Posts for January 2, 2013

Little Fork Opens Friday in Hollywood; La Brea Bakery Reopening at New Address on Saturday

La Brea Bakery breads

Beverly Hills: Caulfield's Bar and Dining Room launched a new brunch menu this weekend, with breakfast risotto, rabbit terrine, and wagyu beef hash, among the dishes. [GS]
Canoga Park: Sierra's, an 80-year-old institution for Mexican food, closed this week, along with its neighboring burrito spot. Owners cite the land value as the principal reason for the closure. [Daily News]
Citywide: Food GPS picks ten of its favorite pork dishes from 2012. [Food GPS]
Downtown: The Flying Pig Cafe is opening a new location at the Figat7th complex, with a new concept called Pizza Studio coming close by. [Eater]
--Hollywood's Ikemen Ramen will open its second location in Downtown later this month. [Eater]
Hollywood: David Reiss' Little Fork is opening Friday, with former Fraiche chef Jason Travi in the kitchen overseeing the kitchen. [GS]

Read more »

Subway Is Putting ‘Creamy Sriracha Sauce’ on Its Sandwiches

Can a hot sauce as virtuous as sriracha jump the shark? Foodbeast reports that a somewhat cryptozoological condiment called "Creamy Sriracha Sauce" is being put on Subway sandwiches at the chain's Santa Ana, California, stores. It will be available for a "limited time only," according to the in-store sign, which is currently the best proof of its existence, and the field report indicates the sauce tastes "less sweet and much more spicy" when applied to a turkey sandwich. Any more rooster sauce sightings out there? [Foodbeast via Gawker]

Blaze Pizza Busting Out With Several More Locations in 2013

BlazePhoto: Blaze Pizza

In more propagating pizza news, Blaze Pizza, the flash-fired concept targeting Adam Fleischman's milkshake in Irvine and Pasadena, has signed an agreement with Torrance-based Sajha, LLC. (which operates locations of Which Which and Cold Stone Creamery) to open three franchised stores in Southern California, the first of which is due this spring at an unannounced address. Blaze, which was founded by the owners of Wetzel's Pretzels, has an additional ten units planned in the region this year, with franchising opportunities already available in 34 other states. Clearly, the budding brand is emerging as the current placeholder in the race to dominate the ultra-fast, assembly-line, thin-crust pizza market that began when Fleischman first sprung 800 Degrees on Westwood last year.

Eggplant Is Also Trying to Kill You

One dangerous aubergine.

More bad food news: Eighty restaurant patrons in Beijing had to be hospitalized after they ordered and ate eggplant stir-fries that were spiked with clonidine, which caused immediate fatigue, dizziness, and vomiting. 34 of the restaurant's customers needed to have the drug cleaned from their bloodstream, the Salt reports, quoting a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. According to the folks from the No. 307 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army, who authored the study with members of Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the intentional poisoning was designed to draw customers to a rival, presumably clonidine-free restaurant back in 2010, so we should all be safe.

A meal ticket of bad food. »

Abigaile Team Bringing WildCraft Sourdough Pizza to Culver City

WildCraft Sourdough Pizza

Later this month, Jed Sanford, owner of Hermosa Beach's Abigaile, is scheduled to open WildCraft Sourdough Pizza in Downtown Culver City, taking over the former home of Le Saint Amour. His new concept cites Neapolitan pizza as its main influence and will employ an imported Ferrara-made wood-burning brick oven, with toppings leaning towards native California ingredients and a focus on a slow-rising sourdough, made with a wild yeast being raised and nurtured by Abigaile chef Tin Vuong, who will oversee the menu creation here. The dough is said to "take days to prepare," resulting in pizza that is "soft and moist, and chewy and smoky." In addition to pizza, the new enterprise will offer shared plates, salads, and sandwiches, with indie wines from the state on tap and beers from Abigaile's in-house brewery. WildCraft already has a website up, detailing its conception, as well as a Facebook page to check its progress.

WildCraft Sourdough Pizza, opening this month at 9725 Culver Blvd. Culver City; 310-815-8100.

McDonald's Owner Catches Grease Thieves in The Act

Two butterfingered bandits were caught red-handed on Friday while stealing grease from a Hemet McDonald's. Since Officer Big Mac was tragically consumed on duty sometime back in the eighties, it was up to the owner of the store to go on stakeout after he had been robbed of his grease on two other occasions. Hiding in the restaurant, he spotted the crooks siphoning grease into a metal tank mounted into the bed of their Dodge pickup just before two in the morning. The cops arrived and arrested the two perpetrators before they could abscond with the blubber, which can be sold at a high profit to recyclers looking to turn tallow into biodiesel fuel. [PE]

U-Sushi Closes in Beverly Hills; Naresh's on Main Shutters in Santa Monica

U-SushiPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

So far, the "Your Way, Right Away" approach as it's applied to sushi by brands like "How Do You Roll?" and San Diego's "SushiFreak" hasn't been too impressive. Apparently, we're not alone in this sentiment, as U-Sushi just called it quits in Beverly Hills, serving South Beverly Drive for just under a year. Real-life L.A. sushi freaks are usually willing to splurge on quality cuts and generally have their own stable of inexpensive, methadone restaurants to ward off cravings for the raw, a sum that spells quick doom for budget sushi that's not up to snuff.

Read more »

Starbucks Tops 2012 Most-Expensed Restaurants List

America runs on venti.

Hot diggity Frappuccino! What, if anything, does it say about the state of the collective American workplace that Starbucks ranks No. 1 on a list of last year's most popular expensed restaurants? There were 20,084 receipts for things like lattes and babyccinos filed with the expense-management company Certify between January and November, Bucks reports. “They’re not taking clients there," says Certify executive Bob Neveu. "It’s an individual running between planes, grabbing something quick.” Neveu says McDonald's, Subway, Panera Bread, and Burger King round out the top five, and while there aren't any real surprises here, does this mean that more and more "meals" are being consumed at Starbucks? A "night menu" of bacon-wrapped dates, truffle mac and cheese, and chocolate fondue suddenly doesn't sound like such a wacky idea after all. [Bucks/NYT, Earlier]

Reno Turning Into Haven For Foie Gras Lovers

Foie gras torchon from Mirepoix USA

The foie gras ban that roiled California last July is turning into a boon for Nevada. The Reno Gazette hones in on the story of Napa Valley's Laurel Pine, founder of gourmet goods vendor Mirepoix USA, which carries more than 40 foie-based products. Pine relocated her business to Reno last year and says that business is booming, with an initial surge of Bay Area residents traveling to enjoy the verboten ingredient at Reno restaurants followed by an increased holiday demand. The owner says that 25% of her clients come from California. "People are very happy to come over here and have it," Pine says, noting that some diners are coming to try it for the first time, simply after learning about the ingredient through the ban. Now she's hoping to entice local restaurants into upping their orders, with designs on Reno becoming a city-wide speakeasy for all Californians who are denied the right to engorged goose and duck liver.

Read more »

Castle Korean BBQ Overtakes Bulgogi House

Castle Korean BBQ, the four-year-old AYCE spot at Western and Beverly, is now supporting a nearby sequel at Wilshire and Kingsley. Taking over the former abode of Bulgogi House, the new Castle has space for over 250 guests, serving its same arrangement of all-you-can-eat meats for $9.99 per guest. 3600 Wilshire Blvd.; 213-388-1988. [AJ]

Overweight People Somehow Less Likely to Die Than Skinnier People

Happy for a reason.Photo: iStockphoto

Something to tell your annoying friends who made New Year's resolutions to eat more lettuce and enroll in cultlike exercise classes: The "largest and most carefully done" study of body-mass index and mortality suggests that people whose BMI ranked them as overweight are less likely to die than normal-weight people. “Fat per se is not as bad as we thought,” Dr. Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, Irvine, told the Times. “What is bad is a type of fat that is inside your belly,” he said. “Non-belly fat, underneath your skin in your thigh and your butt area — these are not necessarily bad.” As it turns out, fat may even be protective and nutritional for the elderly. As expected, some experts are critical of this enabling study because factors like blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes weren't taken into consideration. So maybe don't give up jogging just yet. [NYT]

Farid Zadi Parts Ways With Spanish Fly Gastropub

Farid Zadi

On December 31, Farid Zadi, the skilled French-Algerian chef behind Ecole de Cuisine cooking school, split up with Spanish Fly Gastropub, the Koreatown restaurant he opened alongside his wife in July after closing his Culver City Mediterranean menu concept, Cafe Livre et le Marche. According to the chef, the split wasn't 100% peaceful, stemming from creative differences with one of his three partners in the venture.

Read more »

Grubstreet Sweeps

Popular Topics

Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Sandbag's See the menu

    “LOVE this place!”

    I've eaten here a few times, and just this week have ordered it for my co-workers. I think they're converted :)

  • 26 Beach See the menu

    “Yummie delivery”

    Nice selection, good food, and fast service. I like it.

  • Cafe Gratitude See the menu

    “Amazing vegan food.”

    Delicious even if you're a carniverous veggie rejecter.


NY Mag