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August 20, 2008 | C. Thi Nguyen, Special to The Times
BREAKFAST IS the last great dining frontier. Los Angeles is full of intrepid culinary explorers, venturing to all corners of the city in search of lunch and dinner; but as for the morning, we're often breakfast conservatives. Everybody knows about pancakes and waffles, and many are at home with Latin American breakfast staples. But Asian breakfasts are perhaps less well known. Except for dim sum, which is more of a fancy brunch option, what is Asian breakfast? One of the first things the explorer discovers about Asian breakfasts is that, a lot of the time, they don't exist.
February 10, 2011 | By Sarah Karnasiewicz, Special to the Los Angeles Times
My paternal bloodline brims with soup: barley stews studded with black mushrooms and opaque as porridge; the thin tomato broth of our Polish Christmas Eve vigil, swimming with dumplings no bigger than a bird's eye; and the plain, milky, peasant concoction, assembled from Grandma Sophie's kitchen scraps, known affectionately within the clan as "dough-ball-soup. " Though my grandmother is gone and her soups have not passed my father's lips in nearly 20 years, come winter, like clockwork, he sighs for them.
January 31, 2012 | By Jonathan Kaiman, Los Angeles Times
Tucked away on a glossy menu in the Herbal Cafe, a Beijing restaurant known for its herbal teas and low-fat Cantonese dishes, is a little nod to environmental advocacy. For about $2.50, customers can buy a bowl of imitation shark fin soup made of vegetable stock and potato noodles. "If it was real, then you'd have to kill sharks," said Zhang Gui, the manager. "Sharks are very precious animals. " Demand for shark fin soup, once a dish for Ming Dynasty emperors, has skyrocketed in the last several decades as more people can afford to serve it at business banquets and wedding feasts, thanks to the growth of China's middle class.
December 15, 2011 | By Phyllis Glazer, Special to the Los Angeles Times
For Jewish parents, the Hanukkah holidays are particularly challenging; they last not one day but eight. Beginning this year at sunset Tuesday and ending at sunset Dec. 28, there will be lots of candles to light, loads of latkes to fry and eight nights of activities to plan for the kids. Oy vey. Also called the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates liberation from oppression (especially for kids from school, provided that the holiday coincides with Christmas vacation), and the faith that if you really believe in something hard enough, even a small group of committed activists can make a difference.
July 21, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
A state ban on shark fins is being challenged in court by a group that says the law is unconstitutional and discriminatory toward Chinese culture. In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law prohibiting the possession, sale and distribution of the product, a delicacy long used in Chinese cuisine, specifically in soup. Violators of the ban could face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. Supporters of the ban say that the fins are cruelly obtained — fishermen often slice them off live sharks that are then dumped back into the ocean because of the low demand for other shark meat.
October 23, 1986 | ROSE DOSTI, Times Staff Writer
If there ever was a robust dish that also was endowed with elegance, it is bouillabaisse, a humble peasant soup-stew that has climbed in stature to become one of the great dishes of the world. So great is its reputation that one would not hesitate to serve bouillabaisse to best and dearest friends at the finest party during the holiday season or anytime. If you consult Webster's, you will find that bouillabaisse is from the French words bouli, meaning "to boil" and abaisser, meaning "to settle."
June 28, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
An ancient Asian dining tradition comes to an end in California on Monday, and grocer Emily Gian is none too happy. Gian has slashed prices on shark fins, the astoundingly expensive ingredient of a coveted and ceremonial soup, in hopes she will sell out before a California ban on sale or possession of the delicacy takes effect Monday. "The law is unfair," said Gian, whose store in Los Angeles' Chinatown sells shark fins for $599 a pound. "Why single out Chinese people in California when shark fins are legal in many other states?"
May 1, 2009 | Hector Becerra
Eric Lam straps on a brown apron early one morning and lugs cardboard boxes filled with beef bones to a large metal pot sitting on a stove, setting in motion the long process that concludes with the next day's supply of Vietnamese pho noodle soup. The 22-year-old pulls out white buckets from a walk-in refrigerator, revealing a clear amber broth. This is today's soup.
April 20, 2012 | Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
Have you ever been frightened by a dumpling? Truly, genuinely scared? Because the juicy crab and pork buns at Wang Xing Ji - smoking-hot dumplings the size of water balloons, sneakily full of boiling juice - could probably be weaponized. You could deploy them as grenades, I'm pretty sure, lobbing the heavy spheroids over battlements. Or you could employ them as sub-lethal projectiles, splatting them into the enemy at will, although the sticky broth is undoubtedly prohibited in an obscure codicil of the Geneva Conventions.
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