Posts for January 10, 2013

Hummus Bar Express Now Open on Third Street Promenade

Hummus Bar ExpressPhoto: Midtown Lunch

Midtown Lunch delivers the news that Hummus Bar Express, the faster, more casual version of Tarzana's Hummus Bar & Grill, is now open and serving Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade with its made-to-order Israeli food. Already, the hard-lunchin' blog claims this sister site, which lacks a salad bar but retains the freshly baked laffa, beef kebab, falafel, and spit-roasted shawarma, is "one of, if not THE, best lunch option on or around the Promenade." Not that this particular bar was ever set too high, but it certainly beats another Wahoo's Fish Taco or Baja Fresh. [Midtown Lunch]

Hummus Bar Express, 1333 3rd St. 310-260-1994.

Jon Carpenter Breaks From Golden Road Brewing

Golden Road's barleywine

As Downtown prepares to whet its whistle at the soon-to-reopen Angel City Brewing, a slight staff shakeup is being announced over at Atwater Village's well-funded upstart, Golden Road Brewing. Jon Carpenter, the former Dogfish Head brewer who made up one half of the original duo of brew-masters leading Tony Yanow's label, has apparently parted ways with the company. Now joining brewer Meg Gill at the company is Jesse Houck, formerly the head brewer and production manager at Drake's Brewing Co. in San Leandro.** In a statement, Gil says, "We're thrilled to bring Jesse's leadership and dry, hoppy, clean-beer loving palate to L.A." While a rep says Carpenter left at the start of the year "to pursue other projects," there's no exact word on where he'll take his suds skills next.

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Watch These Amazing Tim Hortons Customers Sing ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’

This adorable group of senior-citizen doughnut-shop crooners are better known as the Entertainers, CBS reports. They are members of the Oakville Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, and they convene at their local Tim Hortons after practice on Monday nights to share doughnuts and coffee. Sometimes, awesomely, they burst into song. Prepare to feel happy, and perhaps crave a cinnamon-sugar doughnut or two.

It's enough to make kings and vagabonds shed a tear or two. »

Bar Amá Introduces Downtown to Bacanora

Blue agave in Jalisco, Mx.

Josef Centeno's new Downtown Tex-Mex restaurant, Bar Amá, receives early praise today for its libations program, which highlights tequila, mezcal, and Chihuahua's lesser-known agave spirit, sotol. Digest's Bill Esparza spies something else unique among the bar's shelves now in the form of bacanora, a distilled liquor mostly found in Sonora. Both spirits, each specific to separate Mexican states, are made with different agave varietals than the more common Blue Weber, with their hearts roasted for days in earthen pits and tasty profiles with more in common with mezcal than tequila. Esparza, L.A.'s noted Mex-pert, credits bacanora for "a pure, balanced flavor that is superior to any mezcal in town" and calls the featured brand, Cielo Rojo, "worth the trip to Bar Amá alone." Meanwhile, we're still holding our breath for a bar with enough cojones to bust out the raicilla. [Digest]

Pace Chef Comes Down The Hill to Sirena, Open Tonight For Dinner


Michael Sutton and Porta Via's Peter Garland reopened the departed Pane e Vino space in Beverly Hills last week as Sirena, serving the coastal Italian cooking of Pace chef-owner Sandy Gendel over lunch and starting tonight, dinner. The famous patio is still in place, centered on a giant tree and worn, wood-topped tables, undulating with a wavy black and gray flooring design. Interiors have new a navy blue, ocean-influenced look from designer Fred Sutherland. The Mediterranean menu is geared toward organic ingredients on small and large plates that go heavy on the seafood dishes, along with Gendel's handmade pastas and pizzas. Eater notes that this newbie is taking a cue from the likes of Fig & Olive, serving an olive oil-based menu, along with grass-fed beef, and wines from former Drago sommelier Jeff Morganthal.

Sirena, 8265 Beverly Blvd. Beverly Hills; 323-852-7000.

Singapore Express Shutters in Marina del Rey; Otis Jackson's Soul Dog No More in NoHo

A "soul dog" topped with baconPhoto: Otis Jackson's Soul Dog/Facebook

Two closings sure to be felt by their respective neighborhoods. Singapore Express, a rare and dependable Malay, Singaporean, and Indonesian quick-serve and takeout joint on the Westside, has vacated the premises in Marina del Rey, right around the corner from Ricardo Zarate's forthcoming Paiche. This leaves a fairly large hole in the seaside community's needs the next time cravings for beef satay, curry puffs, and laksa lemak strike.

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Michael Aguilar Replacing Sally Camacho at WP24

Wolfgang Puck's WP24 is bringing on a new head pastry chef from within the restaurant's own ranks. Michael Aguilar, who joined WP24 in 2011 to work by acclaimed local (and Top Chef: Just Desserts bad-ass) Sally Camacho's side, is a veteran of Hubert Keller's Fleur de Lys in Vegas and our own Beverly Hills Hotel. Aguilar is behind sweet stuff here like a liquid caramel with caramelia mousse, miso butterscotch with spiced apple donuts, and kabocha cake with maple bourbon ice cream. Meanwhile, Camacho is seeking some help for her work as the executive pastry chef at The Jonathan Club.

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Mojo Sauce and Thai-German Fusion Lollipops

"You need to wear a great hat if you want to cook in this kitchen."Photo: Courtesy of Bravo

Thanks to Hugh Acheson and Chef Josie for writing nice things about these recaps on their twitter feeds! On to the show ...

Lobster bisque with Thai spices and Bavarian cream lollipop garnish. »

N/Naka Offering $55 Sunday Benefit Dinners

Uni at N/NakaPhoto: N/Naka

If costs are keeping you from experiencing one of L.A.'s most enchanting kaiseki restaurants, we come bearing encouraging news. N/Naka, the sublime study of seasonal Japanese cuisine run by virtuoso Niki Nakayama in Palms, is running a special $55 five-course menu called "Eat/Give/Hope" every Sunday from January 27 through February 10.

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Pizza: It's For L.A.'s Lovers

Our pizza scene is going bonkers as of late and now, it's even helping love to flourish. A new study by activity-based dating website How About We? finds that pizza-nibbling and wine-sipping are the number-one food-based choices for potential couples going out on dates in L.A. Sure, pizza may not be synonymous with our city quite yet, but this all sort of makes sense when you consider Korean barbecue, taquerias, and Indian food are fraught with disasters of very messy proportions when trying to both impress your suitors and keep your hands/breath/new shirt clean. [LAist]

Over 45 Restaurants Cramming Into L.A.'s Inaugural Bacon Festival

Looks like Wilbur's put on a little weightPhoto: L.A. Bacon Festival

If you're appetite for crispy fried pork belly is so far unsated by the likes of a 100% bacon burger or Ray Garcia's bacon-wrapped bacon, you may finally block that artery find bliss at Eat.Drink.Play's inaugural L.A. Bacon Festival at The Petersen Museum on February 9. From 2:00 to 6:00 P.M., more than 45 restaurant, bakeries, and caterers will be on hand to offer their signature bacon dishes. Mendocino Farms is leading the charge here, bringing aboard local industry friends like Pigg, Mess Hall, Westside Tavern, Starry Kitchen, Michael's, Cliff's Edge, Slater's 50/50 (of course,) Hot's Kitchen, Kitchen 24, Abigaile, and Larry's, just to name a few, as well as 20 breweries including Drakes, Lagunitas, Deschutes, and Ballast Point.

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Alma's Derrick de Jesus Popping Up With MSG at City Sip

Derrick De Jesus with Alma's Ari TaymorPhoto: Derrick de Jesus

Derrick de Jesus, the San Gabriel Valley local who worked beside Ari Taymor as chef de cuisine at both Alma and Salute, is breaking out into his own pop-up at Echo Park's City Sip this month. Under the name "MSG," de Jesus will feature a menu of American fare with an Asian angle, cooking eight to ten dollar vegetable and seafood-based small plates while backed by a soundtrack of mid-nineties hip-hop. De Jesus' resume includes a stint with Patina, a stage at Mexico City's Pujol, and competed in the Coupe du Monde de La Patissiere in 2007.

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Woman Named Beautiful Existence to Live Off Only Starbucks Food for a Year

Name to change to Painful Existence.

And the cult of scary Starbucks fanatics gets a new leader: Ms. Beautiful Existence (legal name) has taken a vow to only eat food from Starbucks for an entire year. Apparently, this act is somehow driven by feminism: "Where are the WOMEN challenging themselves in the world? Where are the effects being shown on a woman’s culture? A woman’s family & children? ... Where is HER VOICE on how an international company is directly or indirectly impacting everything from her waistline to her bottom line and every other woman’s, man’s, child’s, societies and planets world with their presence?" she writes on her blog. This isn't the first time Existence has attempted a stunt like this: Last year, she lived her life according to Parents magazine, and in 2011, she only shopped at Goodwill. Definitely not as painful as subsisting off "artisan" breakfast sandwiches and processed protein lunch boxes. Good thing Existence lives in Seattle; at least there's booze at her local Starbucks. [Earlier, Earlier, HuffPo]

Nebraska Man Crashes His Car Into Pizzeria, Orders Pizza Anyhow

An elderly man in Nebraska crashed his Honda Fit through the facade of a Valentino's Pizza in Lincoln, Nebraska, yesterday, shearing off the chain store's front doors and launching glass into its dining room before he came to a full stop inside the restaurant and placed an order. "The gentleman said his foot had stuck on the gas," a witness says, "and that he was going to go ahead and order some pizza." It's almost as if he was trying to do one better than the Seattle man who decided to go for coffee right after he was hit by a bus earlier this week. No one was injured, and it seems as though the man did not get his large pie — instead, he was taken to the hospital, where the pizza isn't as good.

He said his foot got stuck on the accelerator. »

‘Knife Guys’ Will Ferrell and Ryan Gosling Cut Into Jimmy Kimmel’s New Time Slot

If you've ever wondered what a knife-selling show on QVC hosted by Ryan Gosling and Will Ferrell would look like, well, it happened last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Apparently Kimmel didn't realize his new time slot was already taken by the Ginsu-wielding duo. "What the hell are you doing here, Jimmy?" Gosling asks. "We sell knives at eleven-thirty. Everyone knows that." Click through for the best chocolate-milk-slicing demo you'll probably see all day. [Vulture]

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