Posts for December 4, 2012

Chego Gets Gutted, Currently Serving From Truck

Kogi devotees are obviously used to eating under the stars so it shouldn't be too big of an annoyance during Chego's remodeling. The biggest change besides the al fresco scenery of Overland Ave will be a reduction in the menu offerings. There's no news as to whether Chego is going under the knife for a possible concept retooling. [Los Angeles Magazine] [Eater]

LA Spice Gets Spicy With 50 Shades of Catering.

Perhaps some lube with the oysters?

Perhaps inspired by the perverse success of the 50 Shades of Chicken, LA Spice, a South Bay catering firm, just introduced a 50 Shades of Grey catering menu. Some of the dishes on the menu are: “Forbidden Fruit” Skewers, “Wrap your Lips around a Stick”, “Ben-Wa” Risotto Balls... Let's just stop at the ben wa balls. Accompanying servers will don sexy attire of "corsets, fishnet stockings, and high heels." No idea if the asparagus spears will come with matching handcuffs. Looking for the perfect Christmas office party to cross that line with the salt and peppered boss? Hire these guys. [GS]

Consume Stone's Entire "Vertical Epic" Series at Beachwood BBQ

On Wednesday, December 12, Beachwood will host Stone's final Vertical release, a culmination of special beers released annually since February 2, 2002 (Get it: 2/2/2002 - 12/12/2012?) For those that can't make it to the Stone's pub in Escondido on December 12, please note Beechwood's event in Seal Beach is closer, and about $150 cheaper than procuring the entire series in bottles.

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L.A. Times Reminds Us Wahoo's Was the First Asian-Hipster Restaurant

In an inspirational column, Los Angeles Times featured Mr. Wing Lam, co-found of the Wahoo's fish taco chain. Recalling the original menu, the piece mentions Wahoo's Brazilian style red rice, grilled instead of fried Baja tacos, and Asian terriyaki bowls. In other words, Wahoo's was the first cool fusion hipster Asian-Mexican restaurant. A Chinese-Brazilian purchasing agent turned fish taco slinger? Lam was the definition of hip. While Wahoo's no longer intrigues Los Angeles without the help of a co-branded marketing campaign, it is clear that food trends, just like fashion, also repeat every twenty years.

Wahoo's Fish Taco founder rides a wave of success [LAT]

Famed Italian Winery Hit by Vandals Destroying $25 Million Worth of Wine

Gianfranco Soldera

A highly respected winery in Tavernelle, Italy, south of Montalcino, was the target of a calculated attack on its cellars this week that may have been an act of revenge by rival winemakers who were tired of being bad-mouthed. Case Basse di Soldera is a top producer of Brunello di Montalcino, with bottles of their last vintage (2006) selling for around $300 apiece, and as the New York Times reports, vandals succeeded in opening up vats containing six years' worth of vintages and dumping the wine out onto the floor. The motive for the crime? Estate proprietor Gianfranco Soldera maybe kinda needed to be put in his place.

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Rice Japanese Restaurant Now Serving Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Fare in Manhattan Beach

Vegan Japanese Sushi Bar?

Baseball-loving restaurateur Hiroyuki Igarashi opened Rice Japanese Restaurant in Manhattan Beach last weekend. He, who considers Shojin's Tsuguhiro Morishima a mentor, was previously a sushi chef at Downtown's East, did a stint at Shojin, followed by a front-of-the-house position at Katsuya. The generically-named Rice Japanese replaces Penny Lane, a generic terriyaki and roll joint in downtown Manhattan Beach.Taking a page from Shojin's playbook, Rice is featuring a unique menu which is part Bar Hayama (there are over 30 types of sake, and sushi), part Shojin (there is gluten-free cuisine), part M Cafe de Chaya (there are Japanese vegan items). Area vegans are excited to have their own Shojin, but are simultaenously confused by actual fish being offered at a vegan restaurant. With the South Bay awash in new gastro-pubs since last year, are the surf mongers ready for alcohol-fueled food alternatives?

Rice Japanese Restaurant: 820 Manhattan Ave. Suite 105 Manhattan Beach

Breaking: Donald Trump Given ‘Highest Rated Sanitary Award’ in New York

The laconic entrepreneur just tweeted some excellent, if unanticipated news: "Just won the highest rated sanitary award in NY—an A--& the food is great also. Trump Grill/ 57th & 5th." That's right, things may still be a little bit stanky in Vegas, but today, a new high bar has been set over on Fifth Avenue, and it all happened during a routine health-department inspection. According to the NYC Department of Health, his restaurant joins a small-but-prestigious list of only 18,824 other spots to receive "A" grades. Remember this day, people, and never stop dreaming. [realDonaldTrump/Twitter, Earlier]

Dine for Charity at Casa Azul's "Donate Life Posada"

On December 13, Casa Azul Cantina will host 2012's Donate Life Posada Fundraiser on behalf of Donate Life California. Donate Life California, founded in 2004, is an organ and tissue donor registry with over 9 million registrants currently in its database. It is a non-profit, federally registered organ procurement program currently serving 21,000 Californians in need of that life chance. Restaurants are constantly asked to give to the community by hosting charity functions, and it's only fitting for LA's cocktailing foodies to contribute. No one knows when they may finally need that liver.

Thursday December 13
8:00 P.M.
Casa Azul

10853 Lindbrook Drive, Los Angeles,
$45 pre-sale ticket via Eventbrite

Lazy Ox Hosts a Night of Free Dinners to Welcome New Chef

Denizens of Little Tokyo have diligently tracked the chefs through the revolving doors at Lazy Ox since Spring. It’s absolutely fascinating how quickly a lauded restaurant falls into the rut of despair, and is able to rise again, and again. Clearly, Lincoln Motor Company is just as fascinated, and will be sponsoring a full evening of gratis meals by Chef Travise Chase tomorrow, December 5th, 5:00 - 11:00 P.M. Hopefully, the meal won’t be served inside an MKZ... Call 213-626-5299 for reservations.

The 2012 Grub Street Gift Guide: 29 Gift Picks for Food Lovers of All Sorts

If you're reading this, your gift-giving list this year probably contains at least a couple of food-loving people you just know would love ... something. But there's so much clutter — and so many useless kitchen tools — that finding a real gem of a present can turn into a chore. Rest easy, though: Grub Street turned to some of the country's best chefs, bartenders, and restaurant owners to see which gifts they'll be giving (or hoping for) this year. From simple $6 stocking stuffers all the way up to the best (and no doubt most expensive) knives imaginable, we've got you covered at every level.

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Watch Alinea Take Over Eleven Madison Park, and Vice Versa

We had the good fortune to hang out behind the scenes of the great and ambitious switcheroo between the Chicago restaurant Alinea and New York's Eleven Madison Park earlier this fall, and now here's a companion music video, produced by Alinea to commemorate the occasion. It gives some sense of the logistical hurdles — and a healthy dose of the inherent frenzy — involved when one fine-dining restaurant steps outside of its comfort zone, travels 800 miles, and settles right now into another kitchen.

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Mint-Chocolate Awesome: Coolhaus Is Writing a Cookbook

Los Angeles– and New York–based ice-cream sandwich vendors Natasha Case and Freya Estreller of Coolhaus are writing a cookbook, which, much like the forthcoming Ample Hills Creamery book, will present the backstory of their frozen-treats business, along with 100 recipes. According to Publishers Marketplace (subscription required), Case and Estreller will share the secrets of Coolhaus's "Frank Behry (snickerdoodle and strawberry ice cream)" and "the weirdly delicious like fried chicken and waffles ice cream and potato chip cookies." The Coolhaus Ice Cream Cookbook will be published in early 2014. [PM]

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