Posts for January 11, 2013

Jerk Leaves Screed About Obama In Place of Tip at Cupola

Some asshole decided to take his post-election anger out on a server at San Francisco's Cupola Pizzeria this week. Along with a $3 tip on a $37 bill he left this card, which reads "As a direct result of Proposition 30 and President Obama's insistence that I pay 'MY FAIR SHARE IN TAXES,' I find that I must cut back on discretionary spending and gratuities. I wish it didn't have to be this way for both of us." You know what we wish? That people with poor logic skills and tight wallets would simply not dine out if they feel they're being taxed unfairly. Proposition 30, which passed in November, raised sales taxes in California from 7.25% to 7.5%, and raised income taxes for those earning more than $250,000 a year. As Michael Bauer, who got a photo of the card via the head of Lark Creek Restaurant Group, writes, "This is one guy I’m glad I don’t know." [Between Meals/Scoop]

Casa Nostra Expanding to Downtown

Michele Scarpino, Gerardo Ballesteros, and Giovanni Zappone’s Italian restaurant, Casa Nostra, is opening a new Downtown location in the former home of Magnolia on Ninth Street. Slated for the end of the month, L.A. Downtown News spies a similar 120-seat space under construction, with a few new menu items from Ballesteros, both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a proposed 1:00 A.M. closing time. Hitting the nail squarely on the head, Zappone tells the paper, "I believe in Downtown. Everything is happening here." [LADTN]

Rodell Adores The Austrian Authenticity of BierBeisel; Gold Jumps Aboard Bestia


At BierBisl, Bernhard Mairinger "has a firm grip on classic technique, a highly endangered asset in today's world of young chefs who know which chemicals will make your food look like globules of magical, quivering boogers but aren't sure how to make a Caesar salad dressing by hand." So writes Besha Rodell on Beverly Hills' authentic Austrian restaurant, charmed by the sense of transportation if offers back to Europe and taken aback by the prices and "overwhelmed," though charming and committed service. Citing favorite dishes like a "meticulous" sweetbread and salsify appetizer , reassuring" goulash, and "one of the best charcuterie plates in town," Rodell finds that "Mairinger's cooking adheres to that foundation of doing things right" at a restaurant that offers "relief from the trendy, the ordinary, the overdone." Three stars! [LAW]

Read more »

Santa Monica Gets All Emotional About A Denny's

People apparently have pretty deep emotions when it comes to chain diners like Denny's and Norm's. Following The L.A. Times' report this week that both location of these restaurants had been sold to a developer in Santa Monica, the Vintage L.A. blog called the move "tragic" on Facebook, setting off a record-setting firestorm of comments both praising and damning the diner chain. The response drew a counter-protest by the site, urging Alison Marino to clarify that her tears were hardly over early bird specials and Hobbit menus, but with the city's current state of over-development. "It's not about losing Denny's that's got me in a huff," Martino bites back, "it's about over building, creating more traffic and greed!!!!" [Patch/Facebook]

Bradley Cooper Takes Jennifer Lawrence to Katsuya; Taylor Swift Hits Mastro's With Dad the hoop?Photo: David Shankbone/Flickr

Jennifer Lawrence, star of The Hunger Games staved off starvation by ditching her boyfriend for the lupine charms of Bradley Cooper, with both newly single actors spotted together over raw fish at Katsuya. The two could have simply been celebrating their wins at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, but it's way more fun to believe they're taking their relationship from the silver screen to the silk-lined sheets. In other celeb-spotting news, Lindsay Lohan is being berated for her sloppy work ethic in a scene shot at Cafe Med, Pau Gasol received a custom cake at FigOly, and Taylor Swift sought the comfort of steak and her dear old dad at Mastro's after her relationship with her latest beau fell apart. For more celebrity settings, look below.

Read more »

Study: Half the World’s Food Gets Thrown Away

That pear looks perfectly edible.Photo: iStock Photo

Here's your depressing statistic of the week: 30 to 50 percent of the world's food is wasted each year, amounting to some 2 billion metric tons of grain, vegetables, and meat thrown in the garbage. These numbers come from a new study by the British Institution of Mechanical Engineers, reported on this week in the Guardian. In the First World, the primary reason for food waste is consumers' tastes for unblemished produce and retail guidelines that enforce overly conservative sell-by dates. In the developing world, food is thrown out mainly owing to spoilage, which could be helped by improved infrastructure and distribution systems. But basically, people wouldn't be going hungry if more were being done to keep good food out of the trash bin, and the world is dumb. The end. [Guardian UK, CNN]

Evan Funke's Porchetta Truck Pulling Into Santa Monica Today

Funke's porchetta

Gearing up for the debut of his Culver City Italian restaurant, Bucato, Evan Funke is cruising town on the down-low in a food truck, serving Umbrian-style porchetta sandwiches to the hungry masses. The appearances have so far been sporadic and announced without much warning, but for the next two Fridays, the chef is appearing Santa Monica's Wine Expo "for happy hour." Find the porky four-wheeler in full effect at 2933 Santa Monica Blvd. today at 5:30 P.M. The store warns that Funke sold 120 sandwiches in an hour and half last Friday and even though he'll be armed with a double order today, it would still probably behoove you to be on time. [Bucato/Twitter]

Free Bubbly at Primitivo Today

Venice wine bar Primitivo is celebrating eleven years on Abbot Kinney today with a party. A free glass of "bubbly" will be given to anyone who wishes the restaurant a happy birthday and the restaurant has a few surprises up its sleeves, including the re-introduction of one of its original chefs, Adam Bussell, who cooked at the restaurant back in 2002 and later worked as a corporate chef with Umami Burger. [Yo! Venice!; Facebook]

Jeremy Fox Flees Old Soul, "This Is Not a Pop-Up" Continues With Stellar Chef Lineup

Definitely on some now-you-see-me, now-you-don't shit

More dashed plans for chef Jeremy Fox, who is canceling his Old Soul dinner series at Square One in the face of a new opportunity, leaving diners with reservations for his January sessions empty-handed. The former Ubuntu chef first came to L.A. from San Francisco in late 2011 to help open Freddy Smalls and advise Paper + Plastick as a consultant. Plans waxed and waned, with Fox throwing out ideas like an Eames House-inspired restaurant and something called Kosher Pig, famously bailing Barnyard in Venice days before it's planned opening, where he was set to finally make his mark locally before the split with ownership.

Read more »

Restaurant Owner Gives an Anti-Gay Letter to Lesbian Customers

McGovern's letter.Photo: WCTI NewsChannel 12

As Ariel and Shawnee McPhail, an openly lesbian couple, strolled out of North Carolina's the Stingray Café, the restaurant's owner rushed toward them and handed them a letter. Ed McGovern's note, signed by "The Love of Christ," said that God opposed homosexuality and that the women's "unnatural" affection hurt everyone around them. In the letter, McGovern also revealed that his own daughter's lesbianism destroyed her life.

"I will NEVER step foot in your cafe again." »

McDonald’s in Australia Sprays Thieves With DNA Cocktail


Macca's, which is what people call the fast-food chain Down Under, announced it will expand the use of the crime deterrent SelectaDNA spray in stores around the country in 2013, the Morning Herald reports. The company does not disclose how their crime-fighting, ceramic-based "synthetic" DNA cocktail is made, but no matter! Here's how it works.

Shwoosh! Shwoosh! That's the sound of synthetic DNA. »

The Garage on Motor Grand-Opens in Palms Tonight

The Garage on MotorPhoto: The Garage

After a long construction and low-key soft-opening period, The Garage on Motor Ave. is ready to formally bust out of the gate in Palms tonight. The shiny new sports pub, strewn with vintage gas station signage, is all about fun and games, with two distinct areas for dining and drinking, twelve flat-screen televisions showing the latest in "sport," and a non-Susan Sarandon-sanctioned ping pong table.

Read more »

Peanut Allergies Defeated With ‘Peanut Therapy’

It may be possible to reverse the potentially deadly effects of peanut allergies, a new study backed by the National Institutes of Health suggests — that is, if you're willing to take an enormous risk and put in the time. Forty subjects at five hospitals were given trace amounts of peanut protein under the tongue — an initial "1:20,000,000 weight/volume dilution," notes the Atlantic — which was then increased incrementally over a period of 68 weeks. Most participants just developed "itchy mouth" as the dose got nuttier; pretty much none of them went into anaphylactic shock. Weirdly, three of twenty patients treated with the placebo went on to "spontaneous tolerance development," which means those folks may be well on their way to reuniting with their old friend Mr. Peanut. Fascinating stuff, this is, but don't try it at home. [Atlantic]

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