Posts for November 5, 2012

Where to Mediatate on Chocolate in a Yurt

We're feeling better alreadyPhoto: John Loo/Flickr

Siddhartha may not have found spiritual redemption in pleasure and excess, but that's no reason not to give it a go yourself. On November 17, Malibu's Great Spirit Ranch will play host to The Chocolate Invitational Festival, ten-and-a-half hours of chocolate indulgence featuring ten chocolate makers set between (get this) a "yurt and teepee and rolling mountain side." Every guest gets a single sample from each vendor, then the rest of the day to just stroll the grounds and sing Kumbaya and stuff. Throughout the day, a "living chocolate meditation" will be provided by a company called Intentional Chocolate, "designed to increase the awareness of the chocolate as well as to impart calmness and reduce stress and fatigue as a person learns more about building an intentional lifestyle." That's just the tip of this wacky iceberg, though.

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Eagle Rock Is Losing Larkin's

The last days of Larkin'sPhoto: Larkin's

Eater announces the closing of Larkin Mackey's five-year-old Southern and Cajun-influenced restaurant, Larkin's, in Eagle Rock. The self-described "contemporary soul food joint" opened to an encouraging initial review from Jonathan Gold and even made his list of "99 Essential Restaurants" last year. The start of 2012 found Mackey's mac-and-cheese concept closing in Downtown, and last Friday his flagship predicted a final two-week run before the chef takes off to New Orleans, with new owners expected to take the space. That's a few more days to get your hands on Mackey's fried chicken and catfish before it leaves town.

Larkin's Soul Food Joint Finally Departing Eagle Rock [Eater]

Free Wendy's Bacon Burgers This Saturday

This Saturday from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M., Wendy's is tailgating at The L.A. Memorial Coliseum and giving away its "Son of Baconator" burger completely free to anyone who shows up, along with a Frosty and assorted Wendy's swag, while supplies last. Featuring four strips of Applewood bacon, the mass-giveaway is kind of like the inverse of those free medical clinics offered every now and then at the Colisseum, not that this will stop anyone. 3939 South Figueroa St.

Coco Fresh Tea and Juice Expands The Options on on Sawtelle

CocoPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

Destined to be forever confused with the Coco's Bakery chain on your next fruitless Google search, a Taiwanese boba, fresh juice, and tea chain named Coco just opened its doors on Sawtelle last week, building on locations in Midtown Manhattan, Hong Kong, and Arcadia. This past year has seen significant change to the stretch that gives this West L.A. neighborhood its "Little Osaka" nickname, and a boba cafe with milk teas, fruit teas, and fresh juices, signals a new option in the widening spectrum of Asian snacking offered here, swift on the opening of Korean Seoul Sausage Company, Vietnamese NongLA, and Chinese RocStar dumpling up the street.

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Scenes From Last Night's Localicious

Santa Monica's Good Food Conference concluded for the second year last night with its Localicious event. Held at the same soothing seaside setting, with the same strong concept pairing excellent farms with great chefs, and the same great cause benefiting greater sustainability and better eating through FamilyFarmed.org., the biggest difference this year was the season. Held six weeks later than the premier lead, naturally, to different produce on our plates. This meant squash and spuds played a more central role than tomatoes and late-summer fruit, perhaps one of the reasons that dishes weren't quite as memorable in 2012 as they were during 2011's first go-around. However, there were some undeniable stand-outs, like Fig's Ray Garcia condensing Thanksgiving dinner into a single soup, Vartan Abgaryan pairing uni with oysters in a shooter, and Milo & Olive's outstanding grilled truffled cheese sandwich with butternut squash and Nueske's bacon.

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Kitchen Horror Stories 2012: Eleven Ghastly Tales of Restaurant Mayhem

Get ready for more grisly stories.Photo-illustration: Drew Luster

Each Halloween, Grub Street runs a series of Kitchen Horror Stories — gruesome tales from behind the pass. (Here's last year's!) But last week, with so many chefs and owners living out actual (flooded, powerless, ingredient-spoiling) nightmare scenarios after Sandy, the mood hardly seemed right for a new set. Today, the Northeast is a long way from a full recovery, and it's tough to overstate how important it is to get out and support restaurants as they work to get running again. Even so, let this year's set of stories serve as a reminder of just how incredibly hard chefs and restaurant workers are. We can think of no other job where things like severed digits and horrible burns occur with at least some frequency — yet kitchen staffs work through them as if they were nothing, even when just reading about them would make most people squirm. See what we mean, straight ahead.

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Golden Road Brewing Developing Secondary Pub Space Called Chloe's

Golden Road Brewing is building on to its brewpub with a secondary pub space called Chloe's. The L.A. Times reports that this under-construction "darker, woodier" space will be a more upscale addition for private parties and events to take place in, albeit one with vintage beer signs from long-gone L.A. brewers. More intriguing, owner Tony Yanow foresees a weekly gathering at Chloe's in what sounds sort of like an informal Elk's Lodge for beer industry professionals to put their heads together, free from dues, and he also wants to make room for public reservations at the venue. Chloe's is also going to house the brewery's barrel-aged ale program and is available for other nearby breweries to use for their own throw-downs. [LAT]

24-Year-Old Glencrest Bar-B-Que Threatened With Closure on Abbot Kinney

Glencrest Bar-B-QuePhoto: Yo! Venice!

One of the last recognizable vestiges of the old Abbot-Kinney, Glencrest Bar-B-Que is endangered in following the $2.2 million sale of the building that houses it. Owned by Venice local Chris Featherstone for nearly 25 years, a recent KCET video found him lamenting the tremendous loss of Black and Latino-owned businesses on the street in the last decade and the increasing difficulty for locals to operate here. Yo! Venice! asks an employee about the business' chances for survival only to hear, "it doesn’t look good." [Yo! Venice!]

Wahlberg Brothers Sue Burger Business Partner for Being an Idiot

Needs a meeting with H.R.Photo: Getty Images

Mark Wahlberg apparently chooses his movie roles better than his business partners: The Boston Globe reports that he's sued Edward St. Croix, who managed the family's Boston-area burger restaurant, Wahlburgers. The lawsuit alleges that St. Croix is essentially the biggest moron in the world: He did an "abysmal” job and “failed to meet even the most basic duties as business manager.”

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Watch Random Celebrities Stand Up For Proposition 37

By now you've seen your share of celebrity PSAs, in which stars commit to grave faces in order to inform non-famous folks-at-home about a dire issue. In the final push for California's Proposition 37, which calls for the labeling of genetically-modified foods, a deluge of ads is being broadcast featuring a random roundtable of celebrities speaking out in support of the measure. So far six different ads are out there, with appearances by such unlikely co-stars as Danny DeVito, Molly Ringwald, Minnie Driver, James Van Der Beek, and Marisa Tomei. The one you see here is so far our favorite. It's nothing you've never seen before in the celeb PSA genre, but is still notable for two things: Someone appears to have pulled James Franco out of bed before he could put the bake in his wake and Lisa Bonet marks her biggest reemergence into the spotlight since Angel Heart. Take a look.

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