October 20, 2012 |
When I am trying to explain the concept of modernist cooking to a friend who has experienced neither encapsulated olives nor edible menus printed with organic ink, I sometimes bring up the burgers concocted by Nathan Myhrvold, a software pioneer who has lately diversified into maximum-tech cooking, among other things. His recipe, which appears in his 2,400-page opus, "Modernist Cuisine," involves sous-vide , liquid nitrogen, a deep-fat fryer and homemade processed cheese, and is not much less complex, I suspect, than the directions for rebuilding a Porsche.
February 14, 2013 |
SLS Las Vegas , a trendy resort to be built on the grounds of the former Sahara, is scheduled to open in fall 2014 and promises to bring several Southern California clubs and restaurants to the Nevada desert. The former Sahara has been surrounded by chain link fencing since owners Sbe , whose chairman and chief executive is Sam Nazarian, closed the historic hotel about two years ago. The company is pumping $415 million into renovating the property, which has stood on the Strip since 1952.
December 8, 2012 |
If you had asked an observer a few years ago whether the future of dining in Los Angeles was more likely to be influenced by its mobile restaurants or its pop-ups, the money would have been on the trucks. Food trucks seemed to draw from everything about L.A. in 2010 - mobility, multiculturalism, social-media compulsion and the ceaseless drive toward novelty. The food truck culture rewards the short attention span. It rewards it with kimchi cheesesteaks. But while the Kogi empire is still expanding, this may have been the year when restaurants born as pop-ups began to assert themselves.
April 28, 2012 |
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.
October 2, 2013 |
Chef Bruce Kalman, a New Jersey native, and has a thing for pickles. He's so passionate about them that he left a good job at the Churchill to start his own pickle company out of a rented commercial kitchen on Robertson Boulevard in West L.A. Bruce's Prime Pickle Co. is small but Kalman's ambitions for it are big. Dressed in a #got pickles T-shirt with a vinegar-scented apron on a recent weekday afternoon, Kalman showed off the tools of his...
August 24, 2012 |
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.
August 25, 2012 |
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.
December 6, 2012 |
With the winter season comes a barrage of fast-food holiday menu items, and this year that includes McDonald's McRib. The burger chain is bringing out the cult-status BBQ boneless-pork-patty sandwich on Dec. 17 for the holidays (the once-a-year special usually shows up for an October-to-November run) in an effort to boost year-end sales. It's not just the McRib that rears its head this holiday season; Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte is flowing, despite rumors of a shortage. And desserts such as McDonald's McFlurry, Sonic's milkshakes and Burger King sundaes get holiday-ized.
December 6, 2012 |
Wednesday night's episode of "Top Chef" was by far the worst performance I've seen from any contestants in the history of the show. The words "hate" and "disappointing" were thrown around so often by the judges I found myself slumping in my chair, grumpy when the show ended. So what happened? It started at Pike's Place market with Padma Lakshmi in some questionable striped pants and local chef Daisley Gordon acting as guest judge. The chef teams of two butted heads as they built a makeshift outdoor kitchen and created breakfast on a stick for the market vendors.
July 11, 2012 |
Smashburger has brought its brand of so-called better burgers to Thousand Oaks, the first of as many as 60 outlets it plans to open in the Los Angeles area in the next seven years. The Denver fast-casual chain arrives with a luminous pedigree and solid potential. Its founder, Tom Ryan, has shaped menus and marketing campaigns at McDonald's, Quiznos, Long John Silver's and Pizza Hut. And last year, Forbes named Smashburger the most promising company in the country, beating out tech companies, alternative energy start-ups and healthcare firms.