CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 2013 |
As an actor, Harry Lewis took second billing to the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson, most notably in the 1948 film noir "Key Largo. " But he found his own starring role as a Los Angeles restaurateur who helped usher in the concept of the "gourmet burger" when he launched the ground-breaking Hamburger Hamlet restaurant chain, among others. Hamburger Hamlet - named after one of the signature items on the menu, as well as the role that beckons to actors of stage and film alike - became that rare high-low hit. Among the restaurant's regulars: Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Curtis - all Lewis' buddies from the film business. But it was also a place for Los Angeles families looking for a night out that included milkshakes.
May 20, 2013 |
A word of advice. Never use the phrase "just a burger" with Nancy Silverton. I did and was promptly challenged on every aspect of burger-making, starting with where to buy the meat, what grind, size of patty, how to cook it, what to serve with it, what pickle, what bun, what ketchup, what mayonnaise, what mustard, what cheese, how thick to slice the avocado, what bacon, what smoke on the bacon, what occasion. The co-founder of Campanile restaurant and La Brea Bakery may be famous for more sophisticated food, but to her, the burger is one of the great American dishes, and exactly the thing that she likes to give friends for an end-of-summer barbecue.
May 8, 2013 |
There is something about hamburgers that seems to inevitably lead to excess. And May being National Hamburger Month (wait, you hadn't heard?), we're seeing it in spades. The most recent exhibit is this $100 hamburger from an Atlantic City casino. It's not only the price of the thing that is so crazy - though it does make the uproar several years ago over Daniel Boulud's $29 hamburger stuffed with short ribs, foie gras and truffles seem positively quaint. Mother's Day dining guide It's more the object itself, which looks kind of like one of those car crash photos they used to show in drivers ed classes.
April 29, 2013 |
Kraft Zesty Italian dressing has been on the market for years. It's nothing new. But enter the Zesty guy with his tight white tee, tanned muscles and artfully trimmed facial hair and all of the sudden, the new Kraft dressing ad is playing on repeat. The new Kraft dressing campaign features the Zesty guy in three different videos with the dressing. First he lights a fire with the dressing and conveniently burns his shirt off. In another video he playfully slaps some dough and again ends up shirtless.
April 24, 2013 |
A 14-year-old hamburger -- seemingly perfectly preserved, looking like it just hopped off the grill -- has left McDonald's with a lot of explaining to do. The fast-food chain says the apparent lack of mold or disintegration is actually no big deal, and suggests that the burger's pristine appearance -- assuming it's not a prank -- is likely the result of dehydration, and not funky preservatives. The hamburger has been in the headlines of late, most recently on "The Doctors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2013 |
Each morning at 7, Marcelino Martinez arrives at the Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks. Wearing a thick white chef's coat, he inspects the fryers first - for the purity of the cooking oil and height of the flame. This has been his routine for 43 years. In this kitchen and many like it, the restaurant manager has trained hundreds of fellow Zapotec Indians from the highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico, to cook patty melts, onion rings and lobster bisque at El Hamlet . Most have moved on, preparing German, Italian, French and California cuisine at various restaurants throughout Los Angeles.