30% off of ALL food and drink, day and night, through today. The deal, just in case you watch Fox News or something, is named in honor of the President's proposed tax plan, itself inspired by the extremely moneyed Berkshire-Hathaway mogul's urging that the one-percent should pay a 30% minimum income tax on all that war and oil money they earn, as they typically pay a rate much less than what the rest of us are paying (to support their war and oil addictions). The flat 30% discount is available for all who check in through their phones on any social media site once they arrive at Bodega.

This Ridiculously Huge Yellow Truck Belongs to Guy Fieri

We didn't realize, as we were collecting and captioning the photos from Pebble Beach Food & Wine yesterday, that the gargantuan, tricked-out, yellow SUV/truck thing that Elizabeth Falkner posed in front of belonged to none other than Guy Fieri. In retrospect, we should have known. As many of you may recall, his other car used to be a yellow Lamborghini, but that got stolen. Way to stay true to your brand, Fieri! [Earlier]

Why Are Canada’s McNuggets Saltier Than America’s?

Canadian McNuggets, eh.

Fast food is basically one giant salt bomb, which you've probably gathered from years of empirical research at the fringes of a greased-stained bag. But according to a new study conducted by World Action on Salt and Health, not all fast food gets salted equally. For example, researchers found varying levels of sodium while studying an international spread of Chicken McNuggets. The sample from the U.S. contained 1.5 grams of salt per serving, while the sample from typically safe-and-sane Canada contained 1.7 grams, and England's packed less than half of that, with just 0.6 grams of salt per serving. Elsewhere, the McNugget researchers found wavering salt content in samples procured in France, New Zealand, and Australia. So what does the research prove exactly (besides reminding us Yanks that we're still hopelessly unhealthy)?

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That Dover Sole L.A.'s Buying is Probably Just Sutchi Catfish

Tilapia: Change my name and I'm $30!Photo: Agriculturasp via Flickr

If you thought your last bite of Dover sole tasted muddier than you'd expected, but you were afraid to speak up, you've just been vindicated by a new report carried in The L.A. Times today that uncovers a wide variety of seafood being mislabeled and misidentified around town. A non-profit group called Oceana took DNA samples of seafood sold at 74 Los Angeles retail outlets and discovered that 55% of the subjects had been mislabeled as something they were actually not.

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Is Martha Stewart to Blame for the Scarcity of Ramps?

This looks like it's more than half a peck.Photo: Courtesy of Amis

The only thing that gets those with locavore leanings frothing at the mouth more than the arrival of ramps each spring is their appearance on restaurants’ menus. But who can we blame for the dwindling populations of the precious and most elusive wild spring onion? Smithsonian is pointing fingers at Martha Stewart. In a piece today about the growing scarcity of ramps, and no signs of their popularity or the practice of foraging them from their native habitats letting up, it says that a recipe that appeared in Martha Stewart Living Magazine back in the nineties is a sort of patient zero for the growing problem.

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Watch the Country's Best Chefs Pay Tribute to Thomas Keller

The tribute dinners at Pebble Beach Food & Wine are always star-studded affairs, where the country's best chefs cook for each other (and a room full of people who dropped over a grand to rub elbows). Years past have seen Tom Colicchio, Daniel Boulud, and Jacques Pepin taking turns as honorees; this year the spotlight was on Thomas Keller. And as part of the ceremony, a 16-minute video honoring Keller debuted. World-famous chefs like Eric Ripert, Tom Colicchio, and Daniel Humm all pop up to sing Keller's praises, and Boulud lets slip that he wanted to open a bistro called Bouchon before Keller did. (Keller's response, during a thank-you speech: "Bouchon is mine. Get over it.") We're not 100 percent sure Bouchon Beverly Hills chef Rory Herrmann is kidding when he says Keller makes his chefs caddy for him at least once a month, but the line certainly got the biggest laugh of the night. Watch the whole thing, straight ahead.

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Deadliest Catch: 59,000 Pounds of Tuna Recalled After Salmonella Outbreak

Watch out.

You’ve seen the small print on many menus, warning you about the dangers of eating raw fish or meat. Those dangers become greater when the fish or meat is ground up (which increases the chances of bad stuff getting into the food). Granted, ground fish seems like it might be a rare occurrence, but as Monica Eng warns in the Chicago Tribune, Salmonella has sickened many who have eaten scrape, the tuna back meat scraped off the bones and used in “certain sushi, sashimi, or ceviche preparations that call for a chopped or ground tuna product, most commonly spicy tuna rolls.” And now the California supplier of the tuna, which came from India, has recalled nearly 60,000 pounds of funky fish.

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