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Umami

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.
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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
April 9, 2013 | By John Verive
The brewers at Downtown's Angel City Brewery have been hard at work building a catalog of recipes and fine-tuning their brewhouse and processes while the final touches are made to the building prior to the official grand opening. Not content to simply offer his take on classic styles like the brewery's flagship Eureka Wit and Angeleno IPA, head brewer Dieter Forstner has turned to Los Angeles' culinary history for the inspiration for his most experimental brew: the French Sip. Playing off of the long-standing rivalry between Cole's and Philippe's the Original - the two Downtown institutions that both claim to have invented the French dip sandwich -- Angel City's French Sip is an au jus-inspired brew.
BUSINESS
April 8, 2011 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
Jessica Gueghlein never used to give it a second thought when she wanted a good hamburger — she headed to In-N-Out, that drive-through icon of Southern California car culture. But her affections have strayed. Lately she's been hitting an East Coast upstart aggressively expanding in California — Five Guys Burgers and Fries. "We chose this over In-N-Out," said Gueghlein, chowing down with family members at the Five Guys in Valencia that opened in January. She liked the fresh, flavorful burgers and hand-cut fries at Five Guys — as well as the novelty of trying something new. "It's the fourth time we've been here since they opened.
FOOD
November 3, 2012 | By Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times
Wearing round glasses, a buttoned vest and blue wingtip oxfords, Shaheen Sadeghi can't walk down Anaheim's Center Street Promenade without being greeted by every shop owner on this three-block stretch of newly opened restaurants and boutiques. He's the developer who transformed what was once a row of lackluster office buildings into his vision of retro-American retail opportunity, complete with all the telltales of new urbanism: baroque logos, penny tiles, wainscoting and Rockwellian facades.
SCIENCE
September 20, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
It might seem that the range of scents humans can detect is infinite, but scientists have managed to sort them all into 10 basic categories, ranging from peppermint to pungent. The classifications are meant to be the olfactory equivalent of the five basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami).  To come up with the 10 scents, neuroscientists turned to a 30-year-old database that contained profiles of 144 odors.  Each odor was assessed by human subjects, who were given a list of 146 words and asked to rate how well each word described the odor.
BUSINESS
September 16, 2011 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Pushy waiters and know-it-all sommeliers, step aside. Your days may be numbered. Tablet computers are starting to take over. In the last few months, restaurants scattered around the country have installed iPads and other technologies on which customers can place orders and perform additional tasks usually handled by staff. At Stacked in Torrance, which opened in May, iPads mounted on 60 tables enable patrons to flip through a touch screen to view pizza, burger and salad offerings.
NEWS
February 14, 2013 | By Jay Jones
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.
SPORTS
August 31, 2012
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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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