Posts for January 31, 2013

Mignon Reopens With Bistro Menu

Following a short shutter in Downtown's Historic Core, Santos Uy's two-and-a-half-year-old Mignon reopened last night with a new look and a fleshed-out menu of bistro cuisine from Tim Carey, chef at Uy's bistronomics concept, Papilles. New dishes include charcuterie, pork shoulder garbure with root vegetables, braised short ribs, and baked eggs en cocotte with leeks and cream, offered a la carte or in tasting menus, with some of the dishes just five-dollars during afternoon happy hour. [Zagat]

Rodelio Abbot and Frank Fonda's Pizza Pizzeria Coming To Redondo Beach in Spring

Pizza Pizzeria: "Respect the Dough"

Everybody seems to be banking on the fast-serve, assembly-line pizza racket these days. Everyone, that is, except Adam Fleischman, the very dude who introduced it to L.A. at 800 Degrees. The latest concept to trot behind his heels? The redundantly named "Pizza Pizzeria," coming from The Pilot Light Group, a new conglomerate launched by Food Buddha Rodelio Abbot of Yi, and Koi, and the former BLT Steak corporate chef, with Napa Valley Grille and Cafe del Rey vet Frank Fonda (both chefs worked together at The Parlor in Hollywood), and partner Charlie Candelas, a former operations manager with Darden and Wolfgang Puck's empires.

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Chef Nick Coe Applauded For His Locavore Ketchup

Molonay Tubilderborst Savory KetchupPhoto: Molonay Tubilderborst

We're big fans of K.O. Ketchup, the locally-made, natural tomato and chipotle mixture that tastes damn good aside scrambled eggs. Today, The Times' Russ Parsons introduces L.A. to another step forward in the realm of locavore ketchup, this one created by Nick Coe, the chef who opened Black Cat Bakery in 2010 and recently popped up with the engaging Molonay Tubilderborst at Senor Fish.

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Mark Gold Recalls His Craziest Task at Noma

"We would spend two hours at the end of the night picking hair-like fibers from the neck of braised veal. Each night, there would be, like, four guys just picking fibers for one garnish for one of the dishes—and the dish was only an extra course for VIP tables!"—Eva chef-owner Mark Gold, recounting one of the craziest things he had to do while staging at Rene Redzepi's Noma in Denmark. [Digest]

Nestlé Found Guilty of Spying on Activist Group

Not really the best disguise.

The world's largest food company has been ordered to pay civil damages to an anti-globalization activist group it spied on for a year, the Independent reports. In 2003, Nestlé hired Swiss security firm Securitas AG for the purposes of infiltrating the meetings of Attac, which touts the benefits of breastfeeding and actively protests the market saturation of the corporation's ubiquitous formula. Using a false name and identity, Securitas AG embedded at least one employee with the protestors for a year, during which time she sat in on meetings and strategy sessions and then reported findings to Nestlé. Her identity was discovered after someone placed an anonymous call to a Swiss anti-corruption hotline, and while criminal charges stemming from the investigation were dropped in 2009, the maker of Nescafé, Nesquik, and several candy bars has now been ordered to pay 3,000 Swiss francs, or approximately $3,238 dollars, to the nine activists. That's a lot of Kit-Kats. [Independent UK, Attac]

A Look Into Feed Body & Soul, Now Open on Abbot Kinney

Feed Body & Soul opened early this morning on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. Taking over the former J's Kitchen space, the restaurant looks fantastic, sculpted by owner and designer DeeAnna Staats into an enchanting expanse with RETNA-reminiscent, Arabesque script** bleeding through the walls, a dazzling, contemporary four-sided bar, spice-lined shelves, and well-placed sculptures and paintings.

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America’s Sick Restaurant Workers Are Contributing to This Country’s Disease Outbreaks

Does this guy look a little green around the gills?Photo: iStockphoto

Your salad may be making you barf, but should you also be blaming the sick cook who can't afford to take a day off, back there in the open kitchen trying not to fall into a pot of bolognese? Precarious relationships between restaurant owners and employees who work long hours for typically low shift pay are all the more tested by outbreaks of food-borne illness, a new study suggests, and the whole thing is pretty grim.

Barfing and accounted for. »

The Rare Barrel, a New All-Sour Brewery, Coming to Berkeley Later This Year

The team: Jay and Brad Goodwin, and Alex Wallash.Photo: East Bay Beer

A new brewery is headed for West Berkeley called The Rare Barrel (937 Carleton Street), and it's the project of a young barrel-aging specialist, Jay Goodwin, who formerly worked for beer-geek-famous Orange County brewery, The Bruery. The plan is to do a line of all aged, sour beers of various types, experimenting with different spices, fruits, and barrel types, and to open a tasting room with light snacks and several taps sometime later this year, as Eater finds out. They're actually brewing the beers at another, undisclosed facility (what the geeks call "gypsy brewing"), and doing the aging and bottling on site at the new space in Berkeley. These beers need to spend anywhere from six months to three years in the barrel, and so far the team (which includes Goodwin's father Brad Goodwin and sales guy Alex Wallash) has got 205 barrels going, with space for up to 1,500. [Eater, East Bay Beer]

Umami Burger Taking Over Papoo's Hot Dog Show in Burbank, Keeping The Hot Dogs

No word on whether Papoo's canine-angel anthropomorphized hot dog is being rescued from the Neon MuseumPhoto: Jericl Cat/Flickr

Not content to rest on its so-far successful pattern, Umami Burger has another big idea up its sleeves. The chain is taking over Papoo's Hot Dog Show, which closed in Burbank after 62 years in 2011, for its newly announced, fifteenth location of 100 seats. Instead of ditching the charbroiled frankfurter concept outright, Umami will keep much of the building's carnival-worthy, vintage exterior and reinvent the menu of seven hot dogs with its own signature touches. There will also be a yet-to-be-revealed "Show Burger" specific to this location, as well as breakfast service and organic milkshakes, intended to satiate the nearby studios, which could also benefit from an in-house Umami catering arm.

Umami Burger, coming to 4300 Riverside Dr. Burbank.

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Ships, Icebergs, and Scylla and Charybdis

Maritime law dictates that plates on ships must be very intricate and complicated.Photo: David Moir/Bravo

The gang is overjoyed at Josie’s elimination. Five chefs remain — enough to field a team in this Sunday’s Super Bowl. (I think this is true, but I can’t check because I don’t want my Internet browser history to have a record of me searching for sports.)

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Early Bird Presents Frank DeLoach's "Friend or Pho" Pop-Up, Tonight Through Saturday

"Friend or Pho"Photo: Early Bird

Early Bird, the Fullerton restaurant owned and operated by former Bastide chef Joseph Mahon with partner Marcelo Caraveo, is set to start dinner service in early March. In the next three days, the restaurant will play home to a new pop-up concept from chef de cuisine Frank DeLoach, exploring his obsessions with Vietnamese pho and Chinese recipes. Adding the name "Friend or Pho" to the city's long list of pho-based puns, DeLoach will serve small plates and family-style dishes revolving around his love of "citrus, chilies, and fish sauce," from tonight through this Saturday from 5:30 to 10:00 P.M. What's on the menu?

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Coca-Cola Pulls Ads From French Public Television Over Controversial Documentary

Oh là là.Photo: Coca-Cola

The beverage corporation has allegedly pulled all of its advertising from the state-owned France Télévisions following a controversial documentary that aired on France 2, according to reports. Coca-Cola et la formule secrète apparently rubbed executives the wrong way, because its "troublemaker" host posed questions about the safety of the soda directly to the company's chief executive in front of shareholders.

In other news, it seems as though soda may be bad for you. »

First Look Into Allumette, Opening Tonight in Echo Park

Chef Miles Thompson broke through the boiling pop-up scene last summer when his Vagrancy Project spread the gospel of this Animal and Son of a Gun alumni's precise pairing of disparate ingredients, alluring plates, and sterling execution. Tonight, Thompson opens his first solo restaurant, Allumette, named for the knife cut that makes matchstick-sized stalks out of vegetables. Owners Charles Kelly and Bill Didonna have converted their tiny property, formerly Allston Yacht Club, into a 50-seat, dark wood showcase for Thompson's cooking, expressed in a nightly menu of twelve to fifteen dishes divided into six sections (among them "pasta," "shellfish," "vegetable," and the infamous "meat for two") from which guests are prompted to pick four to six dishes for their own tasting experience that goes from vegetables to pasta to the sea to dessert.

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