Posts for February 25, 2013

Ike's Place Reluctantly May Have a Few Dodgers Sandwiches When It Comes to L.A.

Apparently, even their good sandwiches look like bad burritos up there

As Grub Street noted back in 2011, Ike's Place, a popular purveyor of big, messy sandwiches in San Francisco, is coming to L.A. The restaurant catapulted to fame after appearing on Man Vs. Food, which generally sets the tone for these monstrosities from the north that are named for pop culture figures like Pee-Wee Herman and Al Bundy and are popular with twenty-something bros who consider finishing one some kind of an accomplishment. In any case, we could always use another hearty lunch option, but will Angelenos actually be able to swallow sandwiches named for locally abhorred San Francisco Giants like Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner?

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A Look Into Don't Tell Mama, Opening Tomorrow in West Hollywood

The piano bar Don't Tell MamaPhoto: DTM

Legendary New York cabaret/restaurant Don't Tell Mama opens its doors tomorrow in West Hollywood, bringing a talented group of singers, dancers, performers, and musicians to Santa Monica and Sweetzer for dinner and a show served nightly (the name comes from the song of the same name in Cabaret). Decked out in shiny wood and leather, the business is broken into two separate spaces: a dining room with room for 50, a full bar with original cocktails, beer, and wine, plus a menu of U.S. cuisine (think seared scallops with citrus beurre blanc and lamb chops with ratatouille and cous cous), as well as a piano bar space with banquettes and bar-side cabaret seating for nightly shows from 7:00 P.M. to 2:00 A.M.

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What's For Lunch at A.O.C., Starting Today

Slow-cooked cavolo nero, balsamic glazed brussels sprouts, radicchio, and burrata on foccacia

For the first time in its ten-year history, Suzanne Goin's A.O.C. turns its attentions towards lunch, offering dishes one can only find by day now that her restaurant is up and running in the former Il Covo space. Served from 11:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. starting today, exclusive lunch-only dishes include pulled pork cheek sandwiches on focaccia, spaghetti with clams, nettles, and green garlic, and grilled market fish served with beets, cucumber, and feta yogurt. In addition, A.O.C. dishes like a $16 manchego burger, "ode to a turkey club" salad, and egg and gryuere sandwich on brioche will be available all day, with the full menu below for your perusal.

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The Highlights From Anthony Bourdain’s Reddit Ask Me Anything

Wasn't a big fan of Bradley Cooper at first.Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

As promised, Anthony Bourdain hit Reddit today for one of the site's Ask Me Anythings. He's got a lot of projects in the works, so there was plenty to talk about, and to his credit, he took on all Taste-related sell-out questions head-on. To spare you having to deal with Reddit's UI, we've culled the best responses, straight ahead.

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Fat Sal's Deli Expanding to Hollywood

Fat Sal's, doing for Italian delis what that sleepy señor does for Mexican restaurantsPhoto: Josh Lurie

After decades of passing Mexican cafes adorned with sleepy little señors catching ceaseless siesta at the foot of catci (ouch), it's sort of refreshing to find a group of New Yorkers satirizing their own stereotypes on L.A.'s streets while taking a deliberately un-California approach to eating. Fat Sal's Deli, which sells massive hero sandwiches in Westwood named after its fat friends (there's even a "Fat Jerry" for co-owner Jerry "Turtle" Ferrara) and maintains the guido-riffic tagline "We're makin' sandwiches ova heyuh!" under a mascot signing "Shaka!" with a pinkie ring, is officially going Hollywood, expanding to its second L.A. location in the coming months.

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The Trials of Getting Into Totoraku

"Earlier in the summer we had gotten reservations at Noma in Copenhagen, which some say is the hardest reservation on earth to score. Getting into Totoraku was almost as hard...Having dined at Noma and El Bulli as well as a few of the famous underground restaurants, I can safely say that Totoraku offers one of the most interesting meals in the world."— Los Angeles magazine's David Hochman, profiling the throat sashimi and cow carpaccio at Kaz Oyama's secret Japanese beef restaurant in West L.A. [LA Mag]

Local Delis in Decline: Get to Langer's STAT!


The L.A. Times notes a declining demand for delicatessen food in the U.S., as a crowded landscape of cooler, in many cases better, restaurants tear customers away from time-worn dishes like beef tongue, matzoh ball soup, canned salmon, and chicken livers. Of course, this is hardly the first time someone's sounded the death knell for delis, as the title of David Sax's movement and book indicates and Michael Pollan's own deli-divination suggests. And while the food may not be missed at Junior's, the recent passing of this Westwood relic indicates some things aren't as sacred as we may have thought.

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Henry's Tacos Reopening In New Home This Spring


Henry's Tacos will return! Digest announces that the owner of the 51-year-old Studio City taco stand, which was forced out of its home in January, is selling Henry's to head chef Omar Vega, a 21-year employee of the gringo taqueria, to re-open the business with his brother Gil. Replacing the Tujunga location of shuttering sandwich shiller, Studio Sub, the big question is whether Henry's Googie signage will make the transition to this new address. Though the answer is currently unconfirmed, Studio Sub does have a wide-stretching marquee space that could allow for such an acquisition when the space reopens this spring. [LAM; LAO]

Anne Hathaway Parties at Eveleigh; Jessica Chastain Reveals Boyfriend at Fig & Olive

I dreamed a dream of young rainbow chard with preserved lemon...Photo: Anthony Citrano/Flickr

The stars were out in L.A. over the past week, as Academy Awards nominees tried to stifle their pre-Oscars butterflies with stiff drinks and the camaraderie of their famous peers. An Awards pre-party at Eveleigh drew the cast of Les Miserables, including "Best Actress" winner Anne Hathaway and the dude who plays Borat, while a soiree over at Fig & Olive found Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain showing off her own fake Italian count new love interest, Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, and Sunset Tower played host to a celeb-heavy Oscars viewing party (we're guessing a seat within earshot of Amy Poehler and Seth Myers was the best place to be). Meanwhile, some of our usual suspects may have thought it safe to act naturally while the cameras honed in on the nominees, as Christina Aguilera was photographed cramming an In-N-Out burger into her face, Kristen Stewart hit En Sushi with Robert Pattinson's pals, and Jamie Lynn Siegler revealed that she's eating for two at Craig's. All this and more in this week's Oscars Edition of celebrity settings.

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Anthony Bourdain: Ask Him Anything

Author, cook, TV host, cartoon character, and gadfly Anthony Bourdain will grace the digital hallways of Reddit later on today, at 3 p.m. EST. Watch this space for the official AMA link, and in the meantime, prepare your most burning questions. [Helen Cho/Twitter, Reddit]

Brogurt, or Greek ‘Yogurt for Men,’ Is a Real Thing

Coming to a bench-press near you.

Face it, right up there with the arrival of asteroids from deep space, we've been seriously due for a smiting of Greek yogurt that will not only build muscle and burn fat, but also give those who ingest it the manly fortitude to walk away from General Zod after he's been imprisoned in an elliptical machine and gets a little pissy. Ooh-rah, people of the world who don't skip breakfast, here's Powerful, which you may have guessed by now is so much "more than a yogurt" that it's brogurt: "In a niche typically dominated by female consumers," its website tells us, "we decided to develop a new Greek yogurt specifically suited to address the unique health and nutrition needs of the most neglected consumers in the category: men." This high-protein, no-fat, all-beast snack — spotted this weekend at Fairway and Brooklyn Fare — is going to dominate your lunchbox, beef up your sperm count, and help you pinpoint your inner abs.. Ladies, be careful out there! This yogurt isn't for you!

Josie Taking It Back to 2001

Last year, L.A. ate at restaurants that were booming back when many modern diners were still teething, getting a glimpse into chefs' bygone menus like the one at John Sedlar's St. Estephe and Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger's City. Starting this Friday, Josie LeBalch will take her own dip into nostalgia to celebrate the twelfth year of her Santa Monica restaurant, Josie, bringing back many of the dishes served on her original 2001 opening menu.

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Nigella Lawson: ‘The Whole World Is Enslaved by Italian Food’

Nigella Lawson at Allium in The Four Seasons, Chicago.Photo: Sky Full of Bacon

It took a trip to Italy for the 19-year-old Nigella Lawson to discover who she really was: an Italian soul in an (imposingly tall and chic) English body. That, at least, is the premise behind her newest cookbook, Nigellissima (Clarkson Potter, $35), released two weeks ago in the U.S. The cookbook author, who also happens to be one of the judges on The Taste, came to Chicago last week for a quick book tour of the Midwest. And figuring that she'd probably had enough questions about Anthony Bourdain and TV in general, we stuck to talking about the universal love for Italian food, and how going to Italy at an impressionable age literally changed her life and made her the single-named star she is today. You can't hear the rounded, brandy-voiced tones and precise diction with which she answered our questions, but her warm affection for the subject of Italian food and culture comes through even in cold type.

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Tabasco Chairman and Chief Executive Paul McIlhenny Has Died

He made millions of meals better.Photo: Tabasco

The iconic 145-year-old hot-sauce company lost its chairman and CEO Paul McIlhenny on Saturday to an apparent heart attack, the New York Times reports. McIlhenny, who died in New Orleans, was a sixth-generation descendent of the company's founder, a Civil War-era food tinkerer. He had worked for the company for 45 years and served as its chief executive for the last 13.

Fermented peppers, vinegar, and salt. »

Watch Jennifer Lawrence Crave McDonald’s at the Oscars

The Academy Award winner told MTV that she was so stressed while getting ready for the show that she "forgot" to eat, so she asked one of her handlers to pick her up a Happy Meal from a nearby McDonald's. No word on if she got to eat in time to accept her award, but starvation could explain her big fall. Somewhere, a McDonald's exec is thinking there's actually a possibility she'd star in a commercial.

"You have to remind them about ketchup." »

More Bad News: Horsemeat Found in Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs and Birds Eye Products

Swedish Meatball-gate: The next big hurdle.

Quantities of unregulated horsemeat that infiltrated Europe's food supply and subsequently turned up in a staggering number of grocery-store and food-service products like Burger King's burgers, Findus's prepackaged frozen lasagna dinners, Tesco's hamburgers, have also now been discovered in IKEA's Swedish meatballs and in Bird Eye's chilli con carne and bolognese sauces. Birds Eye's parent company announced on Friday that samples of its chili con carne distributed throughout Europe tested positive for horse DNA, and authorities in Scotland recalled the entire frozen hamburger from primary schools countrywide, both signs that the issue of the tainted food may be far from resolved. Now it's come down to Ikea's beloved Swedish meatballs.

Trying to assauge "potential worries among our customers." »

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