Posts for January 18, 2013

Demi Moore Dates Harry Morton at South Beverly Grill; Chris Brown Stalks At Supperclub

Sinking her claws into some fresh meatPhoto: David Shankbone/Flickr

Demi Moore traded in her whippets this week for a new boy man, Pink Taco owner and Hard Rock heir Harry Morton. The two were spotted together at South Beverly Grill, where Morton had to feign interest in her grown-up talk upon realizing there'd be no bikini-topped shot girls or painted donkey shows to supplement the awkward pauses in his pick-up game. Elsewhere, Rachel Zoe ate concrete after a lunch at Lemonade with her son, Chris Brown played the old guy in the club over a lackluster night out at Supperclub, and Jennifer Lopez flaunted her own skills with robbing the cradle during a trip to Madeo. For all of this and so much more, read on in today's celebrity settings.

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Barnyard Finally Opening on February 1

BarnyardPhoto: Barnyard Venice

Following the fleeing of its ace in the hole, Jeremy Fox, Barnyard in Venice is back on track for its opening, now slated for February 1. As reported earlier, Jesse Barber, the former chef de cuisine at Tasting Kitchen who passed through Thomas Keller's kitchen at French Laundry, is now the executive chef here. The restaurant calls him a "purist" and an "intellectual" with a fixation on "seasonal ingredients, drawing mostly on Mediterranean and classical cooking techniques." Of course they do. Check out Barber's full lunch and dinner menus on the restaurant's website. [The Rundown]

Orange Wine Already Over, Say Two Wine Writers

A spectrum of orange wine.Photo: Ceri Smith/Biondivino

Despite the fact that most of your friends, and possibly even you, have not yet heard of orange wine, two people this week have penned pieces cutting it down and declaring the trend over. Writing for Forbes, Richard Betts declares that Tecate is a superior beverage to orange wine, quoting a friend who calls them "the Kardashians of wine," and lamenting that he "look[s] forward to the faddish / cultish following they’ve engendered in certain wine circles waning." (You'll recall that as far as pop-culture comparisons go, Grub Street thinks the wine is more akin to Bon Iver than the Kardashians.) The San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Bonné, who was one of the first American wine geeks to write about orange wine back in 2009, concurs.

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Lola Gaspar Owner Opening Stocking Frame in Downtown

Stocking Frame, a new restaurant co-owned by Jerry Aschoff of Lola Gaspar in Santa Ana, is making its way to a historic 96-year-old former textiles factory in Downtown. Blogger Brigham Yen foresees an opening in mid-to-late February, with both interiors and cuisine fitting the hand-crafted mold. Stocking Frame will have "eclectic and progressive" rotating menus that Aschoff says will be "smaller" but "perfect." [BY]

Obesity Rates Rise For L.A.'s Poor Preschoolers

Lard: It's whats for breakfast

Despite the popular stereotype that we're all a bunch of svelte beach-bunnies out here in California, the news hits today that flabber is on the rise for L.A. County's poor preschoolers. While New York City's low-income toddlers are enjoying a three-percent dip in obesity rates, a drop that's consistent with many other big U.S. cities, a new CDC study reports that obesity rates for L.A.'s low-income three and four-year-olds rose four percent in the last nine years, reflecting rates much higher than normal in the U.S. While our car-centric culture takes some of the blame, the study also posits that New York's WIC program pushed healthy lifestyles choices at an earlier point and also cites cultural demographics as a factor. HuffPo explains, "In 2011, about 85 percent of the Los Angeles children in the study were Hispanic, and most were Mexican-American - a group with the highest reported childhood obesity rates, at least among boys." [HuffPo]

Sacamento Named Nation's Biggest Producer of Caviar

Caviar

California may not possess the ancient romance inherent in a name like The Caspian nor the deep, dank mystery of The Black Sea, but it does have one thing the others are seeing a lot less of these days: caviar. Today, the L.A. Times cites Sacramento as the nation's leading producer of the delicacy, mostly due to pollution, poaching, and over-fishing in its traditional epicenters. Alexander Petrossian, of the famous Parisian caviar-empire, tells the paper, "Wild caviar is gone, and we can all forget about it." Instead, farm-raised sturgeon are the next front in precious fish eggs, with the sturdy, strange fish being raised by the thousands by cultivators like Sterling Caviar in the tiny town of Elverta.

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Rodell Wrassles Down Black Hogg; Gold Tackles Tex-Mex at Bar Ama

"As an entire plate of food, it is pornographic," writes Rodell of the brioche mushroom box.

We've always considered Black Hogg kind of like a B-grade version of the original Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, but that still means it's performing twice as well as we ever did in geometry or chemistry. Today, fair-and-balanced Besha considers the critically-lauded Echo Park restaurant, offering some much-needed criticism that's rarely seen in these parts. After succinctly summing up the rise of "dude food," Rodell rips the curtain away from chef-owner Eric Park's illustrious past, exposing his work-experience as "both brief, part-time, noncredited internships" at famous restaurants, and telling us that his inexperience "does explain quite a bit." Offering initial praise for the Brussell sprouts and báhn mì, she finds the fattier eccentricities are "where Black Hogg really starts to go off the rails, where the ingredients and trends of the day are taken to extremes....Much goes outrageously overboard here." A summing up of badly conceived and imperfectly executed dishes follows, with Rodell positing that it "feels as though Park perhaps took his training wheels off a little too early." One star for the spot in one of the critic's best pieces to date. [LAW]

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B1 Breadshop Hands Reigns Over to Pichet

Boeuf Bourguignon with gratin dauphinois at Pichet

Pichet, the weekend-only pop-up we first introduced you to back in August, appears to be taking over the space at Venice's B1 Breadshop. Yo! Venice! reports that B1 is handing the reigns over to the restaurant, which will grow into a wine bar, bakery, and appetizer-based French bistro concept with 25 seats inside and 10 on a rear patio.

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Crafty English People Will Convert Horse Burgers Into Cozy Home Heating

Because food-safety authorities in the U.K. would have a hard time trying to figure out which burgers among the 10,000 frozen patties spread out across inventory at seven chain supermarkets contain trace amounts of horse DNA and which ones are actually 29 percent equine — not to mention which ones are unadulterated, old-fashioned beef — a decision has been made to convert the horsemeat of the apocalypse into energy at anaerobic digestion plants. Earlier this week, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced it had found varying amounts of horse and pig DNA in Tesco's line of frozen (and ostensibly) beef hamburgers; up to 10 million burgers may be affected by the recall. [Guardian UK via Daily Meal, Earlier]

Little Beast Taking Over The Former Home of Larkin's in Eagle Rock

Sean Lowenthal and Deborah Schwartz of Little BeastPhoto: Little Beast

Remember Little Beast, the pop-up at Le Petit Beaujolais lead by former Chateau Marmont sous chef Sean Lowenthal and his photographer-agent** wife Deborah Schwartz? Grub Street learns that these partners in life and crime are opening up a more bridled version of Little Beast in Eagle Rock, taking over the former home of the city's recently lost Larkin's.

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Brandon Boudet Hits The Stage in Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde

Cafe du MondePhoto: Chuck Yeager/Flickr

It's probably too early to call chefs appearing in stage productions any kind of a trend, despite Susan Feniger's star turn in a Christmas Carol satire last month. Nonetheless, Brandon Boudet, the New Orleans-bred chef behind Little Dom's, Dominick's, and Tom Bergin's, is jumping into the act with a part in Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde, a successful book and monologue series summing up memories of The Big Easy's famous beignet destination.

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Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Takes Back That Whole ‘Fascism’ Thing

This man sure knows his world history.

Oops! Turns out that while Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey stands by his political beliefs, he says he probably shouldn't have called the Affordable Care Act a form of "fascism," NPR reports. "Well, I think that was a bad choice of words," he says. And now he's working the apology circuit, also appearing on the "Brian Lehrer Show" in full-on retraction mode. "I realized that word has so much baggage associated with it, from World War II, with Germany and Italy and Spain," he explains. "That's just a very provocative word, so I regret using it." [NPR, Earlier]

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