Posts for January 15, 2013

Lou Amdur Teams Up With Night+Market; Plan Check Opening Fairfax Location

Plan Check's smoky fried chcikenPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

Beverly Hills: New York's Elixir Bar is now open and serving fruit juices and smoothies, along with salads, small plates, and wraps, in the home of a former Pinkberry on Santa Monica Boulevard. [Eater]
Citywide: The Umami Food Truck is coming back in February for private events and can be booked over email. [GS]
Chinatown: Walmart is trying to fit into Downtown, but already spelled César Chávez's name wrong. [LAist]
Downtown: Chin Ma Ya is closing to make way for Ikemen Ramen. [ML]
Fairfax: Owners of Plan Check are opening a new location in the former home of Vodvil. [Eater]
Glendale: The city could be considering a ban on plastic bags. [LAist]

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Starry Kitchen Looking To Start Lunchin'

Thi and Nguyen Tran

Thi and Nguyen Tran's Starry Kitchen may soon return to their own restaurant, L.A. Downtown News reports. While continuing their nightly runs at Tiara Cafe, the Trans say they have been scouting around Bunker Hill and South Park with a new lunch spot in mind. In our search for confirmation, Nguyen tells Grub Street, "You know how I sent that convoluted message when we closed our original space down? How we were going to come back... that's no fucking lie. It's time to return back to our lunch roots. And with Chipotle's Southeast-Asian concept, Shop House, opening in our backyard in Santa Monica the upcoming months, you know we got to step up to that challenge in the culinary sandbox some of us call.. Los Angeles!" Okay...Guess we'll take that as a confirmation then.


Cold Weather Endangering California's Mandarin Crop

MandarinPhoto: Muffet/Flickr

It's been a cold winter. Okay, okay, maybe not that cold by the rest of the country's thick-skinned standards, but we're certainly feeling the freeze. And so are the citrus farmers of the San Joaquin, who fear that the such low temperatures could devastate the year's crops, specifically fretting about the smaller, more sensitive mandarins among the bunch.

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Seven Noodle-Makers Coming to The Viceroy For First Annual Noodle Bowl Fest, February 10 in Santa Monica

Tsukemen at TsujitaPhoto: Maveric2003/Flickr

From the 626 to Little Osaka, noodles have been all the rage in L.A. over the last few years. On February 10, the fever will reach a pitch at The Inaugural Noodle Bowl Fest at Santa Monica's Viceroy Hotel. We know what you're thinking: The Viceroy is as far as it gets from the city's acknowledged apices of noodling. Still, the event sounds promising, bringing together seven restaurants to produce their best noodle dishes from around the world, while plucking a few authentic noodle-makers from Thai Town, San Gabriel, and Little Osaka along the way.

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Paul Shoemaker Considers More Juicy Lucy Locations, Pizza Concept Named Biga, And a Return to Fine-Dining


Paul Shoemaker, the hard-skating, sustainability-obsessed chef once found behind the burners at Bastide, Providence, and his own Malibu restaurant, Savory, put a toe into fast-casual waters with last week's debut of his burger concept, Juicy Lucy, at Downtown's Figat7th mall. This week, Shoemaker rolls out his mission for more locations of the locavore burger joint on Food GPS and also touches upon plans for a new pizza concept to be called Biga, named for the same starter that went into his perfect pizza at Savory. Currently, Shoemaker says he's looking at a Juicy Lucy sequel in Colorado and considering expansion to New York, and is conceiving of another version in L.A. that will be "more of a gastropub, more of a wall of beer...more of a sit down counter atmosphere or Father's Office type feel."

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Plate 38 Closing For Remodel in Pasadena

Robert Humphrey's Plate 38 survived temporary closure following a fire that devastated the place in late 2010, just weeks after its opening. This week, the owner announces that his Colorado Boulevard restaurant will again close on January 25 for a remodel that will include the introduction of a custom cocktail bar, among other additions. A reopening is planned sometime in February. But first, the restaurant will throw a party on January 19, featuring touring musician Ben Mauro, probably the only thing Lionel Richie, Jon Fogerty, and Britney Spear's live shows have shared in common. The jam kicks off at 9:00 P.M. this Saturday at 2361 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena and with any luck, this guy won't be there.

Black Truffles at Le Bernardin: As Good As Sex

"I worked there for my first job as a real cook coming up out of culinary school. That was the dish I cooked every single day; it was a part of my station ... It changed the course of everything in my life. That was like … I don't know how to describe it. It was my first fuck (laughs)." —Kogi BBQ truck co-founder and Los Angeles restaurateur Roy Choi, who got his start making black truffle ahi tuna at Le Bernardin. [First We Feast]

Vinny Dotolo Not Tickled By Pink's

Dotolo and Shook

Animal and Son of a Gun chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook give Paper Magazine an earful today about their favorite restaurants. Chick-Fil-A doesn't make the cut this time around, instead Shook details his nine-year love affair with Greenblatt's, where "you're bound to see some of the craziest shit you've ever seen...You have wasted people, girls with their titties hanging out, guys wasted from West Hollywood, getting into fights." Dotolo, for his part, recommends Pico-Union chicken-and-burger joint Dino's, where he doesn't really want to know "where the chicken is from" but enthusiastically endorses it over celebrity hot dog stand, Pink's. In fact, dude hates Pink's, putting it in its proper place when telling the magazine, "Pink's is terrible. That's just a tourist trap. Going to Pink's is just as bad as going to New York and eating at Bennigan's in Times Square."

Off Duty: L.A.'s Animal Guys [Paper]

Maui & Sons Bar & Grill Wipes Out in Hollywood

Bagged it bro!Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

Let's face it: A Hollywood Boulevard sports bar named for the Maui & Sons brand probably would have been a bigger success back when nerds were vengefully taking their stand against jocks while the rest of us were speeding our parachute pants back to the future in a nuclear-powered DeLorean. Alas, the party spot concept, which dropped in on the Egyptian Theater nearly two years back under Sunset Entertainment Group's Chris Breed and a descendant of the surf gear company, has served its last "Bodacious Taco", crashing on the brutal shore-break of Hollywood Boulevard and closing its doors. And speaking of restaurants opening in a timely fashion, the space is already being claimed by a ramen shop, which sounds about right. Hopefully, the fact that someone put a bag over the head of the former lease-holder (as seen above) says nothing about their aesthetic inclinations.

In China, You Can Make Money for Reporting a Food-Safety-Law Violator

Want to earn a quick 300,000 yuan ($48,200)? China is giving out cash prizes to people who turn in food-safety-law violators. The most common offenses to look out for are fake eggs, chemical-laced milk, and cooking oil that's recycled from drains. But recently, KFC's parent company, Yum Brands Inc., got into big trouble because its chicken contained excess amounts of antiviral drugs and hormones used to accelerate growth. The Chinese government's now cracking down, and it knows the power of bribery. [Reuters]

First Look Into RivaBella, Now Open on Sunset

Yesterday we took a look at the lunch and dinner menus at RivaBella, the brand-new West Hollywood collaboration between Sushi Roku and Boa operators Innovative Dining Group and Italian master chef Gino Angelini. Today, we take a look at the space. Designed by Studio Collective, RivaBella spreads spectacularly across 8,000 square-feet, with a look inspired by a Tuscan farmhouse, albeit one of a land-tiller who's stacking a lot of lira. The expansive restaurant holds rustic touches among a contemporary layout, with details like a brick-lined wine cave, a wall arrangement of native plants, a beveled bar mirror under a ceiling of polished blonde woods, an eclectic mix chaise lounges and chairs, a water fountain straight from the old world, and a wood-burning fireplace centered on the restaurant's impressive garden patio. Come tour RivaBella as we take a look at the newly opened restaurant in our slideshow.

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Here Is Coca-Cola’s First Anti-Obesity Ad, ‘Coming Together’ [Update: Bittman Weighs In]

For the first time in history, Coca-Cola is acknowledging the perverse connection between soda and "the long-term health of our families" (corporate-speak for "pop makes you fat"). Now a new two-minute commercial makes the case that the company is a partner in our fight against obesity: Out of 650 Coca-Cola beverages, 180 are low- and no-calorie choices; portion-controlled sizes will be stocked in 90 percent of the country by the end of this year; beverage calories in schools are steadily reducing; Coke is working with scientists to find zero-calorie sweeteners, miracle berries, etc, etc. It's fine that Coca-Cola is addressing this issue head-on, but the safety of all those artificial sweetners is still questionable — low-cal or not.

No John Lennon? »

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