Posts for December 14, 2012

Jessica Simpson Dresses Down Her Dad at Cafe Med; Jack Black Wines and Dines Tim Robbins at Caufield's

Black bites back!Photo: Remixyourface/Flickr

This week, Jessica Simpson granted her estranged dad's wishes with a lunch at Cafe Med, telling the troubled parent off in earshot of the media and hopefully steering him away from the sauce. In other urgent celebrity dining news, Jack Black took his former Actor's Gang mentor, Tim Robbins, out on the town with a bite at Caufield's, Simon Cowell met a hot as phaal curry date to Cecconi's, and Drew Barrymore checked into The Pikey with a pal. See all this and more in today's celebrity settings.

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Mo Better Meatty Meat Burgers Back in Business

The new Mo Better Burgers on La BreaPhoto: Mo Better Burgers

Here's news a lot of burger fanatics have been waiting fo. Mo Better Meatty Meat Burgers, an object of L.A. obsession that re-launched from the older Meatty Meat Burgers and was torn off of Pico and Fairfax (where Walgreen's now sits) in 1998, has returned to the Mid-City neighborhood. Through talk on Chowhound and L.A. Foodie, it appears that Eve Fouche (the original founder's daughter and and tone of the forces behind Indulge Cafe) and Tami Bennet, owners of this cult burger stand, recently revived their still-whispered-about concept on LaBrea in the former home of Greece's.

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Gold Meets Sqirl; Besha's Back at Spago

Sqirl Cafe

J. Gold pens this week's think-piece on Jessica Koslow's Sqirl Cafe, a Silver Lake newcomer that conjures consideration of Isaiah Berlin, small picture specialists, and the peerless toast he once tasted in Madrid. Koslow, who is "pretty masterful at capturing the specific nuances of fruit" in homemade jams she sold through our farmers markets, is now killing it by spreading said seasonal preserves, super-kind meats, and label-conscious produce on her own terrific toast, among other slices that he notes are "as dedicated to eggs and green vegetables as Animal is to dangling bits of swine." He warns a certain kind of person that they could be bothered by the Siberian parking situation and a probing inquisition at the register, but counters, "if you enjoy chaos as much as you do toast smeared with chocolate ganache and almond-hazelnut butter....with poached egg, lemon zest and cream...with quince paste and transparent slices of prosciutto...Sqirl may well be your favorite place in the city." [LAT]

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Watch the First Episode of ‘Epic Chef,’ the Competitive Cooking Show From ‘Epic Meal Time’

Suitcases filled with bacon strips, self-hate, Top Chef, and "sushi-grade lard" all collide in the first episode of "Epic Chef," a new web series from the makers of "Epic Meal Time." If you're already familiar with the team most responsible for this year's bacon shortage, then you already know what you're in for. The first installment pits chefs David Alvarez and Ilan Hall against each other. The pair are tasked with reinventing breakfast, and this is probably the first time you'll ever hear a judge preface his or her comments with the words "I would just like to say that both meals were shitty." If you can stomach it, click on through.

"I'm going for the baby snot." »

Galco's Makes Room For 600 Different Brands of Beer

Galco's, the old-timey soda shop on Highland Park, finally has a major cold brew selection to match its sterling collection of beer glasses. Eastside L.A. reports that the vintage shop just expanded its beer selection from a four-door fridge to a ten-door fridge, making room for 600 labels of ale and lager, including 100 from Belgium alone. Owner John Neese plans four additional doors in the coming months, making Galco's not just a destination for pop-fans, but one of L.A.'s most sweeping points of interest for brew-bugs. [ESLA; Earlier]

Kris Yenbamroong Tours Thailand With Grandma, Considers Turning Talesai on Olympic into Thai Takeout Destination

Yenbamroong gets points on the package in Northern ThailandPhoto: Night + Market/Facebook

Night + Market's chef and owner hits the interview circuit hard this week, following a recent R&D trip to Thailand with grandma and anticipating this Sunday "Ceviche Nights" at Mo-Chica where he'll cook alongside Spice Table's Bryant Ng. Along the way, we learn some pretty cool things about the chef and his plans for the future as he sits down with Squid Ink and Food GPS.

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See Taco Zone Design and Debut Its Brand-New Table Area

Taco Zone, the popular trailer serving Echo Park's ironically mustachioed demographic by the dozens, doesn't rank on our own list of favorite tortilla-shrouded spots, but sometimes there's just no accounting for the taste of others. Simply put, the place needed a place to squire all the hipster hordes and—Voila!—it was done. The Vons-adjacent taqueria just debuted a new set of tables for its clientele and with it comes this sporty video in which three Taco Zoners brave the rain and a trip to Home Depot to D.I.Y. their own set of tables, presented with a ribbon cutting and taco chowdown, all to a Cubano soundtrack. One of the principals even bears a passing resemblance to James Franco, and come to think of it, this would be something he'd probably undertake. Take a look.

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Canned Laughter: Jason Alexander Serving Soup at Pavilion's This Saturday

Fourteen years after the demise of Seinfeld, it's finally come down to this: Jason Alexander will serve soup in the aisle of Pavilion's supermarket in Burbank this Saturday from noon to 3:30 P.M. The actor will be there to promote "No Soup for You!," a canned collaboration with the infamous "Soup Nazi," aka Al Yeganeh, New York's "Original SoupMan." Recipes come in flavors like lobster bisque and chicken noodle. So sorry, a real version of Beefarino does not appear to be in the three-year plan. [Earlier]

Dark Meat: A Brief History of Pork-Chop-Related Violence

Worth killing for?Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

Yesterday, a Florida man shot his drunken roommate in a pork-chop dispute. Thomas Hahn objected to his roomie's views on how to properly cook pork chops, so he planted three bullets in his head. At first blush, this might seem like a slight overreaction, no matter how important it is to get a nice char and a juicy center. But careful research reveals that arguments over pork chops are frighteningly common. Ahead, a short social history.

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Lunch Lady Loses Her Job for Feeding Needy Kid

A Missouri elementary-school cafeteria worker named Dianne Brame was fired on Tuesday for feeding a fourth-grade boy whose mother hadn't renewed him in the school's free lunch program. The rules at Hudson Elementary in Webster Groves state that children whose eligibility lapses are entitled to a few freebies but thereafter are given a carton of milk and a lowly cheese sandwich. In the local news video below, Brame says she served the fourth-grader a free full lunch for two months in order to prevent the other students from bullying him. On Monday, however, a co-worker reported her to the food-service company that has a contract with the school, and though she has now lost her job, the former lunch lady says she has no regrets.

The video. »

City Council Bounces Food Trucks From Mid-Wilshire

Scram!Photo: RicardoDiaz11/Flickr

Wilshire-bound brick and mortars in Miracle Mile have triumphed in a fight against food trucks brewing since the summer of 2009, when the rolling restaurants first tasted a dramatic upswing in popularity. The L.A. City Council approved a measure this week that bans any over-sized trucks (those bigger than 22-feet) from parking on Wilshire Boulevard, in the Museum District between Fairfax and La Brea from the hours of 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., in addition to two other Wilshire passes, including the stretch between Orange Grove Avenue and Ogden Drive. The move effectively chases food trucks away from one of their more lucrative centers of lunchtime activity.

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Vodka Saves Stranded Siberian Elephants’ Lives

Here's a story everyone can relate to: After his trailer caught fire, Russian circus trainer Leonid Labo found himself and his two middle-aged elephants stranded amid Siberia's brutally bone-chilling landscape. To keep his pachyderms from freezing, he fed them ten liters of vodka (each) diluted in warm water. A zoo director later said the move "saved the animals from frostbite and pneumonia, without harming or even intoxicating them." [AP]

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