Posts for February 22, 2013

Bartender Johan Stein Replaces Dave Fleisher at Freddy Smalls

The King's Garden

David Fleisher recently moved on from his roost at Freddy Smalls Bar + Kitchen, after introducing West L.A. to the killer craft cocktails of this dimly lit neighborhood bar and restaurant. Now in his place is Johan Stein, a Venice local with past experience working under Julian Cox at Sotto and the team at Red Medicine. Fortunately, the restaurant's new barman is sticking to the same formula of somewhat simple drinks that pack a punch without too much fuss. New cocktails include a "Cat & Mouse" with Navy-strength gin, white Grenache, and Cocchi Americano and a "Conejo" with tequila, pasilla chilie, peach, lime, agave, and breakfast radishes, and a "Buffalo Cup,"as well as some drinks without animal names. Take a look at Stein's full new cocktail menu below, now being served at Freddy Smalls.

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And The Cupcake Goes To...

Georgetown's Oscars cupcakesPhoto: Georgetown Cupcakes

Fondant! Beverly Hills new Georgetown Cupcakes plans to usher in The 85th Academy Awards this Sunday with these red velvet cupcakes, topped with an edible seal featuring the famous naked gold eunuch and bedazzled in sparkly gold sugar. The treats are available only on Sunday, with pre-orders being taken now at $2.75 a pop and $29.00 for a dozen. We'll be bringing these to Elton's** ourselves come Sunday.

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Boa Opens B Grill at LAX

B Grill

Last summer we learned that Boa Steakhouse was opening a new concept called B Grill at Terminal 7 in LAX. Today we find the first location finally open and serving in the airport. The new restaurant seats 118 and is taking a noticeably more casual approach to the steakhouse's glam aesthetic, with morning dishes like $12 breakfast burritos and $18 crab Benedicts that turn the heat up on those old, overpriced airport sandwiches that are hopefully going out of fashion. B Grill also has burgers, salads, pasta plates, and of course, steak and salmon. Even better for the airplane bottle-smuggling set, there are cocktails, wine, and brews on draft to get your pre-boarding buzz on. You can see the full menu below and find it next time you're bound for the wild blue yonder.

Campanile Starts Construction at LAX [GS]

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Gold and Rodell Revel In Southern Glory at Hart & Hunter; Damon Gambuto Shreds Juicy Lucy

AHT calls Shoemaker's creation a "sad burger"

Reminding us (again) that she has Southern roots after her stint in Atlanta, Australia's own Besha Roo'dell finds that the biscuits aren't the only "revelatory" item being served at Hart & Hunter, the country roots restaurant under Joe's-alumni Kris Tominaga and Acheson-acolyte Brian Dunsmoor. Pinpointing many of their dishes as "on-the-nose Southern," Rodell veers more towards "the in-betweeners...dishes with Southern roots and modern sensibilities" like the acid-hued salady serving of chicken livers and smoked trout in a jar with avocados. "Where Acheson's restaurants...look to put Southern food in a fine-dining context, the Hart and the Hunter is playing in the casual, small-plates genre, and doing a damn good job of it," the critic writes, chortling in a weird mash-up of down-home hee-haws and Down Unda' guffaws while the servers have a towel-snapping fight. Three stars! [LAW]

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Couple Who Found Dead Bird in Their Salad Really Just Need to Learn How to Make Salad

They seem to have bad luck with dead birds in foodstuffs in the U.K., what with that whole "Sing a Song of Sixpence" thing and now this, the tale of a Gloucestershire couple who were just sitting down to a nice steak dinner under dimmed lights when one of them discovered a large, stanky, and dead Blackcap European warbler on his plate. "My first reaction," says James Watson, "was why have I got a soggy fishcake on my plate?" But that was no soggy fishcake, and so the couple complained to retailer Tesco and were compensated with a £200 gift card, which is much better than the simple apology another British couple received the last time this exact same thing happened. Which, in a way, says something about the sorry state of cooking skills — why aren't these people washing their greens before use? That's still the best way to beat salmonella, after all. Also, why wouldn't they dress greens the old-fashioned way, by evenly distributing vinaigrette to all the leafy things inside a bowl? It's much easier to spot a dead, five-inch bird that way. Also, eating under mood-lighting, we get it, but was this salad made in the dark, too? Only the warbler knows for sure, and he isn't singing anymore. [Daily Mail, Earlier]

Introducing Mulholland Brewing Company, Coming Soon To Westside L.A.

Mulholland Brewing Company

Northeast L.A. and Downtown are both swimming in suds these days, while Westside L.A. is limited to the wonderful El Segundo Brewing Co. as its sole option for growlers and tasting tours. So no wonder that hearts leap to see Mulholland Brewing Company fermenting in the region, planning a microbrewery and taproom from native Angelenos with over 20 years of brewing experience who plan to "brew beer that reflects our unique climate, culture, and cuisine."

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Free Il Fico Pizza on Oscar Sunday; Gratis Mud on Monday at Handsome Coffee

The old-timey one-year-oldPhoto: Handsome Coffee Roasters

The freebies continue to flow! To celebrate The Academy Awards this Sunday, Beverly Hills Italian restaurant Il Fico is offering a two-for-one deal, allowing guests a free second pizza for every one they purchase from 11:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. The deal is available for both eating in and taking-out, so if you have no red carpet obligations, go ahead and eat them both. Then, just in time to deal with your carb-crash the next morning, Downtown's Handsome Coffee Roasters is giving a free lecture on the superiority of their magic beans coffee drink to every customer from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. to celebrate the shop's first birthday. The following Friday, Wes Avila's awesome Guerrilla Tacos will be on hand for a 1st anniversary block party with bands and DJs from 7:00 P.M. on.

Man Crashes Car Into 7-Eleven, Pours Himself Some Coffee

Not to be outdone by a Seattle man who was hit by a city bus but quickly bounced back to go fetch some French roast down the street or the Nebraska senior who plowed through the façade of Valentino's Pizza and ordered a pie from inside the wrecked dining room, an intrepid 56-year-old Californian named Dennis Cortopassi intentionally crashed his car through the window of a 7-Eleven outside Sacramento on Wednesday morning, then got out of his car and poured himself a coffee. Cortopassi threw a hissy fit and knocked things off the store's shelves after clerks called the cops. He was later arrested and taken to the Yolo County jail. YOLO indeed, Cortopassi.

Get me hazelnut! »

Plastic Found in Packaged Sausage

For all you readers out there who are fans of Smithfield Packing Co.'s "Gwaltney mild pork sausage roll" — beware! The Virginia company's recalling 38,000 pounds of pork sausage after finding it mixed with small pieces of plastic, which likely came from gloves. No one's reported any injuries, but two unlucky consumers filed complaints. How appetizing. [AP]

What to Eat at Wildcraft Sourdough Pizza, Opening Monday in Culver City

Wildcraft Sourdough Pizza is currently soft-serving friends and family on Culver Boulevard, opening to the public this Monday at 11:30 A.M. This tight everyday Italian concept was conceived by Abigaile owners Jed Sanford and Chris Stone, with the Hermosa Beach restaurant's SGV-raised chef, Tin Vuong, and partner Michael Barson, who studied pizza-making in Naples before opening, taking the role of GM. The restaurant, resplendent in white tiles and a colorful mixed-media mural tailored to the eastern wall's every inch by artist Kelcey Fisher, centers on a selection of fifteen ten-inch, hand-formed pizza pies made with Vuong's daily-nurtured, wild yeast sourdough starter, topped with Grana Padano, sea salt, EVOO, a crush of market vegetables, and a plethoric selection of meats. Pizzas are broken down into "red" and "white" sections, with pies like Manila clam and pork belly, carbonara, and chorizo and scamorza, priced between $10 and $18 depending on the degree of indulgence.

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Overheated and Loopy Paula Deen Dances on Today

In town for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Paula Deen stopped by Today this morning to make some low-cal Buffalo chicken bites, but also some Oscar picks. As TMZ notes, Paula was given a sugar-free and nonalcoholic "morning mojito" to sip, but the Food Network star was nonetheless moved to get up and do a little salsa dancing on live national TV, even outshining the professionals. Seriously, Bobby Flay may be signed up, but it's really Deen who should be next up on Dancing With the Stars. Her Today appearance got a little bit strange, however, after the cha-cha, when she sat back down and told everyone how she'd been sprayed by a skunk. Then she asked Al Roker if he wanted to smell her hand.

"Balls, y'all!" »

The Pikey Offering a True Sunday Roast

Roast beef with horseradish creamPhoto: The Pikey

West Hollywood's authentic gastropub, The Pikey, is delving into a proper British Sunday roast starting next Sunday, March 3. The tradition of tables straining under a great spread of roasted lamb, beef, pork, or chicken, with side servings of potatoes, vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding is believed to stretch back to the days of demanding peasant (and later, industrial) labor, when Sunday would mark a day of relative ease and bounty, free from the shackles of servitude. From 3:00 to 8:00 P.M. every Sunday, chef Ralph Johnson plans a rotation of cozy, stout dishes like lamb with mint jelly, beef short ribs, and pork with apple sauce, alongside a fixed arrangement of market greens, gravy, nut roast, duck fat potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding.

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Bobby Flay Reportedly Headed to Dancing With the Stars [Updated]

He already runs marathons.Photo: Rob Kim/WireImage

While no one's yet spotted him stocking up on tights at Capezio, word is this morning that the Food Network and Mesa Grill chef Bobby Flay has been cast on season 16 of Dancing With The Stars, alongside Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Sean Lowe from The Bachelor. Hollywood Life notes that while the official announcement won't be made until next week, they've shaken down a "source close to the show" who adds that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is on the fence, but may also suit up. Cue the music. Update: Zagat finds out Flay is open to the idea, but hasn't signed on for the show. "My wife told me that she would divorce me if I did it," he says. [HL, Earlier]

Is Tabasco Launching Its Own Version of Sriracha?

You know he ain't gonna die.Photo: Amazon

Is Huy Fong's rooster sauce, better know to the world (Bart Simpson included) as Sriracha sauce, flying too close to the sun? Consider the advent of Sriracha chocolate bars, potato chips, and the sauce's role in a not-so-secret Subway sandwich condiment. Businessweek takes a look at the company's modest 68-year-old founder David Tran, a Vietnam native who, back in 1979, hopped on a Boston-bound freighter named the Huy Fong, and within a year had launched one of the unlikeliest, not to mention coolest food success stories ever.

Under development. »

Watch Elon Musk Recount Sending Cheese to Outer Space

The inventor of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPal stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live last night and chatted about how he and his Dragon spacecraft crew sent a wheel of cheese to space as a test. It was the largest wheel of Gruyère cheese he could find at a Beverley Hills cheese shop. And no, he didn't taste-test it when it came back. So much for a $100 million pasteurization process.

Funky. »

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