Last night was the Top Chef All-Stars finale, and it was down to Richard Blais vs Mike Isabella. Friends and rivals, they each entered into the final elimination both seeming like underdogs, which is quite a feat of editing on Bravo's part. Hit the link for Max Silvestri's recap. [-EN-]
Archive for March, 2011
Just when you thought Pitfire Pizza and Pizzeria Mozza were your only viable pizza options, think again. Welcome to Mother Dough, serving the Los Feliz community wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas since March 22. Check out the simple industrial designed digs, two-tops flank the length of the restaurant with a 6,000 pound oven in the way back that, according to Urban Daddy, cranks out pizzas fired at 850°F in 60 seconds. The menu offers just five pizzas ($15-$19), most of which are topped with the prized tomatoes of San Marzano (in Campania) and buffalo mozzarella, plus prosciutto or sausage or zucchini. To drink, Italian vino and assorted beers.
·Neapolitan Pizza from a Huge Wood Oven [UD]
The Huffington Post put the spotlight on hidden gems in a piece profiling (um, b-list?) celebs' favorite off-the-radar places to nibble and nosh. Extra TV host and TV personality Mario Lopez picks out Crazy Fish in Beverly Hills and Tomo in Burbank where "..their srirachi bowl is amazing." Predictably (?) Elan Atias, (reggae singer from Bob Marley's band The Wailers) likes The Joint in Beverlywood. Remember James Van Der Beek? from that little show called Dawson's Creek? He claims that The Roger Room is "...quiet, not clubby, you wouldn't know it if you walked by it..." Really? [EaterWire] — DG
This is happening. Peeps on Pies. I Heart Pies returns for a third pie and beer pop-up at Eagle Rock Brewery this Sunday from noon-6PM. Peep Pie (marshmallow, cream and chocolate chips, graham cracker cookie crust, topped with a marshmallow peep) will be for sale along with Spring Chicken Pot Pie, Sausage, Potato and Spinach Pie, Peanut Butter S'more Pie, and Spicy Chocolate Mousse Pie. [EaterWire]
It's springtime in your city, which can only mean one thing: The Patrón Secret Dining Society is back in a big way—big chefs, big flavor, big cocktails. It's going to be a good year.
We're particularly excited about the chef for the first event (April 8th in a glorious American city TBD). Patrón will reveal the details tomorrow on the Patrón Social Club, but for now, let us just say that this chef is a James Beard Award and Iron Chef challenge winner. Bravo, Patron!
If you're not a member of the Social Club, sign up by 3:30 pm tomorrow to be informed if you're near the event location. And once the announcement is made, you'll have three days to answer a riddle for a chance to win seats at the table.
Remember, only Patrón Social Club members will be eligible to win seats at the event. So go on, sign up today. And if you're already a member, we recommend getting further acquainted with the contents of the site, where the riddle answers will reside.
Starting tomorrow, Umami will added a new burger to the menu at each of its locations available through the month of April. The burger is called "The Ruskie" and calls for a beef patty with melted cabbage, red beet cheese, mustard seed "caviar." Founder Adam Fleischman was inspired by a new doc coming out April 29, Exporting Raymond, which follows Phil Rosenthal, creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” as he attempts to create a Russian version of the show. [EaterWire]
Hangover Observations : Public Hosts Top Chef All Stars Finale Party and Live Broadcast: Bravolebrities Hit The TownThursday, March 31st, 2011
Last night Eater was invited to Public inside the Roosevelt for a Top Chef All Stars finale viewing party hosted by Bravo. Over the course of the evening we learned several very important facts: 1) Season nine of Top Chef will be even more interactive than shows have been in the past and will play out "across different forms of media," according to a Bravo exec. 2) Brad Goreski (who was in the house last night), the "Brad" on The Rachel Zoe Project has landed his own Bravo show called It's A Brad Brad World. 3) Padma (who was also in the house last night) is very very nice. 4) The cast from The Real House Wives of Beverly Hills and OC were all at the party, Lisa Vanderpump (who owns Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills) divulged that her dog (who was also in attendance), Giggy, has both a publicist and an agent. 5) We watched a rather unmemorable snippet from Rocco DiSpirito's new Bravo show, Rocco's Dinner Party. Meh. 6) Vetro is the name of sbe's new Italian concept overtaking MI-6 and several top cheffers in attendance considered working there. They declined.
Glasses of wine in hand, all LA-based casts from Bravo, including The Housewives, Patty Stanger from Millionaire Matchmaker, Million Dollar Listing guys, Curtis Stone, Padma, plus a handful of Top Chef All Stars contestants (Elia Aboumrad, Jamie Lauren, Antonia Lofaso, Marcel Vigneron, Fabio Viviani) mixed and mingled and drank some more. While viewers at home watched Mike and Richard battle it out, guests sampled mini portions of their dishes including Mike's halibu and Richard's sweetbreads. Meanwhile, a few times throughout the evening, Padma broadcasted live from the Roosevelt with several Top Cheffers.
Around 8PM, guests shuffled upstairs to The Spare Room for the after-party and downed punch, Figgy Smalls, and bowled, despite the fact that the BH and OC Housewives took up all that bowling area seating. And did not bowl. Typical. Anyway, Eater bowled with the Top Cheffers and overheard Antonia telling a friend that she wants to open an Italian market in LA. A swell evening all around. [EaterWire]
As part of his enduring love of all things Terence Conran (the English designer and restauranteur) Maxwell recently brought home a tattered old copy of Conran's now out-of-print Kitchen Book and we have barely put it down. It's the best resource I've ever seen for making beautiful and functional rooms for cooking.
It doesn't just show pretty kitchens — though it does do that — it also helps the reader understand how and why kitchens keep the spirit of the home alive.
It's the book I've always wanted to write. (Oops, Conran beat me to it. Twenty years ago.) Here is the first sentence:
You see why I'm in love with this book, don't you?
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Nikki Beach opens over Memorial Day Weekend at the Tropicana in Vegas, but before that goes down, management has decided to take the party on the road with a series of pop-up Nikki Beach events. On April 8, Nikki Beach lands at Ivy Nightclub in Andaz Hotel San Diego, followed by a pop-up in Hollywood at RS/LA on April 21, and finally rounding out at Voyeur in WeHo on April 22. Each party will offer guests "an intimate and personalized introduction to the Nikki Beach brand by showcasing the brand’s iconic elements including Champagne and signature cocktails, immensely talented international DJs and entertainment that captures the imagination." [EaterWire]
Every week we bring you our favorite posts from our friends at Serious Eats. This week we couldn't pass up this succulent, piquant salmon recipe, or a batch of maple walnut graham crackers. Read on for these and more from our friends at Serious Eats.
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You may not think a juicer is super unique, but I'm telling you, this sucker was not easy to find. In my favorite posts of 2010 roundup, I mentioned a juicer just like this, pictured on another blog, and promised anyone who could find it a hand-written thank-you note. Well, I guess I owe one to Faith.
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Getting a restaurant up and running is difficult enough, but add to that the pressure of having a food service health inspector watch your every move.
Shami Kabab Restaurant in Duluth knows this pressure all too well.
The Afghan restaurant at 6590 Sugarloaf Parkway has been open for less than a month, but already draws a following of customers hungry for their meat kabobs, roasted eggplant and other Middle Eastern delicacies.
Before serving its first customer, the restaurant scored 96 out of 100 on an initial inspection. They received a Gwinnett County food service permit and opened for business.
The first routine inspection March 22 didn’t go as well. They were given a failing score of 65.
A restaurant supervisor said an employee didn’t show up to work that day and they had to bring in someone new. They weren’t prepared to be inspected so soon, he said.
Points were taken off because employees failed to wash their hands between glove changes. Points also were docked
1) Costa Mesa: Today SIV takes a trip down south to Ecco in Costa Mesa. Despite earlier failures in the same location, Sher decides that "Ecco looks as if it's going to be around awhile. With a menu of well-executed Italian cuisine, including thin-crust pizzas, moderate prices, a friendly, efficient staff and low-key ambience, Ecco has a broad appeal." The restaurant is "[c]ommitted to Neapolitan pizza...turning out pies with a thin crust blistered around the edges from the heat of the wood-burning oven...If your gold standard is American-style pizza heaped with toppings, Ecco's pies aren't for you. Toppings are sparse, even by Mozza standards...pies rigorously follow the Neapolitan style. I quite like the thin crust, but it can sometimes go limp at the center." Aside from pizza, "[t]he pasta section of the menu is fairly modest, yet [chef] Kirk's turning out some of the best pasta dishes I've had in the O.C." Meanwhile, "[t]he wine list offers some basics at good prices, but beyond that, it could use some more interesting labels. Desserts are a bit of a let-down." Overall, "[t]his earnest neighborhood Italian has an authenticity of spirit that eludes some of the glitzier Italian restaurants in Orange County. It's worth seeking out and paying a visit to the Camp." [LAT]
2) Mid-City: The Goldster pays a visit to Robata Jinya, a sister restaurant to another Gold favorite, Jinya in Studio City. Right off the bat he confesses, "The most striking Japanese dish I've had lately? It's hard to say, although at the moment I am tending toward a dish of warm tofu freshly made at table...served, oddly enough, at the new Robata Jinya, a kind of robata-ya — a meaty, Japanese grill restaurant...The best dishes at a robata-ya rarely include agedashi — fried bean curd stuffed with shrimp or stuffed into eggplant and served in an elegant broth or finger-sized shrimp sandwiches stacked like Jenga bricks...Like most robata-ya and izakaya menus, the menu at Robata Jinya can be bewildering in its complexity, listing dozens of meats and vegetables available skewered from the grill...In Tokyo, where the restaurant originated, the small Jinya chain apparently is best known as an offal-intensive Japanese grill whose skewered specialties include salmon belly, simmered tendon grilled with miso...When you're in the mood for miso-marinated beef tongue, or the delicate chicken meatballs called tsukune, or delicate grilled shiitakes, you're probably in the right restaurant. It may be the tofu that is deliciously out of place." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: The Find discovers Shawarma Palace, Refined Palate discusses Vin Bar, The Savory Hunter sips cocktails at Eveleigh, Dig Lounge picks Soul Burger, Eat: LA dines at Talesai, and Eating LA hits The Spice Table.
My husband and I have been temporarily living in a furnished apartment following a move (again!), and it was with much trepidation that I checked the cupboards for cookware. First surprise: the pans were all heavy stainless-steel. Not a nonstick pan in sight! Second surprise: they were made by Tramontina.
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Signage at Off Vine, Hollywood. [Photo: Muy Yum/Eater LA Flickr Pool]
·Smackaroon! The Switzerland vs. France Cookie Smackdown [The Atlantic]
·Meals On Wheels Hosts Culinary Cause Pop-Up [LAW]
·The Truth About Health Drinks [Guardian]
·Drago Drops Six Courses of Duck [GS]
·A Look at Moët & Chandon's Latest Champagnes [YumSugar]
·Tainted Seafood Fears Spread as Japan Plant Leaks [AP]
·French Cooking Guru Bocuse Is 'Chef of Century' [AFP]
·Why Things Taste Bitter For Pepsi [Independent]
Q: I have a quandary to crowdsource to your smart readers. I am moving halfway across the country from home and Hubs for a year for work (I’ll come back a few weekends a month). I have to be pretty picky about what’s worth lugging out there. I don’t bake much, but I love to cook and eat just about any kind of cuisine. I’m pumped to be moving to the West Coast, Land of Magical Wintertime Farmer’s Markets, so I want to be able to cook for myself and the occasional visitor or two.
So—from dishes and utensils to gadgets—what do you think are the absolute essentials?
Sent by Kat
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Cheese plates are one of the simplest, most straightforward ways to begin or end a meal, and they always feel elegant and indulgent. But what to put on a good cheese plate? We've offered some ideas, but we're always looking for more, so we loved this cheese board feature from Joanna Goddard at Cup of Jo.
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Have you tried our new Whole Wheat Sandwich Slenders? They taste fabulous! Only 90 calories per serving and loaded with 19g of whole grain and 6g of fiber. The girls just started liking burgers (turkey at our house) and they love these thin “buns”. Much easier for smaller mouths and I love that they get more fiber in their diets. I use a turkey burger recipe I saw in Family Circle last year – very simple.
1 3/4 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 3/4 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
One 20oz package of ground turkey
Shape into 5-6 patties and cook about 5 minutes on each side in a heated non-stick skillet (medium heat) that has been slightly greased with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Partially cover and cook another 5 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees. The ricotta cheese is the secret ingredient that keeps these burgers moist. Serve with your favorite toppings (Family Circle suggests cooked onions and a blue cheese/light mayo sauce) and substitute Sandwich Slenders instead of a bun and you have a delicious better for you burger. Enjoy!
In the past we've talked about several different methods of storing fruit in your kitchen. This idea is a new take on things with some help from Ikea. Those shelves the fruit is sitting on... they're glass baking dishes! Want to see how it works?
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I have been writing for The Kitchn for almost three years and cannot believe that I have never dedicated a full post to one of our favorite go-to wines - Austrian Grüner Veltliner. It has become a staple in our house for its deliciousness and versatility. How many of our Kitchn readers are also ‘Grüner’ fans?
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I just made the most embarrassing loaf of banana bread. It came out so dense and chewy that it was practically inedible. So I put it back in the oven to no avail. So I sliced it up to expose its brick-like interior and returned it to the oven a third time. And voila. That's when I pulled out banana croutons!
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Couscous was invented for rushed, distracted, and hard-working cooks like us. Ok, maybe it was invented to go with delicious North African tagines and Middle Eastern pilafs. But the fact that it cooks up in minutes and requires almost no attention makes it feel like our weeknight meal savior.
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