Posts for September 13, 2012

Lunch Is On at Osteria Drago

Osteria Drago

Celestino Drago's new Osteria Drago started its lunch service this week, doubling your opportunity to get in the door of this Sunset scorcher. The West Hollywood audience will appreciate light antipasti like melon with Parma prosciutto, kale and vegetable soup, and buffalo mozzarella caprese, as well as options for both small and entree-sized salads, as in a bantam serving of grilled peaches, arugula, and speck and bigger options like warm salmon with mixed greens and Belgian endive. Pasta and meat dishes look enticing, including a grilled swordfish with cherry tomatoes, capers, and oregano, squid ink spaghetti with Manila clams, spelt fettucine, veal Milanese with panzanella, and—Dio ci BenedirĂ !—sea urchin tagliolini. See the full menu below, served Monday through Friday at 8741 West Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood; 310-657-1182.

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L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Returns Sept. 29

Suzanne Goin's children's cancer benefit, L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade, returns for the third year on September 29. The event continues to get bigger, with sponsorship this year from HBO and Volvo and appearances from Jimmy Kimmel, Aziz Ansari, and Neil Patrick Harris, among others. The afternoon is always an incredible opportunity to experience an A-list lineup of chefs and bartenders, including awesome visitors from abroad like Marc Vetri, April Bloomfield, Paul Kahan, and Jonathan Waxman. Get your tickets and the full lineup online.

Tacos and a Toke: Amanda Bynes Smoked Some Pot Outside a Baja Fresh

TMZ busts actress Amanda Bynes today for smoking weed in the parking lot of a San Fernando Valley Baja Fresh. Blazin' Bynes, as she shall now be known, paired her pipe with an order of tacos on Tuesday before setting off on a meandering "Me Day" that found her allegedly swerving through traffic, enjoying a three-hour spa treatment, and taking a final toke in the parking lot of a Home Depot. [TMZ]

Rodell Gives Juan's Restaurante a Second Look

Mole poblano at Juan's

Today Besha Rodell takes the big shoes she has to fill straight into Jonathan Gold's turf, grabbing a couple of pre-Hispanic Mexican meals at Juan's Restaurante in Varrio Bolen Parque. Shortly after crediting an empanada de flor de calabaza (no, not an "empenada," guy), she writes, "Then came the weirdness." This includes a "unwieldy, kinda slimy gray-green" stuffed cactus, chiles en nogada with a "candied" poblano, Stevia-sweet walnut sauce, "leaden" tortillas, and "fruit cake filling," along with a disaster of a dessert.

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What You're Fixin' To Find at Sassafras, Opening Friday in Hollywood

SassafrasPhoto: Sassafras

Sassafras looks just like The Haunted Mansion, if it had arisen from Savannah soil instead of Disneyland's. The new bar, from the 1933 Group behind Oldfield's, Bigfoot Lodge, Thirsty Crow, and La Cuevita, cracks its wrought iron gates tomorrow evening, wall-to-wall with old-timey gimcracks, doodads, and relics. What's in store for Hollywood?

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Looks Like Umami Burger Is Headed to Greenwich Village [Updated]

A thing of beauty.

We're still waiting on an In-N-Out, but Los Angeles chain Umami Burger's NYC plans are starting to take shape: Tonight's CB2 Manhattan SLA Licensing committee agenda includes the appearance of an entity called Village Eats 10011, LLC, which will be doing business as none other than Umami Burger. The restaurant is listed as being located at the bi-level space at 632 Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village, most recently home to sushi spot Amber.

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Jonathan Waxman Cooking at Strand House, October 1 With Opus One

Barbuto chef and Cali cuisine O.G. Jonathan Waxman is coming back to his home state on October 1 to cook at The Strand House, part of the Manhattan Beach restaurant's continuing "Guest Chef" series. Waxman will cook a five-course dinner to pair with the soon-to-be-released 2009 vintage of exorbitantly priced Napa Valley wine Opus One, with winemaker Michael Silacci and exec chef Neal Fraser in attendance. See Waxman's full menu planned for the evening, below, and make reservations for what's expected to be a sell-out dinner, priced at $100 for five-courses, with an extra $50 for optional wine pairings, at 310-545-7470.

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Watch San Francisco Offal King Chris Cosentino Hit the Town and Talk Porn, "BTs" With Coppa's Jamie Bissonnette

Sorry, San Franciscans: Cosentino proudly calls himself an East Coaster in this video with his offal Boston counterpart, Jamie Bissonnette. Watch as Jamie and Chris enjoy beef heart crostini at JM Curley, sing the praises of Barbara Lynch ("Barbara from the Block!"), and devour buffalo heart at Toro (which will soon open in New York). Enjoy the meaty, ball-tappin' (you'll see) video straight ahead. Then watch him consume even more meat at New York's Takashi!

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Lomita's Killer Chef Once Joked About Cooking a Corpse

David Viens, once the chef and owner behind Lomita's Thyme Contemporary Cafe, faced some damning testimony from his own daughter yesterday while on trial for the murder of his wife, Dawn Viens, who met her accused killer while working as waitress at the place. According to Contra Costa Times, Jacqueline Viens first dropped the dime on dear old dad after he confessed to the killing as the two drove home from the cafe following closing (and here we thought learning the birds-and-bees made for an awkward conversation).

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Paula Deen’s Newest Moneymaker: ‘Anti-Fatigue’ Kitchen Mats

She's too rich to care what we think.Illustration: Andrei Kallaur, Jen Cotton

There's little doubt that Paula Deen is a name-licensing legend: After all, this is the woman who sells butter-flavord lip balm and parlayed a type 2 diabetes diagnosis into a prescription-medicine spokesperson deal. But her deals go much deeper than that. The latest example: a press release that calls our attention to a line of Paula Deen–branded Anti-Fatigue Kitchen Mats.

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Thomas Keller and Phil Rosenthal Teaming Up for New Food Pilot

The talent.Photo: Getty Images

It sounds like Thomas Keller is finally getting serious about food TV: While the chef appears here and there on television (and famously consulted on the movie Ratatouille), he's never had his own show. But this might be a start. Grub Street learns he's headed to London with producer Phil Rosenthal to start production on the pilot for a still-unnamed series.

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Top Chef Masters Recap: An Unforgivable Elimination

Making all the wrong choices.Photo: Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo

Last night, the unthinkable occurred on Top Chef Masters — well, not the unthinkable, which of course would be Art popping out of a cake in a diaper and proposing to Curtis, but it was something pretty bad. I’d like to think I’ll never forgive the judges for what they’ve done, but it’s fine if they want to ruin the show’s credibility and, frankly, I’ll be moving on to happier thoughts after this kitchen closes. But before that happens, let’s revisit the grim details of last night’s competition and again place bets on who’s going to win, shall we?

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