Posts for April 24, 2012

John Sedlar Revisits Mother Russia at Rivera

While we continue to tinker with our own birria-borscht hybrids at home, John Sedlar is honoring Mother Russia at Rivera with a $70, May 2 menu available today to Blackboard Eats subscribers. The chef is celebrating "the end of Communism" with cocktails of Russian vodka (but probably stolen from the Poles) and blood orange, along with a trio of vodka-cured salmon with piroshkis and borscht, salmon stroganoff, and a shout-out to Nevsky Prospect using beets, blood orange, and cucumber ice.

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Batch Busts Out Whole Hog Dinner Tonight For $25

Tonight Culver City's Batch will reprise its whole animal "Primal Dinner" series on the restaurant's patio, only with pig in place of last month's lamb. For just $25, guests can come experience chef Salvador Roldan's menu that turns one whole hog from Sonoma's Gleason Ranch into snout-to-chute dishes packed with produce, like pulled pork pizza with hand-stretched mozzarella, Brussel's sprouts with chorizo, pickled carrot salad with pulled pork, and suckling pig as the centerpiece. See the full menu of options available below.

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Cheech Marin and Joachim Splichal Unite at In The Art of The City, Next Thursday at Saint Vibiana's

Tickets start at $1,000

Next Thursday, May 3, an event called "In the Art of The City" will bring a powerful lineup of chefs together with famous actors, musicians, and visual art at Saint Vibiana's Cathedral to benefit A Better L.A., a non-profit geared towards dissolving the causes of violence and homicide in our inner-city hoods. A host committee including Jeffrey Deitch, actors Regina King and Forest Whitaker, and uh, Keisha have brought Joachim Splichal on-board to organize an incredibly promising dinner lead by a serious selection of kitchen talents. Who will be there?

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Moo: A Brief History of Mad Cow Disease in the U.S.

You won't like us when we're angry.Photo: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Today, USDA officials confirmed the country's latest instance of mad cow disease. The cow in question was discovered at a rendering facility in central California, and its meat didn't enter into the food chain, and the USDA says we're safe — which is good news for people who buy Steak-umms. So we're probably okay for the time being, since of course this isn't even the first time an infected cow's been found on U.S. soil. Let's take a look back ...

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File Under Yikes: Mad Cow Disease Found in California Dairy Cow

Got untainted milk?

The fourth ever known U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a.k.a. mad cow disease, has been discovered and confirmed by the USDA in a central California dairy cow. The USDA is quick to assure us that this cow "was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health." Also, you can't get mad cow from milk, so the USDA is also quick to proclaim that their "systems and safeguards to prevent BSE are working" and that this discovery shouldn't affect the U.S. beef trade. (Live cattle futures and McDonald's stock nonetheless tumbled today.) But, uh, yeah. Ick. [Reuters, HuffPo] Update: The sample was taken from a deceased cow found in Hanford, California, and was a random test sample. [AP/HuffPo]

Seoul Sausage Company Opening in Little Osaka

The future home of Seoul Sausage CompanyPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

In good news for anyone who feels over saturated by Austrian and German wieners, Seoul Sausage Company is bringing its killer Korean meats to a retail location. Planting itself down in West L.A.'s increasingly diverse Little Osaka neighborhood, the company plans to open on Mississippi Avenue before summer arrives, right off of Sawtelle in a space aside Coffee Tomo and Blockheads. The location is currently under construction, covered in photos of people enjoying a little sausage stuffing along with the company's trademark, "Make Sausage Not War," which we first glimpsed while going nuts for their kalbi and spicy pork sausages at the annual Plate by Plate tasting event. Check out the crew's full menu to see just what you can expect here.

Seoul Sausage Company, 11313 Mississippi Ave. West L.A..

New Lawsuit Reveals the World’s Grossest Meat Product Is Probably Steak-umms

Um...

And here we thought pink slime was bad. Turns out that stuff pales (heh) in comparison to Steak-umms, which the name alone should tell you is bad news. For the uninitiated, Steak-umms are not dog food, but are instead kind of like a frozen DIY Philly cheesesteak. But in a trademark-infringement suit this week that pitted Steak-umms owners against a South Philly cheesesteak and pizza shop named Steak 'Em Up, the ugly truth of the mass-produced sandwich steak was revealed. And the details are pretty bleak.

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Heart Attack Grill Owner Delighted That Diners Keep Heading to the Hospital

Doing America proud.

Up until now, it's been difficult to believe all that garbage from the self-helpy The Secret claiming that whatever you put out into the universe comes back to you. But strangely, it rings true in Las Vegas, of all places. The local Heart Attack Grill outpost watched another customer go down this weekend from health issues that hit in the middle of their meal, necessitating a trip to the hospital. The trauma follows fast on the thick calves of an incident here in February, where paramedics had to come between a customer and his "Triple Bypass Burger" after he had a heart attack at the restaurant, which promotes pure lard-cooked "flatliner fries" and "Quadruple Bypass Burgers" packing 10,000 calories. Today, the L.A. Times shares a few words from the owner, Joe Basso, who couldn't sound more thrilled about another customer falling unconscious while drinking a margarita and smoking this past Saturday.

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1933 Group Turning Little Cave Into La Cuevita, Open May 4

It's boom times for Highland Park bars and restaurants, as Echo Park's aloof and artsy kids continue to be out-priced and under-cooled, forcing them to take up residence in the historic Northeast neighborhood and its surrounds to keep their cred. 1933 Group announces that it is re-conceptualizing Little Cave, Figueroa's dark hang for punk-driven locals and various visiting H-words that remains popular, but likely needs to make room to accommodate the coming crowd.

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Meet the Multidimensional Drive-Thru of Tomorrow

Not actually the drive-thru of tomorrow.Photo: Christopher Tompkins/iStockphoto

What are the best minds in fast food thinking about? "The drive-thru as an incredible opportunity to innovate," that's what. That's according to a report from Big Red Rooster, which is not itself a fast-food chain, but is a "multidimensional brand experience firm" (rough translation: consultants) that helps fast-food chains, er, we mean "quick-service restaurants," get their act together better. In the scary/fascinating world they conjure up, what is now an "impersonal, drive-around-back experience" could become a multimedia phantasmagoria of sensation and delight guaranteed to increase your loyalty to Scream-a-Burger or Taco Wowzo. Here's how.

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What to Eat at Mercado, Opening May 1 in Santa Monica

Acevedo's Red Pig Ale-battered dogfish tacosPhoto: Mercado

It feels like we've been talking about the opening of Mercado, the third project from the owners of Downtown's Yxta Cocina Mexicana, for centuries now. But it's only been slightly over a year since Serenata de Garabaldi shuttered on Fourth Street, clearing the way for a takeover from co-owner Jesse Gomez, a third generation L.A. restaurateur (his grandparents opened El Arco Iris in Highland Park back in the mid-sixties), and chef Jose Acevedo.

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Totally Worth the Drive: Skate Wing in Brown Butter at Cliff's Edge

Bailly's brown butter skate wingPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

Benjamin Bailly calls to mind Philippe Petit, that famous Frenchman high on the wire, as he again proves himself a master of balance on the brink of Cliff's Edge, bridging gastronomic gaps and dining dichotomies with the same surefooted ease he employed to inject an unprecedented sense of accessibility and fun to a trademark as imposing as Petrossian, where the former Robuchon aide de camp and James Beard "Rising Star Chef of the Year" nominee was executive chef at the end of the last decade.

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Pinkberry Heads to India

Pinkberry, the frozen-yogurt chain that has proven surprisingly resilient, will soon be opening its first location in India, a country that many people say could soon become the world's largest growth market for restaurants. (That honor currently belongs to China.) Nation's Restaurant News says India is the eighteenth country that will house a Pinkberry, which currently has spots in far-flung places like Kuwait and Peru. And would it surprise you to learn that Starbucks is eying India, too? No, we bet it would not. [NRN]

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