July 18, 2007 |
HOW to choose among the seemingly endless array of tortillas available in Los Angeles? The Times tasting panel met last week to give it a try. Joining me on the panel were food editor Leslie Brenner, assistant food editor Betty Hallock, staff writer Charles Perry, test kitchen director Donna Deane and recipe tester Noelle Carter. We tasted handmade corn tortillas purchased from area markets, tortillerias and taquerias, including Los 5 Puntos on Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, El Parian on West Pico Boulevard, Olvera Street's La Luz del Dia and Tonny's in Pasadena.
July 14, 2007 |
In the parking lot of a drive-thru daiquiri bar that sells frozen White Russians in plastic to-go cups, Fidel Sanchez is running an illegal enterprise that's too unwholesome to be tolerated, according to politicians here in suburban Jefferson Parish. Sanchez is selling tacos out of a truck -- and judging from the lunch-hour line outside Taqueria Sanchez el Sabrosito, many Louisianans have become fast fans of his flavorful carne al pastor and spicy pork chicharrones.
July 12, 2007 |
ACTOR James Roday is one of the beautiful people. People magazine said so just this year -- not that the Atwater Village resident is complaining. Blushing, perhaps, but not complaining. Yet what he's really proud of is his USA Network series "Psych," which begins its second season Friday at 10 p.m. A quiet start On a Friday night I try to keep it mellow, and that's where the Sonora Cafe comes in. Even at capacity it never feels too crowded or too hip.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2007 |
Louis Flores Ruiz, who transformed a tiny family business that sold homemade enchiladas into the largest manufacturer of frozen Mexican food in the U.S., has died. He was 88. Ruiz, who had been in failing health for the last three years, died Sunday at his home in Dinuba, Calif., his family announced. The massive growth of Ruiz Foods -- founded in 1964 in the San Joaquin Valley -- reflected the rise of the Latino population in the U.S. and the country's growing appetite for ethnic food.
December 3, 2006 |
MESQUITE, nopal, maguey, wild maize: These were some of the foods eaten in Mexico 9,000 years ago by nomadic people. Then came squash, chiles, avocados, guava, cultivated maize and beans, the foods of sedentary people. The Aztecs made tlaxcalli (the Nahuatl name for what is now called tortillas). The Aztecs, Mayans and Incas ate salsa. The foods of the nomads gave way to pozole and masa and tamales. The Spaniards brought wheat and rice, cattle, pigs, sheep and sugar cane.
November 19, 2006 |
"Mexiterranean" is Eileen Gregory's word for Las Brisas del Valle--not only the inn, but the fusion cuisine of its 26-year-old chef, V. Omar Garcia Salazar, and the wine country setting. It's a taste of Italy in Baja California, and it's also home. The idea of living surrounded by a vineyard had always appealed to Eileen and her husband Phil, a former recording studio manager.
March 19, 2006 |
It is nothing short of perfection: a blend of tender grilled pork, a generous portion of melted Monterey Jack cheese and a chopped poblano chile, guaranteed to provide just the right amount of kick. My mind flashed on this heavenly concoction--and my mouth watered for it--as I read Dagoberto Gilb's ruminations on the state of Mexican food in the U.S., fare that has become, in his words, "American now."
March 19, 2006 |
Let me describe the #3 plate at every local authentic Mexican restaurant 50 years ago. Imagine an oval, particularly thick ceramic plate being hustled over straight out of an oven, so hot it can only be delivered with a potholder and a warning to never, ever touch--it's a hot, hot plate each recipient, individually, will be told--that is set down a distance from the edge of the table so it won't burn chest hairs or whatever, and the clothes in between.
March 15, 2006 |
FLAMBOYANT in his natty flat-topped French fireman's cap and chef's whites, Generoso Bahena hovers near the line cooks in his state-of-the-art open kitchen at the ambitious new haute-Mexican restaurant Malverde. He scrutinizes each plate on its way to the extravagantly designed dining room populated with young entrepreneurs and Latin entertainment industry staffers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2005 |
It's a matter of masa. Ask any vendor at the inaugural Los Angeles International Tamale Festival -- the difference between a moist and flavorful tamale and a tired and dry tamale is how you prepare the ground corn. Some say it's all about adding stock. Others say the key is rendered pork fat. But for most, how you enhance the masa is a guarded family secret. "Eleven herbs and spices. Just like KFC," Israel Briseno of Mom's Tamales said Saturday.