Posts for November 28, 2012

Watch a Trailer For Reverie, Starring Red Medicine's Jordan Kahn

Natasha Subramaniam and Alisa Lapidus, the film-making duo known as Chayka Sofia, are paying tribute to the visually striking plates and grassroots sourcing of Red Medicine chef Jordan Kahn in a new film called Reverie. The movie was recently screened at New York's Star Chef Conference and will be shown on the indie film circuit in 2013. The filmmakers tell LAist, "[Kahn's] dishes are like landscapes and stories in themselves, carrying a lot of beauty, whimsy, depth, and heart...with a cuisine that is truly visionary." They say that future subjects for their films could include Paul Shoemaker of the recently shuttered Savory and kaiseki-artist Niki Nakayama of N/Naka in Palms. They also express admiration for Tim Carey at Papilles and an interest in creating "a film that delves into heirloom varieties or extinct cultivars." Check out the trailer for Reverie below.

Food in Film: Chatting With the Creators of New Movie Based on the Culinary Creations of Chef Jordan Kahn [LAist]

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Brad A. Johnson Kicks Off O.C. Register Reviews

The critic stabs at blogs and review sites

Former Angeleno restaurant critic Brad A. Johnson kicks off his new gig as the resident restaurant expert at The O.C. Register today, holding little back when he calls the chips at Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen "unacceptable" and describes his pork chop at Zov's as "burnt to a crisp." But Johnson is more interested in laying out his battle plan than savaging sacred cows, promising to institute "a four-star rating system," wherein "the top-tier rating will be rare." The critic commits to making three visits to a restaurant and being as anonymous as possible (though he was quickly called out at Zov's), basing reviews around the food, service, and ambience, what he calls "the holy trinity of dining out."

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New Los Gatos Restaurant Serves $1,200 "Decadence Staircase"

Katsu, a new Japanese restaurant in Los Gatos, is serving a $1,200 dish called the "Decadence Staircase," a set of descending bamboo steps each laid with indulgent ingredients like wagyu shabu shabu, gold-topped lobster sashimi, Russian Sevruga and Golden Ostera caviar. The unrepentant restaurant features the four-figure dish as the very first thing on its menu. Caviar ATM, you just got served! [ABC]

David Reiss Opening Little Fork in Hollywood, Seafood-Driven Abbot Kinney Project With New York's Greg Daniels

Soon to be a seafood-driven concept

Today, Eater breaks the news that David Reiss, owner of Sunny Spot, A-Frame, The Brig, and Alibi Room, is opening a new Hollywood restaurant called Little Fork in the former Shin BBQ space, with a design by Sean Knibb of A-Frame and cocktails by Brian Butler. Reiss's cohort, restaurant consultant Paul Pruitt, confirms Little Fork is indeed due for Wilcox Avenue, with the intention to start serving before the holidays, "at the earliest by mid-December."

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Consumer Reports Says Our Pork Is Full of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

But is it all hogwash?

It was more than a year ago when the USDA relaxed its official pork-cooking guidelines, but hold up! There’s a new pork predicament on the horizon. A recent study conducted by Consumer Reports finds that the majority of pork products in this country are tainted with a rare bacteria strain known as Yersinia enterocolitica. Like garden variety food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli, the bug identified in the study causes fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea that can last one to three weeks if ingested. However, unlike those more common disease-causing agents, Yersinia enterocolitica is resistant to most antibiotics. And all signs seem to point toward the widespread factory-farm practice of loading porkers with antibiotics as the blame.

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Inevitably, Harry Morton Laments The Name "Pink Taco"

Still no apologies for this, though.Photo: Karlnorling/Flickr

Who knows what kind of sketchy name we would have saddled a restaurant empire with had we had a few hundred million dollars to throw around as impetuous twenty-somethings? For Harry Morton, son of Hard Rock co-founder Peter Morton, it was "Pink Taco," given to the Mexican food and fiesta spot that now screams its gynecological pejorative from Westfield Century City, The Vegas Strip, and Sunset Boulevard. In the latest issue of Haute Living, Morton takes time from shopping a Pink Taco-themed documentary around town to tell the magazine, "If I could go back, I would change the name...It started off as a funny idea; it was a joke at the time....The name isn't even provocative anymore, it's almost cliché." Of course, "provocative" sort of indicates a higher form of intelligence behind the title than the guys at the frat-house, but as Morton says, "At least it's catchy."

A Chip Off The Hard Rock [Haute Living via MediaBistro]

Anthony Bourdain Is Now Foiling Secret Service Keg Parties

In case you missed the State Department's daily briefing on Monday, spokesperson Victoria Nuland was asked about Anthony Bourdain's weekend tweet that suggested the Secret Service personnel who'd rented the phones previously forgot to delete text messages pertaining to their keg parties. Secret Service agents are only allowed to have keg parties under direct orders from the president. "Anything that you’re aware of on that front?" Nuland was asked. "No," the spokesperson said. "But we will have our Embassy follow up on that one for sure." Bourdain is traveling throughout Southeast Asia filming his new show, which presumably means it's safe for all government agent who aren't stationed there to proceed with their regularly scheduled illicit weekend plans. [State via Daily Caller, Earlier]

Susan Feniger Slow-Cooks Brisket For Thanksgiving, Eats Carnitas Straight From The Pot

Susan Feniger at StreetPhoto: Ann Johannson

Susan Feniger's life is a blur of shopping, prepping, cooking, and taste-testing as she oversees the Border Grill empire with her collaborator of 30-years, Mary Sue Milliken, and her Hollywood restaurant Street. Somehow, the chef still finds time to spearhead fundraisers for organizations close to her heart like L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and Share Our Strength, stage weekend cooking classes, and fly across the world for some street food R&D. So it's surprising to hear the chef say she actually wishes she could do even more cooking in her free time. "I wish I had a lot more time to be cooking at home, making some fantastic, creative meals," Feniger tells Grub Street. "But honestly, my days are full to the brim. I wouldn't want it to be any different. What a lucky gal I am." So what did the chef eat this week and cook for Thanksgiving? Read on in today's L.A. Diet.

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Umaya Chef K.C. Ma Killed in Motorcycle Crash

K.C. Ma, the former executive chef at Vinoteque on Melrose, died Wednesday in a motorcycle crash in the Central Valley, an accident that left his wife injured but fortunately alive and recovering, The L.A. Times reports. At the time of his tragic passing, Ma, who worked at Craft, Providence, and Water Grill in the past and was a consultant on a cafe in Hawaiian Gardens, was putting his heart into Umaya, his own ramen restaurant in Cerritos. [LAT]

Heston Blumenthal May Be Opening in the U.S., Probably in New York

What's he working on now?Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Earlier today, Food and Travel editor Guy Woodward tweeted, "Rumour is that Heston Blumenthal will open a restaurant in one of Mandarin Oriental's US hotels - maybe next year. My money's on New York." The brainy English chef, who currently holds three Michelin stars and first garnered attention with his modernist food at the Fat Duck in Bray, already operates a restaurant called Dinner by Heston in London's Mandarin Oriental, which ranked No. 9 on this year's World's 50 Best list.

Is it happening? »

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Flavor Ammo: New Ways to Use Old Bay

There's a lot going on in that little tin.Photo: Melissa Hom

When you think of Old Bay — the Maryland spice blend in the yellow and blue tin — you probably think of outdoor crab shacks on the Chesapeake Bay, or maybe a lobster bake on a beach. But there's nothing inherently summery or regional about the blend itself, other than how well it goes with a cold pitcher of Natty Boh. Chefs seem to have realized that. Mission Chinese's Danny Bowien has used it in a dish of Sichuan catfish; the Momofuku group famously seasons their fried chicken with it; plenty of places sell Old Bay–dusted fries and burgers with Old Bay–infused aïoli — the list goes on and the reason is obvious: Old Bay's transformative powers extend way beyond crabs.

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Sherry Yard And Sang Yoon Breathing Life Back Into Helms Bakery

Sherry Yard

After nineteen years of masterminding the sweet side of Wolfgang Puck's dining empire, racking up numerous distinctions and awards along the way, pastry chef Sherry Yard is stepping out on her own. Yard is fulfilling plans to helm her own ambitious 10,000-sqaure-foot bakery at the Helms complex in Culver City, which famously served L.A. its daily bread from 1931 to 1969. Yard's concept will invoke a 1950's luncheonette, with separate spaces including a dedicated bakery with counter-service, a full restaurant serving lunch and dinner, and a retail area, all with a color-popping design by AIA Award-winner Ana Henton (Lukshon, Intelligentsia). The project, which seeks to revitalize the Helms Bakery brand after a 44-year snooze, will be run by both Yard and Sang Yoon, the chef and owner who already oversees both Lukshon and a location of his Father's Office at the complex. So, what will Yard and Yoon be offering?

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Watch This Kid Eat an Ear of Corn in Ten Seconds

We'd hate to think this is the start of a new trend of power-tool-assisted food stunts, because it's only a matter of time before some forlorn teen locks himself in a room with his Lumix, a bunch of bananas, and a band saw. We'll leave it to you to decide if this blé d'Inde à la Home Depot is a cry for help or actually a genius new invention. (That's a trick question, because it's obviously both.) And, as always, don't try this at home.

Cordless corn cobs. »

Watch Jon Stewart’s Take on the Hostess Closure

On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart became the latest person to weigh in on the end of Twinkies. Needless to say, he doesn't seem too broken up about the demise of this "diabetes dispensary." Stewart wonders what he'll have to turn to for "stomach aches and self medication" — Arby's? Boxed wine? The options are grim.

The full clip, right this way. »

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