Posts for January 7, 2013

Burgerwerkz Charbroil Grill Launching This Month in Westlake Village

BurgerwerkzPhoto: Burgerwerkz via Facebook

A new charbroiled burger specialist named Bugerwerkz is looking to open at the end of the month in Westlake Village, with a restaurant associate telling Grub Street that the brand plans to spread to several more locations in the future. Just as San Diego chains like Slater's and Burger Lounge have descended on Southern California in the past year, Werkz is a local, albeit one that also has a San Diego connection, sourcing its natural, sustainable corn-fed meat from Brandt Beef in nearby Brawley, just under the Salton Sea.

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La Scala Stops Diana Ross In The Name of Seating Policies

Beverly Hills' La Scala is not one to be starstruck. Still, it failed to show due reverence to a queen among divas this weekend when it stopped Diana Ross from sitting before her daughter arrived to dine with her. The singer would not be kept hanging on, however, and sat down anyway. A manager then explained to The Supreme(s) Leader that you can't hurry lunch and said she wouldn't be served if she bucked the rules, resulting in a reported fit from the superstar. Owner Gig Leon tells The New York Post, "We treat everyone the same whether you're famous or not." Normally, we agree with this brand of equal treatment for celebrities, but come on, this is the voice behind "Baby Love" and Dorothy from The Wiz we're talking about! [NY Post]

Canadian Chef Jonathan Gushue Is Missing

Gushue, at the restaurant.Photo: Courtesy Langdon Hall

The 41-year-old executive chef of the Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa in Cambridge, Ontario, has been missing for more than a week, police say, and they're turning to the public for help in locating him. Jonathan Gushue was last seen on New Year's Eve in downtown Toronto. Authorities tell the Waterloo Record that the chef, who is five foot ten and 180 pounds with short, dark hair and blue eyes, may be using the surname Herder, which is actually his middle name.

Last seen one week ago. »

Pho Show Expanding To Redondo Beach

Pho Show in Redondo BeachPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

Pho Show, the Vietnamese restaurant started in 2008 by three worker bees longing for a nearby place to slurp pho in Westside L.A., is on the verge of opening a second location in Redondo Beach. So far Yelp reviewers have been mixed about this pun-friendly pho-pusher, which serves a massive menu that includes seafood plates, rice recipes, gỏi cuốn, and Chinese vegetable dishes, in addition to the Southeast Asian staple of rice noodle soup.

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Massive Bluefin Tuna Sells for $1.76 Million at Tokyo Auction

Saturday was the first tuna auction of the year at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, and a single, 489-pound bluefin tuna sold to a sushi restaurant magnate for a staggering 155 million yen — that would be $1.76 million, or $3,600 per pound. The buyer, as multiple outlets have reported, was Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain; and some customers at one of his restaurants Saturday night got to sample slices of the prized, gargantuan fish.

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Santa Monica's New Pulse Cafe Debuts "Hot Smoothies"

Hot smoothies at Pulse CafePhoto: Pulse Cafe

Did a small Santa Monica Cafe just one-up Ferran and Albert Adria? The El Bulli brothers have long dreamed of conquering the chimera of "hot" ice cream, only to be shot down by the limits of reality. But Tanya Chen's recently opened Pulse Cafe in Santa Monitca is crowing about its own creation of hot smoothies, a proprietary recipe the owner says is the only version of this seemingly contradictory treat available in the world.

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PETA Giving Away Free Lunch Today in Downtown

Starting at noon today, PETA is giving away free sandwiches along with a vegetarian/vegan starter kit outside of City Hall. Making "Meatless Mondays" a little more appetizing, the animal rights organization (who we like much better when they're giving away free food instead of snatching fancy delicacies from our plates) will have its scantily-clad "Lettuce Ladies" on hand. Somebody really ought to alert Mayor Villaraigosa and his high-flying friends. 200 N. Spring St. Downtown[L.A. Mag/Digest]

Singer of Chili’s Baby Back Ribs Jingle Remembered on Best Funeral Ever

TLC's new reality show Best Funeral Ever chronicles extravagant services for the dearly departed. They're more like grotesque celebrations of death (did nobody take The Hunger Games seriously?). One of the episodes features the barbecue-themed funeral of Willie McCoy, the voice of the catchiest jingle ever. There's a fountain of sauce, ribs to feed the mourners, and live pigs. And his coffin looks like a smoker.

A sneak peek ahead, if you can stomach it. »

The Bruery Shuttering Its Tasting Room in Old Towne Orange

The BrueryPhoto: The Bruery

Orange County beer-maker The Bruery announces the coming closure of its company store and tasting room in Old Town Orange this Sunday, January 13. The Bruery Provisions will first hold a fire-sale, held from this Thursday to Sunday, wherein its curated wine stock, U.S. and international beer supply, cheese, assorted goods, and charcuterie will be on sale for 30% off, not including the brand's own innovative ales. Director of marketing Benjamin Weiss explains the shutter: "After examining our growing business, increased production capacity, barrel aging efforts, enhanced Tasting Room, and growing membership societies, it became apparent Provisions is not the best use of our limited resources." Elsewhere, CEO Patrick Rue pens a stout goodbye letter to the space on The Bruery's website. Fortunately, a newer, multi-tap tasting room and Bruery bottle outlet will remain open next to the label's Placentia production facility.

Boyle Heights Taco Trucks Settle Steep Tabs To Stay Afloat

Taco truck owners are decrying the high costs of operating in Boyle Heights today. One local husband and wife team operating their own lonchera explain that their considerable expenses include $1,000 a month in cleaning fees, a six-percent kick-up of profits to the L.A. County Board of Equalization, and a $230 per-week maintenance fee. In addition, owners struggle to succeed due to gas prices, permit and grading inspection costs, repeat reviews by the health department, and varying and obtuse city laws that are too often explained only in English. Overall, taco truck operators in L.A.'s "Mecca" of lonchera-dom need to sell thousands of tacos each month just to keep their motors running. [Boyle Heights Beat]

First Look Into The New La Brea Bakery, Now Open in Mid-City

The original location of La Brea Bakery is now a casualty to the closing of Campanile, where Nancy Silverton founded the small attaché in 1989. Now a national giant in the world of craftsman bread, dough, pastry, soups, and sandwiches, the bakery relocated this past Saturday to a new, expanded space inside of the flower-peddling Rita Flora building, just one block up the street from its first home. The bigger space means room for both a bakery supplying the brand's rustic loaves and baguettes, pastries like scones, muffins, macaroons, and whole grain cookies, as well as a full cafe serving signature sandwiches, soups, panini, and coffee drinks. Shelves teem with fastidiously selected artisan products, including handmade jams, fine cheeses, gourmet chocolate, crackers, and copies of The Mozza Cookbook. Though tears of nostalgia may be shed for the flagship of this major force in the world of baked goods, the expanded La Brea Bakery goes bigger on the capacity, capability, and stock, with more to come as the company settles into its new home. Come have a look for yourself in this slide show exploration of the new La Brea Bakery.

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Queen Elizabeth Needs a New Dishwasher

Dust off your résumé: The Queen of England is advertising for a catering assistant. Sounds like a cool gig at first blush. Posh surroundings! Face time with Kate Middleton! Maybe a few pints with Harry! Really, the only down side is that the palace pays rather hideously. According to an ad placed by the Official Website of the British Monarchy, the royals need someone to "maintain the cleanliness of the staff restaurant." The General Catering Assistant must possess the usual qualifications — punctuality, reliability, willingness to travel to various other palaces across the rolling British countryside — and the chosen applicant mustn't require much money. LondonNet points out that the £14,200 salary (about $23,000) for what basically appears to be a dishwashing job works out to a meager £6.83 an hour, which is less than the London living wage of £8.55 an hour. Of course, the palace does throw in "accommodation," which softens the blow a little. And who can blame the Queen for budgeting a bit? She has to pay someone to pre-wear her shoes, after all. [Telegraph UK, British Monarchy Official Site, LondonNet, Earlier]

Shoop's European Deli Opens West Hollywood Location

Shoop's West HollywoodPhoto: Shoop's

Shoop's European Deli, a Santa Monica favorite for German and Swiss candies, weisswurst, kraut-laden franks, and hulking sandwiches (one of which—The Clevelander—made our own top rankings), is now open in a brand-new West Hollywood location. After three years of planning, this second iteration of Matt Shoop's deli grand-opened this past Saturday on Hayworth Avenue, above Santa Monica Blvd., offering roughly the same menu of house-smoked salmon BLTs, banana pancakes, corned beef breakfast wraps, daily soup, coffee, tea, cheeses, meats, and chocolate layer cake as the Westside original.

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New Study: Binge Eaters Combine Strange Foods, Then Hate Themselves

Okay, so maybe Taco Bell is onto something with those Doritos tacos. According to a new study from the University of Alabama, the growing practice of secretive "food concocting" — that is, mixing gross shit with other gross shit and eating it — is common among binge eaters. The study, soon to appear in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, states that bingers often secretly create "concoctions" like frozen vegetables mixed with mayonnaise and mashed potatoes layered with Oreo cookies, then feel shame and "disgust."

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A Brief History of Milkshake-Related Mayhem

Not always as delicious as you might think.Photo: Lew Robertson/Corbis

The other week, after her parents imposed a like, totally life-ruining 10 p.m. Internet curfew, a Sacramento teen decided there was only one thing left to do: Drug her parents by slipping a friend's prescription sleep medicine into milkshakes. Chocolate and vanilla, to be exact, though the parents only drank about half of each because the drinks tasted crunchy and bad. These unassuming folks weren’t the first, however, to be duped by the seemingly sweet treats. Here’s a look at other frozen-dairy-product-related crime throughout the century, broken down by flavor.

It's actually really sad. »

Man Arrested After Revisiting McDonald’s He Had Robbed

"They always return to the scene of the crime."

Somewhere, the Hamburglar is taking a short break from dollar menu reverie to face-palm: A man who robbed a McDonald's restaurant in Pontiac, Michigan, last October 5 returned to the same restaurant this past Saturday, three months after the crime was committed. An employee recognized him while he was in the drive-through and called the cops, who arrested him. It's one thing that the guy was stupid enough to return to the scene, but another that employees at the suburban Detroit McDonald's recognized him. Who says fast-food workers don't pay enough attention on the job? [AP]

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