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FOOD
March 2, 2013 | By Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
Hinoki is a fragrant cypress most Japanese associate with extremely expensive bathtubs, popular with the wealthy because the wood is used to build the soaking tubs at onsen , Japanese hot springs. Hinoki wood is also used to build the counters of the most prestigious sushi bars; long, smooth planks that are sanded every day and given weekly baths of milk. Hinoki & the Bird, on the other hand, is the new Century City restaurant from David Myers, who became well-known as the auteur behind restaurant Sona until it closed in 2010 and who runs the Melrose Avenue brasserie Comme Ça and the South Coast Plaza pizzeria Ortica.
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NEWS
February 4, 2014 | By S. Irene Virbila
Ever heard of pechuga , the mezcal from Oaxaca made by suspending a chicken breast ( pechuga ) from the top of the still? Forget about the worm in the bottle. That's just folklore. But this, this is something wild and woolly from the back country. Ron Cooper, the Venice artist and adventurer who jump-started the whole mezcal craze in this country with Del Maguey Single Vineyard Mezcal almost two decades ago, was showing José André's creative director Ruben García the pechuga process at the village of Santa Catarina Minas.
TRAVEL
March 20, 2011 | By Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
It's no easy job, being the lungs of Los Angeles. But Griffith Park, the foremost green space in a city notorious for meager parkland and abundant smog, endures bravely, maybe even heroically. Venture into the park, or nearby Elysian Park, or one of the creative neighborhoods in between, and you'll find not only beloved landmarks such as Griffith Observatory and Dodger Stadium, but also happy surprises, such as the time-travel supply shop, or the cafe where cops dine daily to the sound of echoing gunfire, or the Korean greetings that echo at dawn every day atop Mt. Hollywood.
NEWS
January 15, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
The fourth restaurant in the gourmet Tavern family created by chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne has opened at the newly upgraded Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. The Larder at Tavern in the post-security screening area of the terminal brings freshly baked breads and an open kitchen where diners can watch hot sandwiches and other dishes being made. Travelers may eat in or choose a "picnic box" (to-go meal) featuring items such as Nicoise Spanish tuna with olives, cucumber, tomato and aioli; and a vegan cobb salad with beets, avocado and sugar snap peas.
NEWS
August 25, 2012 | By Noelle Carter
This week, deputy Food editor Betty Hallock is all about shio koji : "The latest trendy cooking ingredient in Japan is a fungus. And that fungus is spreading. Professional and home cooks in Japan are crazy for it, and it's flying off the shelves at Japanese markets in the U.S., too. "They're using shio koji -- a fermented mixture of koji (rice innoculated with the special -- and safe -- mold Aspergillus oryzae), shio (sea salt) and water -- as a seasoning in place of salt for its powers of umami.
NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Jessica Gelt
Sam Nazarian, the 37-year-old power player behind SBE hospitality group, is transcending the no-longer-accurate moniker of "night life king" by expanding his popular Katsuya restaurant brand on an international scale. Late last month Nazarian signed a deal with M.H. Alshaya (a huge international retail franchise operator) to open 17 Katsuyas in the Middle East by 2017 with the first two, in Kuwait and Dubai, scheduled to open in 2013. This is in addition to Nazarian's investment in Adam Fleischman's buzzy Umami Burger, which Nazarian is helping to develop into a national chain.  Nazarian also has his sights set on Asia and is planning to open a branch of his SLS hotel chain in China.
TRAVEL
March 20, 2011 | By Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
WHERE TO STAY Lodging options are slim around Griffith Park, perhaps because there are so many rooms in nearby Hollywood. But there are a few spots, including these. Hotel250, also known as the Hollywood Silver Lake Hotel & Suites, 250 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles 90004; (213) 639-1920, http://www.hotel250.com . This former Holiday Inn, set on a hillside south of the 101 Freeway, has 65 rooms, free Wi-Fi, parking and continental breakfast and an unheated outdoor pool.
FOOD
April 28, 2012 | By Andrea Nguyen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Wrinkly Chinese fermented black beans look as though they have just emerged from an archaeological site. Indeed, the salty, pungent little bits are an ancient Chinese staple. Made of black or yellow soybeans, they were once the only soy-based seasoning used all over China but nowadays are mostly employed in southern Chinese cooking. Called dou chi in Mandarin and dul see in Cantonese, you may know them as the punchy dark flecks in the sparerib nuggets at dim sum. But fermented black beans are remarkably versatile.
NEWS
August 24, 2012 | By Jonathan Gold
In the United States, Kit Kat bars are more or less Kit Kat bars. In Japan, they are chocolaty slabs of innovation. Among the dozen or so kinds of Japanese Kit Kats I've tried, I think my favorite were flavored with soy sauce, which gave the wafers an interesting jolt of umami. But the oddest new flavors may be those that appear in special-edition bottles of Japanese Pepsi, which over the last few years have included Pepsi flavored with chestnuts, cucumber, adzuki beans, and the fragrant extract from African baobob pods, although I suspect the latter may be less exotic than the tropical extracts that already show up in Pepsi.
FOOD
March 16, 2012 | By Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times
Big changes have hit Little Osaka, the iconic Japanese neighborhood that runs along Sawtelle Boulevard in West L.A. Take, for example, Plan Check Kitchen & Bar. The 4-week-old restaurant serving gourmet burgers, American comfort food and curated cocktails is Sawtelle's first gastropub. The street has for decades been a Japanese restaurant row: sushi, curry, yakitori, Franco-Japanese small plates, izakaya fare and land-of-the-rising-sun snacks. In the days just before opening, Plan Check owner Terry Heller wondered half-jokingly, "Do you think I'm crazy not to open a sushi place here?"
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