Posts for January 9, 2013

Mega-Chains Invading Culver City

MenchiesPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

A double-headed dose of uber-chain is invading Downtown Culver City, just around the corner from new P.S. 310. Nation-wide frozen yogurt empire (and pusher of a saccharine world of made-up fruit-faced characters) Menchie's is taking over a terrific corner space on Main Street, set on dispensing its apple pie, cinnamon roll, and pina colada flavors to the neighborhood.

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Seattle Man Hit by Bus, Grabs Morning Coffee Anyhow

A city bus hit a 32-year-old man in downtown Seattle yesterday morning with such force that the airborne pedestrian hit and cracked the windshield, the Today File notes. Yet the man, whom the Seattle Times describes as "a downtown business professional," was able to get up after the incident and walk a block over to a coffee shop, where he proceeded to place an order — after getting knocked down, it turns out, the man just needed a good pick-me-up. The unidentified man was declined service because he had a concussion, however, and was instead taken to the hospital. [ST]

Alex Stratta Joining Scarpetta Beverly Hills; 50-Cent Drinks Tomorrow at Coffee Bean

Coffee beansPhoto: Stirling Noyes/Flickr

Atwater Village: A Puerto Rican restaurant named Old San Juan is opening on January 18 under chef Luis Castro. [Eater]
Beverly Hills: Las Vegas chef Alex Stratta is taking up the executive chef role at Scarpetta, while chef de cuisine Freddy Vargas is going to work for Mercato di Vetro. [Eater]
Citywide: Participating locations of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will celebrate its 50th year anniversary tomorrow with 50-cent hot drinks like English toffee lattes and Ice Blendeds and Chai Tea Lattes. [GS]
Culver City: Sang Yoon flew all the way to Hong Kong and all he got is a bag of green Sichuan peppercorns and memories. [Food Republic]
Downtown: Zach Brooks gives early praise to Oleego by Park's BBQ and Juicy Lucy at Figat7th, even if he doesn't give much of a damn who Paul Shoemaker is. [Midtown Lunch]

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El Segundo Getting a Slice of Brooklyn at Grimaldi's, Opening Late Spring

Sausage pie at Grimaldi'sPhoto: Apasciuto/Flickr

L.A.'s rapidly improving pizza scene is soon to get a big boost from a Brooklyn original. Grimaldi's, New York's legendary coal-fired pizza place under the Brooklyn Bridge, is heading to El Segundo, part of a plan to bring six locations to Los Angeles. Grimaldi's was founded by former Patsy's chef-owner and Lombardi's descendant Frank Grimaldi, who sold the business in 1998. A 280-seat location of the restaurant, which recently expanded to six other states, is coming to the former home of Daily Grill on Rosecrans Avenue, with a debut planned in late spring.

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The French Are Annoyed That Obama Is Serving California ‘Champagne’ at Inauguration

Didn't go through customs.

Korbel has made a special cuvée for President Obama's second inauguration, which they're bottling as "Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne, California," and once again the French wine lobby is annoyed that Americans are co-opting the word "Champagne." Per U.S. law, the label is supposed to read "California Champagne," and the French would actually prefer it say "sparkling wine" anyway.

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Woman Arrested In Child's Chili Powder Death

A two-year toddler died in Southern California's Apple Valley from complications caused by eating chili powder. The 21-year-old girlfriend to the child's father is now in jail following the death, indicating that the chili powder may even have been used as a form of punishment. Though the exact cause of death is unknown, a doctor makes plain that ingesting food in powder form can be lethal for children of such young ages. The incident is a horribly tragic reminder that it's not just industrial-strength ghost peppers wreaking mortal wounds on the world. [The Sun; S.F. Gate]

Grill 'Em All Going Brick-and-Mortar in Alhambra on January 19

Seek and destroyPhoto: Grill 'Em All

Grill 'Em All, Matt Chernus and Ryan Harkins' head-banging burger truck, is coming in from the land of the ice and snow, with plans to open its own brick-and-mortar restaurant in Alhambra's Renaissance Plaza on January 19. The business commanded national fame in 2013 when it crushed its competitors on the first season of The Great Food Truck Race, raking in a cool $50,000 in winnings. Eater reports that the new restaurant is subtitled (like so many legendary metal ballads before it) with the name "Valhalla," and will feature a matte black counter for nine diners and portraits of heavy metal icons.

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Slate Serving Wine and Panini at The Hudson Theatres

"Good Food For Bad People"Photo: Slate

Hollywood's Hudson Theatres, the Santa Monica Blvd. performing arts complex on "Theater Row" with four stages and a lobby-bound espresso bar, is currently hosting a new wine bar and panini concept called Slate. The sandwich and cocktail bar is set-up through March, the temporary concept coming from restaurant veterans/actors Josh Weinstein and Michael Della Femina, who briefly brought "Bloody" Bill Annesley's pop-up, Libertine, to West Hollywood in 2009. The two recently starred together in a show and are also curating upcoming performances at The Hudson. Simultaneously, the duo is offering a short selection of panini made with La Brea Bakery bread, including a sweet version with Nutella and banana, plus meatier versions like an organic pork and beef meatball slider with smoked gouda, as well as pickles cured in-house, assorted pastries, and fennel and herb fritattas over breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Check out a sample menu below.

Slate, 6541 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood; 646-580-7592.

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Good-bye, Gourmet Live

Condé Nast is killing its Gourmet Live tablet app, which survived for two years, three months, and some days. After the company shut down 90-year-old Gourmet magazine in 2009, it appeased readers by creating a free, advertising-supported app. Though it was one of the most popular downloads in the iTunes store at its prime, it "no longer helps fuel the brand’s evolution," according to a company spokeswoman. Content will continue to go up on Gourmet.com, which currently has an optimistic "Welcome 2013" headline on its homepage. Dream big. [NYP]

Downtown's Getting Its First Fatburger

Last month Grub Street readied New York for a coming onslaught from L.A.'s 60-year-old Fatburger empire. Back at home, the burger chain is about to break the seal on a new 50-seat, 1,700-square-foot store in Downtown, the first for the neighborhood. The restaurant plans to open on Figueroa in about two weeks, L.A. Downtown News reports, with a grand-opening scheduled for late next month. 888 S. Figueroa St. [LADTN]

Developer Sammy Kahen Taps Spacecraft For Montana Triangle Restaurant Design

1340 Glendale Blvd.Photo: Spacecraft

In an ongoing, four-year-old saga (perhaps more of a slog-a), local real estate developer Sammy Kahen is tapping another yet another design to create the look of his proposed mixed-use building with both cafe and restaurant space on a free-standing, triangle-shaped block of Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park. This time around, it's Spacecraft, Hollywood-based designers of character-rich spaces like The Wellsbourne, Mohawk Bend, and Smithhouse. The rooftop deck design you see above is just the latest of three produced for the potential space in the last few years, but a rep with Spacecraft indicates this project will be developed as proposed, with completion due around March of 2013.

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