Posts for January 8, 2013

Kail Dining Moves Downtown For Three-Week Stint

Kali DiningPhoto: Kali Dining

Kevin Meehan is bringing his Kali Dining dinner party series to Downtown for a three-week run starting January 24 and ending February 10. The chef, who we recently noted was looking to open a brick-and-mortar space on the Westside, is overtaking a Pershing Square-adjacent loft to serve his ingredient-driven plates and improvised menus once every evening, three nights a week, Thursday through Saturdays. Reservations for the limited seatings will go fast, so those interested should get on it by making arrangements online.

Spice Table Brings Scallop Congee, Lamb Bacon Gravy, and Kaya Doughnuts to New Saturday Brunch

Brunch at Spice TablePhoto: Spice Table

This Saturday, chef Bryant Ng begins brunch at his Downtown restaurant The Spice Table. Expect a roster of new U.S. comfort and Asian breakfast dishes like biscuits with lamb bacon gravy, a beef rendang hash with eggs, crab wonton soup, scallop congee, Ng's hand-cured salmon on an English muffin, and a doughnut version of Kaya toast with a coconut jam glaze. And while the restaurant may be bereft of its acclaimed banh mi, the chef will be serving his signature burger, along with a new drink menu that includes milk tea, bottomless mimosas, and Handsome Roasters coffee. Catch the new brunch menu from 11:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. every Saturday.

Santa Monica Burger Update: Hole-in-the-Wall Burger Joint Reopens on Colorado, Wendy's Now Serving on Lincoln

Hole-in-the-Wall burgerPhoto: Hole-in-the-Wall Burger

Bill Dertouzos and Susan McAlindon's Hole-in-the-Wall Burger Joint, which had to vacate its original West L.A. space last November by order of the landlord, landed safely on the other side of The 405 Freeway, and is now open on Colorado Avenue. Unemployed Eater reports that the new address is serving an expanded menu in a larger space, now featuring items like milkshakes, desserts like cookies and brownies, and special, limited edition burgers.

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Umami Burger Launching Irvine Location

Umami BurgerPhoto: Yogma/Flickr

Umami Burger is setting sights on its fourth Orange County location, with the announcement that the Japanese-kissed burger joint will open in Irvine sometime before the end of 2013. Umami, which is in the throes of a national expansion to Miami and Manhattan, will take space within The Irvine Spectrum amphitheater as the fourteenth location in the series, serving a greatest hits selection from the standard Umami menu, as well as a specialty burger inspired by the community. We're not exactly sure what an Irvine burger might consist of. Adam Fleischman's creation already has a prominent Asian influence, but it remains to be seen whether it could offer a sly nod to notable natives like the affable Will Ferrell or the creepy Ayn Rand Institute. Given the relative affluence of the student-heavy region, we're thinking maybe a Benz logo branded in the bun wouldn't be too out of place. Guess we'll learn the (objective?) truth when Umami Irvine opens later this year.

There’s a New Electronic Fork That Will Supposedly Help You Not Get Fat

Not the classiest-looking flatware we've ever seen.Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

A new electronic, Internet-connected fork (yes, you read that right) that vibrates to tell you you're eating too fast or too much just debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The HAPIfork and HAPIspoon use sensors and a Wi-Fi-enabled app to tell people they're raising the utensil to their mouths too fast or that their meal has gone on too long, and it vibrates like a game of Operation when you mess up. Now, we've heard the arguments about how eating slower lets you know you're full sooner, but if you really need an eating utensil to tell you you're binge-eating, you're probably beyond hope. Some problems that are immediately apparent: This isn't going to help if you're stuffing your face with handheld foods like Doritos and hot dogs, and we can also see how this could cause problems for an easily embarrassed dieter who brings one of these things along for a tyrannic, four-hour tasting menu meal at Alinea or Per Se. You'll want to turn the fork's sensor off after the meal's first hour passes by. [All Tech Considered/NPR]

Chi Spacca Opening at Mozza February 4

Something big is happening over at Mozza. Eater reports that a new restaurant is opening on February 4 in the Batali-Silverton-Bastianich Italian mega-spread on Melrose, with the introduction of a forthcoming concept called Chi SPACCA at the site of Scuola di Pizza. Sure enough, the new restaurant, which is likely a more formal, full-service version of Chad Colby's Salumi Bar, already has a website depicting cows and a cleaver (which is the definition of chi spacca), before any announcements have been made. [Eater]

Farid Zadi Planning Big Things

"My kickstarter campaign to break the Guinness World Record for Largest Bowl of Couscous was approved!!!!!"—Chef Farid Zadi, the founder of L.A.'s Couscous Festival, who recently parted ways with Spansh Fly Gastropub to concentrate on new endeavors. [Facebook]

Campanile Starts Construction at LAX

Mark PeelPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

In a promising sign that palates are getting sharper, Campanile will be replacing a Chili's in Terminal 4 of LAX this spring. Mark Peel's legendary restaurant, which closed on La Brea in November despite sailing many a ship bound for a new world of contemporary rustic dining, is set to reopen, albeit at a quarter of the size of his original. Peel tells KPCC that he's been planning a new L.A.X. version of Campanile for more than two years, likely before he ever knew his flagship would shutter.

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Chè Chè Chè Serving Sweets Beside Brodard in Little Saigon

Chè Chè Chè, now open next to Brodard, in Little SaigonPhoto: Joshua Lurie

First the bad news: This is not some cool Argentine remix of that Paul McCartney-Michael Jackson collaboration. The Little Saigon sweet shop, recently opened beside popular Brodard Restaurant, is primarily dedicated to chè, the wide range of pliant, chilled Vietnamese desserts that encompass a huge selection of syrup-saturated fruits, legumes, and veggies, typically served in the form of a sugary jelly or custard in a glass or cup in unique mash-ups that variously combine elements of gelatin, pudding, chilled soup, and parfait. Chè abounds in Garden Grove and Westminster, but the newly opened Chè Chè Chè's most notable asset might come down to its selection and atmosphere. There are a nearly 20 chè choices among the all-Vietnamese menu, along with comfortable wooden seating in a modern set-up that features a customizable chè bar.

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Man Hallucinates After Eating World’s Spiciest Curry

Another day, another case of dangerous eating. Ian Rothwell, who is a 55-year-old doctor (!), decided that it was a good idea to eat a curry dish comprised of twenty Naga Infinity chilies at a restaurant in Grantham, England. To give you an idea: One Infinity is 200 times hotter than a jalapeño, and can cause mouth burns and blisters. The dish, which is ominously named "the Widower," is so spicy that chefs have to wear goggles and face masks to prepare it. Three hundred masochistic customers prior to Rothwell have attempted to eat it and were unable to finish, and one time, the restaurant even had to call an ambulance. But of course the item remained on the menu because there's no such thing as bad publicity (ugh). Rothwell took an hour to finish the plate, cried a bit, went for a walk, and then started hallucinating. But no biggie: He says he felt fine the next day. The restaurant's owner thinks the doctor is a "legend." We say they're both insane. Is this grounds for Dr. Rothwell losing his license to give health advice? Should be. [This Is Lincolnshire via HuffPo]

South Carolina Restaurant Makes Employees Wear ‘How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant’ T-Shirt

The employee dress code: HatePhoto: CoreyHutchins/Twitter

On Sunday, a South Carolina journalist tweeted a photo of a worker at a local restaurant called Taco Cid that had been taken earlier by a local high-school teacher. The worker is wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with an illustrated, cartoonish "trap" baited with two hard shell tacos. "How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant" is printed at the top in the colors of the Mexican flag, and the restaurant's name and contact information appears below the illustration.

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Kikafulo Brazilian Restaurant Closes in Palms

KikafuloPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

Kikafulo, the Brazilian restaurant and dance-hall that sprung from the ashes of Zabumba in 2011, is now closed in Palms, its bright green, stand-alone space sporting an "Available" sign. The shutter is more than just a loss for the Little Brazil neighborhood that lies along a few western blocks of Venice Blvd., marking another sad footnote in the tragedy of slain owner Monica Beresford-Redman (née Burgos).

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Slideshow: A Night at Curtis Duffy’s Grace, the Country’s Most Ambitious New Restaurant

In our video series Finding Grace, we showed you the creation of former Alinea chef de cuisine Curtis Duffy's new restaurant, Grace, in Chicago, and the intense dedication of Duffy and his team to creating a truly graceful experience for guests. The irony, of course, is that all that was taking place in the midst of construction — far from an atmosphere of grace in practice. Now the restaurant is open, and our man Huge Galdones followed service one night last week to capture it in full swing as the realization of Duffy and GM Michael Muser's aspirations. We'll show you how Duffy's light, vegetable-flavor-driven dishes come together on the plate, but you'll also see the intensity and precision that goes into creating the total guest experience at perhaps the most exacting and inspiring restaurant opening of the past year. Here is Curtis Duffy's vision — in practice five nights a week, at 652 West Randolph in Chicago.

Boba 7 Serving Spiked Boba Tea at Downtown's Soi 7

If hot smoothies sound a little too tame to end your day on, Squid Ink spreads the word about alcoholic boba tea appearing in Downtown. Elton Keung, a former intern at Starry Kitchen, recently helped to open Boba 7, what he calls his "Lababatory," in back of Thai restaurant Soi 7 with a quick $2,000 charge to his credit card. Though he frankly tells the blog, "Boba doesn't really go well with most alcohol," the USC alumni engineered a menu of truly original boba drinks, both boozy and dry, including a take on horchata, green tea Heineken, a Design-It-Yourself libation with boba and soju called "The Mad Scientist," and a milk tea involving honey boba, Irish cream, and Kahlua. New drinks in the works include a "Barack Bobama" and of course, the "Linsanitea." [SI]

Waitress at Roberta’s Forgets to Wear Clothes, Serves Food

It happened in Bushwick.

Transgressive: A waitress may have commemorated her last shift at Roberta's on Friday night by taking off her clothes and having a friend write "PEACE OUT" with a Sharpie on her back. Gawker writer Max Read, who was there, notes that no one cared a naked lady was waiting on tables in the packed dining room. (Assless fishnet stockings don't count, by the way.) Anyway, there's some documentation of the night, and because health code states "employees who prepare or serve food products, or wash and sanitize equipment and utensils must wear clean outer garments," Suzie Nudie could cost the Bushwick restaurant fines and/or temporary closure. So, is this hot, ho-hum, or just a health hazard? [Gawker via Eater NY]

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