Posts for December 11, 2012

Cognoscenti Coffee Culver City Passes Inspection, Opens Tomorrow.

Cognoscenti Coffee CulverPhoto: TC

What do Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters (Vancouver), Kalita (Japan), Wrecking Ball (Redwood City), and Marco uber Project (Ireland) all have in common? Each company’s product(s) can now be found at Cognoscenti Coffee, which opens in Culver City tomorrow underneath one of the hottest architectural firms in America, Clive Wilkinson Architects (googleplex, TBWA\Chiat\Day, etc.). Barista-proprietor Yee Kai Lim co-existed alongside Proof Bakery in a butter-coffee utopia for the last couple of years after hosting an espresso pop-up cart all over LA, but ultimately found the perfect location inside a multi-use building along Culver’s arts corridor. In a sort of fluffy caffeinated meta-ness, Lim, who is/was an architect, will be swimming in both design and espresso while serving architectural legend Giulio Cappellini a cup of ‘spro. 6114 Washington Blvd, Culver City Hours: 8:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Previous: Cognoscenti Coffee Culver Is Still Not Open
Cognescenti Coffee Culver City is Not Open This Morning

More Chefs Lend a Hand in the Easy-Bake Oven for Boys Campaign

If Condoleezza Rice is allowed to join the Augusta National, then Levi and Knox should be encouraged to bake inedible cookies from the modernized Easy-Bake. Local L.A. chefs Joshua Whigham (Bazaar) and Jeff Mahin (Stella Rossa) seem to think so as well. Watch here as they motivate Hasbro to include a saute pan in the Easy-Bake Oven set and clad a new unbiased EBO with stainless steel in this little PR stunt. Wait, didn't Mahin graduate UC Berkeley with a dual chemistry and mathematics degree? Perhaps he should also shoot a separate segment encouraging girls to study chemistry. See Whigham at 0:32, Mahin 1:54.

Previously: Are Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Ovens Just for Girls?

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Matthew Kaner Working to Open Bar Covell in New York

The details are very thin at this stage, but Matthew Kaner, budding empire ruler/restaurateur, "magnetic" lover, and seller of wine at Covell, is planning a New York offset of his (and Dustin Lancaster's) beloved and quirky Hollywood wine bar**. Kaner tells us the location may be lower Manhattan, but he and his team are still trying to gain traction on the ground just to obtain the precious liquor license from the State Liquor Authority. Covell's famous for its abandonment of printed wine lists and bespoken wine ordering, so maybe that would work better in Brooklyn? No word on whether the East Coast location will also get an ornamental hanging moped.

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Someone Finally Invents a Burrito-Dropping Drone

Time well spent: Some dudes put together a concept for a burrito-delivery drone. Just tell the aptly named Burrito Bomber where you are via your smartphone, then wait for hellfire your carnitas to rain down by parachute. Practical? No. Awesome? So awesome.

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All Your Burritos Belong To Someone; Japan Film Fest Shows Free Food Anime

This is just too fun to ignore: from the Great Taco Hunter Bandini himself comes "All Your Burritos Are Belong to Me". Granted, the meme is rather tired and old, but for all those tired of running after tacos, burrito chasing is the new black. [AYBABTM] During this week's LA Japanese Film Festival three Anime shorts will be presents for free (Sunday, December 16). It is impossible not to be excited for shows titled: "The Soul of Sushi", "The Secluded Monster! Toriko, Capture the Garara Croc!" (?), and "Ramen Battle!". RSVP by emailing: with heading “RSVP - Top Chefs Animation”.

Corner Door Starts "From Cali Soil" Menu; Berlin Currywurst Hollywood Opens

The Corner Door

Culver City: Starting this week, Corner Door debuts "Farmer’s Market discoveries" menu for Mondays, featuring three to five dishes based on one vegetable which will revolve weekly. [GS]
Hollywood: Red O introduces Saturday brunch, 10:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. [GS]
--Berlin Currywurst's new Hollywood branch is officially open. [Patch]
--Susan Feniger's Street is in the middle of a latke rundown (December 8th to December 16). [GS]
--Out of the Box Collective starts farm-to-home delivery service just in time for Christmas holiday meals. [GS]

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Japan’s Massive Tsukiji Fish Market to Close Next Year, Relocate in 2014

New York might be swimming in fake fish, but an iconic tourist destination for sushi lovers the world over, Tsukiji Fish Market, is growing. The 78-year-old bustling, chaotic, wholesale marketplace is the largest of its kind in the world, and Tokyo officials say it has outgrown its current digs (and the governor wants its centrally located real estate for other purposes). Recently they unveiled designs for a new fish market a mile and a half away in the Koto Ward that's 40 percent larger than Tsukiji at 408,000 square meters (more than 4 million square feet).

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Chris Crary Cheffing at Members-Only Beach Club; Gertler Pops Up Again

L.A. Times reports Viceroy's Chris Crary will soon be leaving Santa Monica for Santa Monica. 41 Ocean, an members-only new development from the Ozumo Group, has hired the Top Chefstant as the new head chef. Opening is expected sometime January. 1541 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica. [LAT]

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Weight Lost: Number of Obese Kids Dropping in Some Cities

Still fat, but not quite as fat as before.

American kids are still getting way too fat — and still in alarming numbers, too. But there is some promising news: They aren’t getting quite as tubby as they were a few years ago. The New York Times reports that between 2007 and 2011, the number of obese children dropped 5.5 percent in New York, 5 percent in Philadelphia, and 3 percent in Los Angeles. Researchers were so surprised by the drop in obesity rates that they first questioned the accuracy of the numbers. What’s more, they’re not sure what’s behind the downtick. But surely far-reaching and multifaceted efforts, like those in play in Philly to rid schools of sugary drinks and fatty foods while educating kids about portion sizes and exercise, appear to be helping. [NYT, Earlier]

Inca Gourmet Offers a Ceviche Alternative

Inca's Celfio Goni

There was a noticeable displeasure regarding the recent Peruvian-style ceviche events taking place all over town. Some voiced concerns regarding the price of entry, some decried the "pretentious" renditions of a food they've grown up eating. Spirits buyer Ron Pascual decided to provide his own write-in candidate for the most venerable Peruvian ceviche bar in L.A.: Inca Gourmet. On this he writes: "Inca Gourmet has been in business for about 14 years. And if there is something it keeps bringing me back to this place is the food made with love and the freshest ceviche you can possibly find." "For $9.99 on weekends and for $6.99 weekdays you can't go wrong eating there." Finally, paraphrasing Inca's chef Celfio Goni, Pascual says: "Starting with ceviche and making your way all the way through the stews is a wonderful experience. That's the reason I come on my day off here to have a dose of vitamin P." By "P", we believe chef Goni is talking about about Peru? Write in your favorite pre-historic pre-hype ceviche bars below!

Previously: Matt Biancaniello Peeks In on Mo-Chica's Ceviche Night.

Jim Gaffigan on Delicious-Looking Celebrities and Being ‘the Opposite of a Vegan’

"Halle Berry looks delicious."Photo: Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan

At last night's premiere for the third season of Portlandia, there was a lot of talk of veganism and restrictive diets (SNL's Taran Killam on the Master Cleanse: "I did it for three days and shat water like you wouldn't believe"), but Jim Gaffigan, upcoming Portlandia guest star and famous opponent of Hot Pockets, had the most to say on the subject.

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Tokyo Beat Offers a Venue for Show Tunes and Whiskey in Little Tokyo

Tokyo Beat, Little Tokyo Mall

Kagaya Shabu Shabu has opened a karaoke bar/lounge/restaurant a few hundred feet away from the house of swishing prime beef. Tokyo Beat's bar manager Kaori Nagata tells us they're currently in soft opening, but there is a full Type 47 liquor license in place. In addition to the succinct whiskey selection, they hope to expand the sake menu to accommodate all levels of sake drinkers. Despite the presence of a food menu, the focus will clearly be on all out belting of Lady Gaga, Celine Dion and Hi-Standard's Stay Gold (which, according to Joysound, these are the most request English songs on Japanese karaoke machines in '12). Interior photo is below.

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Hostess Drew on Pension Funds to Cover Operating Costs

Oh, Hostess. Apparently as the snack-cake maker skidded toward oblivion, the company scrapped pension contributions and used money previously earmarked for employees' retirement funds to cover operating expenses. Which, as we all now know, didn’t quite work out as far as keeping Twinkies rolling off the production line and workers working are concerned. (The Wall Street Journal says that the decision to end pension contributions was what set the stage for the standoff between the company and its unionized employees.) Rerouting pension contributions isn’t necessarily illegal, but it’s still pretty scummy. [WSJ]

Cognoscenti Coffee Culver Is Still Not Open

This is a very quick public service announcement. New reports filing Cognoscenti Coffee as a "new opening" is still wrong. Blame it on the department of health or the building inspectors, doesn't matter, "CogCoffee" isn't brewing this morning (December 11). On the other hand, Wrecking Ball's Nick Cho made a serious impression on L.A.'s coffee congnoscenti last night. [Previously]

Finding Grace: See the First Service at Curtis Duffy’s Restaurant, Opening Tonight

In the final installment of our video series Finding Grace: The Making of a Restaurant — chronicling the creation of Michelin-starred chef Curtis Duffy's much-anticipated Chicago restaurant Grace from gutted space to finished restaurant — we're in the kitchen on the first night of service. (Grace's official public opening is tonight, but last week's dinner for a small private party marked the first time they fed paying guests.) General manager Michael Muser admits to nerves and perfectionism, saying, "If it was up to Curtis and I, we wouldn't open for four months," but chef Duffy is confident about his team and his menu, and for the first time, he shows off one of Grace's dishes — a wagyu beef course with seasonal accompaniments including matsutake mushrooms and salsify. This is one of the country's most ambitious new restaurants, and it's your first glimpse of the food and the interior (which have been kept under wraps until now), as well as the conclusion of the story our video series has been telling since April. See it all in this seven-minute video, straight ahead.

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