Posts for February 4, 2013

Figueroa Produce Wins The Fight For Its Life in Highland Park

Figueroa Produce Market

Following last Wednesday's news that Figueroa Produce Market was nervously eyeing the chopping block as its Highland Park landlord searched for a higher paying tenant, owners rejoiced yesterday over the announcement that they'd be staying put. "Figueroa Produce is here to stay," wrote the grocery store's three owners on the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council's discussion forum. "As many of you know...our lease was
up in January and we've had a hard time with our landlord. The future of our business was uncertain and we were contemplating moving and preparing for the worse." Fortunately, an agreement was struck between these two parties, with the healthy foods market remaining open and asking for customers' support to "to build the store back up." [ASNC via ESLA]

Watch the Teaser for Waffle Hut, a Food-Focused TV Pilot

Welcome to Waffle Hut, a fictional restaurant in Traver, Ohio, where everyone is a talented sketch-comedy veteran. There's Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids, Reno 911) as restaurant owner Reba, plus Colleen Camp, Melanie Hutsell (SNL), Beth Crosby, Jack Plotnick, Sam Pancake, and Drew Droege, who is playing a woman who has "deer tick's disease." It's a pilot that was written and directed by William Butler and shot last year, but has only popped up online in the last couple of days. And it appears the show is still up for grabs, so check out the trailer and decide for yourself if Waffle Hut deserved (deserves?) to be picked up for a cable slot.

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A.O.C. Reopening This Wednesday On West Hollywood's Third Street

Suzanne Goin

Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne are ready to open the doors to A.O.C.'s new home. This Wednesday evening at 5:30 P.M., A.O.C. will debut its new location at 8700 W. Third St., the former home to popular Orso and more recently, Sean MacPherson's Il Covo. Additions to the duo's wine bar and wood-burning kitchen concept as it claims new space include the introduction of large-format, family-style plates like grilled whole fish, suckling pig confit with coconut rice and lemongrass sambal, and roast chicken with fennel, panzanella, and Meyer lemon from chef Lauren Herman.

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Chi Spacca Opens Tonight at Mozza; Bludso's Serves Friends and Family on LaBrea

Bludsos' ribs and fixinsPhoto: Bludso's/Facebook

Hollywood suddenly finds itself in the midst of a meat frenzy, as two of 2013's biggest brand expansions are finally upon us. Chi Spacca, Mozza's full fleshing-out of the salumi bar concept started by chef Chad Colby, officially opens tonight in the former Scuola di Pizza space on Melrose, featuring the city's first fully licensed meat-curing salumeria, as well as a menu of grilled and roasted meats like lamb neck stracotto, porcini-rubbed short ribs, razor clams alla piastra, veal and bone marrow pie, and porcetta-style duck.

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Matt Biancaniello and Vartan Abgaryan Team Up On A Full Day's Meals, This Wednesday at Cliff's Edge

Where fresh grass juice, mugwort beer, and bone marrow come together at last

This Wednesday evening, former tender to the Library Bar Matt Biancaniello, known for his unique, market-lead mixology, will prepare cocktails to pair with a $65 menu at Cliff's Edge from the restaurant's new chef, Vartan Abgaryan. The dinner involves a single seating at 7:00 P.M. and a weird menu that takes diners through a full day's meals, starting with a breakfast serving of duck egg with maple bacon and hash browns next to a glass of Biancaniello's cynar and cassis-infused espresso, and ending on smoked sweetbreads with bone marrow aside a marrow fat-washed bourbon with Meyer lemon, Pinot Noir, fresh blood orange juice, and something called "beer air." And of course, there are two desserts with suitable nightcaps to follow, among such strange ingredients as mug wort beer with chicken feet and stinging nettle-spiked gin with aquavit and grass juice. But that's not all these two Hollywood ex-pats have in store.

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In-N-Out Burger Breeds 30-Year-Old Billionairess CEO

Warren Buffet wants a piece

The forces behind In-N-Out Burger are most mysterious, with few snoops getting a glimpse behind the burger chain's privately-owned curtain. Today Bloomberg Businessweek ventures a guess, honing in on whispers surrounding Lynsi Torres, the CEO, President, and First Granddaughter to In-N-Out. This 30-year-old scion was recently named the youngest female billionaire in the U.S., with a fortune valued somewhere over the ten-figure mark. The mysterious Torres has been married three times, doesn't hold a college degree, is really into drag-racing, and inherited about half of the company following the (often untimely) deaths of several of her older relatives, some of whom she's been entangled with in recent legal challenges to the chain's methodical, if leaden, expansion.

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Learn to Make Ice Cream and Cookies With The Coolhaus Gang

Want to learn how to make fried chicken and waffle ice cream sandwiches and scoops spiked with Jameson and Lucky Charms? Of course you do. Starting tomorrow, Blackboard Eats is offering subscribers the chance to go behind the scenes with Coolhaus founders Natasha Case and Freya Estreller to make ice cream and cookies from scratch using the duo's premium, all-natural ingredients and a roster of six flavors to choose from. Spread among two classes of 30 students each on February 10 and 11, the few who nab this $40 deal will get to eat a scoop of their own creation at Coolhaus' Culver City store and also take home a pint with a batch of cookies. As always, its first come, first served [BBE]

Takeru Kobayashi Reduced to Pay-for-Play Stunt Eating at Low-Rent Frat Parties

So, speaking of Nathan's Famous, last night six-time Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Takeru Kobayashi ate a Domino's pizza at some dude's Super Bowl party. He was paid $1,500 for this, Deadspin reports, and as you can see in the video ahead, the competitive eater almost doesn't pull it off. Also, a vaguely xenophobic beer-chugging contest went down after this. Awesome.

"Thirty seconds!" »

What Evan Funke Is Bringing to "This Is Not a Pop-Up," Wednesday at Square One

We want the Funke!Photo: Evan Funke/Instagram

Like Kirk Cameron and Dudley Moore in 1987's cinematic classic, Like Father Like Son, Jeremy Fox and Evan Funke are trading roles. Now that Fox has been found cooking at Rustic Canyon, that restaurant's opening chef, Funke, is cooking this Wednesday night at "This Is Not a Pop-Up," the test kitchen concept that Fox first kicked off. Funke is currently gearing up for the debut of his solo restaurant, Culver City's Bucato, in about five to six weeks, all the while keeping his team on their toes at his esteemed Porchetta Truck. This Wednesday, the chef will demonstrate his Italian chops at Square One with a $65, eight-course menu featuring dishes like a porchetta-inspired take on sea urchin with lardo, rosemary, and wild fennel, plus fried artichokes with bottarga, brown butter veal sweetbreads with prosciutto di parma, skewered lamb hearts, and some sort of deconstruction of his porchetta. Reservations can be made at 323-451-1767 and Funke's full menu can be seen below.

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Jeremy Fox Joins Rustic Canyon

The Fox is finally out of the bag! Confirming what many knew, but the restaurant was cagey about confirming, Jeremy Fox is now heading up the kitchen at Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb's Rustic Canyon, the seasonal Santa Monica restaurant that pulled this Ubuntu veteran away from his "Old Soul" pop-up at Square One. No details are yet to be released on Fox's vision for the restaurant, but he tells The L.A. Times , "I finally feel right at home, like this is exactly where I am meant to be. I'll slowly be changing the menu over the next few weeks." [LAT; Eater; Earlier]

Chefs Who Served Whale Sushi Are Going to Jail

Spicy blubber rolls: Not worth the jail time.

In 2010, the documentarian-activist team behind the Academy award–winning movie The Cove
— which exposed the cruelty and the clandestine practice of dolphin-slaughter in Japan — made waves stateside when they revealed that a popular sushi restaurant near the Santa Monica Airport was serving endangered whale meat in plain sight. After two undercover diners at the Hump were offered "pink broad slices" of what turned out to be Sei whale, the team circled back with federal agents. While for a moment it seemed like charges might be dropped, a federal jury last week indicted the owners of the restaurant's parent company and two former sushi chefs for conspiracy to import and sell an endangered species. In addition to the parent company facing fines of up to $1.2 million, one of the two chefs may serve 67 years in federal prison. [LAT, Earlier, Earlier]

Pizza Perfection: 101 Awesome American Pies (and Slices)

It must be hell to be a carbophobe these days, particularly in New York. After all, you can't swing a cat in this town without hitting a delicately crisp, brightly flavored, meticulously crafted pizza. All over the city, you can see these tortured souls muddling through their starch-free lives, battling temptation at every turn.

That goes for the rest of the USA, too. »

Restaurant Gives $4 Discount for ‘Well-Behaved Kids’

Still doesn't cover the tax.

If you haven't been reading your restaurant receipts closely, start now. Receipt rants are all the rage these days, and whether you're offended or flattered, you'll certainly have a viral Reddit hit on your hands. A waiter at the Sogno Di Vino restaurant in Poulsbo, Washington, apparently gave a customer a $4 discount for having "well-behaved kids." Isn't that expected when you bring your children out to a nice Italian restaurant and wine bar? [Earlier, MSN]

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