Ven-ice Road Truckers

June 5, 2009

Maybe after the “downturn” is finally over, this era will come to be remembered not for the fall of AIG and Lehman Brothers, but for the rise of the Twitter food truck.  Kogi was only the beginning, the first in a Darwinian progression, a gradual  hybridization of ethnic food, mobile kitchens, and a cell phone-addicted [...]

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Head cheese alert: le Saint Amour opens in Culver City

June 5, 2009

Does Los Angeles need a new bistro or brasserie?  Mon Dieu, no.  There have been so many of these trendy French eateries opening in the last two years that city planners should issue a moratorium. We have officially reached critical mass for pommes frites.  Such moratorium, however, would have deprived us all of the new [...]

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The flat bread society

May 28, 2009

There are few things as profoundly satisfying as baking bread.  The only downside for me is the oven, which I sometimes just don’t want to crank to 500 degrees, hot weather or not.  The solution to this is flatbread, which gives you the same happy knead and rise, but can be accomplished on the stovetop–or [...]

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Prince of the apple towns

May 20, 2009

Apple season in Southern California always takes me by surprise.  In boarding school, we’d eat apples not in May but in the fall, from wooden crates that the faculty had set up outside (the school, in Ohio, was also a working farm with an apple orchard) for mid-class snacking, and later in the season we’d [...]

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Long Beach taco pilgrimage

May 18, 2009

My favorite taqueria is in Long Beach, of all places. About 4 blocks north of the water and maybe 2 miles east of downtown Long Beach is Taqueria la Mexicana, a cheery little dive with a sidewalk order window and a little sitting area inside that I always mistake for a laundromat (don’t know why–maybe [...]

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The (metaphorical) cherry orchard

May 18, 2009

Look what I found this Saturday at the Santa Monica (Pico and Cloverfield) farmers market.  The stalls were loaded with cherries (I saw Brooks and Tartarian); it was like one giant marble festival.  We just ate them in the car, spitting the pits out of the window on the way home (yeah, yeah; it’s fun).  [...]

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Salmon curing in Japan

May 17, 2009

Cool fish, eh?  These are curing salmon, strung from a snowy porch in the coastal town of Murakami, in Niigata Prefecture, Japan.  Click here to find out more about the process: warning, it’s in Japanese.  Here’s how my sister, who has lived in Japan for close to 2o years and who took the pictures, translates:
◆鮭の内臓とエラを取り除いて洗い、良くヌメリをとります。
Remove [...]

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Chile peppers from Penzeys

May 15, 2009

Penzeys Spices recently opened a new branch in Santa Monica, which is very handy or very dangerous, depending on how you look at it. When it comes to chile peppers, it can be both. We have a pretty good selection of both dried and fresh chiles in Los Angeles, between the farmers markets [...]

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