Posts for February 5, 2013

Actor Dean McDermott Cooks Haggis at Abigaile, Ditches His Diet on Game Day

McDermott outside of Abigaile in Hermosa BeachPhoto: Abigaile

Dean McDermott, best known for his real-life role as Tori Spelling's husband, as also seen on the small screen in their show,Tori & Dean, is just as likely to be found behind the stove as he is in front of the spotlight these days. He recently completed a stint in culinary school, keeps a cooking blog called Gourmet Dad, and routed his competition in Rachel Vs. Guy: Celebrity Cookoff. "I try to to keep to some sort of healthy regimen," McDermott tells Grub Street, "but it gets hard cooking for the kids. I cook healthy for them, but I snack as I'm doing it. Then, I have one cheat day where I go a bit crazy." The film and T.V. actor did just that this week during the Super Bowl and while cooking a marathon group chef dinner at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach. Come see everything McDermott ate this past week in today's L.A. Diet.

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What's On Alma's Wine List Now That It's Approved For Booze


Alma's all growed up. Ari Taymor's Venice pop-up-turned-Downtown-restaurant recently got a glowing review from Jonathan Gold, who noted that "nobody is cooking quite like this in L.A. at the moment," while still slightly irked by its lack of a liquor license. Starting Thursday, the booze situation will be resolved, as Ari Taymor tells Grub Street, "We just got cleared to serve wine." Starting February 7, Alma will offer a list of twelve natural wines and three local beers curated by the restaurant's general manager, Ashleigh Parsons. The beer list is still being developed, while the wine list is a global mash-up of progressive wineries, including Domaine Sigalas Santorini by the glass and bottle, Alvarelhão from Lodi's Silvaspoons, and 2011 Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgo gamay from Burgundy. A $20 corkage fee remains for wines brought in from the outside. See Alma's full new wine list below and find the restaurant serving vino and beer starting Thursday.

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Kids Find Something To Laugh About at Wienerschnitzel Besides the Name

Not touching this one...

As if the burdened youth of this country don't already have to suppress great peals of laughter over the name when dining at Wienerschnitzel, now they're being confronted with images of naked adults at the restaurant. CBS spreads the word that a San Diego location of the frankfurter chain recently embraced the already curious idea of releasing a calendar for kids, in which famous movie posters were augmented with images of dogs. One of the months spoofed Jaws, complete with the famous image of a nude woman swimming above the barbed teeth of a Great White shark. The artist had the wherewithal to change the shark into a dog, but instead of covering the disrobed swimmer, he merely covered her naked body with a sticker, clearly overlooking the fact that colorful adhesives are, by design, not exactly kid-proof.

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‘But I’m Huge in Flavortown!’

The Superdome wasn't the only thing to lose power this weekend: Guy Fieri was rejected from the VIP section of a New Orleans Super Bowl party, according to the always-trustworthy sources at Us Weekly. The social anthropologists at Us note that Fieri, perhaps still smarting from his New York Times beatdown, "caused a total scene" when he was denied access to the exclusive area. Apparently he "didn't have the right bracelet, and nobody in New Orleans knows who anyone is." Emeril totally would've gotten in. [Us, Earlier]

Ricardo Zarate Flies a Flag For Paiche, Opening This Spring in Marina Del Rey


Last we looked upon Paiche, the new ceviche and small plates concept coming to Marina del Rey from Peruvian chef Ricardo Zarate, we were pinpointing its exact location in a corner of the new Stella condo complex and tasting some of the chef's uni preparations at his Downtown restaurant Mo-Chica. Today, Paiche is in full construction mode, its insides aflutter with contractors and construction crews. The restaurant, originally scheduled to buck the Marina's vast commissary of chain restaurants in early 2013, now has temporary signage flapping over its patio, telling passersby to look to this spring for the grand-debut of what's being labeled a "Peruvian Izakaya." We're not sure why the final "e" has a tilda, but suspect its kind of like the dislocated umlaut over the "n" in Spınal Tap. In any case, we can't wait to find out when the Mo Chica and Picca chef-owner comes further west.

Paiche, 13488 Maxella Ave. Marina del Rey.

Kyochon Crashes in Culver City

Sounding a bit of a death knell for dreams that Korean flavor is flourishing on the Westside, Midtown Lunch spies the demise of fried chicken wing chain Kyochon at The Fox Hills Mall. The closest Kyochon now remains in Koreatown or down the 405 in Gardena, while it's survived in the Culver City food court by a truncated version of The SGV's 101 Noodle Express and its crappier counterpart, Panda Express. [ML]

Lots of High People Are Taking Advantage of Free Pancake Day at IHOP

A nation stops counting calories for a moment of unity.Photo: Corbis

When it comes down to it, would you rather spend your afternoon plugging away at Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities, or just read a lot of tweets written by people who are really high and/or psyched about Free Pancake Day at IHOP? Because, you know, the chain is trending on Twitter, and buttered short-stacks loom large in the collective unconscious of our social media. Carry on, then.

"Back from my high-atus to remind you all its free pancake day at IHOP." »

Bar Toscana Owners Opening SY Kitchen in Wine Country

SY KitchenPhoto: Tatiana Arbogast

Mike and Kathie Gordon, the owners of Brentwood's Toscana and its included off-shoot, Bar Toscana, are bringing their sensibilities to wine country, with plans for a new under-construction restaurant in Downtown Santa Ynez. Called SY Kitchen, which may eventually be shortened to just SYK, Bar Toscana chef Luca Crestanelli will head up the kitchen in this two-story project, overseeing a menu of Californian-Italian cuisine with a serious dedication to the vine. The first floor of the restaurant, slated at this point for an April debut, will feature a dining room, concrete bar, open kitchen, and patio, while the upstairs will be dedicated to wine storage and a private tasting room.

SYK, 1110 Faraday St. Santa Ynez.

A Woman Pulled Out a Gun at a Chuck E. Cheese’s Last Night

Not a kid's toy.Photo: Cabela's

This isn't good: A Connecticut woman was arrested last night for pulling a semi-automatic handgun on another woman at Chuck E. Cheese's, according to NBC. It's hardly the first time parents have brawled at Chuck's: Over the summer, a woman crashed a Chuck E. Cheese's kids' party to slice off a romantic rival's ear. Who needs farm-to-table when there's buffet-to-jail?

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Renee's Courtyard Cafe Sold To New Owners. Is Vintage Santa Monica Disappearing?

The Galley: On the cusp of its 80th Birthday

Blame the landlord! That's the latest cry echoing through the din of so many slammed doors, as our restaurant icons continue to get wiped from the L.A. landscape. This week, outrage ensues in Santa Monica over the news that owners of Renee's Courtyard Cafe, the atmospheric little Hobbit-hole that still stands on Wilshire after 32 years, have left the building behind due to raised rents and an immoveable landlord. According to Santa Monica Mirror, Renee's is under new ownership as of Sunday, with the family of founder Renee Forest selling to a new proprietor. The plan is to keep the business running as Renee's for a couple of months while a new concept takes shape.

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High-School Students Arrested for Starting Food Fight


Clearly the principal of Georgia's Ola High School is not an Animal House fan. He got nine students jailed for staging a food fight in the cafeteria, and they're facing charges of disruption of public school, inciting a riot, failure to disperse, obstruction, and possession of marijuana (that last one's an oops). Since five of the pranksters are adults, this could go on their record. School officials found out about the shenanigans ahead of time and asked the students to halt their plans. Now they're on a witch hunt, looking at surveillance cameras to try to identify more food-throwers. Relax: Sloppy Joes and spaghetti never hurt anyone. [11 Alive]

The ‘Big Mac Index,’ Now Extra Well Done

Packed with number-crunching power.

"The Big Mac index was invented by The Economist in 1986," the magazine writes, "as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their 'correct' level." It's since become the benchmark for understanding the relative values of currencies around the world. It may not be constructed on the best foundation of economics, but that's why they call it "burgernomics," and anyhow — fortified with raw GDP as it is — the chart is not without its insights. Check out the new, "interactive" version of the Big Mac Index here, then school yourself in exchange-rate theory by dredging through the comments, and all that special sauce. [Economist]

Free Pancakes at IHOP; Gratis Fro-Yo at Pinkberry and Menchies

The bad news: You have about an hour left to get a free stack of pancakes at IHOP today. But if you can make it to Hollywood's location, you may just meet Miss America, so keep the conversation away from geopolitics please. The better news: You can get free fro-yo today and tomorrow, as Pinkberry plans a scoop giveaway today from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M., then Menchies will give every customer a free six-ounce serving tomorrow with this free Facebook coupon. Sorry, but you're on your own for lunch. [UE]

Duff Goldman Offers to Bake for Lesbian Couple That Experienced Discrimination


Last month, an Oregon baker refused to help a same-sex couple who wanted to purchase a wedding cake. The women claim that Sweet Cakes Bakery owner Aaron Klein referred to them as "abominations unto the Lord," and said he'd rather close down his business than "be forced to do something that violates my conscience." That's exactly what may happen; Klein's now under investigation for violating the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As sad and vile as all of these stories of discrimination are, what's inspiring is that people are quick to stand up and defend others.

Enter: Duff Goldman. »

Cookie Monster’s Carbo-Crime Spree Comes to an End in Germany

The shocking crime has rocked the city of Hanover to its very foundations.Photo: Michael Thomas/Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung

You probably heard about last month's theft of an ornamental, gilded bronze biscuit that had been hanging without incident just outside the German bakery Bahlsen's office in Hanover, Germany, for 100 years. Bahlsen's makes Leibniz biscuits, and this 44-pound model is emblematic of the company's history; so naturally, Bahlsen's chair Werner M. Bahlsen appealed to the robber through the press, offering 1,000 euros for any information leading to the gold Leibniz's safe return. But, nothing. But then, just days after the crime, newspaper Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung received a really weird ransom note. It was from Cookie Monster.

The outrageous demands. »

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