October 7, 2010 |
Every chef dreams about opening his or her own restaurant ? someday. For Paul Shoemaker, that day jumped closer when he arrived for work at Bastide one morning in 2008 to find out that owner Joe Pytka had abruptly decided to close it down, just weeks after Shoemaker had earned 31/2 stars from The Times for his refined, sensual cooking. (Bastide reopened a year and a half later with a new concept ? bookstore café ? and a new chef.) After an experience like that, it's easy to understand why Shoemaker would opt for working for himself.
August 26, 2010 |
Your best introduction to Mottainai Ramen might be if you slink in exhausted, after a long day of work, needing some comfort. Duck your head through the Japanese curtains that hang in Mottainai Ramen's entryway and you'll be hit by a soothing fog of pork and garlic, as waiters and waitresses shout hearty Japanese greetings and farewells, and somebody lights a wok on fire. Wait, what? A flaming wok? Indeed: Over Mottainai Ramen's tidy collection of two-person tables and pleasant wooden counters, you'll often catch, in the open kitchen, one of the chefs expertly flipping a wok. They're toasting the miso for a serving of the most unique of Mottainai's three specialties: Sapporo Lover, a pork-intensive ramen saturated with toasted miso.
July 13, 2010 |
It's always a wild scene at 85C, a coffee shop, bakery and patisserie in Irvine. From morning through evening, hundreds of customers of every age and walk of life pour through its doors heaping their trays high with a fantastical array of baked goods and the sea salt lattes that helped to popularize this Taiwanese cafe. Every few minutes a worker pops through the bakery's gleaming stainless steel doors into the bustling sales area carrying a tray of warm goodies fresh from the oven while majestically announcing its name.
April 14, 2010 |
"Coffee and Danish": You can't help but think of a stale pot of truck stop brew sitting next to gunky jelly-laden pastry. But that couldn't be further from the original. Sure Denmark is a country that runs on coffee, but rather than the dense lump of dough that we know, their daily cups are accompanied by delicate, flaky, marzipan-filled morsels that we rarely see in America. "Coffee is an integral part of the daily lives of Scandinavians," says Beatrice Ojakangas, author of "The Great Scandinavian Baking Book."
January 13, 2010
Basic savory pie dough No. 1 Total time: 15 minutes, plus freezing and chilling times Servings: Makes enough dough for 1 double-crust (9-inch) pie or 6 individual hand pies 1/2 cup lard or vegetable shortening 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 2 2/3 cups (11 1/2 ounces) flour 1 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons cold water 1. Freeze the lard and butter until solid, at least one hour (up to overnight). 2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
January 13, 2010 |
Savory pies are the culinary equivalent of a down quilt: warm, cushy, uncomplicated -- and precisely what I want to tuck into once winter has settled in and I've found myself safely on the other side of the high-stakes holiday cooking gantlet. After all, December may be a monthlong orgy of creamy pumpkin and candied pecan, rare roast beef and chestnuts, and Champagne and oysters to toast the new year -- but January and its resolutions seem to demand simplicity and thrift. Thrifty needn't mean dull or meager, however, and savory pies -- with their combination of tender, salted crust and hearty filling so elementally formal, yet endlessly varied -- fit the bill perfectly.
December 10, 2009
More than 50 crafty vendors will hawk handmade wares at the Bust Holiday Craftacular , a holiday celebration of old-fashioned creativity. Handbags, jewelry, clothing and seasonal cards will be for sale, along with savory edibles from Two Boots Pizza and the Grilled Cheese Truck. Raffle prizes and DJs round out the entertainment. Goodie bags will be given to the first 250 attendees. The Echo and the Echoplex, 1822 Sunset Blvd., L.A. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. $2. (213) 413-8200. www.attheecho.
November 2, 2009 |
For ages, it was accepted that there were only four primary tastes on the tongue from which all others arose. Those would be sweet, sour, salty and bitter. But over the last few decades, a fifth taste called "umami" has gained acceptance among gourmands worldwide. A Japanese scientist identified it in 1908, and it can best be described as savory. That flavor (enhanced by an all-natural umami rub made of proprietary ingredients) is the secret in the sauce at the ascendant L.A. chain Umami Burger.
September 2, 2009 |
Sunny-side-up eggs with flowing yolks and house-made Lebanese beef sausage top the khachapuri at Zaatar Factory in Burbank. Made to order and served warm from the bakery's oven, the boat-shaped flatbread with high-fluted edges has the look of a chalupa . Your topping choices can vary: cheese or sautÃ©ed potatoes instead of sausage, or any combination of these. However you order it, khachapuri ranks up there with eggs Benedict or a smoked salmon omelet as a luxurious morning meal (although this 8-month-old bake shop serves it any time of the day)