Posts for November 16, 2012

Jennifer Aniston Flashes Her Rock at Madeo; Jessica Biel Eats at Ivy at The Shore

Icy AnistonPhoto: Shahanaj27/Flickr

Last night, the opening of Georgetown Cupcake in Beverly Hills brought Hollywood T.V. stars in to flirt with frosting, including Alex Newell from Glee and The Lying Games' Alexandra Chando, just as the debut of Kimberly Snyder's Glow juice bar and smoothie shop drew attention from Drew Barrymore on Wednesday. With red carpets out front, it appears cupcakes and juice bars have attained an ever higher level of fame these days. In other celeb-spotting news, Jennifer Aniston brought her icy $500,000 ring finger to dine at Madeo, as Michelle Pfeiffer sat nearby, Jessica Biel had lunch with a friend at The Ivy at the Shore, and Megan Fox got a sitter for dinner at Jar. Reflect on all of this and more, in this week's celebrity settings.

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Someone’s Getting Fired: Donald Trump Steak House Fails Health Inspection

"It's the greatest expired yogurt in the world!"

Symbolic of all the faded luxury once associated with Donald Trump's name, the ferret-haired millionaire's eponymous Las Vegas steakhouse, DJT, was recently shut down by Sin City health inspectors after being cited for 51 code violations. Among them was the discovery of month-old caviar, improperly stored food, parasites in the halibut, aged veal stock, and expired yogurt. The place reportedly reopened with the issues fixed, but we won't believe that until the Donald sends us his complete health inspection certificate by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Vartan Abgaryan Vacates Public Kitchen For Cliff's Edge; Chris Hewes Steps Up To Top Spot at Library Bar

Abgaryan

Skate-master general and lavender beet-boxer Benjamin Bailly has bailed Cliff's Edge, a month shy of a year since climbing aboard the eight-year-old Silver Lake staple. No word on where this bantam chef of concentrated talent is headed next, but in his shoes comes Vartan Abgaryan, stepping out of the shadow of Tim Goodell at The Hollywood Roosevelt's Public Bar and Kitchen to take the executive position at Cliff's Edge on November 26. So far, Abgaryan, who recently rocked our world with uni-topped oysters at Localicious, foresees an evolving menu of "super-seasonal" dishes, with trotter sausage, ras el hanout caulflower in brown butter and capers, and charred octopus with smoked aleppo peppers and apple making his first menu. Public Kitchen is yet to have found a replacement for the chef in Hollywood.

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Celebrate a Belated Diwali at Mayura MaƱana

Happy DiwaliPhoto: Siddharthav/Flickr

Diwali, India's five-day festival of lights celebrating the victory of light over darkness at the end of the monsoon season, crested on Tuesday and officially ended yesterday. If you missed it, first of all, shame on you! Secondly, Culver City's Keralan restaurant Mayura has you covered, offering Diwali honors tomorrow over lunch, from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Owner Padmini Aniyan tells us lights will be set on every table to represent the occasion, while a $15.99 buffet will include new chicken and vegetarian dishes, and sweets like traditional Keralan vattayappam, unniyappam, payasam, cakes, and laddu. Reservations recommend at 310-559-9644.

Paul Shoemaker Decrys Landlord's Mendacity to Malibu Mayor

Paul Shoemaker

All the harsh talk in the world won't bring Paul Shoemaker's sublime Savory back to Point Dume Village, but the chef's bullshit sensors are still blazing and he wants his truths to be told. The chef, who was forced to close his local-only restaurant this month, is taking issue with a notice written by his former partner and landlord, Zan Marquis, that was sent to the city and posted outside of Savory. Today, Shoemaker fires back with his own letter, sent to Malibu's mayor, the mayor pro-tem, city manager, and city council, in which he blasts the "sham claims" allegedly made by Marquis.

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Duff Goldman Plans Retail Pastry Shop on Beverly

According to Zagat, recent L.A. transplant Duff Goldman is looking to show off some of the other skills in his quivers, going beyond the pastry chef's reigning reputation as "the cake guy." Goldman reveals he's planning a new retail store on Beverly Boulevard across from CBS Studios, calling the project the "exact opposite of Charm City Cakes." He says there might be cupcakes and cake, but the idea is intended to highlight his touch in making pies, scones, and petit fours, in a sort of "Frenchie/Austrian pastry shop with really really kickass coffee." [Zagat via Eater; Earlier]

Where to Get Roscoe's in a Bottle

If Skittles Vodka and bacon-maple doughnut ale are somehow a little too vanilla for your tastes, San Francisco's syrup company Torani will start pushing a chicken-and-waffles flavored drink base, which started as (and should have stayed) a joke, on November 26. Described by L.A. Mag as bearing the "the scent of sweet maple syrup and crackling, chicken-infused oil," the stuff is available for a short time on the company's website. Meanwhile, feel free to place bets on how long it takes this flavor profile to hits the marketing board at Pinnacle. [LA Mag]

"Bloody Bill" Bringing Ostrich Carpaccio and Lamb Kindeys on Toast to Colonial Wine Bar Tonight

"Bloody Bill" Annesley, the British-cum-New Orleans chef that pops up here and there a couple of times each year with exotic game dishes and traditional tapas, will be cooking tonight at Colonial Wine Bar. Bill will add options to the usual menu here including ostrich carpaccio with blood orange and lemongrass vinaigrette, veal sweetbreads with jamon Serrano, escargot vol-au-vents with scrambled duck egg, and lamb kidneys on toast. Check out more of Annesley's planned plates below, served tonight at 7166 Melrose Ave.

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What to Expect at Bestia, Opening November 23 in Downtown

Bestia, opening DowntownPhoto: Bestia

Now that the two-month return run of Test Kitchen has come to a close, its temporary Downtown space is ready to serve as the home of Bestia, which opens next Friday, November 23. The new Italian concept comes from the same restaurant group that funded Picca, Short Order, Sotto, Playa and Rivera, and will be helmed by Ori Menashe, the L.A.-born, Israeli-raised chef who played roles in notable local Italians like Angelini Osteria, La Terza, Pizzeria Mozza, and ‘All Angelo. Already, Menashe is getting strong early hurrahs for a sneak-peek of his house-cured meats, one of the items the chef told Food GPS he wants "to be known for," in addition to his pizzas and pasta.

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Astoundingly Skinny Matthew McConaughey Contemplates His Ultimate Burger Binge

Give this man some mayo.Photo: Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic

He's shedding pounds for an upcoming role as an eighties-era HIV patient in The Dallas Buyer's Club, and like any dutiful dieter, Matt McConaughey's dreaming about food — and he has some very specific ideas about what he'd like to eat. Toppings-laden cheeseburgers, for instance.

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House of Tacos Opens in Hollywood, Offers Two-For-One to Newbies

House of TacosPhoto: Joshua Lurie

A snug blue room named House of Tacos is now serving Hollywood Boulevard, sliding ingredients like grass-fed Aussie beef, flame-grilled chicken, and battered tilapia and fried shrimp between its tortillas. Known on the street as H.O.T., this new enterprise should not be confused with Van Nuys "House of Taco," which turned out to be more of a safe-house for heroin, coke, and meth than our favorite form of sustenance.

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Time to Mourn: Watch Sixteen Vintage Hostess Commercials

Today's news that Hostess will close has almost instantly prompted Twinkie mourning and nostalgic missives. Sure, another company will likely buy up the brands, but things just won't be the same. To help you cope with the loss, we've rounded up some truly retro ads from over the years — remember Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pies? — that you can watch while you wallow in your cream-filled sadness.

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Obamacare Isn’t Forcing Restaurants to Cut Employees’ Hours

Photo: Spencer Platt/2012 Getty Images

Several restaurant CEOs have suggested recently that since President Obama is keeping his job, their employees' jobs might be in danger. Owners of chains like Papa John's, Olive Garden, Denny's, and Applebee's say that because of the Affordable Care Act, they'll be forced to reduce employees' hours since they can't afford to provide more full-time workers with health insurance or pay the fines for leaving them uninsured. Online Obamacare supporters called for a boycott of the restaurants, and opponents argued that the law will hurt restaurant workers as well as all who turn to them for a cheap, greasy dinner that isn't served in a paper wrapper. However, the claim that the health-care law is worsening conditions for restaurant employees is dubious.

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The (Possible) End of Twinkies: Hostess Will Close Forever

Time to stock up, armageddon-style.Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Start hoarding those Cupcakes: Hostess — the company that makes Twinkies, Cupcakes, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, and all the other little plastic-wrapped cake-y things you begged your mom for when you were little — will shut down.

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