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July 4, 2011 | By Raheem Salman and Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
Abdullah Saadi fingers the fine brown leather belt with holsters for thimble-sized coffee cups and a dagger. He is a keeper of customs, Baghdad's professional server of coffee. He sits in a brick house behind an iron gate in the cramped warrens of Sadr City. The room is painted bright lemon in contrast to the gray street outside. His mother walks through the room, half-embarrassed, singing for guests, "I am the mother of the coffee maker. " She thumps her chest and laughs at her son. In Iraq, coffee isn't merely a matter of ordering a grande to go from Starbucks.
May 26, 2011 | By Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The fact that we have a word in Korean, anju , specifically for types of food that one eats with alcohol, should give a good indication of how much Koreans love to drink. The drink of choice can be mekju (beer) or makgeolli (a cloudy unrefined rice wine), but it's usually soju , a clear distilled alcohol, traditionally made from rice and most often compared to vodka. I'm not sure which came first, the drinking or the snacking, but Koreans never drink without having something as an accompaniment.
March 17, 2011 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
After missing one of the biggest marketing opportunities in a generation, PepsiCo says it is not about to make the same mistake twice. Pepsi is ponying up more than $60 million to sponsor "X Factor," Simon Cowell's new talent show set to debut this fall on the Fox network. The beverage giant took a pass on sponsoring "American Idol," which long featured Cowell, when the show launched nine years ago. The singing contest went on to become one of TV's most popular programs of all time, and Pepsi, in recent years, has seen its sales decline.
November 29, 2010 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
With commercial airliners more crowded and heightened security measures threatening long delays at airports, private charter jet companies and rental car agencies may be beneficiaries of the growing airport headaches. A Zogby International poll released last week found that 42% of likely voters said that enhanced pat-down search techniques and the increased use of full-body scanners by the Transportation Security Administration would cause them to use a different mode of transportation.
November 26, 2010 | By Emily Bryson York
Two beverages among the most likely to be sipped at a beach or summer barbecue ? margaritas and Kool-Aid ? are working hard to stay in the mix this holiday season. Sauza, owned by Beam Global Spirits & Wine, a unit of Fortune Brands Inc., is teaching women how to make winter margaritas. Kool-Aid, owned by Kraft Foods Inc., made its first appearance in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, with its Kool-Aid Man on a skateboard. Sauza is looking to benefit from a trend toward entertaining at home.
November 16, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, For the Los Angeles Times
Caffeinated alcoholic drinks that have been making college kids sick on campuses in several states may not be around much longer -- if news report of their proposed demise are correct. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has supported such a ban, reports Tuesday on his website that the Food and Drug Administration plans to ban caffeinated alcoholic drinks like Four Loko and Joose as an "unsafe food additive to alcoholic beverages. " The statement also says the Federal Trade Commission will tell manufacturers that selling these unsafe alcoholic drinks is illegal.
November 9, 2010 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
If you're a regular reader of Booster Shots, you are well aware that drinking lots of sugar-sweetened beverages is bad for your health. Primarily, those empty calories do damage to your waistline and are a major contributor to the steady weight gain of Americans over the last several decades. But a study published online Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Assn. gives women another reason to avoid the drinks: They can increase the risk of gout. According to the Mayo Clinic , “Gout is a complex form of arthritis characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe. …  An acute attack of gout can wake you up in the middle of the night feeling like your big toe is on fire.
October 27, 2010 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
Even by the extreme standards of typical college mayhem, the small-town college party in central Washington this month looked bad. Police were initially called to a supermarket parking lot, where they found a girl passed out in the back seat of a car next to a boy with a bloody nose. At the private house the two had just left, three girls were sprawled on a bed, a barely conscious young man was being dragged out of the backyard, a girl was prostrate on the bathroom floor and three young people were splayed senseless in a car outside.
October 21, 2010 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
The overhaul of gift stores, beverage stands and restaurants at Los Angeles International Airport moved ahead Wednesday when the City Council approved the first round of new concession contracts and rejected further investigation of the bidding process. Some of the outlets could be in place by summer, officials said. The nine contracts, which affect Terminals, 4, 5, 7 and 8, were awarded on a 12-1 vote with Councilman Tony Cardenas the only holdout. Cardenas had urged his colleagues to postpone the vote and resume a probe by a special council panel into whether the bids were evaluated "fairly, responsibly and legally" by airport officials.
September 21, 2010 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
A 2 1/2-year effort to overhaul concessions for passengers at Los Angeles International Airport made significant progress Monday when a special City Council panel approved four of five food and beverage contracts that had been contested by competing companies. The five-member Board of Referred Powers voted 4 to 1 to award three contracts to Areas USA, based in Florida, and one contract to the THS-Marbella Food Service Partnership, which involves the Delaware North Companies, a longtime concessionaire at LAX. Also on a 4-1 vote, the board threw out all bids for the most lucrative food and beverage contract — a decision that will force Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX, to re-solicit proposals at a later date.
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